Not my gif. Gif credit goes to the amazing creators!
Requested by: Anon.
Based On: could I request an imagine where you’re dancing with Thorin in Erebor before BOFTA? (it would also be pretty cool if Fili/Kili walked in and promptly asked for dancing lessons, but i don’t mind). Also i wanted to say your lovely blog inspired me to write my first (short) piece of fanfiction, and it was super fun to write; so thanks :)
A/N: Of course you can, sweetie. I really do hope that you enjoy what I’ve come up with, and may it fulfill all of your expectations and more. Thank you for requesting and i’m so happy to have inspired you to write your own faniction! I’d definitely love to give it a read, i you don’t mind sending me a link to it? c: Please enjoy, anon! - Kat
Pairing’s: Thorin Oakenshield x Reader.
Word Count: 837.
Warning’s: Fluffy Thorin, sweet Thorin, sappy as hell Thorin. Fili and Kili interrupting your dance with Thorin, Fili and Kili bickering over who get’s to dance with you. Lot’s of fluff and sweetness! (Let me know if I’ve forgotten anything.)
Disclaimer: Thorin Oakenshield, Fili and Kili DO NOT belong to me, but they do indeed belong to Tolkien!
amrâlimê = love of me.
‘ibin abnâmul = beautiful gem.
Erebor’s Great Hall was laced in ruin and wreckage after the colossal dragon had plowed through it. “May I have this dance? Even if it may be my last…” a deep rumbling tenor shimmied into your eardrums, causing a tremor to tear through your spine. You spun to face Thorin, the King Under the Mountain, and were astounded when you saw the sad glimmer within his adoring sapphire orbs. With his hand outstretched, fingertips brushing the rear of your hand, you nodded, obliging to his wish to dance with you.
The deep richness of the inferno fire pits that lit this Great Hall up, cascaded distorted and obscure shadows across the ghostly stony walls. Thorin twirled you around, your skirts flaring out like a ballgown; before he promptly brought you flush against his chest. He was content in swaying in timid silence, basking within your glorious company. “I am sorry for my foolish behavior. I have not treated you in the way in which you deserved, in the way in which I had promised you the moment that I plaited that courting braid into your hair.” he breathed out true heartache, that strummed miserably at your heart strings.
“You are definitely not to blame, my love. You were ill!” the exclamation echoes throughout the kingdom, scattering and scrambling back into your ears several hundred times before all falls silent.
A sweet smile spreads across your lovers face, though it is meek and brittle, it still warms your heart. “You are too kind to me, amrâlimê.” he sighs contently, his worn calloused hands holding your hips with a tender delicacy. “My ‘ibin abnâmul…” he exhales, forehead pressed to yours, whilst his nose skims yours with attentiveness. “You are my entire world and worth more to me than the gold stored away within this kingdom. You are the elegant silver moon that lights my dark path. You are my silver lining, amrâlimê.” and to that he spun you about again.
Here is a picture of Mount Rainier that I took last summer. I post it out of excitement; I may be visiting the Mountain again at the end of this week. To make an accurate estimation of the number of times I’ve been there would be quite an undertaking, as I have returned to that place on many suns of many seasons over many years. It’s but one peak in the great stretch of the Cascade mountain range, across much of which I have placed my bootprints, but it is steadily the Mother of it all.
It is my favorite place to be, and I proudly - but with good humor and subjectivity in mind - call it the most beautiful place in the entire world.
A hidden gem in America’s Pacific Northwest is the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument in Oregon. Called an amazing treasure, Cascade-Siskiyou covers more than 62,000 acres and is best known for the unique landscapes created by the convergence of species from the high deserts of the Northern Great Basin to the temperate rain forests of the Pacific Coast.
As BLM photographer Bob Wick said: “This area is a botanist’s dream where the Cascade, Great Basin and Coast Range-Klamath ecosystems come together. You can turn a corner and go from walking through a dense mossy red fir forest to sagebrush and mountain mahogany in a few feet.”
Pictured here are some of the stunning views from the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument, including the sun, full moon, Mount Shasta and Pilot Rock, all captured May 3, 2015. Photos by Bob Wick, mypubliclands.
