Jump to content
Posted Mar 10 2013 - 01:32 AM
Posted Mar 11 2013 - 01:38 AM
The tide was turning.
Even without the help of Oreius' mask, the Manas would not have been able to hold off the Maru for long. The Toa were simply too powerful; their elemental and physical strength was raw and unpolished, but formidable nonetheless in its sheer ferocity. And, as Stannis would have said, they had destiny on their side.
Sulov killed his Manas first, his brute strength not much less than that of the creature he was fighting. He was followed closely by Reordin, who teamed up with Leah to finish off two at once. Water and ice. Unity in action.
Oreius and Inu were next to defeat their opponent. As the Manas jumped at them, they ducked, their transformation complete, then leapt, their strengthened legs carrying them higher than they could have possibly jumped before, as though they were a Toa of Air instead of a Toa of Fire. They landed on the other side of the Rahi, then turned with inhuman speed, battering at the creature with all the strength of a Kane-Ra and the speed of a Muaka.
The Manas tried to regain the offensive, but every time it tried to throw out its claw to catch its opponent, the Toa dodged with uncanny speed and agility and deflected the blow before counterattacking. Their silver knives slashed the air like forks of metallic lightning, scarring the Rahi's armour before finally slipping past its guard and planting one of their knives deep in its shoulder.
The creature screamed, but the cry of pain and fury couldn't raise its useless claw from the dead, nor repair its broken treads. The Manas' entire right side was crippled; all that could be seen of the Toa's weapon was the hilt, protruding from the slit in its armour like a splinter.
With one arm down, the Manas tried to retreat, but Oreius and Inu cut it off before ducking under its feeble attempt at a defense and digging their other blade into the left shoulder.
The Rahi's other claw dead; the creature clashed its mandibles in rage, but the fight was over. Both its treads were torn; it couldn't escape.
Oreius and Inu stood before their opponent, hardly even breathing heavily. They closed their eyes; their fists clenched, and then their arms seemed to retract slightly; their bowed back straightened, and their eyes cleared, the battle-lust draining from their mind.
Oreius blinked, and waited for the familiar wave of weariness, but it didn't come. The battle had taken a minute at most; all he felt was a slight weakening, as though he had just gone for a light jog. Inu had plenty of energy left.
The Manas still struggled to move away from him; dribbles of saliva puddled on the ground, mixing with the blood leaking from its shoulders. The Toa of Fire strode up to the Rahi; it snapped at him, but he paid it no heed. Instead, he lightly jumped over its head, and landed on the carapace.
Planting both hands firmly on the metallic shell, the Toa reached deep into the Rahi and pulled the heat from its body, sucking out every last drop of warmth. The Manas' eyes dimmed and then died, and a thin coating of frost covered its exoskeleton.
That done, Oreius wrenched his weapons from the crab's corpse, and turned back to the battle that his brothers were still fighting.
Korero was keeping his Rahi on the defensive using his element, calling up gusts of wind to pummel it and keep it off balance. Stannis had adopted a similar strategy: using his polearm, he was jabbing and swiping at the giant crab, warding off its attacks. Neither Toa nor Rahi were wounded -yet.
That was open to change at any second.
The Manas were smart; both had already seemed to figure out their opponents' strategies, and were beginning to try to use them to their advantage. Korero's Manas faked a jump to one side, and when the Toa of Air summoned a blast of air to knock it back, it ducked under the attack and sprinted straight for the Le-Toa, having learned not to leap at a Toa of Air.
Korero rolled to the side, dodging the Rahi's first strike, but the infected creature followed up with another blow that managed to glance off the Le-Toa's shoulder, knocking him to the ground. Except... he didn't hit the ground. The Manas leaped, hungry jaws slavering, but landed on the bare rock. Its prey had vanished.
Thanks to his Mask of Jumping, Korero hadn't even bruised himself from his tumble. Activating his mask in mid-air, he had warped behind the Manas, a metre or so off the ground, and landed on his feet, soft as a snowflake. As the Rahi leapt for the spot he had been, he threw both arms straight up, and the resulting vertical blast of wind catapulted his opponent high into the air.
The Manas screeched in dismay as it began to fall, but it was hardly in mortal danger. Its carapace was tough enough to ward off most weapons; it would be bruised from the fall, but nothing more.
Then Korero acted.
His hands, still held high in the air, were suddenly thrust to the ground as the Toa of Air called down a mighty gale that accelerated the Manas' fall exponentially, sending it rocketing down towards the unforgiving stone.
The resulting impact was fatal, as was obvious by the sight of the crustacean's insides splattered throughout the cavern.
Stannis was the last to defeat his opponent. His Manas bit and swiped at thin air, but skilful jabs of his pole-arm kept the creature at bay. The Wanderer's sharp eyes flickered from side to side, weighing options and strategies that only he knew, waiting for an opportunity.
The Rahi forced him to make a choice. Much like Korero's opponent had, it faked an attack to one side and then leapt at Stannis, clearing the Po-Toa's weapon and threatening to crush him.
But Stannis, though both a new Toa and a prophet, was not inexperienced in combat. He had fought Rahi bigger than this crab, and won. His actions, however, didn't support that. He simply stood there; he didn't try to dodge or get out of the way of the Manas' leap.
Instead, the Toa of Stone mentally reached into the earth beneath him, and pulled up a block of stone that pushed through the soil just behind him. Just in time, he managed to brace his pole-arm against the rocky outcropping, and the infected Rahi drove itself upon the point. Stannis' strength alone would not have been able to pierce its carapace; it impaled itself upon the deadly point of the weapon, and fell to the ground, defeated by the staunch strength of stone.
The six Toa stood, motionless and silent, as they beheld the aftermath of the battle. All six Manas were dead, and the heroes themselves, aside from scratches and bruises, had escaped injury. The darkness closed in around them, thick and almost stifling, but even the bleak influence of the Makuta couldn't keep a fierce joy and pride from welling up in the Toa's hearts as they surveyed their victory.
The buzz didn't last long, though. Each one of them knew that the Manas had been only a taste of Makuta's power. A test. There would be far worse ahead; they didn't need a prophet to tell them that.
Gathering together again, the Maru readied their weapons, and walked deeper into the darkness.
Posted Mar 11 2013 - 07:07 PM
IC: Vidar – Kini Nui Temple
What was Vidar even doing here?
This was a valid question, though one has to stop and wonder why you’re asking this now.
Oh, that’s right. You’re (as far as you know) dying; slowly and painfully.
Normally, this would be the part where Vidar thinks back almost 100 years ago, when he first encountered his mentor, Ronkshou. The pain, the promises, the thirst for revenge; one couldn’t blame the young Le-Matoran, raised by the jungle, for walking with the first person who showed even the faintest interest in improving him. One couldn’t blame Vidar for allying himself with the servants in exchange for a polished ability to fight, a sharpened skill in hunting, excellent elemental prowess, and of course, revenge against the Toa who supplanted Vidar’s parents with the brutality of nature: Toa Insontro.
Is that the scapegoat that would justify Vidar’s plight? Is the starting point of a string of painful memories, bloodied bodies of innocence, and unrelenting disdain for his existence nothing more than an objectively insane Toa of Sonics?
Or is the starting point something deeper? Something from within?
It would have been difficult for anyone on that battlefield to not notice the spine-chilling, heads-splitting scream that burst from the Kini Nui Suva in an expending circle of anguished sound. Even Rahi – those free and those enslaved – stopped for a precious moment at the abrupt cry of pain. All curious eyes were on one being – one monster that had spread fear among Matoran for almost a century.
Most people could not be expected to know the exact details of the Parakuka and how they worked. The ones who knew best were the now deceased Turaga, and not all of them wrote down notes of their observations. As such, Vidar had no idea if Joske truly knew what he did to Vidar or if he even knew what he almost did to Vidar.
For all intents and purposes, Vidar was dying.
Imagine for a moment that somehow, your nerves were being ripped from within your spine and any resulting cavities were filled with salt water. Multiply that by a hundred and if you have a faint idea of what Vidar felt. While being forcibly bonded with the Parakuka was a painful and traumatic experience in of itself, at least it was a state of agony that Vidar’s brain could manage.
Vidar’s mind, resilient and quick as it was, could not manage this.
Usually, a Parakuka being cut from its host caused severe mental repercussions and death soon after. Vidar was fortunate though; the parasite wasn’t physically removed, nor did it die in a manner that would normally kill the host. Instead, Joske’s attack was more like the curing of a poison; all of the shadow elements that fed off Vidar melted away, reverting Vidar precisely back to the state he was in before the bonding.
Unfortunately, this process did not do anything to block the pain from the mental separation. As a result, the body lived, but the mind was broken.
Possibly the most tragic fact is that Vidar’s last coherent thoughts were not of regret, not of reconsidering his past actions, not even of an incisive lust for vengeance against Joske as Vidar floated in that shining container. Vidar returned the defiant eyes of Joske with a look of devious toothy grin, one that would have uttered a snarky comment if Vidar could.
Let it all out of your system, Toa. Your power will deplete, my partner will break you, and I will recover.
The subsequent purge, hit all of Vidar’s nerves at once, wrenching and breaking his mind before he could deliver another coherent thought. All screams and movement afterwards were done by his subconscious. Vidar would live, but he would fight no more.
IC: Ronkshou – Kini Nui Temple
Ronkshou’s eyes narrowed as he watched Vidar’s parasite disintegrate before his very eyes. When the light dissipated, only a moaning, twitching Toa of Air remained, lying face down atop the temple.
Direct contact would clearly not work, and Ronkshou began to assess the situation at hand. What he would do next depended on a very important question:
How detrimental could Ronkshou’s body become, in the event that Ronkshou was no longer around to control it?
He refused to acknowledge his own actual name, and stuck to the idea that he and his uninfected half were do separate minds – an idea that has merit, but hasn’t been wholly confirmed. At any rate, if his disinfected body was fresh in mind and strength, the forces of the Makuta might never get to the Suva. Getting to the Suva was top priority.
However, the only way Ronkshou could be certain that his disinfected body didn’t further decimate Makuta’s forces was to destroy it himself… a last-ditch move that Ronkshou wasn’t even sure he was capable of doing. His reason for existing is to serve and help the Makuta, which meant protecting himself from death and disinfection at all costs… including death?
Ronkshou peeked over the Muaka again to see that Joske had spotted him from the top of the temple. He it would take little physical force to defeat the Toa of Light once and for all. The key here was to get a hit in; not send all 20-something Rahi at him. He needed a distraction.
The Infected Toa looked over his remaining battalion: 1 Kuma Nui, 4 Tarakava, 1 Nui Rama, 3 Muaka (including the one he was hiding behind), 4 Nui Jaga, and 1 Kane-Ra. Only fourteen Rahi, and dwindling fast.
Ronkshou would make those fourteen count.
Ronkshou got the attention of 3 Tarakava lizards, and motioned them to attack the Toa of Light. Still operating under the same master, the Rahi obeyed Ronkshou’s motions and sped towards the staggering Toa. The Infected Toa then summoned the fourth Tarakava, and had it circle around to ambush Joske from behind. Ronkshou then considered the possibility of Joske jumping to the side. To take care of that, Ronkshou sent a Muaka to circle around and taker down Joske only if he moved out of the way of the oncoming Tarakava. Ronkshou had witnessed some gorey collisions in the past, and he wanted to avoid that to the best of his ability.
Ronkshou remained by his giant cat to watch the battle plan unfold, while coming up with the next battle plan in the event Joske escaped.
