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VIII - Setting:

[ A - History | B - Geography | C - Culture | D - Economy | E - Science ]
[ F - The Brotherhood of Underworld Monsters ]

The world that Hyrule exists in is very reminiscent of the French or English Renaissance period on Earth, with the significant exception that magic is quite common. The main countries we are concerned with in it are Hyrule and Calatia.

A - History:
Hyrule was in an age of chaos. Local lords squabbled over land and power, and the leaders of Ruto, Mido, Saria, and Kasuto set themselves up as local kings. Although there was no war between them, per se, their land-feuds were often bitter and heated. In the midst of this chaos, in a little kingdom in the South, a legend was being handed down from generation to generation, the legend of the "Triforce;" golden triangles possessing mystical powers. The capital of this small kingdom used to be Castle Hyrule in the center of Southern Hyrule, and to the west of it was a great city called "Kakariko," which was the center of Hyrulian culture.
One day, an evil army attacked this peaceful little kingdom from the Southwest, and stole the Triforce of Power. This army was led by Ganon, the powerful Prince of Darkness who sought to plunge the world into fear and darkness under his rule.
Ganon destroyed Kakariko, and burned the forest that surrounded it. The few who survived sought refuge in small caves, and holes under trees.
Another contingent of his army made it to the Hyron, a short ways from the mainland in the great eastern sea. There, they destroyed Kasuto, and forced its residents into hiding.
He sucessfully invaded Hyrule Castle, but by the time he made it to the Throne Room, King Harkinian had already been safely teleported many miles to the north, but his daughter, Princess Zelda, was not in the castle. She had already fled with the Triforce of Wisdom, hoping to hide it from the evil wizard.
Princess Zelda divided the Triforce of Wisdom into eight fragments, and hid them in the Labyrinths of Hyrule. She was captured, and put under guard in the Death Mountain Labyrinth, but before Ganon could recover the Triforce, he was killed.
The kingdom was saved from destruction by a boy named Link, a member of the Knight's Line who singlehandedly recovered the Triforce of Wisdom and destroyed Ganon.
After that time, Ganon's underlings formed a Brotherhood and began work to destroy Link and resurrect Ganon, but Link fulfilled his destiny at age 15 by recovering the Triforce of Courage, reuniting the Triforce, and bringing an uneasy peace back to Hyrule.
Link wished for Ganon's work to be ended once and for all. In answer, Ganon's ashes disappeared thus destroying all hope of resurrecting him in any way short of using the Power of Gold itself. Since this time, the Brotherhood of Underworld Monsters has sought to obtain the Triforce and wish their leader back.
In addition, the land is still threatened by infrequent barbarian attacks from the north-west, and ambitious wizards and politicians who would seek to steal the Triforce from Link.
Harkinian now rules from the North Castle, in the valley between Rauru and Ruto. Southern Hyrule has been abandoned, as much because of superstition as because of the damage done to the area. Most Hylians believe it to be cursed, and will not venture near.
Link has been named General in Chief of the Royal Hyrulian Army, which is currently engaged in routing out the remnants of the Brotherhood of Underworld Monsters and destroying Ganon's unholy work once and for all.

B - Geography:
Until recently, Hyrule was split up into smaller factions, until the coming of Ganon united the Hyrulians against a common foe. Hyrule occupies the eastern side of a huge continent, and one island in the Great Sea, called Hyron. It is bordered on the south, east, and north by the Great Sea, and on the west by the Barrier Mountains. Its main cities are Ruto in the northwest, Rauru to the east of the North Castle, Mido on the Eastern Sea, and Saria north of Death Mountain. An ancient and powerful city called "Kakariko" used to exist south of Death Mountain, but now all that remains of it is its graveyard, which is now perpetually haunted by Ghinis.
Hyron has three cities of note. Nabooru, its capital, is still a large and prosperous city. Ganon's army left it mostly intact, and only occupied it, since it was important, strategically. However the roads leading to the port and to southern Hyron were destroyed. They are currently being rebuilt, and should be done by next year. The other two towns on the island are Darunia in the north and Kasuto in the south.
Darunia is a small, out of the way mountain village, which is rather isolated due to the treacherous mountain pass leading to it. The villagers have petitioned the king to build better roads and bridges, and the King is not unsympathetic, but does not have the resources yet.
Kasuto used to be about a day's journey down the road south of Nabooru, but that city was destroyed. When Ganon stole the Triforce of Power, a cataclysm began, and moas began haunting the city. The inhabitants took what they could carry and fled east. They established New Kasuto in a secluded forest cradled by cliffs on the west and the sea on the east. It is only accessible through a cave running through the mountain. When Ganon's forces found a practically abandoned city, they sacked it for valuables, and burned it to the ground. Now little is left besides
East of Hyron is an interesting site. There is a very long bridge, about a quarter of a mile long, and probably held in place by magic, which leads to the Island of Mazes, which is completely filled by a vast maze the Old King, Hydrakian, built it there, to guard the way to the Fourth Palace.
The other noteworthy place on the island is the Valley of Death, the most hellish place in the known world. This vally is not nestled between ordinary mountains, but between volcanoes, which ooze lava down into the valley floor and belch ash and smoke into the air. It is difficult to navigate without powerful magic, since you must jump from foothold to foothold, and the place is perpetually as dark as midnight since the ash blots out the sun. It was in this nightmarish place that King Hydrakian built the Grand Palace where the Triforce of Courage was stored for centuries. It is fitting that it would be hidden here, since even entering the Valley of Death takes great courage. Navigating it takes infinitely more.

