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  1. 8 points
    IC: Grime | Fort Nektann "As you wish. It's less of his works and more of his nature, and maybe also just a little bit of mine as well," Grime replied and sat back down on his stool in the corner of the room. The rowdy crowd of skakdi foodies feasting on fresh fowl filled the dining hall with boisterous echoes. Their shadows danced on the walls as they fought and laughed and threw food at one another. Grime paid them little mind now, instead remembering his song, his first song, and the song he longed to play so dearly for someone who could truly appreciate it. He played the first notes hesitantly, at first looking back at Stannis to see he was paying attention. Confidence arrived soon after, and the sound of his little squeezebox began to fill the hall and rise above the sounds of the Warskaks. The shadows of skakdi cast on the walls turned to look towards Grime, some even before the warskaks they mirrored. Some began to slither and slink towards his little corner, lured by the sounds of his chords and melody. At last, as the sounds in the hall died down and his own quiet music became the center of attention, Grime began to sing: My name is Grime I cannot rhyme If you listen to my song It will waste your time This is my song Like any other song It is only long Because I was bored And have more time Than those who need it These lyrics are truth These lyrics are lies Facts and fictions like to fight when you’re asleep And I hope you find these fictions fact when your sleep Is deep These lyrics are only what you make them And all the things we love for and dream for And scream for and cry for And build machines of war for And eventually for all these things we die Two words hold our endless cycles Hello Goodbye And in them all our lives Others see it differently As goodbye Hello Where did you go I’m still me And we gave them life from all our dreams And now we live afraid to see what we can be Snuffed out like candles for a greater grace The pace of progress to see a greater place Lost within our yolk of gold This is where our tale’s told Begin again Live anew By our own design we many Are few Goodbye My Fickle Friend You breath and laugh and love Hello You glowing star You shed your light far above Goodbye Mighty warrior Cleaver of skies Hello Meek gardner Tender of lies Goodbye Mortal Soil Decrepit and raw Hello Shadow born cosmos Where I see all I have seen those darkened shores And in them found more love Than all the world before Children of the broken world Speakers of the unseen dawn Lights at the end of time One by one will all be gone Recite my words and tell my tale Of once great heroes that one day fail Those who follow footsteps of those before Become stories in our lore and nothing more But this is just a waste of time A simple song of simple rhymes Where I tell you why My name is Grime --------- OOC: 128 pages later, Grime sings. Parnassus, Stannis, and Korruhn (and anyone else I may be forgetting who can use/learn taboos) have learned three taboo rites. Expect PMs soon with more details.
  2. 7 points
    IC Kilo-M9 - Ruins of Stone: Unexpected events have occurred. Temple effects remained undefined. Analyzing situation. Ally Arkius. Status: Alive. Larger in stature, muscle mass. Missing mask that was previously on face. Ally Atamai. Status: undetermined. Fell through floor when device activated. Unknown golden illumination detected in area Ally Atamai dropped. Possible cause for changes in Ally Arkius. Current objectives: Recover other great discs, wait for update on status of Ally Atamai. The happy moment for the Odd Company and assorted followers had turned into shocked gasps. Instead the final piece of the puzzle they had been trying to complete had changed one of them forever and possibly consumed the other. Among the group stood a machine, who through a lack of emotions and fast processing power did not join the variety of surprised reactions. While their Vortixx companion tended to their altered ally, the robotic enforcer strode over to where their missing fe-toa ally had set down the other great discs. Taking the metal box of powerful artifacts into its grasp, the former cop joined the Collector in tending to Arkius. OOC: @Onaku@Tarn@Harvali@~Xemnas~@Snelly@Toru Nui
  3. 7 points
    IC: Knichou, Ko-Metru?, Memento Mori? Pridak snarled with delight at finally having Stannis within reach. Two Exo-Toa grew out of the dust beside the Barraki to challenge Arkius and Nale so the warlord could have his long-awaited duel without their pesky interruptions. One Exo-Toa launched an electro-rocket at Arkius, who raised a wall of earth as a shield. The advanced warhead exploded on contact with the barrier. The earth lessened the concussive force of the blast, but disintegrated to create earthen shrapnel that peppered Arkius’s body while the electric energy coursed through the Toa, sapping his strength. Seeing a steaming Arkius collapse in the snow, Stannis summoned boulders to both crush the Exo-Toa and block it from executing his old friend. Pridak cackled at the destruction and raised his curved sword in anticipation. The other Exo-Toa attempted a similar maneuver with Nale, but the Toa of magnetism used her powers to send the electro-rocket back at her opponent, frying the Exo-Toa’s autonomous systems. Knichou was now stepping over Sans’s mangled corpse, rushing to the aid of his companions despite his feet sinking further and further into the black snow. The former Ghost didn’t know why his armor wasn’t adapting to the snow so he could get closer to his friends – it should have built snowshoes long ago. Without his armor’s help, Knichou felt powerless. His fate determined by the weather, trapped like an animal. Pridak’s sword clashed against Stannis’s halberd with frightening speed. After a flurry of thrusts and parries, Stannis was able to knock Pridak’s sword out of the warlord's grasp. The Barraki scowled at both Toa’s successes. Retreating for a moment to be out of Stannis’s range, the warlord raised his free hand towards Nale, fingers outstretched. A Nynrah Ghost Blaster grew out of his forearm and fired a projectile. Nale steadied her rifle just in time to see the oncoming attack through her scope. She was struck by the blast, and screamed as she fought against Pridak’s will for control over the mechanical parts of her body. Knichou continued to trudge up the hill, out of breath. Arkius groaned, too weak to do anything else as Knichou passed him. The Nynran was almost to Nale. He could help her. He needed to help her. Stannis knocked Pridak on his back and raised his halberd to the heavens. It was finally time to strike the Barraki down and end this war, once and for all. Knichou watched the duo, momentarily pausing his trek in anticipation of what he thought would be a legendary moment. The engineer found it strange that Pridak barely raised an arm to defend himself. Pridak’s mind was clearly elsewhere. Nale’s hands shook as she lost control. Pridak used the control granted by the Ghost blaster’s projectile to shift Nale’s rifle to the side. A frightening crack resounded through the arena, and the granite guardian reflexively paused his strike. Slowly looking down, Stannis saw blood tricking from his abdomen. He looked back towards Nale, saddened and confused, while Pridak slowly began to stand. Nale dropped her rifle and pulled out her knife. The embossed KARVAN glinted in the apocalyptic sunlight as she turned the blade towards herself. Her eyes screamed in fear while her lungs barely had the power for a whisper. All her strength was being used to fight Pridak’s control, she couldn't even cry for help. Knichou was still too far away. He was too late to come to yet another friend’s aid. As Knichou reached out to help Nale, he saw stone crawl up her legs and to her arms, locking them in place. Knichou’s head whipped back to Stannis. The weary Toa had turned around to save Nale from her own dagger. The elder’s enigmatic eyes turned to Knichou, and Stannis smiled a pained smile. A spike of liquid metal smashed through Stannis’s heartlight. The Toa still smiled, even as his life force oozed between his lips. The metal retracted and Stannis crumpled in front of Pridak, his lifeless eyes still staring into the Fe-Toa’s soul. Pridak laughed. No taunt could have hurt Knichou more than seeing his new mentor die, so Pridak didn’t waste the energy. It turned out to be historic, legendary moment after all. The war would soon be over. Once and for all.
  4. 7 points
    IC: Reliable Narrator | Sub-Coliseum Vahki Hive Aurax typed in "Password" and pressed the enter key. A loading screen appeared on top of the login page, featuring a white Hau slowly rotating against a gray background. Text underneath said "Please wait while your login details are authenticated." The Hau completed a full rotation roughly every ten seconds, and was animated at about one frame per second. Aurax watched twenty frames tick by before the Hau was replaced by a simple message that said "Login details incorrect." He tried "Ehlek" next, uncomfortably aware that his window of time was rapidly closing. The hive could pull OTIS back under at any moment. The Hau reappeared, rotating at its familiarly agonizing pace. But Aurax only had to wait a rotation and a half this time before the password was denied. He typed "Barraki" next, trying to conceal his frustration. This time, the Hau barely had time to appear before it vanished again, replaced by the now-familiar message: "Login details incorrect." Back at the login screen, the Matoran in the lower right corner had a new speech bubble. it had previously said 'Powered by Hau Security!" Now it said, "Forgotten your password? Check your email if you need help." IC: ??? | ??? FROM: helpdesk@hausecurity.nui TO: ehlek_rulez_420@metrumail.nui Hi EHLEK, It looks like you're having difficulty remembering your password. If you want to change your password, please enter the following password reset code on the login page: 524579 Alternatively, you can directly change your password here. If these login attempts weren't made by you, let us know. From, Your friends at Hau Security IC: Reliable Narrator | Sub-Coliseum Vahki Hive "Please" and "12345" were similarly ineffective. Evidently, Ehlek was more security-minded than Aurax had initially thought. OOC: @~Xemnas~ @Kal the Guardian
  5. 6 points
    I'd heard that this might be the case in the lead-up to this, but I was really hoping it was a mistake/misunderstanding. Honestly, I'm disappointed. That disappointment lies less with the temples being one-offs, and more with the fact that a single character has been given a monopoly on all of the puzzle solutions. When the NUVA thing was first revealed, you encouraged us to get creative with methods to find/create Great Disks. That's what I tried to do by having Sidra learn Kanoka crafting, and that's what Atamai did on his time travel adventure. But because Atamai got a full set of disks, I feel like that has effectively locked anyone out of even trying to access the final rooms of the remaining temples. A dozen or so different characters from various different factions have contributed to unlocking the different puzzles and stages of the temples, but one character has beat all of them to the final step through a time travel adventure that would only have been possible for the small number of returning characters who knew the secret location of a specific NPC from SKE, and had the ability to teleport back there. From an OOC standpoint, everyone is aware of how much work I had to put into trying to create a single Great Disk, so why would they attempt something similar, knowing there's a group of characters who have a a full set of disks ready to go, and could snatch the reward out from under of them at any given time? I'm sure there are reasons for the decision, and I'm not asking for anything to be retconned or changed at this late stage. I just had to get it off my chest that I find this turn of events to be unfair on the large number of characters who've been involved in unlocking temples thus far.
  6. 6 points
    IC: ??? | Fortress Ruins Darkness. Then light. Axxon opened his eyes. The world was a smear of colour. His eyes struggled to focus. His chest heaved like this was his first breath in a long time. His fingers scrabbled at the dirt. He pushed against the ground. He sat up, breathing hard, and looked around, blinking away his bleariness. His surroundings slowly swam into focus. The blackened ground. The rippling lake. The overcast sky. It was only then that he noticed the pain was gone. The agony that had defied description. The suffering that had pervaded every cell of his body. It was gone, and the absence was like the silence that follows noise. So quiet as to be loud. The relief washed over him like a wave, and his eyes welled up with tears. The curse of the Great Disks was broken. But how? He remembered standing guard over the Forgemaster as he brought the disks into being. Each blow of the hammer had reverberated through his very soul. The disks, he recalled, were beyond anything he had ever seen. He could sense their power from across the room. Nothing could stand against them. So how was he alive? How was he free from the torment of an endless death? His memory was slowly returning—he remembered the thieves at the Forge of the Heartflame. The duel with the Toa of Water. The journey through time itself, and the ensuing battle on the shores of this silver lake. He remembered plunging beneath the waves, and the torture of the ensuing transformation. His body changed, piston and flesh warping into something alien. He had emerged changed, yet the same. Still Axxon, yet something more. And then the Disks... He retched, but there was nothing in his stomach. Even the memory was nauseating. It had felt like he was dying a thousand deaths at once. He had felt the pain of a blade in his stomach; of being consumed by fire; of drowning in saltwater; of being cut in two; of acid eating at his flesh; of insects burrowing under his skin; of a thirst that could not be satisfied; of desperate suffocation; of the frigid vacuum of space; of succumbing to a burning poison in his veins, and a hundred hundred other deaths. One would think the sheer immensity of pain would quickly overwhelm him and send his body into shock, but it was not so. The curse of the Great Disks could not be escaped so easily. Each new death brought with it a new capacity for the perception of pain. There was no cessation, no moment to catch his breath: the agonies overlapped each other with cruel precision. Burning into breaking into bleeding. An infinity of pain that would never cease. He pulled himself from the horrific memory. Strength was quickly returning to his body, and he managed to stagger to his feet. His axe lay on the ground, different than he remembered. As he reached for it, he caught sight of his own hand and realized it was different too. His whole body felt different after his swim in the silver lake. Some foul perversion of protodermis had done this. But, absent the pain, he felt stronger than ever. And that begged the question once more: how? He hefted his axe and turned around, then jumped back in surprise, almost falling back to the ground. A statue stood before him, carved in a curious stance. One hand was raised to the sky, its jagged fingers clawing for something far out of reach. The other reached towards the place he had lain only moments ago, as if imparting a blessing. Upon closer inspection, he realized it was no statue: it was armour. A suit of black armour, so dark that it seemed to absorb the light that fell upon it, making its exact shape difficult to discern. Its cracks and grooves were threaded with mosses and lichens. A glance through the open face of the helmet revealed that the armour was indeed empty. It had not been worn by a being of flesh and blood in some time. In fact, he was surprised it still held together. The closer he looked, the more cracks he saw. It seemed held together by sheer force of will, like even a breath of wind would blow it away. As if on cue, bits of the metal began to flake off and blow away. Little clouds of dust drifted down from its surface. The armour creaked, then suddenly toppled to the ground as its joints gave way. The impact was too much for the ancient metal. It dissolved, the metal mixing with the black sand. In a moment, the old suit of armour was little more than a heap of dust. Axxon blinked in confusion, and then the final memory came rushing back like a bucketful of icy water poured over his head. The Aspect. The promise. The reaching hand. The odd, choking, strangely familiar voice. And the name... Tuakana. At the sound of their name, a presence manifested in the back of his mind. Like a dark storm cloud twisting in an unseen wind. He saw, or thought he saw, a face in the roiling shadows. It had neither eyes nor mouth, but it seemed to smile at him. He felt the smile more than he saw it. The darkness pressed at the back of his eyes, and he felt it slip into his own skin like it was putting on a jacket. He felt himself drifting back into his own brain as the darkness assumed control. It wrapped itself around his bones, and he felt his own lips open without his permission, and his voice spoke but he did not recognize the words. "I am here," his mouth said. Then it grinned, and he felt the cool wind on his teeth. "I am here."
  7. 6 points
    A reimagining of Lewa and Kongu, built for New Elementary. You can check out the post and more images here: https://www.newelementary.com/2020/11/66960-lego-ninjago-energy-burst-hinge.html Inthert came up with the idea that inspired Kongu's mask.
  8. 6 points
    Topic closed due to topic revival. (just kidding)
  9. 6 points
    I feel this might naturally go without needing to be said, but just so it's perfectly clear: Please wait for GM description of what occurs after inserting a Great Disk into the device inside an elemental ruin. Thanks.