Edited by Emzee, Mar 11 2013 - 07:09 PM.
FCG Devlog Entry #2: A Lesson in More Money Than Time
Posted Mar 12 2013 - 05:46 PM
As the Manas came crashing down, Korero felt his heart leap in triumph. His opponent was defeated, its brawn outsmarted thanks to his new mask and powers. Adrenaline rushed through his veins, and his face was filled with a smile of fierce joy -
Which slowly died away as he saw the fruits of his victory. The giant crab lay there, its armour dashed to pieces, its masks shattered, its lifeblood draining away onto the black stone floor. And even as he looked into the Rahi's dimming yellow eyes, he saw its sadness, its pain. It let out a quiet, mournful chitter.
The Toa of Air felt his victorious elation drain away, his triumph curdling inside him as his gut wrenched itself with regret. He walked guiltily over to the dying Manas, and knelt down in front of it. Its pained eyes slid to look sadly up at him. Korero felt a lump in his throat.
"I'm sorry," he whispered, placing a hand on the cracked carapace of the creature's head. "I..." He choked on his words, the realisation of what he had done overpowering him. A tear fell, splashing softly onto the shell as he and the crab looked into each other's eyes, a silent exchange of guilt from both; the Rahi, that had, against its will, so viciously attacked; and the Toa, who, in his new-found power, had done more than he intended.
The crab chittered again, more weakly, and tried to move, but only caused itself more pain.
Korero looked down at the broken creature, his eyes full of regret. Calling on his power for more gentle means, he summoned a soft breeze to soothe the crab in its last moments. The Manas made a noise like a sigh, comforted by the cooling breeze, and its eyes began to dim.
They went dark.
Korero closed his own eyes, and bowed his head. A few moments later, he straightened up, walking over to join his brothers. The sorrow in his eyes had been replaced by righteous anger. Makuta had caused too much suffering; too many innocent creatures and beings had been corrupted or killed because of him.
But now, his reckoning was coming.
Posted Mar 14 2013 - 10:53 AM
OOC: I am not back yet, just found the time to write a few posts the past two nights, had some trouble getting them online, actually. Remote Island wi-fi isn’t the best.
It was done. With a pained screech, the last Manas found itself impaled upon Stannis’ halbeard, the tip of the weapon protruding slightly from the chitinous shell on the crabs back as well, a testament to the force with which it had flung itself at the Toa of stone. He removed his weapon from the dead Rahi, which fell on its back.
The vast, cavernous chamber slowly returned to its previous state around them as the last of Manas was slain. Silence fell once more over the room and a creeping darkness, the fog that the Toa of water had dispelled a few minutes earlier was closing in on them again as they looked over the fallen Rahi.
Leah let out a deep breath, calming herself down. She could feel her heartbeat slowing down as the rush of adrenaline began to drop again after immediate action was over. She looked around at the outcome of the encounter. The Manas were all down, dead or dying, broken bodies at the feet of the Maru. Two had been beaten to a pulp; the ones she and Reordin had taken out were lying in a pool of acid, their innards dissolving with soft, hissing noises; one had been frozen to its very core and the last one impaled.
The realisation of what the Maru had just done sunk in, along other things she had not taken the time to think about. And Leah crossed out another item from her mind’s list of things that she would have never dreamed about doing just a week ago. Taking on a group of Manas, infected ones at that, definitely was on said list.
The Toa of water’s eyes showed great relief, but also a slight feeling of pity. She had not felt it when they had brought down the six Rahkshi earlier. But unlike them, the Manas, despite being aggressive and dangerous enough on their own, had been forcefully slaved to the Makuta’s will, reduced to killing-machines. Beast or not, it was not a fate she wished upon anybody. The thought of Matoran and Toa wearing infected masks sickened her.
But she also noticed something else: The almost indifferent calm with which she had let the days past events wash over her thus far was largely gone by this point. So much had happened in the past two days that her mind had seemingly decided to just accept whatever was happening to her and the others. One moment she was hunting stones of power with them, the next they were the successors to the Mata, fighting Rahkshi, then racing to Kini-Nui. If she had stopped earlier to question all of these things she would have been overwhelmed. The question ‘Is this really happening?’ had not come up. Her training had prevented it, allowing her to accept the changes as they came and deal with what she could in the moment. But the fight with the Manas had shaken her out of that state. It had taken until now, but the Toa of water finally fully embraced what she had become. It was only a subtle change, but one she was very aware of.
Instead of the slightly distant feeling from before, she was experiencing something different now, which was hard to describe exactly. She felt much more ‘in the moment’ than she had previously. She had experienced the fight with the Manas much more vividly than that with the Rahkshi. But at the same time, she felt like could still step back mentally, and assess the situation. Put in simplest terms: Her former soldier-mindset started to mix with that of the Toa Mata whose essence was now within her.
And the was one other thing: The former Le-Matoran felt as if the element she now wielded also influenced her emotions, probably a side-effect of the transformation. And like the seas she could now control, the calm waters could bring terrible destruction if given a reason. And Leah had more than enough reasons to do just that.
The fact that the Manas had only been the first obstacle was one. More were to come and they were only going to become more difficult.
The righteous anger that had started to rise within her after this fight was another. Leah walked over to Korero, placing a gentle hand on his shoulder, pulling him up. She knew what he felt.
Makuta had a lot to answer for. And he would answer, the Maru were going to make sure of that.
In his time as a member of the guard, Agni had seen his fare share of battle against the Makuta’s Rahi forces. Even before the original Mata had arrived, when he was still a Matoran, his fellow guardsmen and him had stood up to the creatures the dark one had brought under his rule and kept the village of Ta-Koro safe. But the way they had gone about it then had been nothing like the fight now.
As a Matoran, without special powers, the only option that included victory was to use superior tactics to those of the Rahi the Makuta sent. While the master of shadow’s mind might have been infinitely greater, his Rahi were still animals. More vicious and deadly in one way, they were relying on their master to give them orders on the other as well and that fact had allowed them more than once to outsmart the beasts.
A typical tactic they’d used had been a bait and trap. Small groups of scouts lured the dangerous Rahi into a ravine or other difficult terrain an the other guards would block the Rahi’s escape-route with obstacles. Then it was just a question of skilled disk-throwing to get rid of the infected masks. It was a tried and true method.
But the obstacles they had used then had always been inanimate. Rocks, large boulders, massive tree-trunks, fire-pits…
Agni never would have thought that the obstacle might have been one living being, one Toa. But today, that was just what was happening. Like waves colliding with breakers, the Makuta’s servants broke against Joske.
This was not how Agni had thought the fight would go. He had assumed he and the other Toa that had found their way to the temple were the first and last line of defense for the Maru below. Joske had been the wildcard in the plan. Agni didn’t know how far his new powers extended, he imagined even Joske didn’t fully know either.
But instead of letting him do his thing while they took the brunt of the attack, the damage Joske was dealing alone was enough to draw most of the attention away from them and on him. And if the radiant waves of light had been the most awesome display thus far, the scream of Vidar with which his Parakuka was vaporized and the taint purged from his body, topped it by far. Despite all that, Joske didn’t look too good. In fact, he looked like he was going to collapse if it weren’t for his element. Still, he was not out of the fight and that meant he was dangerous, like he had just proven.
Their opponents seemed to have the same opinion. They attempted less and less to overwhelm the defenders with numbers and instead became more methodical in their attacks, it seemed to Agni. The Toa of electricity that had approached together with the latest wave of Rahi kept his distance as well. Not surprising, considering Joske was the purging fire to burn away the wickedness in the dark ones at this point.
If they wanted to get to the Suva they were going to try something different and they would do it quickly. Agni tried to put himself in their position mentally, to think of the best way they might try to get at them. The defenders had the higher ground with the temple right now and the advantage of the open field surrounding them. Sneaking up would be harder too, since there was the ravine behind them that separated the temple from the Amaja Nui.
He looked to his right. Dalia was still holding her side of the temple, where there had mostly been Rahi to deal with. On his left, Verak was apparently having a good time. His glee was odd, to say at least, but he was there and he was fighting, so the veteran wasn’t going to complain. There was a newcomer though. And with Verak all over the place, Agni could use him.
“Verak! Which side is the weaker one?” the newcomer shouted.
“Well, I’d be guessin’ that it’s my side- there sure are a lot of Rahi out there,” came Verak’s reply.
Agni called out to him. “We need somebody to cover the left and rear, you up for it?”
Kohra crouched atop the branch of a tree on the southern side of the great temple, concealed in the canopy of the jungle growing there. Perched like a bird of prey she watched the battle unfold, trying to see what strengths and weaknesses were present on both sides before making a move of her own.
Her eyes were narrow, though, because the way the fight went, it didn’t look good for them, not like it had at first. The ragtag group of defenders that had answered the call of the blast of light and had assembled to defend the Suva-Nui was a hastily assembled one. But instead of being overrun like the initial plan had dictated, the Rahi and other servants of Makuta were being held at bay by the Toa. Maybe if the Toa of light hadn’t been there it would all be over by now. Maybe if Echelon and Utu were still in the fight or on their side. But no, they had both failed. And now Vidar had, as well. The Parakuka-enhanced Toa had earned his deadly reputation, but the Toa of light had beaten him brutally.
A soft, hissing growl escaped her throat. These so-called ‘heroes’ were no less evil than her or the others they labelled as villains; and fighting to claim that for themselves which rightfully belonged to the Makuta and nobody else. His presence was fading in and out of her mind, being everywhere at once.
She needed to do something. But she was not a frontline fighter. She was an agent of the darkness; an assassin, saboteur, spy. She did her best work away from the light, which could hurt her. Joining a direct assault was not an option. The defenders worked well together, were coordinated and covered each other. But if she could take one of them down, perhaps their line would crumble and they would have a shot to get rid of the Toa of light.
She felt another impulse then, relayed through her mental connection with the darkness. Ronkshou was preparing a diversion and sending a Tarakava and Muaka around to try and get behind the temple. It was a risky proposal. They had the numbers, but there was still open ground to cover. If the frontal-attack did not draw their attention, then the ambush was out the window. But perhaps, she could get into position to make her own move during it. She sent a thought out to the darkness, hoping it would find its way to Ronkshou.
A few moments later, she heard the rustling of leaves in the brush below and looking down, saw the top of the Muaka that was stalking through the undergrowth to get closer to the temple.
With the same agility as thee feline, Kohra slipped down from her vantage point, dropped down a few feet, caught herself on another branch before carefully dropping onto the Muaka’s back. The Rahi shifted its shoulders momentarily, slightly irritated, but with its task assigned, it continued to move, taking the Vortixx with it. When it charged, she would spring into action as well…
Posted Mar 15 2013 - 06:15 PM
Edited by Takua Dragonstar7, Mar 23 2013 - 11:09 PM.
Posted Mar 15 2013 - 08:31 PM
OOC: @Takua Dragonstar7 You can always randomly get into other stories unless otherwise specified by the 'story maker', and this one is an open story, but you're probably missing the fact that this is the culmination of 2012's entire game main plot, and it's practically a 'closed off' area to those who either weren't here already, aren't members of the main plot, or didn't have a logical way of arriving. For me , I had a lazy Makuta servant who just didn't move. You're perfectly fine to join.....but make one word wrong, one wrong person you're attacking, and you're gonna get hit in the face so hard your face will hate your brain and run away.
For my character, I'm waking him up now, and depending on what side Ryzen is on, I'll happily join him as he pounds others or pound him as hard as I can.
