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BZPGOT: Lore & Histories

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#1 Offline Elittra

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Posted Jul 30 2016 - 09:33 AM

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FOREWORD: THE FIRST MASK MAKER

 

To whomever might find these records, I share the humblest of greetings with you, and hope that these histories shall serve you well. They have been painstakingly crafted, edited and added to over the course of Okoto’s existence, noting the rise and fall of such factions as the Mask Makers and the Knights of Ekimu, among others.
 
To those who might give me a name, I was once known as Voltex – though none remain alive to remember me, barring perhaps Ekimu (should he rise again and remember his own ancient history) or the commander of the Long Night Kulta the Skull Grinder. To those who have proven tenacious enough to find me, I am known to them simply as ‘The Storyteller’, for even among those capable of finding me, few of them are capable of believing the stories that I share with them to be true. Ekimu would refer to me as the First Mask Maker, and he would, perhaps, be correct in a certain fashion. I was not the first Mask Maker to grace Okoto with their presence, but I was among the first twelve, and helped to establish their dominion over the regular Okotoans.
 
These days, if I am discovered, Okotoans mistake me for one of their own from the Ice Region – and failing that, they then assume I am of Earth instead. In truth, I am from neither; my armor happens to be black and white, and for them, it is merely coincidence that I wear a standard white Protector Mask rather than something more befitting of a Mask Maker.
 
We Mask Makers have a lifespan that does not end, unless under extenuating circumstances. It is why the first of us – the Council of Twelve, as we came to be known – were able to so successfully establish our dynasty, and why there still remains a chance that the last true Mask Maker, Ekimu, still lives despite his eternal slumber. It is why I remain here still to write away in my small little hut, recording the past and present of Okoto in the hopes that someday, someone who believes what I have written will put it to good use.
 
When the Council of Twelve ruled over Okoto, I was initially given charge over the rather dubious task of maintaining the forge after displeasing several of the others during our conquest. At the time I cursed them out of spite, but now I am thankful, for it was an assignment that perhaps saved my life in the end. I was there to witness one of our own try to rise up against the others and see them executed for their foolishness – and the Mask Maker Civil War that followed.
 
At the end of the Mask Maker Civil War (in which I remained neutral as the remaining ten tore each other and their armies to shreds, until only four remained), I bid them farewell and sailed a ship southeast with a crew of Stone, Water, and Fire Okotoans. We found a small island to make our home and constructed a great labyrinth, building ourselves a new home within. While the Okotoans I had brought with me established new lives for themselves, I dedicated my life to observing all of Okoto, and began to record its happenings. I watched the Mask Makers recover from their Civil War admirably, rising higher than ever before. I watched as they slowly began to fade away, diminishing until only two of their number – Ekimu and Makuta – remained.
 
I watched as the Mask Maker Makuta, in his foolishness, crafted a Mask of Power that brought only calamity.
 
The Long Night.
 
I witnessed Ekimu’s magic seal the forces of the Long Night away, and Okoto united itself under his son – a Water Okotoan, who had lived until manhood during the years of the Long Night. By this time, the Okotoans living with me had diminished in number, descendants of the descendants of the original settlers. With Okoto’s population devastated, I sent them back to their ancestor’s home to help re-populate. Living alone, I watched as the Okotoans styled themselves as ‘Protectors’, pledging to keep the island safe from the Skull Army that had almost crushed them all.
 
For the last three hundred years, I have watched, listened, and learned as Okoto fell once more. The Long Night is coming again, and I fear that this time, Okoto will unite together far too late to stop it… if they can even join together at all.
 
All I can do is continue to observe and record, and hope that a Protector will come who believes my tales, and can use these histories to save Okoto in the wars to come.

 
REVIEW


Edited by Lucina, Aug 03 2016 - 05:13 PM.

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Elittra Valmai


#2 Offline Elittra

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Posted Aug 07 2016 - 10:14 PM

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This particular entry focuses on the Stone Region of Okoto. Included are the current major houses of the region, each of which rules over several smaller, minor houses, as well as any living or dead Protectors relevant to the current state of Okoto. Any and all events detailed within are dated BE (Before Ekimu’s Fall) and AE (After Ekimu’s Fall).

 

THE STONE REGION

“As Strong as Stone”

 

MAJOR HOUSES

(AS OF 328 AE)

 

House Raqmu

“Stand Tall Eternally”

Formerly headed by Lord Bronze the Mask Breaker, whose killing of the Mask Maker Trijhak the Mad in 296 AE allowed Voxumo the Usurper to claim the throne. His actions during Voxumo’s Rebellion were also instrumental in allowing House Raqmu to claim the ruling seat of the Stone Region from House Petros. Perished in 317 AE as a result of House Rayne of the Water Region poisoning the water shipments to Stone, an event that spiralled into the War for the Throne.

