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Breath of the Wild Novelization

Joined
May 19, 2018
This is the prologue to my ongoing Breath of the Wild novelization. I wanted to share it, in case anyone is interested in reading. I've been regularly posting it on Fanfiction.net and Archive of Our Own for the last month or so--I've got about nine chapters up so far, plus the prologue.

I've actually got a lot more than that written, having just completed the second Divine Beast in my writing (I'm up to Chapter 27). I'm just doling out one to two chapters a week to give myself time to go back and edit the earlier chapters, as well as ensure that if I do run into any issues that require a hiatus for a week or two, I'm still going to be able to maintain a regular posting schedule.

If you'd like to read further, here is the link.
https://www.fanfiction.net/s/12911301/1/The-Legend-of-Zelda-Breath-of-the-Wild


Prologue

It was difficult to remember the time before. Before her power awakened. Before everything had gone disastrously wrong. Before destruction and death fell upon the land. Before she gave the land a temporary stay of execution. Before the Calamity.

Some days, she could remember. She could remember green hills and lush forests. She could remember a black-stone castle with spires reaching for the heavens, and small villages full of hard-working people. She could remember a beautiful, shimmering city resting upon pillars above the source of a great river, and she could remember homes built out of giant rocks surrounded by lava. She remembered a great desert and a snowy mountain range. She remembered dawns and dusks, scorching days, and bitterly cold nights. She remembered anger. Affection. Fear. Hope. Desperation. Hate. Love. She remembered her life as it had been before the Calamity.

Other days—if she could even think in terms of days and nights any longer—she remembered very little. Emotionless. Thoughtless. Bodiless. She fought against a force that was both far smaller and far greater than she. She did not live, but she did not die. She existed somewhere in between. Her mind and soul ripped to shreds by the Calamity.

And yet, she fought. Even when all self was seemingly gone. Even when hope was but a distant memory, and the darkness was all around, she fought. Each day, month, year, she grew weaker. Deep within her, in the place where she still remembered who she was and what she fought, she knew that she would eventually fail. She would fall. But until then, she would fight the Calamity.

One hundred years. A lifetime for some. A fraction of a lifetime for others. An awareness of time blossomed into her broken mind as the sun slowly rose over the slopes of Death Mountain. The winter had passed, giving way to spring and new life. As the sun rose, she felt more aware of her shattered mind than most days. She pulled the pieces back together, shred by tattered shred. For the first time in what seemed like an eternity, she saw her land. The land, as it was following the Calamity.

Broken, yet alive. Much like her, she supposed. Deer grazed near the dilapidated structures of buildings. Creatures of darkness gathered around cookfires, dancing and singing in their guttural languages. Cuccos crowed with the dawn in distant villages. In a broken coliseum, an angry lynel roared a warning to those that would approach. She saw all of this at once and knew why. She saw it and knew her enemy saw these things as well. As her awareness of time and space grew, so too did such things grow in the Calamity.

But she saw something that the Calamity did not.

Far away, on a distant plateau, a man stirred within a chamber deep within a mountain. She saw this, and she remembered. She remembered her life before the Calamity. She remembered who she was. She remembered why she fought. Most of all, she remembered the man named Link.
 
Joined
May 19, 2018
PART ONE

Chapter One

“Open your eyes...”

The voice pierced his mind like a golden arrow. Where before there had been nothing but darkness and silence, suddenly there was light. Sound. Awareness.

“Open your eyes...”

Slowly, he obeyed the voice. The darkness gave way to a soft, blurry, blue light.

“Open your eyes.”

The light coalesced. Focused. He saw. What he saw, he was not sure, but he saw… something. A dome of strange metal and blue lights. Unfamiliar. Foreign.

“Wake up, Link.”

His awareness expanded. There was more than a dome. He was on his back, within a pool of softly glowing blue liquid. His back rested on a hard surface, leaving his face above the surface of the fluid. The strangely ethereal liquid began to drain, drawing away from his body and leaving him feeling cool. Somewhat cold.

His eyes moved slowly at first, taking in the glowing dome, and then the larger chamber he was in. The ceiling and walls were some kind of stone or metal. They weren’t smooth. Instead, they were covered with swirling patterns. Ripples and wrinkles in the walls that formed circular shapes and strangely maze-like designs. Small lights interspersed around the chamber on the walls emanated a soft, orange light. They looked like stars in the night sky.

