The Darknut Legion is a planned playable faction in Hyrule Conquest.
The Darknuts (the Gerudo word for Cliff Lords) are a canine race (who love scritches) that originated from the mountain ranges west and south of the Gerudo desert. They are an ancient people, predated only by races of legend such as the Oocca and Fairies. In the past, their civilisation almost fell apart through civil warfare, and conflicts with border races such as the Gerudo and Moblins nearly resulted in the extinction of their race. Facing the end of their people, the warring leaders decided to put aside their differences and declared that from there on out every single Darknut would be trained to be a disciplined and unstoppable warrior at adolescence. After devising a rigorous code from which to follow, the Darknut Legion and its infamous armored warriors were born. From an early age, Darknuts are trained to wield the best armour, the biggest swords, and maintain the highest order of discipline to preserve their creed. Darknut philosophy places focus on the individual: if one soldier cannot master himself, then it is impossible for him to function in a group. For this reason, Darknuts often prefer to fight alone in engagements, leaving their comrades to their own devices when fighting against groups. When assembled into an army, the Darknuts are without a doubt the single most powerful force to walk Hyrule. This has come at a price, however, as the Darknut Legion places focus on the sword. Their faction has no archers at all, and little cavalry. That, combined with their slow speed, makes them hard to master despite their obvious prowess in a hand-to-hand fight. Regardless, a wall of Darknuts shrugging off hundreds of arrows as they slowly advance is bound to put doubt into most armies that they face.
Cliff Lords are bipedal canids similar in appearance to jackals, typically standing around two and a half meters tall. Both genders typically have very thin black fur and crimson eyes.
The official and national language of the Darknut Legion is the Cliff Lord Tongue. The Gerudo and Zuna languages are also recognized.
The Darknuts are an ancient people who can trace their origins to the Gerudo Cliffs, a mountain range in the west of Hyrule that separates the Gerudo Desert to the east from the southern Great Sea in the west. In ages past, their civilisation was fractured by constant civil wars and border conflicts with the ancient Gerudo, Moblins and Mazura. There exists the belief that the nomadic Wosu splintered from the Cliff Lords during this time.
The Darknut Legion was founded around 5000 BG to unite the Darknuts under a rigid military code and prevent future strife. The four founding leaders were some of the most powerful warriors it had ever seen; Baral, the strongest Darknut warrior of his time; Zalunbar; Yaraxonal, the Second Sage of Spirits; Senturon, the fabled Black Knight. Unbeknownst to any other Darknuts, Zalunbar was aided by the ancient Druthulidi Vaati, who promised him to make him a deity if he'd become his servant. Zalunbar had Baral assassinated in secret and subdued his remaining allies with power, as advisors and generals, leaving him to become the sole King of the Legion. During this time, the Darknut Legion defeated the Mazura and burned their capital to the ground, eventually integrating them within the Legion after around a decade.
A short time after the Legion's foundation Yaraxonal discovered Zalunbar and Vaati were planning to invade the Wind Tribe to steal the Triforce. She attempted to put a stop to them, but they enlisted her husband Senturon to trap Yaraxonal under the Cathedral of Ontheon. The plan worked, and Vaati was able to assume power over the winds while Zalunbar and Senturon acquired her ability to cease ageing. Together Zalunbar and Vaati controlled the Legion for several thousand years, leaving Yaraxonal sealed deep underneath the Cathedral of Ontheon.
Vaati and Zalunbar then initiated a crusade against the Wind Tribe. The Darknuts marched past the Hylian and Zora nations and instead invaded the mystical lands of the Wind Tribe known as Holodrum. A bloody war between the Darknut Legion and the Wind Tribe broke out, and the hidden cities in Holodrum were left in ruins.
The Darknuts were very close to obtaining the powers of the Wind Tribe, until the Hylians declared war against them and marched towards the Tarm Ruins, the last city of the Wind Tribe. The Darknuts were defeated at this last junction, allowing the Wind Tribe to escape to the skies. Senturon turned upon Vaati for having driven his people astray and tricked him to betray his wife, but Vaati brutally and effortlessly murdered him.
With the Wind Tribe gone from Hyrule, the Darknut Legion, furious with their loss, returned to their homeland and isolated themselves for many generations. Vaati continued to maintain Zalunbar's control over the Darknut Legion. Senturon, unknown to everyone else in the Legion, was resurrected by the Fairies of Tarm a short time after Vaati left. He wandered the world for ages, trying to avoid Vaati's attention.
