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LOZ: Breath of the Wild drabbles

Machina Somnium

Cyber genz punk
Life on the Edge GM
Year 103 post Calamity

A young woman lay awake, listening to soft snoring from one of the other stable hands. Through the window, she could see the blue shine of a strange tower. It, along with many others she could make out in the distance, had risen more than 3 years ago. They made the entire continent tremble, as she had learned later from people passing by. Nobody really knew why they rose, or what they were for. Sometimes they shone brighter for a few seconds. They were too far to make out the details. She had met some Rito people who had visited them, hylians that had climbed them, too. A few bright minds thought their origin to be the Sheika from their design. Still, this humble stable girl hadn’t really seen any Sheika venturing outside of Kakariko village. If they did, they probably stayed closer to their home anyway. The Rito Stable was practically on the other side of Hyrule.

In came the sound of heavy hooves, too strong to be a deer. The clinking of armor and weapons, heavy snorts and agitated breathing. It was the middle of the night, but someone had just arrived. It wasn’t new, people came and went at all hours. They weren’t usually in such a hurry, though. Soft voices gained her attention, and she sat up on her bed. In the dim light she could see a stranger, dressed in thick clothes and pelts. They were talking to a travelling merchant who was still open, sitting by the central column of the building. Despite their hushed tone she could tell they were negotiating the price of something. It was the newcomer, it seemed, who offered a heavy sack of quality meat. They must be an experienced hunter. The meat looked fresh, the sacks’ fabric stained with its juices. It would sell well, the stable owner would probably buy a good amount later, during the day. They didn’t usually get it in such large quantities. The surrounding forests were plagued by monsters and it was dangerous to go far. That and the cold made it hard to harvest the parts before they froze over. Icy meat wasn’t kind to the teeth, but it was a good way to preserve It.

The girl yawned silently, wrapping herself tighter in her pelt blankets. The stranger looked up for a second, and the shadow the hood casted over their face betrayed gentle blue eyes and a few strands of blonde hair. Not even the quietest of sounds escaped their ears. She smiled at them, but it was a mystery to her whether they even noticed.

The pelts they wore were partially dyed in white, she noticed, as the stranger shook the merchant’s hand. They had reached an agreement, and several clinking bags full of rupees were given in return for the meat. Not only did the traveller have beautiful eyes, their smile could steal anyone’s breath away. Their hands were bare, and it gave away how thick their clothes really were. The stable girl furrowed her brows in a mix of surprise and confusion, because It could only mean that this one traveller had come to them from the Tabantha Tundra further up north. They didn’t get people from there… ever. The path went straight through the ruins of a ghost village, where monsters took shelter from the elements and waited for unsuspecting victims. It wasn’t a surprise that they had come in so fast in that case. Because a couple of miles up the road in the tundra’s direction there was an entire wooden fort populated by lizalfos and bokoblins. It was like they guarded the path, rarely letting anyone through. More than once they’d seen riders try and avoid the fire arrows only to fail and lose their lives. The horses would spook and gallop closer to the Stable that was just downhill, with white in their eyes and corpses on their saddles. Most people preferred the other way, traveling by a path on the other side of the Tanagar Canyon. It was rainy, even swamped at times, but many told stories from their trips through it. Unlike those who sought the tundra and the Hebra mountains. The latter were an ever present giant, dutifully guarding the Rito and their Stable as long as they didn’t get close enough for the cold to bite.

The stranger put their gems away and exchanged a few pleasantries with the merchant, ready to leave. The girl was embarrassed to discover she hadn’t been very subtle. The blonde waved goodbye to her as they walked back outside. She returned their beautiful smile.

At first she couldn’t see them at all, but once outside the traveller was leading their horse by the reins toward a small pile of wood that had been alight a few hours prior. Only cold ashy logs remained now, but the stranger let their horse free to graze nearby as they lit it back up. They then took the saddle off of the animal and brushed its messy fur, did some basic care on the shoes and ultimately let it free to enjoy itself a bit. From the saddle bags they took what looked like clothes after putting their horse care tools back. The stable girl watched from her window, biting her lip as she watched the stranger undress, shedding their clothes without a care. He, she assumed, looked strong. She could only see what was illuminated by the flames, but he had a fit and slender build. His body could tell many tales, as it was covered in scars. His hair was shoulder length and his skin was fair. Naked, he walked to the horses’ drinking trough outside and filled a bucket with water. There, partially obscured by the darkness, he washed himself with soap and a cloth. The girl would have loved to get a closer look, but she only got to smell lilacs and honey. Regardless, she had seen enough to fuel a fantasy or two. Soon, he was back next to the fire with damp hair. He used a medium sized towel to dry his hair and his loins, putting on some underpants and sitting by the fire to let the rest of the humidity evaporate on its own time. She didn’t understand why he’d do that, as close as he was to the fire… they were still close enough to the mountains that the breeze was cold. The sable girl saw him shiver a couple of times. She could see it from where she sat on her bed. He still smiled through it, sitting back and letting the wind flow through his still wet hair. Later, he tied it back into a short, messy ponytail. He put on a simple shirt and a green jacket along with what looked like standard hylian pants and riding boots. Instead of another hood, he put on an interesting pair of earrings that reflected the flames’ hungry lights.

Now dressed and clean, he lured his horse over with some fresh apples and put the saddle and equipment back on it. It didn’t seem to mind, having had some time to rest, eat and happily frolic about on the soft grass. Hylian horses were sturdy creatures, known for their might. This one looked particularly bright, nosing for more treats as its owner sat down to cook some skewered meat. He laughed as the horse mussed his hair, the sound as musical and captivating as if he were a great faerie. It made her question his gender again in her mind. It didn’t matter, she thought, settling for watching him cook, clean and then get back on his horse. In the last moments, just as he spurred the beast into a light trot toward the Tabantha Frontier, she could have sworn their eyes met if only for less than a second. Did he know she had been watching him all this time?, why didn’t he say something?. The stable girl lay back down, wrapping herself in her soft blankets. Back asleep, she dreamed of strong arms and gentle eyes with a smile on her face. It wasn’t the last time she saw the traveller, who she learned was on a trip to the wetlands. He had to refill his supply of arrows.