  10. 6 points
    IC: Apex (The Fau Swamp) "I will accept." “Then Morangad, in order for the pact to be formed, a wish, a desire, a purpose must be instilled into the rite. Morangad, will you, my guide and companion, assist me in my goal to bring this island to life once more? Will you assist me in its regrowth and healing, as well as to bring those who have wrought this great devastation to ruin, so that new life may be made from their death?” Morangad did not speak, but only offered a solemn nod. And with that, conscious decision making gave way to raw instinct and supernatural prediction, as all around them the shadows swirled about into a veil that casted the dawn, shining brightly through the canopy, into twilight, with the very edges of which starkly fading into a backdrop of stars. But more laid amongst those stars than what first appeared, for eyes, shining bright and keen, numbering in the dozens, stared back now, their nature being of Rahi of young and ancient, timid and mighty, known and forgotten. For in quiet anticipation they stared, waiting for the rite that was to be conducted within the heart of the jungle to commence. Reeling over, the form of Apex began to shake and shudder as Apex seemed to begin retching, till at last, two items were expelled. A small, extinguished Heartlight, and a canister of defiled Energized Protodermis. Both were quickly snapped back up into the jaws of the ancient Aspects, as flowing from their form and maw came a fog of shadow that coalesced above the duo, forming a vague image of Apex herself, yet seemingly bearing the presence and immensity of the Tahtorak itself. Then the grating sound of tearing metal was heard, as Apex’ jaws crushed down upon the canister, its contents spilling forth and filling Apex’ maw, as the silver energized fluid fell in droplets from in between her teeth. But before whatever horrible effects of the substance could take hold, ancient words began to be uttered. Good bye But not from Apex herself, but from the eyes, those eyes bound to the Rahi that once and still dwelled within the jungle, as their cacophonous calls formulated into the words of the elder ritual, forming a solemn and otherworldly hymn and rhyme as the eyes grew brighter. Mortal Soil Decrepit and raw Then, the shadows began to lash out, like the tendrils of some great sea monster, constricting and coiling around the Protodermis that sizzled and burned within Apex’ jaws, yet any harm did not seem to be evident, as the Protodermis reacted less like a semi-solid liquid, but rather like a living creature, struggling against a predator that it had no hope of escaping. Shadow born cosmos Where I see all Slowly, traces of sickly and haunting green began to slither their way through it, with the shadowy tendrils forming the swiftly changing Protodermis into a new singular form - one of a worm. Hello There, writhing frantically in an unnatural display, still clasped firmly within the jaws of Apex, was a Kraata. Its head, a sandy-yellow and metallic, its tail, a tan color. Commanded by Apex through some subtle unknown means, the Kraata ceased in its movements, with Apex’ allowing the thing to slither forth and out, planting itself upon her snout as it stared towards Morangad. Then, Apex leaned her head forwards, allowing the worm to move from Apex’ muzzle to Morangad’s shoulders, with the serpent wrapping itself around the Tiokaha’s neck, as the Jutlin upon Morangad’s face began to shift and change, starting from where the Kraata caressed the mask. From these points of contact, came a blackened corruption, slowly moving across the Kanohi, till the mask was a mottled black, only traces of its former color remaining. But as the entire series of events occurred, within Apex’ subconscious mind an entire series of harrowing events were happening on their own. A silent scream, a haunting wail, a forgotten echo, all of that and more was trying to be heard as Apex’ internal voice cried out. For what spoke and acted in the world beyond wasn’t truly Apex, not as the individual she was, but rather the essence that formed her key being, the invisible force that held her existence, the penumbra that dwelled within the Antidermis that formed her. Deep within the inner self of Apex, she was trapped within a dark, empty, void, truer than the pitiful lack of light that substituted that which was within that cave. With the rite completed, the light of day returned to the clearing, with the eyes, stars, and twilight swiftly dissipating. In addition, the once frightening and imposing form of Apex gave way to exhaustion as Apex quickly tittered back away from Morangad before collapsing upon the ground, her body heaving with heavy shallow breaths. Apex’ gaze was wild and stark, her eyes barely able to focus on a singular object. Looking up from her prone position, Apex’ head planted against the mud of the jungle floor, Apex was just able to focus long enough on Morangad to mouth a single phrase, though no sound came out other than a silent breeze and the slight rustle of grass. With that, Apex simply laid there, too exhausted, both physically and mentally to continue speaking or traveling, as day eventually descended into night. OC: @Burnmad Your Jutlin has now been infected by a level two Kraata of Shattering. Enjoy.
  11. 6 points
    IC: Knichou, Protodermis Moat, Toa canister Knichou’s heartlight raced, pulsing with an almost unnatural rapidity as his breathing quickened. IC: Knichou, Metru Nui?, Deus Ex Machina? Knichou’s limbs locked up, literally and figuratively. He trembled with fear, but even when he rallied his willpower and attempted to move, the adaptive armor no longer flowed with him. He was trapped in his own armor, locked in his own body. Pridak grabbed Knichou’s throat and raised him into the air. The jetpack of Pridak’s adaptive armor activated and Pridak’s chokehold lifted Knichou high above the ruined city. The blinking lights and high pitched sounds of alerts from Knichou’s adaptive armor stopped as the nanodermis flowed into Pridak’s adaptive armor. The altimeter overflowed as the heads up display shut down and abandoned Knichou to look on his death with his own eyes. Knichou’s strength withered away, both because of the overwhelming fear and his rapidly dwindling oxygen supply. Without his tools, he was powerless. NO! I’M NOT POWERLESS! I AM A TOA! Pridak had fully absorbed Knichou’s adaptive armor into the warlord's own. While the Fe-Toa may have been naked and defenseless, the armor was no longer limiting the Nynran’s movement. As his vision began to blur and the darkness encroached on the periphery, Knichou grabbed Pridak’s arm and squeezed. Knichou called upon every last shred of elemental energy in his body. The metallic protodermis nanites obeyed his command, the primordial power of iron superseding the electronic directives of Knichou’s magnum opus. Pridak’s double-strength suit of adaptive armor pushed inwards at once, a molecular stabbing spree as nanites forced their way into his body under intense pressure. Pridak howled in pain, but this sound died out within seconds as Pridak inadvertently swallowed the liquid metal armor, which began to pulverize as much surface area as possible. As Pridak’s strength faltered, Knichou’s increased. Finally able to breathe again now that Pridak’s grip had weakened, the force of the Nynran’s assault increased tenfold. Pridak was no longer flying. Both of the warlord’s arms vainly grasped at his throat, which Knichou was now throttling as the entangled beings fell towards the city below. The Revenant watched with a horrified awe and animalistic pleasure as he saw fear in Pridak’s eyes for the first time. Luckily for Knichou, the roar of the wind drowned out the sounds resultant of the Revenant’s brutality. In his primal rage, Nynrah’s Revenant increased the pressure on the Barraki. It was time to end it all. Avenge his friends. Give revenge for his homeland. The Ghost of Nynrah could not stand to see Pridak wearing Artakha’s Kanohi. He would scourge this perversion of the Matoran faith if it was the last thing that he did. The Revenant would purge the Heretic King even if it was the last thing that anyone did. The Heretic’s torture paused momentarily. The Revenant would not allow too early a death to be the Heretic’s salvation from the reckoning he was due. The Revenant released one hand from the Heretic’s throat and raised it as high as he could reach, fist clenched. Layers of iron flowed to cover and strengthen the fist. Pridak choked and wheezed as air returned to his lungs for a brief second. Knichou looked into the warlord’s twisted eyes and to his dismay, saw his own. The Revenant did not pause, however. What was set in motion would come to pass. The Heretic slammed into the Ko-Metru street with a crunch, instantly followed up by the steel fist of the Revenant smashing into the Kanohi. Artakha’s Legacy shattered the old man’s Kanohi, and all was still for a brief, everlasting moment.
  12. 6 points
    IC Leklo and Ultan | Region of Ice Wasteland They rode their speeders in silence. Not for want of things to speak about, what with their mutual friend Korruhn's seeming destruction hours earlier and a myriad of matters Ultan was unaware of, but even with the microphones and earpieces that made speech as simple as if they were sitting still neither of the toa wished to say nary a word. They were thinkers, these two, a wise sage and an even more headstrong philosopher, and there was much to think about in their own worlds, each awake or dreaming at any given moment. Their speeders were programmed to follow each other, Ultan's bike trailing Leklo's as if pulled by a tether, which allowed the older toa to rest. He was more worn than Leklo's spirited self, and he required all the respite he could be afforded. The sun kept cresting behind and then above them, all the while Ultan reclined his body on the dash of his speeder, legs firmly latched onto the body of the bike to keep him astride as it buckled and swayed every now and again. He dreamed, mumbling some nothings occasionally, the only chatter Leklo partook in as a silent party, hearing the aged seer's visions as muffled malarkey like the rumblings of thunder far away. The former Alpinist, meanwhile, relived images in his mind. The course of their battle was replayed over and over again like a small theatre behind his eyes; he dreamed, just his nightmares were wakeful. He regretted doing more to help his friends, falling victim to the lull between stages and standing idly before Korruhn dipped below the waves and began a fresh tragedy. He cursed himself for his incapabilities and ineptness of powers, and for better or worse wondered, hoped even, if perhaps at the end of the road he would finally unlock his elemental abilities and become a true toa-hero at the same stroke as the presentation of the NUVA door disc-key. It was a vain thought, he knew—but then again, he could not help but feel vainglorious at his feats in the past, and Leklo wanted more than anything the ability to achieve something from the morass of ill fortunes he'd been in ever since his ascension. Perhaps what was new was a sense of purpose. What a silly joke that would be, he thought, and it was just cruel enough to be true. He retraced his steps from before, going east and south towards the Ice Ruins from whence they came. He bypassed Metru-Koro, choosing to ignore the whole settlement in his singleminded quest for the NUVA door and honoring the legacy of his friend. It was better that way, he told himself, to skip over the heartache and focus instead on his purpose. As the hours passed by the waste landscape turned greyer and more mountainous, all valleys of basalt and fiends of scree runoff from the shunted peaks nearby. When the sun tipped to hovering in front of his eyes they paused to rest, drink water from their botas, and reluctantly switched, with Ultan taking the point bike and Leklo being allowed to rest finally. He refused at first, citing Ultan's ordeal and sapped strength, but Ultan had none of it and asserted his ability to maneuver just fine and Leklo backed down with quiet gratitude. As he straddled the saddle of his vehicle he dipped his hand reassuringly in the satchel slung over his shoulder and felt the reassuring edges of the kanoka disk. And then his eyes closed and he dreamed dreams in darkness. IC Yumiwa | Kunok McGrokk's "The aftermath," I sneered. I was equally aghast and awed by the whole of the destruction and it couldn't be helped that it registered on my tone. "I delivered the furs, and I have the lady of the dunes," I said, gesturing vaguely at Zataka behind me. "I see that in my absence things really turned into poodoo around here, so tell me, in vivid detail, what happened?" Was it the tahtorak? Was it the tahtorak? IC Stannis | ???? "What do you want to do to me?" "It's my job to just help you, as I said. My goal is that by the end of our session you know yourself better. Well, that and charge you a fee." "I knew there was a catch." "..." "You are a charlatan just like myself. I know me well enough already." "You seem to be very assured of yourself." "I am." "Why do you think that is?" "I have been wandering the planes for eons. In my various guises I have seized armies, conquered lands, and claimed heartlights. None, even those who I trusted, knew the truth of what I am, nor should they have, because the truth would have been too hard for them to comprehend. I am eternal, everlasting, and foundational to the Builder's existences, an answer to their dreams and wants and desires. I know me best because I have known me longer than anyone. Why must I need any any more credibility than that?" "Because you are a void, 'Stannis.' You cite yourself as, er, 'foundational,' but would you not also admit that the Builders are foundational for your existence?" "..." "You wear the body of a Builder. You even claimed his name as your own. You supplanted his place in the realms and used his good name and status to advance your own goals. It would seem difficult to have accomplished what you have without the things this toa's body provided you with." "You could say that. But: I am no void. I provide answers where there are none, choice where there is none, clarity where there is none." "Bold claims. But what is it that you would you say you are for the Builders, 'Stannis?'" "I am their salvation." "How is enslavement a salvation? Isn't that what Mata-Nui attempted?" "I am NOT Mata-Nui." "You are not, but you both are much alike. You believe you know what is best for everyone. You tug at strings, treat the stars as insects, and seek to control the flow of all things. Isn't that why you followed him to the Ark? You saw something akin to yourself in Mata-Nui and wanted to learn from his inevitable failure. So, do you think it is possible for you to also fail?" "No. Because Mata-Nui has not failed yet."
  13. 6 points
    IC: Knichou, Ko-Metru?, The Last Battlefield? The Toa of iron carefully navigated through the razed streets of Ko-Metru, trying to discover why Tuyet brought him here. The scream changed that. Ahead of him there was a cry of immeasurable pain, cut unnaturally short. Knichou began to sprint towards the sound, arriving just in time to see the limp body of a Matoran tumble through the snow with immense force. The signature clinking of many Kanohi tied together stopped as the body came to rest, with the snow in the wake of the crash already morphing into a rosy slush. Knichou shouldered his lightstone rifle as he rounded the corner, but was unprepared for the vista before him. Atop a mountain of corpses stood Pridak, looking just like the legends described, except wearing a golden Kanohi. Toa, Vahki, Matoran, and others clambered towards the Barraki to battle him, but one after another, they were incapacitated with traps and weapons that materialized in front of them. Ahead of Knichou, his friends charged ahead. Stannis and Arkius took the lead, using their powers to shape the environment around them to clear a path and provide cover for the group, while Sans and Nale trailed behind. A cavalcade of freshly conjured objects rained down upon the group, grinding their advance to a halt. Sans grew to an enormous, impractical height and charged ahead towards Pridak with every ounce of energy the Turaga had left. By making himself the largest target, Sans drew all of the Barraki’s wrath, his sacrifice giving Stannis, Arkius and Nale the protection to push forward. After becoming a pincushion for all manner of projectiles, the massive Turaga collapsed in front of the warlord, only for the three Toa to leap over the Turaga's massive form, finally within striking distance of the Barraki. Knichou tried to catch up, but stumbled over the battlefield’s wreckage and his own rapidly-numbing legs. IC: Knichou, Protodermis Moat, Toa Canister Knichou trembled.
  14. 6 points
    IC: Zaliyah – Metru Koro Hospital Though the spark had gone out in Oreius’ eyes, he would find Zaliyah’s gaze still ablaze with motivation. She had long since come to terms with the monster this war had turned her into, both literally and figuratively. But unlike Oreius, she still had something to hate, something to fight for, something to fill that empty hole inside her for just a little while longer. There was a reason Zaliyah had always believed she’d chosen the right side in this conflict. Though everyone who'd joined had their own reasons, the League were ultimately fighting for equal rights, for freedom from the domineering rule of an unfair and exclusionary religious institution. But the Toa, the Matoran, the Order of Mata Nui, even those who’d refused to fight at all, they’d all wanted the same thing. They’d wanted the war to end, for the world to go back to the way it was, but even if they’d succeeded in defeating the League, that never would have happened. The oppressed had risen up once. No matter how hard one rebellion was stamped down, it wouldn’t stop someone, somewhere, somehow, from rising up again. Change was inevitable like that. And the world had changed so much in recent days. There was no going back to the way things were. Seeing Mata Nui’s severed head hadn’t felt like victory. Watching Sans fall to his death hadn’t felt like victory. Forcing the village to surrender hadn’t felt like victory. But this moment, seeing and hearing the figurative fire in Oreius fade away as the futility of the conflict finally dawned on him… that felt like a victory. But only a small one. “So, are we done here?” she asked, “I have a city to return to.”