The bright light that came again and again woke him up. He had no permanent injuries; he could tell Agni was too stuck to the code and too focused on the situation to actually even bother to fully keep the Toa of Iron to stay down.
The main issue was HOW Agni had taken Aurum down; while the amount of craziness around him was causing enough heat, and he'd had enough time for the lack of body heat to actually return, the main issue was that he felt like an old, fat man who'd been staring at nothing for days apart from food. He felt like he hadn't even used his body for a long, long time, and each of his organic muscle's micro-tears, right now, felt a bit like no matter how stretched or un-stretched the muscles were, they were practically on fire.
It didn't stop him, though, and quickly he pushed himself back up, and started to modify his own armor again; sleeker, more mobile, faster. Another shield was in his left hand but this didn't have the same use as the one he'd blocked most of Agni's fires with - this was a last resort.
Both of his Protosteel weapons were still attached to his armor. But his right arm turned into another weapon; from the middle of the forearm all the way to the end of the fingertips was the handle with a brace to hopefully not snap his hand as he poked hard. The brace and handle were for a big, shiny lance.
And it was, hopefully, a good enough counter to Joske and his annoying hardlight.
Posted Mar 16 2013 - 08:47 PM
Edited by Takua Dragonstar7, Mar 23 2013 - 11:10 PM.
Posted Mar 17 2013 - 05:30 PM
Battle clashed and surged through the clearing of the Kini-Nui, with the Toa of Light at the heart of it. Echelon stood, still leaning on his staff, at a safe distance from the carnage at the temple itself, but he was more than conscious of the danger he faced. He was injured, he was maskless, and already this 'Joske Nimil' had crippled Vidar - with the beast-like Toa at full strength, no less.
Echelon caught a glimpse of something dark nearby - a crumpled, charred shape; the Necromancer's experienced eyes immediately identified it as a Toa's corpse. Without his Tryna, the body itself was of no use to him - but its Kanohi was.
Holding out a hand, Echelon summoned a magnetic pull and the mask detached from the corpse's face and floated to him. He caught it by the eyeholes with two fingers, placing it on his face with a soft click. Feeling some of his power return, he smiled wryly. How ironic; it was a Calix.
The Dark Toa strode over to where Utu lay prone. The massive Toa lay slumped on the ground, drying blood lying in crimson lines from his nose and ears, staining the dirt beneath him. Once again, Echelon raised the Control Stone to his lips.
Echelon didn't know whether Utu was conscious or not; but either way, the body was in charge, and it heaved itself up. Echelon glared into its empty eyes. Now was not the time for revenge...but that time would come. Once Ronkshou dispatched this glorified glowbug, and Makuta dealt with the foolish new Toa Team, the time would come.
Posted Mar 18 2013 - 01:38 AM
The apprehension of the Shadow Toa was great. The great deed awaited them, and they were ready; they would dig their teeth into the chests of their foes and bite back their own essences, if that was what it'd take. Each, for his or her own reasons, felt a thudding between the ears and the a hotness in the heart: rage. They had not been unified as a sextet since before the first betrayal, but now a sinister kinship of blood lust awakened in them. The shades of the First Toa understood that they could not lose this battle; the stakes were high, because to die today would be to die empty. Yet for all of their anticipation, the Shadow Toa were still proud. Their golden eyes gleamed with self awareness.
Only the resentful Heuani wore a boot of humiliation; only he was buckled still to earth by hefty chains. He could no longer fight for his master, he would, of course, never fight for his brothers. And she would not compel Heuani's bitter heart into loyalty. He would fight for himself alone; helping anyone else was not in his best interests, so he told himself. Yet Heuani knew, and he cursed his inner insubordination, that he could not leave her to die, not if it came to that. He only hated himself when she was on his mind... the last thing he needed. He needed his control; he understand progressively that he would never have it. Maybe he never truly had. She was back, and he hated himself. Why did the dimness so irresistibly accentuate her? Why did the meager light so deliciously define her trim waist, her elegant neck, her tantalizing lines, her soft, firm-
The unheard voice of his master snapped Heuani from his reverie; it gave him and his comrades the simultaneous command. Ghastly impulses, they dissolved into the darkness around them.
Midway through a dimly-lit hall of titanic pillars, the Maru were presented with their dark reflections. Serpentine and languorous, the Shadow Toa stepped out of the darkness into a loose line that faced their destined foes. Heuani looked to either side as the others' hands were surrounded by nebulae of dark energy that, when they faded, were replaced by various deadly-looking weapons. He spotted rib-digger claws, a serrated hatchet, a spider sword, a ball on a chain, twin sickles. His own blade, translucent and wavy, may not have been able to have been summoned by shadow, but it sang with a dangerous noise as Heuani tapped its tip against the ground.
"Feel free to walk around us," Heuani said, glad to hear his voice was able to maintain its usual musicality despite Heuani's removal from his own assurance. His words and the ping of his tapping blade echoed. "We won't take it personally. But I can assure you that your deaths, were you to take that path, would be quite personal." The other Toa of Shadow took Heuani's smiling pause to appraise their enemies; the Maru stood as proudly as they. Each of the Shadow Toa noticed a particular subconscious mannerism that had once belonged to them; the infernos of their souls were given new fuel. Heuani's eyes were immediately drawn to his own doppelganger; something about how he stood...
"Your other option is the only one that could lead to success, and it's a straight shot through my... friends and I." Heuani went on, trying his best to minimize the irony. "We want you dead. You want us dead. I've always valued directness. So let's get on with it."
Posted Mar 18 2013 - 01:49 PM
Ic: The team walked with a mixture of apprehensive assuredness, strengthened by their previous display of teamwork and ability, as they worked their way through the vast area. But as another team of six toa materialized like wraiths in the night through the mists of the underworld the Maru could not help but feel both the tinge of excitement and the shiver of fear sliver down their spines. It was Stannis who understood who these toa were instantly as he took note of Heuani's presence: These were the Toa Mata, the First Toa. Heroes reduced to feral monsters of the night.
Heuani's voice, though never heard before by Stannis, was instantly recognizable as belonging to the deadly minion due to the melodious nature it wafted , but still bittersweet like the scent of rotten flesh candied and preserved with herbs. It was a graceful touch of death. "Feel free to walk around us," Heuani said. "We won't take it personally. But I can assure you that your deaths, were you to take that path, would be quite personal. Your other option is the only one that could lead to success, and it's a straight shot through my... friends and I. We want you dead. You want us dead. I've always valued directness. So let's get on with it."
Stannis bored his grey eyes at Heuani and his digits tickled the shaft of his polearm as he remembered the vow he made not so long ago: He will fight Heuani. His attention was rapaciously directed at the shadow toa, eager to face off against the being he was warned about and told to fear, and Heuani sensed this. The opposite toa's evil eyes looked back at Stannis with a bemused expression on his face. Stannis was no toa of light and his element was mundane when compared to the advanced nature of Shadow; what kind of challenge could a mere man hope to mount against Heuani, the shadow toa seemed to ponder. But Heuani's expressed transformed from one of curiosity to a tinge of apprehension when he realized something was wrong.
Stannis' eyes were not diverted. There was nothing but holy essence boiling at Heuani. This man was an enigma to match Heuani as Destiny would have it. "Oh how far the mighty First Toa have fallen," Stannis droned. They were the only words he spoke before the Toa Maru matched their precursors' positions of war. Each of the Maru seemed to direct their visage at an opposite toa, six for six. They were going to have to fight through these people.
But Stannis disagreed with Heuani; They had no intention to kill these shadows no matter how much they wanted to kill the Maru. The Toa Code that the Maru felt as second nature told them not to kill. Stannis narrowed his eyes and charged for Heuani with the energy of righteous fury, determined to best the notorious lieutenant. His halberd was held aloft like a banner for the Great Spirit and prepared to cleave Heuani down in a mighty sweep across the breast -- and then, just as Heuani raised his flamberge, Stannis altered the course of the halberd; the sweep was a feint. Instead, he reversed the sweep and used the end of the shaft as the striking point to shove Heuani's sword away and strike his neck with the pommel of the halberd with all the force he could muster.
Posted Mar 18 2013 - 01:51 PM
Korero raised his shield in a defensive position.
"Wait!" he shouted, and even the Shadow Toa paused momentarily. His golden eyes searched each of their yellow ones, pleading for some shred of compassion left in them. "We don't have to do this!"
"Oh yes we do," came a low voice from nearby. One of the dark sentinels approached slowly. Korero's eyes darted over his form - hunched slightly; powerfully built, particularly around the legs; his armour sleek but sharper and more jutting than Heuani's, like the shadows cast by blades. Even corrupted by Shadow, his physique was unmistakable.
"Pohatu?" Korero asked quietly, both fear and awe gripping him as the Shadow Toa hefted a wickedly spiked flail of black metal.
"Once," the Toa replied. Instantly, he raised the flail above his head, swung it once in a circle, and brought it smashing into Korero's shield with massive force. The Toa of Air staggered back, the bones in his shield-arm seeming to vibrate from the impact. The shield seemed to have protected him from some of the weapon's momentum, but the attack was still jarring to say the least.
The being that was once Pohatu didn't give him any time to recover. Another swing came, the spikes of the flail whistling through the still air, almost ramming into Korero's gut had the Toa of Air's reflexes not been so quick. Korero barely shrugged it off, moving back into his defensive stance. He locked eyes with his opponent.
"You took our souls, our essences," intoned the Shadow Toa. "Now we will take back what is ours."
"We took nothing from you," Korero replied defiantly. "Makuta did that. Please. Let us help you."
"You are going to help us." The words were delivered with precise disdain. "With your deaths."
Posted Mar 18 2013 - 08:30 PM
Heuani ducked his head to the side of Stannis' intended blow, leaving the halberd to swoop butt-first through empty shadow. Stannis tried to catch Heuani with his blade again as the Toa of Shadow darted away, but Stannis' weapon was for its length slow to redirect and Heuani was already too close. Stannis blocked a quick nick of the Toa of Shadow's blade, visible only as gleaming refraction in the darkness, on the shaft of his weapon; he tried to then smash Heuani's jaw in with the haft, but the Toa of Shadow had dissolved. He reappeared a few feet away in front of Stannis. The Toa of Shadow caught another halberd swipe on his sword, disregarded a feint and parried the real one.
Heuani smiled. He was at play again; this time with a toy he could handle. Stannis was quick; Heuani recognized the speed of Stannis' predecessor, his sureness of movement... Subtle, but definite. The Toa of Stone had fast moves, but his weapon was long and, to Heuani's eye, unwieldy. Heuani's reach was shorter, but if he stayed close the size of his weapon would be an advantage rather than a detriment. A downward swipe from Stannis was met with a horizontal over-the-head block, which Heuani spun under like the raised hand of a dance partner, drawing him nearer to his foe.
For an instant, Heuani was close enough to the enemy that he could have licked Stannis' nose. The instant slowed, then was frozen, in his mind; Heuani, reveling in the return of his perfect reflexes, examined the Toa of Stone's mask with the thought-time he had before Stannis inevitably pushed him back away. He noted that, unlike the masks of the other Maru, Stannis' Kanohi did not match his elemental hues. It was a worn auburn-gold color, with high cheekbones that reminisced the pages of a book. Heuani remarked on the mask's many small chinks and scratches; it was old, clearly used, and there was a distinct calmness about it. Stannis' grey eyes shone too well from its eye holes. Heuani would do what he could to stop Stannis using that mask; whatever the mask did, the Toa of Shadow could feel it was dangerous.
