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About BULiK

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Year 13
  • Rank
    Kohrak-Kal Shattered

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  • Location
    Tutorial Island
  • Interests
    Bending reality to my will

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    Better to find me on Discord
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  1. I just want to say, thanks so much for this! As someone who grew up on the Fan Created Games subforum here and has wanted to revisit MeNOL for a long time (funnily enough, I was reminiscing about it to a friend literally yesterday), this is a joy to hear. Major props for A: continuing to host it for so long and B: passing on the necessary data to have it archived for the community. As a hobbyist archivist myself, it's such a relief knowing that something so much effort was put into and so many people got enjoyment from won't be lost. I'll never cease to be amazed by the artists that BZP seems to bring back oh-so-many years later. Thanks for letting everyone know MeNOL is safe! I remember seeing BioMediaProject tweet about searching for it earlier this year, and I'm glad you were able to find them (or they find you), and that we know the game is in their hands.
  2. IC: Nichou [The Massif] (Many weeks prior, but also, the next day) The only thing Nichou found more beautiful about the surface than sunset was sunrise. The soft amber-pink glow that filtered through the clouds above the vanishing point of the horizon, and the rejuvenating warmth that followed, reminded the carpenter that darkness would never persist forever. It showed that change was constant and took time. It humbled himself before the vast beauty of the cosmos. The rays of light turned the frost on the grass he sat cross-legged in into sparkling dew, and nearby docile rahi began to give the landscape signs of life. The Onu-Matoran had made viewing the adieu of the stars and the greeting of the sun a part of his routine. Not only because the beauty and wonder of what could only be Mata Nui's creation never diminished in his mind, but in part due to it serving practical purposes as well. His eyesight comfortably adjusted to the sunlight as it slowly intensified. The walk outside the Massif was a good physical warm up for whatever tasks the carpenter would take on later. Quite simply, the hillside outside the sanctuary's walls was the perfect place for Nichou to ponder life's persistent questions, plan the rest of his day, and make his morning prayer. The prior day's plan to leave with Sigrus did not change this habit - if anything, it made Nichou savor the calm certainty even more, for he knew that soon, he would uproot himself yet again and return to face the unknowns. The night prior, Nichou had taken stock of his possessions, and realized how little he actually had anymore. The only thing to the carpenter's name, beyond the basic necessities and tools of his growing number of trades, was the chess set he was soon to finish carving. Nichou was ready to face his future, and he would do so travelling lightly. The only burdens he would carry would be his questions. One of those questions was the anchor holding him to the Massif, the key that Brykon had helped Nichou uncover: when was he ready to leave? Somehow, Nichou knew he would find what he was waiting for soon. As he returned to the Massif, there was a murmur that could be felt, the air crackling with an invisible excitement that the peaceful hamlet had not exhibited many times during Nichou's stay. The Onu-Matoran approached the walls, walking stick in hand. ~~~ Sigrus had spent the morning in quiet meditation perched on the rooftop of his chalet. A stone pot of tea was set at his side, long since left empty as the little cup beside it, and the steam that once ebbed from its spout had become the warm breath the monk exhaled into the crisp alpine air. It was thin that morning in the Massif even at the village level, the result of a warring between microclimates that waxed and waned—sometimes the warm, moist air of Le-Wahi bubbled up into the hills the village nestled in, and other times the chilly, swift winds of the mountain passes churned through. The latter was the case then, and the result was a churning mass of clouds that amassed beneath the village as the cold winds turned the moist jungle air into precipitation, conjuring images of a vast white seascape and making the hamlet village feel like a fishing village at the edge of land and ocean. Sigrus liked these days immensely and could get lost in the nothingness of the white expanse, reminiscing of a time when he was an innocent navigator. While he did not dwell on the past some memories were stronger than others, and rather than to try fighting them off he embraced the healthy parts to outweigh the painful, choosing to take pleasure in joy than to be burdened in pain. In the clouds he could hear the unseen work crews setting out for their tea harvesting routines, the