C - Culture:

1 - Succession of the Crown of Hyrule:
In the event of the death of a king of Hyrule, the crown shall be passed to his oldest son.
If the king has no son alive, it shall be passed to his oldest child.
If the king has no children alive, it shall be passed to his eldest grandson, or, barring such, the eldest granddaughter.
If the king has no descendants, it shall be passed to the King's eldest brother.
If the king has no brother, it shall be passed to his oldest sister.
If the king has no siblings alive, the order of precedence continues as follows: Oldest male first cousin, oldest female first cousin, oldest nephew, oldest niece, and so forth.
The firstborn daughter in each generation is given the name Zelda after Zelda the Dreamer.

2 - Obligations of the Crown:
The duty and responsibility of the royalty of Hyrule is to protect the people. The crown must never take a course of action which would cause harm to its nation or subjects.
As such, the royals have hardly any rights of their own, as regards their personal lives. They must always live for duty and purpose. However, the weight of the crown is lightened some by privilege. The royals of Hyrule live in the grand North Castle, in the lap of luxury. Their decorations are lavish, and their furniture comfortable. Royalty are never hungry or cold in their palaces, and have a royal guard for protection.

3 - Obligations of the People:
The people of Hyrule are expected to obey their king in all things, and to serve their land well.
They are to send a portion of what they produce to the King to be used for the good of the kingdom. For example, a blacksmith is expected to send every tenth piece of armor he makes to the Hyrulian Army, a miller every tenth sack of flour, and a shepherd one sheep per flock per year.
Laborers are expected to spend one month out of the year in service to the kingdom.

4 - Principle Laws:
The most sacred laws of Hyrule are these:

a. To attack another person when you are not attacked will result in imprisonment. To kill a person who has done you no wrong will result in death.
b. To steal a possession which rightfully belongs to another will oblige you to pay back the item, and another item of equal wealth. If you steal a sack of flour, you owe your victim two. If you steal a diamond ring, you owe him two. If you cannot pay, you shall work until you can, however you must, whether as a miller or as a miner, or as whatever you must become to repay the debt.
c. Any citizen has the right to appeal to the royalty over any matter, although it is a very bad idea to waste His Majesty's time with trifles. Audiences are granted in the order they are received, and the word of the King is always final.

5 - Military:

a. History:
Up until the Invasion, the Southern Hyrulian military consisted of the Order of the Knights of Hyrule, and hired soldiers. In general, the Knights defended Hyrule Castle, with a few stationed in Kakariko, and the soldiers were assigned to border patrols and general police work. Since the most devastating attacks Hyrule ever fell under were occasional small raiding parties from the northwest and weak rampaging monsters, there has not been a large border guard within anyone's memory.
The other parts of what is now Hyrule were variously, but similarly equipped. Southern Hyrule's army was one of the largest, but a balance of power existed, with Calatia emerging as the most powerful nation in the area, militaristically speaking.
Currently, the Royal Hyrulian Army consists of what remains of the Knights of Hyrule and hired soldiers. The Knights are all palace guards at North Castle defending the Triforce. The rest of the army consists of patriotic Hyrulians, hired mercenaries, and professional soldiers.
Since the Invasion, the armies of all the nations that now constitute Hyrule have banded together under King Harkinian, thus composing the largest known military force in the world; however, even this force often has its hands tied. The border patrols are no larger than they were in any of the individual states before the Invasion, and the Castle Guard at North Castle is smaller than either the one at Hyrule Castle or North Castle used to be.
The Knights of Hyrule took the brunt of the attack, and most of them perished in that fight. The Castle Guard of North Castle has mostly been dissolved through promotions to ranking positions in the Army, since the recent events have produced a devastating shortage of qualified officers.

