"In the months since Turaga Dume had refused the Dark Hunters a base on Metru Nui, countless Toa had fallen. Most were struck down from the shadows, never knowing their enemy was there. Oh, there had been some victories — Nidhiki had routed more than his share of the enemy, and Lhikan was worth six Toa in battle — but they all knew the numbers were against them. It was only a matter of time."—Birth of a Dark Hunter
The year is 2,000 BGC. The Dark Hunters are at war in Metru Nui, locked in conflict with an army of Toa who answered a call to defend the City of Legends. They are led by the famous Toa of fire, Lhikan, but even with his leadership and prowess in battle, things do not look good for the heroes.
Little over a month ago, an army of Dark Hunters set upon Metru Nui, sewing death and destruction. Nobody was prepared for their sudden attack, and the Vahki, along with the ten remaining Toa Mangai (Tuyet’s betrayal had come 500 years earlier) found that it was all they could do to fall back and barricade themselves inside the Coliseum, protecting their leader, Turaga Dume, from assassination. Outside, Matoran workers hid in their homes, praying to the Great Spirit that the Hunters would pass them by. Some had their prayers answered, but many did not.
Trapped and outnumbered more than a dozen to one, the Toa sent for help. Toa Naho snuck out of the city by night, swam south to other lands and began the greatest recruitment of Toa that the Matoran Universe had ever seen. In a mere three days, a hundred Toa had been gathered from all across the universe to go to Metru Nui’s aid. The message spread fast by kakama, kadin or kualsi, while the answer returned just as swiftly, borne on elemental strength.
The army broke on the south coast of Le-Metru more powerfully than any storm, and the Dark Hunters, as unprepared as the Toa had been, were driven back and scattered. The Coliseum was freed along with the many Matoran who had been taken inside, as were many other parts of the city. The Dark Hunters soon rallied, however, and dug in at their strongholds. The storm of elements abated there, and, when it did, the mercenaries still survived.
Metru Nui has been in a state of civil war ever since, with both sides fighting back and forth. The Toa are strong protectors, and are aided by the Matoran and Vahki however possible, but the Dark Hunters found themselves equal to the pressure. They strike from the shadows, assassinating Toa before fading away as quickly as they appeared. Without giving the Toa a target to fight back against, they are slowly taking more and more ground as the defenders dwindle away. That was, until…
Turaga Dume listened to the latest report from a haggard-looking Toa of stone. He had been out all night, using his powers to detect the Dark Hunters’ attempts to tunnel underneath the Coliseum, and doing what he could to thwart them. The news wasn’t good, but he couldn’t let that disappointment show on his mask. This Toa needed something different.
“Thank you, Toa Naki” he told the Toa. “You have done admirably, and Metru Nui owes you our thanks. You may go”. He shook the Toa's hand, and he left, leaving Dume alone in his office.
The Turaga of Metru Nui looked back down to his desk, and noted down the new information. He would have to send more Toa to Ta-Metru, but that could mean leaving Le-Metru vulnerable. It would be a long night for him, but such decisions had to be made. At least he was alone now, and could work in peace without more appointments.
He worked steadily for another half hour before there was another knock at his door. Dume jumped up, startled, and put a hand on his disk launcher, before remembering the seven Toa standing guard outside, and that Dark Hunters would not bother to knock. “Turaga, may I see you?” Lhikan’s voice called.
“Certainly, commander” he replied. From his records, he knew that Lhikan was supposed to be off duty, getting some much-needed rest. He wasn’t surprised though – the Toa of fire always made time to help others, even when he seemed about to drop from exhaustion.
Lhikan entered the room, bringing with him a nervous-looking Ta-Matoran wearing a kanohi huna. “Turaga, this is Vakama.” Lhikan said. “He is a mask-maker and has lived in this city all his life. Vakama, I’d like you to tell the Turaga what you told me. Don’t be afraid, out leader doesn’t bite.”