His name was Link.
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Machina Somnium

Cyber genz punk
Life on the Edge GM

It was the first time his adventures took him this way. It wasn’t the path he frequented, from Tabantha to Lanaryu, to follow his arrow restock route. No, this time he walked from the closest shrine to the Bridge of Hylia to the Highland Stable. Said bridge was guarded by moblins and lizalfos, so he had used a forgotten boat to cross the waters. The wind was helpful, the rain was not. He could barely feel his arms by the time he made it to the other side of the gigantic lake. The breeze was more often than not pushing against him instead of helping, and one korok leaf just wasn’t enough!. But he made it, he endured his punishment. He deserved it. Caramel didn't.

It had been one reckless move, one stupid mistake. It was all it had taken. There had been bokoblins on floating wooden platforms on the sides of the bridge. Link hadn’t wanted to get hit by a well aimed arrow, so he had hurried his horse to the other side of the precarious and half broken structure. It was in serious need of repairs, he had thought, and then Caramel had moved a teeny tiny bit to the right. Her rider’s eyes had widened and he had tried to stop her. Sadly, it hadn’t been that easy to make a sudden stop while on a hanging bridge. Both horse and rider had fallen off of the bridge and into the abyss below. The fall had felt eternal, like days and hours, but he still hadn’t moved fast enough.

Now, dressed in his Sheika outfit, he ran up a mountain. He was as quiet as he could manage, hiding from the reptiles that scanned the landscape with cold eyes. They knew he was there, somewhere, just couldn’t quite place him. He did his best to stay off of the paths. They were littered with pebbles, sand and sharpened wood barricades. An arrow scraped his shoulder once he started climbing the tower. He gritted his teeth and kept going. Its blue light was like a beacon of tranquility, it warmed him over unlike the cold rain water. He basked in it once he reached the protection of the towers' full height. His concerns could be gone just like that, if they were about anything else… He let himself breathe for a few minutes, took in the night air and got soaked in rain water. In the meantime, he downloaded the region’s map into his worn slate. He hadn’t been to Purahs in years, not even when he stopped by Hateno.

As they fell, Link had tried so hard to grab his bow and ice arrows… He had done it once before, in the mountains. He froze his mare to keep her from taking a very bad hit. Somehow, despite how this fall had felt longer by an infinity, he had been too slow. He hadn’t even thought to open his paraglider, too concerned for his companion to even worry about his own fast approaching death.

From the top of the tower he could, barely, make out some lights in the distance. It was rainy and gray, the fog and the water made it impossible to see with clarity, but it had to be a stable. He ran and jumped from the top of the tower. He opened his paraglider and flew over the Barula Plains at vertiginous speed. The crash-landing was rough, he was out of breath and the wind was stealing even more than he had to give. Link walked downhill slowly, taking care not to slip and break something. He didn’t need to have to crawl through the entirety of the Fural Plains until he reached the building. He slipped and fell anyway. He rolled downhill, soaked, hurt and cold. By the time he reached the Highland Stable he was in severe need of help. There were a few times he thought he wouldn’t make it, as he bled, and shook like a leaf in the wind. He couldn't feel his legs.

A Hylian man with dark hair helped him in, and a stable girl lent him towels and a blanket. He thanked them quietly, shaking, eager for warmth. He had seen the hesitation in their eyes when they saw him, as the darkness made it hard for them to tell apart friend from foe. A good number of people rested in the stable, safe and sheltered from the rain. It smelled like wet grass, burning wood and horses. He had seen some outside on the plains, they got spooked by his less than graceful landing. He looked at the animals with longing, and realized he had been ignoring the dark haired man. How rude.

“What?” He interrupted the other as he talked to him, his eyes unfocused. His mind was somewhere else.

“Why did you cross on foot? Where did you come from?” Asked the man, looking at him like one would an unruly child. But Link was no kid, he knew what he was doing. He started undressing to dry himself and put on warmer clothes. The man turned around to give him privacy, but he didn’t leave. It wasn’t like they were alone in the room anyway.

“Far” Said Link, not in the right state of mind to please anybody. They could interpret his cryptic answers or get none at all.

“You look like hell spat you out, where are you heading in such a hurry?” The man insisted, and Link sighed. He was done changing. He threw his bag into a corner, he’d be back for it.

“I heard there’s a fairy fountain nearby that will bring horses back...” He said, walking to the man’s side and looking him in the eye.

“Back from where?” Asked the man. He saw the resolve in the traveler’s eyes. It had been phrased like a question. He too was passionate about those magnificent creatures, he had sought the services of the fairy more than once. Never had he ever received an answer, though. No matter how much he wanted it.

“I’m sorry, but it’s.. its not going to work '' He started to say, but the stranger shook his head.

“Where?” He asked, taking one too many steps too close. This was a man who would do anything for a friend, it seemed. He almost reminded him of… a hero of legend. The one who still hadn’t slain The Calamity. There would be no convincing this madman to stay put. He had come through the storm from where the goddess knew where. So he pointed him toward the fountain and watched him disappear in the fog. Phanna asked him where the man was going, and it made Blynne smile.

“To look for a friend”

She thought he was crazy, and told him off about sending someone to at best catch a cold, and at worst to die at the claws of a pack of lizalfos in the mountain paths.