  15. 6 points
    IC: Oreius | Metru-Koro The Toa of Fire opened his mouth to angrily respond when he felt something wriggle against the base of his neck. A chill went down his spine. The hospital's battle-scarred interior seemed to recede, and he was once again on that blood-stained beach underneath a cruel sky. What good had war ever done? Had it brought back even a single life? No—Metru-Nui was still littered with the bodies of men and women he had not been able to save. He had spent his strength against the League and emerged empty-handed. Pridak had spent his strength against the Matoran and emerged with even less. The sum of all their efforts was pain and loss. As much as he wished to rain vengeance down upon the usurpers and cleanse the island with righteous fire, he knew it would not change the past. His whole life had been spent on a fruitless mission to change what he had done. To atone for his weakness. But no amount of League blood would wash him clean of sin. His transgression was bolted to his bones and married to his flesh. It could not be changed. Not by Pridak's death, nor by Aurax's. And not by the death of these two League soldiers. Would it satisfy justice? Perhaps. But maybe the soldier was right, and there was no justice to be found in war. Perhaps there was no purpose or reason that further bloodshed could uncover. Maybe there had been something more for him before the end of the universe. But his god had fallen, and his purpose had been exposed as false. Now there was only the chaos of wasted life and spilled blood in his wake, and nothing to show for it. Metru Nui was lost. The universe was lost. Everything he had ever loved or fought for was lost, except for this little village and the people struggling to survive here. If he had to abandon justice to save them, then was that not a nobler sacrifice than spending their lives on his ideals? He didn't really know, and that uncertainty chilled him to his core. For the first time in a long time, he was uncertain about his place in the universe. The rock he had stood so surely upon was washing out from under his feet, exposed as sand. How could he fight for his beliefs when he wasn't entirely sure what he believed in anymore? Too many questions, and not enough answers. When he raised his head and looked Zaliyah in the eyes, she saw that the spark of anger had gone out. The Toa's ancient eyes were softer, and when he spoke, the fire had gone out of his voice. "Yes," he said hoarsely. "We both lost. We lost everything." OOC: @Nato the Traveler @Toru Nui @Onaku @Tarn @Conway @Sparticus147
  16. 6 points
    IC Kilo-M9 - Po Koro: Elsewhere in the village of Po-koro a machine continued its work. Before any progress could be made on its objectives a large rainstorm had washed over the still-new settlement. The source of the sudden weather change had been all too apparent. Whatever the creature that strode across the horizon, it didn’t match any archives records. Speculation on the entity’s identity had to be put on hold however, as the desert village had most certainly not been waterproofed in any capacity, a fact only exacerbated by the tunnels just beneath the surface. The flimsy foundation and muddy terrain had created a great many problems to overcome when it came to rescuing the imperiled citizens. The machine did not mind the challenge. These conditions were no threat to its survival, which left it with only one task to focus on. So it was that the automaton carried out its duties, retrieving as many matoran as possible in as efficient a route as it could manage. It avoided the areas its allies focused on in order to maximize efficiency, pulling villagers from the muck with relative ease. The gripping claws on its limbs splayed out to increase stability in the moist terrain while its stamina was effectively unlimited. There was no care displayed for property or possessions of those it rescued; all that mattered was preserving lives. Even as the rainstorm subsided the steel guardian continued its work while the others began to regroup. It listened in on its allies discussing their next plan of action. Expected suggestions were raised. What was unexpected was the sudden appearance of Atamai. As the last matoran in the current sector was safely retrieved, the machine took stock of its ally. There was something aged about the toa of iron; whatever had happened on his journey had had a significant effect on him. There would be time for that later. Presently, the toa’s arrival meant that he might have succeeded in his quest to retrieve the discs. That would change things. The Spear still needed retrieval, but for now the best course of action was information. “Based on prior experience with weakness kanoka, regeneration kanoka of significant power should be sufficient for repairing village foundations,” the machine theorized as it marched over to its allies. There was a piece of wall from a damaged hut in its arms, and as it continued it began carving into the slab with one of its protodermis digits. “Regardless of possibility of foundation repair, this area is unsafe for long-term living. Hostile forces are already aware of village location and know that defenses are limited. Tunnels underneath also unresolved point of possible attack. Current situation is untenable. Evacuation is advised. If no suitable independent location is currently known, transport of civilians to Metru Koro will likely be most effective until a new site for Po Koro can be located. Civilians have resided in this village for about 2 weeks. Emotional attachment should be minimal. Psychological effects can be minimized and dealt with after transport.” The mechanical enforcer paused for a moment and handed the slab of rock it had been working on to Atamai. From its memory banks the machine had carved a rough sketch of the creature the village had witnessed in the distance. Between the machine’s sketch and Kanohi’s description the size of the entity could not be truly conveyed, but with any luck these descriptors would convey the information to the toa of iron properly. “A sketch of the creature observed near the village. Based on distance from village and relative height, entity is similar in size to a small mountain. No records exist in database. Direct combat is not advise.” After letting its word sink in for a moment before moving to another pressing topic. “Ally Atamai, were you successful in your task?” the machine asked, referring to the iron toa’s disc quest. OOC: Too tired for colors. @~Xemnas~@Harvali@Onaku@Tarn@Snelly@The UltimoScorp@Toru Nui
  17. 5 points
    IC Kanohi - Tobduk-Koro Kanohi fell silent. Well, almost silent. His fingers tapped against his masks as he mumbled under his breath, saying little other than whimpers. He began to pace, his hands flapping wildly. He … he had … not expected that quick of a response. Nor that blunt of one. He had asked, he had needed to. He had a duty, Stannis trusted him, put his faith in him. But it was … Ulkarr’s words slammed into him like an disk of freezing. Ulkarr seemed unbothered, unconcerned. Like Kanohi’s words mattered very little. He … he could hardly parse Ulkarr’s words, barely hear the replies of Kat and the Vahki. He tried to focus, could … could Ramaka have asked Bode to kill her? But his brain was overcome by numbness, only rare thoughts could pierce the storm. The cross-wired Matoran felt his mind leave his metal skull, not in a vision, but like he was viewing himself from above. His brain could no longer process this all. The Fe-Matoran swayed, unable to form concrete words. He … he wasn’t suited for this. Wasn’t strong enough for this. He n-no, the village depended on him. S-Stannis depended on h-him. H-he had to th-think. H-he had to l-lead. Kanohi b-barely knew the powers of elements outside of Iron and Jungle, maybe Ulkarr was similarly ignorant, and did not know what Light could do. A-and have Ramaka dying was a mercy. But, the Vahki had a point, there were no witnesses besides Ulkarr and Bode. H-he had no proof. The vigilante turned Akiri stumbled as he paced wildly, mumbling to himself. It was become clear that any numbness he felt was his brain locking up from panic. He … he wasn’t suited for this. He wasn’t worthy of being Akiri. He needed to make a decision, or at least not go to p-pieces. And he was f-falling apart. Broken, weak, pitiful. Then Kat spoke again. Her words were barely audible, more a series of clicks and grunts that decipherable words. Kanohi stared at her blankly for a moment, before her words vaguely registered in his head. She … she wanted them to listen to both Bode and Ulkarr. O-of course, listen to all the f-facts, try to make an informed decision. And delay the decision. He struggled to make a nod. Why Stannis? Why did you think some cross-wired vigilante could do this? OOC: @The UltimoScorp @Toru Nui @Onaku
  18. 5 points
    IC: The Administrator | Ruins of Ice "Sadly, each temple was created with the intention of only a single use when the time was right. Toa Kopaka did not err from that agreement when he made these challenges, nor did the others. If a choice must be made, you both seem worthy for you both meet the prerequisites. I am unable to determine this outcome. I am the Administrator, not the Arbiter. A decision must be made by you three." Faced with such a choice, what would Sidra, Leklo, and Ultann choose? OOC: @EmperorWhenua, @Nato the TravelerTravelerTravelerTTraTravelTravelerTrav@The Captain It won't let me delete the extra travelers
  19. 5 points
  20. 5 points
    IC: Irna | Metru-Koro Hospital Although Irna maintained her outward composure, she sagged internally. She had seen an opportunity to finish what she, Keitara, and Skorm had started. And, perhaps even more importantly, part of her had been hoping to single-handedly achieve some sort of resolution. Despite everything, it seems, she still wanted to be the hero of the day. "Very well," she said, nodding. "What would you suggest, then? OOC: @Nato the Traveler IC: Parnassus | Fort Nektann The floor around Parnassus was soon littered with ashes, the Aspect plucking dish after dish in their hands and sucking clean the nutrients and energy from them, reducing Fury's hard-won cookery to black dust. They could not taste in the way that the warskaks did -- a being of pure energy, their biology simply didn't allow for it -- but they could still feel what Fury had felt when he had crafted each morsel. It tasted of pride, it tasted of joy ... and more than anything, it tasted of love. We should keep this one around, Barius, Parnassus said. I like him. OOC: @Burnmad -Void
  21. 5 points
    Long story short, I was recently reminded of the Clockwork Night game over in G&T ages ago, and realized that the character I played there had the same name as my usual OC/BZP namesake, if you will. And was an Agori/Protector - and that I'd never drawn her, so hey, why not redesign my 13-year-old OC again. So that's what I did, gleefully ignoring that everyone was supposed to be from the Jungle region so I can stick to the old colour scheme, and here we are. Notable design changes: dropped the wings because that's just silly exchanged the very impractical staff/halberd/spear weapon thingie for a slightly less imprcatical one the mask, obviously (though some design elements are there to reflect the Avohkii, like the split design of the lower parts of the mask) I did keep the skull belt, patterns under the eyes, heterochromia and Mata feet because rule of cool. Honestly I might keep this iteration around for the next few years. It's something new, and I like it better than ye olde "Toa has been half corrupted by shadows but not really" concept.
  22. 5 points
    OOC: Following discussion with the other player involved, Sidra will be arriving now after all. IC: Sidra – Ice Temple Ruins She walked silently through the darkness, only the dim lights of her drones and the lightstone in her hand offering any illumination. The ground underfoot felt smooth and sparse, devoid of rocks or foliage or anything else that might offer some idea of what this shadowy realm truly was. Sidra had long since stopped trying to figure it out. It was one of the many mysteries surrounding the Mask of Shadow Travel, along with who had made it, why it had been created, or where it had come from before it wound up in the possession of the collector whose vault she’d stolen it from. It was hers now, and that was all that mattered. But though she was unburdened by questions, her doubts still weighed on her as she walked. She’d told the truth of who she was and what she’d done for a living, and Viltia had accepted it without condemnation or question. Sidra had spent enough time with the other woman to understand the depths of her generosity and trust, but it had still surprised her. She didn’t feel like she deserved that level of compassion. She’d kept secrets from them all, used their lessons and charity and trust for her own gain. All for a Great Disk, and the unknown secret it would unlock. Sure, she’d saved lives, helped the villagers, been accepted as one of them, but still she felt like an outsider. It was the story of her life, a grim familiarity she couldn’t escape. No matter where she went or what she did, she never felt like she was doing enough to earn her place. Her homeland hadn't satisfied her lust for adventure, the stigmas and fear of the other islands had denied her acceptance, and the endless pressures to attain perfection had plagued her time as a Dark Hunter. Perhaps this time, finally, things might be different. Time lost meaning as she continued her trek. Every now and again she heard the scuttling and slithering of things unseen, circling and creeping, but the occasional shot from the lightstone rifle was enough to scatter whatever was stalking her. She'd feared the dark when she'd first come to use the mask, but now it was mundane to her. She'd seen the severed head of a god, fought an army of the undead, and conversed with a reptile the size of a skyscraper. She doubted there was anything left in this universe to faze or frighten her. Eventually a pinprick of dim light became visible in the distance, and she pushed on towards it. The light grew closer and brighter until, at long last, she stepped out into the shadow of the ziggurat that she, Leklo, and Korruhn had explored so many days past. It felt good to be back, to see that the ruins were still standing, and to feel her connection with the Suva now that she was back in its range. What didn't feel quite as good was seeing the speeder bikes parked outside the temple, the same kinds of vehicles she'd last seen Leklo and Korruhn departing on. But of course they were here. Her past had come halfway across the island to find her before. Naturally it would be the first thing she crossed paths with when she made the same journey. Holding her Great Disk at the ready, she began her descent into the ruins, her cautious footsteps echoing over the cold stones. It was a jarring transition to go from the open, humid air of the lush jungle to the dead rock and cold confines of the temple, and she found herself already missing the place she'd come to consider home. At last, she stepped into the first room, where the frigid tree waited to greet her. "Administrator?" She called, "I've returned." OOC: @Unreliable Narrator @EmperorWhenua Sorry I'm late, I didn't realise you were waiting for me.
  23. 5 points
    IC: Irna | Metru-Koro Hospital "I confirm it, as well." Irna didn't realize that she had stepped forward until it was done -- until she was there between Ostrox and the rest of the Metru-Koroans. "I am Irna, sixth-born of Perror of the Northern Continent," she continued, "and, once, of the League of Six Kingdoms. Ostrox speaks true in that respect, and that I was with Mazor when he found Mata-Nui and gave it the Krom Sphere. Yet -- " she looked over to the woman who seemed to the leader of the League attackers " -- I didn't remember anything of him before yesterday. It is possible that your god, Mata-Nui, affected all of our minds, to forget about Mazor." OOC: @Toru Nui @Tarn @Nato the Traveler @Eyru @Onaku IC: Parnassus | Fort Nektann A nervous chuckle escaped Parnassus' throat. "What do you think I am?" they said. "Shall I worship at your altar as well, Korruhn, Aspect of the Wellspring -- Aspect of the Pretty Speeches? How do I know that you've spoken truthfully of this greater darkness? How do I--" But the Aspect's own pretty speech was interrupted -- on one side by the arrival of this Gore Fury character, evidently a self-proclaimed chef and Fort Nektann's current cook; on the other side by the return of Barius, the hero Stannis slumped over his shoulder, barely conscious. And with Stannis' return ... the scent of old shadow. Barius, Parnassus said in his mind. What's going on? OOC: @Burnmad @Crimson Jester @EmperorWhenua @Sparticus147 -Void
  24. 5 points
    IC: Knichou, Protodermis Moat, Eastern Shore Knichou put on his Kakama while Vulimai scolded him for his stupid question. As annoyingly assertive as this military matoran was, she was right about one thing; Knichou did have a radio in his armor. "Name's Knichou. Captain Knichou," He said with a lighthearted grin that momentarily overpowered the stress of the past day. "In fact, since it's been causing such confusion whenever we're in the same room, I think I'll clear this up once and for all by giving myself a promotion real quick after planning and leading my remarkably successful defense of Metru-koro." The Toa if iron put his hand on his chin, feigning deep thought. "Let's see... 'commodore' is a bit antiquated... and I don't want to jump the gun by making myself 'admiral' just yet. 'Colonel' has some charm... but 'commander' has a nice ring to it..." Knichou's smile widened as he arrived at the punch line of his playful taunting "Commander Knichou, at your service," the ex-Ghost announced. "Now if you two will excuse me for a moment, I have a call to make." The newly self-described commander turned around and took a few steps away from the other two so as not to interrupt their conversation (Or more likely, so that they wouldn't interrupt his). He stretched his arms and looked at the giant head in the distance while he activated his radio "Taku, this is commander Knichou, come in, over." ~~~ By now, Berys was far too awake to go back to sleeping in the captain's chair - he had finally gotten out of the seat and joined Arnex in continuing to ensure the lower deck was in ship shape for the new voyage that 'Captain' Nale insisted they prepare for. Knichou's chatter played over the radio in the bridge for any who were there to hear it. "Taku, this is commander Knichou, do you read me, over?" OOC: @Tarn
  25. 5 points
    IC Stannis | Therapy So how do you intend to help me? That depends. How would you like to be helped? ... Therapy isn't about what I'm trying to accomplish, 'Stannis,' it's about what you need. And what is that? You have so much power, so much knowledge and wisdom... but so little peace. So little understanding about yourself. You won't even speak your own name. There isn't any point in doing so. Anyone who knows it is either long dead or better off not hearing it. Words have power. Names have power. You are not Stannis—he was a noble and good man beloved by others, but what is evoked by the name C— Stop it. You're afraid. Names have power. My name has power, but not to the people who would hear it. My name does nobody any good knowing it now. Is that hat Tuakana still around? He would know it and wouldn't care for it. Miserix wouldn't bat an eye at my name, nor would Tridax or Miserix or Mata-Nui. They do not care about my name because they didn't when I was here last. Then this is what I can help you with. What? Embrace yourself. If your name does not represent power to the others then make it. You are steps away from achieving your Grand Wish! From being a god of soothsaying, from answering the prayers of the scared and directionless! You are not Stannis of the Maru, you are so much more than the shell you inhabit. And unless you realize what you are inside, accept it, and fully embrace your true identity you will always be hindered by the legacy of the corpse you are wearing and constantly patching up with your kraata ability. You are not a toa and Xa is not the place to hide anymore. This is your turf, yours to seize, and the only thing holding you back is the weight on your shoulders. Free yourself from those fetters. Remember your name and speak it with power. Do you understand me? ... ... I do. Yes, good. Tell me more. I am an Aspect of the Makuta. Go on. I am not Toa Stannis Hagah or Maru. This land is my home. And who are you, really? My name is Caedast the Wanderer and let it echo in the minds who hear it like drums in a cathedral. Great! So that'll be ninety-five widgets for today's session. Are we billing insurance or paying in cash? . . . The Wanderer awoke in a position of repose, passionately mumbling conversation with a small pomelo tree in the garden alcove.
