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BZPRPG - Ko-Wahi


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#241 Offline Jenny Quantum

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Posted Dec 11 2013 - 12:31 AM

Ic: "Ambages," he said as he pulled Tamara's hand to his lips and graced them with a quick kiss. "At your service."

 

His face went from bright and polite to a more somber note. "Unfortunately, that is true. Matoro was a friend and a true leader and his death leaves me with more than a weight in my heart -- as his Hand, responsibility of ruling Ko-Koro falls on my shoulders until we have a new akiri. I... I trust Ko-Koro has your village's support as we go through this dark period anew?" he inquired.

 

He was not behind Matoro's death, so his suspicions were on everyone, even other village leaders and his fellow Peers (who were very much capable of making their own plots and even threaten his own agenda). Because of this, he felt it was prudent to be cautious in his dealing with Tamara. Why wouldn't a minor akiri of a small but relatively lucrative village want to get a promotion and rise to true akiri of Ko-Koro? He couldn't tell how it could be done, but anyone and everyone was a potential enemy, and Ambages kept his enemies closer than his friends -- which was why Kaccio was on the other end of the hall and Tamara was very near to the Hand. And if Ihu-Koro was not a player in the game for the throne it would still be a useful commodity for his little empire of knowledge.

 

Ambages waited for the akha's reply.


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#242 Offline Geisthande

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Posted Dec 11 2013 - 07:08 PM

IC: Kiara

 

The Vortix pulled out a bag.

 

"The money is in here, though I have an extra proposition."

 

IC (Zadron)

 

Zadron eyed the bag, then Kiara.

 

"And what would that be?" he asked warily.  "You may not have noticed, but this isn't a safe place for people like us to be right now."


Edited by Ghosthands, Dec 11 2013 - 07:08 PM.

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#243 Offline Aurora the cat

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Posted Dec 11 2013 - 07:30 PM

IC: Kiara

 

I 'accidentally' dropped the contents of one of my, less shady bags.  The assassin knelt down to help.  Keeping my voice down to a low whisper, I said,

 

"I need out of the city.  Quickly."


Edited by Aurora the cat, Dec 11 2013 - 07:30 PM.

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#244 Offline Geisthande

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Posted Dec 12 2013 - 05:32 AM

IC (Zadron)

 

Zadron looked up from gathering the dropped objects with a raised eyebrow.

 

"Every usual route out of the city is being watched by the Guard," he said.  "But...I happen to know of a couple of unusual ones.  I can help you get out of here - for, of course, a price."


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#245 Offline Falcon Lord

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Posted Dec 12 2013 - 06:31 AM

IC (Illofarn, Ko-Wahi drifts, 1.9 Kio from the 45th Flag):

Illofarn trudged through the snow, his shield and bracer-blade on his back.

The silver of his armour gleamed in the chilling air.

He walked towards the base of his latest employer, who had an interesting job for him.

OOC: Illofarn is back!

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#246 Offline Aurora the cat

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Posted Dec 12 2013 - 09:13 AM

IC:  Kiara

 

I picked up a small notebook,"I think that could be negotiated."


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#247 Offline Geisthande

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Posted Dec 12 2013 - 11:23 AM

IC (Zadron)

 

"Good," the assassin replied.  "But I warn you - it's not a question of money.  No, what I want is information."

 

He placed the last item in her hand and stood up.

 

"I want to know who and what these Company people are," he said.  "And if you want out of here, you're going to have to tell me."


Edited by Ghosthands, Dec 12 2013 - 11:24 AM.

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#248 Offline Aurora the cat

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Posted Dec 12 2013 - 11:37 AM

IC:  Kiara

 

"Your lucky that you are my only way out here.  I accept your terms, but I will tell you once we are out of the city."


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#249 Offline Psychopomp Virithri

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Posted Dec 12 2013 - 12:51 PM

IC: Mayixa

 

It had been a delicious cup of cider, though he was slightly saddened that his company had needed to leave so quickly. he was certain that she was starting to see the Truth hidden behind the lies of the False Spirit. But now, he wasn't quite sure what to do. He could continue preaching to the village in hopes that someone would hear and understand, or he could try another village, and perhaps find a much better reception to the Great and Glorious One.

 

Then he felt a slithering hiss echo through his mind, before a booming voice roared through his thoughts. "One more day. Then will be the time to leave."

 

As quickly as it had appeared, the voice of the Holy Neroxidecost vanished from his mind. But he knew now that he must continue his preaching for another day. Walking up to the corner of a street, he began once again to preach the glories of Neroxidecost.


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#250 Offline Geisthande

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Posted Dec 15 2013 - 05:14 PM

OOC: Korero, Leah and Sulov from Le-Wahi

 

IC (Korero)

 

Three figures materialised in the Ko-Koro Sanctum, white light reflecting momentarily off the symbol-covered walls.  Korero looked around, his eyes taking in the familiar vaulted room.  It had barely changed since his days as a novice scribe; those days were at once so recent and so long ago.

 

They weren't the happiest memories.  But it felt good to stand here, with destiny-given stature, strong and confident, in a place where he had done anything but fit in.

 

"It's this way," he said, leading his fellows towards Korzaa's office.


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#251 Offline Shaquille O'Kaithas

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Posted Dec 15 2013 - 10:52 PM

IC: Tamara blocked out the blush that nearly formed, not quite used to this manner of treatment.

 

Ihu-Koronans tended to be a rowdy bunch, and were certainly not near as civil as Ambages.

 

"Your village has our full support in this manner, as long as Ko-Koro's actions don't stand to destroy Ihu. I'd be lying if I said that we weren't at all interested in who the next Akiri is going to be, but I'm fairly certain that's a concern of the entire island right now."


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#252 Offline Jenny Quantum

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Posted Dec 16 2013 - 03:51 AM

Ic: "On behalf of the city, I appreciate your village's support as we ensure this strife," Ambages graced Akha Tamara. "And I assure you, so long as your village rests in the shadow of Mt. Ihu you will have no need to fear damaging consequences from Ko-Koro -- of that you have my word."

 

The Hand glanced at Tamara's note and quickly added, "But of course, I won't prevent you from meeting Captain Korzaa. Please, go on in if you wish; she's probably waiting for you. If you need anything from me just ask, but for now I should rest and rise early tomorrow to rule until this crisis is solved. Good night," Ambages said and bowed courteously before leaving.

 

He placed Matoro's on his cabin before making his way to his apartment for the night.

 

Ooc: To preserve a timeline already set in part Ambages is going to sleep. His next post should occur in the morning to coincide with the Maru's arrival.


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"You speak of the realm of kings."

"No – I speak of the realm of gods."

 

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#253 Offline Geisthande

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Posted Dec 18 2013 - 11:02 AM

IC:  Kiara

 

"Your lucky that you are my only way out here.  I accept your terms, but I will tell you once we are out of the city."

 

IC (Zadron)

 

"Good," said Zadron.  "Now let's get moving.  And try not to draw any attention."

 

The assassin led Kiara through the cold streets, passing the occasional Sanctum Guard patrol (who ignored them, thankfully) and eventually reached another alley, not unlike the first.  Zadron's sharp eyes scanned the area for any onlookers.  Finding none, he sprang up, grabbing the edge of a nearby roof and hauling himself up.

 

Having helped Kiara climb onto the cold surface, he pointed down to a doorway on the wall across from the other side of the building on which they stood.  It was flanked by a brace of guards.

 

"That," he said in an undertone, "is an entrance to the tunnels under the village.  It's our way out of here."

 

He stared at the two guardsmen, on either side of the door.  A Ko-Toa and a Ko-Lesterin, both carrying spears.  The Toa wore a Hau; the Lesterin was maskless.  Looking up, he saw a ledge just above the guards - and they were standing far enough from the wall for a being to drop down behind them.

 

"Right, here's the plan," Zadron continued.  "Two of them, two of us.  I'll take the Toa, you take the Lesterin.  We climb along to that ledge there, quiet as possible, then drop and take them out.  A stranglehold should do the trick - just enough to cut off their air and knock them out.  No point killing them unless we have to.  Got it?"


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#254 Offline Aurora the cat

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Posted Dec 18 2013 - 11:35 AM

IC: Kiara

 

I looked at the ledge warily.  If we came down to fast the guards could hear us, and get a head start.  Her eye checked around for a different solution.  There was none in sight.

