OOC: The time has come.
Each of the Wanderer's Company held their respective Essence Stones and took up a place in front of one of the six notches in the Suva Nui. No matter their normal dispositions towards seriousness - some of the group tended to laugh in its face, others embraced it - a definite aura of gravity suddenly sunk over the group like a heavy blanket that sucked the air dry of its normal taste. Stannis embraced this sudden tonal shift as the presence of destiny in this place, a final sign that he and these Matoran, his friends, were meant to do what they were about to do. Always a man of belief, he was about to toss himself blindly into the arms of fate. Stannis had been ready to do this a long time.
For a silent moment, every one of the six Matoran was joined to his or her compatriots by the joint and unspoken realization that after this move, there would be no going back. They had all sworn oaths, aloud or perhaps merely to themselves, that they would stay true to the task of liberating the island until it was achieved. But to undergo a wholesale and irrevocable alteration, of the selves they'd always known, was a consequence along that road that was more final than any the Matoran had ever faced in their lives. They had never really registered the scope of their sacrifice until being so close to it. Korero was hit especially hard by this epiphany, as he'd had the least amount of time to think about the idea of turning. He had, after all, been thrown into this duty without much ado; did he belong here? The weight of Lewa's stone, and the presence of the souls touching his, reassured him.
These six travelers had walked very different paths to reach this moment. Now that it was upon them, and with an uncertain end, they felt naked standing under the knowledge that they had no clue what lay in their futures. What would it feel like to live inside a bigger body, a body that could channel the energies of the universe? Oreius in particular had his doubts about his new form. What would happen to Inu, his unexpected partner of existence, when Oreius turned to a Toa? Perhaps I will be killed, and you will be rid of me, Inu suggested. The Ta-Matoran neglected to reply, instead staring at Tahu's stone clutched in his hands as it had been countless times before now. Oreius had been the first stone-bearer, and Tahu's Essence Stone had saved his life; it had also cost Aurax his. Oreius pursed his lips and looked at his hands. He wanted to remember what they had looked like.
Very shortly after they had first met as a group, Takua had told the Wanderer's Company about the Essence Stones and about how he believed that the stones carried not only the vast power of their original donors, but also perhaps some of their personalities. It had been a speculative comment on his part, but if Takua was right, which he had been about everything else, that would mean that upon changing, the Matoran would not only lose their temporal bodies, but also perhaps the integrity of their idiosyncratic spirits. While none of them doubted the integrity of character of the First Toa, it was nevertheless unnerving to think that such a combination could even happen. Reordin and Leah exchanged a glance - they were standing at two notches next to one another - and both wondered to themselves how the other one would be after the turn. Reordin smiled humorlessly at the ground, trying to relieve himself of those dark thoughts; Leah nodded slightly as if to say, I know. They were both glad that, whatever happened next, they had enjoyed each others' company.
But for all these misgivings, all these doubts and fears of potential disaster, none of the Matoran ran away from the Suva. None of them had serious thoughts about doing anything other than setting the stones into the unobtrusive notches that were only inches away. Only the strongest conviction and the hardiest courage kept these Matoran planted where they stood. None of them were sure how they had been chosen to play the parts they were playing, but now they all knew why: bravery. In their unity, they were prepared to unflinchingly face their duty and to embrace the hand of destiny that had guided them this far. Sulov, the quietest member of the company, had the loudest thoughts. He was about to embark on a new trail, one that would require unknown skills and unknown mixes. The Onu-Matoran's heart tickled his ribs with its ferocious beating, and his mind was consumed by the significance of this moment for himself and for his friends. It was time to start winning.
Nobody started towards the notches first. As a collective, unwittingly synchronized, the six members of the Wanderer's Company held out their respective Essence Stones and slowly placed all six into their rightful places. The six stones started to glow their signature hues, brighter and brighter until none of the company could look at them. They closed their eyes, felt the brightness on their eyelids.
From that point on, nothing was the same.
The company was unable to watch as the Essence Stones' physical containers dissolve as though they had never existed. Only the blinding light energies remained hovering in place and, once they were free of their physical bonds, these nebulae of Toa energy rocketed painlessly into the chests of their respective Matoran. At the same time the whole world seemed to become as bright as the sun, painfully white; still the Matoran could not see. But they were aware of something sensational traveling over their bodies. It felt as though somebody had squeezed a sponge full of pleasantly warm water over their heads, and the water was like liquid electricity running down over them. They felt paralyzed by these odd sensations of heat, which were coupled with a pervasive tingling that was far from unpleasant.
