Monday, March 19, 2018

When Celessa held the Slate, Introduction (Breath of the Wild)

[While the most obvious solution to make the Gerudo Town section of Breath of the Wild not be terrible would be to just show the gate guard the Sheikah Slate, the possibility of sending someone else into Gerudo Town suggests story possibilities.  Who would Link trust?  Why?  So forth.]

The chronicler has asked me to tell the tale of the time I held the Sheikah Slate.

First, I suppose, I should make an introduction my name is Celessa and I was on a pilgrimage when the towers rose and the shrines lit up. I met Link on the road.  I call him “Link” rather than “The Champion” or “The Hero of Legend” because that is how he introduced himself to me.

He didn't tell me of his mission, or expect me to recognize his greatness, or anything of the sort.  He simply told me his name was Link and agreed that the sacred springs sounded interesting.  That was how we first began to journey together.  On the road I learned of how he'd lost his memories and therefore didn't know his way around Hyrule.

We became side tracked many times on our travels, both before and after I learned of Link's identity.  The things we did weren't what I'd have expected from a great hero, and perhaps that is why I never had much interest in the Hero of Legend: I expected something else, something that didn't impress me.

Dropping everything to help a woman find the Horse God and resurrect her lost companion made sense, of course that's what one would do. Things like escorting a monster extract fan to the skull shaped lake where the creator was staying or helping a young woman get three dragonflies for her younger sister's birthday, however, were not the sort of things I would have expected from a great hero with a great destiny.

I think, now, that perhaps it was these things that kept Link going in spite of having lost everything, even his understanding of who he was.  He never put himself above others and thus treated everyone he met as an equal or better.  It kept him in touch with the fact that saving Hyrule wasn't about a kingdom or some label on a map, it was about the people who live here.

Or, perhaps, it's just part of his character, something that couldn't be erased with his memories.  After all, I did the same and I'm not in any prophecy.

We never talked about why we did what we did, the reasons seemed self evident.  I wonder what Link will think of this philosophizing when I show my first draft of this chronicle to him.  He's never been one for using many words.  At first I thought that was because with no memories he didn't think he had anything to contribute.  Now I know that it's just who he is.

What one must understand is that by the time Link asked me for help we had been through so very much together.  I wasn't chosen at random, though he said that if I had refused he would seek out an adventurer and pay her for helping.

If I refused.

He was uneasy about asking: he didn't want to impose.  He wanted it to be clear that everything he had done for me was done without the expectation of anything in return, and I could say, “No.”

He was half right.

I suppose he was so worried about “imposing” because I'd been his first real friend or ally since he woke up.  The old king's ghost doesn't count.  Link had assumed he was some kind of spirit of Hyrule or forest spirit or something, when it turned out that the old man was really the ghost of someone he'd known before losing his memories Link soured on him somewhat.  The memory he'd awoken as we ran for our lives through Hyrule Castle had changed that to outright animus.  So, at the start, I was all he had, though it was just by chance that that had happened.

He was afraid he'd drive me away if I thought we only became companions because he expected to be repaid for what he'd done.  Let it be known to all who read this: everyone, even legendary heroes, can have insecurities.

We'd traveled all over Hyrule at that point.  We'd given apples to the ancestral shrines to get seeds for a giant leaf being's maracas.  We'd lived my dream of walking in Princess Zelda's footsteps on a level I never dared to hope possible.  I'd watched him run back toward monsters we'd only narrowly escaped because he'd forgotten to get images for the compendium.  I'd told him a thousand times, “You don't need a raft to stand on water when you have Cryonis.”  So many times we'd survived only because we each trusted the other with our lives without hesitation.  So many times each of us had saved the other.

We'd stood half dead surrounded by monsters we'd slain only for red sparks to rise from the ground, the sky to turn, and the horrible realization to sink in that we'd forgotten to check the color of the moon.  Again.  We'd run; we'd run so often and so much.

I had taken his horse to a stable to wait for him so many times –when he needed to go somewhere a horse couldn't and left via paraglider or Sheika Slate– that I don't even remember when it became my horse.  My beautiful mare, believed to be descended from Princess Zelda's royal stallion and definitely outfitted with the saddle, bridle, and reins that Zelda herself used for that stallion.

All these things –nights spent at the same campfire, helping Purah recover her physical an mental maturity after an experimental mishap robbed her of them, holding a great fairy at arrow point and explaining the meaning of “informed consent to her– meant that I knew our friendship had been genuine, he needn't have worried about that, but I also knew that I couldn't say, “No,” regardless of how much he was willing to accept that answer.

After everything we'd been through, who would I be if I refused?  It was such a simple thing.  I could go to Gerudo Town and he could not.  Of course I went.


  1. I don't know anything about Legend of Zelda in general or Breath of the Wind in particular, but I like the way this story is heading. Good job!

    1. In theory it won't be necessary to know anything. I try to make what I write stand alone.

      And: Thanks.