 

This plan would just have to due.

 

I shook my head in agreement, and began to follow after Zadron, silently stepping onto the ledge.

 

OOC: Question, are we allowed to take out guards like this?


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#255 Offline Baltarc

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Posted Dec 18 2013 - 03:46 PM

IC: Koloktos

 

Dead.

 

The Akiri is dead.

 

The leader of the people I am bound to protect, the man for whose protection I swore willingness to give my life, has been stabbed through the throat with a chisel.

 

This is an insult. An insult to me, an insult to the Sanctum Guard. An insult to Ko-Koro.

 

The Akiri is dead.

 

There will be blood.

 

<> 

 

 

I’m not entirely sure why Korzaa thought it would be a good idea to set the whole of the Guard force prowling through the streets in the middle of the night. I respect Korzaa, of course, I really do, and I tend to agree with her decisions more often than not. But honestly, what did she think this would accomplish?

 

The soft mutter of some choice words from my left told me that my partner felt the same way. “It’s almost dawn,” Vria said, glancing at the sky. “Haven’t found any suspects, no evidence…” She spat to the side. Her saliva froze in midair, shattering upon impact with the frigid ground. “In this weather, too. Not that that matters to you.”

 

“No indeed.” I shined my flashlight around the corner of whatever building we were walking past.

 

The eyepieces on her Akaku rotated momentarily. “Clear.”

 

We walked on.

 

<> 

 

It was midmorning before we found anything of interest. Though the sun had fully risen, the streets were only slightly less empty than they had been hours before. The day was cold – unusually so, I mean. A stiff wind blew through the city, carrying with it flurries of wayward snow. Vria wiped a few of the white flecks off of her lenses as she glanced through the walls to the next alleyway. “Cl– Wait.” The eyepieces rotated again. “There’s someone … a Matoran, looks like, lying on the ground–”

 

I rounded the corner cautiously, prepared to draw my crossbow if necessary, but it seemed I need not have worried. The Matoran in question was quite clearly dead; his stiff corpse was already nearly buried beneath the newly fallen snow. “Great,” I muttered as Vria knelt to check for a pulse that clearly wasn’t there. “Another homicide. Just what we needed.”

 

“Doesn’t look like a homicide to me,” Vria said, standing. “More like a homeless beggar who froze–”

 

“Well, yes, but we have to treat it–”

 

“And besides,” she continued, “who was it that’s been complaining about how boring everything is around here?”

 

“Mm.”

 

OOC: Two things, in case they weren't clear: 1) Vria is an NPC, and 2) This is the body of Matoro's killer, though of course no one knows this IC.


Edited by Baltarc, Dec 18 2013 - 03:59 PM.

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#256 Offline Geisthande

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Posted Dec 18 2013 - 04:59 PM

OOC: As long as we don't make it too easy, Ora.  If you read the rules, you'l notice that FT's Common Sense Guide has a fair bit to say about NPCs like guards.  We are allowed to take them out, but for it to be acceptable it generally helps if a) you write it well - not just a single line like 'Zadron punched the guard in the face, knocking him out' and b) you either make it look like a fair fight, or have a good plan

 

In this case, we're going for the 'plan' approach.  It's a simple plan (and I did admittedly take a few liberties with the placement of the guards etc) but it's a lot better than just running up to the guards and one-hit-killing them.  Of course, players with permission to control the guards (such as EW and Visaru) are free to make things more difficult for us...:P

 

IC (Zadron)

 

The two Vortixx skirted stealthily along the ledge until each was above their allotted guard.  Zadron looked to Kiara, and held up three fingers, lowering them one by one.

 

Three, two, one.

 

On 'one', the assassin leaped down, landing silently behind the Ko-Toa.  He was clearly practiced at stealth.

 

Expecting Kiara to do the same, he moved like a striking Nui-Jaga, grabbing the Toa's weapon arm with one hand and hooking the other forearm around his throat and pulling hard.  The guard's eyes and mouth opened wide in shock, but with his windpipe pressed shut by Zadron's arm he was unable to make a sound.  Panicked hands pulled at the assassin's grip, but the wiry Vortixx was too strong.  Zadron felt a chill in his arm as the Toa desperately tried to freeze him off him, but to no avail.  Soon, the struggling weakened, and the guard went limp.

 

The assassin released him, lowering him slowly to the ground - breathing, but not waking up any time soon.  He looked to his left to see whether Kiara had been as successful.


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#257 Offline Aurora the cat

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Posted Dec 18 2013 - 05:37 PM

OOC:  I was referring to the placement of the guards, but ok.  And don't talk about EW & Visaru, you might jinx it.

 

IC: Kiara

 

Three, two, one.

 

As soon as he had stopped counting, I hit the ground, making as little noise as possible.  I put an arm around the face of the Lesterin.  He made a made a muffled cry and wiggled around aimlessly.  I was lucky that his weapon didn't hit the ground.

 

A few seconds later, and his flailing stopped.

 

I laid him on the ground, watching, his chest move up and down, as he breathed for air.  He wasn't getting up soon, I hoped.  Slowly, I turned my head to look at the assassin, and murmured, "Lets move."


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#258 Offline Rhaegar Targaryen

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Posted Dec 18 2013 - 06:57 PM

IC: (Sukot urn Voyuk/Outside Sanctum/Ko-Koro)

 

Assigning himself to guard the Sanctum was quite a smart move. Being outside meant he had time to flee or intervene if a battle erupted inside its walls. Sukot liked to keep his options open. It was how he kept himself wealthy all this time.

 

His eyes scanned the steps above him, as well as the streets below. His Patero launcher pointed neutrally to the ground. Not that he would need it, not now. The roads that criss-crossed the Koro were bare and empty, aside from the marching patrols of Guards. Carts, of food and trinkets, sat unmanned and motionless. The Ko-Matoran had chosen to hole up in their homes and pubs. Made his job a heckuva lot easier.


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#259 Offline Smaug the Terrible

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Posted Dec 18 2013 - 09:31 PM

IC:

 

Despite the rapid change of climate for the group, Leah smiled a little as Korero drew on his local knowledge of Ko-Koro to unerringly lead them through the building, probably confusing the guards ever so slightly with the Le-Toa in the lead. It wasn't a particularly large smile though and last just a few seconds before the reason for their presence took over occupied her mind completely again. 

 

"Good. The sooner we can cast light onto this darkness, the better."

 

----------------------------

 

The two cloaked Toa moved quietly down the streets, walking side by side with purpose in their strides. That was not the only thing noticeable about the way they carried themselves at the moment though. Ko-Koro's streets were busy. Not busy in the way it was when there was a market being held though. The cold, clear air was filled with the sounds of snow crushed under armored heels and the soft rattling of metal plates and weaponry being carried around by guards. The whole of the Koro seemed to be up in arms - and for good reason. 

 

And in order to blend in, Taleen and Widgets had adopted the same mannerisms and walk within a few minutes of stepping outside of Rahnus' inn. Despite their atypical attire, they were barely noticed, moving the same way the other guards did. Still, they kept off the most busy paths and made their way to the outlying houses. That was where the architect lived.

 

The traveler glanced at Taleen. "Ready to do your thing?" he asked as the apartment building came into view.


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#260 Offline Princess Anna of Arendelle

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Posted Dec 18 2013 - 09:57 PM

IC: Taleen

 

Taleen adjusted her belt one last time before looking back at Widgets and giving him a confident smirk. "I'm always ready." With a final glance and a wink she parted ways with her companion, continuing forward towards the gate.

 

As expected, their were guards standing around the gate, watching for possible intruders. They noticed Taleen almost immediately, though she made no effort to hide herself as she strolled up to them. 

 

"Hey there!" She called to them all friendly and helpful-like, as if she was still some rookie-Toa on her own for the first time. "I'm sorta new to this whole being-a-Toa thing...so forgive me if this is a bit greenhorn of me but...are you guys hiring by any chance? I'm sorta between jobs and I heard you guys were looking for recruits..." She hoped they'd buy it, at least long enough to allow Widgets to do his thing. 


Edited by Yoko Littner, Dec 18 2013 - 09:58 PM.

