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Fanfic / Winds Alight

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"A fool would sooner poison his own well."

Winds Alight is a Legend of Zelda trilogy written by SmashQueen and JazzyKandra, centered mainly around Vaati the Wind Mage and those around him. It follows him from the aftermath of Four Swords Adventures to his breakout into the Light World as he seeks vengeance for the wrongs set against him. As with all things, it’s never so easy.

Part 1 is Memoirs of a Wind Mage, wherein Vaati jots down his thoughts in a journal in an attempt to keep his sanity. First starting on April 23, 2010, the story went on a five year hiatus before coming back and finally finishing on September 11, 2016.


Part 2, the current and longest of the three, is Intertwined. An exiled Gerudo searches for answers. A long forgotten sorcerer seeks vengeance. Tangled together by events from centuries past, their only hope for freedom is to work together, or die trying. A story of discovery, mistakes, redemption, and people being people.

Set hundreds of years after Breath of the Wild, the Gerudo tribe has split in two. Those who wish for better relations with Hyrule, and those who wish for the rise of Ganon. Ruuya, part of the latter and disillusioned with the promises the Gerudo King would bring, is exiled from her home after a failed theft of a valuable book. She eventually finds herself in a village where they hold an ancient sorcerer in high regard. She goes on to find him, but there’s a problem.

He can’t cast any spells.


From there, the story follows Ruuya, Vaati, Bazz the Zora, and the brash Nan as they each try to find their purpose in a Hyrule that has largely forgotten those in the dark. Includes a cast of original characters and expies that feel at home in the setting. Reading MoaWM first is not necessary to understand it.

Intertwined can be found on AO3, FFnet, SpaceBattles, and SufficientVelocity. Not to be confused with the other story called Intertwined.

The third and final story has yet to be announced.


This trilogy provides examples of:

Story specific examples:

