• Published 31st Jul 2012
  • 15,364 Views, 623 Comments

A Link to Equestria - Wandering Quill



The Hero of Time's arrival to Equestria bears more consequence than anyone expected: the discovery of a common History... and of common enemies.

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Teleportation always seemed to last an eternity for the pony being teleported. The 'tunnel' that had to be crossed in order to get from point A to point B was, as always, devoid of content. Just like Twilight remembered. In spite of that, she forced her eyes to shut as tightly as she could, as though an obfuscating light harassed them.

Her mind was conjuring all sorts of wicked scenarios. A looming disaster that would scar her for life. For Celestia to have been imprisoned in her own tower could only mean trouble, and the fact that Nightmare Moon's voice had greeted her only made the situation even worse.

The end of the funnel-shaped world of the void appeared, at long last, in the form of a light that crept from a breach in space itself. After this trip was over, she would have the opportunity to see just how powerful this old enemy was – and how they would stand against it.

Try as she might, however, her eyelids would not break apart even after she felt a shiver cross her body, ruffling the fur of her coat. It was the telltale sign that the teleportation spell had ended. She had braced herself for a tortuous sight, maybe even to receive the first blow right off the bat.

But there were no screams of agony. Only a voice.

“Ah yes… your prized student…” It was a male voice. It was deep, it was frightening, and above all, it was imposing. “Rise, Twilight Sparkle.”

It was only upon the mention of her name that the mare realized she was crouching so as to keep her head close to the floor in subjugation. She scrambled to her hooves and averted her gaze from the rest of the chamber.

Please be okay, please be okay, please be okay... she prayed. Silence continued even after a moment of waiting. No shrieks of pain were heard. No ragged breaths or the sound of blood splattering against the walls. Twilight gathered her courage and slowly turned forward.

Princess Celestia sat on the throne, bearing an unusually grave look. She held her head high as she gazed down at the creature that kneeled at the throne's feet. One of its hands hand rested on its chest in what appeared to be a demonstration of humbleness.

When the creature rose in accordance to her, Twilight was impressed. It wasn't the fact that it was so similar to the prisoner in the dungeons that impressed her though. It was how different it was at the same time. Where the one they held captive had a ‘natural’ skin color, this one's skin was tainted a dark shade of sickly green. The former’s bright yellow ‘mane’ was instead a carefully combed mesh of blood-colored hair in the latter, kept in place by a complex, golden headgear that vaguely resembled a crown.

A sinister cape of red tones adorned his back, covering much of his long bleak robe. An insignia, colored crimson like the stripes that decorated the cloak here and there, embellished its back. The end of a clearly improvised scabbard stuck out from the garment, as though it was a warning.

You do not want to meddle in my plans, it seemed to say.

“The Princess and I were simply negotiating,” he continued. He was incredibly tall, perhaps about as tall as Celestia herself. An uncontrollable quake shook her being when his eyes settled upon the young mare’s. There was an indescribable sense of malevolence swirling about in those tiny rubies, in the wicked, maybe even derisive smirk he sported.

“P-Princess… Who is this…” the unicorn somehow found the strength to utter, quickly alternating between Celestia and the ominous being.

"You may call me Ganondorf," he answered, giving Twilight a much more discreet bow.

She took a step forward, but Celestia intervened. "Stay back, Twilight Sparkle!"

“I would heed the Princess’s advice. This is business for grown-ups.”

“You will speak when spoken to, Hylian,” the Princess was quick to hiss, stomping a hoof to further prove her point. Her voice was raised to a volume Twilight hadn’t seen her use in a long time. “I will have none of your impertinence in my presence!”

Hylian? the unicorn wondered, tilting her head.

“As you wish, Princess. However,” The creature seemed to have conceded for a short time, bowing so imperceptibly that she would have missed it if she had blinked. Ganondorf's little smile suddenly became a heavy frown. “I will remind you that you lack the necessary connection to the Elements to face me.”

“Is that a threat, Hylian?” Celestia's wings unfurled in a rapid movement. Her horn blazed, distorting the air around it, such was the might of whatever spell she was concocting.

Heat. Intense one, Twilight thought from her place.

“Certainly not. Perish the thought of threatening the guardian of the Sun.”

There it was. The sarcasm that dripped from his voice and tugged at the Equestrians’ patience. Apparently unaffected by this irreverent behavior, the Princess simply raised an eyebrow and coughed politely. “State your terms, Hylian, and begone from Equestria.”

“Ah, yes. It is rather fortunate that your student happened to stumble upon us. It will make this much quicker, you will see.” The ‘Hylian’ looked back at the unicorn, flashed a toothy grin for a split second and then continued. “Surrender the Elements of Harmony, and your land shall be spared.”