“Well” stammered the Matoran, “I was working at my forge, crafting a great mask for our Toa, when I saw the city, all of it. It wasn't a dream, because I was still awake just before I saw it, and then when it was gone I was still standing up.” There was a small look of defiance on his face, wanting to be believed, not dismissed as some cross-wired freak with weird dreams. He knew what he had seen was important, and needed to share this with the Turaga.
“You had a vision, Vakama” Dume said kindly. “Please go on”.
“Well, I saw the city” Vakama said, "but it was in ruins, destroyed.” (Dume’s face turned very grave), “but then it was whole again, and shining. And I saw what did it: six kanoka disks. They sort of shot past me, and then all turned into one, great disk. That was what healed the city”.
“The six great kanoka disks” Dume mused, remembering the legend.
“I though as much” Lhikan interjected. “That was what prompted me to bring Vakama to you.”
“This is a strong boon from the Great Spirit” Dume observed. “Was there anything else, Vakama?”
“Yes, Turaga” Vakama replied. “Just before the vision ended, I saw six Matoran, and their names came to me. Nuhrii, Vhisola, Orkahm, Ehrye, Tehutti and Ahkmou.”
Ancient sat, deep in the archives, a smile on his face. When clearing space for a squad of Hunters to rest, he had happened across a most interesting record. It had been written by none other than Toa Lhikan, before being stored here with other pieces of knowledge concerning past protectors of Metru Nui. He turned the tablet over and reread it from the beginning.
Before my eyes, Tuyet began to rise on a column of water. Higher and higher she climbed, until it seemed like she would be able to touch the stars themselves. And she was laughing, a thunderous, horrible sound that seemed to break my hopes and beliefs like they were fragile things of crystal. I feared for her mind, but more for our city.
"I always knew she looked down on us, but this is ridiculous," said Nidhiki. "Are you up to putting a chill in her plans?"
I didn't answer. Instead, I focused my energy on drawing all the heat out of the column of water on which Tuyet stood. The effects were immediate – water became ice. Before the Toa of Water could respond, Nidhiki had picked up a pole made of solid metallic protodermis and swung it, smashing the pillar of ice to pieces.
Stunned and thrown off-balance, Tuyet dropped the stone. Out of contact with it, her new powers abruptly vanished, and the sudden shock of such a loss stunned her. She fell. The stone fell. I watched them both, wondering which – if either – I should catch. I chose the Toa. Nidhiki was fine with that choice. He positioned himself under the Nui Stone, ready to snatch it out of the air. I caught Tuyet. The Nui Stone came closer, closer and then I made my choice. An object of such power that it could corrupt the hearts of Toa into murderous tyrants should not be saved. I threw out an arm and hurled a blast of fire to knock it out of the air.
"No!" yelled Nidhiki, trying to grab it. But its surface was molten hot and he couldn't touch it for more than second. The stone hit the ground and splintered into a billion pieces, whose red glow flared and then faded for good.
"You --!" raged Nidhiki. "You stupid, moronic -- what's the matter with you?"
I had encircled Tuyet with fiery chains. Although they did not touch her, she could not move without being burned, and they burned so white-hot that any moisture instantly evaporated on contact. With the destruction of the stone, the red glow had faded around her as well.
"Sorry, Nidhiki. My mistake," said Lhikan. "I seem to have made a lot of them lately."
Tuyet would be confined in the Coliseum while Dume and I tried to decide on a fitting punishment. Despite being under guard, she disappeared during the night, never to be seen again. Reports that a large creature had suddenly appeared in her cell and then teleporting out with her were publicly dismissed as, at best, a delusion.
Still, I wonder what became of her. She did not escape alone – of that I am sure. I set the guard myself, and made sure that she was secure. Who wanted to take her, and for what, I do not know, though it sometimes keeps me up at night. Does some unknown force seek the power of the Nui Stone? She was the last one to hold it, and may have knowledge of its workings. I can at least sleep safe in the knowledge that the thing itself is destroyed, shattered into innumerable tiny fragments on the Ga-Metru street. Even those were gone the next morning when I returned to the scene. It had rained that night in Ga-Metru, so I surmise that the fragments were washed into the canals, out into the silver sea and scattered by the tides. The stone is destroyed forever, of that I am sure. It is its last owner whose fate is uncertain. Whoever has her now, I can only hope they are a better judge of character than I, and can see the betrayal before it comes.