b. Divisions:
Aside of the Castle Guard, the Army consists of three divisions, Police, Border Patrol, and Hunters.
Hyrule does not currently have a proper navy, but a new shipyard is being constructed in Mido Town to remedy that problem.

i. Police
Each town in Hyrule has a contingent of soldiers assigned to it for purposes of keeping the peace, resolving disputes, collecting and delivering taxes, and defending the town from intruders and monsters.
The size of the force of soldiers in each town varies, depending on the town's size and importance, but typically 1 guard is stationed to every 20-30 citizens.

ii. Border Patrol
The border is patrolled by bands of soldiers in groups of anywhere from 5 to 10, who usually simply march along the border of Hyrule from the southern end to the northern and back again. They look for trails, old fires, or anything else that might suggest military activity or other threats near the borders. Typically, about 15 or 20 of these bands are active at any one time, but the numbers vary drastically depending on the number of soldiers available.

iii. Hunters
The Hunters are the bravest of soldiers, who take on the least pleasant of jobs. When monsters attack, the Hunters are dispatched to find and eliminate them. They are well equipped, and consist of the best men in the Army.
Although the commander of all Hyrulian forces, Link considers himself to be a Hunter, and pays special attention to this branch and its well-being.

c. Ranking:
i. Castle Guard

The Castle Guard of Southern Hyrule before the invasion consisted mainly of members of the hereditary Order of the Knights of Hyrule. Now, due to a shortage of good fighters, the ranks are being opened up to more soldiers. The current guard consists mainly of the Knights of Hyrule and the old Castle Guard of North Castle from Northern Hyrule before the unification. To be a Castle Guard, a soldier must be competent in swordplay, swear alliegence to the king personally, and serve for at least five years in the army.

Watchman is the official title of North Castle's lookouts. They are usually stationed on the parapets and towers, and control the drawbridge.
They are equipped with P3 D1 swords and P1 shields.
They earn 7r per day.

Dark Knight is a more skilled watchman. To become a Dark Knight, a Watchman must have an Attack of at least 9, and must have served for at least one year as a Watchman. They are equipped with P3 D1 swords, P1 shields and blue armor.
They earn 8r per day.

Lancer is a high rank of castle soldier. These soldiers usually stand guard at the gates and important checkpoints in the castle. To be considered for Lancer, a Dark Knight must have an attack of at least 10, must have served as Dark Knight for at least 2 years, and must have learned the Spear and Throwing skills.
They are equipped with P3 D1 enchanted spears that return to them the turn after they are thrown, and red armor.
They earn 300r per month.

Captain is the highest rank of guard. The captains supervise all military activity in the castle, and assume command during attacks.
Lancers must learn to use the Ball-and-Chain to assume the rank of Captain. It is an unusual weapon that requires about a month of training. It has a Penetration Factor of 4, and inflicts 2 Damage.
Captains are equipped with Yellow Armor and a Ball-and-Chain.
They earn 400r per month.

ii. Army

Footsoldier signifies an enlisted soldier with no military training. As such, they are given room, board, and daily training in whatever weapon they show the most aptitude for. Usually, they are trained in swordplay, as it is the most common form of combat in Hyrule.
These footsoldiers cannot be considered for promotions to ranking positions until they have completed at least 1 year of service, and demonstrated their skill in battle to their superiors.

Recruit signifies a fighter who has sworn fealty to the king and country of Hyrule and been accepted into the Royal Army of Hyrule.
Recruits typically earn 1r per day, plus room and board. Combat and hazard pay is typically 5r per day, plus a 20r bonus for completing a campaign.
To be considered for the Army, a character must be fit [Life 4, at least] and be a competent fighter [Attack 6, at least] and must carry a reccommendation from a trainer, soldier, or other reliable source, endorsing him as acceptable material for the military.

Soldier signifies a fully trained Hyrulian warrior who fights under a captain and general in the name of the king and country of Hyrule.
Soldiers typically earn 2r per day, plus room and board. Combat pay is typically 10r per day, plus a 50r bonus for completing a campaign.
To be considered for promotion to the rank of Soldier, a Recruit must show his skill in combat [Attack at 7, at least] with at least one close-combat weapon and one range weapon, preferably a sword and bow.

Captain signifies command over a specific duty or a smaller group of troops. Captains command troops from the fronts, leading their groups into battle.
Captains typically earn 100r per month, plus room and board at North Castle, or in whatever fortress or town they are stationed in.