Twilight’s heart stopped at that moment, when the conviction in the individual’s request stilled the air around them. There was silence. The Princess was unquestionably looking for the best way to solve this, as she cast a wide-eyed gape at Ganondorf, who returned an ever growing smile and…

…and prompted a laugh from the princess. The most sarcastic, unladylike, most out-of-context guffaw burst from the regal alicorn.

“Surely, you jest!” she spoke between gasps for air. “Hylian! Why would I surrender the Elements of Harmony to a being such as you?!”

Ganondorf shook his head while clucking his tongue. With a sudden flick of his hand, Twilight was whisked into the air and pinned against the nearest wall by magic. She struggled to move, even summoning her own magical prowess to break free, but Ganondorf's grasp was too strong. Celestia's laughter ceased immediately. A choked gasp was the only reaction she mustered.

“I am disappointed to find that a person such as you would be so rude,” Ganondorf muttered darkly, stepping towards the throne. “But I am even more disappointed that you haven’t fully understood the extent of my power.”

“P-Princess! Why won’t you do something?!” Twilight managed to shout before her head was again locked in place by the invisible hands of magic.

“HYLIAN! You shall release my student or suffer the wrath of the sun!”

“Now, now, Celestia…” The concern that was beginning to grow in the back of Twilight’s mind made up for the lack thereof in the Hylian's visage. Completely ignoring Celestia's warnings, he continued to walk, already pointing his free hand at the monarch. A deep violet aura enveloped the gloved limb, as if it had been set ablaze. “Let us avoid any unnecessary scuffle. One of the Elements is already present, after all.”

“I shall never surrender any of my subjects to the likes of you, Hylian!”

“That is a pity,” was all he said before unleashing a war cry and skidding across the floor with his arm pulled back, ready to strike. With a beat of her strong wings, the Princess took to the air, skillfully avoiding the man's assault. The very ground shook when his fist struck the throne, effectively shattering the gilded chair into pieces.

Taking the moment of inaction in her favor, she prepared to launch a spell. Ganondorf just smiled at the glow that encased her horn. “I would not do that, Celestia.”

He motioned towards Twilight with his head. Once Celestia followed his hint, he flicked his hand downwards, and Twilight found herself crashing headfirst against the ground. Celestia cancelled her attack, not willing to test her fiend's abilities.

“Now, there are two ways we can solve our little predicament," Ganondorf continued. "First, you will willingly give me the Elements of Harmony.” With a gesture, Twilight began to float once more. The unicorn struggled to breathe. The throne room appeared blurry to her eyes, and a throbbing pain in the back of her head muddled her thoughts.

“Or…” Another quick movement ended with the back of his left palm facing the princess. “I will force you to give me the Elements of Harmony.”

“Your magic is nothing, Hylian! Your kind has but a mere fraction of what Hylia spared!”

“Oh? I beg to disagree… your Majesty.” As though it had been planned, the back of its hand shone with unforeseen brightness. In the place of the bare, worn off glove was one of the few things the alicorn feared to see.

A golden, triangular mark.

“You… the T-Triforce…” she wavered, much like the rhythm of her wings. The mere presence of that symbol appeared to weaken her resolve. The man was rather pleased by this, if the ear-to-ear smirk he bore was any indication. Even Twilight could feel the desperation that harassed the ruler’s judgment. It was just like the book had said. Exactly like it. There was no doubt about it now.

And even so, it was too late to remedy the situation.

“You are a fast learner, Celestia.”

Numerous plans emerged from the blank slate that was Twilight's mind. She considered all of the ways that she could use to escape this fiend’s grasp and somehow reach the Hylian that was locked up in the dungeons. All the paths she could take to reach out to the guards and alert them of the impending catastrophe should the prisoner not be released.

Oblivious to her musings, Ganondorf unsheathed his sword and stepped forth. “Now then… Would you hear my desire?” Celestia didn't offer an answer. “To take this foul blade…”

Twilight tried to avert her eyes. The man's spell didn't allow her. Please do something...

“And use it to blot out your light… forever!!”

As the sword whistled through the air towards the alicorn’s head, time seemed to slow down to an infinitesimal rate.

The creature’s malicious eyes locked upon Celestia’s. They hungered for bloodshed and power while the pony yearned only for peace and hope to propagate. To ensure the safety of her subjects, and the continuation of Harmony in her land. To destroy light itself… she could think of only one entity who could wish that.

“NEVER!!”

Bellowing a roar so powerful it shook even the very core of the foe, horn met blade with a sickening crunch. A duel of honor and demonstration of raw strength began as each struggled to subdue their adversary with their weapon of choice.

"You will never have your way, Nightmare Moon!!”

“Then why not allow me demonstrate it?” That had clearly not been Ganondorf. Another spoke through his mouth.