soft clank of their shears and rakes becoming a gentle percussion to their jovial sing-song voices that grew more distant as they forced themselves to be roused through cajoling as a chorus. Sigrus pulled his heavy wool cloak tighter around his shoulders against the chill as the voices melted into the clouds and was about to end his idleness and rise when he heard rapid footsteps return—one of the workers was retracing their path in a hurry. The act was unusual, as they did not require anything to return for, their tools already in hand and supplies of sustenance waiting at their worksite. They'd usually only return to town if they encountered danger or had some news, and so it was by that assumption that the camerlengo hastened his breaking of meditation, collected his tea set, and went back into his house to meet whoever it was at his doorstep. Inevitably, if it was anything of importance, they knew to come to his abode first. As expected, a knock was at his door which Sigrus responded to after just a single rap. The worker seemed excited, not worried, and the countenance dissolved Sigrus' fears. "Good morning!" the worker said. "Thought you should know: Stannis is on the road headed here. That's all! Gotta go rejoin the gang." And with that, they were gone, leaving Sigrus standing there in his doorjamb facing the prospect of his predecessor being in town on his last day as administrator. How auspicious, yes, he surmised with amusement, and then set himself into motion as well. A moment later he was briskly walking towards the town's keep, where Brykon dwelled, and after giving the Toa-protector the news he walked back just as quick of step back to his abode in order to prepare for his own departure. It was on that way back that he ran into Nichou. "Morning, friend. Thought you'd be pleased to hear it, Stannis is headed here." Nichou's optics flared with surprise. "That's wonderful news! I'm sure he'll have many stories to tell - and Mata Nui willing, good news about Ko-Koro. If he's coming straight from there, he should be arriving at the North gate..." The Onu-Matoran waved for the camerlengo to follow. "Let's go there and greet him!" The carpenter's many tools jingled as he broke into a light jog towards the edge of the hamlet. He was excited at seeing his old friend again, yet there was a lingering apprehension from just how long it had been, and how much had changed since then. The concern lacing his anticipation was a mix of rational and irrational, and so instead of dwelling on what it meant to be on the verge of completing his quest from many months ago, Nichou focused on the path underfoot, and the beings in his path. Now wasn't the time to think. "Go on ahead. I have things to attend to but will be with shortly, yes," Sigrus chimed in response before continuing on his way. Stannis Maru's silhouetted body was visible long before his white eyes materialized from within the shrouding milky mist. He walked with a purposeful but slow shamble, Like some noble ghoul bidden to rise and march long after his campaign was finished, clearly weary yet stubborn enough not to let his sagacious visage be betrayed by injury. Of his weapons, which were usually all slung on his back like the pikes he carried as a Matoran, one was held in hand like a walking stick that punctuated his paces with a sodden plunge into the soft earth. He'd been walking all night and was looking forward to the refuge of his old home. The sooner he could settle his business, the better for everyone. He could hear the village ahead as it woke for the day. He wished for no welcoming party but anticipated one regardless, knowing there were some who considered him a hero and would drop everything to greet him. It came as a small surprise, then, that the committee consisted of just one person, then, who's stout visage became quickly clear as the veil of fog evaporated. Nichou waved to the wanderer as the Toa pierced the dreamlike fog and came into focus. The cold mist clung to the Po-Toa's form for a short time, slowly peeling away like water dripping off someone who had been swimming in a faraway shore. From Nichou's perspective, the world beyond that haze, including all of its troubles, felt mysterious again, like the island was holding its breath alongside the Onu-Matoran in anticipation of the news. Nichou's worries of Ko-Koro's state diminished as Stannis returned further within massif's aura. The Wanderer would soon dispel the fog of war as well. "Hey Stan!" he exclaimed with a warm smile. "It's been a while." And then, the most original joke ever to break the ice. "Have I shrunk, or have you gotten taller?" OOC: We'll get there when we get there... but progress is being made. We're Writing More™
  3. IC: Quoribay [Ga-Koro, Streets] As you all know, I'm not one to tell the full story to just anyone. Buy me a drink, first, geez... Naturally, I played coy. "Don't interrupt Baszlin - that's rather rude. I'm sure he has come up with an answer he's ready to tell." No, seriously, buy me a drink. C'mon...