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#261 Online Kughii

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Posted Dec 18 2013 - 09:58 PM



IC: Ishi Polzin

A fog covered the window. It was ovoid, and as Ishi looked past his heated breath on the cold glass he saw the small group of guards crunching through the hard packed snows, spear tips glistening in the night. The crackle of the hearth kept him present, its orange illumination casting a shifting shadow on the window’s surface. He placed a hand on the window, feeling the chill seep into his palm. Seconds passed. The guards moved beyond his restricted view of the world.

“So it begins,” Ishi said with a cautious grin. The mountain’s peak fell as Caerus had told, and now an avalanche of chaos fell on Ko - Koro. Deadly silence would reign the aftermath, and from silence Ishi would strike. Inter - Koro politics would be in disarray for a period of time, order held in a nebulous balance, different sides vying for the subtlest upper hand in the game. Ishi had no intention of claiming any power for himself, the concept was arrogant for an informant, but rather wanted to see if his wits could match the keen edge of war.

He turned from the window, coat swaying with his hips. Ishi hung his coat on the back of the door, catching a glance at the shoulder harness in the dirty mirror before turning away. The karambit of a dead ta - matoran now in the Po - Koro morgue bounced on the inside of Ishi’s right side, just out of view but not enough to interfere with an emergency roll. Alone, the informant unsheathed quickly with his left hand, spinning the blade by its finger ring before returning it smoothly to the wood and leather - bound sheath. Ishi had one shot, and the determination to succeed burned in his blinking heartlight.

His biggest game was about to begin.

The bed closest to the door was missing Nichou’s wood shavings and personal belongings. The carver had found a ride to the Massif just in time it seemed. As much as Ishi was disappointed to have his unsuspecting partner in crime away from his side, his sense of guilt was lessened at the thought of one less sin passed from his head to Nichou’s. With luck they could communicate through letters until martial law lifted. Knowing what went on outside the walls of Ko - Koro was what would make or break his budding scheme. Ishi hated deal breakers.

Lighting a candle with the flames in the hearth placed it in the window. Ishi looked over the surface of the small writing desk just below, hands clasped around the back of a chair. It was a rickety desk, old and hobnailed to new legs of metal pipe. A ream of fresh parchment sat on the left, waiting to be covered in the plant - based ink stoppered in the glass vial by the far edge. A ceramic pen with fresh bronze nib served as temporary paperweight. In the center was a leather - bound journal, the kind purchased when widgets were scarce. Its only decoration was a single piece of obsidian bursting from the spine like a tumor. Ishi pulled the chair out, sat down, crossed his ankles, and pressed the tops of his toes against the floorboards.

“Numbers, numbers,” he muttered as the cover turned to reveal the same sight as always. A compressed list greeted Ishi with a cold disillusionment. To him this journal was a treat to test his cracking skills. Ishi picked up the pen, dipped it into the inkwell, removed the residual ink with a tap against the glass rim, then scribbled page one as a header on the top sheet of parchment. He looked at the discrete bundles of numbers, thumbing from the front of the page to the reverse in the journal with an investigative eye. Between the first and second page the pattern of numbers altered subtly, but to the trained eyes of Ishi it was as if a red ink had been substituted with green.

“Curiouser and curiouser,” he murmured, then dipped the pen into ink and jotted down his finding. The minutes passed and Ishi paused his playing to throw another log onto the fire, sap popping as the flames took hold, then returned to the journal with fresh ideas. The numbers were broken into pairs, revealing what were obviously letters. In this expanded form Ishi noted the repetition of a common number every six digits on both pages one and two. He chuckled, copying the expanded digits onto his parchment with the repetitive numerals.

“Bug numbers. Smart man, but what could possibly be important enough to bring all this trouble on yourself?” He paused, dry pen bouncing between his fingers, realizing any journal he kept had been disguised as a cookbook, and once as a home decorating catalogue when he was a youth living at the Polzin Mansion. Vera had read the journal and unknowingly filled her room with seaweed drapes to Ishi’s wry amusement. He smiled tightly as he remembered what happened next.

Ishi went for more ink and constructed an alphabet grid on his parchment. He looked back at the string of numbers:

10 - 6 - 23 - 2 - 9 - 2 - 15 - 6 - 6 - 3 - 5 - 2 - 6 - 4 - 19 - 16 - 7 - 2 - 16 - 21 - 6 - 21 - 2 - 2 - 4 - 16 - 13 - 6 - 19 - 6 - 2 - 9 - 21 - 15 - 2 - 19 - 2 - 16 - 21 - 2 - 14 - 2 - 15 - 10 - 16 - 17 - 16 - 2 - 19 - 16 - 12 - 16 - 15 - 2 - 19 - 6 - 8 - 15 - 16 - 2 - 13 - 21 - 15 - 2 - 24 - 2 - 8 - 15 - 10 - 9 - 21 - 2 - 26 - 15 - 2 - 16 - 2 - 21 - 16 - 5 - 9 - 21 - 2 - 10 - 24 - 6 - 14 - 2 - 2 - 22 - 12 - 2 - 21 - 5 - 2 - 15 - 2 - 22 - 21 - 2 - 2 - 9 - 16 - 17 - 6 - 19 - 2 - 6 - 24 - 26 - 12 - 2 - 4 - 22 - 13 - 21 - 22 - 2 - 3 - 10 - 20 - 20 - 6 - 2 - 22 - 8 - 10 - 20 - 2 - 2 - 24 - 2 - 13 - 16 - 16 - 2 - 7 - 19 - 16 - 7 - 8 - 2 - 15 - 10 - 6 - 3 - 5 - 2 - 6 - 26 - 2 - 13 - 17 - 2 - 26 - 3 - 14 - 10 - 9 - 2 - 16 - 21 - 15 - 10 - 9 - 2 - 4 - 22 - 20 - 15 - 2 - 2 - 20 - 22 - 16 - 10 - 23 - 2 - 3 - 16 - 13 - 13 - 2 - 2 - 7 - 6 - 9 - 21 - 6 - 2 - 22 - 8 - 2 - 13 - 17 - 2 - 20 - 10 - 26 - 5 - 2 - 2 - 6 - 19 - 13 - 2 - 5 - 2 - 6 - 19 - 22 - 4 - 26 - 2 - 14 - 12 - 19 - 16 - 24 - 2 - 19 - 16 - 7 - 14 - 2 - 10 - 9 - 5 - 6 - 26 - 2 - 16 - 19 - 21 - 20 - 6 - 2 - 5 - 7 - 10 - 10 - 2 - 6 - 23 - 10 - 13 - 9 - 2 - 4 - 22 - 14 - 19 - 6 - 2 - 8 - 15 - 16 - 13 - 21 - 2 - 10 - 13 - 13 - 10 - 24 - 2 - 6 - 3 - 6 - 20 - 22 - 2 - 2 - 4 - 6 - 3 - 10 - 2 - 6 - 23 - 2 - 9 - 5 - 2 - 6 - 21 - 17 - 2 - 5 - 2 - 2 - 16 - 21 - 6 - 2 - 9 - 21 - 6 - 21 - 2 - 2 - 9 - 7 - 16 - 26 - 14 - 2 - 6 - 4 - 15 - 16 - 20 - 2 - 5 - 15 - 6 - 10 - 19 - 2 - 7 - 24 - 16 - 19 - 2 - 19 - 16 - 14 - 16 - 21 - 2 - 10 - 13 - 13 - 10 - 24 - 2 - 16 - 8 - 16 - 21 - 15 - 2 - 10 - 16 - 17 - 16 - 19 - 2 - 16 - 12 - 19 - 16 - 2 - 7 - 20 - 6 - 10 - 21 - 2 - 10 - 20 - 20 - 6 - 4 - 2 - 6 - 15 - 5 - 15 - 10 - 2 - 7 - 6 - 15 - 16 - 6 - 2 - 14 - 16 - 20 - 16 - 21 - 2 - 8 - 10 - 5 - 2 - 13 - 2 - 13 - 6 - 24 - 19 - 1 - 2 - 6 - 7 - 6 - 9 - 21 - 2 - 21 - 22 - 9 - 10 - 6 - 2 - 23 - 2 - 9 - 15 - 6 - 2 - 6 - 3 - 15 - 6 - 23 - 2 - 10 - 8 - 26 - 3 - 2 - 2 - 8 - 2 - 19 - 22 - 2 - 21 - 2 - 24 - 6 - 15 - 2 - 16 - 16 - 9 - 24 - 20 - 2 - 10 - 8 - 15 - 10 - 20 - 2 - 22 - 7 - 6 - 19 - 16 - 2 - 21 - 21 - 6 - 13 - 6 - 2 - 14 - 6 - 23 - 2 - 6 - 2 - 13 - 6 - 9 - 21 - 10 - 2 - 9 - 2 - 24 - 15 - 10 - 2 - 6 - 20 - 2 - 4 - 10 - 2 - 26 - 19 - 21 - 8 - 15 - 2 - 10 - 9 - 21 - 26 - 15 - 2 - 2 - 6 - 20 - 13 - 6 - 2 - 26 - 14 - 20 - 12 - 19 - 2 - 16 - 24 - 19 - 16 - 7 - 2 - 14 - 10 - 9 - 19 - 6 - 2 - 23 - 6 - 24 - 16 - 9 - 2 - 24 - 16 - 15 - 12 - 16 - 2 - 15 - 9 - 4 - 22 - 20 - 2 - 20 - 6 - 10 - 19 - 2 - 2 - 5 - 15 - 22 - 16 - 3 - 2 - 20 - 2 - 10 - 9 - 2 - 2 - 24 - 10 - 13 - 13 - 10 - 2 - 24 - 6 - 23 - 2 - 9 - 2 - 16 - 21 - 6 - 3 - 13 - 2 - 22 - 7 - 6 - 19 - 2 - 2 - 4 - 6 - 23 - 16 - 14 - 2 - 21 - 2 - 21 - 9 - 8 - 2 - 10 - 15 -