Lost in confusion for the briefest second, Celestia quickly understood what the Hylian meant. Her student’s hooves suddenly shot up to clench her throat. It was a desperate attempt to do away with the unseen force that threatened to crush it.

“Yes… why not let me show you just how your rule ends…” The unicorn’s gagging motion became more vicious; time was running out. “And how eternal night takes over Equestria!”

She must be saved.

With the dexterity of a trained warrior, the alicorn swept away the sword. There was barely had time for Celestia to turn around, and yet she managed to land two bone-shattering kicks on the creature’s stomach.

Ganondorf reeled back in pain, offering her the precious time she needed to teleport across the throne room. With the man's focus weakened, Twilight plummeted to the ground. It was the accuracy of Celestia's magic that kept the unicorn from hitting the floor.

Twilight was only just conscious when her tutor brought her close for an affectionate nuzzle. That fleeting moment where Celestia wrapped her forelegs around Twilight's weakened body felt like a lifetime.

In this hour of need, I gift you the remainders of my power. Though Twilight could not hear Celestia's voice, these thoughts did not need vocalization. The alicorn could feel the fire of appreciation burning in her student. She smiled, but only because of Twilight's pleas. Twilight was begging her to stop so that she did not do this, to herself and her apprentice, and all of Equestria. She could not disappear.

What will we do if you’re gone?

You will finish what I could not.

Feeling that the last she could spare had been given away, Celestia released her student. Her magic gently guided Twilight's body to safety.

Though they struggle to obliterate the light, it is the force that each of you carries within that will shine when all hope has died.

Adjusting her eyes to the bright new light in front of her, Twilight saw the faint outline of her tutor grow further and further away. Celestia's kind voice was being overpowered by the maniacal howls of a crazed beast.

Why are you sending me away… I want to help you…

Find me.

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“All units, fallback! I repeat, GET. AWAY. NOW!”

“Sir!” The tired voice of a lightly armored stallion called the captain's attention to his underling. “Princess Luna’s quarters are empty, sir! She is nowhere to be found!”

“Blast it all!”

Another quake attacked the bridge, its foundations beginning to crack under the continuous assaults of the past few minutes. The captain looked around nervously. The weak points of the overpass were marked on the marble stone by large cracks. If Twilight’s prolonged and sudden absence had annoyed him, then the most recent breakthroughs had definitely reduced his serenity to zero.

So it was, of course, a reason for joy when the same explosion of light that had taken the mare away happened again in the exact same spot, this time to return the Element of Magic to their care. The time to escape the collapsing bridge was running short, however. They had to take her out of there.

“Sweet Celestia, what are you waiting for?!” the captain yelled to whoever had already taken shelter outside the bridge. “Go get her!”

The bewilderment in the guards’ faces was enough indication that if you want something done, you will have to do it yourself.

Which is precisely what the captain did.

Cautiously approaching the unstable bridge and setting off with a quick gallop, he reached the nauseous mare just in time to avoid the crumbling of their end of the bridge.

He flicked her over his back with a jolt of telekinesis. There was no time to grunt a complaint about the added weight, for the ground beneath his hooves collapsed not instants later. Not willing to be defeated by such an environmental hazard, his brow furrowed in determination.

Adrenaline coursed in his veins as he avoided the traps that previous tremors had set up for him. As a royal guard, he was well used to this sort of hurdle dash. It had been part of the admission exam, and he had passed it brilliantly. He was not about to let his superiors down.

The last stretch was nothing out of the ordinary, and having found he had covered a lot of ground in comparison with the rate at which the bridge fell, the captain allowed himself to briefly relax. Before long, he was back among his subordinates, and Twilight Sparkle was finally off his back and in the safety of their hooves.

A look back revealed that there was now a broad gap separating them from the highest tower in the castle. He gulped as he saw the illuminated windows well above them. He pondered on whether or not he wanted to know what sort of cataclysmic battle was taking place beyond those walls.

Curiosity won.

“Miss Sparkle, what the hay is going on in there?” He allowed the informality. If anything, cordiality was unnecessary towards her.

The mare seemed responsive enough, if not somewhat dazed as well. Shoving aside the guards that kept her standing, Twilight held a hoof to her head, rubbing it lightly so that the blurriness that troubled her perception could disappear.

“I… I’m not sure. I-I think… Nightmare Moon…” The mere mention of the name had the platoon’s fur stand on end. “There’s something else with her though. Something… something the Princess was afraid of…”

“A-Are you sure of what you’re saying, Miss Sparkle?!”

“I know what I saw, captain! That… thing… it almost killed the Princess!” Her gaze wandered over to the unreachable door across the breach. She felt a tear creeping its way up to her eye. “And now… now we can’t help her.”