The instant ended, and a well-placed kick from Stannis hit Heuani in the abdomen, sending him sprawling away from the Toa of Stone. The loss of balance, though, was short-lived, as Heuani recovered with time enough to avoid tripping over another strike of Stannis' at his shins. He leaped up above the low-swooping staff and timed his fall so that he landed on the polearm mid-swing. Heuani jumped down with his full weight near where the blade and the shaft met, hoping to break the weapon. To Heuani's surprise the halberd held; he launched off of the unexpectedly sturdy object it into a high back flip that carried him over Stannis' head. The Toa of Shadow landed smoothly behind Stannis and managed to cut shallowly into his enemy before Stannis had turned far enough around to block the sword.
Stannis nearly managed to repay the slight injury, but Heuani shadow-jumped out of range again, this time far out of range. The Toa of Shadow rematerialized on a rocky protrusion that came out of the floor; he had the high ground, and his voice attracted Stannis' attention as the other Maru and Shadow Toa dueled one another. Heuani let his sword droop lazily in one hand as he leaned against a nearby pillar; his smile was charming. He was at home on the battle field; he felt more himself than he had since losing to Joske hours earlier. "Come here," he crooned to Stannis. "Let's see how far that stick of yours can reach."
But as Stannis ran towards his enemy, Heuani summoned a patch of spiny, needling shadows to rise from the floor beneath the Toa of Stone. The shades would skewer Stannis like a bed of uneven nails.
Posted Mar 18 2013 - 09:21 PM
Ic: "I don't need a stick to reach you," Stannis quipped, understanding the shadow toa's tactic all too well: The standard bait and trap routine. Run away from the enemy, leave snares in the way and wait for the enemy to come and get nabbed by the left traps. In his previous tenure as a Ta-Koro guard he had grown used to that strategy, not because it was used against him but because it was a typical Ta-Guard tactic to stop renegade rahi. It was very useful against lower minds or those that were too caught in the moment to pay attention to their surroundings, but Stannis was neither of those things.
It seemed as if he was going to run right into the needle-thin tendrils of sharp energy that invisibly blocked his path and threatened to turn him into a butcher's project, but right as Heuani's expression seemed lit up with anticipation Stannis tripped and rolled to the side with deft elegance. His halberd swept across the glossy and superflat stone floor like a painter's broadest stroke with a brush and released an arc of stone that radiated out like a tidal wave of granite and unstoppable like a dune. It eradicated the spiny shadow energy that Stannis expected to be there at the roots of the shadow hairs, and Stannis could barely discern a collapsing of inky material as the needles fell to the ground and became one with the darkness once again.
Stannis quickly stood upright again to finish his fall in one smooth motion, fluid like sand in an hourglass, hardly slow like his spiritual predecessor, Pohatu. Stannis was not clumsy and his swiftness in motion confirmed that to Heuani. There were some things Stannis could not risk reserving; Heuani was said to be fast and strong so Stannis had to be able to use all his physical worth to battle him or run the risk of losing limb and life. But that didn't mean he couldn't risk betting on other things. Plus, the prophet's insightful and tactical mind was always working, making it even harder to beat Stannis in a mental duel. Already he was analyzing Heuani for the first time in person and comparing him to the rumours. Joske said he was a Toa Mata and his presence here with the others confirmed it, but which one? It had to be one or martial prowess and worth with knowledge of strategy.
The Ta-Koro Guard tactic was the clue. There were only two armies that used similar tactics: The Ta-Guard and the Sanctum Guard, narrowing Heuani's identity to being someone who operated with those armies. But Kopaka was too alone and did not cooperate with his force regularly; Tahu, however, worked with Jaller on many operations. In Stannis' mind, Heuani was almost certainly Toa Tahu. Already he had insight on the person he fought. Now to see if he could put that knowledge to the test. Maybe Heuani still possessed the fiery mannerisms of his former self? Time to see.
Stannis plunged his halberd into the floor and sparked a flash of white energy as his powers were channeled into the stone floor. Beneath Heuani rose a column of stone, elevating him into the air to crush him into the ceiling that existed somewhere above. With his other hand, Stannis fingered the Rahkshi staff Sulov gave him, still on his back, ready to meet Heuani in melee combat again should the toa teleport out of harm's way. It was a gift of another chance for Heuani to act. Stannis could evade and understand his enemy should the shadow toa turn the other cheek and hammer back with equal force once assured of a victory. For now he would return the favor and play a game with Heuani. Your move.
Posted Mar 19 2013 - 12:14 AM
[Kini-Nui Temple; early morning]
This... this was insane.
I wasn't even consciously fighting anymore. My body and my senses were simply on automatic as every so many seconds my light powers were activated subconsciously. I was vaguely aware of the battle around me as I hobbled down the stairs, muffled shouts, the occasional roar of a Rahi, the sound of metal weapons on armor... all so distant. I was retreating into myself. For protection.
I couldn't stomach it anymore.
I was vaguely aware of three Tarakava lizards blow backwards in front of me as a wall of light shot out before me, masks purged. I was no warrior. I never was. Boxer maybe. But not a soldier. Yes, I was trained by the Guard. Yes, I was a student under one of the most respectable and capable warriors Ta-Koro ever produced. But that wasn't me. I couldn't handle it... handle this.
All this sickened me.
I chanced a look back as I saw his figure standing prominently on the temple plateau, swords raised as he continued to issue orders followed by another blast of light that took out a fourth Tarakava that had been sneaking up behind me. He stood there and held the line, unfazed and undaunted by everything around him. A true warrior in ever sense of the word, able to swallow all this and keep going. Just because you know how to fight doesn't make you a soldier, just because you are willing able able to defend a cause doesn't make you capable. I was a Kohlii player. Sportsman. Lover. Adventurer. This was one thing Angi had up on me, something I would never be able to best him in. And I was fine with that.
I stumbled to the left as I felt more light erupted from my side, only a moment later a Kuma-Nui bounding away from the valley. Yes, fighting. I realized that I had a very sudden distaste for it, or at least right now. It was ugly, it was frantic, and in many ways horrid. I could feel my mind building a wall, a shell around my conscious thoughts in order to shield it from the world around it, if only to cope with overload of senses and emotions I could feel flooding this plain. This was not me. A brilliant, blazing, courageous combatant I was not. I was doing this because I had to. Needed to. Not because I wanted to. I did this because there were others depending on me... both living and dead.
Emphasis on the and dead.
I saw the sun once again, and this time a Nui-Rama fell from the sky unconscious, followed by a maddened and confused bull go charging out into the crowd, further adding to the chaos. I would finish this fight, even if it killed me. I had committed myself to this engagement, and I'll be dammed if I don't see it to the end. There were too many people, lives, and futures at stake for me to give up despite the churning in my gut. I was a Toa of Light, if even for a moment, and I would uphold that honor to the very end, everything it meant and promised to the letter. But if I survived this, that would be it. I will be done. No more of this craziness and destiny and super-powered entities. I was going to retire.
I faltered as witnessed a wall of light erupt around me, the light purging a squad of scorpions that attempted to surround me. As the ball of light retracted I blinked a few times, now blinded by my own abilities, yet I trudged on, hobbling across that now muddy-field with gritty determination. Yes, retirement. I had never officially retired from Kohlii, but seeing as I was a Toa I could no longer participate in the sport. After this was done I would make an announcement to that effect, hang up my staff, and enjoy a quiet life for once. Retire from playing, retire from being a Ta-Koro Guardsman, retire from just running around the island on insane quests-
A gasp escaped my lips as I was tackled from left-behind, claws digging into my armor as a jaw attempted to take a bite out of my shoulder. The Muaka and myself made a full roll on the ground before my powers kicked in, a blast of light and we were separated, the cat wavering as he looked much like Echelon earlier, stunned from a flashbang and freed from Makuta's influence. I forced myself to my feet, practically dragging myself across this field. I knew I was barely into manhood but I felt old and worn. I had had enough. All I needed to do was take out this Toa of Lightning. He was the lynchpin. And he was just a few bios away.
I could not imagine what I looked like to him, nor did I care to think deeply on it. All that was between me and him were two more cats, cats that were backing away in appropriate fear. And not from their own fear... fear of their controller. The red Toa cowered behind them, knowing fully well what was coming and seeing how his hoard of wild Rahi were unable to not only stop me but breach the defense Agni had masterfully constructed. He was cornered, trapped, and out of options. Spare one.
Closing my eyes I took in a breath and concentrated.
Both attacks happened simultaneously. From my body a wave of pure light emanated forward, rushing at the trio before me. At the same time, the red Toa of Electricity not only ordered a mad charge of the Muaka, but gave it his all in a single, electrifying bolt. This was a final push for the both of us, and when everything met in the middle it was nothing short of a spectacular outcome.
The sources of light hit, causing amplification on a massive scale as for a split second the valley lit up once again, only this time with a tremendous thunderclap. The unstoppable force met the immoveable object... and neither stopped the other. The wall of light kept moving, passing over the cats and a moment later, the red Toa, even some straggling Rahi as it's power removed the essence of shadow and slime. The bolt kept going too, though weaker than before, and just as my wall hit him, his bolt hit me. For the second time that day.
I felt the familiar sensation of unconsciousness creeping up from behind my skull.
* * *
It's amazing how a little blade of grass can tell a story.
I was hunched down on all fours, my breathing deep and hearty, staring at the ground beneath my palms. Before me was a wad of matted grass, bent and twisted, partially buried under mud and dirt. It used to be part of a luscious green field, one that expanded in a small circle around the temple until it met the jungle, happy and undisturbed. That is, until today. Now it had been trampled underfoot, crushed and beaten, mowed over by a rampaging herd of Rahi. It had never done anything to deserve it, deserve this, yet it had happened. Not due to it's own failures or mistakes, but just because of the circumstances of the world surrounding it.
I cocked my head slightly. Was I going somewhere with this? Not really. Maybe only in the sense that I gave my all for something that in the end I didn't understand and simply got swept into like a leaf in a current. Destiny has a funny way of leading you around like that. But it wasn't the grass that had my attention anymore. It was the gold dust snowing on it.
Gold dust from my mask.
There were still Rahi running around, but their numbers had been cut in over half by now and any organization they once had was now devoid and gone. Not that I noticed. I was in my own little world, insulated from the chaos around me, surprisingly quiet for a world filled with the sounds of battle. Serene almost. Before me the remaining green blades of grass turned to gold as my mask began to slowly disintegrate, turning to dust that lightly coated the ground beneath me. I could see my hands, scratched a bloodied, no longer gold, but red... my original color. My body was changing back, my mask dissolving, my powers dissipating... all slowly, regally, in stride, like a monarch taking her graceful exit. I could still feel rays of light within me, my abilities not completely gone, but I was done. I could feel it.
I was done.
I lowered my head between my shoulders, breathing out a long and heavy sigh. I didn't even have the strength to stand anymore. All I could do was kneel here, palms on the ground, and wait for what remained of this battle to end. I had fought the good fight, but that was it for me. I could continue no longer. I did what I could, but I could offer no more. I closed my eyes in exhaustion, the image of Cael in the forefront of my mind. I had done so many impossible things over the course of my quest let alone today... and she was not here to witness it. A single, dry tear formed as I smiled weakly, wondering what would happen now, now that this battle was winding down. It was very possible I would not make it by simple virtue of my inability to defend myself... and a single, scared Rahi running in the wrong direction. Life is full of uncertainties. I suddenly found myself desperately missing Cael very, very much.
If only I could bring her back. If only I could bring her back.
