OoC ... "Mhmmm... Well, isn't this a rag-tag group of Heroes?" "W-Who said that? W-Where am I?" Looking around frantically, Mercanor twisted his body from left to right, turning around in circles in a rather paranoid fashion. There were bodies laying around him. Bodies of all sorts of people. Two Hylian women, two small fairies, a Korkiri boy, a Twili, a Shiekah, a Zora . Why were these people here? Did they all get kidnapped? What in the name of the Goddesses was going on! His head hurt, but it took a few moments for him to realize that there was pain. Suddenly gasping as the impact of his head-injury, Mercanor raised a hand to cover the sore spot and hunched his shoulders. "You and your friends... You're not exactly what I was expecting, but I'm willing to let you impress me." Once again, Mercanor looked around for the source of the mysterious voice. Who was talking? All of the people around him seemed to slowly regain consciousness, but they too were just as confused as he was. Mercanor would have gone to assist the group, but then he heard footsteps. The footsteps, followed by a small clicking sound like a wooden cane repeatedly tapping against the ground. Looking towards the source of the sounds, Mercanor slowly walked forwards, balling his fists in preparation for some kind of attack. From the shadows and emptiness around him, the figure of a thin man approached them. An eerie smile was spread across his face, almost as of he enjoyed the horrific nothingness surrounding them. "I'm sorry if I disturbed you and your friends, it wasn't my intention. It's quite a shame that you and your companions perished so early. You still had so much to accomplish. I would offer you my condolences... But that implies I wouldn't be able to help you." said the man, tilting his head to the left while still smiling at Mercanor and the others. Mercanor was taken back by his words, not sure that what he was hearing was actually true. It just seemed like to him that the man with the bag was being overly creepy for no reason. "What do you mean by perished? We're not dead! I'm here, aren't I? Where are we? Who are you?" "My name is not of importance to you or your current quest. What is important, however, is that you trust me. I only want to help you and your friends, nothing more, nothing less." Looking at the man with a stare of confusion, Mercanor remained silent. Before long, the man began to speak again. "To answer another question of yours, I indeed meant "perished". You and your friends, despite what you may think, are in fact dead. Just because you think you are somewhere doesn't mean you are actually there. For example, right now you and your companions are dead and lingering between a world of limbo and the inevitable inferno that awaits you all. I, on the other hand, am not dead like you and am only speaking with the you, who happen to be deceased. Now, if you will let me continue, I will explain that I can send you and your friends back to the world of the living. There are still many things you must do before you return here again, so I will send you back... With one exception, of course." Slowly, the thin man reached into his bag and pulled out a scroll. He unwrapped it as he spoke. "I would explain more about what I need, but time is growing short. You and your friends will return to the world of the living again momentarily, but I must ask something of you. Find this item and return it to me... Or else your world will be doomed and... Well, let's just say you'll be seeing me again sooner then you should have." As he spoke, the mysterious man finished unrolling his scroll and handed it to Mercanor. Looking down, the young man stared at the on the scroll. Raising his head to ask the salesman one last thing, Mercanor suddenly realized he was standing in Hyrule Field. ((---------)) Looking around, he saw none of the people from the blackness surrounding him. The one other person there was Enthral, his horse. Blinking a few times in confusion, Mercanor looked back down at the parchment in his hands with the drawing of the item, only to find it had transformed into his map of New Hyrule. Mercanor blinked a few more times, unsure about what exactly was going on. Maybe that whole interaction with the odd man was all in his head. Shrugging at the oddness of the situation, Mercanor patted Enthral's mane and led her forwards. "Well, that was odd..." whispered Mercanor as he walked towards the hulking castle in the distance. He couldn't help but feel extreme discomfort from the previous situation, even if it was just him daydreaming again. Shaking his head one last time, he pushed back the feeling of dread and looked up at his horse. Smiling softly, Mercanor exclaimed Here we are, girl. Hyrule Castle... How long have we been dreaming of this now, huh? Seems like only yesterday we saw it in books... Now, here it is! Come on, let's get going. I'm sure the festival planners will be eager to get help setting up." Today was a very special day for the land of "New" Hyrule. It was tradition for all the land and everyone was invited: the Korkiri/Korok people, the Gorons and the Zoras, the Geuredos and the Twili, and all the other people's of Hyrule and its surrounding lands. Today was the day that the Seven Sages gathered from around the world to re-seal the barriers between the land of Light and the land of Darkness, which was said to contain the spirit of the dastardly demon god, Demise. The sealing of the barriers had been a tradition ever since New Hyrule was founded so long ago and was meant to keep the spirits of darkness from returning to the land. However, what started out as a small ritual every year slowly turned into a massive event, with people from all across the land coming to Hyrule Castle to watch the barriers sealed once again. Now, there was singing and dancing, a feast comprised of foods brought from all over Hyrule, musical accompaniment throughout the day, and even a chance to meet with the royal family and Princess "Zelda" herself! All these things occur before and after the Sages get to work, but one of the most important traditions is the Hero's Play. Each region selects a representative