Slowly, he sat up. As he did so, his body protested. He felt stiff. Heavy. He looked down at himself and absently noted that his body was unclothed. He was naked. Frowning, he considered this as he looked down at himself. Why was he naked? He should be wearing clothes, shouldn’t he?

He swung his legs over the lip of the now-empty pool he had been lying in and eased himself out. Again, his body protested, as if it was not used to such simple acts as moving. Perhaps it wasn’t. Why was he in here? What was this place?

His feet touched the ground. Stone. Cold. His feet felt tender. Soft. He eased himself up to stand, and his spine popped and crackled audibly as he straightened. He took stock of himself at that moment. Two arms, two legs. Somewhat thin, yet muscular. He reached up, feeling at his head. Long hair fell down around his shoulders. He grabbed a lock of it and brought it to his face. Dirty blonde.

He released his hair and looked around again, narrowing his eyes. He did not immediately see an exit out of the round chamber with its strangely patterned walls. He did, however, see a small pedestal that glowed with a light similar to that of the pool he had been lying in. He walked toward this pedestal and, as he approached, he found that its surface was covered with patterns similar to those on the walls; they glowed blue, rather than orange.

There was a small recess in the center of the pedestal and he frowned at what looked like a small, rectangular object within the recess. Seeing no other option, he reached out to touch it, but before his fingers could brush its surface, the lights on the pedestal flashed, and it made a sound like stone grinding against stone. He stepped back, startled, as an inner ring in the pedestal rose up several finger-widths, and the strange rectangular object suddenly stood up. It was illuminated by the pedestal now, and he could see what looked like a stylized eye on its surface. The iris glowed a brilliant blue, while three pointed eyelashes glowed orange above it. Beneath the eye stretched a single teardrop. Additional lines of orange light glowed softly along its top and bottom edges.

“Take it,” a feminine voice said. He stumbled back, eyes wide, and looked around for the woman that had spoken. He could not see anyone else in the chamber with him, but his eyes fell on the strange pool he had been lying in. Perhaps the woman who had spoken hid behind it? He slowed his breathing and slowly crept around the outside of the room, looking for any sign of movement.

“Link, I am not with you, at the moment,” said the voice. This time, he detected something new from it. It sounded distant and did not appear to originate from behind the pool. He continued around the room regardless. Only once he had completed his circumference around the room did the voice speak again.

“I am speaking to your mind from far away,” she said. He frowned. The voice didn’t just sound distant. It sounded… He reached up and tentatively covered his ears, trying to block out the sound of the voice. When she spoke again, her tone betrayed amusement. “I am communicating with you mentally. That… will, most certainly, not help.”

He lowered his hands and opened his mouth to respond, but she spoke again. “I will explain more soon, I promise. As much as I can. But for now, take the object upon the table. It is called the Sheikah Slate. It will help you.”

He looked around once more for the voice, but now that he was listening for it, he was aware that he was not hearing it. At least, not with his ears. Somehow, he could hear the woman in his mind. His eyes fell back on the object—the Sheikah Slate, as she had called it—and, after a moment’s consideration, he reached out and picked it up. Frowning down at it, he turned it over in his hands, surprised to find the back side of it to be smooth and black, like polished stone. Obsidian, perhaps?

A new sound filled the chamber now, and he looked up quickly for its source. He found it a moment later as his eyes fell on the wall near him. The orange light from the room illuminated what he had originally thought to be just another swirl in the wall’s pattern, but now he saw to be an archway. At least, now it was an archway. As he watched, the section of wall that had previously occupied the center of the arch now rose into the stone above it. It rumbled loudly as it rose until it stopped with a reverberating thud. Where there had been solid wall before, now a simple arch opened into another, smaller chamber.

He approached the arch carefully, looking around in wonder. He touched the stone, finding it to be simple and solid. There was no sign that a wall even existed here before… Before he could voice his wonder, however, he heard the woman speak again.

“I cannot tell you how… happy I am to see you again, Link.”

See? At once, his nakedness seemed much more pressing. He straightened his back and looked around a final time, looking for the source of the voice. The woman that seemed able to both see and speak to him without being physically present could see him? From within his mind, he heard what might have been a chuckle, and he grew aware that he had instinctively covered up his nakedness with the Sheikah Slate. Feeling his face warm with a blush, he looked around the new room and was delighted to see what appeared to be a bundle of clothes draped over a similar pedestal in this room, this one glowing orange.

