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  1. 10 points
    It is with deep regret I must inform you all that I am leaving the game. I will remain in contact with any and all players whose characters were in the midst of interaction with my own to try and work something out, but due to various factors, I have reached the conclusion that I cannot keep playing SKR. I apologise for anything and everything this will impact in the game. I've much enjoyed these last seven months with you guys, and were the situation any different, I'd much prefer to keep going, but I'm afraid that's not currently on the table. Thank you all for everything.
  2. 9 points
    OOC | The following has been done with approval and consent of UN and VF. IC Pridak | Daxia, the ancient past It was a bright day and the sun’s rays were unimpeded by nary a cloud and basked the terrace with a hospitable warmth and softness. Pillars jutting out from the corners of the octagonal balustrade ringed the platform and from them hung two silken banners each, every banner the sigil of a nation, which fluttered lazily in the late-afternoon breeze and cast brightly tinted shadows on the sandstone floor. The evening squalls hadn’t set in yet and the tide, easily discerned and measured from the promontory rooftop of the villa, was still low. Off the shore of Daxia rested various ships at anchor flying the same banners as the pillars, indicating the delegation had finally arrived in full. Just as the council had been called in years before, the luminaries and rulers from across the silver seas coalesced to discuss matters that stretched beyond their states’ borders. Since the council met on Daxia it was Helryx’s duty to play hostess, albeit in her brutal and brusque manner, and her toa team who provided security for the occasion. A team of five Toa Hagah were spread around the perimeter, including one particularly inquisitive toa of stone who stood stock-still, awaiting the storm that was sure to roll in. The delegates strode into the balcony in a loosely organized parade. Helryx walked in first with Dume close behind, and then Brutaka, Axonn, and Artakha followed. The six Barraki kings came in two clusters, with Pridak taking precedence with Kalmah and Mantax whispering between one another, while Takadox was in turn followed by Carapar and Ehlek simpering nearby. Ambassadors from from Xia and elsewhere eventually filtered in, with only a few of the sixteen missing representation, each either directly at the table or by proxy through their overlord conquerors. Soon, they were bidden to sit by Helryx who remained standing until the crowd quieted down. “Welcome again, all of you, to Daxia,” she greeted as magnanimously as her terse lips could manage. “You all know how this goes. This summit has been called by Pridak, and in front of you are the dockets for this day’s session. First item: Reading of the minutes from last time. Anyone want to volunteer to read them?” “I make a motion to accept the minutes from the prior session without review,” Brutaka muttered without looking up from the iStone. “Seconded.” “All in favo—“ “Aye,” the group chanted lazily; Mantax said the same in his own tongue. “Next item of business: ‘Prison reform.’ I’ll admit this matter comes as a surprise, and no information came to precede it. The council recognizes Pridak for this item,” Helryx said, sitting down finally. “Are you having trouble containing your detainees?” Axonn jested, his low voice rumbling with caustic mirth. “No,” Pridak said solemnly as he stood up slowly to take the floor. “Nothing quite so… trite. I do not speak of the criminal’s imprisoned within my castle walls, I speak for my people locked in yours.” The toa of stone and the rest of the Toa Hagah had seen Pridak deliver many passionate orations to the benefit of the council, and his wondrous gift of silver-tongue was as renown as the silver lacework in his robe, equally causes for admiration and attention, but he knew this particular scene would be the last to be witnessed. Something—no, someone—had told him so and he hadn’t been deceived yet. “What are you talking about?” Brutaka asked, still wondering if Pridak was simply misinformed or if this was just a misunderstanding. “I’m talking about this place, this universe,” Pridak said, stretching his glittering arms out and gesturing widely in all the compass directions. “I know what it is, and I know you have been hiding the truth from us all along.” “Hold on, speak plain,” Axonn said, his knotted hand up in a gesture of pause and his face turned firm. Gone was the jocularity of before and back was the grave look of an affronted ruler. “You have been privy to this council since its inception. There are no secrets between us here, friend—“ “We. are. not. friends,” seethed a booming voice that even overwhelmed Axonn’s as Carapar’s head stirred in his dissent. “Order!” Helryx commanded, though she immediately regretted the choice of word. “Order’ is the problem,” Pridak said, seeking to regain the control of the talks. “The order of things are stacked against me, my people, and our people,” he said, referring to the citizenry of the Barraki states. “The order of things dictates that we work and toil the southron lands, laboring without advancement or destiny and shipping the things we find north, to factories, foundries, and mills. We slave away and strip our own lands of their goods to squalid pits while Metru Nui grows fat and the matoran of the Northern Continent continue their idyllic, virtuous existences.” “Pridak, if you wish to renegotiate your trade treaty with the Matoran centers we may do so here,” Dume said, cautiously entering the fray in an exercise of diplomatic redirection, “but calling it ‘prison reform’ is colorful language, even for you.” “We are beyond negotiation,” Carapar once again aggressively boomed. “This is preposterous,” Axonn said, his anger rising to meet the combined Barraki’s bluster. “All things have a reason, Pridak. Everything has a purpose.” The toa of stone nodded slightly at that statement. His opinion did not matter there, he was only a guard, but he knew there was a greater purpose; there always was, he’d been told. Life begets death, begets life. Just like the gears in their spines everything was a machine, and cogs turn and return in an endless cycle or else the machine would break. The suns came and went to preserve the days and nights, for things to grow and sleep and restore, cogs all of them that powered this great device. This vitriol from the Barraki wasn’t a new development, he’d been told, only the same resentments come around again. All people, slaves and kings alike, all could harbor the same raw feelings, and none likes shackles even if it was made of gold, all earnestly desiring freedom to live life as they desired. People wished for things all the time, and those wishes were more basal than most realized. Pridak was wishing for freedom. “And I say that reason is wrong,” Pridak firmly objected. “All things go as Mata Nui needs them—“ “Mata Nui is a fraud.” Stunned silence fell over the assembly as they reeled from Pridak’s statement. “You take that back,” Dume challenged. “No, I don’t think I will. This universe is a prison in all but name. In the name of Mata Nui’s will you have placed the Matoran in a position of dominion over this world and crowned Mata Nui as the keystone of existence. The Great Spirit shines brightly on the Matoran, his Three Virtues law of the lands, and everyone else must slave away to build up the Matoran. You have jailed anyone who is not Matoran in a cage of water and land and othered us to our own submission.” Axonn got up to meet Pridak’s passionate rage. He was nowhere near as tall, but what he lacked in height he displayed in brutish, curled up righteousness. “Mata Nui cares about you, He has designs for all of us and you need to stay in your place or else you risk everything over your delusions.” “Wrong. We risk everything you have,” Takadox muttered. Pridak went on, “Your god does not care about us. He does not love us. To him our people are chattel to be milked until dry, bled until calcified, and herded until we forget who we are.” “From your perspective,” Axonn rebut. “And what is a perspective except a personal assessment of reality? You do not have my eyes, nor do you have my senses, so when I am cut you do not get to decide that it does not hurt. When I say I am cut it is not your right to deny my pain, and when I say I am bleeding I will not allow you to keep the sutures from my grasp. Any god’s faith used to build up one and oppress another is a faith built on blood and lies. Any god who endorses such a faith is no god. So no, there will be no ‘renegotiation’ had here. There will be no entertainment of continued cooperation.” In unison, the six Barraki stood up, some tossing their seats back in chaos from the abruptness of it. “I speak for the six of us. We, the sovereigns of the League of Six Kingdoms, hereby secede from this pathetic union and paltry god. We will pave our own roads and cast our own lots and not play by your Matoran games. We will mill our own destinies and worship our own strengths. We take the shackles you placed on our wrists when the universe began and we break them. And if you choose to try and stop us, we will melt down the chains and forge them into swords, for the chains alone are the only gifts you have given us.” Axonn fumed but did not advance, held in check only by his sense of honor and duty to the rule of law, and his Kanohi Rode which repeated to him a single overriding word: True. The Toa Hagah stood attentive and when Helryx wagged a single finger and the five of them leapt to fighting stances, ready at a moment’s notice to assert order on the terrace. The command would not come but they each expected it. The Barraki, who had come in to the plaza in disarray, exited in a single-file line of military precision through a single gate, first Kalmah, then Carapar, Ehlek, Takadox, and Mantax (who spouted his rage in his own tongue), with Pridak leaving last in an abundance of caution. As they did so they all passed by the single toa of stone who surveyed the Barraki with emotionless silver eyes that shone as brightly as the silvers in Pridak’s robe. The Takean king paused next to the Hagah, still poised to plunge his spear into him, and studied the unique toa carefully in turn for a moment, then looked back at the remaining council one last time. “You can kill me, or any of us, but our people’s strife is not bound to the corporeal. Our dissent is not tied to our crowns but to your spears. May we never have to test the mettle of either.” He turned back to the toa for an instant more before Pridak, also followed the other Barraki out of the terrace and onto the paths to their ships. ... And Stannis knew the storm had arrived. It would not be long before the world was torn asunder IC Stannis | Coliseum, present History was bound to repeat itself. The only difference between then and now was that some had learned from history not to repeat the same motions. In the past, Stannis stayed the spear from Pridak’s throat and the warlord kept his blade sheathed; they were both titans of their factions, and they had learned that to shed blood was the right and good thing to do. Pridak was straining to keep the weapon’s glistening tip from deepening its penetration, and it came as a mild surprise to both that despite Stannis’ physical might the toa could not force the shaft deeper into the recession. Pridak’s mechanical suit had increased his own prowess to match Stannis’, throwing them into a contest too evenly matched. The competition would not stop there, however; the warmage’s weapon was just as likely to be dislodged as it was to stab further, and Pridak—realizing this precarious position—had moved to skewer Stannis instead. The Wanderer noticed the movement that registered as a blur below eye level and recognized what it was, but as he and Pridak locked hateful eyes he remained infuriatingly serene. What do you wish for? his eyes seemed to ask the warlord. He knew the answer. Time had changed Pridak, as it changed all life, and warped him by wave after wave of civil mishaps and wartime tragedies; it had hobbled his constitution, poisoned his mind, and salted his fields of fortune; and yet, this was still Pridak, King of Takea, Overlord of the League of Six Kingdoms, the same as who announced separation because he believed it was the just thing to do. Pridak’s nations were used and abused by Mata Nui, and then when they cast the deity away there grew an absence which was filled by the good monarch’s sense of duty. In the absence of a Great Spirit he had become the god corporeal as he heard their prayers and felt their struggles, the emotions of his people, of their own fears, their wishes—and they all cried out in unison through Pridak’s eyes: Freedom. Stannis had learned not to not cling to life. He accepted it when it would come, calmly assured that time would move on regardless of his own fate and confident that so long as people yearned for control over destiny The Wanderer would continue to exist. Pridak’s blade was not an end but a means, and when Pridak plunged its steel into Stannis’ chest the old toa welcomed it. It slid into his armor with ease, piercing like a hot knife through butter, and Stannis did not fight it. To Pridak’s shock, the old toa released one hand from his spear and grasped the warlord’s hand at the grip and pulled the sword in, deeper, further, until at last it erupted through his back in a mist of blood, but Pridak found that despite himself he could not resist following the path of his weapon as Stannis yanked it into his body— —Pridak, too, found himself pulled closer to his adversary and nearly stumbled half a step forward— —into the waiting shaft of the spear still lodged in his chest. Both men had learned not to stay the blades this time, but also neither would spare the other a mortal wound. Stannis finally smiled. Wish granted.
  3. 8 points
    IC: Knichou, Metru-Nui Airspace, Cannonball? Knichou struggled to keep balance on top of the airship as the unusual being smashed through the hull and proceeded to destroy Knichou's hopes of capturing the Wombat. As more and more systems failed, the effects of the Wombat's levitation kanoka began to wear off and the ship quickly lurched downwards. Knichou knelt down, grabbing on to the ship's armor plating with one hand, stowing his rifle in his amorphous backpack with the other. The engineer's mind raced. There was no way to prevent this crash, and there were two allies aboard, potentially wounded. Yes, they had signed on for a suicidal mission and knew the risks, but if Knichou left them to their fates and used his armor to fly back to Metru-Koro, their deaths would linger on the Nynran's conscious. What would Stannis think? What would Nale say? What would Nale do? Just over a week ago, Nale ran into Knichou’s life after Nuparu died in the Nynran’s arms. She stood her ground against an entire squad of Vahki, voluntarily dooming herself so that Knichou and Stannis could escape from Onu-Metru. Stannis and Arkius defended Knichou as he got to the Taku, but Stannis rode back down the elevator to save Nale even though Knichou had already written her off as a lost cause, already in custody of the robotic law enforcers. Stannis did what Toa were meant to do, even if Knichou didn’t understand it at the time. Knichou barely knew Nale then, just as he barely knew Tekmo and Vulimai now. Knichou couldn’t have known in Onu-Metru what Nale would teach him, or what he thought of her now – not that even now the engineer understood what he thought of her now. If Tekmo and Vulimai had a chance to become even a sliver of the ally Nale was, doing everything and anything possible to save them was justified. Tekmo and Vulimai volunteered to jump because they knew Knichou would get them down safely, and Knichou had to live up to that promise. Or at least try... When the giant who crippled the airship proceeded to perform a cannonball dive, there were many new holes left in that section of the ship. Knichou put both his hands flat against the hull of the Wombat and closed his eyes. He felt the metal beams of the ship, all the armor plating and rivets. He reached out and felt where the inner support structure of the ship still existed near the center of the airship, and willed those beams to separate, one by one. Splitting the beams was crude, but it's destructive and imprecise nature made it easy for Knichou to accomplish. Within seconds, the Toa of iron had sheared enough bars in two that the ship began to buckle under the growing air pressure from the fall. The ship began to morph into a 'V' shape as it's structural integrity failed and it was bent by the air pressure of the fall, but did not easily split in half as Knichou had hoped. Perhaps there was now a big enough hole where the ship bent in two that was big enough for Tekmo and Vulimai to jump out... But Knichou didn't think he could catch them and slow down enough to prevent a deadly impact in the time between them exiting the airship and the airship smacking the waves below at terminal velocity. Knichou didn't believe that he could save them both. Unless... Knichou had neglected to use his most powerful tool throughout this entire battle, and now he believed it to be the only way to prevent the deaths of his allies. He now regretted not trying on Artakha's legendary Kanohi earlier, but hopefully he could begin to understand it just enough to build a safe landing for his allies before their impact. ~~~ Two matoran were busy inside a verdant alcove. Vines slithered up the limestone walls that surrounded the oasis from all sides. Hundreds of feet above, soft light filtered in from an opening alongside a sheet of crystal clear water. This water splashed against a pond in the center of the stone floor that was surrounded by moss and small patches of dirt. Water drained out of the pond, trickling outwards towards a matoran-sized fissure in one wall that shone with the outside sunlight. Beside the pond was a hastily constructed ladder and a massive inflated bag in the shape of a circle. Rings made of red paint radiated from the center of the circle, forming a target easily the size of two Toa. The cavern was littered with various equipment – air compressors, steel poles, extra leather, and a few portable lightstone lanterns overlooking a pile of rough blueprints. Knichou looked upwards towards the top of the ladder, where a small diving board was welded on with support beams. "This doesn’t seem as good an idea now that it’s all built…" He mused aloud before beginning to climb up. A face bobbed up from the nearby pool, fed crystal clear water from the falls. Apprentice weaponsmith Keitara, Kei to her friends, would rather have her heartstone removed than miss out on her forgemaster's tests. Besides, if he shattered a leg again she was a decent enough hand at medical matters. Various self-surgery scars attested to this, much to the concern of some. "Ya look great, Kni! The impact cushion's holding up nicely. I'd say 'Knock 'em dead,' but since I have the feeling yer the ''em' in this instance maybe not such a good idea? How about 'unconscious?'" She cupped her hands to her mouth. "KNOCK YOURSELF UNCONSCIOUS, FORGEMASTER! YOU'VE GOT THIS!" ~~~ Knichou was running out of time, he saw the silver sea rapidly approaching as moonlight glistened off the waves. He used his free hand to detach his Kakama from his face. It felt strange without it on, the wind blowing against his face, the lack of a heads up display (Of all the times not to have an altimeter!) and the slight weakness in his body. Knichou placed the Kanohi in his liquid metal backpack and felt around for the other mask inside. His hand brushed against the distinctive crown-like protrusions from the top of the Mask of Creation, and he quickly found a grip on it and pulled it out in front of him. ~~~ Knichou chuckled under his breath as he climbed the ladder, trying as hard as he could to stay focused on the rungs above him instead of the ground moving further below him. It was a long climb, so he had plenty of time to worry about if the changes to his armor’s configuration were correct. He hoped that he hadn’t made any of the dozen accidental minor errors that could cascade into a major system failure. Reaching the top of the ladder, he carefully positioned himself on the platform and looked down. Now it really didn’t feel like a good plan. He slowed his breathing, and pressed a few buttons so his adaptive armor would begin logging what it did during the test. “Well, here we go. Flight configuration fall test two, beginning in three… two… one...” The Fe-Matoran jumped off the diving board, spreading his limbs out wide. His stomach trembled at the sudden movement of the fall, and Knichou felt the primal rush of fear. Except in this instance, his plan meant taking ‘fight or flight’ literally. Soon after he had left the ground, the protodermis in his armor shifted it’s distribution to be more aerodynamic. Fins sprouted from various limbs to stabilize the engineer, and miniature jet engines materialized on each limb, with a large jetpack on his back. Despite the rush of fear, the satisfaction of success was visible in a smile on Knichou’s face for a brief moment. This time, the propulsion system built itself on time, and the engines fired up with a deep roar. The Nynrah Ghost moved his arms in front of him, positioning them so their force would push him upright to begin a proper landing. The force of the engines on his arms was much more than he expected, and instead of spinning himself upright, Knichou had begun an uncontrolled vertical spin. He tried to right himself but it was too late – the disoriented engineer slammed into the landing pad. In an instant the air bag had gone from a flat, squat cylinder to the shape miniature crater, the outer edges of which were now as high as a Toa. The room was deadly quiet for a moment – even the birds and insects within earshot had stopped chirping.’ ~~~ In the tapestry of diverse art on the face of the Kanohi, Knichou’s eyes were drawn to the secretive symbology of the Nynrah Ghosts one of the cheeks. The former Ghost then looked into the dead eyeholes of the face of the king who had given him shelter in his exile. No time to think! Turning the Kanohi around, Knichou pressed it against his face and felt the power of a demigod flow through him. ~~~ Keitara's breath caught in her throat. Hauling herself out of the water she barreled over as fast as her matoran frame could carry her. Flailing and wiggling her way into the squishy mass she called "Forgemaster? Forgemaaaaster! Kniiiii? You okay?" Keitara climbed atop the inflatable target to see Knichou laying motionless on his back. “Well that... could have been worse...” With a groan, the Ghost slowly began to lift his torso up into a seated position. “I think I need to recalibrate the thrust curves...” Kei nodded. "Yeah. The engines are taking too long to render, though they're looking great from where I was." The Ghost plopped herself down, pulled a flat device from a waterproof bag at her hip, and tapped a cylindrical metal sensor on irs back against Knichou's armor. A few seconds later a diagnostic report appeared on the scan tool, and she passed the tablet to her Forgemaster. "Welp, you're getting closer! If there's anything I can do to help, lemme know! My project's off for approval and you know that takes months if I'm lucky. So for the time being it looks like your apprentice has a free calendar. Maybe between us we can hammer out the kinks in the descent procedure, hmmmmm?" Knichou smiled and stood up. “Once we fine tune this enough, I’ll never have to be afraid of falling again.” ~~~ Knichou felt strange, as if someone else was thinking for him in the back of his mind. He knew what the metal of the hull could be be. Spears, spoons, fishing poles, interlocking bricks – things he had not even built before were clearly visible in all stages of creation at once, as if he had invented them himself long ago. The ex-Ghost knew this wasn’t the only thing this mask could do, he knew from the legends that it could build what he wanted. The Toa closed his eyes and envisioned what he knew he’d need to save Vulimai and Tekmo. He thought back to the memory of what he had made, and how he had made it, hoping that somehow that would somehow convince the Kanohi to grant his wish. The inflated crash pad. Bigger. Tall as a building. Scaled up thickness too so the ship doesn’t slice clean through. It will need to be in the path of this crashing ship... Unbeknownst to Knichou, a massive construct began shimmering into existence in the sea below. If anyone was watching, they would see patches of a large object glow out of nowhere and everywhere. They would see an obstruction and the ocean behind it, and the more one tried to focus on it the more out of focus it became. It was a blur of an object, the presence of which was felt, not observed, as it came into existence. Words and thoughts could not describe what it was. While that portion of reality was in flux, it merely was. There was no reason, no cause, no effect – the world moved on around the materializing construct as if it did not exist, and the object ignored all laws that Ko-Metruan philosophers had observed to exist. For a brief moment in time that confounded any who experienced it, the comically massive inflated bag both was and wasn’t there. Even the nature and shape of the object was in question throughout those few moments, as the neophyte master of creation unexpectedly and unintentionally refined his design. Then we’ll need something to get us to the shore – no point surviving the crash if they’ll be stuck on a floating coffin... For a mere instant, Knichou felt a sense of loss in his gut. The whispers in the back of his mind hushed even further, and Knichou felt a wave of exhaustion wash over his mind and body. Knichou opened his eyes as he almost lost balance, only to see a massive elongated hexagonal structure floating on the waves below. And was that… his apprentice sculpted into the top face of it like a dead empress? Sonuva- OOC: Ginormous floating coffin-shaped bouncy castle with a pharaoh-esque sculpture of a matoran Keitara on the top face is now right where the Wombat is going to crash land. Keitara bits provided by @TL01 NUVA
  4. 8 points
    OOC: Thanks @EmperorWhenua for the jam. IC: Oreius | The Coliseum Achro's blade clattered to the floor, a spiderweb of cracks already spreading across its surface—Oreius's punch had infused it with Weaken energy from the Kanoka in his armour. Achro raised his remaining sword in both hands and willed it to burst into flame, then brought it down upon the other Toa. Oreius caught the blow on his own sword, but his opponent had the advantage of height and stature, and the attack forced him down to one knee. Achro pressed the advantage and struck again, and again, Oreius barely managed to deflect the blow. As his opponent raised his blade to slice down again, Oreius threw a hand out to one side and summoned a blast of fire that sent him skidding across the floor. He wasn't fast enough to completely dodge Achro's attack, however, and the mutated Toa smiled as he felt his sword bite at his opponent's armour. Oreius turned his skid into a roll and staggered to his feet, shaking off the impact of his opponent's strike. To Achro's surprise, the other Toa appeared unharmed. Despite landing a hit on his shoulder, there was no blood to be seen, and Oreius seemed no worse for wear. It was like he had taken a punch, not been sliced by a sword. Looking across the battlefield, Oreius prepared to continue fighting, but his eye was caught by the confrontation before the throne. Time seemed to slow down as Stannis allowed Pridak to thrust his weapon through his chest, driving his own spear through the Barraki in turn. Everything felt inevitable, like some god had preordained these events to unfold exactly as they did. Oreius had fought tooth and nail simply to arrive at the Coliseum, but no amount of fighting could change destiny. Stannis had always preached the inexorability of destiny—and destiny had finally come for him. But the old Toa seemed to embrace it. He pulled Pridak closer, allowing the blade to pierce him and emerge from his back. It seemed like he had known this would happen, like he had planned it out and made peace with it a long time ago. His chest ached like he had been stabbed himself. It was only a phantom pain, but Oreius would not have been surprised if it was real, and killing Stannis killed him too. Despite their long feud, the two were still connected. Their history was forged in blood and fire, and could not be so easily unmade. Oreius had done his best to forget that he had once known Stannis Maru, and he had done his best to forget why. But watching the warlord strike down the man he had once called brother suddenly brought those memories back to the surface, and the Toa of Fire found himself lost in a past he had tried desperately to forget... IC: Oreius and Stannis | Another Island in Another Time The day dawned red, and Oreius knew in his heart they were too late. But he stowed that knowledge away and clung to a desperate hope. The island spread out before them as the airship descended. Hills and valleys had changed in the years since his departure. Once lush and verdant, the ancient forests were now piles of smouldering ash. The green plains were now desert. The mountains themselves seemed smaller than he remembered, as if they had crumbled under the chisel of some vast and terrible architect; and their icy slopes had long since melted away, exposing bare rock. The rivers were dry. And the city. The place he had once called home was a broken pile of rubble. Even the distance could not hide the damage. It was unrecognizable. For a moment that stretched on forever the Toa Maru quad stood on the surveying deck of their airship in a stunned silence as they began to take stock of the foreboding land they were descending into. Reordin, quick to quip and slow to quit, was the first to speak his mind. He stood directly between and slightly behind Stannis and Oreius, leaned his head forward into their peripherals, and glanced at them both. "Nice, so much for the plan." Stannis wished his peer had not spoken the stab. He stood stoic as stone as he eyed the damages done, neither deigning Reo with a response or offering condolences to Oreo. Later on, eventually, he would come to reflect on the moment and regret his quietude, but at the moment all he could do was try to think of the words he would have said if he were someone else. "Nothing?" Reordin persisted, clearly expecting some retort of it-is-how-it-is or defense of the meander they had taken to arrive, but realized there was no such rise to be had. "Allllllll-righty." He leaned back and stepped away. Stannis was frustratingly restrained as ever. The enormity of the devastation still had Oreius in shock, but he was present enough to count the long seconds that passed without a word from Stannis. Reordin's quip was as predictable as ever, but the Ko-Toa was only voicing what they all were thinking. And their leader had no response. Even some trite words invoking Destiny or Mata Nui's will would have been better than nothing. But, for once, even Stannis had no scripture to justify what laid before them. It had been at his command that they delayed, not coming immediately to the island's aid. It had been by his counsel that they made space for diplomacy, hoping that cooler heads would prevail. And now he gazed upon the desolation their inaction had wrought, and he said nothing. Oreius had never completely fallen in lockstep with Stannis. Like Reordin, he was a soldier. He preferred to act first and ask questions later, and was often frustrated by his leader's tendency to do the opposite. But he had followed Stannis anyway, because he trusted him. Now, as their ship came down to land, he felt the last remnants of that trust burn away. They landed on the beach. A peninsula stretched out into the sea like a finger, and it was here the Matoran of the island had made their last stand. The sand was stained red, and the water frothed as it rolled in. The only sounds they heard from the beach were from the wind and the waves. Something that could only be described as a sensation loomed further in the island, where the closest village used to be, and the Maru stood there in stunned quiet a moment before Stannis finally spoke "Sulov and Reordin, check the perimeter and clear it if needed. Oreius and I will enter the village." The Toa obeyed, although Oreius had had already started moving before Stannis had finished giving the command. He entered the village at a light jog, swords unsheathed and eyes flickering from place to place, scanning for signs of remaining enemies. What he saw instead was the aftermath of a massacre. The outer wall had been broken in many places, suggesting that the enemy had surrounded the village and invaded from multiple sides. Stone huts were crushed like sandcastles. Wooden market stalls were ash. Some scraps of canvas still burned as they hung from their poles like flags of surrender. And the bodies. The enemy had never been known to take prisoners, and they hadn’t started now. Oreius’s jog turned to a dazed walk as he surveyed the destruction. He realized that he knew some of the fallen—they were old friends and neighbours, people he recognized despite having not seen them for a hundred years or more. This realization sparked a terrible fear that chilled his very bones, and he began to run again, no longer wary of hidden foes or traps. He moved like a man possessed, looking in the remains of huts and scanning the faces of the slain, abandoning each one on as soon as he could confirm that it was not who he was looking for. He had forgotten about the other Maru. He was alone in the carnage, fueled by an anxious hope, equally sure that he would find the one that he sought and that he wouldn’t. Perhaps he had made it off the island— perhaps he had hidden in some cave and been overlooked— perhaps he had been wounded in another fight and was lying somewhere in the burning jungle, waiting for help that would never come— These despairing thoughts washed over him like the tide, and Oreius didn’t have the strength to fight them off. That ever-present fire in his chest was burning bright with fear and rage, and each new thought only added fuel to the blaze. It would surely consume him soon enough, or else consume everything around him in a storm of righteous fury… …but when he found the one he was looking for, neither of those things happened. Instead, the fire in his chest simply went out. He dropped to his knees and cried out once in anguish, hardly daring to even touch the Matoran’s broken body. “No,” he said, his voice trembling. “No.” The Matoran’s eyes flickered at the sound, and his head turned slightly towards the Toa. A splash of gold rippled across his grey body. “Oreius?” he breathed. “I’m here.” He placed a hand gently on the Matoran’s cheek. Tears flowed freely from his eyes. “I’m here. Don’t move. You’ll be alright.” A ghost of a smile passed over the Matoran’s face. “I knew it,” he whispered. “I knew you’d come.” Oreius choked back a sob, then looked around for the other Toa. He needed help. There had to be something he could do. “Stannis!” he shouted, unable to keep the fear out of his voice. “Stannis!” In answer to Oreius's summons the older Toa hollered back, "I am here!" An instant later he came into view, running round the corner of a nearby hut, and wasting no time now in clearing the distance between he and his comrade. His twin spears were still holstered in an X across his back and they dipped and bobbed with uncharacteristic tempo, clicking with every pace as he wasn't yet sure if the dauntless Toa of Fire was in danger or in terror. As he came close he realized Oreius's calls for help were not for himself but for the Matoran horribly curled on the ground, somehow strong enough to have survived the massacre that had transpired. The little one barely clung to life, it seemed, but that he had lived this long was testament of his tenacity and determination. "I am here," he said again, softly this time, as he come up and quickly knelt into the mud next to the Matoran's crumbled figure, on the opposite side as Oreius. The Wanderer sighed knowingly. It was his call to have delayed the rescue operation, of course, and he knew the risks and challenges all along. He'd withheld information, bargaining on a chance that the battle could have been averted entirely, that the storm of swords would have swept elsewhere and not Oreius's home and heartland, that resources could be spared and employed elsewhere to greater effect, and he knew what was at stake for Oreius, that there were some costs that the return was simply not worthwhile to pay for. Oreius would never have allowed the Toa Maru to do anything else if he had known what Stannis did, and yet it had seemed all so necessary. But some costs... were too steep to bear. "Is this...?" Stannis asked. He knew the answer already. He asked anyway “Yes,” Oreius replied. He lifted his eyes to Stannis. Their gaze met over the body of the dying Matoran, and Stannis saw no anger in Oreius’s eyes. That would come later. There would be anger and judgment and even loathing in those eyes, but not now. Now there was only fear, as deep and dark as the ocean Oreius was a soldier, and he surely knew that the Matoran was beyond medicine. But hope is stubborn, and the thought of losing the one he loved was too horrific to bear. So he pleaded with Stannis like he was pleading with death itself. As if his words could somehow conjure a solution; as if there was some deep magic that would answer his summons if he just begged hard enough. “Please,” he said softly. “There has to be something. Anything. I can’t lose him. I can’t…” He trailed off and bowed his head. The Matoran’s heartlight flickered weakly with each shallow breath “Inu,” Stannis said softly. It wasn’t a name Oreius said much in waking hours but rather tenderly while dreaming. It was a sweet name for a good Matoran who had long possessed Oreius’ admiration more than Stannis or anyone ever could fathom. This was the consequence of coming too late, but it hadn’t ever been Stannis’ price to pay—then why had he gambled it away like it was his? He studied the sacrifice of dallying carefully as if weighing each breath on Fate’s scales. “No medpack or Leah’s balms can preserve what is already departed, Oreius. This cycle is set, I am so sorry, but I can help in another way. Tell me... —tell me what is it you wish for, more than anything else in the world?" he asked. “I wish I hadn’t listened to you.” Stannis winced at the accusation but said nothing. He knew he deserved it. Inu’s eyes closed, but he still breathed. The Toa’s hand still tenderly cupped his cheek. Oreius had heard Stannis speak these words before. Always destiny, always the cycle—these words seemed little comfort when Stannis spoke them to others, and now that he was on the receiving end of them, Oreius could indeed confirm that they meant nothing. He would gladly knock the wheel of time from its axle; he would throw destiny from its course and doom the universe in a heartbeat if it would save the one he loved. He knew it was impossible, but he wished for it anyway. “It should be me,” Oreius said, his voice cracking. “I wish it was me. I wish I could save him.” Stannis studied Oreius' face for a long moment like an artist seeking to deposit it into memory to draw later. It was aggrieved in torment, twisted not by hatred—not yet—but by an emotion Stannis often found elusive himself: Love. It was one of the most potent, a sum of many parts and a power few could break. To dismantle love of its strength took the disentanglement of fear, adoration, affectation, belonging, and so much more. Wars were fought for love, islands cleft in twain, suns blotted out, all for the sake of the heart. But when love manifested at last it presented itself as an ultimate irony; despite its power of character, it also was a weakness. Love was a string that could be pulled, a carrot that would relentlessly be pursued, for when the heart wanted it would stop at nothing to have. Stannis, the man Oreius thought he knew, looked into the Ta-Toa's eyes and saw for the very first time into his soul. It was a glimpse that would never be given in turn as the Wanderer's seeing pearls would never reveal more than their confounding opacity but what could not be discerned in the soul would soon become a cold comfort. Stannis had once commanded Oreius's trust, later reduced to mere respect, but soon all that would dissolve away. Oh, how quickly the bonds of brotherhood could wither away and turn to fear and hatred. Stannis, the man Oreius thought he knew, could not offer salvation or healing—those things were never in his nature—but he could still grant a wish. He could offer control. He could offer inseparability. He could understand, clinically, what Oreius truly wanted, the deep desire behind his powerless frustration. What had caused him to tip over the edge into desperation except the frightening possibility of being deprived of the one thing he worshipped more than Mata Nui himself? Love. "You want an eternal life with Inu," Stannis said quietly. "To weather every storm with him, in sickness and in health, for as long as the sun shines and the moon pulls the tides. You wish to never be separated from your beloved again—and ##### me, ##### everyone who gets in your way. Say it." Oreius didn't understand, but then when had he ever understood the Wanderer? The man always seemed to walk a path no one else could see, and he spoke in riddles no one else could comprehend. Now he seemed to be offering something unattainable, something no one could possibly offer... as if he could do the impossible if only Oreius would just believe. The Toa of Fire looked down at the one he loved. Inu's heartlight was fading now. Each breath came too slowly, and the movement of his chest was almost imperceptible. If there was anything Stannis could do—if, for once, he was offering action instead of words—then now was the time to take it. "Yes," he said. "Yes, ##### you. Just give him back to me. I can't lose him again." "I have the power to give you what you desire," Stannis said. "An inseparable life together with your beloved none would ever be able to take from you. But it will not be easy, and I need you to promise me to not only keep my power a secret but to guard this nature for as long as I live. I will demand nothing more from you but will expect nothing less. "Do you agree?" he asked again, this time knowing full well Oreius would consent. He had no other choice. Love would have it no other way. A nod. Stannis almost withheld what he said next, almost swallowed the words and walked away right then. Oreius was like a brother to him, a comrade he had once trusted and cared for more than most, and once he did what he would do there would never be a relationship ever again. Trust had long since been shattered, but what was asked for next was a sacrifice of all civility. "Then give me Inu's beating heartlight," he finally said. Oreius's eyes snapped up. Here was the anger now. The incredulity. And... beneath it all, the desperation that would inevitably win out over both of them. "What?" "What I said, I have said," Stannis spoke evenly, hand held out expectantly. Oreius's appearance of doubt was only that: an appearance. Stannis could have asked for the sun, and the Toa of Fire would have found a way to pull it down from the sky. There was nothing he would not do for the Matoran who laid dying between them. So after a moment of wary judgment, he dropped the façade and obeyed. His sword flashed in the sunlight. Inu's body buckled. It was done. The man Oreius thought was a Toa of Stone took the quivering organ in hand and held it lovingly like a scientist with a prized experiment. There was no mirth, but there was anticipation... and deepest sorrow. This was a betrayal of the deepest kind to Oreius as much as it was a testament of love. Stannis had truthfully hoped for any other twist of fate, any different path to Destiny, but this was the thread that there was because of the actions of a select few. Stannis hoped Oreius understood the Wanderer's action was an admission of culpability and an act of penitence, an exchange of his true nature for the vulnerability Oreius had given in passion. He understood that the chances of that mourning being understood were slim, yet he was bound to carry out the ritual regardless. He struggled to remember the words—it had been literal eons since he practiced any of his old craft, before even he came to possess the body and then ultimately devour the soul of the Toa Hagah he would come to fully embody—but they were still there, extant words in the ether of his primordial mind, and he recollected and arranged them again like lost letters in a soup. "Goodbye, Hello. Step forth into the darkness and prepare the gift. A star’s heart still beating, still lit, Two midnight horrors cry and shift. Make them squirm inside the pit Bind worm and willing host, Tear the yolk and spread its gold, Devour knowledge and their ghost. Pray for prey forever sold. Hello, And goodbye." He offered the heartlight, transformed into something alien and sentient, to Oreius and it slithered under his armor with haste. It bound itself to Oreius' body, slipping into his shoulder and grasping his spine, but there was no pain. There was no fear. There wasn't even any anxiety. The kraata spoke to Oreius in soothing melodies, sharing images of a life they had lived and had dreamed of fulfilling while holding hands under the blanket of nighttime stars, back when he was something other than a kraata and the whole of the Universe was their oyster. Inu and Oreius had fantasized of a life together, and now they had been given that chance. There was no agony felt. There was only... love. The Toa of Fire raised a hand slowly to the back of his neck where the kraata had attached itself. He stood and realized that he no longer stood straight and tall as he had before—he now carried a slight hunch. He would carry Inu's small weight forever, bearing the burden of his love across the universe, never to be parted. "There is no power greater than love," Stannis said. Inu's ichor still dripped from his fingers; he dared not wipe it off, literally staining his hands with Inu's blood. "It is all I can do to ensure that Inu shall forevermore be a source of strength to you. I have given you the power of limited invulnerability—you are to be protected against most physical harm and the effects of harsh environs. Forevermore." The wizard—for that was what he truly had become in Oreius's eyes then—lowered his head then. "What is done is done. From this point forward, nevermore am I your brother." Oreius looked down at the kneeling Stannis (was that even his name?) and finally saw him for what he truly was: a strange, eldritch spirit masquerading as a Toa. They understood each other now. For all his talk of righteousness, the Toa of Stone was a fraud. And for all his talk of justice, the Toa of Fire was willing to deal with a demon for his own gain. They would continue to lie to others in the centuries to come—to present themselves as righteous and just. Both would believe they were doing it for the greater good. But they saw each other plainly now, and so it was inevitable that Oreius would turn and walk away. No more would they be brothers. No more would they draw swords together. Each was a painful reminder to the other of their true nature, and so they were doomed to part ways until the sun went dark and the stars themselves were shaken free from the skies. IC: Oreius | The Coliseum Blinking back the memories, Oreius shook himself free of the past and rejoined the battle, swinging his sword at Achro with an angry shout.
  5. 8 points
    IC: Poroka & Company | Aboard the Wombat The green Vahki whirs at Knichou's command, but before it can obey or not, a new transmission comes in. "This is Toa Zaliyah of the League of Six Kingdoms, calling all vessels in the vicinity! The battle is over! The people of Metru-Koro have agreed to discuss terms! All ships, cease hostilities!" "That your captain? I'd suggest turning this ship around." Evidently, the Toa of Iron has received the broadcast too. The green Vahki's eyes flicker briefly as it processes this new information. "It is not the captain of this vessel," it says, its correction buzzing in Knichou's ear. "However, as she is the commanding officer on this mission, we will obey her instructions." It presses a button to repeat Zaliyah's broadcast over the ship's intercom. * * * The brown Vahki's shot misses. Its opponent is agile. She fires her gun, but the robotic soldier is already folding into quadrupedal mode. The bullet pings off the wall of the airship. The Vahki scuttles back on three legs, charging a disk as it retreats towards the bridge, its eyes still flickering periodically to Druu. * * * The red Vahki pokes its head out from the cargo bay to see a battle in progress. "You are in violation of several major airspace codes," it chirps to no one in particular. "Cease your resistance." * * * Suddenly Poroka's hand really hurt. Try to hit new person, but miss. Sword go funny and turn into ball around Poroka's hand. Feels like teeth. Ouch! Poroka try to drop it, but can't. It's stuck! "Rrrrrgh!" Poroka growls. Feel angry. Other sword still good. Poroka swing other sword at new person! "I WILL CRUSH EVERY BONE IN YOUR BODY IF I MUST!" Someone's yelling. Sword arm get caught in vines suddenly. Not hit new person. That really make Poroka have frustrate feeling! In this kind of time, when feeling angry, Poroka remember Mama's advice... * * * "Remember, my little fish," she'd say, bouncing her four-armed son on her knee. "What do you do with the mad that you feel? When you feel so mad you could bite? When the whole wide world feels oh so wrong, and nothing you do seems very right? "What do you do? Do you punch a bag? Do you pound some clay or dough? Or, my sweet little darling child... "Do you rip out your enemies' throats?" * * * Poroka roar, and swing arm hard. Vines pull new new person and smash him into ship wall! Other arm rip free from vines, smashing weird sword-ball into ship wall and make huge dent. Poroka hold on to ceiling with tentacles, then pull up and try kick new person in the face! Some message play on radio? Whatever. Poroka not hear. Too busy being mad.
  6. 7 points
    IC: Dar Poroka Toden Kakoda Gan | The Silver Sea Splooosh! Poroka hit water like cannonball. Make big splash! Hope somebody see it. Sink under water. No need hold breath—Poroka live in water too. Poroka's amferbious. Lots of bubbles. Hard to see. But Poroka can tell which way up. So start swim. Big feet make easy swimming. Many arms help too! Move fast. But something feels not right. Feels like... arms not move good? Feeling funny. Poroka try look at arm, but eyes not see so good. Poroka's feeling woozy. Wake up, Poroka! Not sleepy. Just funny. And water's funny, too. Feeling kinda... spicy. Poroka gotta bad feeling about this— Suddenly there's big light! Poroka hurts! Make angry, but roar don't help! Just bubbles! Feeling stretchy— Feeling squishy— Feeling spicy— Too hot! Too hot! Ow! Water keep making hot! Stop please! Sto— ... * * * The peaceful waters of the Silver Sea suddenly erupt in a shower of sparkling liquid. A monstrous figure rises from the water on two vast wings. Each beat of the gigantic wings sounds like a thunderclap. The figure seems to unwrap itself, revealing its hulking body to be a mass of tentacles. It opens its maw and roars into the night, as if challenging the Tahtorak that roared only moments ago. It rises into the sky, a shadow against the stars. Its wings flap once, and it is gone.
  7. 7 points
    IC: Poroka & Company | Aboard the Wombat Poroka mama tell story one time. Mama say little fairies live in house walls. Listen every day. Sometime fairies hear bad thing and feel sad. So fairies make magic to fixing bad thing. Cute story. Poroka wonder if fairies live in ship walls. Hear Poroka having hard time and make big magic. Like... really big magic. Cause Poroka always big person, but this whole another level. Poroka wearing ship like pants! Poroka fist so big can grab new person and squish like bug! Really cool. Poroka reach to grab new people, but not used to big size. Poroka feel hand go through ship wall and hit ship engine. Big blue fire happen and burn Poroka hand. That make Poroka feeling more mad! Really! Other hand punch ship! Then one more time! Feet kick! Feel break ship floor! Too hard grab small people! So Poroka just clap hands together really hard! Big clap! Big noise. And ship get really squish. Ship make sad noise. Start to falling. ... Uh-oh. Poroka think maybe Poroka not think this plan through so much. * * * Dar Poroka's clap fuses the brown Vahki's circuitry with the walls of the ship. It does not mind. * * * The green Vahki turns to its instruments, but the side of the bridge is suddenly blown away by a swipe of the captain's giant tentacle, and the green robot is gone. The blue Vahki is unfazed. "Ship descending rapidly," it beeps. "Engines unresponsive. Disk mechanisms unresponsive. Failure level: catastrophic." Still, a pilot must go down with its ship. * * * In the cargo bay, the red Vahki whirs as it activates a special subroutine. It reconnects its neural link with the ship's weaponry. Ehlek's experimental weapon can no longer fire, but the main Hagah cannon is still fully functional. The robot mentally turns off several security options, bypassing the resulting alerts and warnings. The gun will charge until it melts down. The resulting explosion should incinerate the pulse generator along with everything else onboard. League technology cannot fall into rebel hands. The red Vahki stands beside the gun, its eyes flickering, and waits for termination. Not death. Just termination. It is not truly alive, after all. * * * The Wombat falls, much like wombats usually do when dropped from a height. Far below, the waters of the Silver Sea splash gently in the starlight. * * * Poroka take deep breath. Yell one last word: "Cannonballllllllllll...!" OOC: Well fought, everyone. The Wombat is now a pile of scrap metal approaching terminal velocity towards inevitable impact with the waters of the Silver Sea. The ship's gun is rigged to explode, but that may or may not happen before impact. I recommend getting your characters off the falling ship if you can. And if you can't? Well... better take a deep breath.
  8. 7 points
    IC: Poroka & Company | Aboard the Wombat The green Vahki beeps in Knichou's ear. "Her command was to cease hostilities. Not to cease movement. Until an overriding command is given, this ship must continue to obey its captain's last directive." Its yellow eyes do not blink. It is not afraid. But neither is it brave. It simply is. It cannot be anything else. "My programming does not allow me to contradict my captain's orders. Even to preserve my own safety." It pauses. "Unfortunately, I do not calculate a favourable outcome for myself in this scenario." * * * Zaliyah's broadcast continues to blare over the intercom: "This is Toa Zaliyah of the League of Six Kingdoms, calling all vessels in the vicinity! The battle is over! The people of Metru-Koro have agreed to discuss terms! All ships, cease hostilities! ... This is Toa Zaliyah of the League of Six Kingdoms, calling all vessels in the vicinity! The battle is over! The people of Metru-Koro have agreed to discuss terms! All ships, cease hostilities!" The red Vahki obediently retreats to the cargo bay. * * * The brown Vahki fires its disk, but the first of Amarth's shots blows out one of its optical receptors, and the second rips through its onboard launching mechanism, sending the disk off course. It flies past Amarth—she doesn't even need to dodge—and hits the biggest target onboard. * * * New person dodge kick. Grab Poroka leg and try to punch it. But before can do anything, something hit Poroka in the back. Not hard. It not hurt. But suddenly... Poroka feeling funny. Poroka feeling... big. * * * The Wombat glides almost silently through the night on its course towards the fallen skull of Mata Nui. Its engines hum pleasantly, but they are not loud. Most of the work is done by the levitation Kanoka, and the only noise they make is a gentle ping whenever they strike the hull of the vessel to keep it airborne. Hours ago, the night was cloudy and dark, and the League ships used that darkness as cover to slip undetected towards Metru-Koro. Now, however, the clouds have drifted apart, and the stars shine down upon the silver hull of the ship. It glimmers softly in the dark under the light of constellations its builders never saw, and soars over a land they never imagined. The night is tranquil. Then the peace is broken by the sound of metal breaking. A massive fist punches through one side of the ship, and then its counterpart punches through the other side. A massive, luminescent head bursts through the silver hull, glowing blue and yellow. The head opens its gaping maw and roars a challenge into the night. It raises a metal-enveloped fist, ripping through the hull effortlessly as it does so, then brings it down on the stern of the ship, crushing the engines like a tin can. They emit a flare of blue fire in brief protest, and then are silent. The stars continue to twinkle merrily from their places in the sky. Inside the ship, however, the mood is not quite so cheerful.
  9. 7 points
    OOC: On mobile so no color. This is going to be the first of several jam posts between myself and Unreliable Narrator. Hope you enjoy IC: Atamai & Tuyet | Onu-Metru "Yeah, no…. plan didn't work," Tuyet replied as she pulled out a cloth and began cleaning the blade of her sword. The light glittered off the glass. She sighed. "I thought I could fix this myself, once I had the power of time. But it didn't work, and now I'm stuck learning how to control myself all over again. Have you ever gotten stuck repeating the same action for days? I just got out of a rough one in the desert… three years from now I think? I can't remember if that's backwards or forwards. You said the League controls Metru-Nui. I thought you beat them? Maybe fill me in on where we're at... in time." “Well, it’s been about a week since the League invaded the city. For us, anyway. From what I’ve learned after the fact, the League was putting up a tough fight. But it apparently didn’t matter since Mata Nui awoke and then immediately died.” "He what now?" “You heard me correctly. Turns out the Great Spirit was actually a giant robot that we were all living inside. Metru Nui was located in his head, which ended up snapping off, causing all of this… destruction. Trust me, if you think this cavern is in bad shape, you should see the city.” Tuyet snapped her fingers but the sword didn't disappear. Disappointed, she laid the flat of the blade across her lap. "Sorry, thought maybe the suva was working. I knew the giant robot part. It was the 'he woke up' part I was worried about. So where is He now? Any leads" Atamai made a mental note of Tuyet’s mentioning of a Suva. He would have to ask her about it later. “His head landed on an island called Zakaz, but it’s not actually the same Zakaz back home. It’s different. The island itself seems to be in the shape of Metru Nui, but a lot bigger. His head is currently on the western coast of the island. The city has shifted and part of it can be seen through the hole in the skull, and the Silver Sea has spilled out around it, making a dangerous protodermis lake.” Atamai paused for a moment to let that information sink in. “I’m not sure how long this island has existed for. The “natives” I speak of are Skakdi, but they’re a bit different from the Skakdi we know. They have frills, and some of them don’t have eyes. Myself and some of my friends were investigating some ruins, and I’ve determined that they were actually built by Matoran. It seems that Matoran were here at one point, but the Skakdi likely wiped them out. “There is one more thing. I’m told that Zakaz exists in a place called the “Time Between Time.” I’m not sure exactly what that means, but I have a feeling it’s linked to that time paradox you had mentioned when we first met.” Tuyet nodded, but seemed more concerned the longer Atamai explained. Finally she said, "so… you don't know where he is? Like, you know, Mata-Nui the god of life and death, creation and destruction? He's just… loose?" Atamai raised an eyebrow. “We’re currently inside of his head, and his body is floating in space above the island. Are you saying that… getting his head chopped off didn’t kill him?” "I'm saying the giant robot isn't the god. It's just his vessel, you know? Like a toa tool." Tuyet tapped her sword. "But, you know, bigger and, like, full of living beings. At least that's what I figured from my last trip. Could be wrong. I was wrong before after all." A small pebble smacked the side of Tuyet's head. "Ow! Shoot. I threw that like an hour ago… Forgot I did that." She paused, looking around the room. "Okay, so we're currently at the point where everything's bad? And in the Time Between Time too. I keep getting stuck here. It like a stupid whirlpool. A stupid time whirlpool. I'm confused about Zakaz having skakdi though. I was here not long ago -- for me -- and it was just a bunch of matoran praying for salvation. Wonder what happened." “Interesting. I’m not entirely sure then how the Skakdi got here. The Matoran of Zakaz apparently worshiped something called “The Krom”. Maybe this “Krom” was involved in some way.” Atamai sighed. “Anyway, as I said before, I led an expedition into an old Zakazian temple. I found that its location actually corresponded to where a Great Disk was hidden here in Metru Nui.” "Really?" Atamai nodded. “Yes. I also realized that, during my search for the Great Disks, I had seen some Zakazian symbols on the puzzle for the Po-Metru disk. There’s clearly some kind of link between Metru Nui and Zakaz. Do you have any idea as to what the connection is?” "Totally, totally, yeah… no yeah I get it. I don't know the connection, but I have an idea of who might: Dume. He's got a lot of wisdom stored in his head. Maybe he'll know, you know. There were a lot of similar symbols in his tattoos, so many there's, like, a connection there. Wanna go ask him? Besides, if you need a Great Disk I'm unfortunately all out. Might as well go to the source." Atamai blinked and considered what Tuyet was proposing. Traveling back in time to see Dume? It was risky, especially since it seemed Tuyet didn’t have full grasp over her powers yet. “I… okay. I actually do need a Great Disk. The last room in the temple has a lock that only a Great Disk can open, so if I’m actually able to get one from Dume… or maybe even get six of them, that might let us take hold of whatever power is inside all of them. We can protect the people of Metru Nui better.” "Six disks? What do you think this is, Ta-Metru? Ok, ok, maybe we can time it and show up when Turaga Dume had all six before he gave them to us to hide. I could probably focus on Dume and the disks. Probably." She shrugged. "You a betting man?" “Not particularly, no, but this may be easier than attempting to make my own disks with the slag from the ones you brought,” Atamai said. "Slag disks sound less fun than jumping through wormholes." She stood up and reached out a hand. "You ready Buddy?" Atamai took her hand, a little hesitantly. “Luckily I’m not the one doing the teleporting this time,” he said in his usual dry humor. "Don't tempt me to switch masks." Did Tuyet wink? They vanished. OOC: @Unreliable Narrator
  10. 7 points
    IC Stannis | Coliseum The former team leader, finished with the conjuration and mobilization of his boulders and walls, nudged one of them through a carefully chosen window. Nothing the old man was without reason, for despite his seemingly nonchalance he knew there were no coincidences, and all things were part of a grander play. Everything happened for a reason, and sometimes... he was the reason. A sharp creak of glass giving way to pressure followed by the crash of shattering shards heralded the howl of wind that burst from the destroyed pane (the very same which had been destroyed just over a week prior) and filled the office chamber with piercing gusts. Perhaps Skyra could make some use of these, Stannis considered wryly, though that was not the purpose of the play. It has been thousands of years since the two extant heroes of Maru Nui stood near each other, even longer still than Aurax's betrayal and seizing of a legacy that was not for him, and when they last parted ways it had not been as friends. Never before had Stannis and Oreious understood each other more clearly than on that fateful day they walked apart from each other, but that knowledge, as all things, carried a price, and some costs were too high to regain no matter how long one slaved away. Stannis barely paid any notice of the Ta-Toa's entrance. He'd been awaiting it, preparing for it, expecting it for longer than anyone imagined, and when Oreius' heels hit the floor of the chamber it registered as barely even noteworthy for the Wanderer, in fact it was quite sublimely routine and punctual. The slab from which Oreius came from pulled itself back from the outside and slid to where it was parked an instant before. He didn't even turn away from his study of Pridak, though he did flourish his staff once, and regarded his old friend from afar. "I'll say this just once," he said as though time had not passed at all. "We are not doing 'get help.'"
  11. 6 points
    Happy Monday! From The Desk, We. Hit. 100. Pages. Yes! We did it, we broke into the triple digits for SKR in early August! I wasn't sure it would be possible, but it's cool to see it happen. Thanks all for playing, and for continuing to work on being a collaborative group. As a personal note, I am working overtime this week. Lots of overtime. Expect less interaction from me while that is happening, though I will due my diligence to continue to stay up to date on the happenings, and even post if at all possible! Weekly Summary The Ruins of Fire rooms have been fully opened! Congratulations to those who worked hard on those puzzles. Barius announces the need to feed! A might feast for Barius's triumph with the warksaks begins, even as his new tahtorak lumbers off towards... The Rig? Cravious and Gore continue their food-loving adventures, dragging in more fine folk to help them in their quest for ingredients and components in the Fau Swamp! The skies of Metru-Nui cease to be filled with combat Dar Poroka flies away on his newfound tentacle wings, and those aboard his ship make a safe extraction. Taja and Whisper explore not just the road south to the Fau Swamp, but what it means to be alive. Le-Metru Nuva continued it's progress towards unlocking the secret to forging great kanoka with the help from a new ally. Atamai comes back to the future with an unwelcome guest: Axxon. Their debate turns to blows, with Atamai joined by some old new friends who happened to be traveling North. Sorilax and Sala explore the Fau Swamp, finding the air suva and a surprised matoran! Pridak's armor is destroyed, and the fight seems to near a terrifying conclusion... Favorite Moment of the Week: I'm loving... LOVING... the philosophical introspection by Whisper and Taja. I'm loving... LOVING... Viltia and Sidra. Generally, the Fau Swamp is getting some descriptive love over the past week or two and I'm here for that.
  12. 6 points
    IC: Sidra – Dead Forest - Fau Swamp - Lost and Alone Skeletal sticks scraped at Sidra shoulders as she brushed her way through the ravaged remnants of the charred forest. Her surroundings were slate grey in the twilight, blending together and swimming in and out of focus as her vision blurred. She stifled a yawn and stumbled forward, rubbing her dry eyes. She’d lost track of time. From experimenting with the Suva, to exploring the Ruins, to failing at the forge… how many days had it been since she’d actually slept? Two? Three? She needed to stop soon. “Snap out of it,” she chided herself, “Remember that stakeout on Stelt? Awake for four days straight while listening to Krekka whine about not being allowed to break something.” A misplaced step almost made her roll her ankle, and she took a second to steady herself, bracing against a tree. “You can do this. New world, new life. You just have to take it.” Childish, taunting laughter whispered through the trees, mocking her words. “It’s all in your mind. Just keep going.” Shaking her head, she continued on her way, hoping she was going in the right direction. She’d never had much need for a compass in the past, but she was wishing she had one now. Rumbling from the mountain and the sound of some immense beast screeching at the sky had persuaded her to take a wide berth around Irnakk’s Tooth. Unfortunately, the tangled, cracked branches all around were now blocking her view of any discernible landmarks that might help her confirm which way she was going. Charcoal and blackened bones crunched underfoot as she lurched ever onwards, still pursued by tittering taunts and distant screams. After a while, she thought she could make out voices amidst the murmurs, voices she recognised. “To know a civilisation’s weapons is to know their worth,” Lariska crooned, “But what is your worth, now that you stand apart from civilisation?” She almost blundered into a tree trunk as she spun around, trying to determine the source of her mentor’s words. The long-dead tree cracked and collapsed as she trod on the roots still anchoring it to the ground, knocking her off her feet and falling atop her. For a moment, she was in another place, another time, pinned by a towering blue being. :I would be a last glimmer before oblivion.: The titan’s voice cut through her consciousness like a knife. :You are a fool whose reach exceeds her grasp while her imagination remains trapped by her station.: (Zataka) With a defiant cry, she shoved both the thought and the trunk aside, scrambling away on her hands and knees. She hit another tree, and grabbed at it in a frantic panic, pulling herself upright. “I cannot absolve you of what you've done,” it was Leklo’s voice she heard now, “Find your redemption, else others will.” “I don’t need redeeming!” she spat, though she doubted there was anyone truly there to hear it. “I stand by what I’ve done. Your morals don’t rule me.” “What's done is done. People die, cities are razed, and civilisations are destroyed. Clinging to what's gone isn't going to fix anything.” Her nektann let out a beep, warning of something behind her. She pushed away from the tree, and whirled about to find herself facing another figure from her past. Before her stood a very different titan, a bloodied broadsword clutched in their hand and massive antlers jutting from their head. Already, she could feel the heat radiating from Othorak’s form, see the fiery glow surrounding him, feel the ground shifting beneath her feet as the floor of the airship began to melt away. “You aren't the type to kill whatever gets in your way!” He bellowed. “Weak! I am the greatest warrior Stelt has ever seen!” For a moment, Sidra was frozen. This fight, this failure, had hung over her since she'd left Metru Nui. What had become of the two Matoran she'd saved from the airship? What had happened to Othorak's corpse after she had fled from it? Was she doomed to relive this piece of her history? Not again. Not this time. She drew her sword and unleashed its power upon the demented League terrorist, a stream of ice extinguishing his heat as she lunged forward. She sent the weapon slicing across his chest, felt something warm and wet fleck her face, then brought the sword sweeping back the other way, striking him again. He sunk to his knees, and she sheathed her sword, before plunging her hand forward, seizing his lacerated heartlight and ripping it fully from his body. “You've doomed yourself, Dark Hunter!” Othorak sneered, his form fading away to reveal the iced-over trunk of a long-dead tree. “I'll see you in Karzahni!" What she had thought to be a broadsword was nothing but a bough, and the jutting angles she’d taken for antlers were nothing more than mundane branches. Othorak had never lived to see this world. For better or worse, Sidra had still managed to ensure that. And yet, the heat she’d felt was real, and this tree was still teeming with life. Massive, fist-sized insects swarmed around it, glowing like hot coals, some half-frozen to the trunk, some bisected by her blade… and one brutally biting and burning her palm as she held it aloft. She flung it away with a pained cry, tripping on the shifting ground as she tried to back away. The beetles were swarming around her legs as well, blistering heat radiating from their bodies as they scratched and stung and seared at her boots. “The universe is burning and you're trying to make me feel guilty about trying to stop the fires?” The voices and insects alike pursued her as she fled deeper into the forest, buzzing and hissing like live wires. Her nektann loosed a few energy blasts at the pursuing pests, but they were too many, diving in close to burn her back and neck and shoulders. “You don't actually matter. Nothing here matters.” Again and again they attacked her, until at last she drew far enough away from their perceived territory that they dispersed, leaving her in painful, peaceful isolation again. “There are no right choices.” The ground underfoot felt soft and marshy now, squelching and slipping with every step, and Sidra eventually slumped against a tree. A soft whimper escaped her lips, and unbidden tears tracked down her cheeks as her fresh burns scraped against the coarse bark. She unscrewed the lid of her canteen, pouring water onto her wounded palm, but little more than a mouthful spilled forth, doing almost nothing to ease her pain or wash away the blood. She did what she could to clean and bind the wound, but with her iStone screen as the only light source, it was difficult to discern if she’d done an effective job. She sat there for a while, steadying her breaths, adjusting to the pain, letting the adrenaline abate and her rational mind reclaim control. “You've made your statement, played your part... don't you want to rest? You've earned it." They were her own words, and she saw the sense in them. She knew she needed to rest… but the encounter with the insects had proven this place wasn’t safe. She had to keep going. She had to be close. She hadn’t come all this way just for her journey to end in some forgotten forest. “Destiny and fate move forward, never backward, and even when the patterns repeat themselves it is for us to learn from our past to become better.” Sidra forced herself to her feet, her steps slow and unsteady as she resumed her reluctant march. As she walked, she realised the forest had changed. Where they had once been naught but ash and black there was now leaves and green. “This isn’t right,” she muttered. This was supposed to be the region of fire, barren and blackened. She’d gone the wrong way. She turned around, picking a direction at random and setting off again, brushing aside branches as she pushed back towards what she hoped was the correct course. She tripped on tree roots and slipped in slime, the words of Turaga Dume dogging her heels all the while, condemning her for her choices. "I've seen it. Heroes of the future destroying the past in the hopes of saving their present.” Her path was blocked by a section of swamp, and she recklessly waded through knee-deep waters, tripping on submerged roots, feeling reeds or rahi or who knew what else brush against her legs as she clawed her way onto the far bank. “We could change our lives today. We would not be here, we’d all be safe and loved by those we care about.” “You were wrong, old man,” she murmured, scurrying up a slope and back onto more level ground, “I was right to stop you… but…” But if she hadn’t, would he have been able to help the survivors here on Zakaz? Would they have all wound up on Zakaz at all? Had she brought all of this death and pain upon the universe? “There are worse fates than failure.” The voices gradually abated the further she journeyed, and after wandering for a further half-hour, she spotted a tree, larger and more gnarled than most, distinctive enough that she would surely have recognised it if she’d passed anywhere close to it previously. The branches looked solid enough to take her weight. If she could climb up high enough to get her bearings, she could find her way back to where she was meant to be, maybe spot somewhere to teleport herself to. Identifying a branch at a decent height with space and shadow enough around it for her to occupy, she teleported herself up to it, then began to climb, fighting past the twinges of pain plaguing her injured arms and back. She was about halfway up when she glimpsed a dim light in the distance, filtering weakly through the trees. It was almost dawn. Reinvigorated by the realisation, she reached for another branch, closing her right hand around it and starting to pull herself up. The makeshift bandage she’d wrapped around her palm caught on something, staying in place while her grip shifted, causing her still-raw wounds to drag languidly across the abrasive bark. She cried out, lost her grip, and fell – down and down, through branches and brambles – straight to the sodden ground below.
  13. 6 points
    OOC: Part 2 of the jam between myself and UN. On mobile again so formatting is worse than usual. APOSTLE VS APOSTATE IC: She walked with her eyes open and watched the stars scream by. Constellations changed, reset, and vanished to be replaced with an older age. Tuyet’s concentration flickered between the realms of worlds born and dead. The beat of her heartlight matched the pace of her footsteps into the past, Atamai’s hand gripped tightly in her own. Their feet stayed rooted to the ground, and yet they flew. Fear crashed against the walls of her concentration. She’d made a jump in time before, but never with someone else. As he walked forwards into the past her memories blended with Atamai’s, and she felt herself distorting. Which Tuyet was she? Did she rule an empire? Did she die in prison? Did she care? Time returned to its natural order of inevitable decay with the rushing of wind and the buffetting of air against their bodies. Tuyet looked down, her eyes widening behind her mask as she saw the glittering ocean far, far below. She twisted her neck, craning to see what happened. She saw only the moon above. And only the ocean below. “This isn’t right?! Where’s Onu-Metru?” Tuyet shouted over the rushing wind. Her hand found Atamai’s again as they continued their terrifying plunge. Atamai screamed as they fell. He had to act fast. “MataNuiPleasegrantmethepowertoteleportmyselfandotherstothenearestsolidgroundgiventhatitiswithin1000bionearmeAmen.” He talked so fast that he was afraid that his mask wouldn’t register his command. A second that felt like an eternity passed. They fell through a cloud. And then: “Input: accepted”. Without hesitating, Atamai activated his mask, and he and Tuyet were whisked away. Tuyet screamed and then her feet touched solid land. Her knees buckled. She ate dirt. “I’m good! I’m good. This is fine, this is fine, this is totally fine, this is totally not fine! She shouted the last bit after spitting the warm volcanic soil out of her mouth. She punched the ground and staggered back to her feet after the rough landing. They were on the side of a massive volcano. It towered over the landscape, and filled the night with a red glow far beyond the distant edge of the island to the East. Something out in the ocean glittered: two towers extending into the sky. From their position on the side of the volcano, they saw the magma flows leading down, a city nestled along the volcanic riverside with its evening lights aglow, and a sandy beach kissing the rising tide of the dark ocean. Behind them, Tuyet noticed a wide stone staircase carved into the side of the volcano leading to a massive open doorway into the landscape. Plumes of smoke exited the doorway, giving her the impression of it being a violent mouth of some underworld monstrosity. “I don’t get it,” Tuyet said again after a while taking everything in. “I said I’d bring us to when Dume had the Great Disks, and now we’re…” “...We’re so far in the past that Metru-Nui seems to not even exist yet,” Atamai observed. “Okay, if that’s the case, you’re on your own. Abso-friggin-lutely on your own,” Tuyet said, her hands falling to her side. She seemed disheartened. The heat of the volcanic forge blazing around them made the vision of her swim in Atamai’s eyes. “Can’t let Dume see me before we meet. Well, you know, meet for the first time.” “And I suppose that it's fine for me to be seen since the day I meet him in the future is the day he dies, right?” Atamai asked. Tuyet frowned. “Oof, awkward.” “I suppose it’ll be alright, I don’t think it’ll change things much…” Atamai trailed off. He wasn’t sure how he felt, given that he had watched the Turaga, the wise leader of his city, die before his eyes, and now he was going to come face to face with him, albeit a past version. “Okay, I’ll go in and see if I can get the disks. I’ll meet you outside the forge when I’ve got them.” Atamai began heading further into the forge, weaving in and out of a maze of pipes and machinery. The heat made him wish that he had been born a Ta-Matoran instead. Inside the great forge traveled to, Atamai found himself in awe of the size and grandeur. Large flowing rivers of molten lava slowly burned their way through manufactured trenches. Statues carved in the shapes of matoran heads adorned the pillars, flames burning and in their mouths as illumination. He followed the sound of industry, and discovered a series of long and steep steps descending further down… As Atamai made his way down the steps, the space began to widen. The decorated pillars increase in frequency, and the Toa noticed black soot covering the steps. Along the walls he saw carvings begin to appear. The shapes of Kanohi masks had been carefully preserved on the walls. Most of them Atamai recognized, and a few that he didn’t. Atamai paused briefly in front of these, then reached into his satchel and pulled out his iStone. He snapped a few pictures of them, hoping to identify them later. He also saw other carvings, those of figurines that appeared to be in various stages of the Kanohi forging process. Atamai snapped a few pictures of those on his tablet as well. Even closer to the bottom, Atamai came across some shelves that had been built into the wall, and on these were lumps of unrefined protodermis. He made a mental note of them and continued down. The heat began to increase greatly, and he saw a bright light at the bottom of the staircase. As he descended, small lizard Rahi scattered to avoid being stepped on. The sounds of smithing grew louder, and with them the sweltering heat. Atamai’s breath came in burning gasps. Crossing the threshold he stepped into the forge. The grinding of gears and the grating of metal assaulted Atamai’s hearing as he stepped out from the staired corridor. The powerful whoosh of unseen bellows made the space feel like the inside of a great being, alive and full of fiery rage. The never ending crushing and sliding of molten rock and lava falling across the back wall would drive a toa of sound to madness. The spitting sounds of oil catching aflame and sizzling out drew the eyes of the anxious. Geysers of flame burst from the floor, forming a hallway of fire for Atamai to walk within. The smell of tar and incense filled the air with pungent ritual. Heat burned against his armor, a dangerous prickling call to cast aside the flesh and melt into a single totality and be forged anew. The vaulted walls and pillars of the volcanic forge rose above them, dark smoke blocking Atamai’s view of the ceiling. The light of the moon cut a sharp line through the smoke from large windows facing out towards the coast. Despite his descent into the earth, it seemed the forge’s many stories rose above the ground. The pillars were shaped as toa, holding the world aloft above their bowed heads with outstretched hands. None wore masks, instead bearing the burden while at their weakest. Banners did not fly from the ceiling. Instead, the smells of the forge marked the territory: oil, metal, blood, sweat, and salt. The scent of pumice clung to the back of the throat, threatening to choke the unprepared. Tubes of magnetized protodermis rushed from the grand pillars holding the ceiling aloft to along the walls and through the falls of lava on the far side of the forge. They ran parallel to the ground, superheating from a pale lapis to a vibrant citrine as the fundamental substance of Atamai’s known world passed through. The superheated protodermis coiled and formed a ring around the forging altar in the center of the room. Only a single steep staircase connected the raised altar and the lower level of the forge’s spacious hall where Atamai stood. Upon the altar rose a large anvil, carved symmetrically. The face of an unknown being was carved into the base of the anvil. A toa of fire wearing a mask of regeneration stood beside the anvil, a glowing disk held in his bare palm as he raised it to catch the light in admiration. His other hand held a powerful hammer of a kind Atamai knew well. His lower half was wrapped in the drapings of some monastic order, and the vibrant saffron fabrics were covered in crimson embroidery. The toa’s exposed upper half glistened in the light of the lava behind, his chest dark in its own shadow. Atamai’s footsteps caught the toa’s attention. His gaze fell on the newcomer, and slowly he lowered the disk in his hand. Then he spoke, his voice unmistakable. “Who are you, and why are you in my temple?” It was a very strange experience seeing the future Turaga as a Toa. The Toa had the same gaze that Atamai had seen in the Turaga, and had the same voice, albeit a bit younger. “Dume? My name is Atamai. I’ve come a long way looking for answers and more, and I believe that you may have them.” Dume turned his gaze away, letting his focus drift. His sight lingered on the flowing protodermis surrounding the forge, and on the dark smoke billowing across its surface. He placed the cooling disk in his hands into a pool of oil, steam cascading across his front until Atamai could barely make out the toa’s complexion. At last he looked back at Atamai. "Answers?" Dume frowned. "How do you know my name? We've never met, unless my recollection is wrong." “No, we haven’t met. Not yet. As I said, I’ve come a long way- such a long way, in fact, that I’ve had to cross through time to come and see you.” Atamai wasn’t entirely sure how Dume would react to being told that Atamai was from a different time, but he hoped that Dume would be open to helping him. Forgemaster Dume’s head tilted, like a bird of prey considering whether or not to dive onto an unsuspecting meal. His voice echoed into the smoky rafters; “You step into the Forge of the Great Being, the Heartflame, as a willing liar? You besmirch these sacred steps with the hopes of providing some conjured delight? You are a thief, then, if you travel through time. For only a thief steals what is not given.” Dume stepped in front of the anvil to the top of the stairs and leveled his hammer towards Atamai. “I have made park benches more sturdy than your words of supposed greeting, Atamai. If that is even your true name. Speak your honest purpose before I change my mind and turn you into an ashen offering for Mata-Nui.” Atamai stared at Dume, unsure of what to say at first. “Dume… I swear that what I say is true. You become a leader of a great city in the future. You lead the Matoran people. But they’re in trouble-we all are. Mata Nui is actually a giant robot that we all live inside of, and he dies. His body, at least. His head, where our city is located, crash-lands on an island called Zakaz, in a realm known as the Time Between Time. Matoran lived there once, but now it’s home to a race of Skakdi, who aren’t happy with our presence. Our enemies control the city now, and the Matoran and others have become refugees. But there are temples on the island that hold a power that might be able to help them. To unlock them we need Great Kanoka Disks- disks that are of a power level of nine. Atamai paused for a moment to let his words sink in. “Now, I know you have Great Disks. I should know- in the future I go and find some of them. But they’re gone now, and I need new ones. Will you help me? Please?” Dume’s eyes narrowed, and after a long silence his voice rang out once more, suspicious and steely; “You say you live in a giant robot, and that it dies, and that this has all yet come to pass and rests on the present moment or all is lost? You speak with certainty, I give you that Atamai, Timelost Wanderer. You speak like an apostle. You bring grave tidings, and yet you stand before me low with your lies laid bare. Zakaz is a myth. Skakdi work the mines as they always worked, and they are grateful for their freedoms from Irnakk.” Dume’s voice rose again in volume, accusatory and aggressive. He took strides down the stairs as he shouted, his footfalls blossoming with bursts of flame. “How did you learn of the Ark? Who do you work for? Tuakana? That vile shadow who rides on the coattails of others? Your words of praise will not affect me. You are a charlatan who has desecrated this house, a spy of your ilk sent at the prodding of your vile shadow. I will smite you. I will cleanse this world of your filth. Goodbye, Atamai. Your silence buys our salvation.” Forgemaster Dume sprung forth, wings of flame erupting from his back as he charged and swung his hammer. Eyes widened, Atamai quickly expanded his baton into staff form and held it up with two hands in order to block Dume’s hammer. “Listen to me, Dume,” Atamai said through gritted teeth. “The people of Metru-Nui are in danger. I’ve never heard of the Ark, or Tuakana. Fighting isn’t going to get us anywhere.” He pushed back against the hammer, in order to break the lock between them. He swung the end of his staff at Dume’s mask. “You’ve already spoken enough to be worth putting down,” Dume growled as their weapons slammed together. The winged flames on his back pushed him forward into the younger toa like a rocket from Xia. Their feet skid across the floor of the Forge as Dume gained ground. Forgemaster Dume was in his prime, and in his element. Atamai gritted his teeth. He pushed back against the Forgemaster with all his might, yet the Toa of Fire continued to gain ground. I need to do something. Fast. Atamai focused his elemental power, and with all his might he spun himself on one leg, removing himself from Dume’s continual forward thrust and allowing the Forgemaster to hurtle forward with no obstacle in his way except the wall. He flew forward, sliding across the hall until he wheeled around and commanded the geysers of flame to erupt at Atamai, attempting to block him off from the raised altar. The roar of fire filled the hall, and Dume felt the beating of his heartlight quicken in his chest. He did not expect the toa to side step. Dume fought head on, with the rage of his element to back him. He ran back toward Atamai, jumped into the air, and with a ferocious battle cry swung his hammer down. Atamai let out a yell of his own and grabbed his own axe-hammer. He aimed the hammer side of the weapon at Dume’s own hammer and brought it up. The two weapons met with a loud clang. Sparks flew. Atamai charged at Dume and swung the hammer end of his weapon at him. They ducked, dodged, and weaved. Atamai learned the rhythm of battle, and Dume spoke the violent language natively. At last, Dume successfully knocked Atamai’s axe-hammer out of his hand. Irritated, Atamai lifted his hand and Dume’s hammer flew out of his. The enraged Forgemaster charged viciously at Atamai, and the two came to physical blows. A choice uppercut from Atamai brought first blood, his knuckles nearly breaking under the force of impact to Dume's chin. Dume flinched, staggered, and regained his posture with renewed rage. Flame from Dumes's flurry of blows burst cones and lines with each punch and kick, driving Atamai back to the wall of fire from the erupting pits in the floor. Each fist connecting with Atamai lifted him into the air, and Dume jumped up to punish him back to the floor. "Knowing of the disks is damnation of your cause! You must work for the Administrator. Only an outsider like them would be so bold to trample on tradition." “The Administrator? I’ve met it. It hasn’t really done much other than guard the temples,” Atamai said. Concentrating, he willed metal to grow over his fists, creating simple gauntlets. He began to trade more blows with Dume, more viciously this time. “What do you know about it?” "Their rise to power is an abuse of our laws. They should not be inside our temples, but they say they're a necessary evil. They're the messenger of death; any who are caught in their web are doomed. They take the masks we wear and mock us with them! They store our records and flaunt them! They harbor evil in their suva realms and bait us with temptation. I will show you the same hate I feel for the Administrator. If you want the great disks to appease him, I would rather die." “I want the disks to help my people- our people!” Atamai said, spitting blood out of his mouth. He began channeling his element more into his own body, fueling his punches. “The Administrator mentioned the Apostatized- maybe you’re confusing me with one of them!” Dume landed another punch, and Atamai began to grow aware of how tired he was getting. "An Apostate?" Duke crowed as the fiery wings of his power grew in size behind him. He lunged forward, a fist colliding with Atamai and knocking him through the wall of flame and halfway up the stairs to the altar. Dume walked through his element unscathed and with contempt in his eyes. "You're sorely mistaken. An Apostate is one who has fallen to the temptation of the collective horrors cast from our hearts. An Apostate creates and destroys. An Apostate is the messenger of the darkness in us all. An Apostate… is me." His hand clasped around Atamai's throat, and Dume began to lift the toa of iron off the stairs and into the air, holding him aloft above the flames. In the corner of his eye, Atamai saw them: six kanoka disks laid upon the anvil. So close, yet so far away. Dume readied himself to throw Atamai into the lava, but curiosity, not mercy, held his hand; "Any last lies, Atamai Timelost Wanderer?" “Mata Nui… grant me the power… of… fear… so that anything making eye contact with me is overcome… with fear… Amen…” croaked Atamai “Input: Accepted” Atamai glared at Dume, and Dume began to feel more afraid than he had ever felt in his life. He was afraid that Atamai was right- that a great disaster would befall Mata Nui, that the Matoran were trapped on Zakaz, that he was about to kill any chance they had… Seeing Dume break gave Atamai the opening he needed. He broke free of the Forgemaster’s grasp with a combination of using his element and hitting the Toa’s elbows. With a mighty punch, Atamai sent Dume tumbling down the stairs. He concentrated, and the Forgemaster began to feel his feet grow heavy- metal began to writhe and twist out of them, until his feet were completely joined. Dume was unable to stand. "This is madness," Dume shouted, "we are already lost! The Ark is our only hope of escaping the Krom. Please, do not delay our chance of escape." Dume kneeled, afraid, his palms planted on the ground. His anger and fear fought within him. He swore revenge on Atamai -- one day he would lay him low. But now, terrified, he would fight to save his people, and not his ideals. In the end, Dume cared more about his people than about his own reflection in the manifold eyes of his gods. Atamai walked over to the anvil. He scanned over the codes of the six disks that lay in it. 159. 279. 339. 429. 589. 619. These were the Great Disks, all right. As Dume spoke, Atamai put two and two together. “Mata Nui is the Ark, isn’t it? And this place… you mentioned the Krom. The Administrator also mentioned this “Krom”. This place, wherever we are, is the place where our lives hang in the balance in the future. This is Zakaz.” "You're so close to the truth you can almost taste it, can't you," Dume replied bitterly, the metal around his feet glowing red hot. "And yet you're still lost in lies you've told yourself since waking. If you are truly from the future, Atamai, then at least I know my greatest act is successful: you know nothing. I will place you in the land of Earth, and you will toil in ignorance as you slowly reclaim history made by your new god. I will make you friendless! You will be lost in your own misery. All you will know is the duty of work." Atamai picked up the disks and prepared to leave. “I’m counting on it, Dume. We all are.” He sighed, sad to see his future Turaga brought so low. “Before I leave, is there anything I should fear about the Krom?” "If the future brings you back… fear the end. The end is always when it begins again." Atamai pondered Dume’s words for a moment, and began walking away. As he did, he also picked up Dume’s hammer. He stared at it for a moment, then decided to keep it. It wasn’t like Atamai to steal, but something about the hammer just spoke to him. “You will become a great leader,” he said as he went. “But you will make mistakes. I cannot prevent those mistakes. I can only prevent what comes after.” And with that, Atamai climbed back up the way he entered, six Great Disks in tow. ... “Haven’t seen you before. What’s your purpose at the Forge of the Heartflame,” someone asked with a terse and tired voice. Tuyet turned around, unaware of who she spoke with. He wore blue and red armor, and a pair of rather large silver gauntlets to cover his rather large hands. A pike rested in his grasp. The guard stood a bit taller than her, the mask he wore ending in a single long horn. Tuyet realized he must have been doing rounds and saw her kicking rocks off the cliffside while waiting for Atamai. Speaking of Atamai, how long did he intend to take? “Tourism.” Her smile felt a little weak. “That’s a lie,” the guard said and Tuyet realized with dismay the guard’s mask was a rhode. She really lucked out this time. His pike leveled toward her. “I think it’s best if you come with me.” “Uh, can I say no?” The guard looked at her with a bored expression. “You can, but I don’t intend to respect that.” She raised her sword. “Yeah… then no.” … Atamai found Tuyet engaged in a fierce duel on the carved steps leading down from the opening into the volcano for the Forge of the Heartsflame. She seemed to be losing ground, overpowered in her attempt to conserve energy for the next jump through time. The pikeman scored several choice wounds against her, and silver dripped down her arms and legs from the cuts. At Atamai’s arrival she turned her head to catch him, feeling the pike plunge into her side. She screamed, yanking herself free and staggering the remaining few steps between her attacker and her new… friend? Companion? Professional assistant in fixing the time stream? She was too tired to care, really. Totally didn’t care. “Hold on,” Tuyet shouted as she reached for Atamai’s free hand. She saw six disks cradled against his chest with his other arm. Their hands grasped firmly and she pulled on the flow of time once again, only to feel things go askew as someone else hitched a free ride back to the future with them.
  14. 6 points
    IC: Barius - Irnakk's Tooth Barius paused in the tunnel, Drukarus and Parnassus beside him, as the ground began to shake beneath, above, and all around him. Erupting so soon? He pondered. Irnakk must have been ravenous. His conversation with his fellow warlord forgotten, Barius dropped to his knees, as much from reverence for the creature as from his weariness and wounds. More than when he was dueling Boss - more, even, than when he dangled from the precipice over the Nightmare Beast's gaping maw - he felt Irnakk around him in this moment. That god-like, chilling presence was the one thing in this world that Barius respected enough never to challenge, for its power was beyond mortal reach, and it could lay a Skak low, no matter his size. But as the volcano shook, he took solace in one fact: This display of power was for him. It was a declaration of favor; the deliverance of a gift to the one whose strength and cruelty had most pleased the horror. A Skak ran. Barius let him go; he had already punished himself enough by revealing his own cowardice. Beside him, Parnassus whispered in his head: Barius, what is this? He answered aloud. "Irnakk has sent its servant to give worship. We shall fashion the altar together, from the bones of our enemies." Barius was not usually so reverent. But here, amid Irnakk's holy of holies, all steps were light, and all voices were a whisper. He pushed himself, with some difficulty, back up to his feet. "Let us move. This place may soon become uninhabitable; and, in any case, I wish to see the newborn form that was fashioned from Boss." And assume control of it before it lays waste to my warband. OOC: @Unreliable Narrator @Sparticus147 @Nato the Traveler @Keeper of Kraata @Conway IC: Morangad - Fau Swamp Morangad led his Aspect companion into the swamps. The path they took curved and twisted like a snake, dancing between landmarks as the Tiokaha navigated the treacherous, knee-deep waters. He did not explain his reasons for their frequent turns, though Apex could surely imagine what those might be; the swamp grew only more dangerous, the deeper they ventured within. There were times when Morangad held a finger to his covered mouth, signaling the Aspect to silence, and waded slowly through the water, hand on his spear. At other times, he was loud and boisterous, deliberately making his presence known, so as to avoid a run-in with those few creatures in the Fau Swamp that simply wanted to be left alone. At this particular moment, he was relaxed. This portion of the swamp, it seemed, was not so dangerous-- at least, relative to the rest of the region. "May I ask what you hope to find?" He spoke, suddenly, breaking a silence of some hours. OOC: @Sparticus147 @Unreliable Narrator We aren't ready to arrive quite yet, but while we're en route, I'd like to sort out exactly where we're arriving to. When I made Morangad, you told me all the things he would know about the Swamp; you mentioned he'd know the location of the Suva, but you didn't mention the Ruins of Air one way or another. Would he know where they are? If so, that's where he's leading Apex; otherwise, he would assume she's referring to the Suva, and so he would be leading her there. In either case, we might run into @Kal the Guardian and Sala, as they're also searching the swamp at this moment.
  15. 6 points
    IC: Reliable Narrator In Tuakana's mind he felt the twisting words of the taboo ritual speak: Goodbye Death’s reign is life's beginning Heaven’s lights are minds dreaming Destined paths cross in breathing Replace one’s rhythm with another’s beating Hello In the sky above the battle for Metru-Koro a single star disappeared, vanished from existence. OOC: @Eyru IC: Nightmare Pits (Ave Maria, Audiomachine) The ground rumbled beneath the warkskaks. Irnakk's Tooth awakened. The air temperature rose, and they could hear the ripping, tearing, and screaming of many horrors far below and out of sight. The beating of the drums increased, and the sounds of guttural horns and wretched voices echoed upwards. Heat rippled through their vision. Pebbles fell from the wall, clattering across and over the ledge. The chains on the underside rattled. The two warskaks holding up the red skakdi found on the road turned to leave, fear gripping tightly at their hearts, but they waited for Barius’s order. He commanded the raiders of the desert, and they desperately pleaded with their eyes to be released to rush back to the open sky of the Ash Barrens. One broke and ran, fear proving to be his real master. Another shaking quake rocked the ledge, threatening to send those who stayed to their deaths. .... Boss stood in his garden. It was small, just a room with a fabricated creek and a few cuttings of plants from the Fau Swamp. A desk in the corner held his tools, and a few lightstones placed in the corners of the ceiling and walls provided enough light for the plants to grow. But he wasn’t thinking about his plants tonight. “Are you really a demon,” he asked and shook the silver orb in his hands. The voice echoed softly in his mind, honeyed and kind; Most likely. “But you said you’re good,” he argued. As I see it, yes. “How can you be a good demon?” Better not tell you now. “I’m asking now,” he shouted. He thought of throwing the containment sphere to the far side of the room but restrained himself. Concentrate and ask again. Boss took a deep breath and held the containment sphere close to his heartlight. He thought of how the warskaks terrorized the desert from their Fortress in the north and raided those with less. What they did caused necessary pain. The strong preyed on the weak. It was just how life worked. There wasn’t enough to go around. Better to make sure those close to you were safe and cared for first. “If you’re a demon, but you’re good,” Boss said, “let me see how you see the world. I want to understand.” You may rely on it “For how long?” Ask again later… .... “So that’s how long, huh,” Boss whispered as he felt Miserix slip from him, retreating to where he couldn’t see. Their pact had ended. He felt his kraata scream inside him, an echoing call of fear and loneliness from her abandonment. His hand stretched out towards where he thought she could be. Miserix. Miserix. The emptiness of her parting brought a madness in his mind consuming every thought, hope, and despair. Rest would not find Nektann. It never had. Not even death. Boss fell. And from the silver pool of starlight hidden in the core of Irnakk’s tooth he rose again. His body changed forever, towering over hills and carving new rivers in his wake. A crown of blades rested on his brow, great furrowed spines running from his head down along his reptilian tail. His hands were clawed and grasped the lip of the volcano as he was birthed in the fiery eruption of lava that filled the molten rivers of the Ash Barrens. He ascended, and walked again in footsteps that trembled the earth below him. His tears rained from the sky in great storm clouds, cooling the molten rock and forming new land. And then he let his voice call out. His roar echoed across the endless horizon and carried with it the dreams of the lost and the . .... Boss was dead. .... And the real monster was born. _________ OOC: Boss is officially D.E. A. D. A tahtorak of water that answers to the will of Barius has risen in his place, the profile for which shall be up soon for you to read!
  16. 6 points
    IC [Pridak - Coliseum Throne Room]: I only got a brief glance at the freak mutant Steltian as he went flying backwards into my throne, hitting with a satisfying crunch, before I spun again to pick my next target. The Steltian, to his credit, reacted faster than expected. Before I had the chance to move on, several concussive blasts hit home and I was thrown backwards by the force. My armor held, save for a slight dent, but I staggered from the impacts and found myself briefly off balance. Just as Ohrash slid past, scythe raised. Being thrown out of step turned out to be just my luck, as it caused the Toa’s attack to miss my intended knee. Instead, my suit’s outer joint servo erupted in a shower of sparks as the weapon struck. I instinctively lashed out with a vicious kick at the traitor, while letting out a grunt that turned into a chuckle. Their tenacity was admirable. As I placed my foot down again, the sudden loss of hydraulic pressure caused my leg to buckle, but I went with it, and quickly shifted my weight to the other leg. There was a crash as the wall to my left exploded, and the next instant my vision was engulfed in flames. It got uncomfortably warm in an instant and I raised my arm to keep the fire away from my eyes, which allowed me to spot the new assailant: the other half of the murderous Toa duo had entered the fray. Of course. Too bad my warsuit didn’t have a ringer for its communicator installed, because I totally called that one. While my nullification shield kept me from burning up, I took the second’s worth of confusion it afforded me to look around. I saw Saybo start to hover after donning his mask, I noticed the destroyed window (we just had that fixed you imbeciles!) and the other of the Toa Maru who’d used it to climb inside. I heard Stannis continue his preaching. You’d think standing engulfed in flames would be nerve-wracking enough, but having someone spout scripture in the background really added that extra touch of grand inquisition to it that could really ruin your day. I knew what he was doing of course. After so many ages spent at war with one another, the purpose behind his chanting was as clear as the sudden appearance of rocky cover all over the place as he waved his polearm around. The burning hatred in the pit of my stomach only intensified in response, burning as brightly as the Toa’s flames around me. What was this, psychological warfare amateur hour? He dared to try and scare me with his laughable religion? After all these years he still dared!? I’d show him the error of his ways by the edge of my blade! What if he has a point though? Shut up! You’re not helping! My proximity warning flashed again, indicating behind me. I turned slightly, saw streaks of silver flash in the glare of the flames and winced as the knives struck my armor, glancing off of the protosteel, agitating the earlier wound into painful stinging. With a growl I turned my head and spotted the green half of the Toa duo in mid-air. She must have hoped to hit the spot where the Steltian had managed to draw blood. That tactic might work against lesser opponents, but if she thought she could dispatch me while in my armor from a safe distance, she was as deluded as Stannis. But it did give me an idea. “The only thing turning to ashes will be you!” I drew my blade and took a step forward, where Rose could see my sardonic smile through the fire. “Wanna bet your life on that?” I activated my mask again and reached for Skyra. If these two wanted to meet their end so badly, how could I refuse? I was already looking forward to the Ta-Toa’s face when her own fire would burn her partner after I yanked her down here. “How ‘bout hers?” ----- As the elevator doors closed, Achro had noticed there were a whole lot of Vahki of all sorts heading in the same direction, moving rapidly towards the other lifts and stairs in quad configuration. The light inside the elevator dimmed and turned emergency red. A chime sounded, followed by an automated voice: “A critical situation has occurred. All civilians please leave the Coliseum through the nearest emergency exit. All security personnel report to their assigned stations.” As the lift doors opened, the Vahki with him in the lift rapidly moved out, and Achro noticed the Vortixx from earlier, no longer sitting behind their desk with a tablet. Instead, they were busy fastening a pair of gauntlets with blue talons to their forearms. They nodded at the mutant Toa as he entered the room, still flashing their best customer service smile. “Apologies for the sudden alarm, but it appears Lord Pridak’s meeting has gone awry. Did you have a chance to try out the smoothie bar? I hope you did. But we must hurry. Please follow me.” ----- As they hung back from the fight or were still getting to their feet, Saybo, Stannis, Oreius and Waveahk were the first to notice the door to the throne room flying open and an entire team of four nullifier Vahki moved in, accompanied by Archo and the Vortixx receptionist they had interacted with earlier. “Oh dear!” the Vortixx exclaimed. “You should have all signed in when you arrived, I would have ordered more refreshments.” The Vahki raised their staves in unison: two carried command versions and two erasers, respectively. They began to take aim at those not directly engaged with Pridak. OOC: Let's make things a little more interesting. @Eyru@Toru Nui@Snelly@EmperorWhenua@Tarn@~Xemnas~@Kal the Guardian
  17. 5 points
    IC Leklo | Piraka Fortress Ruins, Northern edge of the Lake of Whispers The former alpinist had been deprived of things to climb and overcome thus far in his time on this land called Zakaz. Mountains were much larger there, but also rarer and slopier, not the sheer cliffs and towers Leklo was so used to having back home in Ko-Metru. Challenges—real, blood-roiling, heart-pounding challenges—had not been a vice he'd been indulging in the couple weeks on this strange land, so the prospect of intervening and assisting the closest thing to a toa-brother he knew was a juicy proposition. His mind was rushing through a variety of possible outcomes as he throttled his speeder forward in the night. Chilly, static air rushed past and pounded his eardrums as he charged across the nighttime terrain, narrowly avoiding a shattered tree stump here and a stack of rubble there in his haste. Who was the big brute? he wondered, then shelved the thought. There was no chance for asking questions. He rarely found the time to do so in his old vocation, either. Questions were for the placid moments of solitude and inquisition, not split-second margins for action and preservation. Life was a struggle and it was either do or die; his was to do or die, not to question why. Ataguy would explain after his life was saved. Hopefully. At the last second before Leklo would hit the wall he slammed the breaks and spun the handlebars hard to the right. The speeder hung a very hard turn and disappeared off to the side, but the sudden discharge of momentum effectively catapulted Leklo up from his seat and to the wall of the ruin, and for the split second between the speeder and the wall... he was home. Arms out, hands hooked, body soaring as he braced to catch a handhold and climb the rest of the way. Failure was never an option, and neither was it one there; a slippage and fall meant starting from the bottom. He wasn't likely to die or even get hurt if he didn't succeed, but for once it wasn't his life on the line. His body was ready for this scenario, however, and blinded by darkness or blinded by whiteness it was the same muscle memories that would help him seize a hold. He grasped the wall with incredible force and almost loosed his grips, and if he were a matoran it would have been a certain loss, but Leklo's stronger build as a toa gave him the strength and luck he needed and he managed to hold on. He strained his muscles and pulled himself up, quickly clambering the rest of the way and scrambling over the lip of the ruined wall. He slicked down, fell in a crouch, and instinctively pulled his swords out. Their edges shone with fluorescent hues as his plasma energies were minutely discharged through the blades—all he had been able to do, so far—and let off a soft glow that illuminated his immediate surroundings. And then Kor's demon shadow monster struck, throwing bricks and rubble with abandon. Through the chaos, Leklo caught sight of Ataman and the mysterious warrior a short ways away and charged, aiming to strike swiftly and accurately to maim and dismember the assailant. IC Stannis | Coliseum The wind whipped around Stannis’s body as he fell, fell, fell, tumbling and spinning with the inertia he’d built up. The wind felt harsh, painful even, and the chill nighttime air cut to his bones without the meager shield of his great grey cloak. The city of Metru Nui, a shadowy monolith of death and decay, was glimpsed with regularity, and each time he saw it the city’s horizon grew larger and more constricting as he fell, fell fell. The silverine sheer walls of the Coliseum, a polished gunmetal grey in the crepuscular setting, reflected Stannis’ toa body and his brilliant grey eyes back at him, and with every passing rotation he could observe his powers at work and his mortal body healed bit by bit. The wind sliced through the hole in his chest like some atmospheric razor wire ripped back and forth through a gap, though it was permitted in ever lessening quantities with each spin his body took. Slowly, the howl in his chest narrowed to a whistle—but oh! how it hurt!!—then finally became a whisper and stopped altogether. The massive gash hewn into his chest by the rebel king was woven back together again by the healing abilities of his true nature, the nature to endure and recover; to him setbacks were only avenues and deaths mere experiences. Would he die? He could; he could perish—as Stannis—but Who He Was would return, live on, and grow as it was, after all, his nature to do so. The cycle would go on, on, on. There was no such thing as an End. Not anymore. If Stannis could pray to a god who would hear he would do so, but he was the answer to those same prayers. He was the hunger for knowledge, He was the cry for help in hopelessness, He was the answer to the pleadings for second chances, to “what if?s” and “what now?s” asked by Builders across the eons. He was a god of his own creation and there were no questions to which he would not know the answers. Would he die? He could—and yet he could not. His Destiny was not yet completed, his Duty not yet done, his Wish not yet granted. The cycle was not meant to reset yet and the leylines of Fate still led him to places far and times long—he was certain of it. The fight and subsequent punishment Stannis received from it had weakened his constitution severely. It wasn’t the exertion of the fight, no, there still were plentiful reserves of elemental energy within his body to employ, but his essence was been diminished and evaporated through the injury he’d sustained. Like flax chaff thrown into the breeze the wind had ripped his antidermis from the toa body he possessed and dispersed it into the atmosphere, even as that same viridian spirit earnestly stitched the gap shut. He could still wield his Aspect powers but it took more focus now, and took more time to use them. He was too weak, too weak to fight, too weak to rouse his courage and participate directly again just yet. The Wanderer was always present when he needed to be, no sooner, no later, or at least that was the way things had been. Still… he could still see through his once-brother Oreius’ eyes, the only privilege he’d cared to enjoy with any abandon against his strongest and most honor-bound Desecrated. It was through the seeing-eyes in Oreius’ mind that Stannis could survey the ravaged battlefields of the Northern Continent, the terribleness of Carapar’s jihads, and the dilapidated remnants of the Archives, and finally the slow assault against the Coliseum. Stannis shut his pearly eyes and saw through Oreius’ once again. The deadly duels were splintering. Pridak was removed from his exo-suit, humbled but not yet defeated, and Oreius' skirmish with Achro had been interrupted. A return to the throne room would mean certain combat if Stannis were not careful, but there was not much option for the Wanderer as the last window of opportunity to return was near and not large; it would take much of his dwindled might and addled mind to muster his second defenestration before the ground would embrace him otherwise, which it was also sure to do if he did nothing. He straightened his body and pulled it upright, aiming to drop himself foot-first into an inky hole of shadow that was all but invisible in the nighttime sky. The most glaring thing detectable was the sudden simple omission of his falling body. …
  18. 5 points
    Been branching out in this recent quarantine. Branches include Clone Wars and drawing, thus I give you: (rough translation of Matoran and Galactic Basic ) Eheh, I forgot how Ussal crabs worked, so now we have puny Pewkew. As always, totally open to suggestions, would love to improve!
  19. 5 points
    IC [Coliseum]: The traitor Toa continued to back up until the path was blocked by one of the stone barriers Stannis had placed. Aurax had jumped in the ring with me to take a cheap shot and missed. Now his cowardice was about to bite him back. I had him now. No point in further dragging this out. In a flash my blade was up, poised to fell the traitor in one slice. Just like I had been taught. For a fraction of a fraction of a second I saw myself back home in my youth, carefully watched by my mentors as I practiced my swordsmanship against the training dummies. Father would have been proud. My grip tensed and I swung - and then my vision erupted with white flashes, I felt a jolt of electricity from my shoulder as circuits ruptured, my knees buckled from a sudden impact. Something exploded by my head, and suddenly the room was spinning. ----- Looking down the sights of her gun, Rose saw Waveahk land atop the warlord, just as she squeezed the trigger. The Steltian’s sword, driven by his mass, dug deep into the armor, severing servos and conduits in an explosion of sparks. Twisted by the sudden impact, the firework round hit the armor instead of the warlord’s head and detonated, throwing both Pridak and Waveahk sideways. The warlord fell, the upper right of his armor nothing more than smoldering scrap metal clinging to the Takean’s frame that it was supposed to protect. ----- When I caught my bearing again, my vision was fuzzy with broken input from my armor’s ocular feed. Flashes of white status readouts interrupted by flashes of red warnings. I was on the floor, sideways, staring up at the edge of the rock barrier. There was a high pitched beeping in my right audio receptor that wouldn’t go away and my left was assaulted by alarms. I blinked, tried to shake off the disorientation and climb back up to my feet - but I couldn’t. The servos wouldn’t budge. I tried to look down and noticed my line of sight obstructed by the remains of the collar that had saved my life a moment earlier. I paid attention to the flashing readouts - but the display was too busted to make out more than a lot of red. Suffice it to say the suit was fried. “Gaaarrrhhhyou spirit-forsaken no-good traitor brakas!” I didn’t even notice the words I yelled, struggling until I’d maneuvered my body against the inert armor enough so that I could hit the eject switch. ----- The next instant, Pridak’s assailants heard another bang as parts of the armor went flying, purposefully jettisoned by the warlord, who was now rising from the scrapped suit, grunting in anger and frustration with the effort. “You no-good Karzhani-loving wannabe usurpers - you come into my domain, break my stuff - you think you can do this to me!?” None of them had ever seen the warlord out of his suit. Pridak was still tall, but also...thin. Nothing like the imposing figure that had strode across battlefields in his suit of powered armor. No, the warlord appeared almost frail and looked like he struggled to stand. He chuckled. It sounded pained. “Heh. You can shoot me, but you can’t kill me. And you know why? Cause I own this - “ he gestured with one free hand, before clenching it into a first - “I conquered it. It’s mine! Mine! And I’m not losing it. No way I’m losing.” ----- I had it with these people. I was so furious, I'd actually started laughing. Reaching down, I grabbed the handle of my sword, still clutched in my suit’s hand. With another growl, I wrenched it free. Not gonna lie, I’d forgotten how heavy it was. Just lifting the cursed thing made my muscles burn. That’s why I'd had that armor in the first place! But fine...they wanted to play it this way, we’d play it this way. “Oh you’ve got no idea who you’re messing with! I’m gonna take this sword, I’m gonna go right back to where we left off and I’m gonna slice you into so many little pieces, the undead in the silver lake will think it’s naming day!” ----- If a machine like the summoned ACR could feel surprise at all, it probably would at the fact it found no further opposition in its path. Despite registering several indicators that security measures were in place, none of them were active. Otis didn’t know it, but the damage the fall had caused was extensive and the blast doors and other obstacles that would normally hinder an assailant or fire from reaching adjacent parts of the building had been disabled by the crash and there simply hadn’t been the time or resources to fix them. The path was clear. OOC: @Snelly@EmperorWhenua@Toru Nui@~Xemnas~@Kal the Guardian@Eyru@Tarn
  20. 5 points
    IC: Ostrox (Metru-Koro, The Razorfish, Exterior) Various scenarios began to formulate in Ostrox’s mind. They couldn’t actually make peace with the Toa, they may as well try to squeeze water out of a stone. They had made it clear long ago that they wouldn’t accept any arrangement that didn’t involve total supremacy, no matter what lies Skorm peddled. Not to mention the more power they held and the longer they were allowed to exist increased the likelihood of the 'Great Spirit' returning. But they couldn’t refuse - after all, they had just tried to wipe them out and failed. If Pridak had waited the three days Zaliyah had so generously assigned, they might have had time to build up a sizable force. Then again, three days might have been too late. He didn’t know how much time they had left. Mata Nui could re-emerge in a thousand years, he could re-emerge right this second. Mazor, the only person in all of creation who might possess even a slightest inkling as to the actual time-frame was being shielded by the Toa, who were clearly buying his act. Not that they’d ever listen to the truth, the idea that they could ever be wrong was anathema to their 'superior intellects'. The shiny narcoleptic’s first reaction to inadvertently damaging the Tranquility's controls was to blame him, for crying out loud. Irna knew the truth, but she seemed perfectly happy to let her newfound comrades march to their doom, and the entire universe with them. Granted, he didn’t tell anyone else either, but that was because it was classified information, and the only person he would ever tell about it was dead. Besides, he had a suspicion that Pridak already knew. He was the one who told Mazor to deliver the Krom Sphere to the flesh labyrinth, after all. Speaking of whom: Pridak. He was without question a great man, he had earned his place in the executive suite, unlike certain 'wise elders' he could mention. But he wasn’t his king, and it seemed as if recent events had taken a toll on his sanity. Not that such a response was unwarranted, but explicable or not, it had clearly taken some of his greatness from him. He would be rather unhappy to learn that not only did the attack fail, but that parley was left as the attacking force’s only option. Pridak wouldn’t agree to a ceasefire, and the Toa wouldn’t either. This course of action was doomed to a violent and nasty resolution, with or without 'divine' intervention. Yet, what other options were there? Refuse to cooperate, and be imprisoned, or worse? Desertion? Oh, Skorm would love that, wouldn’t he? It seemed the only course of action was to follow Zaliyah’s lead… for now. He’d think of something. He always did. For the next few moments, as he mulled this over in his head, Ostrox's face and body language betrayed - perhaps intentionally, with some exaggeration - hesitation and reluctance, shifting into resignation and acceptance. "Very well. We're in no position to refuse." One way or another, this would the end of Matorankind. Small victories. @Nato the Traveler@Onaku@Smudge8 IC: Tekmo (The Moat Airspace, The Wombat) "Of course, captain. For now, however, do not let go." Tekmo took the plunge out of one of the various holes in the Wombat’s hull, both Vulimai and the makeshift parachute firmly ahold. "Pleaseworkpleaseworkpleaseworkpleaseworkpleasework-" He had lied to her. This had never worked. This time, it did. Because someone other than himself was in danger. With a tug, the floral facsimile sprung into action, the leaf being suspended in the air by wind currents, the vines successfully suspending Tekmo - and by extension, Vulimai - under it, against the will of gravity. "YES! YEEEEES! IT WORKED! IT ACTUALLY - erm, well, of course it worked. Why wouldn't it?" Tekmo used his powers to herd the leaf and thus themselves towards an unusual landmass nearby. One that Tekmo could have sworn uncannily resembled Keitara. @Sparticus147@BULiK@Onaku
  21. 5 points
    IC: Nektann, Tahtorak of Rain | The Ash Barrens I am the rain. A great rain began to fall upon the Ash Barrens, cooling the lava and causing massive clouds of steam to rise into the air and hide the far off coast. It poured and poured, falling in sheets without abating. I am the water. Mud began to form, and the warskaks' war rigs began to sink into the volcanic earth. I am in all things. A terrifying quake trembled the ground as Nektann took his first step to the East. Ancient petrified trees crushed under foot into powder. And they cannot see. The shadow of the tahtorak loomed over the Ash Barrens to the East, and he took another step. And they take away from all I want. His head turned to the north and sniffed the wind. He smelled them, the filth clinging to their trashy village along the coast. And leave me with nothing. He would make them learn about the power of water. But the rain. He began his march to the Rig.
  22. 5 points
    IC: Saybo - Toa of Water - Aurax Location - The Coliseum (4, 9), 50th Floor Throne Room With - (Great Being) Aurax, Pridak, Stannis, Skyra, Rose, Waveahk, Archo, NPC Vortixx, Oreius Defend Pridak and his allies. Defend Pridak and his allies. The thought wouldn’t go away. It drove Saybo’s body more than his mind did. He watched as Pridak retaliated against the old Toa of Stone. Still, he had to get there before anything worse could happen. He needed to- Arms and legs pumping as he ran, his arm caught a firework round in a way that didn’t immediately detonate it, causing it to spin and impact him in his side under his arm. There was no pain from the impact. It didn’t drill through his armor nor cause any real scratches even. Then it exploded. Light and sound filled the air around him. His vision swam with dots as his optics tried to adjust. He was thrown from his feet and hit the ground hard, sliding across the ground and stopping against a stone barrier. Even through his armor and mechanical body, his inner organic protodermis could feel the heat of the exploded projectile. His thoughts swam about, as lazily forming as a relaxing day in a tropical pool. He tried to rise, to defend Pridak and his allies, but his head wouldn’t let him. He barely registered his left arm; there were also pinpricks of heat embedded in it as well. He tried to look at his chest/stomach wound as best he could. The armor was sliding off of his body in the area the firework round had gone off, but it never left his form as it had already started cooling down. What did that mean to him? Weakened armor? Burns beneath? Was his mechanical ab function compromised? Saybo had to defend Pridak. Nothing else mattered. He pushed up with his hands, knees on the ground. The Toa of Water almost slumped back to the ground and was forced to wait for his mind to fix his light-headedness before he could move again. OOC: @Eyru @Toru Nui @Snelly @EmperorWhenua @Tarn @~Xemnas~ @Vezok's Friend
  23. 5 points
    IC: Zaliyah - The Razorfish The words brought relief and fresh fear rushing through Zaliyah in equal measure. It was a victory, against the piety of the Matoran and the pessimism of the Barraki, but it felt hollow to her. If the attack had gone to plan - if the village hadn't been alerted to their approach, and if Druu hadn't turned on them - the refugees wouldn't have had time to prepare a defence or evacuate the civilians, and Zaliyah would have razed it all to ruins as ordered. She'd been ready to do it, willing to do it, to those she had once called her kin. This was as much her surrender as it was the enemy's. "I'm glad to hear someone among you has sense," she finally said, before switching to an open channel. "This is Toa Zaliyah of the League of Six Kingdoms, calling all vessels in the vicinity!" She hoped this would work. "The battle is over!" She hoped they would listen. "The people of Metru-Koro have agreed to discuss terms!" She hoped she was making the right choice. "All ships, cease hostilities!" @Onaku @Toru Nui @BULiK @Eyru @Sparticus147 @Tarn @ZippyWharrgarbl @TL01 NUVA @The UltimoScorp (and anyone else I've missed)
  24. 5 points
    IC: Barius - Nightmare Pits Barius was about to growl a response to the Mesi, when Boss rose from the ground. For the moment, everything else disappeared; Miserix and interlopers alike had been pushed back, and now all that was left was for two conflicting personalities to collide with each other unimpeded. As the meaty Mt. Everest that was Boss collided with the K2 that was Barius, his momentum carried the two mountainous Skakdi toward the edge. The ice in his gut cracked like a glacier, and the torrent of blood resumed again. It made sense; this had to end, now, before the other forces clamoring for power could re-converge upon the pair and work their machinations. In a way, the rush was an expression of the perverse sort of respect that Boss had for Barius. In the white Skak's mind, it meant that Boss had chosen the risk of losing to him over the safety of falling back on Miserix's aid. It meant that he would rather cede power and his own life to Barius, than to live on as a puppet to the demon he'd thought was his pet. And that was in large part due to pride; but it also spoke to some level of respect for his younger counterpart. The words Boss said - the accusation of him hiring thugs to ensure his victory - did not register on Barius' mind at all. It was just noise. But the blood and bone and pulsing muscle of their duel-- that was the truest expression of Boss' thoughts, and that was what elevated him to the level of an equal. But he didn't want to just be an equal; he wanted to be superior. Pounding fist and stabbing steel into Boss' back and sides, his mind raced as he considered how he could best his opponent. The knife in his hand - Boss' own, and the key to the E Street Wagon - plunged in and jerked out of Boss, but it alone could not stop their slow, slipping advance towards the edge of the platform. Boss was still slightly bigger and stronger than him, and so it was inevitable that they would plummet; what Barius needed was a way to stop himself from falling. He buried his head into Boss' shoulder, as it is not unusual for one to do when grappling, and activated his X-ray vision for the second time in this fight, turning his recently-restored sight to the edge of the ledge behind them. The wall of the volcanic crater was a sheer drop of solid rock, but its surface was adorned with dangling chains, tethered firmly to the rock face; whether they were the remnants of torturous ritual of ages long past, or merely an aesthetic choice made to please the shadowy beast Irnakk, Barius did not know. But he could see into their cores, gaze at the integrity of the rock where they were bound: He knew at a glance which would be most likely to hold his weight, and instead of fighting Boss, he began to push them in that direction. As they teetered over the edge of the platform, Barius pushed with all his might, straining his entire body to extricate himself from Boss' grip. The hand which held Boss' own knife stabbed it into the blue Skak's gripping arms, while his right hand stretched out to grab the length of chain that he had chosen. There was a horrid jerk-- his shoulder popped from its socket, only adding to his immense pain, as he was torn between the colossal weight of Boss' and his own bodies, and his own determined grip on the chain. But he held on, while Boss slipped by, falling away into the choking volcanic smoke below. His x-ray vision deactivated, and he met Boss' eyes with his own, cementing the sight of Boss' doom in his mind until the day he died, whether that was near or distant. In spite of the precariousness of his position and his many injuries, he couldn't help but stare until long after the smoke had closed around Boss' falling form. OOC: @Unreliable Narrator @Sparticus147 @Nato the Traveler @Keeper of Kraata @Conway
  25. 4 points
    IC: Reliable Narrator | Zakaz, the Northern mountain border near the toxic lake Axxon look at the fallen head of Mata-Nui with an unreadable expression. Slowly, with the meticulous practice of a devotee, he fell to his knees and began to pray. The words rolled forth without sound, but the air was palpable and thick with ceremony. At the end, he took a pinch of earth in his hands, absorbed the energy, and sighed. The prayers concluded, he turned to look at Atamai. He did not stand, instead leaning on the shaft of his halberd as he continued to kneel. “Mata-Nui was to be our eternal salvation, born of our collective dreams just as the darkness was wrenched from our hearts and nightmares. We would be protected from the imminent darkness of the Krom’s abandonment. This morning I woke with the desire to see Mata-Nui rise, and now this evening I behold him cast upon the very landscape we promise to flee. It is true then: the cycle is inescapable. We all have our designated function, our destiny. There is no escaping this expanse or our path. We will eventually return. “I am hailed as Axxon, a guardsman of the Forge of the Heart Flame. My obligation is to Mata-Nui, and the innocent souls of the island he seeks to save. The sacred earth we stand upon was recalled by many names. Some call it Xa, the primordial nothing. Some call it Krom-Nui, the home of our origin. Others call it Mata-Nui in honor of our freedom. I prefer Mata-Nui, for this is an island of prophecy now and I would use the words for it.” At last, he stood. Sunlight glittered off his silver armor and warmed the reds of his inorganic exodermis. “Do not be deceived: while you elucidate true I do not trust you. You still hold sacred relics I must spirit home with me. And if you will not concede peacefully I will do what Duty demands. Now I have answered your questions. Answer mine: do our makuta still blossom as we wilt? How does the star witch journey from my time to now? And why do you seek what lies behind the nuva doors?" A massive roar echoed across the landscape. Faint, but like distant thunder so far North. Axxon shifted his footing. "And what was that?" OOC: @~Xemnas~
  26. 4 points
    Finally attempted a MOC... Honestly kind of ashamed to post it, haven't MOCed in like 6-7 years and it's jammed together/messy. It can store freshly-eaten squids in its stomach piece. XD.
  27. 4 points
    IC: Reliable Narrator | Onu-Metru “I would behold this land,” the guard said as he stepped forward and grasped Atamai’s hand with his monstrous gauntlet. “Begin the… journey.” “I think I’m gonna sit this one out, Buddy,” Tuyet said as she leaned back and half-sat against a broken crate. She waved to leave. “I’m in no condition to keep zipping about. Don’t worry, I’ll be totally fine. This is not like the worst thing that’s happened. We’ll see each other soon or something… You know, soon for me. Because of the… Oh nevermind just go.” The guard's eyes narrowed, but he said nothing and awaited Atamai's teleportation to the outside world. He would see this land of the future. All things had their purpose and their function. ooc: @~Xemnas~ IC: Reliable Narrator | The Fau Swamp The first direction Sorilax remembered and set out in proved to lead them to a long ravine full of carnivorous brambles. An earthquake occurred in the last few decades, and the mutagenic bog water filled the bottom of the ravine like a glass half empty. It smelled putrid, and glistened a murky tope blended with various hues of green. It seemed like a nearly insurmountable obstacle, then Sorilax remembered another route. Two Nui Jaga and a bog snake later, the duo found themselves at the ruins Sorilax remembered. It was indeed small, only a single tower overrun by the roots of the banyan trees. Several fikou spiders made their webs nearby, thick sticky strings of silver gossamer dangling across the open spaces in the canopy. The tower, Sala could tell immediately, had a matoran architectural style, but one he may have seen on a data pad from the Archives in Metru-Nui. It was old design: simple stacked stones to form the round walls, with faded and indiscernible white painted lines and shapes across the exterior. The paint seemed newer than the building, perhaps done by a particularly hedonistic individual. However, there was only a slight problem with their arrival: they weren’t alone. A ga-matoran wearing a mask of shielding was throwing rocks into the swamp from the half-sunken staircase of the temple’s entry. Her frustration sailed, skipped twice, and plopped beneath the sludge. With each rock she thew her voice seemed more strained as she let obscenities fly. She didn’t seem to have noticed Sala and Sorilax’s arrival, so intent on letting her frustration out and so confident in her solitude. “I shouldn’t have tried to impress her! Big mistake! I can’t even blog about it! I give up, this is ridiculous!” ooc: @Kal the Guardian, @Sparticus147
  28. 4 points
    I always interpreted the vast amount of pre-existing cave drawings of contemporary events as the Turaga secretly flexing their prophetic wisdom. The Ta-Matoran don't recognize Tahu after his Nuva transformation,, but Turaga Vakama does. The Turaga clearly understand the importance of the Nuva symbols (they build shrines with assigned guards to "protect" them, even though the Rahi are uninfected and the Bohrok are seemingly defeated), while the Toa Nuva themselves don't (at least, Kopaka doesn't - he dismisses his symbol ("It has no power, Matoro.") and leaves the shrine, only to be quickly robbed of both symbol and power simultaneously). In Comic 7, one of the Toa says "Do you ever get the feeling there's a lot more to this island than we know about?" - and of course there is, most notably the Kraata/Rahkshi and the passage from Mata Nui to Metru Nui; the Toa are frequently oblivious to dangers, while the Turaga always wait to reveal their knowledge until a problem starts. In Comic 13, Turaga Whenua leads Onua and Pohatu to a cave drawing of a Kraata, and inside he reveals a secret prison where the Turaga have spent millennia quietly locking up thousands of Kraata slugs - a revelation that angers Pohatu, who didn't know there were thousands of deadly slugs in a cave "in [his] realm" (Po-Wahi). Whenua's reply: "They were no longer a threat. We did not feel you needed to know." Seconds later, a Kraata-powered Rahkshi opens the prison, freeing all the Kraata slugs... so, now, the Kraata are once again a threat, and we now feel that you need to know. Surprise!! Death slugs! Death slugs - everywhere. The combination of mysterious cave drawings and very mysterious Turaga behavior (When did the Turaga have the time to build a secret cave prison, hunt and capture thousands of slugs, all without alerting their villages to the fact that their leaders have all disappeared in the middle of a huge Rahi war when nobody's supposed to leave the village?!? And you're really not gonna tell the Toa about any of it either? Really?) all helped hype-up Vakama's bombshells in the Mask of Light movie - "The City of the Great Spirit, my island, refound." - and in the last comic - "It is time you knew the truth - - you are not the first Toa!"
  29. 4 points
    There's also Latin alphabet used in the BIONICLE comic from 2008 where the Toa Nuva enter the Codrex and discover the flying vehicles. Prominently written on the floor in front of the vehicle are the inscribed letters that spell "AXALARA T9". Again, I assume this is artistic license meant to make the meaning clear to the reader (gotta sell those toys, and little Timmy won't be able to tell Grandma what set to buy for his birthday if the text is in the Matoran alphabet and this just happens to be little Timmy's first exposure to BIONICLE). I assumed back in 2002 when that comic came out that the presence of the Toa Nuva carving in that cave was part of "takedown brainstorming" session wherein the Kal took whatever information they had on the Nuva and compiled it to organize their plan to awakening the Bahrag and releasing the Bohrok swarms once again. After all, the previous pages indicate several days (or maybe even a couple of weeks) have passed since their transformation into Nuva. It's still very fresh for them (hence the sparring match that goes out of control), but they are already aware of reconstruction efforts in the Koro with the aid of reprogrammed Bohrok and Bohrok Va. In all that time, the Kal had been awake, but being the intelligent foes that they were, they probably spent time in the Bahrag lair studying the cube, communicating with Krana that had been used by the Toa to open the doors to the Exo-Toa, and moving to the surface. In the comic, we see the culmination of their plotting, and in a final flourish, Tahnok Kal electrocutes the name of his merry band over the carvings of their plans. That's just a rough theory I have, though I'm sure arguments could be made that if several days have passed since the Nuva surfaced, any enterprising Matoran could've stopped in that cave to commemorate the sight of the heroes of Mata Nui transformed. After all, Po-Matoran are excellent carvers, and other Matoran (judging by the handiwork in the Wahis) aren't slouches either.
  30. 4 points
    IC Stannis | Coliseum-ish Stannis fell.
  31. 4 points
    IC: Irna | Metru-Koro Too much was happening at once. Ostrox was being let go, Keitara was slipping in and out of consciousness, and there was the looming question of him. "Mazor," she muttered to himself. "So that's his name...." She looked at him, and the Skakdi children he was surrounded by. He didn't seem to want to hurt them -- he seemed to want to protect them. But she couldn't forget the way that he had handed the Krom Sphere over to Mata-Nui, had doomed the entire universe to a murderous god. She couldn't trust him now -- she needed to bring him down, stop him before he could hurt another home of hers. It was her duty, her redemption.... But she kept watching the children who clung to him. The way that she had once clung to her mother when the Matoran came to their village. She kept looking over to Kei, fading in and out of this world. She sighed. "It's nothing, Skorm," she said. "Let's get these children some food and beds. That's our first priority." OOC: @Keeper of Kraata @Smudge8 @TL01 NUVA @Toru Nui @Tarn IC: Parnassus | Irnakk's Tooth It was beautiful. An abomination of steel and stone and muscle, a monstrosity above the horizon, a blight upon the sky and sea. It was Barius'. Which meant it also belonged to Parnassus. The Aspect, drawing more shadows around themself, stepped up next to their new warband leader, and leaned in close to his ear. "What's your first order," they asked, "captain?" OOC: @Burnmad @Keeper of Kraata @Nato the Traveler -Void
  32. 4 points
    This topic made my unexpected visit to BZPower way worth the longer stay! At first, I just read Shadow Emperor's document to get the main breakdown, but the blog Mister_N is writing adds some nice flavor to the research as well. Being a real detail-oriented person (and kid, back when I first got hooked on BIONICLE in 2001), I remember lots of these "cut" details from the original BIONICLE website and the MNOLG. In fact, my early play and story-telling experiences with my first BIONICLE sets (Tahu, Kopaka, Onua, the six Turaga, and Hafu from the PowerPack) ventured coincidentally into these same liminal spaces the "official" BIONICLE story ended up discarding or altering. I distinctly recall aligning my perceptions of the Toa personalities based on their "ages", per the original biographies on the BIONICLE website and even writing a short story wherein Kopaka uncovers a secret cult of Makuta-worshipping Tohunga (only because they were wearing infected masks, which I created by using clear Elmer's Glue and sand on black Kanohi). How interesting to read 19 years later that there were ideas generated for a "seventh tribe" of evil-worshipping Matoran! I think my play experiences back then, as well as the behind-the-scenes facts uncovered and expounded on by Mister_N and company, reveal the ultimate secret behind BIONICLE's enduring appeal. Even with all that stuff cut out, forgotten, or retconned, there was still so much detail created for BIONICLE from the beginning that combined with the toys, LEGO birthed something that really was alive. I write "was alive", not "felt real", because that reflects the truth about BIONICLE in 2020. As a viable toyline and storyline, it is finished. But one can never discount that while it was extant, it didn't merely occupy space in one's mind like knowing how to tie your shoes or a shopping list. It was a living character that affected the lives of thousands of people, some who still celebrate it today. Don't we do that for cherished places, people, pets, or even histories? It would be a dream come true to have an official book published by LEGO next year that goes into detail on BIONICLE's creation, with official word from the people who conceived it in the first place. But perhaps it is still too soon. I was "old" as far as the target audience is concerned when BIONICLE launched in 2001--I was already 12 years old, so that means I'm on the old side for a BIONICLE fan. And I'm only 31 now. That means most fans from that long ago are probably still in their mid to late 20s. A potent age for remembering one's youth, but one also busy with careers, getting married, and having kids. Perhaps once the bulk of BIONICLE's first fandom is in its late 30s to early 40s (which means I'll be getting closer to 50. Yikes!), there will be such a loud demand for nostalgic BIONICLE content that LEGO will finally get Thompson, Faber, and Swinnerton (and hopefully GregF, too) together to author and document the "making of" BIONICLE officially. In the meantime, these fan-driven efforts are wonderful, and will do nicely until the day our collective buying power (and voice in the AFOLdom) is too great to ignore!
  33. 4 points
    IC Kanohi - Po-Koro Kanohi leaned over the crude mine, arms outstretched. In the pit Jovan outstretched his hands, slowly lifting up the latest patch of ore. As it landed in Kanohi’s hands Jovan spoke up. “I-I think that is all the ore I can get easily. The vein goes a lot deeper, b-but dislodging that ore would risk vibrations. The ground is less stable down there, might lead to a c-collapse.” The Fe-Matoran nodded, making the ore jiggle. He swallowed as looked away, embraced, “M-maybe you and Arkius could work together to free it? We might not need it now but, we should prepare for the future.” Jovan looked away and answered, “I-I can’t be responsible for him. I-I know he is a Toa, but h-he has to protect the whole village. He can’t w-waste time on me.” Kanohi winced, that sentiment’s wording was familiar. Still he answered, “I-I understand, but you know that this will help the village. For now, see what progress you can make in figuring out how to dislodge it. Do not mine it yet, we don’t need it for now, just study it. Just is you know, we are making Disks of Weaken and Regeneration now, that might help free the ore. A-again no rush, but just, think about it.” Jovan nodded vaguely and Kanohi slowly shuffled away, ore filling his arms. As the Fe-Matoran made his way forward he could faintly hear Arkius talking in the distance. He turned towards the Toa, before tripping, spilling the ore about the dirt. Kanohi blushed and dove for the ore, before getting back to stacking it. As he rebalanced it he resolved to head over to Arkius, but only after he laid the ore to rest in the forge. He shuffled away, still blinded by the height of the pile.
  34. 4 points
    Nineteen years ago today, Dimensioneer started a little website called Bionicle Zone. After a letter from the LEGO lawyers, it became BZCommunity, and a year after that, it merged with Kanohi Power to become BZPower - that's us! To celebrate, in addition to the two raffles we kicked off yesterday, we have two more for you to check out today. BZPower 19th Anniversary 2007 Classic Style Guide Raffle is raffling off a Bionicle style guide from 2007 that focuses on the early years of the theme. Tickets are $2 each, the proceeds of which go to support BZPower's costs. Next, for Premier Members, we have the BZPower 19th Anniversary Michael Dorn Voice Over Disc Premier Giveaway, where you can get an original copy of the recording sessions that became the Mata Nui Saga blog! Thank you all for keeping the community alive and for making 19 years of BZPower possible - I don't know where life would have gone without this site but I know we wouldn't be here without you! View the full article
  35. 4 points
    What do you wish for? Freedom. Wish granted.
  36. 4 points
    IC: Ultan, Leklo, Korruhn; outskirts of Metru-Koro The smoldering ruins of the setting below was a grim sight. Bodies were strewn about, and the stranded survivors were already lining for what appeared to be a terms of surrender beneath a hovering drop ship, many others like it in surrounding wreckage. There was little hope of any in particular being left alive, so reckless and indiscriminate the destruction wrought. While Ultan would have gone with his two new (old?) companions into the brink, he saw now that the wind was taken from their sails, and both looked down in defeat and despair. "You spoke of the League earlier," Ultan began slowly, gathering his thoughts. "They clearly continue their quest for blood and control, and it seems they will not blink at even the smallest degree of defiance or disagreement. If I am not mistaken, you said that they had taken Metru Nui as the seat of their new power?" He turned to look his companions in the eye. "We have nothing here - but if Metru Nui still exists in this desolate place, then we have a chance at something: revenge, or answers, whichever it is you seek." He pointed over the ridge toward the colossal skull that was once the godhead of his world. It was still difficult to process exactly what that meant. "What say you that we take this fight back home, or what remains of it?"
  37. 4 points
    IC: Nale Vella - Metru-Koro Nale looked over her shoulder at the others and made a "come on" motion, before passing by Kat and Kei and heading inside the village. @Conway@Keeper of Kraata@TL01 NUVA@The UltimoScorp@Toru Nui IC: Rose - Pridak's Throne Room (Friendly Fire) Now cut off from Pridak, the Toa of Fire was free to reacquire her revolver. As she picked it up a pain in her right arm reminded her of the injury she sustained, and Rose swapped hands to wield her firearm. She started to move, intent on re-engaging the League leader, and noticed someone making a beeline for Pridak as well. Unable to ID them in the confusion, thinking it was one of the Takean's guards moving to aid him, Rose aimed for center mass and fired off a round from her firework revolver at the target--only realizing after she'd squeezed the trigger that it was Saybo. Ah, sh- @Snelly@EmperorWhenua@Toru Nui@~Xemnas~@Kal the Guardian@Vezok's Friend IC: Triage - The Taku "Good," the medic said upon hearing of the League's call for ceasefire, sighing and allowing himself to collapse to the floor, his satchel resting in his lap as he sat by the van. He gave a nod to Zsann as she returned. "Everything alright?" He was asking about the crew, unaware the Skakdi might interpret the question as personal. @ZippyWharrgarbl@Taka Nuvia
  38. 4 points
    We got old on this site.
  39. 4 points
    Nononononono. While it is true you can start a blog for free on one of those sites, who's going to read it? BZP has (or had) plenty of active members that would (exclusively in some cases) browse the blogs here. It's so convenient having the blogs built into a site where you already have an account and friends as opposed to having to seek out something offsite, create a new account, and try to get your people to join and read. Plus you're supporting BZP with your purchase sooo... I'd say it's a win-win. *shrug*
  40. 4 points
    Tuesday: Conduct and Questions We are rolling out the NEW system for conduct and questions today! What does this mean? Let’s look at it. These rules will be updated on the Rules page and the first posts of all topics ASAP. Conduct: Conduct is defined as anything requiring GM intervention for resolution. This can be facilitating the resolution of a scene or handling reports of rule-breaking. Please note, we only handle conduct for BZPower specific issues. We do not handle conduct related to 3rd party sites like Discord or Google docs unless the conduct directly involves the GMs (i.e. harassment in private message threads). If you have an issue with a player on those platforms please contact the appropriate support team. While we hope players can be kind and collaborative, we understand sometimes not engaging is the best solution. Reporting Conduct: To report Conduct issues, please submit a single PM on BZPower to the GMs. In the subject line please include “SK CONDUCT” along with the type of isse (dispute, rules violation, etc.). We will read and reply to these PMs on a weekly basis. Thank you for your patience in advance. Gameplay and Lore Questions: Please post all questions regarding gameplay, planning, and lore in the OOC Topic for the game. For visibility, tag both GMs in your post. We’ll answer these questions as they come up, or during the weekly news roundup on Mondays. Teaser for new NPC system (more when ready): We’ll be fully revamping how player controlled NPCs work in Six Kingdoms. The new system will be a whole new character type, World Characters, and will have a streamlined profile system with classes and roles. We hope this new system will provide better functionality and remove confusion. SK:R will have a system to help transition things over. SK:A will have the full system from the start ready to go. Stay tuned for more details! Today's Discussion: The Character Roster & Collaborative Storytelling The majority of those surveyed have four or less PCs, with four being the most popular amount. We had a cool discussion last week when the official Discord was live about this point. For reference, my original comment is below: Larger rosters of PCs create an interesting problem of providing short term solutions while exacerbating long term problems. First, they allow players to engage in the short term in other locations and scenes when others feel stale or hit a snag. However, this seems to create a form of avoidance, and overall leads to stagnation of the game world. About every 1.5 months, it seems a new batch of PCs gets made to create new plots and provide further escape from situations that still have not resolved. This doesn't solve the problem. Players get bored, players get stuck. Instead of trying to work through a moment that's harder, it's easier to make a new character and say "I'll get back to it later.” But then it seems to lead to players with larger rosters apologizing more often for being inactive, needing more time, or feeling dispassionate towards the scenes their characters are in. How to solve this? I propose a couple solutions: limited game time and limited player character rosters. First, limiting the duration of the game decreases the plot stagnation and the number of character creation cycles. Having a maximum player character roster for each player means if a character isn't sparking joy, they need to be dropped from the roster before someone new can take their place. This limitation actually overall allows for greater post productivity and interaction, as well as increases the focus on each character and their role in the game's evolving narrative. My hypothesis is that the problems involving stagnation or overwhelm are actually from perpetually making new characters instead of sticking with a few core characters for a few months. With all that said, the overall response during the conversation was general agreement. There are three major areas I see Player Character inflation having a detrimental effect on gameplay (and possibly story): Making a character because you’re stuck in one scene. It’s highly likely your new character will get stuck too. Creating characters due to a feeling of social responsibility, but not playing them. Perhaps have compassion for others if they can’t participate in something, and give yourself a break as well. Creating a character to join a scene. Usually, I see this done to try and stop something from happening. It more often stalls out a scene, which may cause lingering player frustration and hostilities. While counterintuitive, having less characters may increase the amount of gameplay and story you as a player can engage with during the course of a game. You will see your characters accomplishing more, as the deeds and actions are not spread out over a larger roster but instead are focused on a smaller stable of regularly played PCs. We will be limiting the character roster for SK:A. Keep in mind who your darlings are, and maybe consider helping out a poor aspect looking for a beating heartlight with your others? The game duration will be shorter too in SK:A! So when going into the next game ask yourself: “what is the one thing I really want to do?” With all this in mind, what are your thoughts? Tomorrow we’ll be going over the different kinds of characters, and a new type as well!
  41. 4 points
    From The Desk: Hey all, happy Monday! We got a lot to talk about after a very busy weekend, and we’re excited to provide some additional details for you all here. The three main topics we want to go over today are: The mid-game survey Reflections on the current game state End of the official Discord server The Mid-Game Survey Results are in, and we’re poring over them and considering how to best adapt the game! 20 players filled out the anonymous survey, so thank you for your contribution. The surveys really are the best way for us GMs to pull data and look at possible trends. We’ll be providing additional details over the course of this week on several points, so keep an eye on the OOC topic. Reflections on the Current Game State We’re two thirds of the way through the allotted time for SKR. It’s been a wild ride, and the choices you’ve all made have been interesting. This is the time last game where I said pick one thing you want your character to accomplish and see it through. As always, collaboration is the key! End of Official Discord Server We chose to end the officially supported Discord server due to a multitude of reasons. If you want to connect, you may do so using the PM system and the OOC topic to plan with GMs or stay up to date. We’ll have a bigger announcement on Conduct reports and GM questions in the coming days, so stay tuned! As always, play well and be kind. ~UN and Veef July 13th - July 19th: The fight for Metru-Koro’s survival continues! Zaliyah’s airship becomes stranded above the village, relying on the levitation disks to keep her from crashing and ending her own life. In a desperate gamble, Zaliyah begins peace and reconciliation negotiations with toa Iradra via radio. Aboard the Wombat, the fight continues fiercely, with Dar Poroka and his crew going toe to toe with the boarding assailants and defenders of the refugee settlement. Knichou continues to work on dismantling the dangerous warhead attached to the underside of the airship. Ostrox surrenders as his ship crashes into the grassy bluffs surrounding the village. He exposes Skorm and Irna as turncoats of the League. Tuakana collects a taboo ritual from the furnace of the Ruins of Fire. The others in the ruins work on solving the puzzle. Korruhn collects a taboo ritual from the Ruins of Ice. Atamai travels to the cavernous warehouse in Onu-Metru where Dume’s machine resides. There he encounters Tuyet, and the two travel to the past for answers. Barius defeats Boss, casting his enemy into the Nightmare Pits. Boss becomes a tahtorak! Miserix hides herself and plots her revenge... Aurax’s assembled assassins continue their brutal fight in the Coliseum against Barraki Pridak. Oreius joins their forces, and the vahki guard begin to arrive. Viltia is finally open for interaction. If you haven’t read her five post introduction, make a cup of tea and sit down. You’re in for a long night of lovingly crafted explorations of the dangerous Fau Swamp. Zataka and Yumiwak continue their banter aboard Yumiwak’s airship. Gore and Cravious enjoy the finer things in life, like food… and, uh, food. What was you favorite moment of the week?
  42. 4 points
    IC: Oreius | Pridak's Throne Room, The Coliseum "I'll say this just once," Stannis said as though time had not passed at all. "We are not doing 'get help.'" Oreius smiled mirthlessly. He knew he should have been surprised to see Stannis here, but he wasn't. In fact, he was profoundly unsurprised. Of course Stannis would be here; it was as predictable as the sunrise. The old man had always talked of destiny, and now fate had drawn the two estranged brothers together after a thousand years, like it was meant to be. Of course the Wanderer was here. Of course he had seen his old comrade about to arrive, and set out a doormat for him. Of course he spoke now as if all this time had not passed—as if that fateful day had never happened. As if they could take back what they knew of each other now. There would be time for that later. For now, there was Pridak. The Toa's knuckles tightened around the hilt of his sword, and his free hand sparked suddenly into flame. Millennia ago, he had sworn he would never fight beside Stannis again. The sun would die in the east and the stars would fall from the sky before he drew swords with the one he had once called brother. It seemed destiny was not without a sense of irony: his curse had been a prophecy all this time. The sun was dead and the stars had fallen, and now the last of the Maru stood together one last time. A door to the side slid open, and six figures stepped inside. Four Vahki. A Vortixx. A Toa. Oreius's focus snapped from weak point to weak point as his Kanohi highlighted them one by one. The Vahki began charging their staves, ready to unleash their powers upon the combatants. The least he could do was not give them an easy shot. Clenching his free hand into a fist, the Toa of Fire jerked his arm upward. A corresponding wall of flames suddenly billowed to life around the new arrivals, cutting them off from the main fight. The two accompanying beings might stagger back from the heat, but Oreius knew the Vahki would not be deterred. Still, now they couldn't see where they were aiming, and they probably wouldn't fire without a clear shot, for fear of hitting Pridak. That threat taken care of for a few seconds, Oreius turned his attention to Pridak, focusing on his flaws. * * * IC: Dar Poroka & Company | Aboard the Wombat The green Vahki blinks. It has learned that Zaliyah survives but refuses rescue, for fear of the League losing all its ships in a single battle. The automaton offers the appearance of hesitation. It is willing to sacrifice itself to rescue the captain, but it does not have the capacity to refuse an order given. Its programming is clear: protect the ship. Protect the captain. Make every effort to return League assets to the Metru Nui, and destroy what cannot be salvaged. Here is a quandary: the Razorfish is crippled. Its captain intends to try diplomacy, but the green Vahki does not calculate favourable odds. Should the Wombat now fire its weapons upon its sister ship? Better to obliterate League technology than risk losing it to the enemy. Knichou makes that decision for them. The red Vahki attempts to fire, but the weapon beeps twice to signal an error and begins to power down. Hydraulic pressure drops to zero. Its operator whirs softly as it communicates this information to the bridge, then detaches itself from the gunner's chair. It cannot see Knichou, but it calculates that someone must be there. So it steps to the side and peers through the window, searching for the cling-on. Meanwhile, those on the bridge have determined that there is little more that can be accomplished here. Their long-range weapon down, they have no means of assault that will not bring them within range of Metru-Koro's defenses (however crude those may be). So the engines burn bright blue, and the Wombat turns sharply to adjust its course towards home. * * * The ship's turn throws off Amarth's aim, and her bullets pepper the brown Vahki's armour. Sparks fly, but it is more or less unharmed. Nevertheless, this kind of direct assault activates a subroutine, and it raises its staff of suggestion. The weapon glows white, then fires a blast at the intruder. * * * New person stumble back. Hurt from swords! Bleeding a bit. Good job, Poroka! Hear gun fire behind Poroka. No worries. Robot strong. Robot tough. Robot can handle it. So Poroka keep walk towards new person. Keep swinging swords. Come on, new person! Show Poroka what you got! * * * IC: Taja | The New Archives Even underground, the sound of blasts and explosions sounded loud. The walls trembled, shaking bits of dust and debris to the tunnel floor. Taja clenched her fists, wishing desperately there was something she could do to help. Maybe if she wasn't... like this. She shook her head. Even before her transformation, she would've been useless in this kind of situation. That was why she'd listened to Whisper in the first place. The creature no longer filled her with disgust as it had, but the sight of its rippling tails still made her feel queasy. Hopefully she wouldn't regret keeping it around. Hopefully it could help her become something better than she was. * * * IC: Tuakana | Ruins of Fire Either they do not hear their companion's exclamation, or they do not care. Or perhaps they do not comprehend it: so much escapes their notice. Often, they simply do not understand that they have missed anything at all. But not this. Not this glowing mark that beckons. It consumes their focus. It is everything. They rise. They cease before the rune. Ancient arm still extended, they press their finger to the Taboo.
  43. 3 points
    I'm really glad you, and others, have been enjoying these scenes. I think moving away from high-stakes, adversarial interactions into some smaller, more character-focused scenes has really helped me get into a better headspace.
  44. 3 points
    IC: Barraki Ehlek | Le-Metru Ehlek chuckled. He loved watching the glowing receivers glitter with their little LEDs. He loved observing the transmitters flicker and click audibly as their circuits pulsed with electrical currents. The machines spoke, if you just watched for a little bit. Kind of like the seaweed moving at the bottom of the ocean, or the currents of water carrying so much knowledge. Sure, he could look at a monitor and watch the lines of command text zip quickly by as it executed. But reading the letters wasn't quite the same as learning to interpret the heartbeat. With his new arms he worked quickly on solving a small toy found in the debris of Le-Metru. The toy seemed to be some sort of multi-color block. It was one large cube made up of smaller cubes that all turned in three planes horizontally and vertically. He liked getting all the colors on a side to match. He wasn't sure the matoran who owned it before realized they could do that, but he enjoyed the novelty of his discovery. As his new mechanical arms played with the cube, Ehlek focused his original pair and most of his attention on his latest work: Mantax. No, Mantax couldn't be revived. Not physically, anyways. Ehlek tried. He tried several times, but even he couldn't return his friend. He could, however, access his friend's memories. He gently poked the little crystal on his desk. The glow inside flickered softly. Small soldered wires ran from it to the head of his friend. Progress, like time, marched ever forward. Some things could be salvaged, even in death. Not everything, but enough. He knew where to get the rest… Ehlek placed a sharp nail on the growing crystal and slowly dragged it down to product a horribly high pitched sound. “I wonder how Pridak’s doing...” IC: Reliable Narraor | Fau Swamp, AIr Suva Sala and Sorilax walked up the steps and through the arched open doorway to stand in a sandstone temple, approximately fifty paces in diameter, with a vaulted conical ceiling. Near the far wall Sorilax noticed the glimmer of sunlight on a few rusty spoons. A surprised brakas monkey whooped and climbed away along the walls out of sight. Open archways around the perimeter of the temple let in the smells and sounds of a jungle in mid morning. A tropical bird Sala never heard before let out an elaborate mating call. They could hear the croaking of frogs and the buzzing of insects from outside, though significantly muffled. In the center of the room rose a stone suva, with overgrown plants covering its surface. A strange sapling made its home on the very top of the suva, the limbs contorting and bending in strange angles. From one angle it looked like a sickle, and from the other a straight vertical line. While these sights and sounds and smells came unbidden to the two explorers, another muffled sound assaulted them from below. Looking down Sala could see the rotted wood patch of flooring near the entryway gave way to reveal an open pit trap containing a very dazed ga-matoran. OOC: @Kal the Guardian, @Sparticus147
  45. 3 points
    IC: Taja | Fau Swamp "I see," Taja said, although this was a half-truth. Whisper's explanation only raised further questions, but she could sympathize with the creature's plight. If time was like a river that molded each Aspect into a unique shape and texture, then how cruel it was to know that, eventually, they were doomed to return to what they had been before. To lose all their accumulated knowledge and memories to the pool that had birthed them. If she were in the same position, Taja thought she would probably try to break the cycle too. To spit in the face of destiny and forge her own path. Better to die as yourself than to lose everything that made you you. But wasn't that the same quandary she had found herself caught in a moment ago? If the wisdom of the astronomers still held true, then destiny had them all caught up in its grip. They were like leaves in a whirlpool, endlessly moving but never escaping. Although... now that she found herself in a different land under different stars, Taja wondered if the old rules still applied. Her whole world had been a container—a terrarium. Now she was outside. Was there any guarantee that destiny still held sway out here, in this strange land with its alien constellations? Perhaps she was truly free now to forge her own path, And if she was, then surely Whisper deserved that freedom too. To live and die on her own terms. "I see. Then, after returning to the pool, are Aspects eventually born again? Can you even know?" @Nato the Traveler IC: Oreius | Pridak's Throne Room, the Coliseum Taking advantage of his opponent's momentary distraction, Oreius conjured a blast of fire between them, blowing the two Toa apart. The blast was unlikely to harm his enemy, seeing as he was a Toa of Fire himself, but all Oreius wanted was to get some distance. Achro was blown backwards towards the wall of the throne room, while Oreius was blasted in the opposite direction—towards Pridak. Flying through the air, he looked down and saw the warlord had exited his exo-suit. Absent his armour, Pridak's body lit up like a Naming Day tree as Oreius's Kanohi picked out each weak point and flaw. The Barraki seemed frailer and more wizened than he had expected, but perhaps that was just the juxtaposition of the hulking suit he had just abandoned. Pridak was surely still a force to be reckoned with, armour or no. Oreius would prove himself equal to that force, or die trying. He hit the ground and turned his momentum into a roll, springing up only a metre from Pridak. From this close, he could finally look the warlord in the eyes. Pridak's eyes were black with no pupils, like a shark's. They held no illusions of mercy or pity. They were the eyes of a killer; they were the eyes of a conqueror. With a grim smile, Oreius charged Pridak and slashed at him with his sword. @Toru Nui @Vezok's Friend
  46. 3 points
    —// For Your Listening Pleasure //— IC Stannis | ... Coliseum? With the two combatants too terribly matched in muscle and brawn to overwhelm the other it was simply rational for Pridak to gain the upper hand against Stannis by use of his Kanohi Matatu to try and do away with him. Being so overcome by the power of the mind's hand, Stannis could not resist the forced separation and felt himself rejected from the Takean king. The sword, held tight in his chest an instant before, became wrested free and glimmered with murderous shine to cut into the next assailant, but the damage had been done, pyrrhic as it was; a mutually ensured destruction. In the wake of the swords' withdraw a gaping hole was left on Stannis' chest, but it did not seem to deter the old man in the slightest. Faint wisps of green mist could be discerned by Pridak's rapt attention on his nemesis, but none others present could see the phenomenon before it was nothing but an easily mistaken blur. The warmage was flung away from the warlord. Time flowed differently for the old man—like it always did—and he relished in the fleeting pacific moment he was afforded. In the face of the Takean king's victorious snarl the Wanderer's face gleamed serene, smiling thinly even as Pridak grew more distant by the second, and he held his arms outstretched as if being crucified on an incorporeal stake. The irony was palatable—go with his god? He had grown to be his own god, divine and willful in ways Pridak could never have fathomed. He was pulled ever further, and it looked almost like some invisible hands had taken hold of his shoulders and were hauling him back. Away. To his Fate. Stannis' spear clattered to the floor off to the side, torn out from Pridak's chest like a most despised accessory, and the king's ichor gushed from the crevices of the exo-armor. Rivulets of blood pattered to the polished floors, splattering into perfect morning stars of crimson only to be wiped to a smear by the fighters footfalls in the chaos as they all raced to clobber and dice the distracted fighter. As more of the room came into view, the duels that transpired over the chamber looked increasingly trivial—all of them mere small footnotes ending and beginning throughout the close of a most grandiose chapter. The book was almost complete. A rousing wishful cry of Freedom! had been what defined the tome's story, but like all yarns there needed to be an ending. Wind howled behind Stannis in a growing gale and soon it overwhelmed his body as a blustering blanket, drowning out the screams and cries of the fighters as they gruesomely sought to stamp out each other's determined menace. And soon, the wind was all Stannis could hear. Pridak released his hold on his body just as Aurax heaved his scythe right for the ancient king's beleaguered crown. His eyes shut, focusing on a thing he could not see. Just some minor wish giving. ... Stannis descended in the nighttime sky, a sinewy revenant of Fate. ... IC Yumiwak | Panda II "Excuse the ###t out of me," I balked at Zataka, agog and aghast. "What is it that was supposed to be fixed?"
  47. 3 points
    IC: Korruhn, somewhere outside of Metru Koro As the snow-coated plains began to give way to the rockier crust beneath, the village-fortress of Metru Koro began to take shape, although still at a significant distance, in the optical processors of the Ko-Toa. He narrowed his lids, focusing the image on the optical receptor at the back of his eye. Something wasn't right. Smoke billowed from the village, and as his eyes adjusted, he could begin to make out ramparts crumpled like paper, and where huts used to be, bits of material scattered about. The speeders began to slow up a bit, and Korruhn could see the shapes of multiple ships: one crashed on the outskirts of the city, another, heavily damaged, lowering itself to the center of the village. His audio processing units picked up others, but his gaze was transfixed on the village. And then, the radio chimed. The communication system Sans had installed in the custom speeders began to pick up the home frequency, and automatically honed in on the signal, turning a muffled squabble into distinct voices, it sounded like two. One declared a surrender, and apparent ceasefire at the village. Another (he thought he recognized this voice, although he could not place it in the calamity in front of them), seemingly negotiating for the city, and coordinating with the aggressor, arranging the ship's landing into the heart of the village. "COWARDS! ALL OF THEM!" Korruhn shouted out as a rage began to boil within him. He clenched his blackened fist as shadow began to exhaust almost uncontrollably from his arm and mask. He couldn't believe it. He had seen so many of his friends die in defense of Metru Nui, with the thought that they could save their people. And now, their people spat in the face of the heroes by capitulating to the enemy. After all they had suffered at the hands of the League, all the pain, the suffering, the loss, the displacement, and still they continued! And now those he thought were his friends, or what was left of them, were negotiating with terrorists! Conquistadors. Violent oppressors. They deserved nothing but death for all the bloodlust they had wrought upon innocent men and women, and yet now his "friends" sought peace with the very men who had brought the war to them in the first place. He was utterly lost, and disgusted. "There's nothing left for us here," Korruhn's voice had lost it's timbre, an echoed, disembodied shell of his former self. "We can't help the village, not in this state. There's no way Sans would have allowed this; who knows what they did with him." He paused a moment, letting Ultan and Leklo take in the scene from then distant ridge overlooking the village on which they were now perched. "If we're going to do something about this, we have to get out of here and come up with a new strategy." OOC: @EmperorWhenua @The Captain
  48. 3 points
    IC: Achro and Waveahk (The Coliseum, Throne Room) Achro was surprised by the fact that Oreius chose to punch his blade. Delighted, but surprised regardless, as it was enough to knock it out of Achro's hand, leaving it clattering away on the floor. With a burst of elemental energy, the remaining blade caught fire as Achro took hold of it with two hands, intending to overpower his foe. Waveahk didn’t have time for this. He felt the thing in his arm writhe and convulse as he called upon it to levitate him up into the air, keeping the momentum of his charge to try and float over her. He fired a concussive blast at the receptionist as he did so. @Vezok's Friend@Eyru@EmperorWhenua@Tarn@Snelly@~Xemnas~@Kal the Guardian IC: Tekmo (Zakaz Airspace, The Wombat) Tekmo was rather groggy after being slammed into the wall - again - and thus didn’t quite comprehend the gravity of the situation. "HOW DARE YOU?! RETURN TO NORMAL SIZE SO I CAN FIGHT YOU PROPERLY!" @Eyru@Sparticus147@Onaku IC: NU-8020S (Po-Koro Outskirts, Vahki Transport) Those standing guard at Po-Koro's gates saw the perhaps familiar sight of a Vahki Transport approaching the village at a fair speed. @Harvali@Onaku IC: Gnabol (Metru-Koro Outskirts) "I’m beginning to rethink this plan, but... we’ve come this far. Let’s see if the 'nobility' of the Toa means anything..." Gnabol continued to trudge towards the village, calming the Skaklets he was carrying as he did so. @Smudge8
  49. 3 points
    Pridak vs. the World continues FYI: I am hoping to wrap this fight up within the next 2-3 days, so we can get to the really giant monsters and other fun stuff For that, it'd be really helpful if characters would take a few more hits here and there. Nothing too grievous that can't be healed in time of course. Pridak isn't exactly Thanos, but he is a big baddie, and you know how beat up the heroes in movies get before winning. The more hits the characters take, the more punishment he gets as well. I think it'll be a satisfying narrative that way.
  50. 3 points
    IC: Iradra - Metru-Koro "I know. Now how do we do that? How do we repent for thousands of years of oppression and segregation? For many millennia of religious zealotry and racial supremacism? How do we, as you put it, swallow our pride and prove them wrong? Because in the week up until now, these refugees have been doing nothing but try and survive in a hostile new land, to try and recover both spiritually and mentally from losing the majority of their people when god died and the world ended. So where do we go from here? What is the best course of action for us, specifically? How do we surrender?"
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