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     Memoirs of a Wind Mage 
  • Back from the Dead: Averted. According to the first chapter, Vaati escaped into the Dark World instead of dying after Four Swords Adventures.
  • Baleful Polymorph: The Keaton salesman in Chapter 5.
  • Cosmic Plaything: Vaati. He believes that the goddesses have cursed him and are messing with him, but since he's an unreliable narrator, it could easily just not be the case.
  • Dark World: Where Vaati landed after FSA.
  • Distressed Dude: After Ganon comes back, Vaati ends up as this. His plan to rescue himself, however, doesn't seem to go as planned.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: Before the five year break, and before the sequel was fully planned, MoaWM had hints of Vaati seeing into Earth. After Memoirs, this bit never comes up again.
  • Evil Versus Evil: Implied when Vaati reveals that Ganon has returned.
    • Later confirmed in Intertwined.
  • Involuntary Shapeshifting: Slightly subverted with Vaati somehow finding the moon pearl.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • One of Vaati's rants involves consuming the essence of the dead. In Ocarina of Time, one of things Link can do is capture a poe to (potentially) revitalize himself.
  • Sanity Has Advantages: The reason Vaati is keeping a journal is to keep his sanity. That way he can think a little more clearly. It doesn’t work very well.
  • Sanity Slippage: Confirmed by the author, Vaati is slowly losing it. As if his journal entries and notes didn’t shout that already.
  • Surrounded by Idiots: Obedient minions are apparently difficult to find in the Dark World.
    • It’s a moment of frustration when Vaati finds that the Wizzrobes didn’t obey him. They’re sent to the front lines when he decides to skip conventional methods and send out his whole ‘ragtag’ army to attack the Hinox.
  • Adipose Rex: King Alphonus Hyrule, a kind and cheerful man who dotes on his daughter
  • Adult Fear: What happened to Bast.
    • Imagine that you and your family have just fallen into a portal and into a twisted, dark mirror world of where you just were. Your form has changed to something inhuman, but you find solace in a village full of other people who have had the same happen to them. They tell your family of an ancient mage, his palace, and of a possible way back to your own world. Your eldest daughter, headstrong and skilled, decides to head out to find this portal back. Knowing you cannot stop her, you wait, and wait, and after a week she returns, but not without injury. Her wounds are too great to heal, and you must watch as your tenacious daughter slowly dies in bed.
      • Worse, there was no portal in the palace. Her death was in vain.
  • Accidental Hero: Saving Ruuya, and later Windfall. Who’d have thought Vaati of all people would fit this?
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Not against any hero, but years before the story “the Usurper” won against Vaati and his army, and then advanced on the Light World.
    • With his newfound popularity and fame, Vaati can be said to have won so far.
  • Baleful Polymorph: Ruuya and everyone in Outcast Village.
  • Big Fancy House: Vaati gets one as a gift from King Hyrule.
  • Black Sheep: Ruuya to the rest of the Wasteland Gerudo for her visions/dreams, and questioning if Ganon should be followed. This made her a target for thefts, as well.
  • Bookworm: Ruuya, to the point of stealing books as she sees them as valuable.
  • Boss Corridor: In the Spirit Temple.
  • Boss Room: Ruuya finds herself in one while trying to find the "desert brass".
  • Cape Swish: Vaati likes doing this.
  • Dark World: One of the main locations early on.
  • Dreaming of Things to Come: Part of why Ruuya became disillusioned. Her dreams gave her doubt over Ganon/Ganondorf, but when she shared them with others, the dreams were brushed off as only that.
  • Engineered Heroics: Vaati makes himself seem like a hero for curing people of a sickness, only to gain entry to Hyrule Castle.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Despite his selfish intentions and public facade, the wind mage still asks Ruuya if she’s sure she wants to leave Windfall after the plague is gone.
  • Evil Is Petty: Perpetrated by Vaati. When overpowering doesn't work, he does this.
  • Evil Versus Evil: Implied in the background with the “Usurper” versus Vaati.
  • Expy: Briefly appearing in Chapter 17, Zaffre is one for Vivenna, in reference to something she does in Oathbringer.
  • Eye Scream: A recurring dream/vision.
  • Fantastic Racism: The Wasteland Gerudos’ attitude towards Hylians. Although it seems mostly indoctrinated.
    • Implied to be the reason why the Zoras were forced to leave Hyrule, possibly with all the other races. How things deteriorated to such a point has yet to be explored.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Vaati at times. Up until he reminds Ruuya of his true colors.
  • Fingore: After falling into a pit during a blizzard, Ruuya loses some toes due to frostbite. This continues to be a hindrance afterwards.
  • Foreshadowing: Peppered throughout.
    • The sometimes cruel thoughts and actions of Ruuya.
    • Almost anytime Vaati is seen having a modicum of concern.
    • One of the title drops.
    • Bazz being considered a wonder in Hyrule.
    • Alysse having a larger than normal well of magic.
  • Genre Savvy: Of all people, Vaati could be considered this at times.
  • Good Is Not Nice: Impa. Her first meeting with Ruuya makes her quite intimidating.
  • Heal It with Water: What Bazz's abilities include.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: In order to give the people of Outcast Village a brighter future Flow sacrifices herself to power the new mirror to the Light World.
  • Involuntary Shapeshifting: Everyone in Outcast Village.
    • Slightly subverted with Vaati who keeps his appearance in the Dark World, implying he has the Moon Pearl.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Near the end of arc 2. Ruuya could go anywhere she wanted. She is no stranger to traveling on her own, and yet...
    Vaati “There are Hyrulian guards at the Castle. The type that you fear would kill a Gerudo if they saw one. You could stay here. They tolerate you. I offered you the choice to be my representative among them while I was gone, and yet…”
  • Loyal Animal Companion: Jamila
  • Magic Knight: Eventually, squire Nan and apprentice Ruuya become this.
  • Meaningful Name: A couple show up.
    • Ruuya. Derived from the Arabic name Ruya which means vision or sight.
    • Jamila, Arabic for beauty.
    • Gufuu, Vaati's (common in fanfic) alias. Vaati's name in Japanese was Gufū, meaning tornado or hurricane.
  • Mythology Gag
    • Vaati shouts at one point to be glad that the rope he's holding isn't an actual rope. "Rope" being the name of the snakes in the Legend of Zelda series.
    • While exploring some old ruins, Ruuya finds an old stick in a pot. She immediately tosses it aside, because she sees it as useless.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Not a hero, but Ruuya's thievery leads to severe consequences. The MacGuffin in a temple being swiped before the hero can get it, and Malice being unleashed into a river that leads into Lake Hylia, poisoning the water and causing many to fall ill and die. It's implied that had the actual Chosen One showed up, none of this would have happened.
  • Noodle Incident: Whatever happened to break the hinges on Alysse’s front door after Ruuya’s escape from being forced to rest.
  • Not in Front of the Kid: Ruuya suggests this when Vaati is ranting and cursing in front of a child. Mostly because it's four year old Princess Zelda.
  • Oh, Crap!: A few crop up.
    • Ruuya's reaction in the Dark World upon realizing that Jamila was left behind.
    • Malice appearing in the Spirit Temple.
    • The general reaction to Malice infecting the water supply.
    • Ruuya realizing that Ganondorf is alive and is in the castle.
  • The Owl-Knowing One: Alysse. Then later an actual owl that seems to be magical.
  • Playing with Fire: Seems to be becoming a favored element for Ruuya under Vaati's tutelage.
  • Punny Name: A couple.
    • Nan, like nanny goat.
    • Mr. Quikson, who is actually quite slow.
    • Baza, the bazaar owner.
  • Really 700 Years Old: Multiple characters to one extent or another. Time abyss for Vaati himself.
  • Seasonal Baggage: The passage of seasons is used to help indicate how much time has passed. All four are represented before the beginning of arc 3. In spring, Ruuya begins her new life. In summer, Windfall is built, representing the hopes, dreams, and freedom that those in Outcast Village had so longed for. In fall, a couple of people in a bar talk about Windfall's harvest. The town/city is prospering. In winter, Ruuya nearly loses her life, and the incident leave her with missing toes.
  • Secret Underground Passage: In Hyrule Castle, of course.
  • Sequence Breaking: A non-video game example. While exploring a temple, the adventurer manages to get through locked doors and generally avoid most of the combat areas and puzzles. Because she picked the locks and waited to see what was on the other side of each door before it closed.
  • Shout-Out: When Ruuya meets the Wizzrobes, they flock into the area, repeatedly saying "Boss". It's reminiscent of another flock that repeated a word while closing in on a main character.
  • Sorcerer's Apprentice: Ruuya under Vaati.
  • Villain Protagonist: Co-protagonist.
  • Year Outside, Hour Inside: How the Dark World works.