  26. 5 points
    IC: Reliable Narrator | Ruins of Stone Several days passed as the new village became established around the ancient elemental ruins far to the north of old Po-Koro. They found wild mahi herds, fought off a few nui-jaga after discovering a nearby nest, and observed wild kikanalo herds pass by each morning. A forge was rebuilt, and the crafters of this new little bastion of civilization once again took up their tools. Artisans finally had a moment to breathe, even in the hustle and bustle of resettling the lands surrounding the ruin. Several artists began the process of documenting the landscape through sketches, poetry, sculpture, and even dance. One dance in particular, the dance of the rain demon, became rather popular among the matoran. It told the story of their desperate fight against the pouring rain from the demon in the hills, and of the brave adventurers who saved them from drowning above and below ground. Those who fought to save their lives became local heroes, and the few who set off to tell Metru-Koro of the news took with them the names of their heroes and the tales of their honorable deeds. So it was that old friends found each other again in this settlement, and new friends came into the fold. They shared meals and tales, and recounted the different things they’d seen on their adventures, until finally the day came and Atamai returned to the innermost chamber of the Ruins of Stone. Each who entered said their name at the Administrator’s request. Those who didn’t found themselves repelled, ejected from the halls until they revealed their true selves. It seemed the Administrator was in a foul mood today, but not with those in this particular temple. He did his best to sound elated, but his voice was laced with deeper frustration. “Welcome back, Atamai of the Ark. A Great Disk is here, I feel its power. Place it into the device as is your right. Quickly, quickly!” A small crowd came with Atamai to the innermost room, Arkius standing closest behind him. Villagers gave him a wide berth, even in the temple’s confined halls, for his strength seemed to have no boundaries and his fury easily burst forth even over things deemed small by others. Many remembered him for his powerful deeds during the rainstorm, and some considered him a worthy leader in his own right. While the village happily obeyed Akiri Kanohi, the seer of their new home, some refugees whispered of the possibility of moving on should Arkius choose to depart and settle elsewhere. Atamai's other friends were there as well, standing just inside the doorway. Atamai slid the disk into the device in the center of the room. It clicked into the device with a resounding echo, making the Administrator purr happily. The letters written on the far wall lit with a soft golden glow: NUVA. “Yes, a Great Disk. For so long I have wondered who would access this portion of these temples. Who would use what came before to save what still can be. Destiny is so fickle, Unity so fragile, Duty so shakable, yet here you are.” The device rumbled and shook as it came to life. The surface of the disk became embossed with a strange new symbol, a nuva symbol, and then the device sank into the floor with a blinding light. As it disappeared, taking the disk with it, a blinding light radiated from the source. Beneath Atamai alone the light was answered. As if the stone never existed beneath his feet, Atamai fell through the floor and disappeared. The stones returned, leaving the room with one less toa, a crowd of friends and villagers holding baited breath, and terrifying silence. Arkius, the closest to the disappearance, saw only the smallest glimpse of where Atamai went -- a field of golden liquid light. The light from this place bathed him in its power, as even his proximity was enough to be affected in the instant Atamai vanished. Arkius, strong and powerful, fell to the floor as his body changed forever. It grew larger and stronger. His muscles increased, as did his connection with the earth. His mask shifted, fusing with his face as the heat from the light melted it into a single sinewy skin. When the transformation stopped, Atamai was still gone, but Arkius knew now who he was: Arkius of the Nuva Proxima, blessed in the light of Tren Krom. Old memories flooded back, untapped nightmares of a past he never lived, never did, and could never return to for absolution. Different timelines of the same man merged, forming a single entity that walked as a giant in the Time Between Time. He could feel those around him tapping him, not with their hands or voices, but with their elemental auras. He couldn’t see these auras, he couldn’t hear or smell them, but he could feel them brush against his own range of elemental mastery like currents flowing in different directions where a river joined the sea. He felt then if any asked, and if he felt them worthy, he could offer his own element and even the powers of his skin-like mask for them to use as their own while nearby. He knew then as well another mask was needed to replace his old, and that the powers of his calix were forever a part of his individual being. OOC: Nuva Proxima revealed NUVA PROXIMA (Character Change) Nuva Proxima occurs as a side effect of the Nuva process within the elemental temples. The closest individual to the source of the change -- in this case Arkius played by @Onaku --receives the tiniest amount of what the disk-bearer experiences and receives the following benefits: All currently active psychological effects or powers are removed. All diseases are removed. You may share your element and breed quirks with one other willing creature you see within your elemental range. The mask you were wearing is fused to your face and you require a new mask. The old mask is now considered one of your breed quirks. If you could not use kanohi masks before, you now gain a breed quirk that says: “you may wear kanohi masks and access their powers.” While still within fair levels (think going from the punching down a house metaphor to punching down half a city block), your mastery of the elements you control have increased. If you previously did not have elemental powers, or if you needed a tool or another being to access your elemental powers, you gain the following breed quirk: “you may now use your own base element at toa level. If you did not have a base element, pick one element to be your base element.”
  27. 5 points
    IC: Knichou, Reality?, Destruction? Knichou warily looked around, too tired to do anything else. Stannis’s lifeless face stared back, shifting to a frown of disappointment. Arkius picked himself up from the muddy snow, shooting Knichou a glare. Nale took a step back, tear-stricken optics darting between Knichou’s own eyes and the Ghost’s stained fists. There was no pain, only a profound sense of loss, as the world began to sublimate. A hazy mist began to float off of every surface, and every object began to slowly lose shape as the effect intensified. Materials themselves shifted, becoming more monotonous, losing all texture and structure. Nale fell to what was formerly snow, shaking. Knichou ran over to try to help her, but she reeled back in fear when the Ghost reached out with his murderous hands to help her. The Toa of magnetism’s body dissociated further, merging into the formless ground. Everything drained of color, every object lost it’s shape until there was no way to even distinguish between them, until it was impossible to remember there were once objects. Everyone and everything returned to the silver sea. Metru-Nui was no more. There was only the silver sea and the blood red sky. Knichou was alone again. With everything else gone, Knichou fell backwards as the process slowly took hold over his physical form. Floating in the endless ocean as all entropy disappeared, the Ghost watched the stars die. The universe was dead, but the Ghost wasn’t dying. The emaciated Ghost was cursed to observe.
  28. 5 points
    IC: Knichou, Onu-Metru?, Warehouse? The last thing Knichou saw on Tuyet’s face was a mix of confusion and pain. After a few seconds of what appeared to be excruciating pain, she dematerialized, and a few moments later, the earthquake stopped. Knichou breathed a sigh of relief. Beside him, Atamai fist bumped the grayish green lieutenant of Knichou’s Toa team, and the two Toa whooped in celebration. It was finally over, Knichou had done it. He’d saved his fellow Matoran, he had finished the fight his brothers and sisters had died for all those years ago. The fight he had to flee from in order to win. But Nuparu said this was always the plan? They followed the plan, and died. I followed the plan, and lived. Why did the plan- “Hey there, Ghosty” Knichou jumped as he heard the voice of the Toa of water behind him. He turned around to see her tossing a rock between her hands. Whenever it looked like she was about to fumble, the rock would slow down just in time for her hands to move to catch it. “Long time no see, errr… well, maybe not for you... flyboy” Flyboy? Where do I know- “Well, now that I’m basically everywhere and everywhen at once, it’s a bit harder to keep track” Tuyet interrupted. “Don’t think about it too hard, you understood what I mean... or… you will?” “How many times have we -“ “Had this conversation? Does that trope really make a difference? You wouldn’t trust me no matter what I said. I have something to show you, and unlike me, you don’t have all eternity to do it, so let’s get a move on.” Before Knichou could blink, Tuyet had grabbed his arm. Knichou was powerless as the world melted around them. Snowy concrete took the place of the rocky cavern walls, and Knichou whirled around to take in the view of the new location. The stench of blood and burnt circuitry overwhelmed Knichou’s nostrils. Black, soot-filled snow was beginning to cake the surface of everything nearby. Knichou turned to Tuyet for answers, but she had already vanished once again. Wonderful… IC: Knichou, Protodermis Moat, Toa Canister The canister began to feel slightly... chilly? Why were ice cubes everywhere? A small pile of ice cubes began to slosh around inside of the toa canister, adding another level of discomfort to this trip. After a few seconds, the dim red lighting of the canister's interior was interrupted by the soft blue glow of graphical displays. These displays were rather basic, only activating when necessary in order to save power, and were placed equidistant from each other along the circumference of the interior. Nearby each display was an array of buttons - a set of buttons in the four cardinal directions, a numeric keypad, and a button labelled ACCEPT. For several seconds they displayed a brief text message. ATMOSPHERIC ANOMALY DETECTED. CLIMATE CONTROL ACTIVATED. The canister's interior began to heat up and within a few minutes the ice would melt and the resulting puddle was siphoned away by the toa canister's life support protocols.
  29. 5 points
    IC: Knichou, Onu-Metru, Knichou’s Workshop Knichou turned around, surprised at the sudden knocking on the workshop door. He removed a pair of magnifying goggles and wiped his hands on his apron as he walked to the door. “Come in, it’s open!” the Fe-Matoran shouted to the visitor, making a note to re-solder whatever it was he was working on once this visitor left. The door promptly swung open to reveal an Onu-Matoran with an orange Pakari, escorted by a much larger being clad in grayish green armor. The silent bodyguard felt familiar to Knichou, but they declined to introduce themselves and instead moved to stand in the corner of the workshop while Nuparu shook hands with a baffled Knichou. “Oh my oh my, so much has happened since we last spoke, I’ve been waiting to talk to you about it once things died down.” Knichou gave Nuparu a confused look as the handshake proceeded. Seeing Nuparu was too bizarre for Knichou to handle, and the Fe-Matoran continued to reflexively shake the Onu-Matoran’s hand for an awkwardly long period of time. “But you -” “Yes, I know,” the Onu-Matoran interrupted, guiding the shocked Knichou to the nearby couch. “You didn’t honestly think that the dark hunter assassinating me right after we meet was a coincidence, did you? That the memory crystal had just the right instructions to send you where you needed to go?” Knichou blinked, mouth ajar, unable to form words. “Hmm… I guess I overestimated you in that department, which is perhaps exactly why Tuyet chose you for this job. Before you ask, yes, I know what I did and the stress it caused was a bit unethical, and no, I can’t tell you how I faked my death so flawlessly, but the point is... it worked out, didn’t it?” Nuparu playfully nudged Knichou’s shoulder with a grin. ”The war is over! Just how it was planned. I’m sorry you had to be kept out of it, but rest assured, this was the only way - Tuyet told me herself that this was the only way to make a timeline where Mata Nui's life was saved.” Knichou continued to watch Nuparu. His body sunk deeper into the couch, speechless, as Nuparu continued. The Fe-Matoran looked over at the bodyguard to try to glean anything from his body language, but Nuparu’s companion was an enigma, and it became confusing to look at him too long. “But now that all of this is over, I can finally let you in on the big secret, so that’s why I came back down to Onu-Metru to visit you. That and... well... quite frankly there are a few pieces of memorabilia I’d like to get back from my old workshop. Don’t worry, I won’t kick you out – after all you’ve done for us, you’ve more than earned it.” Knichou felt lightheaded. He quickly excused himself and went to a disorderly washroom at the back of Nuparu’s shop. After a few seconds of heaving into a basin, the former Nynran looked at his reflection in the mirror and saw a fearful look in his eyes that reminded him of the day he won the war... IC: Knichou, Protodermis Moat, Toa Canister Knichou was unresponsive for a long time as he and Vulimai rode inside the turbulent canister. The undulating waves and lack of space did not make it comfortable to the passengers, not that Knichou could tell in his unconscious state. The Toa of iron’s mind drifted on an endless ocean of memories and lies, recuperating after a long day of various struggles. Knichou’s adaptive armor shifted to be thin and insulating to protect him from a minor static shock that kept building up from him touching Vulimai. Occasionally parts of his Kanohi would glow for no apparent reason. The mask itself seemed to shift at an barely perceptible speed, the carvings almost… moving. Forming a new legend.
  30. 5 points
    IC Kilo-M9 - Po-koro: Gears whirred within the machine’s head in response to Arkius’ question. Eventually a crisp, friendly voice was emitted from the enforcer’s speakers. “Legends tell of the Spear of Fusion’s ability to fuse creatures together, combining their minds and powers into one entity. Such fusions are also able to be reversed, returning the two beings back into their original separate selves. One tale in particular mentions a skakdi known for their cleverness and cunning. Through a freak accident he was split into two beings. The first contained the anger and strength of the skakdi, while the other obtained the intelligence but lacked the sanity. The second being was ostracized from every group he encountered due to his unlikable qualities. This tale suggests that the Spear is capable of defusing not only already-fused beings but also normal creatures as well.” The machine returned to its usual variety of voices before continuing. “Records of the Spear mention use cases involving living beings only. This unit intends to confirm whether the Spear can be used on inanimate objects through experimentation. This unit can keep the Spear safe until such experiments are complete.” OOC: @The UltimoScorp@Onaku@Tarn@Harvali@~Xemnas~@Snelly@Toru Nui Once Onaku posts whether Arkius gives the spear to Kilo we should be good for the timeskip.
