Recuperating from the tough battle, our party gathered around Luth’s body for a short time so as to mourn his loss, gather his belongings, then decide on an appropriate course of action in disposing of the body. After agreeing that the body should be left in the care of the Zora people, a guard approached the group so as to discuss the situation at hand. It was then that they learned that King Zora had indeed survived the attempt on his life, and was currently in the care of both the tribe’s Royal Cleric and her human assistant. Gauging the party’s curiosity in the matter, the guard led them back inside Zora’s Domain, bringing with them Luth’s body.
Re-entering the throne room, they looked down upon a large gathering of Zora that had surrounded the King, who was indeed being attended to by an elderly female Zora and a man adorned in blue robes. Soon enough, the party was introduced to the Royal Cleric of Zora’s Domain, Neru, and her assistant, a human wizard who, despite being quite youthful, bore a long, grey beard – he called himself Albus Severus Potter. After being reassured that King Zora would survive, and that Luth’s body would be cared for, the party’s attention was taken from Neru by the King’s own Keeper of Affairs, Zotos, who then summoned them (along with Albus) into a more private room further down in the depths of the Domain.
Once alone and seated, Zotos explained to the party that he had no knowledge of how King Zora came into possession of the note that ultimately led him outside and into danger, but that he is also unsure of whether the note speaks truly of Princess Ruto’s “kidnapping”. Describing Ruto as “adventurous”, Zotos noted that it wasn’t unlike the Princess to wander for a time outside the Domain, but that she had not been sighted in any of her usual wandering grounds, including Lake Hylia. Ultimately, Zotos pleaded with the party for them to search for Ruto during their travels, and for Albus to accompany them along the way, to which both Albus and the others agreed. With little hesitation, the now larger party set forth from Zora’s Domain, determined to return to Castle Town before the day was done.
Several hours of the day passed by the time the party was truly set on Hyrule Field, with several of them noting a rather dark overcast to the North, roughly where Castle Town and Hyrule Castle would be situated. Before getting much closer to town, they came upon a mysterious carriage being led by two horses and no rider, with all doors closed and curtains shut. Deciding quickly that the carriage should be stopped and investigated, Rocky placed herself in the direct path of the horses while Kin used his magical druidic influence to bring the horses to a stop, then faded away beneath the front of the carriage. While Kin threw stones at the carriage so as to gauge a reaction, both Albus and Rocky moved towards the door, noting that, at times, it would be opened by a small hand that was barely visible given that it was surrounded by an unnatural darkness. Deciding to interact with the person inside, Rocky soon found that it was Princess Zelda herself who was seated within the carriage. Over the next several minutes, the party discovered that the Castle had been invaded by “enemies of the King”, thus placing her in direct danger. As a result, her caretaker, Impa, had made the decision to have her sent from the Castle as quickly as possible, which then resulted in her being placed within the enchanted carriage and directed to a relatively unknown location. Assuming that she would probably either be heading towards Zora’s Domain or the Kokiri Forest, the party chose to leave her be on her journey from the dangers that had now seemingly overtaken Hyrule Castle, but not before giving her a few short weapons for protection. Bidding the party farewell, Princess Zelda continued southward while the party moved closer and closer to Castle Town.
Before properly reaching the town, the group noticed that a thick layer of smoke was rising from somewhere on the far side of town, either close to or directly from Hyrule Castle itself. Upon arriving at the drawbridge, they noticed that it had been left shattered in the moat before the town’s walls, barely enabling them to cross. The town itself was dark, battered, and in ruin. With little to no sign of the townspeople still lingering about, they moved into the marketplace, gazing in horror at the carnage that had been left in the wake of whatever force had recently invaded. A short journey beyond the marketplace brought the party before the path that lead up to Hyrule Castle, before which stood two Followers of the Flame. One of the Followers greeted the adventurers sarcastically, welcoming them to the “new age” that had been ushered in by their “master”, who had arrived and taken up residence in the castle. He also noted that the non-humans among them could be “cleansed” and “reborn” by his master’s power, which prompted a brief conversation with Rocky. Before giving the cultists a chance to do any harm to them, both Albus and Kin shared a brief moment of telepathic communication before sending the cultists flying with simultaneous Thunderwave spells, killing them instantly. With the path now open before them, the party began the journey away from town up towards Hyrule Castle.