A wave of chatter took over the legion around her. Their leader stood frozen on his spot. Had Equestria fallen to the clutches of chaos in his watch? If the Princess herself hadn’t been able to do anything, then what help would a bunch of guardsponies be?

“But there’s hope,” Twilight continued in a hushed voice. “I-If the legend is true… then there’s one that can helps us.”

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Link’s patience was thinning, much like his trust on the fairy. She’d been away for the better part of the time since the ponies left, having promised to ‘get his sword and help him out of there’.

The impossibility of said agreement only got to him after she was gone. Now he lay there, helpless and alone, hands pillowing his head in the inevitable wait for the sprite.

Olivia. That was her name. Link felt like he could relate its meaning to its owner.

An entire realm filled with ponies, he echoed in his mind, remembering the fairy’s words. I suppose Princess Celestia is their Princess Zelda. I’d know about how that works.

I suppose I would.

He suddenly became aware of the weight of his pocket. The instrument his princess had awarded him remained there. The ponies had apparently assumed that there was no risk if he kept it.

Oh, if they knew what I can do with this… he smiled inwardly, recalling his previous experiences with the Ocarina of Time. With it he had summoned storms and turned day into night, and night into day. Perhaps that was information better kept away from the minds of the equines, however.

“Link! Link!” His musings were interrupted by the call of his name. The humming of the fairy's wings resonated across the tunnels. The sound of her voice had never been so welcome before. Instantly sitting up, the boy found Olivia flying through the door’s grating. With no sword or shield. “I found your sword! And your shield, too! They’re just around the corner, at the end of this first tunnel!”

“You know it won’t help me at all if I don’t have them!” he quickly retorted, falling to the ground on his back again.

“I know, I know! But there’s something else!” Indeed, her excitement did let out that she had found something interesting. It had caught the Hylian's interest as well. Trying his best to remain good-natured, he sat up again, allowing her to continue. “I remembered the spell!”

Had the source been someone else, Link’s eyebrow wouldn’t have raised that moment.

“Wait… what… spell?”

“The one I need to make you understand them!”

There’s a bit of Navi in her, that’s for sure…

“Although… well, for it to work… I’m gonna have to be by your side all the time AND I know you don’t like that very much. If I had an alternative, I’d go with it, but I don’t, so there.”

“Hum… Okay but!” The fairy would have tackled him just then had he not spoken up. “Why do you have to…”

“It’s complicat-”

“Sounds more like you make it complicated. Try me.”

If Olivia had a face, she would be frowning.

“Alright, farm boy. The spell connects your mind to mine and no I won’t be reading your thoughts.” Link lowered his hand and closed his mouth. “But as long as I understand what the words mean, then you, too, will understand. Words are just… ways… of expressing concepts. Ours will be a unified language. It’s like sharing… feelings. Changelings… have those…”

They shared a moment of silence. The boy’s face bore an unreadable expression.

“Okay,” he simply replied. “I get it.”

“Wow, real-I mean, huh, of course you did.” The familiar clops they had heard earlier began to reverberate in the tunnels once more, for some reason putting the fairy on full alert. “Buck, they’re coming! Stand still!”

Olivia fluttered closer to him, almost forcing the boy to cross his eyes in order to see her at all. The green tones of her body became clearer and clearer, and eventually, the entirety of the fairy was white, a soft glow that Link found rather nostalgic. There was a flash and then…

“OW!” he complained as soon as the fairy flew off his forehead, the impact having thrown the boy off his feet and onto a sitting position. “Was that really necessary?!”

“Well excuse me if I don’t have a horn to cast spells,” she snapped back, digging her way through his hair and into his hat. “I’m gonna stay in here for now! If they find me, I’m done for!”

“He’s in here!” That voice was new. It was definitely a female, and it accompanied the crescent sound of hooves on stone. Standing up again, he could see, through the gratings, that someone was approaching his cell. A pony, maybe two, given the amount of clops he heard was headed his way.

Sure enough, the door flew open just instants later, and in came the familiar purple unicorn, closely followed by yet another unicorn – this one heavily armored. What caught his attention was what the latter held in the air through the use of magic: the Kokiri Sword and the Hero's Shield. His belongings.

Something had changed, however. While the mare had seemed curious about him in their previous encounter, everything about her now suggested exhaustion. Her breaths were long and ragged, just like the guard's, and in the lavender pools of her eyes burned only one flame: the flame of courage. As the holder of the Triforce of Courage, Link had some experience in that field.

A rusty little key floated to his leg, where it was used to unlock the cuff. Once free from his binds, equipment fell to the floor before him. As he eagerly picked his gear up, he heard the female pony talk again. He was sure he still could not understand those words, but the feeling they conveyed was all he needed in order to comprehend the message within.

“We need you.”