There he was. Walking into the Great Hall with Draco Malfoy by his side. Your head wasn’t the only one that turned for him. Dozens of other girls fancied Blaise as well. Skinny, pretty Slytherin girls. Ones that got to see him everyday and actually had a chance with him. You weren’t like them. You were a little chubby but still pretty. But even you knew that wasn’t enough to get Blaise to like you.
“Y/n?” Your friend, Carter pulled you out of your own thoughts.
“Yes” you answered her
“Were you staring at him again?”
“Maybe I was, maybe I wasn’t. It doesn’t matter anyways it’s not like he would ever like me back.” You pushed you food away and stood up from the Ravenclaw table. You had Charms with the Slytherins first, and you weren’t excited to see a bunch of girls all over Blaise. Carter and you got to the class room early, so you decided to play hangman.
“Haha Blaise you are so funny!” A Slytherin girl squeaked as she followed him into the classroom.
“He’s not that funny” Draco said obviously annoyed the girl wasn’t paying any attention to him.
“Yes he is, Draco. Oh and Blaise, I was wondering if you could help me with my transfiguration homework later?” The annoying slytherin batted her eye lashes at him.
“Um I’m not that good with transfigurations, so you might want to ask someone else. Bye.” Blaise’s deep voice spoke. You laughed as the girl stomped her feet and walked away. She glared at you and you averted your eyes back to your paper. A couple minutes later, class started.
Your day had been pretty good, until dinner came around. The annoying Slytherin girl cornered you and said,
“I saw you looking at Blaise. You better stay away from him, he’s obviously mine.” She sneered “but it’s not like you’d ever have a chance anyways you fat bitch.” She laughed in your face and walked away. Suddenly, you weren’t hungry anymore. You turned around and started in the opposite direction of the Great Hall. Tears started cascading down your cheeks, but you just brushed them away. “She’s right. I will never have a chance with him.” You thought.
Someone grabbed your arm and pulled you into a classroom before you even had time to scream. They had there had over your mouth, but took it way as soon as the door closed. You backed away from the shadowy figure until your legs hit a desk. The figure started walking towards you and the first thing you saw was a Slytherin crest. You looked up at the face and saw the chocolate brown eyes you fell in love with.
“Y/n, are you alright? I saw what that girl said to you and how horrible she acted towards you” Blaise spoke as he hung his head to meet your eyes. You quickly looked away and muttered,
“I’m okay. It happens all the time, you don’t have to worry about me.” Your eyes were glued to the floor as you spoke to him. Blaise gently lifted your head, with his fingers, and made you look into his eyes.
“I can see your not ok. Don’t listen to her, she’s just mad because I don’t like her.” He said softly. I just nodded and said “ok” Blaise didn’t seem so convinced that I was okay because he kept going.
“You know you’re really beautiful right? Your beauty isn’t even on the same level as most of the girls at this school.”
“Thank you, Blaise” you sniffled
“It’s no problem. I like spending time like this with you. We should do it a lot more.” He winked. You laughed and said,
“Yeah, we really should”
After he helped you dry your last couple of tears, you both walked to the Great Hall and sat at the Slytherin table for dinner. Almost all the Slytherin girls glared at you, but Blaise glared right back and that made them look away. He held your hand turning dinner to calm you. Then walked you back to the Ravenclaw tower. He took you by surprise and kissed your cheek and told you,
“Sweet dreams, love”
Headcanon where Keith can't swim and Lance comes to his rescue?
“Good news, team!” Allura’s voice rang through the common
room, sudden and loud. Pidge glanced up from their holopad, Hunk made an
alarmed sound, and Lance started so badly he nearly fell off of the couch.
Rolling his eyes, Keith turned his attention from the plans he’d been going
over with Shiro to the Princess.
Shiro laughed as Lance righted himself, the Blue paladin
glaring in Allura’s direction. “What good news would that be, princess?” He
asked curiously, setting his notebook aside. Everyone’s attention had been
caught by the sudden intrusion, Allura’s smile huge as the paladins gathered in
the living area. Keith made his way over to the couch, sitting between Lance
and Pidge, and Shiro stood behind them.