  4. IC: Quoribay [Ga-Koro, Streets] Now, see, I was just as curious as ol' Baz-buddy was on Surdo's offer, but I also had a slight suspicion it involved me, threats of (and/or actual) violence, and some widgets - and a little more that couldn't be directly priced out into widgets - that Surdo mistakenly thought he deserved from me (the gall!) for some, uh, long stories from way-back-when that maybe I'll go into later. You know me and tangents - it's a sin that I cause over and over. Get it? Sin over Cos? None of you got that? And some people say I can't do math, Zataka's cheeks... (Did I say that right?) Where was I? Ah yes, potential threats of violence. Hence, my interjection. Dominate the verbal battlespace, as they say. "What if I told you about a job opportunity that would only require a couple days of work, where you'd gain a small fortune that could pay off any of your debts -" Yeah, I shot Surdo a glance. Even that backstabbing-scumbag-of-an-oaf-insert-expletive-of-choice-here could see the bombshell I was dropping between those lines. "- create a retirement fund rivalled only by Jaller's pension, and cement your status as a legend in the process. Would you be able to refuse that offer?"
  5. IC: Kreigero [Ko-Wahi, The Drifts] "Mata Nui..." Kreigero whispered under her breath, stumbling as she felt the impact of the dragon's nearby landing. Even the Ko-matoran felt the rapid heat loss, and subsequent frost buildup. Kreigero had hunted many Rahi... but this was something else entirely. She opened her mouth and felt the crisp air bite her, as if the heat normally bottled under her shemagh had been sapped out from beneath the huntress. "RUN!" Kreigero turned around, knowing this was their only shot to escape. She did not want to stick around to find out if this Muaka was enough to sate the dragon's appetite. She saw Savrehn nearing a break in the snow bank. That would have to do. The huntress crossed over, her whimpering Hapaka following, and saw a barren downhill slope, at least as far as she could see through the intensifying storm and the dusk light. They just needed to get out of here as fast as possible... In an act of quick thinking, the trapper threw her circular metal shield down on the powdery snow, leaving a rotund impression with a satisfying crunch. The plan was as obvious as it was unconventional. "GET ON!" Three matoran and a Hapaka would be a tight fit... but given the circumstances... ~~~ The Muaka snarled at the interruption. It was the king of the mountain, this was its hunting grounds, and the strongest of all, its dark master, had seen fit to give it the strength to defend its territory. The two infected kanohi on its shoulders were badges of honor, of power, that this interloper clearly did not respect, and would thusly be punished for. The apex predator rose up in rage and meant to descend on the dragon with its jaws, but was rebutted by the icy breath of the mystix, turning away with a sickening cry. It felt the freezing burn in its lungs and the growing frost on its pelt, yet somehow was able to pool the energy to turn back and pounce into the air towards Lainai, claws and fangs outstretched. Fight or flight: the beast knew that running was not an option, and even if it froze mid air, the inertia could carry its claws and open maw to sink into the intruder, or at least break off the rapidly-forming ice upon impact.
  6. IC: Quoribay [Ga-Koro, Streets] Can you believe this guy? Most people couldn't. But you know me - I'm not most people. ... Well, yeah, when you say it like THAT it doesn- To go Karz, and get me a fresh Salamander's while you're there. Ahem. Sorry. As I was saying, he asked Baz a question, and Baz answered. I was kinda curious about the answer of that question myself, at the time.
