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Certainty Only today I have found this record. After returning to Destral from my latest conquest, I decided to give myself a taste of the triumph I will feel at the culmination of my life. I, Makuta Icarax, sat in Teridax’s throne. I sit there now, a living affront against his leadership. Looking around the chamber, I see the mechanical Rahkshi and Exo-Toa looking typically emotionless, in sharp contrast to the Visorak, who look extremely nervous. While they may be concerned about the mayhem which would erupt if a brave/stupid Makuta caught me here, they are more likely experiencing the effect which my presence has on all beings. Some may shrug me off and pretend to be unfazed, but I know that they fear me like everyone else. As I collected my thoughts a few minutes ago, I absentmindedly placed my claws on the arms of the obsidian throne. I soon felt a cunningly concealed switch. After ordering all the guards out of the room, I pressed the switch, and heard a very small click. When I located the source of the sound, I found a small cavity had just opened on the side of the throne, barely visible in the dark stone. I noticed a hole which was obviously a lock. Undaunted by my lack of a key, I extended a tendril of shadow into the lock, triggering the mechanism. A slab on the side of the throne slid aside, revealing a hidden space. I reached inside and removed a number of tablets. Upon examination, I found that they were the records of Makuta Miserix. After briefly scanning the tablets, I decided that they held no practical information which I did not already know. But then I was struck by an idea: I will be the next leader of the Brotherhood. There is no doubt in my mind as to that. While Teridax seems to have been too paranoid to leave his own records, he must have found these notes. I will not be such a fool. While I am sure that, were his Plan possible, and were it too succeed, he would fabricate some history for himself, I will not be such a coward. After all, why would I fear the truth? The events I chronicle here took place only a little while ago. The Brotherhood-Dark Hunter War was waging with all its glory, and I had chosen my next target. As I stood on the bow of my warship, I scanned the looming fortress. Though shrouded in the darkness of the night, this presented no problems to my forces and I, being mostly creatures of shadow anyways. This particular fortress was millennia old, and it looked it. It would be difficult to infiltrate silently; those who would attempt to scale the walls would risk pulling down part of the treacherously unstable ruins. In addition, the stronghold took up most of the stable land on the tiny island; most of the surrounding “land” was either sea or ice. Seawater that washed up against the walls froze in the frigid air, creating a slick surface. The fortress had been originally built by a group of Toa, long dead. Sometime after construction was complete, they realized that the entire region was infested with Frostelus. Toa can be so arrogant. A few months ago, the Dark Hunters recognized the place’s strategic location and dispatched a battalion to occupy it. They had raised such fortifications as they could, but the crooks and thieves that too often make up Dark Hunter armies are unused to actually building something. As soon as sufficient Rahkshi had arrived, I began making preparations for my assault. I sent a group which possessed stealth-related powers to infiltrate the fortress. As I looked up at the ramparts, I finally saw what I was looking for. Silhouettes of guards crumpled as they were struck from behind by my covert Rahkshi. I pointed my sword at the fortress, and mentally issued a command to move forward. My reptilian soldiers and Rahi silently obeyed and moved forward as one, beginning to scale the fortress. Meanwhile, I would assault the front. This would be suicide for any other being, but I am not any other being- I am Makuta Icarax. Spreading my bat-like wings, I glided up to the rampart and clung to the side. “Ugh! I’m out here freezing, while the boss is nice and warm in there!” complained a guard. Peering over the wall, I identified him as a member of the ruling species of Stelt. “ ‘Stay alert,’ he says! ‘Keep your weapon ready,’ he says! As if a Makuta would come to this wreck! Curse that piraka of an overseer! The Shadowed One ought to-” He froze as he realized his words could be taken as criticism of his overlord. Seeing no one around but a member of Stelt’s servile species, he continued ranting. “And furthermore- ACK!” he coughed as spray from an especially large wave caught him in the mouth. “I’m DRENCHED! ‘Course the boss doesn’t care, being a fish!” I’d had enough. I grabbed the collar of his armor and pulled him off the ledge and into the sea. The