Once more our party awoke on the outside of the Spirit Temple, perched safely upon the arm of the large statue that stood on the face of the stone mountain that the temple inhabited. Taking a short period of time to refresh themselves and replenish their empty stomachs, they quickly discussed amongst one-another the strategy headed into the remainder of the temple, and the lair of the witches Koume and Kotake. They took with them some words of wisdom from Kaepora Gaebora, the large owl whom they had met during the previous day, in noting that the twin witches hardly ever separated, and that perhaps making an attempt to try and separate them would serve as an effective means of crippling their powers.
Heading back through the chamber in which the previous night’s Iron Knuckle fight had occured, and back into the room containing the Armos puzzle, the party move through an alternate and newly-opened passage and into another chamber containing a variety of pitfalls and narrow walkways surrounding them. In this new room, they were confronted by three levitating Anubis creatures who promptly began mimicking the movements of three of the party members, while also firing flame spells at them at various instances. Navigating the room’s treacherous walkways and activating a series of flame circles, the party led the Anubis’ around the room until they had each been caught up in the activated flames, burning them away into ashes.
Moving up another flight of stairs, the party came into a series of hallways formulating in a squared shape, featuring a series of mirrors and a nearby beam of natural light. Sensing some familiarity, Albus Severus Potter began redirecting the light beam while Odaviing followed the passages ahead, redirecting each mirror to face the one after. Before long he had reached the final room, at the end of which the hallway connected back to the first room, albeit blocked by a series of steel bars. As Oda began redirecting the final mirror, two Dinolfos’ began to crawl their way out of a nearby gap in the ceiling and set upon both Oda and Albus, prompting the remainder of the party to rush around the corridor in an attempt to support them. Albus managed to escape further injury by magically shifting himself between the nearby steel bars, while Oda used what magic he had at his disposal to fend off the Diolfos’ before the remainder of the party arrived to slay the beasts.
Once the mirrors had been properly aligned, the stream of light shone back into the room that they first entered into, reflecting onto the face of a sun that has been hung from a nearby wall. Beneath the sun, on a floor space roughly ten feet below the surface on which the party currently stood, an opening was created as the floor began to descend into a large chamber below, suspended by four mechanical chain links. Before descending down, the party thought it best to take an hour or so to recover, with some party members taking the time to sleep off any fatigue that they had been encumbered with. During this downtime, Leiutentant Mae Lin experienced some concerning dreams, in which she vividly walked through a lengthy hallway inside the Spirit Temple, adorned with various hieroglyphs of the Gerudo people in worship of a tall female humanoid with differing skin tones on either side of her body. She walked in line with other women of varying humanoid races, until all around her turned to darkness.
As the party woke, with Mae choosing not to impart the nature of her dreams to the rest of the group, they descended down the lowered platform, finding themselves suspended high above a large chamber, with the meditating female colossus statue facing them directly. Taking the chance to closely inspect the structure, it became clear to several of them that the facial area of the statue appeared to be incredibly brittle, prompting Albus and Oda to each cast a Thunderwave spell at it, shattering the face and revealing a passage inside, leading to a large wooden door. Once through the door, they began to walk down a lengthy narrow passage, identical to the one that Mae walked down in her dream only hours before; a fact that she quietly noted at this time. Taking some time to study the Gerudo dialect that accompanied the images, which roughly translated to phrases such as “Twinrova guide us”, several members of the party began to liken the imagery to the description of Hylian women being marched through the desert by the Gerudo as provided by Kaepora. Sensing the severity of the situation, they hurried forward another hundred feet, coming upon yet another wooden door.
Peering inside, the party stared down a flight of stairs into a lengthy, well-kept chamber that featured a gallery of humanoid statues overseeing what seemed somewhat like an audience chamber, at the end of which stood an armoured humanoid bearing the identical likeness of an Iron Knuckle. Hovering almost directly above the armoured being upon wooden broomsticks were the twin witches, who cackled as they briefly spoke to one-another about their new “servant”, occasionally directing their speech somewhat mockingly towards the Iron Knuckle. Not wanting to waste a second further, Rocky barged into the room, shouting towards the witches to gather their attention. As the party followed in, they began an exchange with the witches that saw both sides mock one-another somewhat, with the twins promising to meet with vengeance. To further torment, the pair directed the party’s attention to the statue gallery up above, where two small Zora children stood encased in stone with fearful expressions upon their faces, with them being recognised by Talir and Albus as Talir’s daughter Areh and Princess Ruto, daughter of King Zora.