 

Currently headed by Lord Zatth, a first cousin of Bronze. Took over as interim commander of House Raqmu and the Stone Region after the death of Bronze. Against all odds, managed to hold the Stone Region together and lead it through the War for the Throne with minimal losses, despite fighting on the losing side. Was elected to permanently rule over House Raqmu and the Stone Region after the war ended in 320 AE.

 

Served as the main banner men of House Petros before Voxumo’s Rebellion in 296 AE; when House Petros sided against the rebellion, House Raqmu crushed them on the field and seized control over the Stone Region. Typically responsible for extensive mining and carving of stone, these duties have since fallen mostly to House Petros, leaving House Raqmu to focus on ruling over the region.

 

House Petros

“The Great Foundation”

Formerly headed by Lord Patrus VI, who was slain by Bronze of House Raqmu during Voxumo’s Rebellion.

 

Current head unknown.

 

Formed by Patrus the Proud in 102 BE, House Petros conquered the Stone Region and managed to rule over it unchallenged for nearly 400 years, before they were overthrown by House Raqmu in 296 AE during Voxumo’s Rebellion. Loyal to the previous line of Mask Makers, their traitorous attitudes led to a significant decline in size and reach until the War for the Throne began in 317 AE. Currently responsible for mining and carving stone from the mountains.

 

House Archean

“Might with Right”

Formerly headed by Lord Hakkon, who was slain on the field of battle during Voxumo’s Rebellion.

 

Current head unknown.

 

Formed by the Mask Maker Archean Borne in 42 BE, House Archean has extremely close ties with their sister house in the Water Region, House Vatten; a connection proudly displayed even to this day in their house words.

 

While their sister house’s connection to Ekimu handed them a ruling dynasty over Okoto, House Archean has served as the keepers of law across the Stone Region and Okoto, resorting to justice or military might to uphold peace in the name of whichever Mask Maker sits upon the throne. Their numbers fell significantly after they fought for Trijhak the Mad in Voxumo’s Rebellion and many members took the sword rather than live under the rule of Voxumo the Usurper. During the years of Voxumo’s rule, House Archean stepped back, actively refusing to help him return Okoto to peace; this move led to much suffering and loss on the part of House Archean, but having stood their ground, they made it through the War for the Throne relatively untouched. Their remaining members now continue their fight for justice and fairness in the name of the Mask Maker Pulse the True Heir, son of Trijhak the Mad.

 

House Maran

“Steer the World”

Formerly headed by Lord Moret, who died of natural causes in 325 AE.

 

Current head unknown.

 

Other prominent members include RahiSpeak, who served as one of the Stone Region’s lead traders with other regions before perishing in the poisoning that started the War for the Throne in 317 AE.

 

Responsible for developing most weapons and tools for the Stone Region, beyond the simple carving done by House Raqmu and House Petros. Due to their speciality, House Maran remained neutral during both Voxumo’s Rebellion and the War for the Throne, offering their services to the highest bidders. While they are thriving, their reputation has been tarnished by these actions, and other houses currently seek to replace them as the lead arms dealers for the region.

 

House Galum

“Fight to Live, Live to Fight”

Both the former and current head of House Galum are unknown. Aside from their habit of keeping their line of succession secret, their members also have a tendency to die off too quickly for proper records to be established.

 

Members of House Galum – as well as those minor houses sworn to them – are bred from birth to be warriors, and are known to be the best soldiers throughout Okoto. They are a crucial ally in almost every war, and their support was instrumental in allowing House Raqmu to overthrow House Petros in 296 AE. Their lack of support for House Raqmu during the War for the Throne from 317AE-319AE contributed heavily to the Stone Region losing the war.

 

HISTORY

 

BEFORE 102 BE

Until Patrus the Proud decided to conquer the entire region and unite it under one banner, the desert of the Stone Region was home to dozens of scattered tribes, many of which wandered rather than stay in one place for long. While the other regions had adapted into the house system by 300 BE, the Stone Okotoans continued to survive as they had for a further 200 years, with little trade or communication with the Mask Makers and the other regions.

 

102 BE

The Conquering of Stone

In the year 102 BE, a stone tribe led by an Okotoan named Patrus conquered their neighboring tribe, absorbing them into their camps. This action inspired Patrus, who found that he rather enjoyed the adrenaline rush brought with battle. Taking after the example of the other regions, he re-formed his tribe into the Stone Region’s first house – House Patrus, styled after himself.