When the sensation was ended, the Suva Nui's black stone was no longer alight with burning luminance. Still, the eyes of the group took some time to adjust to the normal lighting of the world again. When they could finally see again, they could scarcely believe their eyes. They had become Toa.
Reordin, Toa of Ice, was well-built in a lean, athletic way. He carried himself with natural poise, which only lent his body better to its attractive shape. White armor glistened in the sun over other pale hues. The Toa's cold, blue eyes were enigmatic, as easily icy fortress walls as they were the sparkle of sun on a field of snow. His long-fingered hands held twin ice axes with serrated inner blades, as useful for mountain climbing as for combat. These could easily be stowed on his back. Even his feet bore little spikes to help him ascend glacial surfaces.
Leah, Toa of Water, was most delighted by her new weapon - a masterfully built, somewhat springy bow staff. As soon as her sight was restored and after having surveyed her companions, she twirled the staff experimentally to find that its balance suited her impeccably. Leah, pretty as a Matoran, had maintained, even improved, her good looks in transformation. She was put together like a gifted runner, with long toned legs and an elegance to the way she moved. Her armor, a dark azure that reminisced the sea, was accented with some noon-day blue, as though she was the embodiment of a bridge between sky and water.
Korero, Toa of Air, carried an excitable, knowledgeable demeanor that translated into his movements; tall and lanky with active fingers and face, his gestures were expressive. His body language alone said all that needed to be said of the shield on his arm. It was a round metallic plate, supplemented at two opposing poles of its edge with triangular bladed surfaces that were fixed to the center of the shield. The shield was surprisingly light, to Korero's satisfaction, and its round portion reflected the sunlight cleanly into the trees. Korero was the color of the jungle, dark and olive greens, and his golden eyes peered around the trees as if looking for the sturdiest vine in sight.
Sulov, Toa of Earth, was a mountain of a Toa. Powerful arms dangled from wide shoulders; his rock-hard chest rose and fell with the tremendous breaths he took. Sulov found his natural stance to be somewhat hunched, but if he stood to his full stature, he was easily the tallest of the Toa. Dark armor and slabs of muscle made him imposing, but the ever-watchful intelligence beneath his brow made Sulov a truly intimidating presence, if he wished to be one. Sulov's prosthetic shovel arm had transformed with him, leaving that forearm with what was essentially a battle-fitted shovel: a wide-bladed spade with sharp edges and a great deal of heft to it. Sulov discovered quickly that he could twist the base of the shovel blade and it would detach from his stump.
Oreius, Toa of Fire, was one body containing two beings. Toa Oreius was a dark red and orange-armored, powerful looking warrior with a pair of sister swords held in his hands. Parakuka Inu was now essentially an outgrowth of his Oreius' armor structure. Inu's chitinous outer shell had transformed along with his host's body, becoming a sleek segmented mass against Oreius' sightly bent upper back; whatever evidence there had once been of the Parakuka being a separate being than its host was gone after the transformation process. Oreius himself was stockier than Reordin and the way he stood, soldier-like despite the curve imposed by Inu's presence, implied discipline both physical and mental. Oreius' fiery eyes never seemed to lose a spark.
Stannis, Toa of Stone, looked every inch the leader he was. Warm brown and sandy tan armor plated his heroic frame, which was borne with equal parts sagacity and nobility. A long halberd was leaned comfortably against his shoulder, its blade a deadly trapezoid with slatted patterns. Set in his handsome, statuesque face was a pair of grey eyes that seemed to see more than was visible; above a set of defined cheekbones, they roved over the rest of the team, soaking in their new forms. Stannis had strong hands and a strong jawline, as though he had been given physical features to reflect the character of his will by some considerate sculptor.
It was perceptive Stannis that, while the rest of the team was exploring their new bodies and chatting with one another in their new voices, heard the sound of scraping stone and noticed the change that had happened on the Suva Nui. Below where the the words "Hidden Lines" were carved onto one of the obelisk's flat surfaces, perfectly straight lines were being cut as though by invisible hands into the rock. They made a simple, fairly large rectangle and, when the rectangle swung inwards, Stannis realized that another part of the prophecy had been fulfilled with duality; in this case, the "hidden lines" were both symbolic and, in the case of this door, literal. Inside the obelisk was impenetrable darkness.
Stannis had only just enough time to see the letters spelling "Hidden Lines" fading into the stone and beginning to be replaced by another word when out of the dark doorway sprang a Rahkshi, followed by five others.