Ic: "I was hoping you would say that," Ambages said. He sipped at his tea "We're interested in admitting you to our club, and part of the recruitment is asking you a couple riddles. Would you be interested in joining and hearing the riddles?"
"Why certainly," the burly carver replied, "I would be honored to join such a group. Please, ask away."
"What is power?" Ambages asked as if requesting the whereabouts of a Mahi herd.
The Po-Matoran considered for a moment. It was a simple enough question, but the simplicity gave it an inner complexity. "Power... Is the ability for one to largely affect situations. Everything has an effect on subsequent events, but power comes when one can direct those smaller changes towards completing a common goal."
"Very good," the architect said with a nod of approval. The second riddle was the true riddle, the gate that would allow the carver admittance. It was a test of understanding of power itself, a trick to dscern where power truly was held. "Next one:
"In a room sit three great men: A turaga, a priest,and a rich man with his gold. Between them stands a sellsword, a little man of common birth and no great mind. Each of the great ones bids him slay the other two. 'Do it,' the turaga demands, ‘for I am your lawful ruler.’ ‘Do it,’ says the priest, ‘for I command you in the names of the Great Spirit.’ ‘Do it,’ says the rich man, ‘and all this gold shall be yours.’ Who should the sellsword kill?"
This the Matoran of Stone took longer to consider this one, playing with different ideas. He did not over think the riddle, as that would lead to false results, nor did he pick the first that came to mind, as one's instincts weren't always the best to trust. A minute passed before Puroruk started to speak.
"If the sellsword were to agree with the rich man, he would be doing so out of the love for money. His loyalties are on shifting sands, and there would be nothing stopping him from turning on the rich man should he receive a better offer. No, killing the rich man would be best. The priest uses the idea of another, higher power, to win the sellsword's allegiance. His reasons are there for weak, if he must use the idea of another to obtain his goals. The Turaga, however... The sellsword should not kill him, for he is his leader. One who obviously obtained such position not through money or ideas, but from work to gain the loyalty of the sellsword. Loyalty that is solid and unmoving, for it is loyalty in a person, not gold."
"And who holds the most power of the four?" Ambages asked further. "Is it the turaga?"
"No, it is not. The sellsword holds the power. He alone has the power of choice, to go with the Turaga, priest, or rich man. It is him who controls the situation."
"You have answered well," Ambages said after he finished his tea. "I would say we have gotten to know each other quite well today, Puroruk. My tests completed, I think you would be perfect in the club. I have just one more question for you, though, and this is not a riddle, though your answer has a great deal of importance."
"Please, ask," the carver replied, having thoroughly enjoyed this conversation with the architect, evident by the small smile on his face. It was rare that he had the opportunity to have such an intellectual discussion. The fact that he had been offered to join such a group also worked to lighten his mood quite a bit.
"You don't really think there is a Mata Nui, do you?" Ambages asked with identical casual bliss. Mentally, however, he imagined the carver giving the wrong response, forcing him to grab his dagger from the crevice in his armor and slay the carver before he could reach for his heavy hammer. Power, Ambages knew, was the ability to change lives for better or worse, and at that moment he was the one with power over the Po-Matoran before him. Puroruk's fate lingered on a thin line, and the slightest doubt in his tone or answer could trigger a murder.
Ambages waited patiently, however, not betrayng his thoughts.
"Mm," the large Po-Matoran agreed. "I believe in what I can shape with my own two hands, what I can strike with my hammer, what I can chip with my chisel. Anything else has no place for me, nor any belief from me." He was a material man, others could go on about Mata Nui, but not him. For what he could see, touch, and create was the only thing he could be sure of.
"If I told you we could create a world together and do away with the supertitious fools about us, would to create with me?" Ambages asked, relieved that he did not have to kill the good man. By then, he knew, the carver would be smart enough to know this wasn't just a riddler's guild he spoke of.
"Create something as we did before? Without a doubt," the carver replied without a second thought. If there was one thing that went far with the large man, it was having an equal skill, and love for, creating. Although the question was largely unecessary, Puroruk asked it anyway. "This isn't just a group of puzzle enthusiasts, is it?"
"Hardly," Ambages replied with a smile, but said no more. He plucked a piece of flax parchment from his satchel, still sealed with wax, and handed it to Puoruk across the table. "Guard this until tomorrow night. Open it then. The instructions and directions to our guildhall are inside. I look forward to seeing you there."
The Po-Matoran picked up the piece of parchment in one of his large hands, slipping inside a pocket on his armor. "Likewise," he replied, nodding to the architect, "I thank you, Ambages, it is not everyday that I get such good company."
"The honor is mine," Ambages said, getting up. "Unfortunately, I have to go now. I will see you soon. Oh -- and it goes without saying that this remains between us alone. Speak of this to no one," he said as he walked down the steps to the courtyard.
"Of course," the Po-Matoran replied, nodding in understanding. Purorok stood up as Ambages did, and lead the other Matoran to the door.
It was only an hour later that Ambages had given his tools back to Ahkmou and collected his coat, though he held on to the Senet board, and cheked in at the town's most illustrious hotel. He would remain in town, observing it with high alert, before leaving to the "guildhall" thirty-six hours later.