  7. IC: Kreigero [Ko-Wahi, The Drifts] (Inspirational listening) Kreigero thought Hikaki smelled bad on the outside. The stench and the horizon her optics had been scanning consumed her sensorium to the point where, despite her intense focus on watching for threats (or more accurately, because of it), she was surprised by Savrehn's rope tug. She returned a sharp nod. He was right. They needed to keep moving. She kept her watch from the rear, trusting Savrehn to navigate in her stead. The snowstorm continued to be unrelenting, with visibility as poor as ever. Kreigero couldn't shake the feeling that someone - or more likely, something was watching them. The trio warily tread onwards for a few minutes. Just long enough for the adrenaline and panic to almost fade. Reyal began to growl. A few moments later, a howl resonated through the air, sinking the group's heartlights. The head of a Muaka peeked out from above a high snow dune to their left. The head stood still while the neck retracted back to its dangerously snug state - bringing with it the body that was previously hiding behind the landscape in a slanky, confident trot. It immediately became evident the large furrow of snow banks the group was naturally using to take cover from the worst of the storm was just as useful to the Muaka as a bottleneck for its prey. Nearby, to the group's right, there was a break in the snow bank. The plain beyond was remarkably smooth - curving slightly downhill for as far as Savrehn could see, which was admittedly not far in the belligerent weather. "Careful! Don't let it think we'd split up," Kreigero advised sternly, her focus maintaining eye contact with the beast. She took hold of her shield in one arm and lightly thrusted her spear in the Rahi's direction as a menacing warning. "Back away slowly. Don't provoke. Be strong. We've dealt with Muaka before, right Savrehn?" Reyal growled at the Muaka and stood his ground as Kreigero continued to rapidly slap together a plan. "When - if I say to run, run. Find us a way out, Sav; Atamai and I will keep it busy."
  8. IC: Quoribay [Ga-Koro, Streets] I didn't understand this skak at first - though luckily, logic and reason prevailed (albeit with a sizeable delay, after what I can only assume was maintenance to clear the cobwebs on the ancient gears you could almost hear churning while he thought) and any potential hostilities were averted for the time being. Didn't stop the fingers on my free hand from dancing their way around behind my back. At the very least, ol' Baz asked a perfectly dumb question that allowed me to pay Surdo's coldness back in kind, while retaining my diplomatic demeanor. "Well, for example, one reason to have a pseudonym would be so friends-" all that time later, I could still nail the delivery on Surdo's accent, especially with the way he spoke just a second before. "- can keep each other at a healthy distance. Sometimes it's professional courtesy, other times it's great for keeping two groups from awkwardly mixing. Keep work and play separated, y'know?"
  9. IC: Vrill [Ko-Koro, Historical District, Wise Man's Archive] Vrill looked almost pleased with the results. At least, by Ko-Koronan standards of body language. He walked past the front desk in confident strides as the Matoran directed him to his target, swiftly arriving at the back shelves. They appeared to be overgrown with documents that were almost designed by committee specifically to be the most bland and unappealing that they possibly could be. The Cy-Toa could tell that this part of the job was going to be horrible, even for himself. Unfortunately, it was the best way to find leads in this instance, even if it risked consuming the analyst entirely. The detective wouldn't let this case end up like the last. Korzaa deserved better, especially in these times. Ko-Koro needed peace, struck by order, and order was founded on the same methodical willpower that Vrill would need to call upon in order to scour the veritable mount Ihu of legalese he was sure to encounter. The obsidian-clad Toa turned back to his guide through the literary and actuarial forest. "What are the most recent reports in there? Today? This week? This month?"