brute lumbered over to investigate the sound of the splash, and saw me as I clambered over the rampart. He bellowed with rage and charged towards me. I bent forward and, using his own momentum, catapulted him over my shoulder. He fell into the sea with a satisfying “plunk”. I charged my blade with Fragmentation energy before slamming it into the rampart. As the wall collapsed in a cloud of dust, I sprang clear of the explosion, and called upon my control of Gravity to gently float to the ground. After clearing a space in the rubble using my power of Molecular Disruption, I stepped into the fortress itself, and then re-sealed my makeshift entrance. No one would get out that way. As I made my way down the main corridor, it quickly became apparent that the Dark Hunters had discovered my troops, as I cut down Hunters as they attempted to flee. Vermin. I thought about those first two guards as I proceeded down the passageway. The first had been more intelligent than the second, but his physical weakness had distracted him from my presence. The brute, on the other hand, had been superbly powerful physically, yet his mental capacity had led to his downfall. Neither would have made the other’s mistake. I, however, had exploited both their weaknesses to ensure victory. For a moment I reflected on what makes a great warrior. For much of my existence, I have struggled to pinpoint the elusive characteristics a warrior should possess. I am certain that I am a great warrior, hence my quest to define the perfect warrior is a quest to define myself. I know one quality of a true warrior should not have: impracticality. Teridax is a prime example. That fool wastes time and resources on useless schemes. He gambles the entire universe on a lunatic scheme! My train of thought had reached this point when I arrived in what was clearly the fortress' central chamber. The room was impressively large, and presumably was originally some kind of strategy or command center. Now, however, it was chaos. Energy bolts, weapons, and even beings hurtled across the room. My forces were pushing the Hunters back, but some had managed to make a stand. I knew from experience that that group must have been urged on by a particularly fearsome leader. As I scanned the room for such a being, I spotted a movement out of the corner of my eye. A scrawny Hunter tried to make a run for the door which I had just come out of. Before I could kill him, a spiny whip wrapped around his ankle, tripping him. He was immediately set upon by a Lerahk. The Poison Rahkshi, in turn, collapsed with a thrown knife in its leg. I looked around to find the being responsible. I looked at him. He looked at me. His reputation had, in fact, reached my ears. I had once heard another Makuta complain about the disruption he caused to trade in his region. Of course, I had no intention of letting him know he had reached the notice of Makuta. “Hello, Makuta,” he hissed. “I’m sorry, but I didn’t catch your name,” I responded nonchalantly. “Amphibax, and what of yours?” he asked. “Why would sea-scum like you deserve to know it?” He knew I was baiting him, and I knew he knew. Therefore, I was surprised even more when he hurled a knife at my head. I easily sidestepped it, but Amphibax had already dashed forward, making up the distance between us. We did not speak as we fought; the clash of our blades spoke plenty. However, he stood no chance. With a neat flick of my sword, I knocked away the knife he held, and I quickly formed bonds of shadow around him. He gasped for breath as I constricted the shadow tendrils, when suddenly they writhed and flickered, allowing him to slip free. I was too astonished to react for a second, giving my new attacker the opportunity to encircle me with a wall of flames. I shoved a blast of Vacuum power in the direction I thought Amphibax was, clearing the fire away from me. I saw a bulky suit of armor covered in flames, thrashing about. Then it aimed its claws at its torso, and created water which extinguished the flames. The being stepped out of the cloud of smoke. I groaned inside. I recognized this Dark Hunter, and it figured that I would be fighting one of Teridax’s mistakes. “You’re welcome,” Kraata-Kal snapped at Amphibax. I merely scowled, and hurled bolts of lightning at both. They barely managed to escape the potentially lethal attack. Kraata-Kal, his smugness gone, cast successive blasts of water and fire at my feet, creating a nearly opaque cloud of steam. Calling upon my Adaption power, I dramatically improved my sense of hearing just in time to hear the whistling of an incoming blade. I stepped back just in time to avoid Amphibax’s claws, and I then spun around to parry Kraata-Kal’s blade. For some time this went on, as I defended myself but was unable to find an opening to attack. Then, I found my