“Or are you something else,” Ishi mused, pen resting on the page until the end of the Z had swollen with ink. His eyes lingered beyond the flickering candle, resting on a crack in the wall, cold seeping through like a disease. Time continued with the burning fire as he vainly attempted to gather some spark from the crack. Nothing came to mind. Ishi sighed, letting his view glaze over, not focusing on any particular point. It was calming for the details he saw so clearly to blur and disappear. The parchment turned into a desert, the twin suns of the candle burning overhead. It almost felt as if he was back in the Motara, traveling from Onu - Koro with Nichou to his first assignment for Caerus. When he refocused his eyes the realization hit like a clap of thunder: there was only one candle.

“Of course!” He shouted excitedly. “A shift. He used a shift that sly kavinika.” Head bursting as he mentally translated the numbers, the po - matoran scribbled at a dazzling pace. “How blind could I be? I need to stop wearing that eyepatch…” The parchment filled quickly on the first pass, then another sheet with a new shift, and then another. Holding them up for light as he began to pace the small room, Ishi glared at the letters to reveal their answers. “Which of one you is it now.” An idle finger flicked the pages he began to read aloud to himself with an impatient whisper;

“I - e - v - a - h - a - n - e - e - b - d - a - e - c - r - o - f - a - o - t - e - t - a - a - c - o - l - e - r - a - e - h - t - n - a - a - r - o - t - a - m - a - n - i - o - p - o - a - r - o - k - o - n - a - r - e - g - n - o - a - l - t - n - a - w - a - g - n - i - h - t - a - y - n - a - o - t - a - o - d - h - t - i - a - w - e - m - a - u - a - k - a - t - d - n - a - a - u - t - a - h - a - o - p - e - r - e - a - w - y - k - c - u - a - l - t - u - b - I - a - s - s - e - u - g - a - I - s - a - w - a - a - l - o - o - f - r - a - o - f - g - n - i - a - e - b - d - e - y - a - a - l - p - y - b - a - m - i - h - o - t - a - n - i - h - c - u - s - a - n - a - s - u - o - a - i - v - b - o - l - a - l - a - f - e - h - a - t - e - u - g - a - a - l - p - s - i - y - a - d - a - e - r - l - a - a - d - e - r - u - a - c - y - m - k - r - a - o - w - r - o - f - a - m - i - h - d - e - a - y - o - r - t - s - a - e - d - f - i - I - a - e - v - i - l - h - a - c - u - m - r - e - a - g - n - o - l - t - a - i - l - l - i - w - a - e - b - e - s - u - a - a - c - e - b - I - a - e - v - a - h - d - a - e - t - p - a - d - a - a - o - t - e - h - a - t - e - t - a - h - a - f - o - y - m - e - a - c - n - o - s - d - a - n - e - i - r - f - a - w - o - r - r - o - a - m - o - t - I - l - a - l - i - w - o - g - a - o - t - n - i - o - a - p - o - r - o - k - r - a - o - f - s - e - i - a - t - i - s - s - e - a - c - e - n - d - n - a - i - f - e - n - o - a - e - m - o - s - o - a - t - g - i - d - a - a - l - l - e - w - r - a - o - f - e - h - t - at - u - h - I - e - a - v - a - h - n - e - a - e - b - n - e - v - a - i - g - y - b - a - a - g - a - r - u - t - a - a - w - e - n - o - a - o - h - w - s - i - a - g - n - i - s - u - a - f - e - r - o - t - a - t - e - l - e - m - a - e - v - a - e - l - a - e - h - t - i - a - h - a - w - n - i - a - e - s - a - c - I - a - y - r - t - g - n - a - i - h - t - y - n - a - a - e - s - l - e - a - y - m - s - k - r - a - o - w - r - o - f - a - m - i - h - r - e - v - a - e - w - o - h - w - a - o - n - k - o - n - a - h - c - u - s - a - s - e - i - r - a - a - d - n - u - a - o - b - s - a - a - i - h - a - w - a - I - l - l - i - a - w - e - v - a - a - h - o - t - e - a - b - l - u - f - e - a - r - a - c - e - a - v - o - m - t - aa - t - h - g - i - n.” He grinned. “Looks like I’m on the right track. Oh Ahkmou, you clever man.”

~

Dawn peeked from the window, softling alighting on the stack of solved words to the right of Ahkmou’s journal. There had been one more trick to contend with: the shifts were equivalent to the page number added until a single decimal was reached, although the bug letters were constant on every page. Page two read;

My hut is a single dome, but I plan to enlarge it with an adjacent workshop where I can carve, maybe build another hut and connect them as a guest room for His people. I may not be allowed to perform more works, but I can still aid Him. The shadows are lengthening; an island at twilight will be an island at peace.

One passage, secreted away on the forty - seventh page, drew Ishi’s attention more than the rest. The transcript was in his hands as he sat in the armchair by the fire, low embers offering little to no heat in the morning chill.

The atheist came tonight, not surprising given Onewa’s now sealed in stone. We are different sides of the same coin, and he is an enemy I would keep the closest. His name is strange, but it seems to fit his modus operandi. I can’t help wondering if it was really given at birth or taken by some indirect means of deception. Although I may regret my decision, I gave it to him. The Po - Koro guard will be sure to check my hut before any other, and I can’t have it compromising my situation with Him. I’m sure he’ll find a way to ambage the rise of Makuta. I’ll have to speak with him soon.

In the passage, Ishi had gone over one word multiple times with the ink until it was thick and dark. Ahkmou’s journal ended two pages later on forty - nine, the follower of Makutra admitting fear in his actions in the entry Ishi now held. His work for Hewkii had unveiled more than expected. Ahkmou had been a safe house for Makuta’s followers, confirming the suspicion long held by residents of Po - Koro after the debacle with infected comets, but it seemed the po - matoran had pulled on old connections with the Cultured Gentry. Ishi shook his head, remembering the words Hewkii had written to accompany the journal. Ahkmou died of a knife wound, Hewkii had explained, most likely attacked from behind by a skilled assassin. The angle and depth of the cut, however, pointed towards a vortixx or tall toa, though a sentinel had offered the idea of a matoran on stilts until he was made to walk around Po - Koro for a shift on the accursed objects. A tablet with NEX chiseled on its surface had been found alongside to the body. Ishi’s eyes closed for a moment, the lack of sleeping catching up with his excitement.

“Did you pay them?” Ishi asked, tapping his finger on the circled noun, “Or was it just good luck?”