  10. IC: Quoribay [Ga-Koro, Streets] There's a common misconception about preparedness. Some say you must be prepared for everything, and I agree. To a degree. "Expect the unexpected," they say. A perfectly reasonable adage. If you're a Matoran who wants to get caught. What they don't tell you is that the fastest way to end up in a jail cell is to get someone's attention, and the fastest way to gain a guard's attention is to look suspicious. So naturally, I pose the question: what's more suspicious than being on the edge, prepared for everything? You take a Ga-Koro marine - nay, the greenest Ga-Koro marine gal possible, with the most civvie of mindsets - and walk in front of that babe while looking over your shoulder while you're trying to expect the unexpected? Say goodbye to your freedom, ####-o. Right... sorry, forgot about that. Apologies, really. Honest mistake. Uhhhh as I was - right: So, that's why the true professional chooses to let his guard down, because by letting your guard down, you are letting your guard UP (raising your guard up? yeah. raising), and not one of those mindreaders that had been swarming the city that day coulda sensed me on edge because I wasn't. Stannis Maru himself could have stared me down with those dead eyes of his and seen nothin' but the lovable rogue I am - actually, scratch that, he wouldn't see the rogue bit, so... ah, I'll need to rethink that punch line. Where was I? Sunny day. Clear skies. High humidity. An enormous fleet of women converging on the road ahead of me. Mental shields at one hundo per-cent-ay. Just little ol' me, blending in amongst the crowd in the floating city of sheeple. Clipboard under one arm. Looking like I know what I'm doing because I do. Nobody would think twice about me, and to ensure that, I wouldn't think twice about anyone else. Even thinking once was pushing it, I had to make sure I looked like the average kohlii-headed sports fan from Po-Wahi. I am dedicated to my method method of tradecraft. That's why I allowed myself to take the fall. If I went full Cirque du Solis to save myself from any potential embarrassment, that would immediately make me suspicious, maybe even lead to one of my signature chase scenes that could compromise the entirety of my fledgling enterprise. I couldn't take such a great risk so early into my greatest operation yet - there simply wasn't enough time for me to lay low to let the heat die down if I saw it coming around that corner. I couldn't risk losing my big chance to make history. So, if you ever hear that Surdo hooked me off balance with the swirly end of his cane and sent me kissing the lilypad, THAT'S the full context of why I let that happen. Karz... it was such a surprise at the time to see him, of all people, in Ga-Koro, of all places, at the start of my big job, of all times. Sometimes, I think that I should have taken that as a sign, and walked away then and there. Even a dashing hero such as myself is challenged by fate and the karmic chaos of the gods, and it is exactly those doubts that tempered me from a Matoran of iron to a Matoran of steel. None of you know how steel is made, right? Uh. So. Anyways. I picked myself off the reinforced giga-lilypad, shaking my head back and forth to clear it. Give the appearance of recalibrating myself after a fall, like I wasn't ready for it all along. I'll admit, I was blinking my optics and wondering if somehow my audio receptors had been filled with water, because I couldn't believe who I was seeing or what I was hearing. How did he know it was me? Hadn't I changed my disguise since then? New Kanohi, new armor, new paint job. Perhaps my swagger is just too recognizable? Maybe the sad truth is that even a Kanohi Suletu couldn't tarnish a face this handsome. Perhaps my fatal flaw. As I picked up my clipboard and began to stand up again, I was looking up and darting the focus of my optics between the mother- Ahem, dusterlover, pardon me - and the frankenskakdi, trying to figure out their relation. From the sounds of things at the time, so were they. "Heyyyy... pal."
  11. IC: Vrill [Ko-Koro, Historical District, Wise Man's Archive] A toa clad in blackened, obsidian-encrusted armor appeared at the threshold to the Wise Man's Archive. Vrill looked at a sign under the business's name. 'The most peaceful spot in Ko-Wahi.' Hmm... The toa of crystal entered the building and looked around at the walls of tablets, scrolls, and books. There was a Ko-Matoran with a black Ruru waiting inside. Given this was the only other being in the vicinity, it must be the owner. The eponymous 'wise man'. "Hello," the blank-staring Vrill introduced himself coldly. "I'm looking for copies of public records."
  12. IC: Quoribay [Ga-Koro, Dockyards] Even before I crossed the bay into Ga-Koro proper, it was hard to miss the new fleet. See, I'd heard of these mindreaders even before most of you lot - I'm in the know, so I didn't even need a quick rundown. But nobody told me they were ALL coming over. I tried to ignore the thought of them somehow mucking up my master plan. Luckily, none of the foreigners were on the ferry I took to Ga-Koro, where I was meticulously taking notes on my master plan, in the way that I do. The ride was short and uneventful, so I'll skip to the part where it began to go sideways, where entropy ran amok for better and for worse. So I was making my way towards the gate that anchored floating village to the shore (geez do I hate choke points, I can't even go into that right now). Little ol' me, just, y'know, strollin' down those lilypad lanes, minding my own business, and then the funniest thing happened...
