‹ Prequel: A Hidden Kindness

Queen of the Banished

Bravery (is foolishness dressed in armor)

Rabia was sitting on the window seat in her bedroom, staring out at the empty courtyard below. A knock at the door roused her from her thoughts. Before she’d even had a chance to look over, Sheik had already answered the door. She sighed and slumped back against the cool glass.

“Can I help you?” Sheik asked.

“I have mail for my daughter. Let me see her.” Kamilah’s voice floated over the doorway. She sounded distressed.

“She’s occupied at the moment,” Sheik said.

Bullshit,” Kamilah snapped. “Let me through.”

“Don’t worry, I can deliver the mail to her when she’s available,” Sheik said pleasantly. Kamilah swore and thrust the package at Sheik, then stomped away. Sheik closed the door behind her and locked it with a click. “Rabia, I have mail for you,” he said. Rabia slid her eyes to him.

“I heard.” She sighed and shifted towards him, holding out a hand. “Give it here, then.” Sheik read the address on the package and hesitated. Rabia frowned, growing suspicious. “Give me my mail, Sheik.” He looked at her for a moment, as if weighing his options, then settled in beside her and handed her the letter. “Do you mind?” Rabia asked impatiently.

“Not at all.” He took the letter back and pulled off the wax seal, then returned it to her. Rabia sighed to herself and took the letter, turning it away from Sheik as she read.

Dear Rabia,

The other day I was cleaning out my potion cabinet and discovered that a few of my ingredients had gone missing. The ingredients in question are key components to a potion that could change the sex of a baby. I found traces of such a potion on one of my tea cups and have reason to believe that Kabira may have spiked your tea, as I have not brewed any such potion in quite some time. I’m not sure what her intentions are in such a terrible act, but I can only imagine it was an attempt to secure her position as Ganondorf’s heir.

The potion I’ve sent along with this letter will confirm the sex of your baby. It’s imperative that you take it soon. The potion Kabira gave you will have the opposite effect when used for personal gain. There may be unforeseen consequences to her actions. When you take it, your belly will glow - blue for a boy, pink for a girl.

If you require anything else, please let me know. I apologize for her actions, and for not noticing soon enough to reverse the potions effects.

Yours,
Lord Vaati

Rabia took the package from Sheik and took out the vial. Inside was a shimmering, purple bubbly liquid.

“What is that?” Sheik asked as he tried to snatch the bottle from her.

“Relax, it’s for the baby. Aria has been energetic lately and it’s been making me nauseous. This is supposed to help.”

“I don’t think you should drink any potions Lord Vaati sends you,” Sheik frowned.

“Sheik, he works with pregnant women. Pre-natal potions are his specialty. I trust him,” Rabia said. She frowned. “Ugh. I have to pee…” she stood and stretched out her sore lower back, and locked herself into the bathroom. Once the door was closed, she swallowed the potion and waited. Nothing happened for a moment. She started to get discouraged, when finally her belly began to glow. Blue. Rabia closed her eyes and took a deep breath, nodded to herself, and left the bathroom.

~ VAATISPURPLEBUTTVAATISPURPLEBUTTVAATISPURPLEBUTT ~


The past couple weeks had been of great triumph for Ganondorf, but rather difficult for Rabia. Ganondorf had worked hard to set up trade routes between Gerudo Valley and Hyrule. Goods were flowing in and out of the city and the economy was booming. Though the people had more money to spend and could more easily provide for their families, they were still growing anxious about the return of their princess.

Link was still nowhere to be seen, and Ganondorf’s guard had increased ten-fold, in both moblins and Gerudo. Though his rule hadn’t directly affected any Hylians save the royal guard and soldiers, Ganondorf’s punishments for civilians who defied him were unusually cruel, especially if they were friends of Rabia’s. He felt they should have more appreciation towards their people, and that defying his rule was a statement against them. As more and more of her loved ones were punished or locked away, the more anxious Rabia became. Finally, she’d had enough; it was time to put pride aside and act.

“Ganondorf,” Rabia strode with purpose towards him, flanked by both Dark Link and Sheik. He was lounging on the throne, his golden crown glinting in the sunlight, looking smug as could be. The Triforce of Power on his hand was almost glowing. Kamilah and Aveil stood on either side of the dais as his personal guards. Neither would meet Rabia’s gaze. At the sight of his master, Dark Link disappeared in Rabia’s shadow, only to reappear at Ganondorf’s side instead. Ganondorf sat up straight when he saw her.