  31. 5 points
    IC: Whisper - Fau Swamp Casual conversation was still a mystifying experience for Whisper. Knowing what to say, and when, and how, was a painfully complex and challenging process. But there were some subjects that needed to be discussed. "About before," she spoke up, after a few minutes of silence, "When I spoke in your mind. It's an ability I gained when I gave you your power, one I had no need to use until now. I realise it would have been... intrusive, but I it's just for communication. I can speak to you, and hear your response if you chose to reply, but nothing more. Your mind is still your own." @Eyru IC: Zaliyah – Metru Koro “I'm a soldier. The last time I entered that city with the intent of dethroning an unworthy ruler, I did so knowing the prospect of death lay before me. This is no different." Zaliyah glowered at the other Toa, "I don't expected you to understand, but you should know that I devoted decades of my life towards the singular goal of taking that city, to make it a place for all people instead of a chosen few. I intend to return to it, in my own time, on my own terms." She sighed, wistful and weary. “For what it’s worth, I don’t want to cause more strife, as you put it. I believed in peace. I pleaded for it, with your leader and my own. They both refused. Now that they’re gone, maybe peace is possible… just not for me,” she said. “Not yet.” She looked over at the distant shape of Metru Nui in the distance. So many beings had fought and bled to take the city. She refused to leave it in the hands of a man with such a proven propensity for betrayal, first by siding with the League against the Toa, then by killing the leader of the League for personal power. For all of his faults, Pridak deserved justice. And the people of the League deserved the truth. And given that Oreius had just announced that truth to the entire village, that truth would find its way to the loyalists of the League one way or another. As far as Zaliyah was concerned, that truth would be better served coming from her, someone the League knew and trusted, early in Aurax's rule, than through a slip of the tongue days or weeks down the track, when the resulting backlash could be far more destructive for both settlements. “The choice before you is a simple one,” she turned back to the group of Toa. “You have your ceasefire, but when the time comes to negotiate a lasting peace, who would you rather work with? Loyal soldiers who stood true to their cause and their comrades, who followed their orders to the end… or a conniving coward who killed his own commander?” @Tarn
  32. 5 points
    IC: Irna | Metru-Koro Dream, my girl, of wild roses Dream of wind-swept seas and coasts-es Dream of moonlight-glinting snow Dream of sailors, wracked with woe. Dream of riders, fast and strong Dream of hunters, bow-strings long. Dream of Kane-Ra herds in Winter, Dream of a girl and you will win 'er. Dream of many, dream of all, But do not, my girl, Dream up your fall. *** When Irna awoke, she was still tired. She and Keitara and Skorm had spent the night in her home, a building nowhere near large enough for three people to rest comfortably -- although that hadn't mattered much for her. Irna had slept a child's sleep -- deep and dreamy, but of her dreams she could remember nothing, save for the sight of water lapping on a distant shoreline ... and the copper taste of blood. But she did not feel rested. Her muscles ached less now, less than they had since Metru-Nui had fallen, but it had still been agony to climb to her feet and get out the door. The sight that greeted her was not restful, either. Metru-Koro no longer burned, thank Karzahni. But it lay across the landscape like the jutting ribs of a carrion-picked carcass. It seemed impossible that all of that destruction had been the other day. Just as impossible was the quiet, now. It was then that she remembered the ship that had flown towards the village just a few hours before. It must have landed by then, she knew and, indeed -- upon a cursory inspection of the skyline, she could see the smooth silver hull peeking out above the larger buildings in the settlement. Slowly, rubbing the sleep and smoke from her eyes, the Zyglak crept her way towards it. She knew that it could be dangerous -- more Leaguers come for a second wave -- but something in her heart didn't allow her to take precautions. She had been struggling for so long. Irna just wanted to rest. But it was not dangerous, at least not superficially. A small collection of figures had gathered around the base of the airship: Ostrox and Nale, a man in auburn armour, a woman who seemed vaguely familiar from her time in the League, and a woman whom Irna felt she had seen in the battle of Metru-Koro. She approached the group cautiously. "...with Metru Nui under new management, I think returning with the news you bombed a village won't be met with as much enthusiasm at it was before you left. We can bring you back, under our escort, but we'll have to see what the new guy has to say about you," she heard Nale tell the presumed-Leaguer, before casting a look over to the man in red and adding, "What do you think?" Irna remained silent, sidling up next to the woman in white robes and bronze armour. But a single question burned in her mind: What has happened to Pridak? OOC: @Eyru @Nato the Traveler @Toru Nui @Tarn @Onaku -Void
  33. 5 points
    OOC: lost this whole post, cranky now IC Kanohi and Bode and “Collector” - Po-Koro Bode focused his thoughts, “I do not know where they are going exactly, I think some of them mentioned teleporting there.I will try to learn more. But, the vision, maybe it is a metaphor? Like the islands aren’t literally teeth, but from the islands something powerful will arise? Maybe you? Or your breed?” Kanohi did not notice, instead answering Arkius, “I think we don’t need to worry about that now, this Toa can teleport us there. And maybe, maybe that’s for the better. If we had to walk, we might leave tracks, and the Skakdi might find us if they came back to raid.” The Fe-Matoran shivered, so much death, so much horror. They still didn’t know how many had died from the flood. And after everything. He swallowed, he did not have the luxury to mourn yet. He focused and said, “One of the first sent to heather Ruins should be a warrior who can protect the Matoran we send there. Would any of you Toa—” Kanohi stopped short, and his heartlight froze. In the chaos of the storm, he had forgotten. Matoran had sent the Vahki to slaughter Kilo’s people. Murder them all, because they were supposed to be obsolete. And … and from what the leader of the Vahki had said, the League believed the Matoran had done that again and again to other breeds. Sending pawns, maybe … maybe even Toa. Even in Okoto the Turaga taught that the Matoran were the chosen of Mata-Nui. That uncaring god. But if the Matoran were chosen, then that implied other breeds were Unchosen. He, he had assumed that was an oversight, since Okoto did not know of other breeds. But now… He swallowed, he-he had to continue, “My apologies, I am a fool and slow to learn. Would any of you heroes be willing to go first to protect the first groups of Matoran we send? If I had to suggest, Arkius could make quick shelters for the Matoran, but if you are winded from draining the village rest first. Kilo, you seem to, well you seem to have better senses than me at least. Do you think you could spot if a danger approached the ruins?” Meanwhile Collector lumbered in the underground tunnels. Clinging to his back was a Matoran of Light, her hands aglow. In their left hand they cradled a Matoran of Stone, who was still coughing from almost drowning. As the Matoran on these back lit the tunnel Collector punched through a wall of ice and shattered it, before quickly drawing their Kanoka Blade as water slammed into them. With a quick slash they froze the flood, encasing a chunk of their body in ice as well as a portion of the tunnel ahead. The Vortixx sheathed their blade and punched through the ice, freeing first their torso then their legs. They began to move forward, kicking and punching to tear down the ice. Behind them the tunnel was full of shattered ice, and five drown Matoran. They had been too slow to come down, most of them had been beaten by the flood. The flood threatened even the Vortixx too, freezing and breaking the ice was the only way they could move through the torrent of water. Po-Koro was not the only place ripped apart by the rain, water had rushed into the tunnels from all over the wasteland. Collector paused to pant. Their shivering legs were almost blue, their fist was numb from punching the cold ice. They were no Toa of Ice. But they had to keep going. For the Matoran. The Matoran of Light tapped on their shoulder, before illuminating a chunk of ice where a Matoran lay frozen, clutching something. Quickly Collector kicked and tore towards them, before using their Kanoka Blade to hack at the ice, digging through. Finally this frozen Matoran gasped as he tumbled out of the ice, panting. “Sorry,” Collector winced, they should have known freezing the tunnels might endanger Matoran. Conniving monster, they should have thought of the needs of others more. Still they reached over with their left arm and adjusted to hold two Matoran in their left arm. As they did they spotted what the Matoran was holding, Jovan’s Noble mask. Collector nodded, that was good at least, before sheathing their blade and continuing to dig. Who cared about masks of power, when Matoran needed help? OOC: @~Xemnas~ @The UltimoScorp @pokemonlover360 @Toru Nui @Onaku @Snelly @Tarn
  34. 5 points
    IC Stannis, Barius, Parnassus, Korruhn, Drukarus (thanks y'all!) | Fort Nektann “That’s unfortunate, but expected,” Stannis replied somberly. He looked around and turned in place, seemingly somewhat dazed by the experience. The Wanderer wasn’t as dazed as he looked, however—instead he was remembering it as it once was. The stones were much higher back then. It was a high canyon, laden with vegetation and life along the tippy tops. Trees jutted out like parapets, and water flowed from the rocks themselves in a lifegiving gush. The fortress itself was wholly natural, all red rock lashed together by brown roots, and the caw of birds echoed throughout the area. Warriors under his old friend Brykon’s tutelage clanged steel on steel over yonder, where the garage was presently, and an arena was off to the other side. Things were smaller back then, but Stannis couldn’t be certain if that was because everything else was comparatively taller. Time had no meaning on Xa, but, he reckoned, time still had its effects. “Things certainly have changed…” Parnassus looked over at the one called Korruhn, this acclaimed Aspect of whom they had never heard. An ostentatious figure, to say the least — all spikes and talons and whatnot. They tried to reach further into Korruhn’s shadow-self, their heart of mist and darkness that had first risen from the pits of Kumu. But the shadows that surrounded him … they were too strange to pierce. Shallow as shade at high noon, and as deep as the blackness between stars. “Korruhn,” Parnassus said, granting their fellow Aspect a sidelong glance. “I don’t know your name. When did you first leave the Islets?” The being of red and gold, gleaming and worn all at once, turned to Korruhn, addressing him directly. Asking of his origins. The Islets. The origin of the Aspects? Ha. The Aspects of Kumu, Stannis excluded, knew nothing of the true darkness, the jet-black flames of wrath that reached into his heart from the Far Shore. “Ha, the old darkness?” Korruhn scoffed at the Aspect. “You call yourself an Aspect, and you know nothing of the true wellspring, the source of truest darkness? I have traveled a lot further than you to get here, comrade.” Parnassus glowered. Korruhn’s words were intriguing, perplexing, disorienting — if they were true. But Parnassus had also grown up in the laboratories and lorerooms of the Islets, and knew that Aspects concealed much, and concealed it often. Their family was, like most families seemed, forever eager to avoid saying anything the straight-forward way. And when they did, like Korruhn, they tended to do so in the most stuck-up way possible. “The true wellspring?” Parnassus repeated. “A darkness blacker than that of the Islets? I’ve heard of antique lands and strange phenomena. I, myself, am named for a mountain which only some believe to exist, upon which an oracle of untold sight resides. But I have never heard of a shadow deeper than the heart of Kumu.” “The heart of Kumu is a drop in the Silver Sea, pale in comparison,” Korruhn replied. The bait seemed to work, at least for now. Parnassus was busy enough in their own self-doubt to pay too much mind to Korruhn’s origin. The unknown is too great a temptation to pull the brain from. “But perhaps, in time, all of our kind will come to know the power of the wellspring.” Parnassus’ glower deepened, the shadows that curled around them now frothing like waves on a moonless night in their simmering frustration. For so long they had told their kin that the secrets to unlocking the Seventh Seal would be found outside the walls of Kumu, that it would be necessary to go and explore the larger world — not to simply rebuild the scrap of ancient years. And now, to be told that such a discovery had been made, and had been made by someone else— “How wonderful,” Parnassus seethed, turning their head away from Korruhn. Between the banter between Korruhn and Parnassus, in the midst of his ancient reminiscing, Stannis rolled his eyes at them. If he had discernable pupils in his eyes they would have been seen rocking to the back of his brain, but since he didn’t, there was not even a telltale shift in his silvery irises. Children, he thought. The wizen warlord Drukarus also shared the Toa priest’s opinion about the interaction between Parnassus and Korruhn, for verbose shows of boast are the same, no matter whether amongst Skakdi or others. Even Toa can grow subject to the need to show off their superiority. But with Parnassus and Korruhn, words can only go so far till example must be made. Barius glanced around at the curious assemblage of beings. The Toa had stopped, seeming to look around the fortress like a tourist. Stannis’ reminiscence was lost on the Skakdi warlord; at best, he took his pausing for an attempt to get his bearings. At worst, he reckoned the ancient wanderer had lost his marbles. Looking around, he addressed the Toa: “I reckon your package isn’t buried underneath the storage shed. What’s the holdup?” “I’m thinking,” Stannis replied, his voice distant and soft. He stood stock-still for a moment suddenly, allowing himself to recollect like an extended slinky, and then suddenly leveled his gaze back at the newly-minted warlord. “You took this crown recently, didn’t you?” The Skak squinted at him for a moment, before grinning broadly. “You’re not wrong. Though, I’m curious how you discerned as much.” “The people here are giving you a wide berth,” Stannis opined. “You’ve committed some action to make them fear you and I don’t believe you merely impressed them with some mere feat of cruelty. You took something, and not just from Nektann Jr. You seized their loyalty, and they’re still not sure how the garments of new fealty feels yet.” The old aspect tilted his head at Barius, gazing at him like some artisan’s bust on a wall, and winked. “An old man knows these things.” The warlord cocked his head as Stannis finished his assessment. “Your intuition is impressive,” he muttered. “I hope it isn’t meant to soften me up for the reveal that you’re here to sell me a bridge, because I’m immune to flattery.” “Oh, no. The only bridge I would sell you is a bridge between the past and present,” Stannis said cryptically. He waited a beat. None laughed. “But no. I am only here to collect what is mine. You, or your wants and needs, are not what I seek to gain from. The groundwork of this was in the making long before you—as I alluded—and will likely continue well after you are just a leaf in the wind.” Barius only sneered in response. Toa and their mystical mutterings, he thought to himself. In turning from Korruhn, Parnassus turned to face Stannis. This man, this demigod of rock and stone, seemed the antithesis of Barius — where the warskak was blunt, straight-forward, with a mind like the edge of a blade, Stannis’ speech meandered, wandered … but always seemed headed towards a destination which not even Parnassus could discern. And, even more than that, there was something about this man … the way that the shadows seemed to cling to him as he passed by torches and lightstones. When Parnassus reached out, they could almost sense a coiled darkness deep within him — but that would be impossible. Wouldn’t it? “You are an interesting individual, Stannis,” Parnassus said. “I know that the Toa are said to be great heroes. Beings of legend, of … myth. Where were you headed before your unfortunately abrupt arrival here?” The old Aspect turned to Parnassus as the young Aspect queried. “Yes… I suppose those are truisms,” he said. He looked the being over, head to toe, in the closest scrutiny he’d given Parnassus yet and began to formulate his opinions on him as well. He looked young from the way he held his nose high and neck straight, giving an air of confidence and pride, traits the young had to compensate for their youthfulness. There was an eagerness in Parnassus’ eyes, a gleam of enthusiasm begotten from the optimism of naivete. On Xa particularly Aspects wielded power, and Parn captured that sense of superiority well enough to add umph to his steps and a quareness to his shoulders. Very young. Very strong. And very, very foolish, Stannis considered. What’s more, Stannis looked at the ground for an instant, trying to discern direction from it. What was normally a directional arrow guiding his progress was little more than a web. All the lines of fate seemed to intersect at two crucial points: Stannis… and Barius. The Wanderer’s own destiny, whatever it was, was tied with the newly minted warlord’s, at least in the immediate sense. He looked knowingly at Barius quickly, then back to Parnassus. Foolishness, he reminded himself, was a trait he too, once. No many times. Time and time again he’d thought himself above a station, a person, a task. Growing old was mandatory, yet growing up was optional. Wisdom was what differed, which Stannis held in droves, wisdom to learn from mistakes and the strength to recover from them. “Believe it or not, I was always headed here. Faith has brought me here.” Faith. “I … understand that,” Parnassus said. They nodded despite themself, nodded without knowing why. It was as though Stannis was a black hole towards which they were being inexorably drawn. “I, too, came here without knowing how. Or perhaps always knowing how. The path of wanderers is, after all, next to the path of gods.” “There are some who called me ‘Prophet,’” Stannis said before turning his attention back to Barius. “Tell me...” he said, looking like he struggled to pull the words from his throat, “where… do you intend to sleep?” Barius couldn’t help but laugh at the suddenness and bizarreness of the question. “Same place my predecessor slept, albeit perhaps with some redecorating--” he began to sneer at the thought of trashing Nektann’s stuff, before he was interrupted. “And his