Not caring where they came from or who left them there, he quickly crossed over and grabbed the clothes, setting the Sheikah Slate down on the pedestal. A shirt and trousers. He quickly donned these, trousers first, and was pleased to find that they fit him well enough, if not loosely around the waist. The trousers came with a simple belt, however, which he cinched up. As he pulled his head through the neck of the shirt, he was surprised to see that the pedestal’s lights had turned blue. The Sheikah Slate had changed, as well. The smooth black surface, which he had assumed to be a kind of stone, now showed a glowing blue eye in its center, similar to the eye on its opposite side. He pulled his arms through the sleeves of the shirt and reached out, taking the Slate. The pedestal flashed briefly and another doorway, this one in the wall opposite the door he’d entered from, began to open. A shaft of bright light streamed in from under the door as it lifted.

As the door rose, he glanced back down at the Sheikah Slate, surprised to see blue text written across the smooth black surface. It read, “Sheikah Slate confirmed.” The text remained for another few moments before disappearing. He placed the Sheikah Slate back down on the pedestal, watching it carefully for a moment before he bent down and placed his feet into the boots that he’d only just seen. They fit surprisingly well. His boots in place, he grabbed the Sheikah Slate again and approached the now-open doorway. He felt a stab of excitement as he saw the mouth of the cave some distance down what appeared to be a simple passage with rock walls.

He broke into a run. He splashed through a shallow puddle, but he didn’t care about the water that soaked through his pantlegs. He didn’t know why he’d woken up in that chamber. He couldn’t remember where he was. He couldn’t remember what had led to his falling asleep in such a location. He couldn’t remember…

He couldn’t remember anything.

He stopped. His breath came and went in short, rapid bursts. His heart raced. He looked around with wide eyes, looking for anything recognizable. In front of him, he could see the brilliant light of day streaming in through the cave entrance, too bright to make out any details beyond the faint outline of vegetation. Behind him, the mysterious chamber remained open and dim.

Where was he? Why was he here?

Who was he?

“Link.” The voice. The woman. She had called him that before. Was that his name? He whirled once again, hoping that he would see her this time. She continued her voice gentle. “I know you must have many questions, and I promise that answers will come in time.” She sounded more distant now. Strained. “I have arranged for a guide to help you get started. Please, you must keep going.”

Stillness filled the cavern as the woman’s voice faded. He—Link, she had called him—looked around once more before finally releasing a breath that he hadn’t realized he’d been holding. He couldn’t remember anything. Not his name, nor where he came from. How could that be? He remained still for several minutes as he strained against the strange hole in his mind where he felt his memories should be. Finally, he latched upon the last thing the voice had said. A guide. He had to find the guide.

Link took another step, and then another. He entered the light streaming in from the cave’s entrance and lifted his hand to shield his eyes, blinking rapidly as they adjusted. As the light grew less oppressive, Link found himself at the foot of a grassy hill. His eyes followed the hill as it rose until it terminated in what appeared to be a cliff. Beyond that…

His eyes widened, and he broke into a run, climbing the hill and reaching its zenith. His breath caught and he felt a lump of emotion lodge in his throat. Before him stretched majesty. The land before him was lush and green, with forests and plains as far as the eye could see. Distant in the west were a series of brown plateaus, and north from there, a mountain range covered in snow and ice. To the northeast, a massive-looking volcano stood, magma forming jagged red-orange lines down its sides. A verdant expanse of grass, hills, and bodies of water lay between it all, surrounded on all sides by mountains and ridges. Directly north, across the field, stood a solitary castle, with a central spire rising above several others.

Birds flew overhead, their small shadows passing over Link as they chirped merrily in the warm sun. A breeze blew past him, bringing the fresh scents of grass, trees, and flowers. The grass under his feet sparkled with droplets of water—dew or evidence of a recent rain.

As he took in the view before him, he became aware that his immediate surroundings were not level with the remaining world around him. At the bottom of the rocky cliff he stood on, a large forest stretched out until it ended with another abrupt cliff. It was difficult to tell from his vantage, but it appeared that he was on a very large plateau, topped with fields and forests that didn’t seem all that different than the others he saw further away.

