The World Within the Triforce
Several years had passed since Ganon's death, and Hyrule was again a peaceful nation. The Princess Zelda was then quite concerned when she began to sense an evil force about the Triforce. After much research and investigation, the Princess was shocked to discover that there was an entire world within the bounds of the Triforce's power. This world was home to the living essences of each piece of the Triforce; Din - the essence of power, Nayru - the essence of Wisdom, and Farore - the essence of Courage. Each essence was linked to a certain natural force within the Triforce's world. Din controlled the progression of the seasons, Nayru controlled the progression of time, and Farore controlled the magics and secrets of the land. Within this world, the people referred to these three women as Oracles, and held them in very high regard.
Zelda discovered two notable divisions in this world, the lands of Holodrum and Labryna. These lands, while individual in their own rights, shared many striking similarities with the lands of ancient Hyrule. It seemed that the Triforce, when first created, based the world within itself loosely on what it saw in the outside world. For this reason, species like the Gorons and Zoras still flourished - even noted historical figures like King Zora and Jabu Jabu. Holodrum and Labryna were truly magnificent lands, worthy of continued research. However, Zelda still sensed an evil presence. She was shocked when she discovered its true nature.
Koume and Kotake, the twin Gerudo witches that composed the famed witch Twinrova of ages long past, had managed to revive themselves. Somehow they had discovered the world within the Triforce, and they were attempting to exploit it to revive the dread lord Ganon. They had entered the Triforce of Courage, and were sending their minions to the other two Triforce pieces to capture Din and Nayru. They had begun an evil hexing ritual where by causing sorrow and destruction throughout the lands of Labryna and Holodrum, they could harness the evil energy and use it to bring Ganon back to life. In an attempt to prevent this horror from transpiring, Zelda sent her trusted nursemaid Impa into the Triforce to retrieve both Din and Nayru. However, things did not go as planned.
A Hero's Quest
Link had lived a relatively peaceful life since defeating Ganon and returning the Triforce to Hyrule. One day, however, he felt the Triforce call out to him. Intrigued, he traveled to Hyrule Castle and discovered the sacred triangles deep within a hidden chamber. They spoke to Link telepathically, "Accept our quest, hero!" and drew Link inside of themselves. Link awoke in the land of Holodrum, in the midst of a dance troupe led by Din, the Oracle of Seasons. Within minutes of their introduction, however, the evil general Onox appeared and snatched Din away. He imprisoned her in his tower, and sunk the Temple of Seasons. All control over the seasons was lost, the they changed arbitrarily without the slightest bit of notice. Link then found Impa, who had been sent by Zelda to find and retrieve Din. She told Link of her quest, and Link gladly volunteered to go in her steed.
In order to find and save Din, Link would first need to gain control of the seasons. By traveling to Subrosia, the underground land that the Temple of Seasons had sunk into, Link retrieved the Rod of Seasons - capable of changing the seasons at will. With this item and guidance from the Maku Tree - guardian of all of Holodrum - Link began to search for the Essences of Nature. By returning them all to the Maku Tree, the tree could grant Link access to Onox's Castle. Link's quest was long and difficult, but he eventually managed to retrieve the Essences of Nature from dungeons scattered across the land. He then took the fight directly to Onox, defeated him, and freed Din from his clutches. The Temple of Seasons returned from Subrosia, and order returned to the land. Little did Link know, but Onox had already done his damage. The Flame of Destruction had already been lit.
Link then traveled to the land of Labryna. He again found Impa, who led him to the Nayru - the Oracle of Ages. However, Impa was not herself. Cackling madly, an evil spirit arose from her body and revealed itself as the sorceress Veran. Veran snatched Nayru and took her to the Black Tower. With Nayru under her control, Veran could travel throughout time and alter events as she saw fit. Link attempted to consult the local Maku tree for advice, but it disappeared before his eyes. Veran had clearly been tampering with the timestream. Link searched until he found a portal through which he could travel back in time, and went to investigate.
In the past, the land was ruled over by the benevolent Queen Ambi. However, she had taken a recent change of heart. Veran, possessing Nayru, had installed herself as an advisor to the Queen and was subtly controlling her actions. The Queen had begun constructing the Black Tower, working the people of Labryna non-stop. Through this method, Veran hoped the spread the feeling of sorrow through the people, who weren't allowed a single break. Link found the Maku Scrub, the younger version of the Maku Tree, and protected it from the creatures that were attacking it. Now that the Maku Tree would be safe, Link returned to the present. The Maku Tree told Link that in order to confront Veran in the Black Tower, he would need to find the eight Essences of Time. After bravely trudging through past and present, Link eventually managed to collect all eight Essences. He confronted Veran, who was hiding within Nayru's body. He managed to drive her out and soundly defeat her. However, as in Holodrum, Link's efforts were in vain. The Flame of Sorrow had been successfully lit.