“Well, you all have been working so hard, lately, and I
think we all deserve a bit of a break.” She announced, unable to keep the smile
off of her face. “We’re hovering near a planet that has a similar climate to
earth–and while Coran and I were researching it to see if it’d be a good place
to land and recoup, we discovered a large body of water. Once we can test the
water and make sure it’s safe, it seems like it’d act similar to a beach from
“Woah woah woah-“ Lance said to her, sitting up straighter
immediately. “Are you tellin’ me that we might be able to go to the beach?”
Allura nodded, her smile widening. “I figured going landing
somewhere similar to your home planet would be a nice break for you all. We’ll
be landing in just a few minutes, and after that, you’ll be free to explore.”
“Seriously?” Lance jumped up from the couch, his own smile
rivaling Allura’s. “Oh man, sweet!”
“I wonder if it’ll have crops similar to earth too.” Hunk
said, grinning as he sat up.
“Forget crops! I’m going swimming!” Lance disappeared down
Pidge rolled their eyes, though they stood as well. “I miss
earth. I’m going to go find some sort of umbrella for the beach.” He said,
following Lance out of the common area.
Shiro wrapped an arm around Allura’s shoulders, smiling at
her. “I think this will definitely boost morale.” He said, kissing the top of
Smiling up at him, she placed a hand on his chest. “Shall we
go and get ready for the beach, then? Alteans love swimming.”
As everyone began filtering out of the room, Hunk went over
and patter Keith’s shoulder. “Hey, are you going to come swimming with
everyone?” He asked curiously.
“I don’t like the water.” Keith said, though he stood with
the intent to follow suit. “I guess I’ll just hang out on the beach with
Pidge.” He mused, heading down to his own room to change.
An hour later, the water had been tested, the temperature was fine, and the
paladins were headed off of the castle ship for the first time in a long while.
Lance, with a huge grin and a towel wrapped around his
shoulders, kicked off his shoes and ran down into the sand, whooping and
hollering as he pulled his shirt off in preparation to get into the water. Hunk
followed suit, just as excited to try out the water, as Shiro and Allura
sauntered down hand in hand. Keith and Pidge had both set up towels under a big,
umbrella like contraption.
Without much hesitation, the yellow and blue paladins were
stripped down and running into the water, and Shiro and Allura were undressing
in preparation to join them. Shiro gave Pidge and Keith a smile. “Are you guys
going to get into the water? You guys deserve this break, everyone should take
it easy and enjoy the water.” He said tossing his shirt to the side.
“I might go see if I can find any sea life, but I’m just
going to watch for now.” Pidge said, waving their hand. “Let those morons test
the waters before I worry about it.”
Shiro rolled his eyes. “Keith, what about you? You look like
you could use some sun.” He said, glancing to the sky. “Well. Light, I guess.”
Keith shrugged, clad in shorts and a tank top that Lance had
loaned him, because everything he had was either long sleeved or jeans. “I’m
not a big fan of the water.” He said simply, shaking his head. “I think I’m
fine right here.”
“Come on, Keith!” Called Lance, from somewhere off of shore.
He was already drenched, Hunk knee deep in the water as well. Without warning,
Lance jumped on Hunk, wrapping his legs around him and subsequently sending
them both into the water with a huge splash. Lance surfaced seconds later, his
eyes bright and his smile huge. “Don’t be a buzzkill, man, get in the water!”
“I don’t want to-“ Keith called back, glaring halfheartedly
as Allura and Shiro made their way toward the water. “Who knows what’s in
Lance stuck his tongue out, falling backwards into the
water. “Laaaame, Keith!”
Pidge rolled their eyes before standing slowly, shooting
Keith a sheepish smile.
“Pidge, no.” Keith moaned. “Don’t abandon me, we have to
stay strong! You can’t just join them!”
“Sorry, Keith, the water looks nice.” Pidge said, taking off
their shoes. “Just come get in the water, you’ll be fine.” They insisted, making
their way down to the shore.