to be part of this legendary 2-hour long play. From beginning to end, it retells the stories of Hyrule from the days of the Goddesses, to the origins of Skyloft, to the tales of Ganon and his destruction at the hands of multiple Link's throughout history. It is an important part of the festivities because it shows that even in Hyrule's darkest times, the evil in the land was always destroyed by brave heroes. Mercanor was extremely excited for the play this year, given the fact he was chosen to act as the part of the Hero, Link. In the years prior, he had only watched the play and during last year's production, he worked with the famous Zora band "Sound Waves" to provide music for the play. But this year... This year, he had been chosen to play the most important part! It was a great honour for any young man to be chosen to play the part of Link. Not only did the one who played Link get to wear a replica of the Hero's Tunic crafted by the greatest cloth-workers in Hyrule, but they were also given a commemorative gift and got to spend the entire celebration with the royal family. At the end of the day, there was always a firework show to finish the ceremony. Mercanor was bursting with excitement and couldn't keep his energy contained as he and Enthral finally walked through the front gates of Hyrule Castle Town. All around him, people from all the races were gathered in the town square. The Rito's and Fairies were hanging streamers with ease while the Gorons lifted heavy stage-props and tables for the feast. The Zoras were busy preparing what smelled like the most delicious fish buffet Mercanor had ever smelled, dousing the various pieces of food in natural herbs and spices generously provided by the Kokiri and Koroks. There were Hylian's scattered around, performing various jobs ranging from cooking, setting up the stage with the Gorons, grabbing the musical instruments for the band and even just bringing in more delicious smelling foodstuffs. As he marched through the square with Enthral, Mercanor smelled the intoxicating aroma of Roast Beef and Hot Yeti Soup, his favourite meal. The amount of cuisine provided at the event every year always amazed him because it seemed like everyone who attended brought something different. Mercanor even saw a woman carrying an entire roast Cucco towards the banquet area. How she managed to kill one of those hell-spawns was amazing to him, considering the last time he had done anything violent to a Cucco, it summoned a flock of followers to peck Mercanor until he was bruised from head to toe. He soon reached the stables where a kindly red-haired girl took Enthral and promised she'd look after the horse. Grabbing his supplies off of Enthral's back, Mercanor pulled an apple out of his bag and handed it to the horse. He pet her head quickly while he ate before walking off to the Town Square again. When he arrived, the stage had already been set up and the sun was beginning its descent. Soon, the ceremony would begin. The final preparations were made and the tables were being set with food and drink for all who attended. Before Mercanor could even look at the table to see where the Roast Beef and Yeti Soup from earlier were placed, a guard came walking up to him. "Mercanor Tiberius?" he asked in a stern voice. Mercanor nodded at the guard, who smiled and said "Geez, they really picked a look-alike this year didn't they? Anyone tell you that you're the spitting image of the Hero? But I'm getting a little silly, sorry. Anyways, you should get dressed. Everyone's going to sit down for the feast soon and I've been instructed to lead you to the Royal Table. You even get to sit beside Princess Alieda. Aren't you lucky?" before patting Mercanor on the shoulder. The man quickly removed a satchel he had been carrying around with him and handed it to Mercanor. Inside, was his "Hero's Tunic" and replica of the Master Sword. Smiling at the guard, Mercanor nodded thankfully at him. "I'll wait for you here, there's a change room is just behind the stage." explained the guard, who pointed towards the small room behind the large wooden stage. Mercanor quickly dashed over to the shack, making sure nobody else was inside before he removed his normal clothes and put on the Hero's Tunic. The faded green outfit looked pretty good on him, he had to admit. Although he wasn't a huge fan of hats, the hat designed for the tunic felt very light and didn't mess up his already messy long brown hair. Grabbing the "Master Sword" and tossing his regular clothes in a bin labeled "Cast", Mercanor returned to the guard and promptly followed him to the Royal Table. Somewhere on top of Hyrule Castle A mysterious figure sat on the roof of Hyrule Castle's highest tower, overlooking the scene below him. It was quite overjoyed at the sight of so many people and clasped its hands together happily. Ehehehehee! Look at them! My friends, all gathered up in the Town Square to play with me! I have to be on my best behaviour! The Royal Family wouldn't like it if I was naughty, certainly not! I should give them a gift! But what could possibly be the perfect gift for a family that already has everything... Pondering this thought, the figure looked around itself to try and find a present. The blue-tiled rooftops of the Castle were empty, so there was nothing to be found there. All of the vendors were surely closed for they day, so the poor mysterious figure was out of luck. Smacking his hands against the roof and collapsing back into a seated position, the figure began to sulk. "No, no, no! That won't do at all! There must be something I can give them! But what? What could they not have that I can give them?" Pouting miserably, a sudden sight caught the figure's eye. The time of day illustrated a beautiful portrait of the Hylian skyline, a rare point in time where the sun and the moon faced each other on their rise/descent. Suddenly gasping, the figure jumped to its feet and danced around joyfully. "That's it! That's it! That's it! I know what to give the Royal Family now! Something so beautiful that everyone else be absolutely crushed by how amazing it is! I'll be the talk of the town! Ehehehehee!"