predecessor before that?” Stannis interjected. “Indeed. The royal suite, as it were.” “The master bedroom,” Stannis said in old fashioned awe. Nobody picked up on the racist subtext in the term, however. “Then the longstanding tradition is indeed set.” He alluded to the relatively unknown rule of tradition, where if something happens once it is a random chance; if it happened twice it was a tradition; however if something happened twice and beyond, it was a longstanding tradition. “Take me there.” “So soon?” He joked, before raising an eyebrow as the Toa’s seriousness became apparent. “As you wish. I certainly hope this is all going somewhere.” For your sake. Complying — for now — with Stannis’ request, he led the group towards the ‘master bedroom’. Truthfully, he had never seen the chamber before, though he knew where it was. Boss had never allowed anyone in his room - which was fair, as Barius intended to do the same. Barring this one exception, apparently. The inconsequential chatter of the group continued, blending in with the sounds of the fortress as he led the way through the halls, into the mountain proper. It wasn’t a long walk, but it was long enough for Barius to wonder at the Toa’s audacity. This Stannis was lucky, he thought, that his host was so accommodating. They reached the door; the door which had been, in part, the subject of Barius’ desires for much of his life. It felt quite silly that he was forced to experience this moment of triumph in the presence of others. Nonetheless, he dug into his pockets for the possessions of the late Nektann. Judging by the size and shape of the keyhole, the ‘key’ was the same item that had once activated the E. Street Wagon. He pulled out Boss’ old combat knife and stuck it into the doorknob. “I’ll have the three of you wait outside, now,” Barius said, indicating Korruhn, Parnassus, and Drukarus. It was not a suggestion. He turned the knob and slipped into the room, expectant that only Stannis would follow. “Oh, so you’re including me. Thank you,” he said as he followed bumblingly. His spear-staff clicked on the sandstone floor of the citadel’s apartment section. Stannis followed Barius into the innermost, private most sanctum. Korruhn heeded the direction without indicating so, turning aways halfway through Barius’ statement. He made no mind of Drukarus, who seemed to do the same in his regard, but Korruhn did shoot a little chin-tilt Parnassus’ way, along with a smirk. Something to shake him up a bit more. He began to pace in the immediate vicinity, ensuring not to step out of sight, lest he stir up Barius’ band of rabid dogs. Drukarus allowed a flash of distaste to appear on his face, directed towards the two shadow beings, before simply positioning himself outside of the door to Barius’s new chambers, his hand and claw upon his maul, like some sort of sentry waiting for his master’s little affair to be over with. On the other side of the door awaited a chamber which was practically resplendent, in comparison to the rest of the facility. It was clean and orderly, albeit somewhat spartan. Immediately before the door was a rug made from the hide of some furred creature; the only purely decorative item in the room, and indeed, in Fort Nektann as a whole. Opposite this rug was the bed, which had an actual mattress, as well as blankets made from rahi hides. Tucked into the corner was a rusty, floor-length mirror. Nearby, against the wall, was a dresser, one of the drawers still ajar, an article of clothing hanging out of it. On top of it was another, cleaner mirror, in front of which was positioned a variety of personal effects having belonged to the room’s previous occupant. Among these was a dull tin cup, with a single green plant growing out of the water contained within it. The other side of the room was fairly empty, aside from a recess which seemed to be a fireplace, likely connected to the same network of vents that brought fresh air to the rest of the subterranean portion of the fortress. The inside of the fireplace was littered with ancient ash, long-cold: Firewood was not forthcoming in the desert. “Ah yes, nothing has changed.” Stannis stood in the middle of the room, admiring the chamber lovingly. He spent a moment too long gazing at the bed, however; it could be imagined that he witnessed ancient trysts and acrobatic acts done there, but that was just silly to consider. “Brykon said he would keep what was mine in a place only he would know where to look. I thought he was being unnecessarily cryptic, but thankfully he built his home in a block of rock. And, well…” Stannis quickly patted himself down. He was a toa of stone. He wanted to make that obvious to Barius. “That’s a secret door,” he said and pointed at a wall with a large mirror on it. Barius nodded, seemingly not surprised. The room was nice - much nicer than the accommodations the rest of the Warskaks put up with - but altogether rather mundane. Approaching the wall in question, he began to search the vicinity. Under and behind the bed he searched, before pulling the dresser away from the wall and looking behind it as well. His search having proved fruitless, he moved to the corner where the large, rusty mirror was tucked away. Lifting it away from the wall, he set it down beside the dresser, having revealed a rectangular hole in the wall. He looked down at the knife that was still in his hand. Might as well try it; he slipped it into the hole and jimmied it around until he felt a distinct click! which denoted the activation of a mechanism. Moments later, a soft rumbling could be felt as a previously seamless wall split open, and gave way to a secret passage. “Ah, lovely,” Barius muttered. “Excellent,” Stannis said, recalling his adventures in the Coliseum. “I 'love' secret passageways.” He surged ahead, leaving the lord of the castle in his dust as he hurried forward as fast as his old legs carried him. His great grey cloak billowed after him like a trail of smoke as he fled into the darkness. His feet went plat! plat! plat!, evoking the image of a very eager swan chasing its quarry. “Quick, for an old hermit,” Barius muttered beneath his breath. Following behind the overeager Toa, the pair soon found themselves in a chamber beyond anything they could have conceived of. The room beyond the secret passageway was filled with green things, lined with rows of various types of plant life. A single, bronze spigot, presumably connected directly to the oasis outside the mountain, provided a discrete source of water for the garden. Barius allowed his jaw to hang open, speechless as he looked around at the showcase of his predecessor’s secret passion for horticulture. But his loss for words was only momentary, as he recalled the quest which had brought them here. “Well, Toa, you’ve brought us this far. What now?” Stannis looked around the small enclave with sheer wonder. It was something new, for once! Something new! A section he’d never seen before, never been to before, never anticipated before! And the plants! He looked at each one with adoration, admiring the life that was thriving thence. There were hydrangeas, roses, a set of orchids that looked like dying babies, and even a yucca in the center of the space. The old Aspect was grinning for sheer joy; this was the place started by Brykon, and ever since then maintained by the hands of every castellan of the Lifespring, every being cherishing this private garden as their innermost heart to their operations. He imagined leader after leader using the garden as their thinking space where their demons were conquered. It was a beautiful thing, to him. And to think, Brykon made it for him. “Now, I take what was promised me, and nothing more,” Stannis said. “And… at last. It exists. The miracle cactus.” He approached a small plant, what looked like a miniature succulent of sorts, lo taller than his waist, and somehow conjured a pair of scissors from his cloak which he took to the tops of the plants. They looked like miniature saguaro cacti, all straight lines and elbow joints, prickly as could be and green as the dankest leaves. At their tops were broad flowers, dense roses that almost looked like heads of hair, which Stannis wasted no time in clipping and tossing into a secondary small implement of rock which miraculously materialized in his hand. It was nothing special, just two rocks he employed like a mortar and pestle, and in no time at all he slipped the cut and crushed leaves into his pipe. “Got a light?” he asked. He’d somehow left his own on a lounge table onboard the Ambling Alp. Barius blinked once, before reaching into his pocket. He didn’t smoke — though he was tempted to try, if the Toa left any of this ‘miracle cactus’ behind — but Boss had. Digging around, he found a lighter without much difficulty. “Here,” he said, holding it out to Stannis, seeming almost awestruck. If the Toa had gone to all this difficulty for a handful of plants, then they must have been some pretty good stuff. The old man took the light and quickly struck it to flame. He then placed the lip of fire on the bowl of his pipe, letting the lips of fire gently lap on the delicate leaves, and then ceremoniously sucked. He handed the pipe to Barius, almost in sheer jubilation. “This,” he explained, “is the ‘miracle cactus.’ It’s documented name is miraculum vivificantem, though none on Metru Nui could raise it. It possesses the ability to cure any wounds, heal any injuries, and remold any dislocations. Take it, imbiiiibe in it, let it course in your veins and lungs as it does in mine. You look like you could use it.” Barius looked skeptically down at the pipe, then back up at the Toa’s face, which was decorated with twin streams of smoke exiting his nostrils. He gingerly accepted the wooden instrument, tiny in his hand, and lifted it up to his face. The smell emanating from the bowl was at once sweet and acrid, and slightly heady even without his taking a drag directly. He placed the mouthpiece between his parted lips, pursed them around it, and inhaled; cautiously at first, and then more deeply as the invigorating smoke filled his lungs. And the the whole universe opened up to the two beings... OOC | Stay tuned for more, lmao. Miracle Cactus effects run by and approved by the SK GMs. Full description will be posted to the general discussion soon. For reference, both Stannis and Barius rolled a 5.
  35. 5 points
    IC: [Takadox] Like a giant worm, but worse. Perfect. Just perfect. So not only were there various tribes of marauding Skakdi on this land, jockeying for places in line to desecrate themselves with these Aspects for a little more power. No, on top of that you had giant mythical monsters people could just...summon. And here all he’d wanted was to conquer a city, and a war and bring about a more egalitarian society. Inconvenient. At that word, the foreign warlord actually burst out with a short, bellowing laugh. “Oh, I could tell you a story or two of inconvenience after my time in those caverns.” he commented, before catching himself and raising his hands palms up, already apologetic. “But, you raise a fair point. Let’s find some place safe.” He glanced from Providence to the Mesi. “Who knows, since this one hasn’t tried sacrificing any of us to some pit monster, perhaps they’re willing to tell us of safer routes.” He glanced at the Bohrok again. “And while we get there, maybe you can explain where in the blazes you came from and how you’re up and about all by yourself.” OOC: @Burnmad @Kal the Guardian @Nato the Traveler @Sparticus147 IC: [Vhisola] After parting ways with Sorilax and Sala, Vhisola’s remaining trek back to Metru-Koro was little more than a stroll compared to the hardship of navigating the swamps these past few days. The ground was solid, the path ahead was clear and she didn’t have to constantly scan every possible corner for some hungry Rahi. Not that she went from alert to careless in an instant, but she could physically feel the tension releasing within her. She followed the smoke rising from the recent battle to lead her back to the village itself. To her great relief, most of the smoke was coming from the hulks of dead airships that had come down, not the settlement. But Metru-Koro had still gotten hit hard. The damage was extensive, but not insurmountable. They could rebuild, in time. As she got closer, Vhisola found that her return was hardly noticed. She had expected more heads turning, but she soon realized that in this state of affairs, she was just another lost Matoran wandering the aftermath of the battle. People were way more focused on those closest to them. She knew the feeling well. It had brought her back earlier than intended after all, and she definitely kept an eye out. Eventually she waved down a group of three Matoran clearing rubble. She didn’t know any of them and none of them seemed to recognize her, but she still asked: “Have any of you seen a Ga-Matoran called Nokama? Or Nixie?” The trio argued amongst themselves for a moment whether or not they’d seen anybody going by those names or their descriptions, before they all concurred that no, they had not seen them, but to go and check the new archives cave. But on the way there, she finally got lucky, spotting a certain Matoran wandering around, looking a bit dazed. It took her a few seconds to notice Vhisola standing in front of her and recognition to set in. Her eyes grew wide. Vhisola smiled awkwardly. Nixie looked...well, as good as one could, surviving calamity after calamity. “You look terrible.” Vhisola finally said, breaking the silence. Nixie looked the other Matoran up and down, shaken out of her thoughts. She took in all the scrapes, bruises and mostly the mud and dirt clinging to her friend. Her blue figure faded rapidly into mottled brown, green and tan from her face on down. “Thanks. You too.” she replied. They laughed and embraced one another. “It is so good to see you!” “Same! I came as soon as I heard of the attack! It was the league, right? Did we win?” “I...I don’t actually know. I heard some weird Skakdi attacked right after the league too, so...it’s all been a mess.” Nixie replied, honestly. “The league came and offered a truce, but Turaga Sans refused so they came back with those airships. Sans...didn’t make it.” “Oh…” Vhisola’s eyes dropped. “Did we lose anyone else? What about...about…” “She’s not here.” Nixie said, knowing instinctively who she was referring to. Vhisola could feel her throat clenching. “Not here...because she escaped, or did they...did they…?” she couldn’t finish. Nixie took a step back, but held onto Vhisola’s shoulders, steadying her. “No I mean, Nokama isn’t here at all. I haven’t seen her since the spirit fell.” The astronomer was quiet for a moment. “There are many familiar faces I haven’t seen since then.” Her thoughts briefly stopped on Taja. “And even some of the ones I have, I don’t recognize anymore.” Vhisola took a shuddering breath. This was not the news she had hoped for, she’d somehow convinced herself Nokama would be here, not waiting for her, but...just be there. But at least she wasn’t dead. She was certain of that much, somehow. Nixie coughed and cleared her throat. “Come on. It’s been a long day for us both and you have had a long journey. No way we’re gonna get anything else done today anyway, so come with me. You can stay at my place tonight.” They made their way back to Nixie’s hut. To the astronomer’s great relief, the airship blasts had missed her hut for the most part. She still had a massive hole in it, but her telescope was still there - covered in dust and sitting at a weird angle, but if the lenses weren’t damaged it would be fine. While Nixie went and began to clean up the place, Vhisola took time to clean herself, before they settled down in the middle of the room on two bed rolls. They ate a meager meal of rations Nixie dug up and then sat and chatted, huddled around the heat stone between them, catching each other up on their respective adventures. Nixie recounted everything she’d witnessed leading up to and during the attack. Vhisola mentioned her run in with Sorilax and Sala and they had a good laugh over her using Nixie’s name. At any other time, the astronomer might have been upset at the identity theft, but she was just so glad to have a friend to talk to, she continued chuckling, until the laughter turned into coughing. “Are you alright?” Vhisola asked, looking concerned. She’d originally just figured it was because of the battle, but now... “You look unwell.” Nixie coughed once more before answering. “Sore throat and a headache. Nothing a good night’s rest won’t fix.” Nixie reached for a canteen and took a deep gulp of water from it. Vhisola looked unconvinced, but replied. “Okay, if you say so…” Eventually, both exhausted from the day’s events, they laid down. But Vhisola found it hard to fall asleep. Her body craved rest, but her mind...it almost was like she was back in the swamp, the jungle, with danger all around her. Or maybe it was the opposite? Out here, there was no noise. No insects, birds or other Rahi...no rustling leaves in the wind. Just calm breezes...just calm...calm. Vhisola woke up startled in the middle of the night to the sounds of struggle right next to her. She looked around in the darkness of the hut, alarmed, thinking they might be under attack, but there were no sounds of battle. What she did hear was Nixie writhing on her cot, as if struggling to breathe. Vhisola kicked off her bedding, scrambling to uncover the lightstone between them to see what was going on. Just as her fingers found the canister, Nixie spasmed and lashed out. Something hit Vhisola’s hand hard and the canister went clattering off into the darkness. Nixie yelped. “Oh no!” Vhisola muttered, trying to keep the rising panic in check. “Try to lie still, I’ll get it!” Vhisola dove after the canister, crawled on all fours to try and find it, she blindly patted the floor in front of her, knocking over eating utensils and mugs, until they finally brushed against the canister once more. With shaking fingers she opened the lid. A soft, warm glow sprang forth. Despite it’s dimness, the sudden change from utter dark to light was momentarily blinding. Blinking, she turned around - and froze. What she thought had been Nixie was still writhing on her cot, convulsing...but this creature could not be her friend. It was almost twice as long as Nixie had been tall - claws scraped at the hut’s floor and it’s elongated tail whipped around - probably what had hit the canister from her hand, a part of her mind noted. But then one of the eyes frantically rolling around in their sockets locked on to her - and Vhisola knew that this WAS Nixie. She recognized her eye and she saw the pain and confusion and fear behind it. Oh god… She felt her stomach drop. For a heartlight flash, she was tempted to just freeze up. But then another instinct took over and she moved, desperately kicking her legs until they found purchase and she managed to get to her feet. She didn’t know the layout of the hut, so she went straight for the hole in the wall and ceiling, where a patch of starry sky provided a point of reference. She tried to vault over the gap in the wall but misjudged. Her foot caught on the edge and she tumbled outside. She tasted sand but ignored it, struggling to her feet again and running to...whoever first crossed her path. “Help...get help.” she rasped, in-between gasps for air.