Huffing tiredly, Keith wrapped his arms around his knees,
glaring at the body of water before him. Everyone was having a great time,
messing around and playing. Hunk had Lance on his shoulders, and Shiro had
Allura on his, splashing each other and falling over and laughing wildly.
Groaning audible, Keith bent over to take off his shoes
before standing up. Emerging from the waist up, Lance grinned at him, waving
him over. “Come on, Keithy-boy! Really, the water feels great.”
Unable to help the hint of a smile that came to his face,
Keith nodded, making his way toward the water. As long as his feet touched the
ground, he’d be fine.
The water was the perfect temperature, cool enough to be
comfortable but not enough to give him goosebumps. The sand was a strange, gray-ish
color, but the water was clear, and he could see tons of foreign looking
fossils and shells through it. When he glanced up, Lance was wading over,
grinning hugely at him.
“Isn’t this great?” He asked, water cascading down his chest
since he’d just emerged from underwater again. “It’s just like the beach on
earth. This whole planet looks like it-“ He said, glancing wistfully at the
“Yeah, it does.” Keith said, following Lance’s gaze to the
familiar looking trees and foliage. “Maybe we can explore a little, see what
kinds of plans they have and all that.” Keith mused, turning back to look at
Lance, only to find the blue paladins eyes on him. As Lance glanced away, Keith
could’ve sworn he saw the slightest hint of a blush, but he was quick to turn
back to the water. “Come on, get your feet wet.” He joked, grabbing his wrist. “A
little water isn’t going to ruin your hair.”
Keith rolled his eyes, but he couldn’t help the spike of
nervousness as he waded further into the water. Still, he followed Lance out to
meet the others, relieved when he found everyone was only waist deep in the
Everyone had settled down a little, though everyone was
thoroughly drenched at this point. There were small waves, though, which
splashed up to Keith’s torso, and he had the undeniable urge to step a little
further away, toward the shore.
Then, though, Lance was on top of him, dragging him into the
water as the others giggled around them. His vision went white, his stomach dropping
when he went underwater. Despite Lance’s arms around him at first, they disappeared
quickly, and when Keith flailed, his feet trying to find the ground, he found the
waves pushing him further down.
Quickly, panic overcame him, and he inhaled sharply, choking
on the water. He managed to surface, briefly, choking before another wave came
over him and forced him back under. How he’d managed to get so deep so quickly,
he had no idea, but his toes barely reached the sand, and he couldn’t get his
head above the water. He was struggling, splashing, hoping that someone would
notice, but then his vision was darkening at the edges, and his chest burned
with the lack of oxygen and the sting of the inhaled water.
Just as Keith was giving up, he felt strong arms around him,
pulling him to the surface and toward the shallows of the water. Head lolling
back, Keith felt his consciousness waver, though not before he heard the
terrified shouting from whoever dragged him toward the shore.
The next thing Keith knew, he was heaving over to the side,
choking up water into the sand. His head felt like it was floating as he inhaled
sharply, his lungs aching with the lack of breath. Hacking, he coughed up
whatever had gotten into his lungs, his vision blurred and spotty as his body
tried, valiantly, to get the oxygen it needed.
“Jesus, Keith, what the hell?” Keith flopped over on his
back, desperately trying to catch his breath. Lance was looming over him, his
own chest heaving, hair dripping. “What happened? Are you okay, oh my god–“
Keith closed his eyes, sucking in stinging breaths, unable
to get his head to stop floating. “I’m fine.” He croaked, his voice sounding
like he’d gargled nails.
Allura jogged over, dropping to her knees with a water bottle.
Both she and Lance helped Keith sit up, and she offered him a bottle of water. “Drink,
Keith, it’ll help. Are you sure you’re alright? What happened?”