Ishi realized as the sun rose his resources were slim. He was an army of one, yet the enemy surrounded him in every watchtower and pub and market stall. A deceitful matoran masquerading as an officer of peace was the Hand of a dead leader, and the captain of the guard was sure to be drooling for the uncomfortable icy throne in the citadel. Ishi needed to tread softly, and in the city of snow even his footsteps would against him. Despite the mounting odds, Ishi laughed at the dying fire.

It was time to find a candidate.

OOC: Ahkmou’s Journal Passages
Yes, I actually wrote by hand a plaintext and put the entire sucker (almost all by hand), through the system piecemeal and tested it. Two days later you have this Ishi Polzin post. If there are mistakes I will not be surprised in the slightest, but I did my best to eliminate the errors. I don’t think I’m going to ever do a decryption post of this size again. EVER.

Plaintext from page one:
I have been forced to relocate. The matoran in Po Koro no longer want anything to do with me. Takua and Pohatu were lucky, but I guess I was a fool for being played by Him into such an obvious fall. The plague is already cured, my work for Him destroyed. If I live much longer it will be because I have adapted to the hate of my once friends. Tomorrow I will go into Po Koro for necessities, find someone to dig a well for the hut I have been given by Turaga Onewa, who is refusing to let me leave the wahi in case I try anything else. My works for Him, however, know no such boundaries as wahi. I will have to be careful, move at night.

Plaintext from page two:
My hut is a single dome, but I plan to enlarge it with an adjacent workshop where I can carve, maybe build another hut and connect them as a guest room for His people. I may not be allowed to perform more works, but I can still aid Him. The shadows are lengthening; an island at twilight will be an island at peace.

Plaintext from page 47:
The atheist came tonight, not surprising given Onewa is now sealed in stone. We are different sides of the same coin, and he is an enemy I would keep the closest. His name is strange, but it seems to fit his modus operandi. I can not help wondering if it was really given at birth or taken by some indirect means of deception. Although I may regret my decision, I gave it to him. The Po - Koro guard will be sure to check my hut before any other, and I can not have it compromising my situation with Him. I am sure he will find a way to ambage the rise of Makuta. I will have to speak with him soon.


Wondering how to cypher like Ahkmou?
Well, wonder no longer! Here’s the steps I took to make Ahkmou’s journal “impregnable.” :P

  •  
  • Reverse the letters in each word. Bat becomes tab, dog becomes god, etc.
  • Do a simple number substitution cypher. A=1, B=2, C=3, etc.
  • Add A at every sixth point as a bug letter.
  • Now add the page number’s digits together until you get a single numeral. (i.e. page 47: 4+7=11, and 1+1=2.) Add this number to your substitution cypher. (i.e. page 1: A=2, B=3, C=4 etc., page 2: A=3, B=4, C=5, etc., and page 47: A=3, B=4=C=5, etc.)

Edited by Kughii, Dec 20 2013 - 08:22 PM.

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#262 Offline Geisthande

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Posted Dec 19 2013 - 12:15 PM

IC (Zadron)

 

"Agreed," Zadron replied, and the two Vortixx slipped through the doorway.  The passage beyond led to a square room, at the centre of which was a metal lift, whose shaft stretched deep down into the ice.  Ko-Koro had recently begun mapping and mining operations in the ice-tunnels, and multiple entrances had been constructed to allow passage down to them from the village.

 

Zadron stepped into the elevator capsule, and, once Kiara was in as well, pulled the machine's central lever.

 

With a grating of gears and groaning of cables, the metal cylinder descended into the bowels of the glacier.


Edited by Ghosthands, Dec 19 2013 - 01:22 PM.

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#263 Offline Dragonstar7

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Posted Dec 19 2013 - 09:44 PM

OOC: From Le

 

IC: Ryzen

 

He'd lost rack of where he was going. And he lost his path too.

 

Ryzen walked on, as usual. He guessed that the "path" he was on lead to the koro, but he wasn't too sure. I'll just have to go wherever this leads me, he thought, not stopping.


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#264 Offline Veneras

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Posted Dec 20 2013 - 07:41 PM

IC Veneras

 

I stand alone in the cold. At least I've been told it's cold. To me it only feels like home.


OOC

 

Is it just me or are comical signatures a total mood kill


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#265 Offline Aurora the cat

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Posted Dec 20 2013 - 09:34 PM

OOC: 

 

And the airaware says:  WROOONG!!!!

 

IC: Kiara

 

What is it with elevators and mines.  Can't they ever use a staircase at some point?  I never had good experiences with elevators, especially open air ones.

 

I did not like this one in particular.  The ice looked like it was going to freeze over the gear mechanism, and lock it in place.  I hoped I was wrong.

 

And the elevator itself took it's marry way down to the bottom as slowly as possible, making my fear that I would fall off, get a foot hold on the ice and then fall again, grow with it.  After what seemed like hours, it finally hit the ground.

 

Spending as little time as I could on the elevator, I hopped off and looked around.  Big, and empty.  The way I like my escape routes.

 

"You lead the way."  I smiled a little.


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#266 Offline Veneras

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Posted Dec 20 2013 - 11:42 PM

IC

Veneras lifted his head. His meditation was disturbed by the sound of the elevator hitting the ground. He looked through the darkness to see the figures wandering through these tunnels. "Peculiar." He queried. He began to walk forward, cloaked by the shadows. As the figures approached he noted that they were headed in his direction. Veneras stretched out his arm, lifting his scepter high. Blue light emanated from his staff, reaching the surrounding walls, and filling the gap with ice; effectively blocking their path. The Toa of ice stood in the shadows between them and the wall, completely invisible save his glowing blue tattoos that covered his body. A voice, crackling with ice, spoke out from all directions,

"What are you doing here"


Edited by Veneras, Dec 22 2013 - 06:39 PM.

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#267 Offline Geisthande

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Posted Dec 23 2013 - 07:22 AM

OOC: Just so you know, Ko-Koro have begun mining operations in these tunnels so they would have put up lightstones on the walls.

 

IC (Zadron)

 

Zadron stopped short as they rounded a bend and found their way blocked by a wall of ice and a Toa of the same.  The Toa's theatricality didn't faze him in the slightest - and even in the relative gloom (the ice-wall was blocking most of the glow from the nearest lightstone) Zadron's keen vision could discern the being in front of them.

 

"Stand aside, citizen," he said, his voice strong and authoritative.  "Sanctum Guard business.  Remove this obstruction immediately."


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#268 Offline Veneras

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Posted Dec 23 2013 - 09:20 PM

IC

Tharros looked long and hard at the two. Sanctum Guard? Veneras' eyes began to intensely follow the runes of the staff, "There is only one reason someone would travers these tunnels instead of the surface" he stated coldly, "is if the hope to travel unseen by the law." With that he raised his head, revealing his cold mask of shielding in the dim light "I am the law." He slowly began stepping forward, the ground freezing beneath ing his feet. "I will step to no side until you answer my question. What are you doing here"

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#269 Offline Jenny Quantum

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Posted Dec 24 2013 - 02:13 AM

Ic: Ambages awoke at daybreak and quickly rolled out of bed and got ready for the day by adjusting his Kanohi and tossing his overcoat on. While he slept he had no illusions that the rest of the city did the same, though; doubtlessly Reordin had summoned the other Maru and Korzaa sleeplessly oversaw the Guard, which meant he was the awake and alert one. It wasn't a gamble or anything, though, but for someone suddenly left with so much power, even if temporary, it was neat to think of.

 

His morning started with skipping his meal and collecting the Seal of Kopaka on his way out the door, then a brisk stroll through the cold air towards the Sanctum to speak with Korzaa and visit Jaa in the cells. Jaa's witness was essential -- Ambages was just as curious to find out who had the akiri killed as everyone else. It was his duty to find out who did it first and to rule the city second.

 

And hopefully, if he did well, he could keep the city.

 

That would be so neat.

 

 

* * * * *

 

 

The path to The Massif was overgrown, but the Mysterious Visitor seemed to know his way. He stopped to look back from whence he came and saw the vast sprawl of the Le-Wahi jungle and took in the distant sounds of the forest. Howling monkeys in the canopies, cawing birds in the air, the steady buzz of insects in the underbrush -- all these sounds still radiated from the foliage like ripples and even from the cloud forest above the treeline the Visitor could still enjoy the muted noise. It was objective, cool, far and soft, just as he liked it.