Talir and Albus immediately stood in shock and fury, preparing to charge towards the witches. Before any other actions could be taken, Koume and Kotake set forth their “minion” against the party, an Iron Knuckle that brandished two Scimitars, before disappearing through dimensional portals. The party leapt into action against the Iron Knuckle, employing previous strategies used against the heavily-armoured foes during past encounters within the temple. Despite a flurry of scimitar swings made towards them, the party found themselves quickly with the upper hand in the fray, with Rocky immediately chipping away at the being’s armoured exterior. As crucial fragments of metal fell away from the Knuckle, a slender, dark-skinned human form could be partially seen within, prompting all combatants to immediately hold back their attacks once it had dropped to the floor unconscious.
Standing before the fallen foe, the party hastened to remove its armour, uncovering the heavily wounded body of their former Gerudo companion Namoori. After taking a few minutes to recover, Namoori explained that the witches had taken her captive after she’d been instructed to head to the Spirit Temple prior to the party concluding their ventures in the Gerudo Trials. Since the witches had failed to brainwash her, which subsequently would have permanently turned her into an Iron Knuckle, she agreed to help them in their confrontation against them.
Talir wasted little time in the moments after the Iron Knuckle battle, rushing up towards the gallery of statues to locate his long lost daughter, waiting as both Albus and Oda followed to assist in removing the curse that kept young Areh in her petrified state. Once the spell had been lifted, Talir was shocked to find no sign of life in his daughter, prompting him to begin frantically resuscitating her. After several minutes of tension, during which the rest of the party stood by in nervous anticipation, Areh drew a deep and desparate breath, turning her suddenly widened eyes towards her father and embracing him in a tight hug. As the pair shared a moment of reconciliation, Albus and Oda moved to the statue of Princess Ruto, and began lifting the petrification curse that held her in place. The curse was lifted, and Ruto was also released into a state where she appeared lifeless. Albus began desparately to resuscitate her, spending several minutes attempting to breathe life into her form, eventually conceding that she had been lost for good.
Within moments, Koume and Kotake reappeared aboard their wooden brooms overhead, taunting the party at the loss of Princess Ruto. To bargain, they offered them a choice of two captives to take with them should they agree to leave the temple: either Areh, or another female, whom they brought through the temple and revealed to be Albus’ long-lost sister, Serenity Potter. Choosing not to play by the witches’ devious game, Albus cast a fireball at Kotake, infuriating the pair, who then issued a challenge for the party to face them in their most sacred chamber and then teleported away. The party agreed for Leoni Loyahl, Serenity and Namoori to take Areh and the lifeless body of Ruto out of the temple, while the rest of them ventured further in to confront the witches and dispose of them for good.
Heading through the next door, the party stepped onto a slightly-raised platform in the center of a large squared chamber, which quickly ascended 60 feet high once each of them stood upon it. The voices of the witches rang out from unseen places, foretelling their desires to "sacrifice them to King Ganondorf. Koume emerged from a nearby stone pillar, shouting “With my flame, I will burn them to the bone!”, as her hair burst into flames and her hands crackled with fiery magic; simultaneously, Kotake emerged from a pillar on the opposite side of the chamber, shouting “With my frost, I will freeze them to their souls!”, as her hair froze solid and emitted wisps of frost, much like the magical energy forming in her hands.
Almost at once, the two witches set upon the party from above with an array of devastating magical spells. Much of Koume’s spellcasting sought to batter and blast the party with red-hot fire magic, with Kotake spending more time bolstering the powers of her fiery twin sister. Much of the party’s spellcasters reacted quickly, with Albus, Mae and Oda returning fire with spells of their own, Rocky and Talir struggling more so to find ways of attacking the airborne witches. After spending several minutes, scattering attacks amongst both of the witches, each of the party members slowly began to concentrate their efforts on a single target; the ice witch Kotake. The process was slow, but the effects of their concentration gradually began to show. Within several minutes, the witch ceases to attack with her icy magic, crashing from her broom upon a nearby stone pillar, lying cold and – potentially – deceased.
As Koume screamed in agony at the loss of her twin, she hastily flew over to Kotake’s body. Within moments, the ice witch’s body disappeared, replaced by a single floating white orb. Almost in turn, Koume’s body also disappeared, with a red orb hovering in its place. The two orbs then began slowly circling around a small space of air, the space between them slowly growing smaller and smaller. Within moments the orbs had merged together, causing a burst of blinding light to emerge from that small space. As the light began to dim, a tall, humanoid form floated in its place, one that visibly presented two different skin tones either side of her body; one light, and one dark. From the humanoid’s two braids of hair, a burning flame and chilling ice poured down from atop her head. As she grinned and winked towards the shocked onlooking party members, the Gerudo Goddess Twinrova playfully remarked “Now, let the real battle begin!”.