Ancient finished reading the tablet and set it aside, thinking hard. He had no direct evidence of the Orders’ involvement, but it just seemed to fit, both with everything he knew of them, what he knew of the stone, and this record from the Toa who had been a first-hand witness, but never realised what had happened. This was a good day for the Dark Hunters, and with this knowledge, they would soon win the war. He would have to see Lariska immediately.
This is the point at which you enter the game. You will play as either an inhabitant of Metru Nui, or as a part of the invading army, the Dark Hunters. As you can see, things in this war are a little different from how they were in canon. Ancient, a servant of both the Dark Hunters and the Order of Mata Nui, has made an important discovery in the archives, coming to the same conclusions that I presented in this topic in the Storyline and Theories forum about a year ago. Since this game coincides with a period when the Dark Hunters had the Staff of Artakha, they could recreate the whole Nui Stone from the smallest fragment. To balance things out, the Toa also get a boost, in the form of Vakama’s visions of the Great Disks coming two millennia early. Finding and combining these could allow the creation of the vahi, legendary mask of time.
Let’s see who can solve their mystery first, in a race for power in the City of Legends.
The Great Protectors are an extension of the Toa Mangai, now including every being in Metru Nui who doesn't want to be ruled by the Dark Hunters. Toa and Vahki make up most of the fighting forces, while many Matoran work tirelessly to keep up the war effort, building fortifications, manufacturing weapons, carrying messages and a myriad of other vital tasks. There are currently fewer Vahki than usual, since their hives were destroyed in the Dark Hunters’ initial assault, but more are currently being produced.
Leader: Turaga Dume
Military Commander: Toa Lhikan
Base of Operations: The Coliseum
At the current time, the Mangai Nui have around 80 Toa, 150 Vahki and 2,000 Matoran.
All members of the Mangai Nui are bound by the Toa Code.
This group of rogues needs little descriptions, as they’re much the same bunch they were in canon. This horde of mercenaries has no moral compass and has come to take Metru Nui for The Shadowed One. They come from all over the Matoran Universe (and possibly beyond), united in the name of power and profit. All species are welcomed into the Dark Hunters, so long as they have useful skills. (Hint, hint! Go for some more unusual species when making DH characters.)
Leader: The Shadowed One, though he has chosen to remain on Odina rather than fight in the war himself. In his absence, the Hunters answer to…
Military Commanders: Lariska and Ancient
Base of Operations: The Canyon of Unending Whispers in Po-Metru.
At the current time, the Dark Hunters have around 250 operatives in Metru Nui.
Click for a larger version
NOTE: This map contains an error regarding the location of the Canyon of Unending Whispers. It should be along the Po-Onu border. The Great Temple is also mislabelled: it is not on an island, but the end of the adjacent peninsula.
This game is set in Metru Nui, a city we all know well. Much of it is as we knew it during the 2004 arc, but the war has made some changes, as wars inevitably do.
Po-Metru has been taken by the Dark Hunters for their own. No Matoran live here anymore. The Hunters’ main camp is set in the Canyon of Unending Whispers, on the border with Onu-Metru. The district’s many canyons, abandoned sculptures and assemblers’ factories all make excellent hiding places for watchful Hunters, so anyone trying to approach the camp would likely by shot a dozen times before they realised there was anyone there.
Most of the carvers and assemblers who lived here have been displaced to Le-Metru.
Onu-Metru is also heavily inhabited by Dark Hunters. The maze-like archives are a haven for Hunters slipping through the shadows, and a nightmare for those trying to track them down. The archives also provide the Hunters with knowledge, weapons, dangerous rahi to unleash on the Mangai Nui and tunnels leading all over the city. The Mangai Nui have made some efforts to collapse these, but the sheer number of tunnels and the fact that they undermine most of the city have made this very difficult.