OOC: alright gang, the battle is officially winding down. There are still Rahi to repel, but the majority have been either fought off or purged, and the main Makuta servants have either fled or been neutralized. Please post accordingly and start winding down this battle. Emzee, per our conversation, would you please?
Edited by Friar Tuck, Mar 19 2013 - 12:15 AM.
Living large... like clown-shoe size large. Complete with nose, rainbow-colored hair, and a bottle of seltzer water.
Posted Mar 19 2013 - 02:16 AM
The mammoth pillars loomed over the Maru, their tops hidden in the darkness that stretched far above them. Any small noise echoed briefly in the huge space before being swallowed by the black fog.
And standing across from the Toa were six dark beings, their eyes the only colour in bodies otherwise composed of onyx and jet. Their armour did not shine; it absorbed all light that struck it, rendering them practically invisible against the darkness.
The six Toa of Shadow each paired with one of the Toa Maru, their eyes boring across the empty space and seemingly into the very souls of their opponents, hungry for the light and power that was invested in each of the Chosen. Despite the dim light and the nature of their armour, it was easy to see that each of Makuta's servants were perfect in shape and form. They were cruel and beautiful; their bodies looked as though they had been carved out of marble by a master artist. Every muscle, every curve was defined and lovely; they were strong and handsome and flawless.
The Toa who gazed into Oreius' eyes was easily the most beautiful of them all. She was obviously female (her graceful figure could mean nothing else), and as flawless as the new moon. Her eyes were golden as the sun; her face was perfectly formed, symmetrical and elegant. Her mask was faultlessly proportioned, dignified and seductive, seeming almost to flow into her armour, which was as smooth as water and as sharp as glass, and as black as a starless night.
She was the epitome of sensuous pleasure and innocent love; her every movement stirred a fire in Oreius' belly that rose up to warm his cheeks. Her eyes seemed to embrace and pierce him; her mouth was shapely and achingly lovely.
In her hands she loosely gasped two sickles; the crescents curved smoothly through the air, graceful and deadly, their curves mirroring her own. She was liquid water and unyielding marble; she was passionate flame and cold steel.
Then the tension erupted into battle, and she was all this and more.
She was the languid swaying of a serpent that transforms in an instant into the fatal strike; she was the gathering of clouds that unleashes a bolt of pure, searing lightning; she was the calm surface of the glassy sea that turns into the rage of a tsunami.
It was Inu alone who saved Oreius from being torn apart by the flashing blades the Toa wielded; the Toa of Fire was so lost in his opponent's sensuality that he had almost forgotten to breathe. The Parakuka seized control of his host's body, throwing them aside as their limbs swelled with muscle and their fingers lengthened into talons. Their eyes blazed with energy as they dodged the sweep of the shining sickle by mere millimetres; the Toa of Fire rolled to their feet, their swords at the ready, and not a moment too soon, for the Toa of Shadow was upon them in an instant.
She was faster than the Manas; she was faster than the Rahkshi. The attack she pressed could hardly be called an attack: it was more like a dance. She twirled around the Toa, lashing out with her elegant weapons, every slash and thrust carrying the potential to end the fight as quickly as it had started. Each attack flowed into the next, creating a continuous onslaught; her form was liquid and unpredictable as a riptide.
Oreius and Inu had nearly the speed of a Kakama, the agility of a Calix, and the strength of a Pakari, but for all their power, they were hardly able to hold their own against the beautiful warrior. Every second strike came within a hairsbreadth of slicing open their skin; every parried blow flowed into another assault before the Toa of Fire could find a chance to counterattack. Like a river, she was always moving; like the ocean, she seemed to surround her opponent on all sides, pressing in for the inevitable kill.
The Toa of Fire were nearly drowning in the onslaught, their blades flashing as they parried and deflected with inhuman speed that was still not fast enough. Sparks flew every time their blades met, as silver protosteel scraped against the strange black metal that her sickles were comprised of.
Then they clashed, and did not draw back. One of the Toa of Shadow's sickles pressed Oreius and Inu's right sword to their chest; the other sickle was held at bay by the weapon in their left hand. They stood there for a long moment, each struggling to gain the advantage, their faces close enough that all they could see were each other's eyes.
The Toa of Shadow slowly licked her lips; she smiled deviously. “Would you know the name of your killer, O Toa of hot air?”
A growl escaped the Ta-Toa's clenched teeth.
Her voice was smooth and rich as the finest red wine, melting into their ears and satisfying a parched thirst that they had not known existed until it was quenched. It sang a dark, compelling song, quivering with lust and love and forbidden invitation.
“I am Reka,” she whispered. “And I will devour you.”
Then they parted, each spinning out of the other's grasp before drawing back in to clash again. Faster, faster, they danced, each moving with greater speed and agility than any other Toa could hope to match. They leapt and spun and dipped and twirled, sparks flying like fireflies, their blades weaving a complex pattern in the dark fog.
Posted Mar 19 2013 - 04:12 PM
"I've been out for too long, betrayed by friends, feared by enemies.
I will return..."
BZPRPG - 2013
Posted Mar 19 2013 - 04:45 PM
The Toa of Plantlife paused as a wave of light cleansed the Kuma-Nui he was facing. He grudgingly acknowledged the Toa of Light with a mere glance before facing the hole that all the remaining Rahi seemed to be heading for. Experimentally calling upon the power of a Catapult Scorpion for the first time, he materialized a ball of lava which quickly cooled into rock in his hands, before flinging them at a Nui-Kopen with the borrowed strength of a Muaka. The attack struck true, knocking off one of the masks. Content with his successful experiment, the Toa created a new wooden warhammer for himself before dashing forward. It was time to end this.
"If you can fly, don't stop at the sky, 'cause there's footprints on the moon." - Adam Young, The Yacht Club
"Even shadows can shine if given the chance." - BZPRPG 2013
Posted Mar 19 2013 - 10:03 PM
OOC: Oh well.
Oh well, Aurum thought as he saw and heard the thunderclap between the light wall and the intense bolt. The kinetic energy from the combination of the two explosive elements blasted Aurum backwards, and he hit the ground, hard. Instantly, all the metal he created dissolved again, and he quickly absorbed their elemental properties for power.
Even still, he knew the battle was over. Was it worth it? He didn't know.
Now it was all down to faith.
Posted Mar 19 2013 - 10:45 PM
Before the pillar could flatten Heuani against the ceiling, the Toa of Shadow dissolved routinely into insubstantial blackness. He would waste no energy with a dramatic gesture - he had sworn to himself after his fight with Joske, after all, to never again show the mercy of hesitation or extravagance - and to shadow-jump elsewhere was the safest conservation of his energy. Heuani reemerged out of Stannis' range and tossed whirling orbs of darkness like cannonballs at his enemy. These were blocked sequentially by quickly erected stone walls; the shadows pounded into the stone, cracking its surface. There was an instant where Stannis' blockade prevented him from seeing his foe, which Heuani anticipated and used.
The Toa of Shadow dissipated into the ground and materialized out of the shadowed side of the stone wall that faced Stannis. Heuani was suddenly very close to the other Toa, too close once more, for the Toa of Stone had erected his elemental shields near to his body, unintentionally limiting the swing of his two polearms. This didn't stop Heuani from sustaining a Rahkshi-staff wound in the shoulder shortly after he emerged; he'd expected it. But Stannis' wounding swing had been delayed as he had needed to choke up on the haft, and in the time he was struck in one arm, Heuani had also grabbed the middle of the weapon with the other. Once it stung into his shoulder, Heuani spun the Rahkshi staff ferociously, forcing Stannis' wrist into a painful angle that made him lose his grip on the weapon.
Heuani took the staff and swung it in a wide decapitation arc that Stannis ducked under; the staff wrapped behind its wielder instead, smashed into the stone wall behind Heuani and shattered it. Stannis' eyes widened of their own accord at Heuani's raw strength, but Stannis would not be awed into submission. His halberd made to skewer Heuani's exposed side, but a quick flick from Heuani's sword - still held in his injured arm - led the blade to pass under Heuani's raised arm instead so that it struck only air. Stannis, overbalanced from his forward stab, was within reach of Heuani's knee, which caught him under the chin and sent the Toa of Stone stumbling back. Heuani pounced, eager to take advantage of his enemy's imbalance, only to be hit midair by a stone fist that, after it made impact, skidded with Heuani to the earth.
Both Toa scrambled back to their feet. Stannis let Heuani come to him; Heuani dodged a stone trap en route to his foe. He slashed with both sword and staff, driving Stannis slowly backwards as the Toa of Stone parried the duality of blows. Stannis caught the tip of the Rahkshi staff in one of the prongs of his halberd and pulled it from Heuani's grip with a flick. The Rahkshi staff went sailing through the air and landed... back in Heuani's hand. The Toa of Shadow had reappeared where the weapon would have hit the ground, distancing him again from Stannis as he caught the thing. Heuani waited for the next attack, but the Toa of Stone would not rush to him.
"Playing defensive," Heuani noted, hardly breathing heavier than he normally did. How satisfying it was to be reminded of his deep endurance... yet it disturbed him to remark that Stannis didn't look as tired as he should've been, either. Heuani took this into account: he would not win this battle by outlasting his enemy. He went on speaking, trying to draw Stannis' focus even marginally. "The strategy of a 'true hero.' You're a natural at this; well-built, talented, handsome, defensive by nature, and of course, a blind bird following the prophetic tunes." Meanwhile, Stannis' shadow became his own enemy, slashing at the Toa of Stone with razor-thin edges; Heuani's brow was slightly furrowed on an otherwise blank face. "Liberation comes with the epiphany of defiance. You are still enslaved, tied up, lashed by the expectations of others. I pity you; you will die without having ever tasted the sweetness of self-determination."
Posted Mar 19 2013 - 11:50 PM
Ic: Heuani fought swiftly and without hesitation, marks of an angry sprite, fiery of vigor and tempered like steel. But where steel was strong and sharp stone was everlasting. Still could be melted and done away with, incinerated, but stone persisted, enduring eons of weathering. Where nature could not win how could the artificial hope to succeed? Shadows loomed over every eastern horizon but they were a byproduct of the light, only as real and dangerous as one allowed them to be. Heuani was only a tool, a steel blade; dangerous, yes, but still a lesser thing.
"The Great Spirit is my Lord," Stannis said as he looked right back at Heuani, "and He is my strength." He twirled his polearm in a full 360º circle; an giant arm of stone reached up, mirroring the movement of the halberd, and like a killer whale snatching an unsuspecting otter on the surface of the waves it swallowed the construct of darkness and the floor consumed both stone and shade once more. "The Makuta, however, only grants you your power on a chain. You are a slave of him by his will, but I serve Mata Nui of my own volition. I don't think you would dare defy your heathen master for fear of your pitiful life."
The prophet had spoken true, of course. Heuani had been through much humiliation over the last day alone, first being defeated by the rookie hero Joske and then admonished by his dark master in these very chambers before being rejected and chastised by those he once called brothers and sister. Nothing was assured anymore and the very fact that Stannis stood as firm as the Masiff was proof that the sides of Light and Dark were, at the very least, on equal footing. Stannis' words dug into Heuani's mind -- mind, as he had no soul, no conscience, no psyche -- and they stung where death never could. Words -- mere words -- but words of truth.