The lands of Holodrum and Labryna were safe, but Koume and Kotake's plans were still progressing nicely. Now, they needed only to light the flame of Despair. Princess Zelda, who had entered the Triforce out of worry for Link and Impa, was captured by the Gerudo witches and taken to their stronghold. Their plan was to use Zelda as the host for the spirit of Ganon. The despair that flowed throughout the land after her capture was more than enough to light the final flame. Link courageously rushed to their lair and engaged them in a mighty battle. Even after transforming into the fearsome Twinrova, Link successfully managed to defeat the witches and free Zelda. With Zelda no longer available as a host, Koume and Kotake sacrificed themselves in a desperate attempt to bring Ganon back to life. However, they were not able to revive him in full. All that came back was Ganon's raging body, and not his spirit. Link battled Ganon valiantly, and once again vanquished the evil brute. With the land of the Triforce finally safe, Link, Zelda, and Impa bid the inhabitants of Holodrum and Labryna a fond farewell.
The Dividing of the Triforce
After learning that the Triforce could still be used for evil, despite being locked deep within the castle, the wise men of Hyrule again decided to limit its accessibility. Sahasrahla took the initiative and hid away the Triforce of Courage in the Valley of Death on the largest island of Hyrule. He placed a "binding force" on the valley that could only be penetrated if six crystals were placed in six statues in six palaces throughout the land. He left these crystals and the instructions for their use in the chamber where the legendary sleeping Princess Zelda still lay. He sealed the chamber with a powerful magic, and placed a spell on the land. In his own words, "A crest will appear on a young man with that character who has been brought up correctly, has gained many kinds of experiences and reached a certain age." This young man would be able to enter the chamber and retrieve the crystals. Surely the one who could enter the chamber would have the virtue necessary to control the Triforce in full, and would be able to use it to awaken the sleeping princess. Confident in his defense of the Triforce of Courage, Sahasrahla stayed with it in the Great Palace to await a man deserving of its powers.
Chapter 5 Notes
Facts for Chapter 5 were taken from Adventure of Link backstory, Oracle of Seasons, and Oracle of Ages.
Tsk tsk, Capcom. You made some damn nice Zelda games, but you just had to make a mess of their plots, didn't you? Without being very creative, it's nearly impossible to place the Oracle games in the timeline with any accuracy. After all, they contain characters from the OOT timeline, but the complete Triforce is inside of Hyrule Castle - demanding that the games take place during the brief time period between Link to the Past and Legend of Zelda. And even if you DID somehow try to place the games directly after OOT, there's the Jabu Jaubu issue. The giant fish sits happily as an adult in Labryna, but when you travel back in time you find him in the same place as a baby. The only way that could possibly work is if Jabu Jabu's home was originally in Labryna, and he traveled to Hyrule solely for the events in OOT, and promptly left again when the game was over. Taking the entire Zora race with him. Sounds to ME like Capcom just didn't try very hard.
So, like I said, you have to be creative. I've gone ahead and placed the Oracle games right after LTTP, where they would logically go due to the Triforce's location and properties, and created a nice little alternate dimension for them to take place in! Seems a bit off the wall, doesn't it? But when you really think about it, it actually makes a lot of sense. Almost to the point of it seeming like that's the way it was meant to be interpreted.
So what is it that brings me to this conclusion? Well, let's start with the obvious - the names of the kingdoms the games take place in. Holodrum and Labryna. Those aren't names given to normal kingdoms, those are names given to crazy illusionary kingdoms. Sure, not a very convincing argument, but it's something. Next, we've got the sequence at the very beginning of the game where the Triforce tells Link to "accept their quest" and transports him to another land magically. If you ask me, that seems more like a cry for help than anything. A magical vortex isn't what you use to send someone to a land that can just be walked to, it's what you use to send someone to a land that can't be accessed by any other way.
Then, the Oracles themselves. Who are these women? People who just happen to be named after the three Goddesses, and just happen to be in possession of fantastic powers? I think not. They're clearly tied to the Triforce in some capacity, and making them the actual essences of each piece just works way to well to make them anything else. And of course, if they're the essences of the Triforce, they wouldn't just be walking around in the real world. They'd be inside the thing. And lastly, the characters and species in the game. Forget that King Zora and Jabu Jabu were from OOT - the entire Zora and Goron races had left Hyrule by the time LTTP came along. The peaceful ones, at least. By making these games take place within the Triforce, however, you can do whatever you want with the characters. You could have Darunia, Saria, and Ruto for all I care. Inside the Triforce, anything that happened outside in the past is free for the picking.
So, as you can see, it's a sound theory. It's a bit of a stretch, but that's sometimes what you have to do in order to make sense of these games.