On the surface, the metru is largely abandoned, though any Toa travelling here should keep a careful watch out for snipers and assassins.
The steam and smoke of Ta-Metru have grown even thicker since the war began, with every forge and factory running around the clock to bolster the Mangai Nui’s war effort. Masks, weapons, barricades, prison bars, Vahki parts and more are being churned out at a phenomenal rate to keep the Toa supplied. Many Matoran from other metrus now live in this area, working alongside the Ta-Matoran. Those buildings which cannot be productive as factories now house the refugees. Vahki and Toa are thick on the ground, watching over the workers to keep them safe from stealthy Hunters.
Le-Metru has become much like Ta-Metru, though its factories are of a different kind. Nevertheless, the Matoran here are working just as hard, aided by Po-Matoran assemblers driven out of their own metru. It is here that new Vahki units are assembled. Many airships were produced and fitted with all kinds of weapons, but have stayed on the ground, ineffective against a foe that can’t be found. Other vehicles, however, have proved useful, and so are being churned out of the Moto-Hub at record pace. The chute system is still operational, sending goods, people and messages between the Toas’ strongholds. To prevent interception by the Dark Hunters, squads of Vahki or Toa are now required to accompany every shipment, and emergency shut-off mechanisms are in place, controlled from the main chute-station in Le-Metru.
The neighbour of Onu-Metru, Ko-Metru is now mostly abandoned for fear of the Hunters. Only a few knowledge towers near the coliseum are still operating. Scholars and Astrologers are frantically searching the stars for any hints of prophecy about the war’s outcome, but none have been found yet.
The city of water is largely abandoned, since defending its large area and few resources would take too many Toa away from other strongholds of the Mangai Nui. Only a small area on the border with Ta-Metru remains inhabited, since it contains protodermis purification facilities. This area has, for all intents and purposes, become a part of Ta-Metru. The rest has been looted by the Hunters, though they too seem disinterested in controlling the territory.
The centrepiece of Metru Nui was a fortress to hide in for the Toa Mangai when the Dark Hunters first attacked, but now it is a fortress to make its enemies cower. It has been given every protection possible, has a large stockpile of resources and is filled with Toa and Vahki guards right around the clock. As the centre of the Mangai Nui’s operations, it is a busy place, behind the walls. Messengers run about, warriors are in training, supplies are distributed, councils are held and orders given. The place has also become a safe haven for the hundreds of Matoran whose homes were conquered or destroyed by the Dark Hunters. It is connected by secure chutes to key points in Ta-Metru and Le-Metru, while chutes to the other metrus have been cut off.
Characters in this game can be any being living in Metru Nui. This includes many MU species, especially within the Dark Hunters’ ranks. There are no Makuta (yet ).
To create a character, fill out this character profile and submit it for approval. This layout is only a suggestion, so feel free to change the format if you wish.
Name: Make it BIONICLE-sounding.
Gender: Male, Female, unknown, neither, somewhere in between.
Species: Something from the MU, or create your own custom species.
Faction: Mangai Nui / Dark Hunters / Other?
Element: If applicable to the character’s species.
Kanohi: If applicable to the character’s species. Custom masks are OK if approved by the GM.
Other Powers: If applicable to the character’s species.
Appearance: What do they look like? A MoC, drawing or description will do.
Equipment: What do they have with them?
Biography: About their life.
Personality: What are they like? How do they act?
Skills/Strengths: What are they good at?
Weaknesses: What are they bad at? What hurts them?
There is no limit on how many characters a player may control at a time.
As with any RPG, there are some canon powers that cannot be used. These include:
- The legendary masks, for obvious reasons.
- The olmak, avohkii, krahkan, olisi and mask of elemental energy, all of which are unique. There are none of these masks in existence other than the ones shown in the canon story.
- The elements of light and shadow (though some light or shadow-based powers may be allowed in custom species).
- The mohtrek, because insta-armies are annoying.
- The mask of undeath, because unkillable zombies are no fun.