“Rabia,” he nodded to her. “What can I do for you, dearest?” he took her in and frowned. “Oh, come now. What’s a mother-to-be doing wearing all black? You look like you’re in mourning,” he said. Rabia clenched her jaw, but held her tongue.

“Ganondorf,” she took a deep breath and unclenched her jaw, wringing her hands together. “I was hoping…” she met his eyes - red - and quickly looked away. “I was wondering if… if you might do me a favor.” He stood from his throne and walked down the dais steps towards her, cupping her cheek in his hand.

“What is it?” he asked sincerely, looking into her eyes.

“It’s just… my friends…” she started hopefully. His eyes darkened and he released her. Rabia’s hopeful gaze dropped back to the floor. “Never… nevermind. It’s stupid. I was hoping you might let them go. I worry for them.”

“There’s no need to worry about them,” Ganondorf said harshly. He settled back onto the throne and regarded her. “Perhaps you need a task to occupy your time. One that will be beneficial to me and help put your mind at ease…” He stroked his beard thoughtfully. “You know what? Why don’t you go down to the dungeons every hour, on the hour, and check on your friends?” he smiled smugly. “Make sure they’re taken care of if they need anything. And then report it to me.”

“Oh, um… I don’t think that’s a great id-”

“That’s an order, Rabia,” Ganondorf interrupted. “I don’t want to hear another word about them from you. Sheik, Dark,” the two snapped to attention. “Be certain she does this.” They both nodded and got on their knees in a deep bow. After a moment of hesitation, Rabia bowed too, then quickly swept from the room, Sheik close behind.

~ VAATISPURPLEBUTTVAATISPURPLEBUTTVAATISPURPLEBUTT ~


“You may go,” Ganondorf said into the silent room, once Raba’s footsteps had faded. The guards hurried out of the room, the heavy door slamming behind them with a thud. Dark Link looked at him questioningly. Ganondorf waved his hand, and he disappeared as well.

What.” Ganon’s voice rumbled through the empty room. Ganondorf’s insistence finally annoyed him into answering.

What are your planning? What are you doing to my wife? The thought was filled with a strange feeling Ganon almost couldn’t place - anxiety.

I’m keeping her out of my way. Her friends’... predicament],” he said, amused, “will keep her occupied for awhile.”

You don’t know her, Ganondorf seemed oddly… proud. She won’t stop trying to help them.

Well then, I’m afraid she won’t be of use for very much longer.” Silence, then. Ganon sat back in his throne, satisfied.

~ VAATISPURPLEBUTTVAATISPURPLEBUTTVAATISPURPLEBUTT ~


“Queen Rabia, it’s time to go check on the prisoners,” Dark Link’s disimpassioned voice pulled her from her paperwork. She sighed and shoved them in one of her desk drawers, locking it with a key that she pocketed.

“Fine.” She stood. Dark Link went to get the door and she frowned at him. “I can handle this myself.”

“Master insisted that I accompany you at all times,” Dark answered. Rabia glared at him.

“And now I’m ordering you to get. Lost,” Rabia snapped.

“...Yes, ma’am.” Dark Link vanished into the shadows. Rabia waited until she was certain he was gone, and made her way down to the dungeon. This time, there was a guard posted at the door to the bottom level, and the ward in front of the main door had been lowered. She opened the door for her without a word. Rabia entered cautiously - though the torches were now lit, it was still dim. She made sure to give Finn’s cell a wide berth, but as she passed she noticed his cell was now empty.

“Rabia?” Her eyes widened; she knew that voice.

“Gunner?” she gasped. She hurried to the bars. “What… what are you doing in here? Are you okay?”

“Yeah, I’m fine. I’m here because I tried to help Nasty and Sheik save Zelda… which clearly worked out well…” he sighed. “How are you?” he asked, concerned. “You look pale, Rabia. Have you been sleeping?” He reached through the bars to feel her forehead, and hissed when the ward zapped him.

“I’m… I’m okay,” Rabia reached through instead and squeezed his hand. “I’m glad you aren’t hurt,” she sighed. Gunner squeezed her hand back with a smile. After a moment Rabia reluctantly pulled away with a sigh. “I’ll get you out of here,” she whispered to him.

“I know you will,” Gunner smiled. There was a groan from the corner of his cell.