Keith couldn’t help the burning shame that spread across his
face as he accepted the water with trembling hands, taking a couple of slow
sips and wincing at how it felt going down. “I’m fine, I’m sorry for worrying
you, I just…” He sighed, the tips of his ears colored a deep red. “I can’t
swim, very well. I thought I’d be fine, since we weren’t in deep, but I couldn’t
get my footing, and…”
“Oh my god.” Lance said again, and for the first time, Keith
got a good look at his face. The distress was easy to see, the anxiety and
panic in his eyes hard to ignore. “Holy shit, man, I’m so sorry.” Suddenly,
Lance’s arms were around him, and Keith couldn’t help but lean into the
embrace, all but exhausted. “It was totally my fault, I should have-“
“No, Lance, it’s fine.” Keith muttered back, awkwardly
wrapping his arms around him. “I should have said something about it earlier.
Lance pulled away after a long moment, taking in the pallor
of Keith’s face, the trembling of his hands. “Man, you scared the shit out of
me.” He breathed, the tension finally falling from his shoulders.
“You scared all of us.” Shiro added, his arms crossed over
his chest. “You have to be more careful than that, Keith, that could have ended
very differently. If Lance hadn’t gotten you, I don’t know what would have
With a glance toward his supposed savior, Keith felt his
cheeks go warm again. “Thank you, Lance. I owe you one.” He said simply, the eye
contact only making it more unbearable.
Lance, after a moment’s hesitation, laughed shortly and
rubbed the back of his neck. “Hey, no problem, buddy. I think you probably need
to get back to the castle, though, so you can get dry and get some rest. I’ll
walk you up there.” He said, standing up and holding a hand out to him.
Keith accepted the offered help, noting that Lance did most
of the work in pulling himself to his feet, and he still almost immediately
“Woah there, man, take it easy. Just keep breathing, we’ll
take it slow.” Lance promised, one arm already around Keith’s waist to keep him
steady. Shiro wrapped the towel around Keith’s shoulders, smiling warmly.
“You two get back to the castle, we’ll be up in a little
while. Be careful.” He warned, ruffling Keith’s hair and earning a sour look
before Lance started their trek back to the ship.
It was silent, for a few minutes, their walk slow while
Keith’s body regained its equilibrium.
“Hey, Lance.” Keith said, glancing over at the blue paladin,
Lance turning to look at him with a small smile. “Thank you, really. I’m sorry
that I scared you.”
Lance grinned, rolling his eyes. “Hey, no worries. Just got to
be more careful next time, got it? I can’t go being your hero all the time.”
Keith snorted, shaking his head. “Oh please, in your dream.
This was just payback for that time I saved you from the air lock.” He teased.
“Hey! That wasn’t even my fault-“ Lance said, glaring. “I watched
you almost get destroyed by that robot, you can’t hold it against me!”
Keith couldn’t help the eye roll, but as they finally made
their way into the castle, he couldn’t help but think that he wouldn’t have
traded the moment for anything.
Gosh, I love fairies and stuff so much and their traditional and simple flower-based clothes are adorable but picture this:
Fairies that ‘evolve’ after years of witnessing human style, crafting complex outfits from natural resources.
Punk fairies with rose thorns lining the shoulders of their jackets, dark makeup made from natural inks and dewdrops fashioned into chains hang from their trousers.
Fairies in ballgowns made from petals and leaves, great flowing cascades of colour!
Fairies who stole dolls clothes and human materials and patched it all together, completely dispelling the need for leaves and such and instead starting a new underground trend of fairies dressing as humans do.
Fairies watching humans pass by and sketching the outfits they see, trying to figure out how to recreate them from their own resources!
So it’s come to my attention that a lot of the younger/newer Homestucks haven’t read what we oldies considered the most important fics from our time way back in the vicinity of the Cascade Hiatus and the months surrounding it.
Here, a rec list to try and rectify that. There’s a good assortment on there, from One of Our Submarines is Missing to Hemostuck to The Sapphire of Alternia. The one bias is towards longer fics - only like five of them are below 50K, I’m serious - but I tried to be relatively unbiased in the rest of the content.
(Not that I was unbiased - you can see my shipping tastes from the period, if nothing else. So much Johnkat. So much. I’m sorry, everyone.)
By no means is this an exhaustive list - I know I’m forgetting some, lost to the depths of AO3 or that never made it to AO3 at all (Red Dead Virgo, here’s lookin’ at you). But these are the fics that I remember, that spawned so many imitations (hey guys remember that massive train of One Stormy Night knockoffs? The upsurge in spectrum-swap fics after Hemostuck? The storm of Suff/Psii after A Sailorman’s Hymn?), the ones that broke my heart to throw in the dead fics pile. These are the fics that everyone knew, before you came here, before we had Act 6 and everything that came after.
Newbies - here, this is for your education. Oldbies - here, this is for your nostalgia.
(PS if you have any suggestions to append to this list, please feel free to drop me a line.)
The Zora have built their civilization upon the lifeblood of the world. From the throne room at the height of Zora’s Domain a great river flows, cascading down sheer cliffs and through lofty tunnels. It is this river which feeds the spiritual waters of Lake Hylia, protecting the sanctity of Zoran temples and nourishing all Hyrule through wellspring and tributary.
Speaking once again to the cosmopolitanism of Twilight Princess’s rendition of Hyrule, Lake Hylia is a site of pilgrimage for those of several races. Hylian soldiers tell Link of the complaints they have received related to the inaccessibility of the spring spirit of the lake, which makes peregrination to the shrine impossible. And though certain places are normally open to the greater public, the structures private and sacrosanct to the Zora maintain their isolation. The three main Zoran gathering places—the temple, the spring, and their domain—are all rich continuations of architectural traditions first seen in Ocarina of Time; and, indeed, because these games are within the same branch of the official timeline, the germinal works of beauty found in that previous game can be said to culminate in the construction and artistry of the Zora during the time of Twilight Princess. Though the locations of the temple and settlement may not match up precisely between games (and this is inexplicable, as with so many other things), the culture of this race has flourished magnificently.
Amphitheater of Delphi, Greece
Beginning with the Hylian construction within this province, and due to the proximity of Hyrule Castle and town, it is evident that, not only is transport through this region critical, the people find it beautiful. Viewed from the lake itself, an expansive, partially-destroyed bridge parts the sky, connecting two of the larger land masses of Hyrule. Clearly, this bridge took prodigious skill and resources to create, so far flung it is from the simpler wooden bridges that connect various parts of Hyrule Field to one another. This bridge is immense in scope, very wide, and much artistry has gone into its decoration—particularly upon its entrances and on its two low walls. The foundations may have crumbled into the water beneath, yet still it stands as a testament to the growing skill of Hylian engineers. Nearby, there is a certain archetypal throwback to Western architecture. There are no direct roads heading into or out of the lake area, but there is a large amphitheater built near Hyrule Castle Town which provides a breath-taking vista of it. And this is clearly stolen from Greek hillsides: a semicircular structure facing a stage, upon which have fallen once-standing fluted, Doric columns. From this Grecian grandstand, nearly the whole of the lake can be seen. The bridge is shown connecting to its terminal point, which burrows through a large tree on its route away from the castle. The scenic view serving as the backdrop to this stage would provide iconic and inimitable settings to performances, as well as demonstrate beauty in itself.
Lake Hylia seems to be a sunken lake, far deeper than it had previously been, as all land surrounding it is significantly higher. The layout of Lake Hylia is very strange when compared to its counterpart in Ocarina of Time; the temple, the island, and the great tree are all present, but the proportioning is ludicrous. This has proved bewildering to those who give attention to maps and history, but above all, this series works with concepts and changes, instead of focusing on making its own inherent timeline cohesive or understandable.
The spring of the Light Spirit Lanayru draws its influence from things seen within the previous Water Temple—primarily, the serpentine Nagas, who protect springs, rivers, and wells. Largely, they have everything to do with water, for good or ill. One hand brings fertility, the other flood. Nonetheless, these protector spirits hold great significance in the religious traditions of both Hinduism and Buddhism; they are found widely across South and South-Eastern Asia, in multifarious forms and settings.