In 1 BG, King Ganon of the Moblins, dissatisfied with the pride of the Gerudo Circle of Warlords and seeking allies to attack Hyrule Castle and secure the Triforce, comes to the Darknut Legion for aid. Zalunbar tries his best to not have to help the so-called 'filthy pigs', but he eventually has to submit to Ganon when Vaati reminds him that the Triforce is actually the power that the Wind Tribe had left on Hyrule before they departed to the skies.
The Darknut Legion marches alongside the Moblins and the traitorous Sheikah Dark Interlopers against the Kingdom of Hyrule. After the fall of Hyrule Prime, the Darknuts retreat to the Gerudo Cliffs, for Vaati thinks he's being manipulated to seek the Triforce at the same time as Demise and Dethl, the other surviving Druthulidi behind his Moblin and Sheikah allies.
Around 98 AG, Vaati forms an alliance with Twinrova and Agahnim and sets out to encourage the conflict between the various races of Hyrule. Vaati promises to aid Twinrova and Agahnim so long as the Darknut Legion was given control of Hyrule Castle after the Kingdom had been destroyed.
Throughout the Gerudo Wars, Zalunbar and the Darknuts generally keep a low profile while letting the Gerudo do most of the fighting. When the Gerudo warlord Ganondorf sacks Hyrule Castle Town and kills Princess Marhala Nohansen Zelda III in a duel, Agahnim orders the Gerudo to retreat and let Onan and the Darknut Legion occupy the city.
A few months after the fall of Hyrule, the Darknuts manage to capture Impa, the Sage of Shadows. According to Darknut customs, she'll be given an appropriate Darknut weapon - a huge greatsword - to fight in gladiatorial combat to the death with Darknut challengers. The crowd, among which rank Vaati, Agahnim and Onan, laughs when she finds herself unable to lift the sword, but Impa makes a joke out of the challenges by killing all three challengers in very creative, comedic, decidedly non-Darknut ways.
At this point, Princess Oraiya Zelda IV comes to offer Agahnim a proposal to spare both the Gerudo and Darknuts should they leave her kingdom immediately. When he refuses, Zelda tells him she no longer recognises her father, before Impa, General Kazakk, General Akazoo and the garrison openly rebel against the Darknut Legion.
After Agahnim is killed, the Gerudo-Darknut alliance breaks. In a last ditch attempt to escape, Vaati captures Princess Zelda IV and flees to Ontheon. There Vaati convinces Zalunbar to maintain a defensive stance. Throughout the remainder of the Gerudo Wars the Darknuts remain in Ontheon with Princess Zelda as their prisoner.
As the battle rages outside, Senturon finally makes his move. Leading the Gerudo traitor Nabooru and the Hylian children Link and Lana under the Cathedral of Ontheon, he finds Yaraxonal encased in stone and manages to free her.
Yaraxonal then ascends from Ontheon and confronts Vaati, nearly ripping apart his Minish host. She forms a short pact with the Hylians and the Gorons and aids them in assaulting Ontheon. With the help of the invaders, she manages to kill both Zalunbar and Vaati, ending their five-millennia tyranny over the Darknut Legion.
Second Golden Age
Yaraxonal and Senturon both take the throne of the Legion after their victory. After Ganondorf is convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment by the Hylians, they hand him to the Darknut Legion to jail him in the fortress of Baral's Stand.
Strengths, Weaknesses and Abilities
- Unmatched Armour: The Darknuts are infamous for their nearly impenetrable armour, making them pound for pound the most powerful soldiers in all of Hyrule.
- Heavy Contenders: Darknuts are all very slow and most are unable to run because of their massive armour.
- Honor Bound: The Darknuts have a strict code of ethics and honor that prevents them from using weapons other than swords. As such they lack cavalry, archers, and other specialised units outside of infantry.
- Lord Race: In the campaign, the Darknuts are nearly worshiped by the Fokka and Mazura, and generally are aided by the Zuna of the Gerudo Desert. Mercenaries are also generally more willing to work for them regardless of pay.
- Fokka Hypaspist
- Mazura Hippikon
- Lynel Pride
- Idol Throne
Main article: Mercenaries
- The Darknut legion's faction symbol is based on the shields wielded by the Darknuts in The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker.