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Keeper of Kraata

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About Keeper of Kraata

Year 15
  • Rank
    Emerging Defender of Mata Nui
  • Birthday 10/13/1993

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Texas
  • Interests
    I do stuff! I like writing. Used to write a lot when I was a kid posting stuff here. And now I'm trying to write professionally (Among other things). Currently studying to become a teacher.

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    ninjaxenomorph

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  1. IC: Cyrix - Ko-Koro The Le-Toa slid past the caped Ko-Toa on his way out of the library. He had an idea of what he was going to undertake next, but Cyrix figured he would confirm something first. A gust of frigid wind hit him, and Cyrix pulled up his scarf, breathing into it to warm it. He got the feeling that he hadn't gotten everything out of Priicu, something about his forthcoming demeanor and the matoran's own questions for him. No matter, he had enough that just a quick visit to the Sanctum archives would confirm his suspicions. The Cy-Toa had lied about, or at least obscured the fact, that he was leaving for Onu-Koro, and hadn't mentioned any business at the Sanctum, two facts that Cyrix was fairly sure about. Cyrix nodded in greeting to the guards posted as he passed them, making his way deeper into the Sanctum. He felt a pang of pride walking these halls, seeing the reconstruction since his infiltration in the final hours before the Koro was liberated. He was thankful to be even a small part of it. He entered the Archive, signing himself in. As part of the Kalta, he didn't need any permission, but the paperwork remained. All the other names on the list were Ko-Koro citizens or Sanctum officials he recognized; his mystery toa hadn't come through unless he had been impersonating someone. And Cyrix hadn't spotted him sporting a Mahiki. For his reasoning, he wrote that he was checking the list of missing artifacts from the Occupation. He had seen the list before; when the Kalta had been assisting reconstruction, Aelied had taken on the charge of pursuing leads to recover stolen items if they could be found. It fell fairly low on his list of priorities, but it was a task the Toa Kalta could pursue. Truthfully, Cyrix thought that if any were going to turn up, it was going to be in some of the preexisting ruins of Ko-Koro, rather than secreted off to Mangaia. Trinkets were likely added to some private hoards, and were more likely to show up in private auctions or stashed away somewhere. As he was going through the motions checking the list with descriptions, his breath froze as he realized something; the frozen droplets drifted down as the air stopped. If his quarry hadn't been here at the Archives, it was likely he was talking with someone else at the Sanctum. If he was an agent of Onu-Koro or similar, he might have been meeting with an informant; someone within the Sanctum's power structure. A functionary, a guard, some other official... He had to get to the bottom of this. But he had to keep this a secret, Kalta eyes only. He would have to tell Aelied, but he was still in his meeting; Cyrix would have to leave a message at the Memorial Garden. On his way out of the Archives, he glance at the volumes upon volumes of scrolls. He was glad it wasn't his job to categorize them; the scribes still weren't done with an inventory after the occupation.
  2. IC: Skorm - Dark Walk, Alone When he saw the light, Skorm crept to a halt. Slowly, he eased off his power, setting the earth and debris down and recalling his light stone. He focused on the light as he capped his lightstone and activated his Huna. At least this was unlikely to be a Rahkshi; he doubted creatures of shadow would need a fire to keep light. But on the other hand, if this was matoran, why weren't they using a lightstone? As his eyes readjusted to the ambient light, the Ba-Toa prowled around the bend, keeping to the edges of the light where his shadow would not betray him. OOC: @Krayzikk IC: Cyrix - Wise Man's Archive The Le-Toa scratched at his Volitak. He was fairly certain his target had some sort of agenda now. Certainly enough to warrant further investigation. He doubted the librarian was obscuring any further information he could use. After sorting the material he had been reading neatly, he sat up, creating a small breeze that carried his newly minted membership card into his waiting hand. "I think I have all I need. If you remember anything, or if anything else comes up, please get in touch with myself or Toa Aelied." He ran over the next steps in his head. He would have to let Aelied know about all this when his meeting was over; he could do some investigation at the Sanctum to see if he could find any record of the visitor's business there. Maybe he could catch up with Aelied there. But... not with the Sanctum Guard. He knew the Cy-Toa had lied; if his suspicions were true, it could mean they were unaware of the threat... or, worse, someone on the inside was working with his quarry. This should remain an... internal matter. OOC: @ARROW404
  3. IC: Askha, Hambra, Somei - North Hanaloi Somei composed herself, dropping the illusion from Fanai. Hambra shifted slightly as she did so to note the new appearance, but did not react with surprise as the other Kaazi did. The Datsue noted a softness in her expression that was quickly covered up again. The Jahagir shouldered her staff glancing up the path to the cove before turning to the Dastana. "My last zrupgar is watching your ship. Myself, three zrupgar, and less than a score of koshi zrupgar are the only forces the Kaazi have, and many more that we must defend. We are not leaving our home, not again. Zataka's sons, as you mainlanders are calling them, haven't pressed us since we tore apart their assault force in reprisal. The demons that have returned to Hanaloi have not tried to seek us out. But with your arrival, as well as Clan Kuychar on our southern shore, that might indeed change." Askha opened her mouth to object, then shut it to consider her response. "Jahagir, Hambra, you must have seen the destruction these creatures, the Rahkshi, have wrought on the other islands. These fiends have no other objective than to kill us, to drive us to utter destruction." The imposing Taajar crossed her arms, staring down at the younger Mashtet. Askha returned her defiant gaze. "Truly? That is not what we have noted. These Demons struck centers of possible resistance before sweeping across the land. In their wake, the land itself turns on survivors; savagery not seen in Rahi for an epoch seems to have been renewed. And certain places are fortified. We have recorded the movements of these Demons before we harry them; they are keeping us out of certain places on the island, just as they are protecting the peak of Mount Koshiki." The Mashtet Menti scrunched up her mask in confusion. "Protecting? What are you talking about?" A grim look came over Hambra's kanohi. "Rahkshi are going in and out of your old Mashtet compound daily. We don't know why; I dare not risk my scouts to find out." Askha let the silence hang while she thought. If this was true, it was a troubling development. She turned to Fanai and the Dastana Menti. "We need to get to the Observatory. It was on our list of things to secure, but it's probably the best spot to see what's going on." OOC: @Mel
  4. IC: Zueya - Dark Walk As the figure melted into ooze, Zueya tried to collapse her cage in on itself; when the figure rematerialized, she tried to change tactics, focus the flow of electricity into the figure. It was a half-hearted attempt, and she didn't expect the figure to reach out, draw from the lightning, and redirect it. She was expecting it to redirect the bolt back at her. After she saw what happened, she wished that the figure had. In the space of a single breath, the bolt hit Skorm, and the massive Ba-Toa was gone. Not vanished, not turned invisible; disintegrated. Zueya scarcely had time to react before the shadowy figure disappeared. She stared at where Skorm was. Nothing left, not a scrap of cloak, mask fragment, nothing. She felt numb, cold. She was joking with him just this morning. He couldn't be gone. Lightning of the voltage she had been throwing around couldn't do that to a person. "Allow my friends to show you out." It almost felt like an out-of-body experience looking around the room. Rahkshi; these were the first she had seen in person, but they were unmistakable. The Lieutenant's voice was distant, but came through crystal-clear: hold them off. She felt pinpricks along her spine, felt sparks all along her nerves. She glanced down; her legs were carrying her towards the Rahkshi that had materialized in place of the figure. The one who had killed Skorm. Her mask was glowing, she noted. That was new. The pinpricks, her nerves - that was her body at its peak potential. She looked back at the rahkshi, and untensed her legs. Zueya flew at the creature, swinging her staff at its head.
  5. IC: Cyrix - Wise Man's Archive While Priicu was away, Cyrix had busied himself by rerolling the scrolls, taking care to not leave any obvious signs of his work. When Priicu returned, he had just finished rolling the last of them. Syzygos. Definitely a pseudonym. The cover story covered travelling; that fit the profile he was building. Specifically mentioning the Akiri though? Was it something to be suspicious of? Idle chatter? His quarry was definitely lying; a toa working as a copyist was extremely unlikely unless they found a way to use their abilities. And why had this Cy-Toa been in the Sanctum? The possible truth that the toa was a wandering typist crossed his mind, and had been doing just what that job entailed at the Sanctum before concluding business and heading here. But all in one day? Maybe he was getting something from the Sanctum archives? "You may, but its mostly that some of these facts don't add up. I witnessed the same Cy-Toa, Syzogos as he gave his name, leaving the Sanctum earlier today, and leaving the Koro shortly before I traced him back here. And the Sanctum Guard employs no such Toa; I would have recognized him." He couldn't quite match every name to every mask yet, but he had been familiarizing himself with the Koro for some time now. "I don't think he's a danger, but it's my job to protect Ko-Koro and its interests, both security and economic. I suspect he may be an agent on behalf of Onu-Koro." Cyrix left it at that, deciding to leave the information out there. In truth, he wasn't quite sure about his conclusion, but the ko-matoran didn't need to know that.
  6. IC: Cyrix - Wise Man's Archive Well-traveled? Interesting. One the one hand, his target was not likely solely working for an Onu-Koroan party, or was and was experienced. The latter seemed most likely. "That does help me out, anything to help me get a read on this guy." He scanned a little farther. Some of the sections were related to the new defense initiatives Tarkahn had initiated. Another angle? He decided to focus on something he knew for certain: the target was heading to Onu-Koro. Was there any connection in the articles he had looked through? Economics, defense, rebuilding... All new. Trade deals were with multiple Koros, Onu-Koro especially. The defense initiatives were mostly local; there were a few connections to Onu-Koro in regards to securing technology, but the biggest partner was Ihu-Koro. And the Kalta, he supposed, but he would expect some sort of direct surveillance if they were the targets, and he hadn't found anything to suggest that. The rebuilding was mostly local. The only thing tying them together was... the Akiri? He had been from Onu-Koro. Was this a spy of Nuparu? He'd heard that the Onu-Matoran Akiri was a mysterious sort and spent most of his time tinkering with inventions. Maybe the fruit doesn't fall far... Onu-Koro seemed the strongest lead, and even if all his findings were wrong, it was where the Cy-Toa had been heading. He'd double-check the Sanctum's list of persons of interest and head out. Something about this poked at his curiosity. He paused from skimming the scrolls and looked up at the ko-matoran. "You've been a great help. Did you have any interactions with this Cy-Toa? Did you get a name?" OOC: @arrow404
  7. IC: Askha, Somei, Hambra, NPCs - Hanaloi Hambra nodded. "Jahagir Hambra of the Kaazi tribe." She glanced at the Dastana as she turned to the road and began marching. "The Mashtet invite guests to Hanaloi. The Kaazi's job is to remove everyone else. And we haven't had Mashtet here for years." The large Taajar woman whistled, and several forms descended from trees around them, her other three Koshi Zrupgar. They fell in behind her, along with Riko. The second Kaazi, Riko, nodded respectfully towards the Dastana. "Our scouts spotted three approaching the island several hours ago; they went to the old Mashtet hold; no sight since." As the warriors approached, Somei noticed the Koshi Zrupgar around them lowering their bows. She had her illusionary double look around in confusion while she got off Fanai's back and moved to achieve parity with her illusion. "I am Mashtet Somei, Datsue of Clan Mashtet," she repeated, this time in Imperial. "You have fulfilled your obligations to the Mashtet and Hanaloi well; I apologize that the Mashtet have not been able to fulfill our own responsibilities." "I wondered when you would come back, Datsue. You are a friend of the Kaazi, Somei; we would have welcomed you back." The broad-shoulded Taajar broke through the brush, smiling. Somei gasped; her illusion dropped. Fortunately, Fanai was still hidden, but there was no double. "Jahagir Hambra! We were on our way to the Kaazi village to meet with you. Mashtet Askha," she gestured at Askha's form in the tree behind her, "was scouting it out." The wide smile disappeared from Hambra's mask. "She won't find much there. The demons attacked us several weeks ago; several destroyed the village. We lost too many. The warriors and Koshi Zrupgar you see are almost all what the Kaazi tribe has to muster." .:Speak of Zataka - Oops, probably should use another turn of phrase:. Askha's body twitched as her spirit reentered her body. She tried to roll out of the tree, but the strapped Rahkshi staff tripped her up and turned the smooth motion into an awkward tumble to the ground. Hambra wore a bemused look as the Mashtet heir clambered to her feet. "I saw the damage; I'm sorry. I wish we could have been here sooner, but that destruction is only a fraction of what has hit Sado, and the rest of Kentoku." Hambra hefted her three-bladed trophy staff off her shoulder and looked to some of the other captured staves among the Menti. "It appears at least we have all made the monsters pay for the destruction they have caused." Somei gripped her staff with both hands, suddenly self-conscious. "Hambra, tell me..." she spoke softly in the Taajar tongue, "Did... Roshuen make it out?" The Jahagir's grip on her trophy staff weakened. "No, I'm sorry. He was tired and went to bed early in the Longhouse. It was destroyed first by the Demons; Roshuen was killed in his sleep." Somei's vision was suddenly blurry. "Oh." She let out a long, tense sigh. It didn't help the cold knot in her stomach. She felt large arms envelop her; the other warrior, Riko, knelt to embrace her. "He was my father," the Taajar said. Somei held the Taajar girl as she struggled to hold back her tears. Askha's own gut churned. But she had to turn this back to their mission; there would be time to mourn later. She couldn't let herself mourn now. The eyed the third Kaazi approaching, shedding her Rahkshi illusion. "If you're the group I spotted south of here earlier, we're still down one. Two, actually; where's Fanai?" OOC: @Mel
  8. IC: Cyrix - Wise Man's Archive Cyrix's mask lightened with a soft smile as he offered the widgets. "No, your taxes pay for my stipend, which I am choosing to invest back in the local economy. Thank you though, sincerely. I don't want to be treated special, just need some help. Offer it to Vakua, though; he's been advocating for the de-matoran community, I'm sure he'd be delighted." He left the widgets on the table, and looked at the public records section. He had to give it to the librarian, he was thorough. Very thorough. There were several scrolls tucked slightly farther back than the others; Cyrix pulled one out. Then another. The Cy-Toa had been here for a while, and if their being reshelved differently was any indication, the Toa he was following had spent time with these. The Le-Toa unfurled the scrolls and scanned through it. Public events, true to the shelving. Looked to be from the last several months. It would take hours, if not an entire day, to go through these. Fortunately, he had a trick up his sleeve Cyrix lay the unfurled scrolls on the table. If the Cy-Toa had spent longer with certain areas, they would likely still want to lay flat on the table. Sure enough, his theory held true; certain parts of the archival scrolls rested flat. Cyrix browsed through them; covering the trade deals. Lots of trade deals. Lawyer? Private detective? Bagman? The way he had left the Koro indicated a route to the Onu-Koro tunnels. Cyrix had briefly passed through Onu-Koro when following Casanuva when they first arrived on Mata Nui; the "village" of Earth possessed a developed financial sector. But why visit the Sanctum? And why a Toa? Possible connection to one of the high-society financial groups? His eyes came upon the story that had been written when Tarkahn had announced the Toa Kalta's official capacity within Ko-Koro. He remembered the ceremony; he had been on stage with the others, one one end beside Casanuva. Aelied had insisted that all six of them appear on stage with them; Cyrix being a member of the Kalta was already out of the bag, hiding it at this point would only make the others suspicious. There were interview snippets with most of them. Sans Cyrix, fortunately. Next to Skorm's words, there was a footnote. He glanced down at the notes. Cyrix remembered when the story was being written, and when he had suggested to the editor that burying the lede regarding Skorm was safer and better for the Koro at large. Questions didn't need to be raised; Ko-Koro was still getting back to its feet, and people didn't need to know that Skorm had been infected with Antidermis. Many people were getting a new beginning, and Skorm needed one. Especially after I failed him when he needed me most. In Cyrix's mind, Skorm was a tragic hero. He never let him know, but Cyrix felt a kinship with the Ba-Toa that he didn't share with any of the other Kalta, save perhaps Aelied. He was an outsider to the core team. But Cyrix had let Skorm down. And the situations had reversed itself during the Liberation of Ko-Koro; he wouldn't have made it out of the battle to retake the Koro if Skorm hadn't literally carried him alongside Soraph to the evacuation gukko. Cyrix roused himself from the memories of the liberation of Ko-Koro. He had some scraps, some scrapings of an objective, a destination, and a library's worth of potential leads. But that article prodded at the edge of his mind. He grunted, rolling the scroll back up. He could read through trade deal archives and rebuilding initiatives when he was beating his head against the wall; for now, he wanted to find out more about his mark. "Priicu, sir, if I may, is there anything else you know about the toa I'm looking for? Did he seem like a local, or do you think he was from another Koro?" OOC: @ARROW404 IC: Aelied - Akiri Tarkahn's Office The elder toa narrowed his eyes slightly at Reordin, his facial movements barely coming across on his enruned Kualsi. He smiled to hide his disgust; it was one thing to besmirch him, it was another to insult his team to their faces, especially the most withdrawn of them. His opinion of Vakua, already high, rose when the De-Toa made no sign of retaliation. He caught Vakua's gaze; "Don't mind him, Zueya and Skorm had to pull him out of a bar," he signed. Aelied's attention returned to the discussion at hand. The rumors, the Rahkshi activity. He considered Captain Korzaa's words, her look to Reordin. "We are seeing the same symptoms. Why not administer the treatment before the situation worsens?" The leader of the Kalta looked at the Maru. "Toa Reordin, are the Maru prepared if what we suspect is true? And if this isn't the Makuta, is there anything else it could be?" OOC: @The UltimoScorp @Visaru @Haman Karn: A Magical Girl
  9. IC: Cyrix - Wise Man's Archive The Le-Toa hoped the lack of recognition was a positive. In a moment, he weighed the benefits and negatives of enlightening the shopkeeper; anonymity was always good. On the other hand, he could test some of the local response to the team. He'd be able to tell Aelied; if whomever he was tailing caught on and reported back to the Sanctum, the old man would only need to say he was verifying an identity. Which technically, Cyrix was doing. He cleared his throat; it got dry in the cold. Only thing he didn't care for about the climate; maybe it was why ko-matoran were taciturn? File for later. "Cyrix, of the Toa Kalta. Just running down some paperwork; Aelied forgot to ask the guy in here to make extra copies." OOC: @ARROW404 IC: Zueya - Dark Walk Hideout Zueya's eyes widened when she spotted the figure's leaking eyes. She had never seen it herself, but she had seen it in shared memories and sensations. Skorm had described it. She added two and two together; the not-zombie's insane pain tolerance, the creepy things it was saying... now bleeding black from the eyes. Antidermis. She steadied herself; she'd need to be grounded. She heard the some of the matoran guards fleeing; nothing she could do without zapping them into a coma. This guy, though, she could do something about. "Skorm, his eyes! I think he's infected! Gukko cage maneuver!" Bracing one end of her staff behind her, Zueya poured energy through it, firing it into the air above the figure; the lightning bent and crackled as it split into many prongs and encircled the figure in a flickering electric cage. Sparks of light shone around the lightning stream as spores were burnt away; the miniature flares cast the room in an eerie light. OOC: @Light @Krayzikk
  10. The Taajar of Hanaloi: the Kaazi Clan Kaazi - Jahagir Hambra, approved by Tyler Clan Kaazi, or more correctly the Kaazi tribe, are the caretakers and wardens of Hanaloi. When the Taajar were being pressed further and further into Odaiba, the ancestors of the Kaazi tribe elected to take another option rather than surrender or die; their Soko were abandoned, either given to other tribes or sacrificed to prevent them falling into Imperial hands. The Kaazi travelled to the island of Hanaloi, homeland of Clan Mashtet. There, years before the mainland Taajar signed any treaties, the Kaazi Jahagir and Mashtet Toroshu came to a secret agreement of their own. The Kaazi would live on Hanaloi, and be the island’s protectors and wardens. In return, the Mashtet would protect the Kaazi from mainland scrutiny, and would have the assurance of the Kaazi that they would never set foot into the Mashtet’s protected areas unless invited. Additionally, the relations between the clans would be bolstered by mixing bloodlines; neither the Kaazi nor the Mashtet were particularly large kin groups in their own right. Today, the Kaazi are a unique example of Taajar culture; they never recognized the Astzyar, and officially do not exist in the eyes of the Empire. They quietly practice the old ways of shamanism, including maintaining koshi zrupgar. Their rituals often require mild (or not) hallucinogens, and Kaazi shamans are accomplished herbalists in their own right, including making herbal salves sometimes used to suppress gender characteristics. The Kaazi train their zrupgar in an advanced variant of the Dasaka Sighteye discipline; instead of directly fooling the senses of a target, Kaazi zrupgar cloak themselves in illusions. Their discipline makes the use of Sighteye extremely efficient, but a more traditional use of Sighteye requires perfect concentration. Experts in the discipline can further blend their forms, rendering themselves invisible or projecting multiple of their own form. Each Kaazi tends to have a ‘repertoire’ of forms they specialize in, the first of which being an animal they can imitate. Since they do not recognize the formal Taajar hierarchy, the Kaazi eschew normal Taajar colors, but they often wear clothing with naturalistic colors that blends into the forests of Hanaloi. They also often carry less weaponry, but all members are trained with shortbows.
  11. IC: Askha, Somei, Hambra/NPCs - Hanaloi North Forest The Datsue's mind raced; who else was there? She was not a Willhammer; she couldn't sense anyone else. Still, she had to trust in Fanai. She could feel vertigo zooming in on her senses as she hid herself and the Menti from she sensed; leave these non-rahkshi to Fanai. But... non-rahkshi on Hanaloi? Could it be- Fanai heard them before she saw them. The soft shuffling of vegetation, and the faint creaking of wood and sinew - bows, she realized. One by one, four diminutive figures separated from the bases of trees and rocks; their masks painted and cloaks interwoven with pieces of the forest. Each had crystal rings tied to the sides of their masks, and held what to a Menti would be a recurve shortbow; for the Dashi, it was full-sized. Somei's eyes widened. She changed the illusion she wove; instead of disappearing, she had Somei walk into the road away from their current position; the little warriors' eyes and bows followed them. If these were who she thought they were, she would have to handle this delicately. She prepared to mentally throw her voice; auditory Sighteye was never her strong suit. The illusory Somei jumped off of Fanai's back. Over her head, she held her Mashtet Token, itself seeming to glow: "Koshi Zrupgar of the Kaazi Tribe, I am Mashtet Somei, Datsue; these mainlanders travel under our auspices!" The archers glanced between one another and the token. One lowered their bow and raised her hand to her mouth, emitting a shrill, warbling whistle. Kaazi Hambra winced as she held off the spitting soulwhip with her trophy staff. She had shifted her Ashbear form so that it throat appeared over her staff; accursed mainlanders. She had drawn out the Huna user so the Koshi Zrupgar could pepper her with arrows, but they wouldn't dare take the shot with the Menti on their Jahagir. She glanced over at Riko; she had used her Kualsi to close the gap and reinforce her, but she had never been good with layering a combat form and invisibility, and one of the mainlanders had spotted her and thrown a knife and one of the demon's staves. Her worry turned to fierce pride as Riko had her layered combat form dodge the thrown staff but taking the knife, becoming visible and screeching. It would have been an ear-piercing sound to those who thought they heard it. The distraction was enough, Hambra decided. Her Pakari glowed again as she drove her trophy staff into the ground. When it was secure she ducked; she had her Ashbear form shook violently, but she herself knocked the Soulsword's head against the flat of her staff, stunning her. It was enough for Hambra to shake her off for real; she grabbed her staff and backed off raising her hand to signal to the Koshi Zrupgar to fire. She heard one of her Koshi Zrupgar watching the road whistle-signal. Mashtet, safe. Her eyes narrowed, but she backed away from the Soulsword as sprang to her feet. Nobody on this island had used that signal in years; it was unlikely to be one of the demon's tricks. She glanced at Riko, who was looking back and forth from her to the Dasaka with the Arthron. Hambra nodded. Eyeing the mainlanders, she and Riko dropped their combat forms; Hambra her Ashbear, and Riko of one of the demons. In the distance, she saw the last member of her cohort drop her demon form as well. Hambra turned back to the Dasaka that had attacked her. She coldly glanced them over as she hoisted the stolen staff onto her shoulder, resting it alongside the spiny carapace of its former owner. "Well fought," she said with a rough Taajar accent. "I haven't crossed any mainlanders for years except Fursic scouts. But still, you're obviously not Mashtet; I don't recognize you." OOC: @Mel
  12. IC: Somei, - Hanaloi Somei clung to Fanai's back. "Say the word," she whispered, "and we can disappear, too." Mentally, she cursed herself; she should have hidden them all earlier when they stopped to rest. She had let herself get distracted by the fact that she was back home. The Rahkshi closed in steadily, weaving through the trees. They did not stop, but they did slow when the visible Dastana and Plangori Menti dashed into the trees. The copper rahkshi, whickered as it glanced between the two Dasaka, and shifted behind a tree - and disappeared. The two Menti slowed, wary. The Soulsword was caught off guard as something attacked her from her flank, batting her away; she spun in the air, but her Calix stabilized the fall and she landed on her feet. It wasn't a rahkshi that had attacked her; it was a grizzled ash bear. She let out a hoarse snarl, and slammed the ground with her front paws, shaking the trees - and anybody on two legs. As Fanai Perceived around her, she still did not sense Mashtet Askha's spirit. She could pinpoint Rina's location as well as the other members of the group. As she extended her awareness to sense the Rahkshi, something caught her attention - in the immediate area, there should be two minds, her and the Datsue, three if Askha was back. She sensed six. OOC: @Mel
  13. IC: Hanaloi (Askha, Somei) The path was run-down and slightly overgrown, but it showed signs that it had been maintained in the last few years; at least until the crisis that enveloped Kentoku. The Saihoko stayed behind on the ship, with the captain saying that she would keep the ship ready for a quick getaway if necessary. But she knew the stories; even before they had disappeared, Hanaloi was selective in who she dealt with. The Fursics had lost explorers; something didn't want them here. And something didn't want the creatures wreaking havoc on Kentoku here either After the steep climb of the stairs cut into the cliff wall, the Menti of the expedition fanned out along the footpath. Askha at the tip, and Somei in the center. She was a Datsue, and before that, had been a Ringti; the Dastana weren't about to let an elder get caught unaware. The forest continued its quiet around the mixed party that followed the path. There had been a few dilapidated stands and logging huts, which were empty. Askha explained that every able member of the clan learned to scale the trees using their broad knives and, for dashi, spurs, so the stands were more for storing gear. It looked like they had been cleared out at some point. The more recent damage soon crossed the path; several craters dotted the cleared area, and one felled tree crossed the path. They had been walking for about twenty minutes - two thirds of the time Askha recalled that it took to get from the family dock to the Taajar village. She called for a scouting stop; as the Menti and Plangori posted up, Askha scaled one of the trees with her broadknife and reclined into a branch. Her mask glowed as she projected out of her body. Beneath her, Somei listened to the forest. She smiled as a faint insect call broke the silence. "Hanaloi songwings. It must be about noon; the insects only come out after the morning dew is fully burned off." She looked through the forest to the center of the island. There was an ancient tree, the most massive one on the island as well as the tallest point; the Observatory. It still stood; she hoped they would get there before nightfall. "After we check on the Kaazi village, we should make our way to the center of the island. If we can secure the Observatory, we'll be in a better position to scout the rest of the island... including the Mashtet compound." Meanwhile, Askha's projected form was doing the former. After a quick scout around the team to make sure they weren't being followed, Askha zoomed to the coastal village, passing through trees and obstacles. The Kaazi village was empty. Askha felt a cold feeling in her gut. It wasn't the same pang as when her astral form had walked into the Mashtet compound those years ago, finding it empty, but it was an echo. But wait, this different. There was destruction; several craters lay amid the destroyed longhouses. This place had been attacked, and recently; but it hadn't been a slaughter. There were no bodies. There were rahkshi that didn't leave bodies, but she doubted each corpse had been disintegrated; and, there were no tools lying around. Every usable tool, every piece of food, gone. This place had been practically stripped bare. There were survivors, or at least, had been survivors. At least there was that. They just needed to find them... Eyes watched the expedition. They watched from behind a tree, about fifty meters away. A gust of wind shook the forest canopy, and sunlight shone through, illuminating the figure. In the light, its jagged spines shone and its carapace glinted copper. It moved back behind the tree, out of the light. The Dastana mindarm was fingerwalking a dragon when she caught the glint. The coin dropped from her hand, but she caught it with Mindarm, tucking it back into a pouch while remaining motionless. In the distance, she saw brown claws retreat behind a tree. She drew out a throwing knife to replace the coin in her hand. .:We're being watched, northwest.:. She also transmitted an image of what she had seen; Somei turned her head, warily trying to make out the rahkshi. .:It's not alone, southeast and southwest.:. The soulsword transmitted images of two more rahkshi creeping through the brush. Fanai caught a glimpse of another one blocking off the path behind them. They were surrounded, and the rahkshi slowly crept in. OOC: @Mel IC: Ahri - Oki Refugee Camp Smiling, the Menti grasped Raika's shoulder. "If you're tired, you should get some sleep. I got a quick nap in, I should be good. Yuna and I can handle this; we're all these people have right now, and we're no use if we fall asleep protecting them. Get your beauty sleep." He stepped away from Raika, turning to the Koizumi. "Yuna, I've rested long enough. You've been in this area for a while; is there anywhere else on Oki we can get boats to evacuate these people?" OOC: @TL01 NUVA @The UltimoScorp
  14. IC: Zueya - Dark Walk Chamber The shattered mask was eerie, but this? She had seen what had become of Skorm when he was poisoned by antidermis through Vakua sharing his memories; whatever this was, it was so much worse. It seemed to be waiting for them. Her mind raced, her muscles coiled like springs. First Skorm acts suspiciously, now this. The metal walls, the plants... "It's not shrapnel, its... wood." She had never seen Plantlife used this way. In her training, she had never bested Aelied; she knew that this sort of thing was possible, but who could actually do it? How was this person still alive? He would either need a freakishly high pain tolerance, or... "Is... this a zombie?" OOC: @Light @Visaru +Dark Walk crew IC: Skorm - Alone As Skorm made his way into the darkness, he examined the walls. They were smooth and rounded, like the Dark Walk had been, but much smaller. A tributary feeding into the main route, or a dark vein? Then again, he didn't even know if there had been a passage. For all he knew, he had been pulled through solid rock by a Rahkshi that was toying with him. A bit of fear stabbed into his chest; what was happening with the expedition? With Zueya? His absence would be noted, of course; she would be dead set on finding him once it was clear he was missing. That might make her too focused, more likely to trip up. He had to find her. Strangely, this tunnel was less... claustrophobic that the Dark Walk, despite the smaller size and still-pervasive darkness. He felt the hazy hints of a vague memories; tunnels, when he was a matoran. He had worked in them. They were likely better lit, and smaller, but he was proportionally about the same size. Still. He couldn't let himself get too comfortable. Skorm concentrated on maintaining his orbiting debris, feeling out the walls around him in all directions. He almost didn't need the lightstone. OOC: @Krayzikk IC: Cyrix - Wise Man's Archive The Le-Toa met Priicu's gaze and nodded back. However, when Cyrix broke eye contact as he looked around at the shelves, the ko-matoran kept watching him. Cyrix looked at the reading tables, specifically, the toa-sized ones. Unfortunately, none were still out; his quarry had been good with reshelving. Well, time for the more direct approach. Still glancing about, Cyrix approached the desk, pulling out two five-widget pieces. "I have an unusual request; there was a Cy-Toa in here earlier. If you could, I need to see what he looked at here." OOC: @ARROW404
  15. IC: Askha & Somei - Hanaloi, Northeast Shore The ocean seemed to quiet as the Dastana vessel entered the north bay of Hanaloi. The surrounding cliffs deadened the sound from the surrounding sea; only the lapping of the waves upon the bay and the cries of gull rahi. Somei pointed the saihoko at the helm of the ship to an array of rocks sticking out from the tide; once, Somei remembered, this had been a carefully maintained jetty made to look natural; now, it was in disrepair, and was indeed just a pile of rocks poking out of the water. But as the vessel grew nearer, the reason for their emplacement became apparent: the cliffs revealed a set of steep stairs. From afar, the cliffs looked sheer; only by moving in would the stairs become visible. Askha shaded her eyes as she gazed at the top of the cliff. She didn't spot any movement; still, she sat behind the railling, activating her mask. Moments later, she was on top of the cliff. She drifted through the trees, watching for observers. She even checked the old observation post, camouflaged into an ancient tree, but no, it was moldering. It was then she noticed something odd. Odd beyond the deja vu of returning finally, beyond the quiet of the forest that hadn't been tended in years. The path at the top... she saw a torn tree. She flew closer. It had been a nice big one, big enough to support a Menti; it had been blown in half at the middle. There were several other marks on the ground, blasts. And they led toward the first stop on their expedition. She flew back to her body, and awoke to see Somei (and several of the saihoko) staring at her, expectantly. "It looks clear," she said, rising. The Dastana crew had already dropped anchor after abandoning any idea of trying to moor the ship at the ruined jetty. Askha jumped over the side and hopped the rocks; Somei waited for the crew to drop a gangplank before disembarking. .:The path we're taking to one of the Taajar settlements shows signs of Rahkshi attacks; I still think the Kaazi's encampment should be our first stop. See what's happened to them.:. "Menti, you should take a look at this," one of the Saihoko called out. She had been tying down some rigging on the side of the ship; she herself looked down, off the side and into the water. The Plangori, Mashtet, and Dastana Menti looked at the water themselves; it was calm, clear. Askha could spot the skeleton of an older vessel she had seen here before; when she and her sisters and cousins had gone swimming here, they would take turns diving through the ribs. But her eyes spotted something new; underwater, by the jetty, were the remains of a dead rahkshi. No, several dead rahkshi. It was more than it looked like, just pieces. She saw a foot there, a few hands elsewhere. The remains of a net drifted among them. "Good news," Somei considered. "Maybe." OOC: @Mel
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