- The komau (great mask of bunnying), the sanok (great mask of auto-hitting) and the mask of clairvoyance (great mask of meta-gaming) are all off-limits. While it is possible to use these responsibly in an RPG, I’d rather save everyone the trouble of sorting out how they should and shouldn't be used within good RPing etiquette.
- The mask of conjuring, because it is ridiculously overpowered.
Some canon characters are available for use as PCs, both Toa Mangai and Dark Hunters. Players wishing to play as these characters should PM a profile to the GM. If there is competition for a character, the GM will award the character to the player who submitted the profile he liked best. The GM’s decision is final.
The following characters are up for grabs, if anyone wants them.
Naho, four unknown Toa of ice, three unknown Toa (At least one of the unknown Toa wore a kakama)
Orde, Zaria, Chiara, Lessovik, Takua, Nokama, Matau, Nuju, Whenua, Onewa, Jaller, Hahli, Kongu, Matoro, Nuparu, Hewkii, Kapura, Macku, Tamaru, Kopeke, Taipu, Hafu.
Lariska, Airwatcher, Amphibax, Avak, Charger, Conjurer, Devastator, Eliminator, Gatherer, Gladiator, Guardian, Hakann, Lurker, Krekka, Mimic, Phantom, Poison, Primal, Prototype, Ravager, Savage, Shadow Stealer, Spinner, Thok, Tracker, Triglax, Tyrant, Reidak, Vengeance, Vezok, Zaktan.
In the days before the war, it was rare for Ta-Matoran mask makers to craft great kanohi, since there were very few Toa who had need of them. Matoran masks were cheaper to make, since they used lower-powered disks, and so were produced in much higher volumes. The forging of great masks was considered a show of great skill for a mask-maker, but had little practical value, and so was rarely done.
Now, with over a hundred Toa in the city, all of them using masks against the Dark Hunters, the trend has reversed. Great masks are being produced as quickly as possible to aid the Toa. For this reason, it is acceptable for a PC to have two great kanohi, rather than the customary one.
The conditions for this are as follows:
a) The character with an extra mask must be a Toa
b) The character with an extra mask must be part of the Mangai Nui, and have been for some time.
c) The character will have had their second mask for only a short time, and so may not have completely mastered its power(s) as yet.
Concerning the level of technology present in the game, players should go with what we saw in Metru Nui in the 04-05 arc. Kanoka disks, moto-sleds, rhotuka launchers and memory crystals are all fair game. Xian standard weaponry is cool for DHs and some Toa, depending on which part of the universe they came from. Toa who lived on Xia or Nynrah before going to defend Metru Nui will have better tech than Toa from the back-blocks of the Tren Krom Peninsula.
- All BZP rules apply, obviously.
- In general, don’t do anything that detracts from other peoples’ enjoyment of the game. All the usual RPG fallacies fall under this, such as god-modding, meta-gaming, bunnying, auto-hitting and the like. For more on these, see the BZPRPG, where you will find some great descriptions and more details on the subtleties of these.
- Use IC and OOC to separate what your character(s) do from you talking.
- Do not wreak huge destruction on the city. Both sides in this war want the city in-tact, so going nova and sinking Metru-Nui beneath the silver sea is no good for anyone. Cause a bit of destructive mayhem if you have to, but please, no apocalyptic, metru-destroying attacks.
- Do not kill or injure somebody else’s character without permission. The same goes for (character) life changing events.
- GMs have the right to do anything they see fit in the IC world. This includes punishments for rule-breaking and rewards for making positive contributions to the RPG.
You will see that this game looks similar in many ways to Strike from the Shadows, a game created by Zarayna a few contests ago. I have taken some good ideas from the game and incorporated them into my own, with a few changes, while attempting to give City of Legends its own points of uniqueness and not just rip off the older game. Nonetheless, this game would not be what it is without Zarayna and his Co-GMs having pioneered RPGs set in this time and place. Credit where it is due.
Edited by The Lorax, Dec 11 2013 - 02:23 PM.