“Dude, shut up and kiss her already…” Nasty grumbled. Gunner flushed.

“I’m glad you’re okay, Nasty,” Rabia rolled her eyes. He gave her a half-hearted thumbs-up from where he was laying face down on the floor. She shook her head and moved along to check on Zelda.

“Zelda?” she peeked through barred window on the door. The pink crystal was gone and Zelda looked cleaner and healthier than she had the last time Rabia had come down. “Are… are you alright?” she bit her lip. Zelda looked up, her eyes wide.

“Rabia? Is that you?” Zelda stood shakily and approached the bars.

“Yes,” Rabia answered. “Are you okay? Are you hurt?”

“I’m okay,” Zelda answered. Rabia glanced back towards the door where the guard was standing. She was staring blankly in front of her, lost in thought and paying them no attention.

“I found your letter,” Rabia lowered her voice, just above a whisper. Zelda blinked.

“My letter…?”

“Yes. The one about your dream, where Ganondorf took over the castle… and had the Triforce of Power,” Rabia said. She reached through the bars and clasped Zelda’s hand. “I need to know what you meant. About… about what the triforce piece might bring him? It’s important.”

“So it’s as I saw,” Zelda asked, wide-eyed. Rabia nodded. Zelda let out a breath. “Link and I both got a piece - courage and wisdom - after Gideon was defeated. I’m assuming Ganondorf received his then as well.”

“But you said the piece would bring him something,” Rabia insisted. Zelda nodded slowly.

“The Triforce of Power… calls to Ganon,” she said quietly. Rabia blinked.

“Ganondorf hates being called that,” she answered. Zelda shook her head.

“No, Ganon. The demon king.” At Rabia’s blank face, she sighed. “There’s something I left out about my father’s death. Years and years ago, my father sought the Triforce to make a wish,” Zelda started. “He desired to make Hyrule a safer, happier place for his people. He had good intentions. At the time, Ganondorf was his most trusted confidante. He helped my father gain access to the Sacred Realm to find the Triforce. My father knew that only one with a balanced heart could harness its power and he believed his to be so. He was wrong. When he touched the triforce, it broke into its three pieces. My father got the piece of wisdom, which I now hold. Ganondorf got the piece of power. No one knew where the piece of courage went.

“That act led to my father’s demise. The Triforce of Power awoke the demon king, as prophesied by an ancient curse. Under his influence, Ganondorf slew my father in the night with his sword. Killing a sleeping man with such a weapon proved him unworthy of wielding the triforce of power. His piece was lost, and with it, the Demon King,” Zelda said. “Now that he has regained the Triforce of Power, I fear that the Demon King may have a hold on his heart again.”

“How can I help him?” Rabia asked. Zelda shook her head.

“I don’t know that you can,” Zelda answered. “And with all three pieces so close…” she shuddered. “I don’t think anything will stand in his way. Just… be careful.”

“Queen Rabia, are you almost done?” The guard called back down the hall, sounding desperate. “I really need to use the toilet…”

“Well, go on then. The prisoners are supervised,” Rabia said.

“I’m not supposed to leave you wi-”

“Just go.” The guard bowed and ran off. Rabia shook her head and turned back to Zelda.

“Is there anything you need? Anything that I can… I can try to do for you?” Rabia asked. “I don’t know how to help you,” she said sadly. Zelda smiled.

“Well… I could use a blanket,” she said hopefully. Rabia smiled back.

“I think I can mana-” she broke off with a gasp when someone grabbed her from behind, a hand over her mouth.

“L-Link!” Zelda said, wide-eyed. Rabia stopped struggling in his grip and, once he was certain she wouldn’t scream, he released her.

“How…?” Rabia asked breathlessly.

“Most of the guards are swapping shifts,” he said, approaching the cell door. He dug keys from his pocket but as he reached for the lock, the wards shocked him. He let out a muffled cry of pain and jumped back. Rabia grabbed the keys and made short work of the lock, heaving the heavy door open. The gold ward glittered in the dark between her and Zelda.

“You’ll have to be quick,” Rabia said, to her and Link. She stepped into the doorway and, as soon as the ward dissolved, Zelda slid past her out of the cell. Link nodded to Rabia once, then started back out of the castle. Once they were out of sight, Rabia relocked the cell door, left the keys on the ground, and ran back to her room before the guard returned.