opportunity. Both lunged towards me at the same time, even as I twisted to the side. It was all they could do not to impale each other. I rammed Kraata-Kal with the flat side of my Rotating Shadow Blades, shoving him onto Amphibax. As they wearily struggled to their feet, I laughed. I was just getting started. Now I was on the offensive, and it took all of the Dark Hunter’s skill just to survive. Finally both seemed ready to collapse from exhaustion, when I noticed something. It was almost nighttime. Without realizing it, I had fought for the entire day. I decided that I had better finish this battle. It was somewhat embarrassing that this group of scoundrels had held out for so long against the might of the Brotherhood. I had, until now, refrained from using mental attacks out of a desire to hone my skill in hand-to-hand combat, something which required much more practice to maintain than telepathy. But now it was time to strike without mercy. My mental attack tore through the duo’s minds as they screamed in agony. Then I heard him. “Having fun?” “Teridax?” I asked with astonishment. “Who else? I have work for you,” “You’ll have to make an appointment,” I thought as I closed off my mind. “You would do well not to ignore this, unless you want me to deliver on my promise.” I grimaced, remembering the humiliation I had suffered at his hands. I admit, I was surprised that he was able to break through my mental defenses at such a distance. After putting up significantly stronger shields, I thought for a moment. I decided to find out what he wanted before acting. As much as I longed to kill him, he was far away and I didn’t even know what he was trying to do. I knew his Plan (or at least, what he had told the Brotherhood), and whatever he was asking didn’t seem to be part of it. “Finished brooding? I want you to retrieve my mask.” “What?” “You’ll find it in the Silver Sea, outside Mangaia.” I had no idea how he had lost his mask, but I sensed there might be a story behind this which he had no intention of telling me. I paced a little, turning my back to Amphibax and Kraata-Kal as I considered his offer. But as I considered the prospect of discovering some embarrassment of Teridax’s, I decided to go to Metru Nui. “Fine. I’ll get it.” “I knew you’d realize who the superior being was.” He always knew what to say to enrage me the most. I always hated him for it. I sensed his mental presence vanish as he broke off our telepathic conversation. I turned around. Amphibax and Kraata-Kal were gone. The battle was still going on, but those two were what mattered. They were the only Dark Hunters of significance here. These others- they knew nothing, they were worth NOTHING. I could hear nothing. My vision was tinged with red. I screamed. I struck left and right at anything that moved. I didn’t care what. It was Teridax’s fault. He had cheated me again, and everything that breathed would pay the price. When I came back to my senses, I was surrounded by wreckage. Twisted metal, rubble, and even a pool of molten metal occupied much of the land once taken up by the fortress. I was not too exhausted, due to my Mask of Scavenging. The thought reminded me of Teridax. I did not rage again, luckily for the few beings of both sides who had either hidden or fled. My face was twisted into a smile, as I decided what I would do. Now, I sit on Teridax’s throne, wearing Teridax’s mask. After retrieving the Kraahkan, I fetched the Staff of Artakha for him. That particular tangent does not seem to have gone anywhere. Teridax is insane. This is the end of his reign. I will no longer accept his orders. He deals in murkiness, obscurity, and deception. How could such a being ever be a stable ruler? He has ordered the most skilled Makuta in combat to assault Karda Nui, the universe’s core. We are completely overqualified for this task. A Makuta has the power to crush an army. It does not take eight of us to fight a handful of Matoran and Toa. I will not be an accessory to this madness. I have refused his command and live in clear rebellion. I expect that when I write my next entry in this chronicle, I will be writing as uncontested ruler of the Brotherhood. Icarax replaced the tablet inside the throne. After examining the mechanism for a second, he reengaged the lock. Only the sharpest eyes could tell that the pitch-dark throne was any different. He thought about Teridax, about the Brotherhood, about his ambitions. He was still for a long time. A twisted Matoran would soon interrupt his thoughts. He would be convinced to change his plans. Icarax would leave Destral, and his hidden record. When he traveled to Karda Nui, he headed to triumph and conquest. Of that, he was absolutely certain.