"I don't need to lean on prophesy to defeat you, Heuani," Stannis continued, weapon angled forward in a center defensive position. "I am my own hero now. Prophesy has shown me the way but it's still my own two feet that carry me. I have faith in my god and faith in myself. Prophesy is wisdom and strength is valor, but a good man once said that 'where wisdom and valor fail, all that remains is faith. And it can overcome all.'" He quoted Tahu's own words to Heuani; maybe nothing would happen as a result of it, but if Heuani's body stirred at that incantation he could fight with greater rage. And rage, Stannis knew, could be withstood as he had done so before, and the chains that bound Heuani to cool, insidious calm would prove his own downfall.
But first: Action. The first blow always carried an advantage, he knew. He bolted forward several bounds, quickly closing the open distance between the two fighters, and then, two-thirds of the way there, he jumped up and vaulted on his halberd. He flipped in the air and brought the blade of his weapon down like a whip and it struck the ground before him just as he landed and ripples of energy flooded from the tip of his blade out, spreading out and forward to where Heuani stood and breaking the smooth stone floor to rubble. Stannis was a Toa of Stone but possessed none of the reverence in Creation Po-Matoran held; he was a pragmatist and he knew it took much less energy to destroy than to create. This display of might was an example of his knowledge in action. The abrupt and unexpected form of attack caught Heuani off guard and threw him to the floor, nearly crushing him with the churning mass of jagged stone that ground like teeth in a great maw. Stannis recollected his stance and prepared for an inevitable counterattack.
Posted Mar 20 2013 - 07:49 PM
IC: Ronkshou – Kini Nui Temple
All Ronkshou could see what a world of light that he had somehow been transported into. With great prejudice, the Makuta's high-ranking servant was terminated.
IC: ??? – Within the Confines of His Mind
A bearded, bloodied, and famished man lay against the dark, stone boundaries of his prison. His former position of being face down on the floor had switched to sitting upright, though it did not come without its mind-splitting strains. The skeletal man was now weaker than he had been in a long time. The walls and floor were the grimy gray, sometimes making it difficult to discern where the floor ends and the walls begin. The air remained stale, and the light remained nonexistent.
Then, suddenly, a soft rumbling noise got the man’s attention. Using his burning curiosity to fuel his strength, the man raised his head. It took all the strength and focus of his mind to perform this simple act, as the Jailer had drained all but a mite of his strength.
The man, shrouded in darkness, let out an exasperated but victorious sigh as his eyes peered to the ceiling of the stone chamber. He noted that the rumbling was getting louder, and that the prison itself seemed to be shaking. The rumbling continued, slowly but surely getting more violent and sending dust particles down from their places.
A minute later, these dust particles became pebbles, and another minute after that, these pebbles became stones. For a moment, the scrawny man feared for his life, despite knowing that he could not die in this realm. Despite this fact, the primal fear of being crushed by the failing structures above made the man’s breaths quicken.
And then, just like that, the man remembered his ad hoc ability to form words. He heard booming footsteps of the Jailer as he dashed down the stairs, skidding to a stop in front of the scrawny man’s cell. The Jailer thought that he had removed his ability to form words, but with the right conviction, and all of his strength, the weak Toa could do anything. And, in fact, with each passing minute, the prisoner felt like he could do more and more.
“Destiny,” rasped the man. The Jailer’s eyes widened in fear as they had before -- when Ronkshou was defeated by Toa Antrim. This time though, there was no recovery period, no going back to the drawing board.
The sordid, gray stone walls came tumbling down, and like a flood, light broke through and washed everything away.
* * *
The Toa grimaced as the light bypassed his eyelids, painting them a medium gray instead of the pitch black that he had become used too. It was dizzying and somewhat painful, but the Toa could not shield his eyes. In fact, he could not move at all.
This wasn’t particularly shocking. He hadn’t been able to do significant physical movement in one-hundred years. Instead, the Toa simply sighed, eyes still shut, and let the grass cushion his face.
Grass… warm grass!
The Toa’s ruby eyes flashed open to garner the sight, but all he was greeted with was pure white. He pushed his upper body up with his arms and felt the soft ground give way for his heavy Proto-Knuckles. Then, slowly, images of the pointy flora filled his vision. He blinked twice to sharpen his vision. It was at that moment that he realized something else: he could move!
The Toa raised his head and looked forward through his shiny red Hau. Carnage was everywhere, fallen Rahi, burned and bloodied grass, and a single Toa on all fours, who looked like he had been thrown under a stampede of Kikanalo.
Or like he had entered a fist fight with… him.
With renewed vigor, the Toa of Electricity rose to his feet. While his shoulders were still broad and his body was still muscled, the Toa looked (and indeed, was) physically weaker and slower now. He would never reach the level of skill or the power that he had had before.
But, to be technically, this Toa never did reach that level of skill. That was Ronkshou, as if the crusts in the grass before his feet were any indication, Ronkshou was dead – cast away into the wind.
The Toa of Electricity removed his Proto-Knuckles and set them on the hooks on his hips. It took only a few strides for the Toa to come to the Toa of Fire, who remained on all fours, looking very contemplative.
“It’s not safe here,” the Toa of Electricity said. His voice had reverted to its original state as well. The booming yet classy and calculated voice that made Ronkshou walk the line between sophisticated and brutal was gone, replaced with a voice that walked the line between youthfulness and sage wisdom. The pitched had raised at least an octave, and it dripped with sincerity and professionalism.
The Vo-Toa was smart enough to see that Joske could not rise on his own. Indeed, Joske likely needed serious medical attention, partly thanks to him. He knew there were some things – no – many things that the citizens of Mata Nui would probably never forgive him for. But that didn’t matter now. What the future held was irrelevant. The Toa of Electricity had to get this Toa off the battlefield.
Without saying a word, the Toa of Electricity knelt down and lifted Joske to his feet. He then stood up and pulled Joske across his body, so that he was bent over the Vo-Toa’s shoulders – the classic firemen’s carry taught to all cadets in the military. Wasting no time, the Toa of Electricity moved to the Suva-Nui, the high ground that could likely be the other dominating factor in the eminent victory Mata Nui’s followers (Joske’s temporary light powers being the obvious other factor). Once the Toa arrived to the Suva, he gently set the barely-conscious Joske down, so that he was leaning against one of the massive stone spires. He then looked out over the field as the Toa proceeded to free the last of the infected Rahi sent to this region.
Throughout all this, he said nothing to the other defenders of the temple. Like a hardened war general, his eyes remained forward. Finally, the Toa of Electricity glanced back at Joske.
“Did you folks feel that Mata Nui’s grace delivered you from the need of MASHes?” the Toa said with a playful grin to Joske. Of course, how the Toa was portraying himself was not at all reflective of how he was feeling, but Joske needed to be uplifted, he needed to be encouraged, and he needed to rest. He had almost killed this ex-Toa of Light. The least he could do was keep anyone else from finishing the job.
“Get some rest, sir,” the Toa of Electricity said. He then faced forward once again and looked over the clearing battle grounds. He dug his hands into his Proto-Knuckles and unhooked them from his sides.
Toa Ra’lhen dared someone to try and breach the line of defense now.
FCG Devlog Entry #2: A Lesson in More Money Than Time
Posted Mar 20 2013 - 08:06 PM
"Take me, take me back to your bed.
One such poltergeist, a tall, lithe looking Toa who had a similar build to Reordin's own, stepped forward with deep golden eyes and a serrated, dark looking hatchet; there were no words spoken between the two as both appraised each other, looked for any possible similarities in each other for use in a duel, examined each other's opposite tendencies. The hatchet was spun around the former hero's hand once; his spiritual successor didn't bother with a flashy retort, for once. That would come soon enough, as soon as--
First attack thrown: to test him, the Toa of Shadow had moved in with a swift charge, more speed behind it than strength, and attempted a hook to the left, where Reordin would have less time to defend. The Toa of Ice dropped to one knee and replied with a swift jab to the diaphragm, knocking the wind out of his assailant quickly and cleanly, if only for a second so the advance would halt. The Toa moved back, eyebrows raised, as an erratic grin curled up on one side of his face.
"I should've expect-guessed more out of you than that," the Toa replied, and with a sudden sinking feeling the deputy of the Toa Maru realized he knew exactly who this was. "Won't make that mistake-slip again."
"No. Uriuri," the Toa of Shadow replied with a chill that would have even made Reordin take pause; as a matter of fact, take pause he did, and Uriuri took advantage of that to slam Reordin hard in the solar plexus with one toned, athletic foot. The Toa of Ice stumbled back a step or two and regained his footing quick enough to dodge the next three strikes, all quickly placed and meant to combine for maximum incapacitation. The Toa's hands were fast, though; even as Reordin weaved to the right, prowling like a feline and attempting to encircle Uriuri, the Toa of Shadow had spun elegantly on one heel and met Reordin's eyes again.
What Reordin saw before him was revolting. Molten gold pools for eyes that reminded him more of stale urine than they did precious metals, a beautiful face that looked to him like the makeup caked on the dead for a funeral, a body of a god for a man who had been trashed like a newborn child before Makuta. The hatchet was drawn again, a mockery of a symbol that, once upon a time, had stood for something. Now it was just a weapon, along with its owner: a slave to the whims of something that would have disgusted Lewa, but something that entranced Uriuri all the same.
The weapon was hurtling towards his face, then, held as though inside a steel vice in Uriuri's hand. But Reordin was quick, too, and one ice axe went and caught the hatchet between the head of the axe and the handle skillfully; with a pirouette like that of a dancer, the nimble Toa of Ice knocked the hatchet onto the ground a couple feet away. Uriuri, now weaponless, focused on his element and brought a tendril of shadow out at Reordin, yanking him forward until they were inches apart and then hurling him onto the ground feet away. He was up again in about a second, but Uriuri was at it again with another shadow tendril.
Reordin had always prided himself on not falling for the same tricks twice.
From the ground rose a pillar of purest ice that Reordin hopped onto like it was nothing: Uriuri knew his game the instance Reordin had broken out the board, and the shadows from around the base of the crystalline structure reached out and cracked it. Before the gleaming, hungry eyes of the once-hero, the ice crackled away with a death moan that shook the area around the duelists before turning into a finite dust that burned at the lungs once it weaseled its way inside. It was only when the dust had mostly cleared that the Toa realized his mistake.
Reordin hadn't fallen, and the pillar hadn't moved anywhere.
At least, that was how it appeared. Reordin had raised a second pillar to stand on, and even as Uriuri attempted to compensate for the second of time he had given the opposing duelist by eating away the second pillar, a third, even larger and thicker, had grown in its place. Then a fourth, then a fifth. It was as though the Toa of Ice was taking leaps and bounds on great, translucent blue chess pieces; even as Uriuri downed a rook, a knight had taken its place, then a bishop, then a queen, then--
The final pillar began to crumble beneath Reordin's feet and gave way all at once: with all his might, the Toa Maru pushed forward. His lean, attractive body cut a path through the air that whistled behind him gently like an old Le-Matoran on a stroll home; Uriuri was caught off guard by the bombastic display of the pillar falling, and his dark, erratic energy was slowly starting to tire, even as more shadows seeped into his body to rejuvenate him. Reordin took advantage of the moment and let loose with a sweeping downwards slash with his foot as he came down near Uriuri.
A loud cry of pain and rage, musical despite its booming hatred, cut through the air as the spike in Reordin's foot, usually meant for ascending surfaces, took advantage of the opportunity its enemy had given it by slicing down from the edge of Uriuri's eye all the way down to the edge of his mouth, over his zygomatic bone and just pecking his jawline. Reordin himself landed and twirled gracefully, his quick, athletic hands already preparing for a spar even as Uriuri advanced frenetically towards him, caught in his own quiet irritation as though he were trying to kill a mosquito that wouldn't stop biting him.