  13. IC: Kreigero [Ko-Wahi, The Drifts] (Inspirational Listening) The three matoran (and singular Hapaka) gathered their muster for the next leg of their excursion. After making minor preparations and shortly quelling any doubts, they set forth once more. The trio spent the majority of that evening trudging through the accumulating snow drifts, trying to dart between the few natural landmarks wherever possible. A trail of miniature red flags grew in their wake, with Kreigero placing another just before the prior one disappeared from view in the rapid snowfall. Whenever they looked back towards their origin, they would the large footprints from their snowshoes already obscured beyond recognition, caked by countless layers of fresh, powdery crystal. Soon, all pretense of geography was stripped from the landscape by the unrelenting barrage of the growing storm. The mountainside and the sky clashed, competing for dominance over which hue of white would be the canvas of the universe around them. If it wasn't for the snow pelting them like daggers from the headwind or the hardened snow crunching beneath them, it would be impossible to tell which direction was up and which was down. A compass felt as likely an indicator of the group's direction as intuition would be. Surely the drifts would end over the next hill and the relatively peaceful ice shelf would reveal itself... if hills could even be discerned from one another. There was no outline, no depth, that could give context for their optics - only a bleached void. The supply of red flags dwindled rapidly as the frequency with which the prior flag became no longer visible increased. The comforting notion that the markers would lead them home grew quaint. The winds howled with a rage Kopaka himself could not have withstood. Kreigero was characteristically silent, but if anything, the other two matoran grew uncharacteristically quiet as the weather dominated the conversation. Shouts and whistles became the main communication medium, with even the crystalline crunching underfoot barely audible against the torrent. Eventually, the sun began to set, slowly taking the already poor visibility with it. What little purple-orange light hadn't been leeched by the clouds started to wane slightly. The winds began to carry a whisper that could chill bone. Kreigero, with her youthful energy and mastery of the Wahi, had taken point. Around her spear was tied a strand of rope, spanning several bio, which Savrehn and Atamai had taken hold of or tied around their waists. It was a precautionary measure they agreed upon as the storm had intensified, meant to prevent the group from separating unintentionally. The historian behind the tracker and the mountaineer bringing up the rear felt the rope suddenly slack - Kreigero had stopped in her tracks. When they caught up a few bio, they could more clearly saw her kneel down. The group could smell what had previously been a Hikaki before they could catch a glimpse. Even Reyal seemed personally offended by the putrid stench, the Hapaka's snout twitching and squirming in a futile attempt to recapture the sharp smell of the icy air as an alternative. The dragon lizard had been skewered across its belly, entrails displayed for all to see. Claw marks were scattered across its scaly pelt, and the snow around it had clotted into a mottled brown of dried blood. The huntress stood deathly still. She tightened her grip on her spear, letting her compatriots take in the view for themselves.
  14. We brought it back... An ancient tradition... Fan;Cast Balom BZIII;Cast In record time, the rebooted BZPRPG podcast has been recorded and edited (Under a week? What?) This pilot episode is a long one, and we'll smooth out the format and any technical difficulties as we go further, but it's a fun ride. When @Haman Karn: A Magical Girl, @Krayzikk, and I aren't referencing inside jokes, making memes, or licking batteries, we're answering many questions players have had about Zakaz's development, the lull in between Arcs, the philosophy of current day GMs regarding staff plots, player character power levels, foreign tech, and even talking about what favorite characters of yours we've been reading. Give it a listen when you have the time, and any feedback is appreciated! We're hoping to generate some discussion, and shed some light on some of the stuff that's happened behind the scenes. I want to also give a HUGE thanks to @Razgriz and @Ramona Flowers for elevating the concept of a post-reading-cold-open into another level with voice and musical talent, respectively.
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