WARNING: This series is rated PG-13 due to violence, dark themes, profanity, and sexual content. Viewer discretion is advised.
The thunderous din of pounding raindrops and whip-like cracks of lightening alone would have been enough to make the Hyrulians' heads swim. But the accompanying cacophony of echoing battle cries, rumbling hoof beats, and sickening cries of wounded soldiers made the night take on a whole new dimension. The sounds all blended together to form one incredible heartbeat, pulsing and vibrating and shooting energy through the air like blood through a vein. Their meager homes barely shielding them from the deafening pulse, the people of Hyrule reflected on how terribly ironic it was that the night that seemed so alive was fueled by the sounds of death.
But this did not cross the minds of the Kokiri. The thick, vast wall of trees blanketing their peaceful abode in the forest muffled the distant melee, so they were passing the evening in a rather happy stupor, soothed by what they considered to be a gentle and rejuvenating shower. Of course, as we know, those with a settled state of mind will often fail to see the chaos surrounding them, so even if these innocent children of the wood could hear the battle, they probably would not understand its significance enough to be concerned. That must explain why, when the fighting finally died down several hours into the night, the Kokiri did not sense the ominous transition.
Most of them, that is. Despite the lull of the storm and her knowledge that she was completely safe in this forest, one girl tossed and turned in her bed, unable to sleep. Her tense muscles refused to uncoil, and she jumped at every slight noise or movement her hyper-alert senses detected. She could not understand why, but her mind was troubled by a deep sense of foreboding.
Eventually she gave up on trying to sleep and stepped out of bed. Tucking her short green hair behind her pointed ears, she slipped into a green turtleneck, shorts and boots and lit a candle, taking note of how uncharacteristically shaky her hands were. This is so strange. Maybe if I read a book, I will calm down a little,
she thought to herself.
She walked over to her tiny bookcase and plucked out a book full of fairy tales. This one usually cheered her up when she was feeling uneasy. She quickly flipped through the pages to find her favorite one about Magic Beans, but her eye caught sight of a picture that piqued her interest. When she turned to the page, what she saw made a chill slither up her spine like a snake.
The picture depicted a reanimated skeleton with glowing red eyes, garbed in a black, decayed suit of armor and brandishing a sword and shield. The title next to the picture read Stalfos: The Wandering Warrior.
The girl swallowed; she knew she shouldn't continue reading this story. This book was supposed to calm her down, and already her anxiety level was so high her stomach was starting to cramp. But some perverse part of her psyche urged her to continue reading: The children of the forest, the Kokiri, are quite familiar with the deadly nature of the Lost Woods. So many different paths one can take, and no way of knowing which is true...take one false step, and abandon all hope of ever returning to the world you once knew.
That is not the end of the story, though. You see, the Woods are alive, and they do not take well to careless trespassers. Any youth unfortunate enough to wander astray will be transformed into a lowly imp, losing all memory of who he was and cursed to roam the dark, lonely forest for all eternity.
But alas, dear friends, this does not compare to the horror of what awaits lost travelers who have tasted the honey of youth and moved on to the fruits of manhood. A child is ignorant of the world, so he is spared a more terrible fate, but a man should know better than to blindly traverse the grounds of the Lost Woods. As punishment, he becomes a monster more terrifying than one dare to imagine. With the appearance of a corpse risen from the grave, this bloodthirsty creature haunts the Woods, searching for the perfect prey...
The girl jumped at the sound, gasping with surprise. The book tumbled out of her hands and knocked loudly against the floor. She sat absolutely still, listening closely, her heart beating wildly out of her chest.
Immediately she dropped to the floor. Inching her way across the floor quickly and quietly, she reached her bedside table and blew out the candle, blanketing the house in darkness. She listened again and heard the faint sound of footsteps coming from the entrance of the forest. She huddled against the wall with her knees pulled tightly against her chest, trembling with fear. Something was definitely out there, and it was big
She took a deep breath. If there is a dangerous creature, I must find out so I can warn the others. Summoning all her courage, she tiptoed over to the window and rubbed away the fog with the sleeve of her sweater. Squinting, she peered out into the gloom, but the rain was pouring so heavily that visibility was impossible.
The heavy footsteps sounded closer this time. The girl took another deep breath to stabilize her mind, which was know in full-blown panic mode, and quietly stepped over to the door, unlatched the locks, and pushed it open.
A gust of icy, moist air greeted her, slashing through her body like a scythe and making her shiver uncontrollably. Using one hand to shield her eyes from the rain spatter, she carefully scanned the landscape but was unable to locate anything out of place.
It wasn't until the next footstep landed ten feet in front of her that she finally spotted the outline of the shadowy, elusive creature. She stifled back a gasp. It was a towering figure at least seven feet tall, and based on the heaviness of the footsteps, it was strong and solidly built. By her estimate, it could probably juggle three Kokiris and still have one hand free. It walked rather slowly, but with a surprising amount of grace for such a large being. The girl's sense of curiosity overwhelmed her fear, and she inched closer to get a better look.
Suddenly the creature stopped. For what seemed like an eternity, it just stood there as still as a statue, the rain drenching it with sustained gusto. Then, almost too quickly for her to see, it turned its head and fixed its gaze directly on that of the girl.
She froze, transfixed by terror. The eyes glowed brilliantly in the darkness, a deep golden hue unlike any she had ever seen before. In the back of her mind, she knew that any moment now, that monster would launch at her, seizing her with one of his massive hands and snapping her small neck before she could even blink. But the creature didn't move. For a long minute, everything around them seemed to fade away, and the only thing that existed in the world were those eyes, staring at her with a powerful intensity.
Finally, the creature closed its eyes and uttered what sounded like a sigh, a small cloud forming in front of its mouth as it exhaled. Then it turned away and resumed its walk.
The girl slumped against her house with relief that she had not been killed, but she was also puzzled. What was this thing? And what was it doing here in the forest?
Now that she was confident that the beast had no intention of harming her, she closed the door behind her and walked a few feet, watching it in fascination. The raindrops pelted her skin like rocks and plastered her hair and clothes to her body, but she barely noticed.
The giant splashed through the small lake next to the general store like it was a mere puddle, and sauntered with purpose towards the tunnel that led to the grove of the forest's guardian spirit. The girl frowned. What does it want with the Great Deku Tree?
Keeping a safe distance between the two of them, she followed him into the grove and hid behind a bush with a clear view of what was happening.
The Great Deku Tree stood tall and majestic, a grand old tree who had watched over the forest for hundreds of years. His trunk was as thick and solid as a small mountain, and the sea of leaves in his canopy above seemed to go on for miles. But his size did not intimidate anyone, for he always exuded a serene atmosphere of gentle kindness. The girl couldn't help but smile; she was so proud to have him as her guardian.
The creature finally came to a stop in front of the tree, and a moment passed before the Great Deku Tree spoke. His voice rumbled like the waves of magma inside of a volcano.
“Who art thou, stranger? Why hast thou sought me out at this most treacherous hour?”
It took a moment for the giant to answer, but when he did, the sheer raw power behind his voice startled the girl. The image that came to mind was an empty cavern, deep and dark and infinitely mysterious. His words curled rather awkwardly around a thick, unfamiliar accent, but his ominous message was unmistakably clear:
“Do not feign ignorance with me, shrub. You know exactly
why I'm here.”