"I've always wanted the chance to knock out someone who hopped on the treespeak bandwagon," Reordin drawled with a coy smirk. "Cheers for stepping up to the plate."
"And much thanks-gratitude to you, fake-fraud Toa of Slush-Frost," the Toa of Shadow replied offhandedly. "Without you wandering-stumbling into our home and offering-giving yourselves up, who knows? We might have never gotten our heart-souls back."
"Well, I'd like to say I'm sorry to keep you waiting, but I'm not."
Uriuri tsked and plucked the hatchet from the ground: the two charged as one and began to spar, arms and blades twirling in double time; at times they seemed to combine together as one amorphous, unstable entity, fighting against itself, before splitting into two equal halves, yin and yang, fighting to the end in the name of circumstances both sides detested.
Posted Mar 21 2013 - 12:21 AM
[Kini-Nui temple; early morning]
“It’s not safe here.”
A voice cut through the fog, a beam of light breaking through my exhaustion and the hazy thoughts. I was vaguely aware of a presence, but I couldn't feel out who. With effort I looked up, my eyes focusing on the figure standing before me. The voice that I had heard was booming, classy, calculated voice, one that walked the line between youthfulness and sage wisdom. A part of me was unsure whether it was a friend or yet another foe coming to finish me off, but after a moment I could sense that it literally dripped with sincerity and professionalism.
This... this was the Toa of Lightning that I just got done fighting.
Without saying another word he knelt down and like a hero out of a story lifted me to my feet before standing up fully, pulling me across his body so that I was bent over this Vo-Toa’s shoulders – the classic firemen’s carry. Clearly Agni was not the only one here with military training; no wonder those Rahi were so cursedly efficient. I tried to speak but found myself unable to... even if I had, I don't think he would have heard me, as weak as I was. He wasted no time, both of us moving to the Suva-Nui, once arriving gently setting my barely-conscious body down so that I was leaning against one of the massive stone spires. I watched him gaze out over the field as Agni's Toa proceeded to free the last of the infected Rahi sent to this region.
Despite the haze, throughout all this I noted that he said not a thing to the other defenders of the temple. Like a hardened war general, his eyes remained forward, committed to a singular goal. Finally, the Toa of Electricity glanced back at me, a playful grin on his face.
“Did you folks feel that Mata Nui’s grace delivered you from the need of MASHes?”
I highly doubted he felt as chipper as he sounded, but the tactic worked regardless. Despite the pain I smiled weakly, shaking my head at his antics and giving something that sounded like a short but almost came across as a wheeze.
“Get some rest, sir,” he said quietly. He was about to turn away when I reached up and grabbed his wrist... that is, with what little strength I could muster.
"For what it's worth... thank you."
He looked at me for a solid moment, gave me a firm and somber nod, then faced forward once again and looked over the clearing battle grounds. I watched him dig his hands into his Proto-Knuckles and unhooked them from his sides, readying himself to help finish the defense of the temple. Closing my eyes I leaned my head against the dome of the Suva-Nui, for the first time in two days actually relaxing, soaking in the sun. I could feel my mask continue to dust, the edges now crumbling, yet I still commanded a trickle of light energy, energy I used to bolster what little reserves I had left. I had done my part, fought the good fight.
With considerable effort I pulled up my knees if not to get into a more comfortable position, silently praying to Mata-Nui that the sacrifices made up here were not for naught. The Toa Maru must succeed.
They had to.
Living large... like clown-shoe size large. Complete with nose, rainbow-colored hair, and a bottle of seltzer water.
Posted Mar 21 2013 - 05:28 AM
Leah felt as if she had stepped into a pool of ice-cold, black water. Shivers chased each other while racing up her spine; a sudden invisible claw of dread took a hold of her ribcage, constricting it and making breathing laborious. It took a great deal of willpower and focus to not succumb to the shock of the moment, to not freeze on the spot. It was another challenge on their path, more of Makuta's darkness to fight through before they finally got to him himself. But as much as she reminded herself of the fact, another thought took precedence: They were standing in front of them. Them. The heroes of old, the heroes of the legends; protectors of Mata Nui, the first Toa, destined to defeat Makuta in battle. The fallen, dragged into the darkest abyss on the verge of victory.
In her mind, it was as if all the stories Turaga Matau had ever told about the heroes raced past her, images of great deeds, won battles and beacons of hope in dark times. But the Toa Leah saw before her now were more akin to a dark mirror of all those tales. It was all there: The grandeur, the confidence with which they held themselves, the perfect looks. As if the idealized and idolised images painted by the legends had been taken and made into flesh by a dark master of the craft. And as their leader stepped forward, speaking in a voice that was both as dangerous as one could possibly imagine and at the same time caused an eerie attraction in those who listened, Leah looked into the dark mirrors held before them...
And the mirrors looked back: With golden eyes that held promises only kings and queens could make, to give in to desires that were unspeakable that would bring unimaginable ecstasy. Her eyes looked over them, each of them, taking in everything they could. She was unable to do anything else at the moment. She studied the lines of their armors, sharp edges joining together and forming flowing forms. She looked into their perfect faces, trying not to get lost in them and failing at it. And she saw who they had once been, despite or even because of their new appearances. She saw the hero of her own youth, a playful, evil grin on his lips, the mockery of his past self. He was standing behind Heuani, almost melding into the darkness of the room, but Leah recognized him instantly and saw that there was nothing good left of the old cahmpion of air.
And then there was her own dark pendant. She was standing across from Oreius, also partially hidden in the darkness. But unlike her brother, the blackness did not just obscure her. It seemed to embrace her form, tenderly caressing it. And like Leah, she studied the opposite team. And as they did, their eyes met, only for a moment. But it was enough. As Reka held her gaze, Leah knew she couldn't compare. Not even in the slightest. Whatever beauty Reordin saw in her, it could not stand against the perfect being looking at her now, this queen of darkness. She suddenly felt ashamed. What was she even doing in the presence of such a being? And at the same time,she was jealous. Jealous of the perfection, jealous of the way she carried herself, jealous of the effect she had on others. And the golden pools embedded in the darkness of that face knew it as they looked into her eyes. A sinister smile played around her sensual lips and her look said everything:
You want to be with me.
You want to be me.
Stop! something inside her suddenly cried out. And somehow...it was the same voice as the one she had thought whispered the dark desires into her mind before. It had to be the essence...and Leah finally broke the eye-contact. And then the moment passed, the strange feelings disappearing as quickly as they had overtaken her. It had only lasted a little over a second, perhaps less. Leah's own emotions took over again, the spell having lost its effect on her. And instead of longing, she just felt disgust, shame and pity . Stannis summed it up perfectly: "Oh how far the mighty First Toa have fallen."
She couldn't agree more. But she also felt the anger that had built up within her since the encounter with the Manas. That righteous anger at the Makuta for what he did...to the Manas, to the Rahi on the island, to those he had enslaved with his infected masks. And now that anger extended to the dark Toa before them as well, as Heuani said: "We want you dead. You want us dead. I've always valued directness. So let's get on with it."
As soon as Stannis and Heuani had finished their exchange, they began to square off, one on one. Leah readied her staff, twirling it in her hand slowly. Heuani was only half-right, though. They wanted them dead, but the same did not apply to the Maru. The Mata were Toa in name only...the Maru still carried the title. And true Toa showed compassion, empathy and mercy. Things the Mata had lost, or that had been taken from them long ago. It made little difference now.
Then one of the shadow-Toa stepped forward. At first Leah thought it was Heuani, but that was impossible, since he was dueling Stannis this very moment. Only on second glance did she realize the subtle differences between the two. Her opponent had the same height as Heuani, but his shoulders were slightly wider, his footfall a bit heavier as he stepped forward. But he was just as perfect in design and looks as his brother. It wasn't Heuani, but his rival in the team. And the same part of her that had broken the eye-contact with Reka stepped in again and there was a feeling of recognition.
"It's you..." she half-whispered. Her oppenent smiled.
"Those days are long gone - and soon, you will be, too." was his reply, as he walked closer and closer, sword in hand. Leah assumed a defensive stance. The next instant his sword raced forward. Leah sidestepped, but he had just bought himself time to bring it up for a stroke from overhead. The sword came down, Leah took one step back, raised her staff and blocked the strike, pushing up against the blade with both hands firmly around her staff. Suddenly, he gave way, the staff pushing the blade up and to the side. But he had counted on that and merely brought the tip around in a circle before she could react.
Leah realized he had forced her into giving him an opening and in a fluid reversal of the motion, she brought the staff back down, but it was too late. She stopped him from piercing her torso, but the sword nicked her side above the hip. Pain shot through her and she whinced, instinctively ducking away and feeling for the cut with her hand. It wasn't deep, but the kneejerk reaction had been another mistake.
Her opponent's free hand moved past staff and arms, seizing her by the throat and lifting the Toa of water up off the ground, his physical strength more than what Leah had expected. She pushed back against him with her arms, her staff still held in her left, but she couldn't pry his fingers open.
He looked at her and Leah looked back. She did not get lost in the eyes again, but instead held his gaze as he brought up his sword to trail down the side of her face and then further down. He did it slowly, deliberately and he took pleasure in it. The cold metal moved down her neck, past the clavicle and further past the side of her chest, until the tip came to rest just underneath it, ready to pierce her heart. But he didn't follow through with it right away, instead savouring the moment. There was a sort of hunger in his expression, she realized and her stomach cramped up at the thought of what he might be thinking about as he devoured her with his eyes.
"He had his fun all those past years...now it is our turn, my turn." the dark Toa mused. "I am going to enjoy this."
Leah struggled against the iron-grip, but still managed to speak. "You...are making...a mistake."
"The only mistake here are you and your other friends. One we will soon fix. And then we will take back what you stole, what is rightfully ours." he snarled, anger flaring up in his otherwise smooth, deep voice.
"We...didn't steal anything. We were chosen...to do what you failed to do. We were given...your power...to...fulfill your destiny."
He tightened his grip around her throat. Leah glanced left and right, but the other Maru were too hard-pressed by their own opponents right now. She was on her own for the moment.
"There is no destiny!" he said, voice suddenly raising.
Leah managed to gulp down another breath of air. "Because...you...betrayed yours." she said, a tear rolling from the outer corner of her eye from the effort of trying to withstand his grip. But still, she managed to make eye-contact again, her blue gaze against his golden glare. "And if you..kill us...you'll only...betray yourselves...again. You were supposed...to be a hero. But...you failed. What are you now?"
She could feel the tip of his blade pressing against her chest harder, threatening to go through her armour. "I am Whiru. I am your doom."
But it was too late already. While speaking, Leah had moved her free right hand from his wrist to his chest. And now, at point-blank range, she called upon her powers of water. Like a spring-tide she could feel the elemental energies welling up inside her, racing through every cell of her being. And then a wall of water errupted from he palm of her hand, slamming into Whiru with the full force of a thirty feet high breaker, washing him away. Leah dropped down to the ground, onto one knee, her staff still in her left, and massaged her throat with her right.
Bolts of shadow flew out of the darkness, but this time she was ready. A wave with her hand and a liquid barrier appeared before her, the dark energy impacting it at high speed and dispersing. Whiru followed a moment later warping out of shadows above, dropping down between the barrier and her. But he didn't rush in. He had tried to finish this quickly with his first attack and failed. He wouldn't make the same mistake again.
Leah watched him carefully as he moved around her, stepping so that she was facing him. "All you are doing is drawing out the inevitable." he said. "Why not be done with it?"