 

That's why he loved the Massif so much. Antrim had chosen a wonderful place to build his village and temple, high above the trivial rabble of the forest but within the noble shadows of the mountains, nestled in fog borne of chilly ocean breezes and rising jungle steam. The Massif was like a heaven on earth, a blessing in many ways. The toa-protector was wise in his decision. Perhaps it was the isolation of the place that kept him alive so long when the world crashed all around.

 

He trudged farther up the scree-ridden mountain pathways and through the open alpine meadows of moss and shrubs until the eponymous massif came into plain view. A moment more and a hike up a ridge brought the village in plain view and the Visitor took the new, familiar sight in. The village itself was tiny, no larger than a small castle dominated by a curtain wall and a single tower keep, but he knew that village was only the secondary sanctuary. People lived in the village and worked and played within sight of its walls but their simple, agrarian lives were all in service to the even tinier monastery perched atop the so much vaster rock formation -- the massif, a huge half-dome of rock that rested like some titanic lethargic tortoise, never moving, never questioning.

 

The Visitor smiled kindly at the place, the small, unassuming place that Antrim probably took hungry pilgrims in all the time, never letting anyone think that the ground they tilled was some of the holiest dirt in the universe and that the great stone boulder was of vaster importance than anything touched by the sun on Mata Nui.

 

He avoided the village and made his way for the monastery.


Edited by EmperorWhenua, Dec 24 2013 - 02:14 AM.

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#270 Offline Aurora the cat

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Posted Dec 24 2013 - 11:24 AM

IC: Kiara

 

The Vortixx walked towards the toa.  She unsheathed he longsword, and with a quick, graceful motion, broke the thin layer of ice with the hilt, finishing the rest with the wider part of her blade.

 

She stepped over the line where the wall of ice once stood, and with a stern, authoritative voice began.

 

"As you well know, the city is in full lock down.  The guards that were standing watch here were taken out by an intruder.  We were assigned to investigate, making sure that no-one comes in or out..."

 

She poked at the toa's chest.

 

"...And that would include you.  If we find you interfering with ko-koren law, we do have the power to place you under arrest, is that understood?"


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#271 Offline Jenny Quantum

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Posted Dec 24 2013 - 02:16 PM

Ic: Another Sactum Guard came from the tunnel, this one a matoran, and took a long, keen-eyed look at the two Vortixx. "Nahhhh," he said in an older, curmudgeonly tone. "Nah, you ain't guards. We don't have many Vortixx in the force and you'll aren't either of them. Which can only mean one thing," the guard said as he walked carefully back from his previous spot.

 

"And that is?"

 

"CODE-RED PAIR OF VORTIXX, THIRTEEEEEEEENNNN!!!"

 

The cry reverberated in the tunnels with astounding force. The old guard knew how to yell to save his life, and even though this was not going to save his life it may save some others.

 

"CODE-RED PAIR OF VORTIXX, THIRTEEEEEEEEEEEN!!!"

 

The yell ascended the chamber and flowed through adjoining tunnels.

 

"CODE-RED PAIR OF VORTIXX, THIRTEEEEEEEEEN!!!"

 

And into the receptor of an aural microphone.

 

"CODE-RED PAIR OF VORTIXX, THIRTEEEEEEEEN!!!"

 

And into the ears of a listening-ear guard in a station.

 

"Sir, a report of a code-red in sector thirteen, a pair of Vortixx. Sounds like Officer Mirren."

 

"Then take it as word of god," the station commander said. "You know the drill. Sent in a team, no holds barred. Korzaa wants no possibilities open."

 

"On it, sir."

 

 

The reaction was near-instant as a squad of eight guards stormed out of their station with weapons bared. Two of their number carried the portable grenade launchers; if they could not detain the targets they would obliterate them. Korzaa's orders. No holds barred. They clipped harzesses on the elevator cables with well-drilled grace and rappelled down. These were no simple village guards -- these were the shock responders.

 

Ooc: Okay, so there are eight of these guys, all Matoran but very highly trained. Imagine these to be the equivalent of special forces or an antiterrorist team of modern armies. They're there to see both Zadron and Kiara captured or, if that is not possible without unneeded danger or risk, killed. They will not be an easy thing to deal with. And as an added bonus, you witnessed one of the ways the aural microphone network is utilized! Whee! What a treat. :3

 

Ambages and Visitor posts upcoming.


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"You speak of the realm of kings."

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#272 Offline Veneras

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Posted Dec 24 2013 - 08:47 PM

IC

Veneras drew his staff. And aimed. After the arrival of the Matoran soldiers he summoned his power and sent a thick beam of ice to block he elevator, and another to seal the passage. He then stood in combat position;

"Guards, permission to engage?"

Edited by Veneras, Dec 25 2013 - 01:48 PM.

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#273 Offline Jenny Quantum

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Posted Dec 25 2013 - 01:16 PM

Ic: The Mysterious Visitor stepped up to the monastery's main entrance and banged the door-knocker thrice, then opened the door and stepped in. All men were invited into the redoubt; the knocks were only a symbolic option.

 

He surveyed the interior of the building. Like everything else in the Massif it had not changed one bit over the years since his previous visit. It was private and serene, a small network of sandstone and granite passageways that all symmetrically met again on the other side in a shrine. Oil lamps and torches were mountain on the walls, their flickering golden light casting a holy illumination on the hewed walls and columns that lines the side of the church. On the far side was a table with the Mata Nui spirit stone, flanked by the Three Virtues, Lady Destiny by his side.

 

He fell to the floor and spoke there, his voice bouncing off the stone floor and up into the chamber and vaulted ceiling above him. "My friend, you've met with a terrible fate, haven't you?" he said, a rehearsed line.

 

Antrim's heavy footsteps came into focus as the toa-protector descended the staircase that revolved above the chapel and called out in turn, his booming voice reverberating even more divinely. He looked down on the visitor curiously. the passcode was true and he was sure he had seen the man before, but the timing was all wrong. Why -- how...? "The candles flicker low."

 

The Visitor got up and looked directly at Antrim, "I know of a way to return you to your former self." Antrim's eyes flew wide as his mouth as he stood there, shocked at the Visitor's... visit. "Hello, Antrim."

 

 

* * * * *

 

"How did you come to the island?" Antrim asked his friend. They relaxed in the bell tower in the shadow of the monolithic chime, surveying the terrain that fell under the Massif's domain. It was beautiful in every way and the peaceful redoubt seemed to float in the wispy clouds with grace, adding a surreal note to the setting.

 

"I don't know," the Visitor replied. "One moment I was jogging down my city's street, the next I was slogging through Le-Wahi marsh. I hadn't expected to be here, but here I am, and apparently not a moment too soon."

 

"These are dark times, true," Antrim murmured unhappily. "But Destiny often works in strange ways. I have no doubt your presence is needed."

 

"Right. Akiri Kongu told me the turaga are dead. Tell me about that," the Visitor pressed, searching for information.

 

"The Turaga were assassinated in a single day cycle," he explained.

 

"Was the Makuta behind it?" the Visitor quickly inserted.

 

Antrim shook his head. "I don't think so. It's possible, but doubtful. They were killed by experts of their trades, that much is certain, and I believe they were under the employ of another darkness. There are other threats besides the Makuta on this land, one in particular I have actively been combating. They call themselves the Peers, and it's a terrible name for their consortium. They are a small slice of the wealthiest people in the land, actively plotting against the Light. I once had an informant in their midst but he was killed off when his betrayal was known. More recently, however, I unleashed a newer weapon against them with a passion of his own, however I have not heard of him in a while."

 

"So why not just slay the all wealthy?" the Visitor callously suggested. "Wealth should not be hoarded such that it becomes synonymous with power." When speaking with Kongu the Visitor's speech was casual, meek and courteous, but in the presence of a fellow Gatekeeper he was far more sharp-tongued, quick in nerve and tight on time. Politeness came second to him there.

 

"No!" Antrim decried the idea. "There are innocents yet and I will defend all life regardless what it owns. I will not fight fire with fuel."

 

"Oh, Antrim, always the righteous warrior and moral compass," the Visitor said with an eyeroll. "Fine then. Are you any closer to rooting out this evil?"

 

"Perhaps... I don't know," he confessed. "It depends on my weapon's success. If not, I will have to try again, harder this time."