~A BZPRPG Side-Story~ Memoirs I have been ... experiencing uneasy feelings these past few weeks. My formerly sharp mind has been clouded, and I cannot make sense of anything. It is disturbing, to possess such helplessness. I am unable to comprehend why I am so distracted, and none of my ... compatriots can either. This memoir has been written in the hopes that somebody may be able to assist me with dealing with my problem.Exactly twenty-four days and five hours ago, I began to suffer from urges to cause the destruction of my surroundings, such as the headquarters. It is usual for one to report to a superior any problems one may face in the line of duty, so I did so, explaining my circumstances to my Squadron Leader. She recommended that I take some time off-duty, citing my, in her own words, 'workaholic tendencies' as a possible reason for my problems. I attempted to protest this, for it would reduce the number of active beings in the squadron available to deal with problems, but she turned it into an order, so I was grudgingly forced to obey.It did not help in any way.During the three days in which I took time off-duty, I was still plagued by the urges. No matter what I tried to do, they would still continue to pester me. My attempts to listen to the music of the Le-Matoran lead to the urges wanting me to kill everything in the vicinity. My interactions with an up-and-coming rookie were endlessly entwined with an urge to repeatedly stab and dismember the other guard. Even the simple task of travelling within the elevators of the village caused the urges to flare up, telling me to collapse the entire system.I was close to breaking point, so I turned to a being I despised with every fibre of my being, yet was possibly one of the very few who could help me with my problem.Toa Iegasa was the epitome of the perfect guardsman. He was polite, calm and rational, and was an incredibly competent fighter. He treated everyone he met with respect, so was considered the perfect choice to become the liaison between the Ta-Koro Guard and the Gukko Force. He was also very ruthless, lacking a sense of justice and capable of doing anything to get a criminal arrested, no matter how wrong his decisions were.Yet I would require his deep understanding of a sapient being's psyche.When I found him, he was slowly manipulating plasma around his hands, hoping to heat a cup of tea from a distance without evaporating the precious liquid or melting the cup. As I approached, he had looked up, ending his attempts in order to address me.Oh how I hated that polite smile and those kind pink eyes. Oh how I despised how he could hide such ruthlessness behind that charming persona."Greetings, my friend," he had said that day, standing up to his full height to talk to me. "What brings you to my humble abode?"It took all my willpower at that very moment in order to not assault him. Yet it would be a just thing to do; punching him, for it would at least allow the law to find even the tiniest measure of peace after everything he had done."I wish to acquire ... your services," I had replied, my tone clipped and tense.As I uttered those words, he kindly gestured for me to take a seat, leaning back down into his own chair, pouring me a cup of tea as well. It would have been ... impolite to not accept his offers, and so I complied, allowing myself to follow his instructions and drink the tea he had poured. No matter how much I loathe to admit it, his tea was absolutely marvellous, its own flaw being the fact that Iegasa had been the one to make it."I suppose you have a very urgent problem then, to actually ask for my help," he remarked, as if reading my mind, leading to me opening my mouth in shock. "Oh don't give me that look. I know of your intense dislike of my methods and I. It is understandable though. Our mindsets clash strongly with each other."He continued to sip his cup of tea for several silent seconds, before putting it down onto the small table. The expression on his face changed, now becoming somewhat more serious."Except, we are not actually that different at all. You and me, we are both very similar to each other, don't you think?"If I had not required his help, or if I had not followed the Toa Code religiously, I would have killed him at that very moment, no matter the consequences."Iegasa," I said, barely managing to stop myself from growling out the words. "I have not come here to engage in petty conversation. My mind is clouded, I cannot make sense of anything, and I am getting urges that go against my very nature!"I had stood up, knocking my cup of tea off the table, ignoring the mug shattering upon impact and the splashing of the liquid. Rage had overcome my logical mind, a sign of my problems, and I was close to leaving and finding someone else to help me."My dear friend," said Iegasa quietly, his expression unidentifiable. "I apologise for any inconveniences I have caused you, but please, calm