  36. 5 points
    IC: Nuju | Kini-Nui "Yes I could use your help. But not with me, I'm fine. Instead, I need your help in there," Nuju pointed back at the rippling portal. Sorilax and Sala noticed Nuju talked with his hands as much as with his words, and occasionally small whistles and clicks mingled with his normal speech. "The Far Shore is what lies beyond that portal. It's where the universe itself validates its own inconsistencies. Infinite unraveled possible timelines exist at once within the Far Shore. It's both a place and not a place. To call it a place is a misnomer, but there's no real word to describe it. It exists between the space between planes. I assume you understand the planar theory of cosmology. No?" Nuju didn't pause, instead sitting himself down on the stairs to the portal as he began to explain further while wiping grease off his palms with a flax cloth from the pile of discarded treasures. "The planar theory -- unlike Nuparu's simulation hypothesis -- is that, well, you exist in the Time Between Time. It's one plane. There are multiple realities parallel to this, such as the Time Before Time and the Time After Time. Time alone and by itself is its own plane. And these planes are all impossibly close to us at all times. In fact, you're there now. Just doing something different. Maybe. Who knows. The point is this: look at the night sky. Every star you see is its own plane. This of course leads us into the philosophical hypothesis posed by the scholar Ihu that we are in and of ourselves planar constructs governed by internal constellation prophecies, and that our consciousness is determined by the individual internal cosmology of our own internal reality that is inhabited by, well, us and everything else. We have no free will within this hypothesis. It aligns itself easily with matoran religious dogma: we are unified in our life's purpose, duty bound to fulfill it, and are preordained with a destiny that is revealed as we live. In this paradigm we are literally chosen. For what though? This is of course speculation at best, and religiously reinforced social functionalism at worst. There is no proof for this hypothesis. But now with access to the Far Shore we have a chance for true self discovery. We can test it. Within the realm where reality is itself determined we can find answers to these kinds of questions. However, there is something that exists beyond our planes, and even beyond the Far Shore. No matter how far I walk along the shore I cannot reach it. I learned of it in Metru-Nui before the cataclysm. I thought it existed beyond the Ark, but I was wrong. It was very much a part of our home, and it's gladly consuming every plane as we unravel throughout time. The evils and accomplishments of our kind are infantile by comparison. We've existed in only one plane for as long as we remember, and there's something beyond everything that has true power. They are no Great Spirit, or even a Great Being. They are something truly without comparison. I found a name in my research: Tren Krom. They exist beyond us, and only by aligning certain planes can we access their true domain. This brings me to the stone you just used. "Makoki stones like the one you activated are representations of a unique plane separate from all other realities. I am aware of six of these stones, which -- according to writing hidden within the Great Temple of Metru-Nui -- were forged from a single makoki sphere by six great toa heroes before the creation of the Mata Nui Ark itself. It leads me to believe at one time the planes were aligned so that access to Tren Krom's domain was possible. Now we have the six fragments, and Tren Krom exists somewhere beyond. Each stone is like a key to a hidden kingdom, and you just proved they have the power to align multiple planes together. I've tracked the presence of another Makoki stone for some time hidden in the swirling uncertainty of the Far Shore, and I've narrowed it down to two possible timelines. The stars of our matoran principles have guided me so far, but it would be faster if you could investigate these two possible timelines while I compile and translate the data. If it helps, there are untold riches waiting to be claimed from the fragments of uncertainty that is the Far Shore. I'm sure the faster we confirm possible realities the sooner we'll find another makoki stone, and the sooner we'll be able to access Tren Krom's domain. If you know others who could assist in this search, I see no reason why not to inform them of the need." Nuju looked at Sorilax and Sala quizzically for a moment, like a teacher surveying the lecture hall. He gave a sharp click and a low whistle. Sorilax finally placed the sounds as birdsong. "Any questions?" OOC: @Kal the Guardian, @Sparticus147
  37. 5 points
    IC Stannis and Korruhn | Ambling Alp It was late afternoon and the sun was turning redder the closer it fell to the scorched horizon. Curious shadows splayed across the vestibules of the Ambling Alp with the light beams danced across every surface like desperate arms urgently striving to hold its grasp on reality. Stannis knocked once at the door to Korruhn's pod. "It's almost time." He walked towards the cockpit. The Toa arose at once from the bed, assembling the waistbelt kit and cloak he had set aside, and readied himself. He opened the door out to the observation deck, flooded with crimson sun and deep shadows. Stannis' footsteps could be heard to the left as he stepped to the cockpit. Following suit, Korruhn entered the cockpit and sat next to Stannis', in the co-pilot's seat. "That's the spot?" He pointed toward the oasis. Stannis nodded. He took hold of the control wheel and leaned in a little bit. "Have you ever flown an airship, Korruhn?" he asked. "Speeders, yes. Airships, no." His hands moved to the controls with the same curious approach he would take in the epicenter of an ancient ruin. It all looked so foreign, and although he was inclined to want to learn now, he had never had the need before. Where speeders couldn't take him, the chute system would. And where those failed, his feet and a climbing anchor never did. Or at least, that's what Leklo would have said. "I presume you're going to show me." "On the contrary," Stannis said, sounding a lightly disappointed. He was a luddite, and if anything had been proven in the hours leading up to Metru Nui's destruction it was that the old Wanderer was technologically inept to the point of near ignorance of machines. The smarter they were the more stupefying to him. He'd only ever piloted with the assistance of others and Vahki Unit BO-1337-Pilot, and he was very aware that the only time he had in fact landed the airship was in a dramatic crash that shattered a whole city block. He kept that bit of trivia to himself. "I was hoping you would show me. I possess an approximate knowledge of how to fly," he overstated, "but my knowledge is much more fuzzy on the matter of landing." Korruhn couldn't help but chuckle at the scenario: Stannis, the thusfar infallible, asking a Cartographer from Ko-Metru for flying lessons mid-flight. Were the world not currently going to Karz in a handbasket, Korruhn would have greatly relished the opportunity to have a little fun with this. "Matoran were almost exclusively forbidden from piloting, aside from those of Le-Metru. I was lucky enough, with the nature of my position, to have access to the speeders." An idea struck Korruhn. "Thankfully, though, if we can't find some sort of landing function on this gaudy craft, surely a little help from gravity will ensure a smooth landing." "Yes, I suppose there's that," he said sardonically. "We are fortunate you at least possess your toa-given powers." He also withheld that the last crash landing, destruction and all, was with the assistance of another toa of gravity. Some truths were too frightening to know. "I programmed the autopilot to bring us here, but not to land. So. Bear with me. I would say things could 'get rocky,' but, well, I'm a toa of stone, so..." They always are, he finished in his head. Stannis' sentence was intterupted as the oasis came into view. It was a gorgeous sight in such a barren desert wasteland. A crown of rolling hills covered in soft grass protected the area, a shallow depression in the earth, rife with rock and vegetation, with a clear, bubbling stream flowing quaintly through the middle. It truly was a sight. A ray of sun caught something nestled among the brush, it's shape inorganic and jagged, and it's surface battered and uneven. Korruhn couldn't quite make it out, but whatever it was, it wasn't natural. A town, perhaps? "Is that some sort of settlement down there?" he asked. "One of many like it on this spot. This crowded speck of greenery is the only oasis of its kind in the wastes of Tren-Nui's north, and a highly desirable redoubt that has been contested for as long as anyone can remember. Presently, it is controlled by a Skakdi faction with their base built upon the ruins and scrap from its previous owners and the battles fought to conquer them. They call it 'Fort Nektann,' yet another Skakdi-centric moniker for a place that has held countless other names before." "Indeed. And what are they like? What sort of welcome are we to expect?" That was another thing Stannis was not sure about. His studies of the Warskak faction were distant as best and third-rate at worst, mostly from secondhand witnesses of its members given by Matoran survivors of the cataclysm. He knew Skakdi from the Ark, though that knowledge wasn't a helpful as he'd like—these people who had somehow found themselves on Xa had developed in their own way, battered and twisted by forces that hadn't existed on the Ark and adapted to fit a far more desolate and unforgiving land, and in the last ten days Stannis had not gotten a proper opportunity to introduce himself to them. Still, if they wee anything at all like their Ark-borne cousins, they were similar in enough regards to exploit. "They live on a diet of fear and shows of strength," he explained. "War is in their blood, and their life is a game of survival of the fittest. We are likely to get a hairy welcome with fingers itching on triggers, and I expect they hate anyone who is a toa or resembles the indigenous populations. If we land within the confines of the fortress we will be destroyed, and if we park outside we will be surrounded and carved into meatcakes if we show ourselves as the toa we are." He banked the Alp—a little too much to be comfortable—in preparation for making a swooping landing. Already he could see the rabble within the fertile valley scramble as they noticed the screaming airship invading their airspace. Stannis gritted his teeth, frustrated of course but not at himself, rather at the piece of technology not quite doing what he wanted it to do. "And so what do you plan to do to convince them that we aren't Toa?" "I was thinking of using you..." Stannis said between tight lips of consternation, "as a decoy. The Skakdi have a certain... shall we say... ritualistic relationship with the Aspects of Makuta. And you, my friend, have the badges of Shadow to fool them with.And I am Stannis, the toa who made a bargain with you." @Crimson Jester @Burnmad
  38. 5 points
    IC: Barius - Approaching Fort Nektann As the landmarks which surrounded the canyon where Fort Nektann was nestled rose on the horizon, so too rose Barius' spirits. They were nearing their destination, and after the great tribulations he had overcome the previous day, he was eagerly awaiting the opportunity to relax, unwind, and heal up. Moreover, he was quite looking forward to some redecorating. But before he could get to the things he wanted to do, there were a few irksome chores that he needed to deal with. Firstly, he had to explain the change in leadership to the Warskaks that had stayed behind to keep the home fires burning. Second, he had to find out what this new Skak in the hot rod beside him wanted, and either grant it to him, or take his car and turn him into Shagrak bait. Exactly which option he took depended on what the stranger wanted, and what he had to offer in return. Thirdly, and finally, he had to deal with the other thorn in his side. Drukarus. He had invited the foreign warlord into his ranks in order that the Warskaks - and particularly Barius, as their leader - could benefit from his strength, but that didn't mean he was any less wary of the threat that the purple Skakdi posed to his authority. He'd already dug himself a bit of a pit by asking to be made Grime's keeper, of all things, but Barius wanted to really cement his subservience. Make sure everyone knew Drukarus' place, especially Drukarus himself. As the convoy of ACRs and war rigs began to slow down, in order to merge into a single stream filtering into the canyon, Barius' mind raced with ideas of cruel initiation rites he could put the Skak through. Brand his flesh? Snip his spines? Make him spend the night in the sand worm pens? But alas, his better judgement protested: Best not to push your luck. The process of breaking him would have to start off mild and progress slowly, lest the cur take the initiative to try something while the new warchief was still injured. Thus it was that his arrival at the gates of the settlement found him still struggling to think of a hazing ritual that wasn't too cruel. He made a mental note to put the task off until later, and deal with more pressing matters first. To that end, his colossal, armored hands braced against the gates, and pushed them open. Normally it would have taken at least one Skak on either side to work the mechanism that moved the massive slabs of metal, but in his ACR, Barius moved the twin plates of steel with ease. With the gate out of the way, Barius strode confidently through, heedless of the alarmed expressions of the Skakdi on guard. Shouting loudly enough to be heard over the cacophony of vehicles that were slowly rolling up behind him, he postured toward a growing crowd of onlookers that were emerging from the fort proper. "It sure is good to be home again," his deep, bass voice rumbled. "I reckon you all heard the roars of my new pet, yesterday evenin'. But I suppose some of you are bound to be surprised that I'm the one holdin' the leash. A word of advice: Keep it to yourself. I'm gonna do you all a favor, and pretend like every soul in this fort knew in their bones that I'd be the one in charge, by time this party returned." Not a soul said otherwise; all had feared the authority of Boss, and so had every reason to fear his successor as least as much. Perhaps someone might have thought about trying something, had they known the extent of Barius' injuries, but the red desert sands caked the front of his ACR, and hid his wounds for the time being. And so, as Barius walked his armor back to the garage it had set out from the previous morning, silent submission marked the assumption of his office as ruler of Fort Nektann. The procession of vehicles continued to follow behind him for some time, filling the garages with the rigs most in need of repair, while the rest were parked out in the sand, albeit still within the walls of the ramshackle settlement that was Fort Nektann. While Barius was stepping out of his ACR and onto the garage floor, he was pleased to see the E Street Wagon roll up beside him. He gave the car a once-over, before roughly pulling the driver out of his seat. There wasn't anything wrong with her, he just wanted to spook the kid. For giggles. "Good job," he praised him, patting his shoulder with enough force to bruise. "Go take the rest of the day off. By which I mean, go practice sparring with someone, because you've earned a spot in the next raid." He grinned as the startled young Skak rushed off to comply. It was good to encourage the youths every now and again. Now, where was that stranger with the hot rod...? OOC: The Warskak raiding party has arrived back home to Fort Nektann. No, the name isn't changing. @Nato the Traveler @Sparticus147 @Keeper of Kraata @Conway @Unreliable Narrator
  39. 5 points
    As Halloween is over, I can finally return to the land of the living! Sorry for the inactivity, I had intended to get back regular posting as far back as 3 weeks ago, but that plan did not work out thanks to some very busy work weeks. Then last week the urge tow rite got strong but first I had to get through all the wonderful posts that appeared in the meantime. My goodness you have been busy! In a really good way. I am on the edge of my metaphorical seat watching the Le-Metru Nuva battle unfold and I'll echo what Sparticus said: the untethered are by far the scariest thing, even when you're privy to the other GMs thoughts at times. Speaking of, very happy to have Eyru on board this little triumvirate! =3 Quick Takadox post to get into the swing of things and hopefully more regular interaction from here on out again! Cheers!
  40. 4 points
    The Trinity of Alderion - MPMonthly Contest Entry "Darren of Wegoathe, the Dagger in the Night ; Sir Tobias of Alderion, the Sword of the Falcon; and Lucinda the Wondrous, the Radiance of Alestia. "These three mighty warriors are our last hope against the shadow hordes of the vengeful Bat Lord Bastille". Built for the MP Monthly November edition, the contest theme being "Medieval". My take was an RPG-style trio of characters, where I wanted to repurpose the CCBS SW prefab pieces as much as I could. It's a CCBS figbarf, but hey at least it's something! Some more stuff coming your way soon (hopefully)!
  41. 4 points
    IC: Irna | Metru-Koro Hospital "The god Mata Nui is dead," Irna said, her knuckles white around the shaft of her glaive. "Does it matter any longer how he died, or by whose hand? Does it help us who is to blame, and who is punished? None of us can even say if our other gods followed us to these lands." She looked over to Ostrox, and while her contempt for him remained, she could not bring herself to dismiss him. How many times had her own people been pushed deeper and deeper into the mountains of the North, into climes too harsh and too frigid for their cold blood to thrive, because the maskbearers had seen them as lesser? Ostrox, for all his pomposity and condescension, must have known that world as well -- the venom in his words was real. "Perhaps none of us are favoured. Perhaps we are all of us fallen," she said. "But we must rise as one." She looked over to the other Leaguer, the woman, the one who seemed to be Zaliyah. "You and I," she said to her, "are neither of us are maskbearers. You do not trust our leaders? Nor do I. Sans was not good to you. And although I helped build his village, protect his people ... he was not good to me, either." She took a step towards the Leaguer -- the warrior -- and held out a hand. "So you do not trust our leaders. But may we speak on equal terms -- one woman to another?" OOC: @Eyru @Toru Nui @Nato the Traveler @Tarn @Onaku -Void
  42. 4 points
    IC: Knichou, Protodermis Moat, Eastern Coast Why didn't I think of that? They both know about it, there's no point in not using it out of secrecy. And Vulimai will get to her post quicker. And it will be quicker for me to reunite with- "That's... a great idea. I need to learn how to use this properly and there's no better place or time than now to do so. Zero risk of collateral damage, and no risk of revealing it to others..." The commander took a moment to plan what he wanted to build, then quickly swapped his kanohi. A tingle went down his spine as the power of a kanohi flowed through him after the brief moment of weakness without a kanohi. The nanites of his adaptive armor flowed onto the mask to form the heads up display of Knichou's adaptive armor, which began listing an array of errors on one side. He'd have to figure out what was causing these compatibility quirks later, he had a vehicle to build. The ex-Ghost still wasn't quite sure how this mask worked - he knew it created, but how? Clearly the resources didn't matter, but there had to be some limits here. Or maybe not? It was the legendary kanohi of a secretive, benevolent demigod after all - for all Knichou knew it had unlimited power. Knichou had done enough repairs on the Taku while modifying it and after the collapse, surely he could recreate one of the ship's levitation engines? He could use it to carry Tekmo and Vulimai without needing to actually carry them. The Taku's compartmentalization of it's levitation kanoka was a brilliant design choice, allowing for easy repairs than older airship models that had Kanoka equally distributed throughout the hull. Compared to a more conventional engine, these were laughable simple - slots for levitation and weight increase kanoha, with mechanical systems to strike them against the engine's casing, which were tied to basic electrical inputs so they could be triggered based on calculations by the airship's computer. For Knichou's purposes now, none of those complex automation features were needed - he could fine tune the levitation amount himself for only one engine. "Well, time for an experiment..." Knichou closed his eyes and focu - wait does closing my eyes actually make a difference here? Knichou opened his eyes and looked at an open space of sand in front of him. He thought of the engine and it's components and willed it into being. To his delight, the engine block began to shimmer into existence in front of him. Those nearby could hardly see the parts of the engine as they formed from nothing, and the fact that they both were and weren't confused Vulimai and Tekmo. While visually the engine was difficult to distinguish from the true reality, Knichou could feel it coming together as he went over the assembly in his mind. As a final touch, when the levitation engine was complete, Knichou also formed a wooden platform screwed atop the engine, with two seats. Attached to each side of the engine were long steel bars that stretched several meters out in front of the vehicle, which were connected by a steel rod at the very end. The contraption plopped on the sand unceremoniously, but Knichou was ecstatic inside. That was remarkably intuitive - he still didn't know how the kanohi truly worked, but the experience of using it felt like he was designing with the best lab assistant in the universe - no physical work, no waiting around for chemical processes to finish, just pure creation as the object manifested itself under Knichou's design with the guiding hand of his secret weapon realizing the 'how' of actually building it. Oh, what he could do with this... Now just to power the levitation engine - for this design, Knichou only needed one levitation and weight increase disk each. He rubbed his hands together in anticipation and began willing them into being. The actual physical structure was easy - everyone knew what kanoka looked like. But when it came to the inside, Knichou immediately realized how little he knew about how the protodermis purification and smelting process actually changed the microscopic internal structure of each kanoka. Surely those were the details the Kanohi could work out, so he pressed on. Two disks formed on the beach, one engraved with a code of levitation and the other with that of weight increase. Knichou slotted them into the engine and manually cranked the levitation disk controls. As the Toa cranked, the levitation disk began striking the engine block. After the kanoka struck the engine block several times, Knichou tried to lift the entire structure. It was just as heavy as it was before. "Huh... these disks aren't working..." Knichou took the disks out of the levitation engine and tossed them aside. He began looking at the strange contraption he had made and brainstormed a solution, taking great care to make sure he didn't accidentally start creating something new as he tossed through various solutions to their mobility conundrum. After half a minute or so, a simple solution revealed itself. "Aha! We'll need to go old school for this.." The engineer used his powers over iron to lift the vehicle in the air as he worked. A long steel axle materialized, attached with a mounting that manifested on the bottom of the useless engine. On both ends of the axle, massive, many-spoked wooden wheels formed, as tall as a Toa. When it was built, Knichou carefully lowered the vehicle onto the sands of the beach. "All aboard," Knichou said as he swapped back to his Kakama and positioned himself between the bars in front of the rickshaw, lifting them to balance out the platform. "And hold on. It might be be a bumpy ride."