 

"And Takua?" the Visitor said, moving the subject to the other person of interest.

 

"Last seen in the company of the Second Toa before their transformation. Presumed killed by Rakhs," Antrim said. "I have not heard of his body found, though."

 

"The Second Toa," the Visitor gawked. "So the prophesies came true. I heard the Makuta was defeated."

 

Antrim nodded. "Against the primal darkness, you'll find, I have not been idle," he said with a little pride in his accomplishment. "They were matoran before being transformed into Toa Maru by the Essence Stones of the First Toa. Three of their number were housed here for a time, one of which is Stannis, my protegé who I taught all that I know to be great. He is the foretold Wanderer and a prophet of Mata Nui. Additionally, I gave assistance to Joske Nimil, who Stannis conferred the name Gatekeeper upon." The Visitor's eyes perked at this information. "I have no doubt it means something."

 

"So the Makuta has been defeated. this remaining darkness, though -- the one behind the turaga's killings. You said you have a weapon. Tell me more about it. I want to know why you have such faith in it's conviction. You've had success in dealing with the Makuta but it seems to me you've grown lax against the other threat, leading to the deaths of our associates."

 

Antrim drew his head back and relaxed with confidence. "Because my weapon is a man: The current Shaddix patriarch."

 

"Ah," the Visitor said and looked back at the distant jungle. "That does explain your confidence."


Edited by EmperorWhenua, Dec 25 2013 - 01:19 PM.

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#274 Online Kughii

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Posted Dec 26 2013 - 02:07 AM

“Winds in the east, 

Mist coming in. 

Like somethin' is brewin' and ‘bout to begin. 

Can't put me finger on what lies in store, 

But I fear what's to happen all happened before.” 

~Bert, “Mary Poppins”

 

IC: Ishi Polzin

 

 

His hand gripped the curtain with confidence, pulling open the separation between mid-morning’s bright snowfall and his weary eyes with the metallic sound of rings on the steel curtain rod.  The icy roofs of Ko-Koro dazzled in the light.  They were an intermingling and meandering set of highways for the koro’s vagabonds and messengers above the mountain mist in the streets.  Brushing aside a passing dust cloud reflected in the window pane, Ishi looked out over Ko-Koro with a broadening smile, his eager reflection grinning back from the glass.

 

“So the game begins” Ishi said after spinning around to face his small room, coat swaying in the wake of his motions.   A half cup of tea and nibbled scone kept temperature on the mantle.  The bottle of Po-Koro Cream lingered on the side of the tray, cap yet to be returned; the scent of alcohol and tea leaves intermingled with the burning fire of pine and spruce.

 

Grabbing the metal door handle Ishi pushed down the latch button and exited, turning a skeleton key in the lock as he stood in the hallway, savoring the start of something grand, then his feet called forth a creaking rhythm from the wooden stairs to the main floor, out the portal, and into the snows.  He crunched up the street, eyes absorbing the details of life in the city.  A mapmaker was flipping the wooden sign in their window to display their business was open.  Across the way, a potter’s wheel could be heard turning from a small workshop adjacent to a traditional dome dwelling.  The Sanctum Guard was visible on corners, or passing in small squadrons, but at ease with the daily workings of their home.

 

Ishi’s feet propelled him to a tall and thin building at the edge of the main market, built several stories into the side of a glacier.  A silver bell announced his entrance, and a ko-matoran looked up from where he was sitting, legs cross on a coffee table and a proofing of the Mata-Nui Daily in his wizened hands.

 

“Can I help you?” The ko-matoran asked, his blue eyes assuaging Ishi from his grey coat to the disheveled look of his black drawstring bag.  

 

“Catarix,” Ishi said with a faint smile of knowing, “I’m looking for him.”

 

“Well, you found him.  My first question stands.”

 

“Shrewd as ever,” Ishi replied as he crossed the well-lit room and stuck out a hand for Catarix to shake.   The editor of the Mata-Nui Daily’s Ko-Koro branch stared at the thin fingers for a long moment then took the gesture with his own, giving Ishi’s hand a firm shake.

 

“I feel we’ve met before.”

 

“Must have been in passing,” Ishi smoothly lied, leading his former employer astray with honestly placed words.  “About your question: I’d like to see back issues of your paper, specifically regarding the matoran Ahkmou.”

 

Catarix narrowed his gaze, the paper folding and finding rest on the table while ice-blue feet returned to the floor of packed snow. “That’s old copy…  What would a, uh…”

 

“Historian.”

 

“why would a ‘historian,’ as you say, have desire for that information?”

 

“I’m preparing a book to be honest,” Ishi said with a sigh of admittance.  “Since the fall of the Makuta, there’s not been much on his dealings with followers brought to press.  I feel it’s time.”

 

“You’re one of those conspiracy theorists, aren’t you?”

 

“In a fashion.”

 

There was a frozen pause.  “Alright.  Not much I can say against your kind, and we keep catalogued copies of our papers since the beginning of print for public perusal.  There’s a fee for upkeep.  Ten widgets.”

 

“Deal.”  Ishi fished out a few spare widgets from the secretive folds of his coat.  He brushed a finger through them, then removed a Ta-Koro widget before placing the metal on the coffee table with a soft rattle.  Catarix’s already narrowed eyes thinned more.  “There’s thirteen widgets here.”

 

Ishi nodded.  “I’d prefer you don’t mention my book if possible.  I’ve already had a few radicals, if you get my drift.”

 

There was a wink of understanding between writer’s.  Catarix rose, swiping the extra widgets for himself and walked towards a door off to the side.  It was made of metal grating, and racks of filing cabinets could be seen through the bars.  A key was produced, and with the click of a lock releasing Ishi was led into history…


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#275 Offline Just Norik

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Posted Dec 27 2013 - 09:38 AM

IC

 

The western coast of Mata Nui lay quiet and peaceful. Cold winds blew down from the icy slopes of Mount Ihu. Except for some Snow birds chasing one another, the wilderness seemed to ignore the present turmoil happening in the Village of Ice just further inland.

 

A lone figure, clinging onto a large piece of driftwood, was brought in by the waves. To all he seemed like a dead corpse, another casualty of an increasingly dangerous island. Several carnivorous birds must have thought so too, as several landed on the body and started pecking at the exposed organic bits of the Gunmetal Toa.

 

Uuhhh...

Hmmmmwhu...

Urrr...Wa...Wake...

Huh-Wha-?

W-W-uhh...Ouch...

Ggg...Wake-Wake up...

...

Wake up. Wake up, Tin-Can!

 

With a start, the Toa jolted upwards, scaring the birds off to find another meal.

 

The Toa pulled himself up, pulling his soaked coat around himself, then stumbled back into the ground. His first coherent thought: Cold.

 

He also realised that the cold winds blowing down-mountain wasn't helping either.

 

Who...who am I? What... This place?

You're welcome,doofus.

That voice. It sounded like a woman's, or a young woman specifically. Was that in his head?

 

Wait, who-

Look, we're freezing out here, so I suggest we get someplace warmer?

 

The Toa didn't need to be told twice. He looked around. He spotted what may have been a cave opening.

 

There. That-

 

Suddenly his vision changed and he could see through the wall which the cave was in and see its interior.

 

X-Ray?

Yep. I activated that. You seem to catch on fast for a Toa.

 

I assume that's what I am, the Toa said as he struggled to make his way there against the cold. His head was starting to clear, thanks to this yammering voice and... practice?

 

Correct. Just... hurry up. Anxilia still feel the cold, strange as it may seem.

The Toa finally entered the cave. It was warmer than outside, but still chilly.

 

Anxilia. that's what you are.

Yeah. I'm your mask, though most do not think and interact like me. My name is Cyrena, by the qwway.

About me... do you know my name or location?

Nah. But if you try hard enough, you may. I dunno, the neural connection is telling me that.

Neural. So you felt my cold. And read my thoughts.  You're connected to my mind then.  Great.

I know. Charming, aren't I?

The Toa looked outside.

 

His name... a worm crawling inside his mind.

 

There it was.

 

Greisk Orilva.

 

The Toa felt a sense of relief when the name appeared. Yes. it was his name.

 

Cyrena may have sensed Greisk's memory, because she unhelpfully said,

 

Yeah, that sounds like your name.