He gazed around at his more immediate surroundings. Behind him was the cave he’d awoken in, which was at the base of yet another sheer cliff face. To his right—the east—he spotted a large stone structure. It appeared to be a kind of temple, set upon the top of another hill, with a single steeple placed at the front of a large, otherwise rectangular building. Staring at it, he felt certain that it must have been a kind of religious temple, though he had no sense of what that religion might be.

He stared at this building with a hope of finding something—anything—familiar about it. It was an old structure. Green vines grew up along its grey stone walls, and the wooden roof was faded and broken in places. Before the temple stood the ruins of some old buildings. Whether they were houses or additional places of worship, Link could not tell. Should he have recognized this temple? Was this his land? Or did he struggle to recognize anything because he was far from home?

After a minute of staring at the dilapidated temple, he decided that he had no choice but to start there. He began down the hill and towards the distant structure. As he walked, he passed a grove of trees in the shadow of the cliff. His presence disturbed a rabbit that had been among the trees, and it rushed into the cover of a bush. He eyed the bush for a time and found himself wondering if he would need to hunt for sustenance while on this plateau. He placed a hand against his stomach; he was hungry.

Seeking to distract himself from his sudden hunger pangs, he lifted the Sheikah Slate to his face as he walked, frowning at the somewhat bulky device. Turning it over in his hands, he determined that the smooth, black surface with the glowing blue eye was likely the front of the device. However, he could not tell exactly what it was supposed to do. He recalled that writing had briefly appeared on it earlier, but he had no clues as to what that meant. Now, however, it seemed to do nothing. He did manage to find a hook on one end of it that worked to hook it to his belt, freeing up both of his hands. Grateful for that, he looked up as he passed under an overhang, squinting at the white clouds overhead.

That’s when he heard someone chuckling behind him.

Link whirled, suddenly on edge. His left hand closed into a fist, and he felt a sudden longing to have something with which to defend himself in that hand. Even a stick, like the simple tree branches on the ground that he had passed by, would be preferable to nothing. When his eyes fell on the source of the sound, however, he found that it did not seem to be an immediate threat.

On the ground, before a small cook fire, sat an older man in a heavy cloak. He was a large man and looked to likely tower over Link had he been standing, with large arms and a bushy white beard extending halfway down his chest. How had Link missed seeing him as he passed by? The old man’s blue-green eyes crinkled with mirth, which helped Link relax some.

“Why, hello and well met, stranger! It’s rather unusual to see another soul in these parts,” his voice was a deep baritone and seemed more refined than his general appearance would have suggested. “What brings a young man such as yourself to a place such as this?” He looked Link up and down and raised his eyebrow at his old clothing and disheveled appearance. He looked back up at Link’s face. “And in such a state?”

Link stared at the man for a few seconds in confusion, suddenly uncertain what he should say or do. Was this the guide that the woman had promised? If so, he had a strange way of showing it. On the other hand, perhaps he was just an old man that lived here. Regardless, maybe he could help.

“I…” His voice sounded strained and hoarse, as if he hadn’t used it for a long time. Link cleared his throat and licked his lips before continuing. “Where am I? What is this place? Who are you?” He barely stopped himself from asking, Who am I?

The old man chuckled strangely knowingly. “We are currently upon the Great Plateau, at the center of the great nation of Hyrule. In fact, according to legend, the kingdom of Hyrule was born upon this plateau.” He stood with a groan, using a wooden staff to help himself up, and then made his way around the fire towards Link. Link stepped back, which caused the man to look at him curiously. The man stopped walking just out from under the overhang of rock. He motioned towards the temple and the ruins surrounding it.

“That temple was once called the Temple of Time. Long ago, it was the center of worship for the land. However, when the kingdom…” He paused, considering his words, and his expression changed, growing crestfallen. “Ever since the decline of the kingdom, it has been abandoned. Forgotten.”

Link looked back towards the Temple of Time, frowning. Hyrule. Temple of Time. The decline of the kingdom. None of these words or phrases meant anything to him. Even the name given him by the bodiless female voice was unfamiliar to him! He had no true knowledge if that was his real name or not. The old man must have seen into Link’s mood, as he stepped closer and placed a large hand on Link’s shoulder.

“Why don’t you sit with me and tell me how you came to be here on this lonely plateau? I was just about to roast some apples on the fire. You are more than welcome to share in my meal.” Link’s only response was another audible grumble from his stomach and a furtive look back towards the old man’s pack, from which several large, red apples were visible. The man chuckled again and began back towards his spot by the fire. Link followed.