"Yours is a saddening fate, Whiru." she said. And she meant it. "I would not wish it upon anybody."
He charged and she flowed out of the way like rapids around smooth rocks. "Spare me your pity." Whiru said, continuing to press the attack. Leah parried, bringing his sword to the ground, holding it there with her staff. In another fluid motion she stepped on his forward knee, pushed up into a backflip, kicking him in the chest and throwing him on his back with her left foot. She landed smoothly again. For another moment, their eyes met again.
"No." she said.
Edited by Vezok's Friend, Mar 21 2013 - 09:36 AM.
Posted Mar 21 2013 - 02:02 PM
Dalia had watched the events between Joske and the lightning Toa in wonder. First, she was surprised to know that the Toa of Light was just a Ta-Toa with a fancy mask. A shame, since she'd never heard of a Toa of Light before, and he would've been a powerful being to reckon with. But then, she remembered the Mark Bearers, and what happened among them.
Dalia decided that everyone was better off without such a Toa in existence.
Cringing in pain, using her staff for support, Dalia walked over towards the lightning Toa. Her eyes weren't fixed upon the former Makuta-Aligned Toa, but more beyond him. At Echelon. The former Master Mark Bearer. The one behind everything that had happened to her. The ultimate reason why Emotia, Reaver, and Tillian were dead. Why Tuara was a broken husk of her former self. Why Dalia was here, at this moment. In her mind, she knew exactly what to do. However, she didn't know what their new ally would do.
"Shouldn't we take care of the Maste- I mean, Echelon?" She asked the Lightning Toa, who wasn't more than a few feet away from the Mark Bearer, "He should be dealt with before he runs off."
Posted Mar 21 2013 - 02:45 PM
Finished taking down a Fader Bull, Trizvan looked around. The battle was practically over. He smiled a little, despite himself. Few Rahi had been killed in the fight.
He swung his hammer at the glass that Agni had created, shattering it and freeing the now-purified Rahi. They had fallen unconscious by now, but he uttered a silent sigh of relief as he checked their life signs. Satisfied that the remaining Toa had things under control, he withdrew to the shade of a tree, where he replenished some of his elemental energy.
"If you can fly, don't stop at the sky, 'cause there's footprints on the moon." - Adam Young, The Yacht Club
"Even shadows can shine if given the chance." - BZPRPG 2013
Posted Mar 21 2013 - 05:41 PM
Echelon's eyes narrowed in disbelief. Ronkshou was gone. Vidar's mind was broken. His own mask lay shattered on the ground. A sense of foreboding grew in Echelon's gut. What if this was but the prelude to the Light's true victory? What if he and his fellows had failed? What if Makuta was not so infallible as he thought?
What if Makuta's doom was even now walking towards him on six pairs of armoured feet?
Echelon made his decision. There was nothing he could do now; he was weakened, as was Utu, and they would be vastly outnumbered should they try to attack the Temple's defenders. Retreat was the logical course of action.
"Follow me," he told Utu's shell, and it obeyed. Echelon summoned what reserves of energy he retained and levitated; even with a Calix, walking was too painful and inefficient. He needed to get somewhere he could recover, and he needed to get there soon. Before the hunters became the hunted.
Posted Mar 21 2013 - 06:07 PM
"Naw...leave him. He's not getting far."
The voice was scratchy and low with weariness and grit; the body it belonged to was lean, but muscled, and the face it came out of was handsome, but slightly anemic. Angelus' right hand was slightly slack around its grip of Cael (the longsword, mind you) as he moved forward. From his navel to the top of his rib cage was a long, crescent-shaped series of claw marks from some sort of Rahi. For better or for worse, Angelus had held the line.
"Utu's a powerhouse, and Echelon's not as much a scrapper as he likes to fancy himself. He's not in the equation anymore."
Posted Mar 21 2013 - 06:38 PM
"I'd still like to see him suffer for everything he's done with the Mark Bearers," Dalia pouted, "Which reminds me..."
Dalia whipped around to face Angelus, pointing her staff at him angrily. Her eyes blazed with fury as she glared at the Ta-Toa, as she gave him a rough poke with the tip of her staff.
"I have some ###### fine words for you Angelus Radke!" Dalia growled, "First you abandon me for Tuara, then you just leave Tuara in Ta-Koro!? Have you lost your mind!?"
Dalia could feel her body trembling as she said this. She'd been waiting for this since Angelus had abandoned her in Le-Wahi, and hearing what Tank had said about Tuara had only intensified her desire for an encounter with the former Mark-Bearer hunter.
"Have you seen what Tuara has become? Once you left, her life practically fell apart! Between you and Dorian, I can see why that woman has become a drunkard!" As Dalia shouted this at Angel, she couldn't even fathom why he was here. Had the Toa of Fire/Light and the older Toa of Fire asked him to join with them? Or had he joined them of his own free will? If he had done the latter, Dalia mentally swore to herself that Angelus would suffer Karzahni by her hands if he didn't go back to Tuara and help with her problems.
Posted Mar 21 2013 - 06:45 PM
Angelus tilted his head, totally dumbstruck by Daila's rant, and almost forgot that he was bleeding from the side until Dalia poked him with her staff and he yelped in pain, looking down. Then he looked back up with light blue eyes and tilted his head again.
"...Tuara came with us. She packed up and left just...a week ago, maybe? She got mad at me for taking a waffle cooking competition too far and stormed home."
Posted Mar 21 2013 - 06:46 PM
Edited by Visaru, Mar 21 2013 - 07:22 PM.
Posted Mar 21 2013 - 07:01 PM
Deep breaths. Remember, Deep breaths are good to prevent a outburst Dalia.
With an angry yell, Dalia chucked her staff away from the temple, and watched it disappear into the bushes. Starting to breathe deeply, resting her right arm against part of the temple, and rubbing her eyes with her spare hand.
"And if I actually knew people, I wouldn't have this sort of problem," The Mark-Bearer muttered to herself, feeling her hands starting to clench. She continued to breathe deeply for several more moments before looking back up at Angelus, "Uhm... I'm sorry about... Misunderstanding... Part of if anyway. And... Uh, Tuara has a problem with Dorian and Tank, or something of the like. You should go back to Ta-Koro and help sort it out."
With that, the Ga-Toa put her back against the temple, and slid to the ground, putting a hand to her side to make sure she hadn't started to bleed again when she was yelling. With that, she banged the back of her head against the temple, sighing and closing her eyes. Dalia was thoroughly exhausted, physically and emotionally. It was one of those times that she wished she still had her mark.
Posted Mar 21 2013 - 07:16 PM
Having replenished his reserves of elemental energy (unfortunately, he now had no Rahi to borrow the stamina of to restore his physical energy), the Toa of Plantlife got slowly to his feet. He stretched, multiple joints cracking after the strain of the battle. He surveyed the battlefield. It really was a mess. But he could help. After all, Rahi weren't the only things he knew.
Stepping out towards the center of of the battlefield, his elemental energies poured out into the ground around. Grass righted itself, pushing its roots into the ground below, and bare patches regrew. He walked slowly throughout the battlefield, restoring it all as he went. The gouges in the earth he did his best to patch with the plants' roots to pull it back into place. He ignored the yelling nearby. The business of the civilized didn't concern him.
"If you can fly, don't stop at the sky, 'cause there's footprints on the moon." - Adam Young, The Yacht Club
"Even shadows can shine if given the chance." - BZPRPG 2013
Posted Mar 21 2013 - 07:21 PM
"I don't know where you're getting your info, but Dorian's kinda dead. And by kind of, I mean long dead."
Posted Mar 21 2013 - 07:27 PM
"I saw him sitting in a Ta-Koro jail cell. I don't know where you're getting your info, but Dorian's kinda alive," She retorted, "He and Tank talk every so now and then. I saw him myself."
Posted Mar 21 2013 - 10:44 PM
As a Toa of Magnetism, a shell of a hulking Toa of Ice started to head off in one direction just for survival, Aurum himself dashed over, quickly helping out Echelon as they walked off.
"Where to?" Aurum, asked, but just like Echelon, he wasn't focused on the battle around them anymore; rather, they were more focused on how on earth they had just lost and, more importantly, the chance of their leader losing.
No. Just like the faith Joske, Agni, Angelus and all the others had placed in the Toa Maru, Aurum had his full faith in the Makuta to survive, to win.....
And, unknowingly, faith for the ex-Toa Mata to win.
Posted Mar 21 2013 - 11:20 PM
[Kini-Nui Temple, early morning]
"I have some ###### fine words for you Angelus Radke! First you abandon me for Tuara, then you just leave Tuara in Ta-Koro!? Have you lost your mind!? Have you seen what Tuara has become? Once you left, her life practically fell apart! Between you and Dorian, I can see why that woman has become a drunkard!"
"Once I--?" Pause. "...Tuara came with us. She packed up and left just...a week ago, maybe? She got mad at me for taking a waffle cooking competition too far and stormed home."
“Would ye mind remindin’ me what’s goin’ on here again?”
"And if I actually knew people, I wouldn't have this sort of problem... uhm... I'm sorry about... misunderstanding... part of if anyway. And... uh, Tuara has a problem with Dorian and Tank, or something of the like. You should go back to Ta-Koro and help sort it out."
"I don't know where you're getting your info, but Dorian's kinda dead. And by kind of, I mean long dead."
"I saw him sitting in a Ta-Koro jail cell. I don't know where you're getting your info, but Dorian's kinda alive. He and Tank talk every so now and then. I saw him myself."
There was a slight dazzling of light as the heated and flying words came to an abrupt halt at the sight of minor fireworks discharging at eye-level. My fireworks. It really wasn't much, just a few specks of light, but it was enough to garner the attention of the gathered Toa to me. To a Toa who had had a very long day, was extremely tired, needed rest, and wanted to bask in the hard-earned victory that we for all intents and purposes miraculously not only survived, but won. I was half-standing, half-leaning on the broken Suva-Nui, a single trembling finger pointed at the small group as I glared at them. Glared at them for everything I was worth, which really wasn't much considering my physical condition and my disintegrating mask. Yet with that little display I did manage to shut them up.
"Just... stop. Please." I wheezed, my voice having returned - somewhat. "I don't know about you, but I fell like we just accomplished something amazing here, something worthwhile and tremendous. So can we please stop bickering like little children and take a moment to reflect? Or at least a moment of silence. Or something. Anything. I just can't believe it... "
It was here that my legs gave out as I was unable to continue standing any longer. The only thing between me and a nasty impact on the hard stone was quick thinking by Angi, who deftly managed to catch me. I hung on him for a long moment as he helped me up, not saying a word as he allowed himself to be my pillar to lean on. The only sound I heard were our collective shallow breaths, but other than that, silence. Blessed silence. No roaring Rahi. Screaming Toa. Metal on metal. Not even songbirds, as if they understand what took place here. Just... silence. Just us and our thoughts.
I gave a sigh.
"Yes?" The patience, understanding, and long-suffering in his voice...
I waited a moment, licking my lips and taking the time to form my words. "Would you please help me get away from this place? Out of sight? I need a moment alone... with her."
With a weak and wavering arm I pointed to a dull-gray object in the distance, a mask that laid in the ground near where the Toa of Plantlife was slowly restoring the damaged valley. Odd choice of words, but it was the best I could string together at this moment.
He knew what I meant.
Edited by Friar Tuck, Mar 21 2013 - 11:23 PM.
Living large... like clown-shoe size large. Complete with nose, rainbow-colored hair, and a bottle of seltzer water.
0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users