Thank you for your amazing insights.

 

The Toa, now named Greisk,decided to exit the cave.


Edited by Norik Of Gielinor, Dec 30 2013 - 01:25 AM.

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#276 Offline Just Norik

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Posted Dec 30 2013 - 04:56 AM

IC

Greisk realised that the wind had already stopped. A few breezes were all that was left.

The Toa walked back to the wooden raft. He spotted a brown bag, faded with age and use, tied to its front.

Greisk shook his numbing fingers and untied the bag. The firstvthing he saw was two polished metal sticks. They fit perfectly into his clemched fists. Each was about as long as his forearm.Greisk noticed that he could screw in one end of one of the stocks into the other stick, forming a polearm.

There was a belt in the bag as well that could be worn under his cloak to holster the sticks and a short sword tat Greisk found in the bag.

There were (soaked)food supplies as well in the bag, a worn hat that felt oddly comforting on his head, along with a small tablet with the carving of some island.

"Mata Nui," Greisk read the rough inscription.

Before Greisk could explore the bag further, he heard buzzing in the distance. He didn't know why, but he recognised it as coming from Nui-Kopen.


I think we should leave. Like, now.

Greisk did not waste time replying. He tore up the sail-less mast of the raft and tied the bag onto one end of the mast. Propping it over his shoulder, Greisk headed inland, cloak and hat closed as the winds blew again.

Edited by Norik Of Gielinor, Dec 30 2013 - 04:58 AM.

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#277 Offline Jenny Quantum

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Posted Dec 30 2013 - 11:15 PM

Ic: The clever architect walked with purpose down his city's streets towards the Sanctum. For a good while he was the servant and adviser but suddenly it was his was his time to shine. Matoro was a good ruler, a kind king, a suitable akiri, while Ambages was the backburner, the agenda maker, the foreign liaison. The Seal of Kopaka dangled from his hip as he walked and clinked on his thigh gently as a wind chime hit by a child's sneeze. Even so, in the silent morning hours it was deafening. The Ko-Matoran were hardy people and were up in the wee hours, too, not even including the guards. A few people Ambages passed gave him obnoxious glances, their scorn showing through what usually was a bunch of static expressions. His time to shine? Right. His time to show what he really was.

 

Of course he couldn't show what he really really was -- that would probably cause half the island to wage war on him personally, especially since the blight that was the dark god was smitten just recently. But like a finely tuned instrument he could give a good show if strummed just right.

 

The guards begrudgingly admitted him into the Sanctum like mirrors of Captain Korzaa, scowling at him for what he represented. Or rather, what they felt he represented. Ambages was a crook, a conniving miser wishing nothing but absolute power to eradicate everything, but he had always tried to culture his image to be that of a kindly gentleman and a giver of goodwill. Why, then, did his illusion falter so much? Korzaa distrusted him, Reordin straight up disliked him, Hahli was suspicious of him, Kethrye was infatuated with finding his guilt, the guards were wary of him... Everyone was so suspicious!

 

Had he let his guard down subconsciously?

 

He entered the citadel's expanse. Business in the Hall of Prophesy continued as usual -- seers and adepts peered intensely at the writings on the walls and thoughtfully considered all aspects of the future and past, mostly directed at Matoro's death at that moment -- but grew still as the Lord Hand walked down its length to the vast door on the other side. Ambages slipped one muff from an ear to listen keenly. He could hear the whispers of discontent as if they were CRIED OUT FROM THE HIGHEST OF MOUNTAINS and he quickly placed the muff back on.

 

He stopped.

 

The matoran around him stopped.

 

He looked at them.

 

They looked back.

 

"What do you want from me?" Ambages said. His hushed voice was like a warrior's call in the confines. "What exactly do you wish me to do? This is my city, too. Matoro was my friend, too. I'm not going to fail it no matter how much you think I will. I am no akiri, I am a servant keeping the city together and I will do my job."

 

They looked back.

 

He kept walking to the door and went deeper into the citadel. He wasn't five steps into the second hall, the throne room, when one of the officials of the offices approached him. "I am going to see Jaa in the cells," Ambages said to the man without looking. "Send for Korzaa and Reordin if they wish to come, too."

 

"Sir, there are other Maru in the city."

 

Ambages froze. "Who?"

 

"Toas Sulov, Korero and Leah Maru."

 

"Leah..." Ambages said softly as he kept walking. "Good. Send for them, too, then. I'll be on my way to Jaa. There are answers that need to be drawn out."

 

"Yes, sir."


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"Why should I be content looking down on the treetops when I desire to touch the stars?"

 

"You speak of the realm of kings."

"No – I speak of the realm of gods."

 

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#278 Offline Geisthande

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Posted Dec 31 2013 - 08:30 AM

IC (Zadron)


Zadron snarled a curse as the aged guardsman spilled the metaphorical beans. The sound of buzzing cables echoed down from the nearby elevator shaft. The Vortixx cursed again, with venom.


The Toa of Ice blocking their path moved into a fighting stance, but didn't engage immediately - in fact, he put up two walls of ice, one of which (for some reason) blocked the path of the guards. It wouldn't keep the elite squad busy for long, but this was a chance they couldn't pass up.


"Time to get the karz out of here!" he hissed to Kiara, who nodded. A moment later, a Zamor launcher was in her hands, and an explosive sphere was hurtling at Veneras' second wall. The blast dashed the ice to pieces and without wasting a second, the two Vortixx sprang into motion, vaulting through the newly-created opening and sprinting along the tunnel beyond.


As they ran, Zadron mentally assessed the situation. By the sounds of it, they were outnumbered about three or four to one by well-equipped guards. The advantage they held was that of speed; with their long legs and agile frames, Vortixx could outrun most other species with relative ease. Zadron also had some rough knowledge of the layout of the tunnels, having used them for a couple of his past contracts. He didn't know every nook and cranny, but it would be enough to ensure that they didn't leave their pursuers too many short-cuts or lose themselves in the deep ice.


It would also be prudent to make sure that, if that failed and it came to a fight, he knew Kiara's strengths and equipment, and (he reluctantly conceded) she knew his.


Time to take care of that.


Legs pumping at a long and swift gait, he still found the breath to speak.


"If we have to fight them, we should know each other's capabilities," he said. "I mainly carry assassination equipment - cloaking device, arm-mounted blades, daggers, knives, garrottes, that sort of thing. What've you got up your sleeve?"


IC (Korero)


The trio of Toa Maru had just reached Korzaa's office door when a Ko-Matoran official caught up with them.


"Toa Maru," he said, with a bow. "The honourable Ambages requests your presence at the cells, and that of Captain Korzaa and your brother Toa Reordin."


Korero stiffened at the architect's name, memories of the meeting with Jaller still fresh in his mind. It was far too early, of course, to say whether the two Akiri's suspicions were correct, but all the same he could not help but feel wary of the Vizier. He would have to tread carefully - and to futher complicate matters, he would have to tread carefully without appearing to do so.


Regaining his composure, he replied to the Matoran.


"Thank you for informing us," he said. "We'll take it from here."


The official bowed again, and disappeared off into the Sanctum's corridors. Korero turned, and knocked on Korzaa's door. Three sharp raps.


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#279 Offline Aurora the cat

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Posted Dec 31 2013 - 01:22 PM

IC:

 

I jumped through the ice wall turned water puddle, following directly behind Zadron.  I flipped a new zamor sphere into my launcher, readying myself for anything that was to come next.

 

"If we have to fight them, we should know each other's capabilities, I mainly carry assassination equipment - cloaking device, arm-mounted blades, daggers, knives, garrottes, that sort of thing. What've you got up your sleeve?"

 

I replied quickly, "A sword, some knives, some explosives, lots of those, and a drone."

 

I glanced back at our attackers, eyeing the people behind the wall.

 

"Any ideas?"


Edited by Aurora the cat, Dec 31 2013 - 01:59 PM.

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#280 Offline Geisthande

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Posted Dec 31 2013 - 01:47 PM

OOC: How can Kiara see the squad?  I'd have thought they would be out of sight (for now, at least) given the ice wall in the way.

 

IC (Zadron)

 

"Outrun them," Zadron replied.  "We're faster than they are.  If we can get far enough, we should be able to lose them."


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