The door at the back of the spring chamber carries a relief of a two-headed serpent, mysterious yet not unrelated to the Nagas seen elsewhere within this shrine
In Ocarina of Time’s Water Temple, these serpents were not many in number, forming the pillars which held hook-shot targets and enshrining crystals that controlled various mechanisms within the dungeon. Here, both outside and inside the spring itself, they are impossible not to notice. Emerging from points arrayed around the entryway are the heads of a Naga; in total there are five, which signifies that it is a male. (An odd number of heads represents that the creature is male, while even numbers denote females.) And, of course, the different sexes embody different concepts: the male represents timelessness and immortality, while the female is considered to symbolize transience and worldliness. The spirit Lanayru also takes this form, and so it can justly be said that these Nagas are his holy symbol. They appear numerously inside the cavern surrounding the spring, as well as in the room across the water where treasure is stored in a long hallway of these Nagas. These spirits are of importance within Zoran culture, and their significance has only increased over the centuries.
Traveling upward to the headwaters of the river, a human dwelling can be seen. This is where the sister of Coro can be found renting boats.
Whereas previous Zora’s Domains have been enclosed, austere spaces little more than caves, this rendition is beautiful, structured, and yet natural. The area directly before the throne room is an enormous sinkhole, open to the skies. Groundwater cascades out of several openings high up in the cliff sides, forming a pool of dazzling clarity below. Natural paths lead upward from the shores of the water, and from here, the fossil remains of colossal ammonites and trilobites, shimmering opalescently with greens and blues, give the cliff walls both history and untold age. A loggia, created by a colonnade of rough stone, sits opposite these fossils, connecting the domain to various other places within Hyrule. Only the beginnings of Zoran architecture can be seen here in the fluid latticework and ornamentation on the columns and in the main waterway to the throne room. It seems a common characteristic of Zoran space to be tampered with as little as is possible, using the preexisting stone, caves, and outcroppings to augment their dwellings.
This last chamber is a spacious cavern containing the origins of the river. The chamber focuses upon its beginnings, creating the mouth of a well around the source, from which rise several highly-carved steps leading to the ornate grills which stand between the columns (in this case, column refers to the meeting of a stalagmite and stalactite, and not anything created by sentient beings—they are completely natural). These grills are elaborate, colorful arabesques showcasing the fluid lines and water-plant motifs loved by the Zora. These arabesques form a hallway behind them leading to the throne, which itself is a simple seat. However, the regality of this chair is derived from the great roots which thrust downward to a point behind the back of the chair. The opening in the natural arcade before it grants the ruler an unparalleled view of the spring waters rising from below the ground, and a solitary torch rests within the shallows of the pool. The colors of this room are all cooler hues, reflecting different shades of water in aquamarines, deep blues, algae greens, and purples. As they are the race tied to the element of water, it should come as no surprise that it is the most common feature in their art.
Lakebed Temple is buried in a multi-level recess at lake bottom. An elevated, sealed doorway pierces the wall on one side of the recess, above which is, infuriatingly, written the English alphabet in Hylian script. (Apparently the designers could find nothing more profound for this epigraphic feature than to continue on in the same vein of the Gerudo script found within the Spirit Temple, being the alphabet on repeat.) Ten large pillars, shaped as tentacles, rise up from the bed of the lake, forming an elaborate entry-path to the temple.
The Water Temple and Lakebed Temple are somehow related. Whether it is the exact structure of Ocarina of Time or one heavily influenced by it, the similarities are overwhelming. From the beginning, in which the antechamber is reached through an underwater tunnel leading up to the well-mouth entrance to the temple proper, the sameness can be seen. Though décor is different, and much advanced, the layout and naturalness of the cave system, as well as its location at the bottom of Lake Hylia profess its true identity. In this round room, only the entrance to the deeper parts of the temple has been tampered with; the stalactites have been carved into fluid, falling water, and the platform is covered with green and aquamarine tiles held together with plaster. Upon these tiles is emblazoned the sacred symbol of the Zora. The torches which light up this room, and indeed this temple, are gold with teal gems, on a standard of red and gold, from which extends an ornate golden arm and mosaic candle holder. These items of great craftsmanship deeply offset the natural cave setting of most of this temple. The chambers have, largely, been left untouched, their underground waterfalls and raw terracing forming splendid water effects.