down and let us discuss in a gentlemanly fashion, without any rude interruptions."The rage cleared as I grudgingly agreed with him, slowly sitting down once more. I was embarrassed to have been affected by such anger. It seemed as if my problems were greater than I had previously believed. Very rarely had I ever flown into such a rage, and it usually took much more to actually cause me to do so."Now, I have three theories for your current behaviour and problems," he said, holding up his hand in what others would label 'The Iegasa Exposition Pose'. "Firstly, you may be stressed from all the work you have been doing. Excellent job by the way, but you should not place more importance on your work than on your own mental wellbeing."I was sorely tempted to try and punch him when he mentioned my workaholic tendencies. I could handle references to it from my compatriots in the squadron, but having an outsider do so was incredibly irritating.Ignoring my glares, he continued to speak, telling me of his other theories."Secondly, it could be that you have been exposed to some rather stressful situations recently."At that time, I had remembered that there had been several controversial and stress-inducing incidents that had occurred only a week prior to my talk with Iegasa. His mention of how I may have been affected by them was logical, and I immediately began to consider them the source of my problem, and I would have reluctantly thanked him for his time and left, but then he uttered his third theory."For my final theory, it is possible that you possess sub-conscious desires to bring destruction, death and despair to the world at large."It was at this point when I began to laugh, no matter how irrational it was."That is an absolutely ridiculous theory!" I had shouted. "You are delusional! I am an ally of justice, a bringer of law and order! There is no way that I would ever want to bring such chaos to this island!""Oh you shouldn't be so sure of that," he had whispered, a ghost of a smile present on his face. "Remember, we are not so different."I had ignored his words, deeming him useless, and promptly stalked out of his hut, angrily heading back towards the Gukko Force headquarters to resume my work once more. It seemed as if spending some time off-duty had worsened my problems, and the visit to Iegasa had strained my patience beyond all measure. I was in a terrible mood that day, and my mood would not improve for the rest of the week.It was ten days after my meeting with Iegasa when I had much of my faith in justice and the law shattered into millions of fragments. I had already knew that every Guard on the island had its own secrets, its own dark side, its own injustice. Iegasa was an example of that dark side. Yet I had not expected to truly experience it in my lifetime, and I definitely not expected a glimpse into the darkness while I was already affected by my clouded mind and problems.My squadron leader had asked me to supervise the questioning of a certain infamous criminal, due to my recent assignment to the Interrogation department a few weeks back. It was to be my first time in charge of a questioning, and despite my clouded mind and less self-control, I was confident that I would be able to handle it with ease. Nothing would be able to get in my way, and I would be able to allow justice to be done for the victims of the criminal.Oh how wrong I was.It was not a questioning, but a mere excuse for my fellow guards to take out their frustrations on the prisoner. He would be beaten over and over again, yet never to the point of unconsciousness, the others wanting him to feel all the pain they provided him with. They used so many implements in the torture; some that I could not even name. All I could do was watch them attack the criminal, my mouth wide open in shock as I took in the scene in front of me.I could not react to the screams of the prisoner, who cried for them to stop. No matter how severe the crimes he had done, he did not deserve such torture. The law called for him to be tried in a court and given a sentence, not beaten repeatedly during what was supposed to be a simple interrogation. Yet they did not stop, and I continued to watch, failing to raise a hand to stop the madness.When they had gotten bored of attacking him, my fellow guards killed the prisoner, which would have been a great relief to him. They soon left to report to our superiors, and I was told to repeat their excuse: the prisoner had attempted to escape, and lethal force was required to stop him.There was no way for me to disagree, a member of the questioning team managing to outrank me. I could only keep quiet and nod.I never spoke of this experience to anyone, having lost absolute faith in the guard. I knew there were still those who were paragons of virtue, keeping law and order around