General signifies command over a large number of men. Usually, one General is assigned to a certain area of Hyrule, or a specific war.
Most Generals make 250r per month plus room and board and the security of a fortress or guarded home. They often receive gifts from the Royal Family after completing particularly noteworthy military maneuvers.

High General is a unique rank currently held by Sir Link. The High General is known as the Minister of War in peacetime. It is his job to know what all the branches of the military are doing at any given point, to allocate resources, and to deploy troops to different Generals in different areas.
The job of High General pays a 500r per month salary, plus plenty of food, and a room in a well-guarded tower in North Castle.

D - Economy:
As is typical of pre-industrial societies, there is a huge culture-gap between the royalty and the commoners, however the peasants do enjoy some degree of creature comforts.
The average Hyrulian lives in a one or two-room house, has a small farm, and works hard at his profession. He owns one set of clothes, a good winter cloak or cape, a bed and bedclothes, and sufficient utensils to cook and eat.
Hyrule is a bountiful land, and very few ever go hungry. Food and drink are typically cheap, and herbs for magic potions are common. Thus, Hyrule usually generates a surplus of food, clothing, and magical brews, which it can trade to the mountainous land of Calatia in exchange for metals and gems which they need for plows, weapons, armor, and machines.

E - Science:
The main technologies in Hyrule are magically based, and mystical forces are harnessed in the same way as the natural forces here on Earth are by modern science.
Hyrule has no gunpowder, but it would be useless in a world where wands and spells dominate warfare.
Hyrule's mechanical science includes clockworks and siege engines such as catapults and balistas.
The high literacy rate this country enjoys makes research and development quite easy, and novel devices abound in Hyrule when the economy allows its residents enough leisure time.

F - The Brotherhood of Underworld Monsters:
The Brotherhood was formed when Link killed Ganon. Wizzrobes said that if Link were sacrificed, and his blood were sprinkled on Ganon's ashes, their leader would revive. They formed a loosely designed confederacy to hunt Link down and either kill or capture him.
The Wizzrobes have always been the secret masters behind the Brotherhood, and are obeyed as much out of fear as any kind of true respect.
In general, the Brotherhood is bumbling, incompetent, disorganized, and hopelessly small. Nonetheless, they fight with courage, and plan their traps well, and the intelligence and guile of their Wizzrobe leaders make them a serious threat to Hyrule's peace. Under the Wizzrobes, the Brotherhood is broken into three sections, Army, Navy, and Cavalry.

1 - Army
The Army is the largest branch of the remaining forces of Ganon's invasion.
The officers consist of the Lizalfos and Daira, who seem to work well off of each other, the cunning of the Lizalfos offsetting the brute force and fury of the Daira.
Under these are the Goriya who serve as footsoldiers and spies, and the Molblins who serve largely as cannon-fodder. Molblins usually take the brunt of an attack, slowing opponents down more by their overwhelming numbers than by any kind of skill or courage.
Under the Molblins are the Dagos, not so much because Molblins have any command abilities, but because the Dagos are at the bottom of the pecking order, and Goriya generally do not stoop so low as to claim the Dagos as part of their forces. The Molblins enjoy having someone who makes even them look smart, and take their officerial duties seriously and with pride, if not competency.

2 - Navy
Not really a navy, since the Brotherhood owns no ships, but they claim the term, anyhow.
The Navy consists of Zola, and hordes of vile bago-bagos which are left mostly to themselves. The Zola do not work well with other races, and usually attack more or less randomly - terrorizing rather than effectively fighting. Bago-bagos are set up more or less as traps, making certain bridges impossible to cross, for all intents and purposes.

3 - Cavalry
The officers in the Cavalry consist not of horsemen per se, but of Lynels, creatures with the lower body of a horse. Not great fighters toe-to-toe, but quite dangerous nonetheless, these creatures carry powerful weapons, and use them to great effect, and have a substantial amount of Life. They usually take the back ranks behind more conventional horsemen, usually Molblins on horses or Daira and Lizalfos riding dragons. Obviously, the scarcity of horses and dragons makes for a very small Cavalry.

The Hyrule role playing game is made by Krystofor Goldensword (a fan), for all Zelda fans who have any imagination, and care to use it.

The Legend of Zelda, The Adventure of Link, A Link to the Past, Link's Awakening, The Ocarina of Time, Majora's Mask, and the characters Link, Zelda, Impa, and all other persons, places, and things in Hyrule, as well as the land of Hyrule, itself, are copyright Nintendo of America, Inc. Krystofor claims no rights for the materials, and this game may not be used for profit in any way.