The doors deserve special attention, as they are some of the only things that show a consciousness at work within this sanctuary. In this nearly-pristine cave system, the doors demarcate the bounds of nature and civilization. They give this area presence as could not be felt without them. And they range from simplistic to ornate in taste. The basest of these doors is one carrying the Zoran symbol with a metal grill at the bottom which allows water to flow through and out into the central chamber. The doorway is a tiered sculpture which is reflective of those molded stalactites seen in the antechamber and elsewhere in the dungeon. Two tentacles or jets of water flank a central whirlpool done in black paint.
Beyond these initial portals are bridges with the previously-seen membranous netting forming walls to either side. The floor is made up of large tiles of coral and light blue with delicate mosaics of shells and plant life. At the end of the bridge is a set of double doors, well-lit from above by a single torch, upon which are etched the shells of ammonites, such as those seen in the outer pond of Zora’s Domain.
Increasing in grandeur, the doors found within the innermost room are vibrant and ostentatious, featuring the Zoran and whirlpool symbols of the other door styles; however, these are also headed by a stone carving of a fish, and are of a beautiful mosaic of glistening blues, purples, pinks, greens, and pale yellows. The doors, which face the cardinal directions, are each done in a different color. The lapidary tentacles of the previous insignia are actually carved in this grouping, flanking the door on either side, reaching toward the animal statue above.
Throughout this entire temple, actually, the true skills of the Zora are manifested in the tiles, mosaics, and pottery-esque feel of the shattered walls. This was very strange to me, initially. A great many walls and barriers within this dungeon are broken, as if they had been dropped from some great height. However, with the artistry demonstrated in the purple, green, and azure tiles, along with the mosaics found in the hallways and upon the door frames, perhaps this was purposeful. All of these features imbue this structure with the feeling of antiquity, so that it comes together only slowly—fragment by fragment, as if being pieced into a whole at an archaeological site. It is a very strange sensation, but it is displayed so subtly, and so elegantly, that it goes almost unnoticed.
It really is strange how many walls have been inexplicably fragmented like these two- and where the broken pieces have gone
Like the Water Temple of centuries ago, this place also centers around the manipulation of water. But instead of simple changes brought about by music, water is forcibly transported from one area to another through the use of waterwheels, sluices, chutes, and the large central staircase. The main hub of these activities is the central room, which rests above the true temple heart. Fashioned into a cylinder of great depth, encompassed by stories of walkways, the room descends deep into the earth under a shallow dome and opulent chandelier. Juxtaposed against the ancient feel of this site are the technologically-advanced machines which facilitate the changing waters. Levers and handles release torrents of liquid which are carried by gravity through conduits in the floor, turning ornate waterwheels of blue and gold inlay, which act as barriers to different passages and chambers. The streams all reach the center, contributing to the already-existent pool, which eventually enables access to the boss chamber. The whole system is predicated upon these machines being activated by water, and they are thusly extremely complex. It is an interesting thought, but it may be that these machines (or their less-elaborate predecessors) were at work within the ancient Water Temple, but it is only in this new structure, with its crumbling walls and newly-built passages, that we are able to see them.
The final room is oceanic. An immense, circular structure filled with murky water has lain untouched for years. The massive tiles upon the wall bear symbols of the previous dungeon, although the familiar confluence of water spirals is here done inversely, facing outward toward the corners of each tile. Sunbursts, or images that look like the points of a compass, can also be seen heading downward to the lakebed beneath the lake. Finally, at the utmost bottom, arranged around a central point, are eight pillars that terminate into the water, holding nothing up, and serving no perceivable function. Each is segmented rigidly, almost like the armored hide of Morpheel, main calamity of this dungeon.
Simply from their structures, we can discern several things about the Zora. They are well-attuned to their environment and nature at large; they are an aesthetically-minded society with skilled artists; and they are a deeply spiritual people, secretive yet hospitable. Each in-game race is distinct, and it is absolutely incredible that so much can be gleaned not from the creatures themselves, but from what they have created.