-------------------------------​

It hadn’t taken long for Link to recount the events he could remember leading up to his meeting the old man. Though he had kept the presence of the strange voice to himself, he explained that he had woken up in the strange chamber with no memory of who he was or how he got there, finding the Sheikah Slate and clothes waiting for him.

“You can remember nothing of what led you to that cave? You do not remember your past life at all?” There was a heaviness in the man’s voice as he poked at the fire with his stick. Link wasn’t sure, but he thought the old man sounded disappointed.

Link looked down at the Sheikah Slate attached to his hip and pursed his lips. What was he supposed to do? He didn’t know who he was or how he came to be here. What could he do?

The two men fell into silence for a time, and the only sounds were that of the crackling fire and birds chirping in the trees. Finally, the old man sighed heavily, nodding to himself.

“I do not have all of the answers that I am sure you are seeking. However, you are more than welcome to remain with me in my hut for a few days while you try to piece things together. Perhaps after some rest, some of your memories will begin to come back.”

The man pushed himself back to his feet, grunting with exertion. Link looked up at him, prepared to respond to his offer, but stopped when the man motioned towards the Sheikah Slate with his staff. “However, I am curious about the device on your hip. From what you’ve described to me and looking at it, I believe that there is something else on this plateau that relates to that device in some way. I’ve never paid it much attention—such matters were always more my daughter’s interest than mine—but I believe it may hold some significance for you.”

Link stood and looked down at the Sheikah Slate with some doubt. He did not know how this device was to help him but also supposed that the voice had instructed him to take it. What could it hurt? He looked back at the man and nodded.

An odd expression flashed across the old man’s face. Satisfaction, perhaps, or amusement—Link wasn’t sure. He turned and reached over to the rock wall that they had sat next to, grasping a small wrapped bundle there that Link hadn’t noticed before. He held the bundle out to Link expectantly.

Link frowned at the bundle, taking it from the man. He carefully unwrapped it, revealing an old, worn down sword. The blade had long ago lost its luster. It was pitted in several places, and other spots had clear signs of rust. Link looked back at the man in confusion.

“Lately, the bokoblins have been growing more aggressive with their territory. I usually avoid them, and they are usually happy to stay away from my hut. Where we are going, however, is an area that I’ve spotted them in recently, and you look like you will be better at wielding that sword than I will be.”

And Link, as he gripped the sword’s worn leather hilt found that he agreed with the old man. He started with the sword in his right hand, but it felt uncomfortable and awkward to him. Once he switched it over to his left, he immediately felt a sense of rightness. Stepping back from the old man, he took the sword in both hands and took a few practice swings. His movements weren’t quite fluid, yet these, at least, seemed familiar to him in a strange way.

After a few more practice swings and adjustments to his stance and grip, Link looked back to the old man and nodded slowly. “Thank you,” he said. The old man smiled in his kindly way and crouched to pick up the cloth that the sword had been wrapped in. Link felt sheepish for just abandoning the sword’s cover on the ground, but the man said nothing, simply holding it out to Link again.

“It’d be best to keep it covered until we need it. The bokoblins might avoid us if they don’t view us as a threat, but they are scavengers by nature. If they see a prize, such as an actual sword, they may decide to attack for that alone. Best not tempt them unless we have to.”

Link took the cloth and obediently wrapped the sword in the cloth. He had no way to wear the sword, so he simply held it by its hilt, placing the cloth-wrapped flat of the blade against his shoulder. The man watched him with a brief expression of amusement and then used his stick to break apart the small fire he’d built. After throwing some additional dirt on it to douse the flames, he turned back towards Link.

“Well, let’s get on our way, boy. I have a feeling that you’ve got quite the journey ahead of you.”
 
Joined
May 19, 2018
So, I figured I would put up a quick update on this story! As of October 23, the novel has been completed! Clocking in at over sixty chapters and 450,000 words, it's a beast, and I'll certainly understand if it is intimidating for people to read. However, I'm incredibly proud of it. It was a true labor of love, and I'm thrilled with how it turned out. For that matter, it's received quite a bit of praise, as well, and has grown fairly popular on Fanfiction.net. I feel like I did a good job on it, and I would love to hear what others think!
 

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