The Toa of Earth followed his own advice, moving as quickly as he could to excavate the ruins of the bank and rescue the Matoran trapped beneath. His stature increased twofold, he had been able to move huge armfuls of snow at one time; now that Valria had affected the area with her power over gravity, he was able to move even more.
But would he be fast enough? Though the team was working as fast as they could, the shrieks of the Rahkshi still lingered in the icy air, chilling their spirits more effectively than any blizzard ever could. With every moment that passed, the more likely it became that Makuta's sons would attack before the Matoran could be rescued.
Then, upon scooping up another armful of snow and ice, he uncovered the first of the Matoran. The Ko-Matoran seemed to be unhurt; he thanked Kaiapo as the Toa helped him up and out of the debris. Encouraged by this victory, the team continued, working as hard as they could to free the rest before time ran out.
Take my word for it: there's nothing worse than finally dragging yourself, shivering and half-frozen, through Ko's gates, only to feel an earthquake, and turn around to see an army pouring out of the ground. Hearing a scream split the air that just about finishes the job of turning you into a frozen corpse.
My Ussal was as tired as I was; I ditched it and moved further into the village. Everywhere I looked, people were running around and calling out orders, trying to put up defences as quickly as possible. Good for them and all, but that army outside the gates had looked an awful lot like an army of Rahkshi, and, if half the stories were true, no amount of defences would hold back even a few of the devils for just a few minutes. Against hundreds...
Yeah, there was no chance.
That decided, I figured my quickest plan of action had to be to figure out why Caerus had sent me up here, get it done, and get out as soon as possible (if it was possible to get out. I had a nagging feeling that the Rahkshi might have blocked the exits, in which case I was stuck here, doomed to die with a bunch of scholars and prophets. Yay).The only problem was that I didn't have a clue as to what the blasted poet wanted me to do.
The scroll was long since burnt to ashes, but I've got a half-decent memory, so I called it up and muttered it under my breath as I moved through the village.
Trophy of the elder strong, of stone
Held in land of snow and frost and ice
Architect of sinking island's groan
Make all haste to aid him in his plight
So... I was looking for someone who'd architected a sinking island. My thoughts went to Aurelia first, but Bry and I'd seen her in Onu before I'd left. It wasn't her.
Unless... unless the person I was up here to help wasn't the mastermind herself, but one of her minions. The poem was confusing enough: I couldn't tell if the whole thing was about one person (trophy, architect, him), or about multiple things. The second approach seemed to make more sense, so I figured that was my best way to go. Find an accomplice of the architect. Help him do something about a trophy. Whee.
That still didn't get me any farther, though. The poem didn't make any mention as to how I was s'posed to find the guy.
I thought about it for a minute, still walking in an attempt to look like I had somewhere to be (people standing still in an emergency draw too much attention), when something clicked. Maybe the guy was the architect. Nobody had ever said that Aurelia had come up with the plan on her own. Maybe she had some smarty-pants Ko-Matoran who'd done all the math for her, and actually engineered Kumu's destruction.
It was my only shot, so I went with it. There wasn't enough time to second-guess myself; there were Rahkshi at the gates.
As a Ko-Matoran ran past, holding a spear and a shield, I held out a hand, my eyes wide and voice breathy. "Excuse me! I'm looked for the architect's house!"
The guy didn't even blink as he slowed and pointed. "Ambages. Follow that road. Biggest house in the Koro."
Then he was gone again. And so was I.
In a moment, I was at Ambages' house. It was easy to find: biggest house in the Koro. I knocked at the door, hoping the guy was still home and not locking himself in the Sanctum with the rest of the civilians.