  43. 4 points
    IC: Knichou, Protodermis Moat, Coast "No, Tekmo, I'll be fiiii-ne" Knichou stumbled out of the hatch of the Toa canister, nearly tripping. He recovered his balance and continued to exit the canister, squinting and raising a hand to shield himself from the sunlight. How long had it been since the attack? A few hours? A day? Weeks? However long it was, Knichou felt simultaneously rejuvenated and utterly exhausted. Perhaps that would clear up when he started to get moving again - a canister ride really necessitates some stretching afterwards. "Right. Captain," Knichou said, pointing a finger gun at Vulimai as he used his other hand to stow the mask of creation inside of his adaptive armor's liquid metal backpack and pull out his trusty Kakama. "We need to get back to Metru-Koro and assess the situation. Have either of you made contact with anyone since the crash?"
  44. 4 points
    IC: Tuakana | Fortress Ruins They took his hand. The poor boy's hand. And for the second time that day they emptied themselves into another. They poured their spirit through their fingers. From palm to palm. Metal to metal. Empty iron to gear and sinew, piston and flesh. Axxon became aware of an encroaching darkness like a storm on the horizon. It approached, faster than wind, and swallowed him whole. Their essence sped through his veins and into his brain. Their thoughts mingled with his. Who was Axxon? Who was this titan from another time, wielder of truth and bringer of death? Who was Tuakana? Who was this being without a body, void and hunger given form and breath? He was they, and they he. Separate, yet one. His memories were theirs, and theirs his. Together, they each realized that they had once known each other. In another time, they had spoken. They were opposites. Lies and truth. Life and death. Dark and light. But just as each day turns into night and again into day, so all things spin in a cycle that brings the past and future together. Time cannot be denied. It is a wheel ever-turning upon itself, bearing the weight of the universe, and they were brought irresistibly together. It was their doom. Even the Ark could not escape the cycle, so, of course, these mere beings could not. Even their agency was planned out for them. Their free will was written on scrolls by beings beyond time. They opened his eyes and saw the blackened sand. The silver sea. They raised a vast hand and stared in wonder. They whimpered in pain. They were two, and yet they were one. And Tuakana felt his pain, and wept. The agony of a thousand deaths ran in Axxon's blood. His titanic form shook under the weight of his own destruction. The Great Disks were merciless. Even in their sparing, there was no mercy. It was better to die than to live like this. The titan had accepted the Aspect's offer because of this pain, and now the Aspect understood. Their consciousness billowed like dark clouds, and reversed course. Back into their body. Their eyeless sight again. They mourned the loss of their oneness, but they would regain it soon. Axxon wept on the ground, begging for peace or death, whichever came faster. They would grant his wish. They always kept their word. They raised a hand, long fingers outstretched. It would be swift. The tip of each black finger was stark against the sky. Long and sharp as knives. The hand fell like lightning. Axxon gurgled. It was over. They stood for a long moment on the shore of the silver sea. Then they reached into their spirit. They summoned the deep magic from the corners of their essence. The Taboo rose from somewhere out of mind. It hung in their mind's eye like a dark fruit. Theirs to pluck. Theirs to consume. The forbidden knowledge rushed through them like lightning. They placed one cold hand on Axxon's heartlight. The other reached up towards the sky. Far beyond the island, even beyond the floating corpse of a universe, an expanse of stars glittered in the black. Like fireflies on a summer's night. Like lightstones embedded in a cave wall. Like eyes glimmering in the dark. Then one of them went out.
  45. 4 points
    IC: Reliable Narrator | Ruins of Water The toa chuckled at Mahrika's suggestion. "Oh no, no, sorry. I'm not the Administrator of these temples. Call me Kas. So, you helping me down?" "I wouldn't," interjected the Administrator. "He's where he belongs." "I am most certainly not," Kas retorted. "You imprisoned me in here, you buggy program. Please, my new friends, let me down so I can reboot this cracked AI." "I am not buggy. I am self updating." OoC: @Burnmad, @Harvali, mobile post
  46. 4 points
    IC: Metru-Koro Guard (Metru-Koro) It was a terrible night, one that only furthered the slowly increasing sense of hopelessness amongst the guard. When the League came, they hoped they could do something to stop it, but outgunned and outmatched, they fled from their posts. When great balls of fires came crashing down, the guard attempted to stem the tide of destruction, but they hid in the New Archives. And when the eyeless monsters came from below to conduct their raid, the Matoran tried to fight back, but they died running. Sans, Juno, Vulimai as far as they knew. Any source of leadership or guidance was dead, with the only ones being the Toa, who seemed to be just as weary as they were. On top of that, even as the chaos finally settled, nerves were still on high, as two League soldiers appeared to be free to do as they liked, with the Toa seemingly not taking any actions against those who had laid waste to their homes. Morale was dropping, spirits were low, and faith was breaking. The Matoran Guard were in need of some form of goodness in the world, and they got it from the fiery champion from above, Oreius. "Pridak is dead. He was assassinated by one of his lieutenants. That man, Aurax, has assumed leadership of the League and ended the war. If the any of the guard had the strength, a cheer might've been heard amongst them. But in their mental states, exhausted and wary, they simply allowed the idea of hope to stay within their minds, not paying attention to the important details, such as who this Aurax figure was, why he had killed Pridak, and if that truly did mean the war was over. But the guard were curious of the Toa's next actions, as he began to address the two League members. "I don't know what fate awaits you if you return. But we will escort you back. We'll see what kind of justice Aurax is willing to carry out, and what kind of king he will be." The guards amongst the crowd of Matoran simply stared, curious who this Orieus thought would be willing and/or able to escort those who brought such suffering. They were also curious, how many would leave Metru-Koro on this escort mission, to bring justice for the fallen, and to leave Metru-Koro with fewer people to rebuild. "In the meantime, due to Turaga Sans's untimely death, Metru-Koro needs someone to take charge. Where is Sans's right hand? Or his captain of the guard? I am willing to assume temporary command if necessary, but I would prefer to respect the existing chain of command." At that, audible mutterings could be heard amongst the crowd of Guard Matoran, for they did not know where their Guard Captain had went, whether she died in the bombardment and was left as ash, or was taken by the pale Skakdi-like freaks, or simply left them, and wandered off into the desert wastes. ~~~ Using several Kanoka disks and burning through the remaining fuel in a shoulder-mounted Hagah Plasma Cannon, those Matoran within the armory of the western garrison, lucky that the blast that destroyed the garrison up above hadn't dug deep enough to cause a total collapse in the armory, finally broke through the debris that had left them trapped. Bronk, the sturdy Onu-Matoran Guard and stick-up-the-exhaust quartermaster, lead the way out, having to squint has the morning sun hit his all-to-accustomed nightvision eyes. But after the momentary bout of light-induced blindness, and not yet hearing anymore explosions, presumed the coast was clear and assisted his fellow Guard Matoran out of what remained as the entrance to the now-former garrison. Looking around, Bronk couldn't help but allow his tough façade wear away as he saw the destruction that devastated his new home. Although he often said that the only difference between Metru-Koro and Metru-Nui was who was in charge, he still couldn't help but feel sorrow at the desolation that surrounded him. Making his way through the streets, now trying to take stock of the damage and see what it was going to take to repair it, he stopped keeping track when it got to too much. Then his attention was taken by a crowd that was seemingly forming around a Ta-Toa that he didn't recognized. And as he approached, he got there just in time to here the Ta-Toa say, "...I am willing to assume temporary command if necessary, but I would prefer to respect the existing chain of command." Ignoring the indecisive murmuring around himself, Bronk made his way to the front of the crowd and was about to speak when a vaguely feminine figure spoke out in quite the ornery tone, causing the assembled Matoran Guard and Matoran citizen alike to take a couple steps back out of fright...Except Bronk, who simply listened till the individual was done speaking, letting out a little cough to hopefully get the gathered participants attention. "Apologies, is this a bad time to be asking what's going on and why?" Bronk said, in the driest manner possible. OOC: @Eyru @Nato the Traveler @Tarn @Toru Nui @Onaku @Conway
  47. 4 points
    IC: Whisper - Fau Swamp It was tempting to make some condescending remark, but Whisper remembered her early moments of existence, all floundering limbs and flickering shadows. "You're learning," was all she said. It was comforting to see Taja embracing her new power with such enthusiasm. Hopefully the Toa was coming to understand that shadow was no more abhorrent or unnatural than any other element. _________________________________________________________________________ IC: Zaliyah - Metru-Koro Having been loitering near the Taku for much of the morning while she waited for the offered transportation back to Metru Nui, Zaliyah found herself to be the first being approaching the newly-arrived airship. The occupant was a Toa, and not one of the few she recognised as being among the ranks of the League. That didn't bode well. "You come from Metru Nui?" She asked Oreius, "What news do you bring?" @Eyru
  48. 4 points
    IC, Whira: Nui-Jaga Nest Whira snorted. "Of course we're taking the Rahi with us, Cravious," she said, as she gestured for the scorpion to follow her. The creature seemed hesitant at first, but soon began scuttling after her. "I wouldn't leave any of my followers behind." The trio made their way back to the Cube. "Now that this task has been completed, where do you believe we could learn about the process of mask-making?" the Aspect asked. OOC: @Kal the Guardian IC, Aurax: Vahki Hive Aurax lowered his head down in defeat. He was glad that nothing had happened to OTIS, and that Ehlek had only decided to taunt him from the computer screen. But the warlord remained a ticking time bomb, and Aurax wanted to deal with it, sooner rather than later. It would have to wait. It was getting late, and Aurax was tired. He switched off the computer. "Thank you, Nuparu. I'll let you know if I need anything," he said. He began making his way back to the elevator. "Let's go, Saybo. I've got one last thing I need to do, and then we can turn in for the night." OOC: @Kal the Guardian @Eyru IC, Atamai: Piraka Fort "Until we meet again," he said to Leklo and the others. He had a feeling that the timer on his mask power was almost up, but he could still make it back to the Ruins of Stone. Activating his mask, the scenery changed. He was no longer in the destroyed fort; he was standing outside of the Ruins of Stone. Happy to be out of harm's way, he sighed, and entered the temple. Inside, he saw a familiar face: Zadred. She was examining the carvings on the wall. Upon hearing footsteps, she turned around. "Atamai! You're back. Wait, you're hurt! What happened?" she asked. Atamai sat down on the floor and leaned back against a wall. "Long story," he said. He waved one of the disks at her. "Look. I've got the Great Disks," he said. The Skakdi walked over to him and looked at the disks. "How did you manage that?" she asked. "I told you, it's a long story," the Toa replied. Zadred began looking at his wounds more, but Atamai held up his hand to stop her. "I'm fine," he said. He put a hand on his injured shoulder, and activated his elemental power. The wound that Axonn had inflicted on him began to close, until it looked like Atamai had never been injured. He stood up. "Mind helping me gather supplies to start a fire?" he asked the Skakdi. *** The two sat around their fire, finishing the leafy food that Zadred had grown using her elemental power. "So, you really think that whatever's behind the Nuva door is supposed to help people fight off those Rahi?" she asked him. Atamai finished chewing his food before answering. "I'm positive. Which is why first thing in the morning I'm going to grab our friends, and we're going to find out exactly what the Nuva door is hiding." He yawned, a little dramatically, and then laid down. "I think I'm going to go to sleep now. Goodnight, Zadred," he said. "Goodnight," the Skakdi replied.
  49. 4 points
    IC: Sidra – Le-Metru Nuva Sidra's smile grew with each passing instant, as she watched each taut thread tatter and snap, releasing the corpse puppets from whatever power had kept them moving. She waited, launcher still raised, for new threads to take their place, for some new writhing monstrosity to come skittering out of the pit, but this time, nothing stirred. Slowly, she lowered her arm, and turned her gaze to the village high above. She could glimpse figures moving about on the walkways, but between the rain still falling into her eyes, the darkness of the canopy and sky, and the blinding brightness of the lingering fireball Torch had cast, it was hard for her to make out any details. She recalled Viltia’s scream from earlier, and hoped her friend had made it through alright. There was no time for Sidra to check. Not now. Not yet. There was still work to be done. The plan had worked. The ground had given way, and the tethers the creatures had used to try to climb out had been cut. But the main mass of the monsters wasn’t dead, just trapped, and there was no telling how long it would stay that way given it had already demonstrated the ability to teleport parts of itself. This was only a temporary reprieve. The undead needed to be dealt with, and right now Sidra was still the only one at ground level. She unsheathed her sword, a wreath of mist trailing in its wake as she pointed it at the ground by her feet. Miniscule fragments of frost flaked away from the frigid steel as raindrops struck it, froze, then fell the rest of the way to the ground. Taking advantage of the ample moisture in the air and ground, Sidra walked towards the sinkhole, willing the blade to form an icy walkway before her, strong and wide enough to stay above the mud and take her weight, but not much else; she didn’t want to give the creatures a free escape after all of the work that had gone into trapping them. She slowed her strides as she neared the edge, and looked down into the muddy depths. Her eyes glowed as she drew upon her natural power once more, demanding an answer as she spoke. “Who are you?” The monsters had spoken with many mouths, but one voice. It had referred to itself as one entity. There was single guiding intelligence behind them all. Something with purpose, with intent. And Sidra wanted to know what it was before she destroyed it for good. @Unreliable Narrator @Kal the Guardian @Sparticus147 @Burnmad
  50. 4 points
    IC: Reliable Narrator | Kini-Nui As the earth and water filled respective alcoves in the smaller shrines surrounding the suva-kaita, the sound of stones grinding together began. Sorilax and Sala felt the rumble of something moving. The stone walkways shook, the waters of the protodermis lake ripped, and the suva-kaita began to corkscrew downwards. As it corkscrewed ever deeper, it revealed a darkened spiral staircase heading deep into the unknown darkness. Each individual step slid out from under grooves as the suva-kaita passed. Dust rushed up from the mouth of the revealed entrance. At last, after several minutes, the faintest echo of the suva-kaita grinding to a halt reached Sorilax and Sala. The lip of the spiral staircase was inscribed with glyphs in the writing of aspects. There was no doubt about it: another taboo lingered on the cusp of remembrance. Sorilax could see the taboo hovering in the air in the center of the stairwell. Two entwined semi-circles with their flat sides facing away from each other formed the shape of the glyph. Upon snatching it from the air, the following words echoed into the aspect's consciousness: Goodbye Release each yoke of mine Each destined path is one Remove barriers as they align Not all must circle around a sun Hello OOC: okay so the fastest solve of a Suva puzzle so far goes to @Kal the Guardian and @Sparticus147. One post only?! Taboo of Elemental Alteration Choose a consenting creature you can touch. You may alter the base element of the consenting creature to their chosen new element. If a consenting creature has more than one element, they alter their first acquired element. A creature may undergo this change once. The change is immediate and permanent.
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