the village, but they would probably be a minority, with such corruption present. My mental state had begun to worsen even more after that event, and several other stressful incidents did not help in any way whatsoever.The urges kept coming. They told me to ruin everything, kill everyone, destroy all.As I write at this very moment, the urges continue to plague me. I cannot escape from them, so I must try and endure for as long as I can. I have made a decision to retire in a week or so, and I have voiced these thoughts to my squadron leader. She is sad to see me go, but she is understanding, knowing that I am rather stressed. I hope that my replacement will be as efficient as I am, and I wish luck to my squadron in the future.Yet my superiors have given me one last mission before I retire in a week's time. I have been sent once more to supervise another interrogation. I dearly hope that this one will go peacefully, for I wish to do justice one more time before I leave the guard forever. I am already at my breaking point, so it would be difficult if the questioning is similar to my prior one.For now, I shall end this memoir, and head over to headquarters to being the interrogation. ~~~ Six hours after the completion of this piece of writing, Flight Lieutenant Darylhii, without any prior warning, attacked the other eight guards present at the questioning. One was immediately knocked unconscious by a blow to the head, while two others had their limbs dismembered. The remaining five managed to put up a fight, one calling for aid, which, due to the shortage of available guards, arrived in the form of a single being, Private Naona, Darylhii's protege.Yet the guards were unable to put up much of a fight against Darylhii, three ending up stabbed repeatedly, while another was killed when the Lieutenant cracked open his skull. Private Naona along with the remaining interrogator managed to fend him off for several minutes, before he quickly fled, able to impale the Toa of Stone to a wall in a process.The only being at the scene able to move decided to call for medical support, but five more had already died from blood loss. The first interrogator to be taken out managed to recover quickly, only suffering from a minor concussion, but Private Naona was forced to undergo intensive surgery for two months after the event.Addendum: Three days after the event, Captain Iegasa left Le-Koro for Ta-Koro once more, where he suddenly decided to retire. He refuses to comment on his decision.
On the island of Odina, a grand fortress once stood. It had been terrifying not only in size and complexity, but also in reputation and legend. But now, in its place a solitary figure stood instead. She could not help but observe the debris and wreckage with a smug air of superiority. In her clawed hand, she held a single stone tablet. It was titled "Black Diamonds": Some beings foolishly carry around the superstition that finding a black diamond is bad luck. I have means to prove why that belief holds true for everyone but me. You see, I am fortunate to have my own assembly of these 'black diamonds' at my disposal. And while they wreak havoc and ill fortune on others, never have they brought me sour luck, quite the contrary, in fact. Let me clarify.To be as cold as the Knowledge Tower crystals, and to be as dark as Karzahni's heart, to be as callous and unfeeling as a stone, yet brilliant and accurate like lightning; all of these can be attributed to a black diamond. Yet, at the same time, that description matches my Dark Hunters. Each agent on the roster, with his or her own history, found in the rough and brought to me by a twist of fate. Some came here as nothing more than clods of dirt, and others dull and lifeless. Training and lifestyle here doubtlessly cut and polished my Hunters individually, working them to perfection. Missions and operations carried out under my name can be fulfilled with me trusting that I'm being represented respectably. Agents can be showcased under my authority, making it known that the Dark Hunters are not a force to be overlooked. Perhaps the best thing about black diamonds is that they are nature's immortals, taking forever to form and an even longer forever to fade. Even though we are all mortal, our legacy is not. -The Shadowed One The figure dropped the tablet to the ground, watching silently as it shattered. She had a long, complicated history in which the Dark Hunters were entwined. It was almost revenge served sweet and cold, standing here in the remains of her enemy's stronghold. She only wished its fall had been by her doing. Although the one to whom she was speaking had no way of hearing her words, Roodaka spoke them regardless, as she crushed the shards of tablet beneath her heel."You fool. I thought everyone knew that black diamonds are nothing but coal."