 

With his own house formed, Patrus immediately went to war against the nearest tribes, conquering one after the other until every enemy tribe had either been destroyed or absorbed into House Patrus. All in all, the Conquering of Stone took less than a year, and under the guidance of Patrus, the Stone Region built itself into as formidable a region as a desert could be.

 

94 BE

As Strong as Stone

For eight years, Patrus (now known as ‘the Proud’) helped the Stone Region to rise back up to prominence under his singular banner. The other regions, divided as they were in their house and caste system, were frightened of the Stone Region’s entirely united front, and even more afraid of Patrus the Proud’s ability to hold them together.

 

The Ice Region, led by Malgor the Fool, began to plan an invasion of their neighbors to the south, believing that dividing and conquering the Stone Region would be a simple enough task. In truth, however, the Stone Region was more than ready for them; Patrus led his forces onto the field of battle and together, they defended their borders with a ferociousness never before seen on Okoto. Patrus the Proud fought his way to Malgor the Fool, and after declaring his united house ‘As Strong as Stone’, he took Malgor’s head, crushing the Ice Region’s invasion in one fell swoop.

 

88 BE

Makuta’s Visit

For the next six years, Patrus ruled over the Stone Region without incident. Once confident that no wars would interfere with a visit, the Mask Maker Makuta journeyed to the Stone Region, accompanied by the Mask Makers Archean Borne and Vatten Borne.

 

Historical records indicate that the meeting went poorly. Patrus the Proud and those Okotoans most loyal to him were unimpressed by the Mask Makers, and Patrus eventually declared them unfit to rule over the island. Rather than execute him, the Mask Maker Makuta instead sent both Archean and Vatten back to Ekimu in the Ancient City, while he himself journeyed north with a number of Stone Okotoans who still admired the Mask Makers.

 

There, he began the construction of a great city, one that Makuta claimed would outshine the Ancient City – and one that he secretly hoped would earn him the love of Protectors across Okoto, for even 88 years before the onset of the Long Night, Makuta was jealous of his brother Ekimu.

 

78 BE

Makuta’s City

It took ten years for Makuta and his builders to finish constructing the city. Upon sighting it, Patrus the Proud mockingly declared it to be named ‘Makuta City’ – and before any Okotoans or Mask Makers from elsewhere on Okoto had arrived, the name stuck.

 

Despite the unfortunate origins of its name, Makuta City immediately began to thrive, drawing in Okotoans from all regions of Okoto to live directly under the rule of Makuta himself. Although still not loved as much as the other three Mask Makers, it was agreed that Makuta made a fine ruler; one who proved himself worthy of inhabiting the Stone Region after all.

 

Around this time, Patrus the Proud also began to fall ill, old age creeping up on him. Leaving his trueborn heir to rule over the Stone Region aided by the guidance of Makuta and those generals that remained after his conquering, Patrus travelled to the Water Region and set sail with a fearless crew, proudly exploring where no other Okotoan had ever gone before. The ship and its crew – Patrus included – were never sighted on Okoto again, and it has been assumed that they were all lost at sea.

 

54 BE – 48 BE

The Stone Plague

For twenty-four years the Stone Region continued to prosper without any significant setbacks, still united under the banner of House Patrus.

 

In the year 54 BE, however, this changed when miners in the northwest of the region came across a mysterious purple plant. All workers who came into contact with the plant soon fell dangerously ill before passing on in a matter of days. With no workers willing to approach the mines in which the plants grew, the plants were able to spread out into the open air, where they began to thrive in the hot desert sun.

 

For the next six years, the Stone Region’s population was decimated as the plague brought about by the plants killed over half of its population. Of the other regions, only the Water Region extended offers to help – offers that soon bit them in the back, as the plague swept through the Okotoans of Water as well.

 

Eventually, it was Ekimu who saved the day, successfully using his own Mask of Creation to craft a Mask of Power designed to systematically kill off every single one of the ‘Plague Plants’, as they were known, as well as any Okotoans still infected with their plague. The two regions suffered greatly, but nonetheless hailed Ekimu as their saviour.

 

42 BE

Borne Anew

Six years later, the Stone Region was still struggling to recover from the plague, as was the Water Region. Of the four Mask Makers that remained, the two Borne brothers – Archean and Vatten – decided to dedicate themselves to restoring both regions.

 

In the Water Region, Vatten established House Vatten, ruling over the Water Region from its seat and guiding them onwards. His brother Archean, meanwhile, established his own house within the Stone Region. Where Vatten retained the magic that granted the Mask Makers their longer than usual lives, however, Archean gave his up to the entire Stone Region, feeding it directly with his life force. The exact details were never made clear, but records suggest that Archean’s magic allows the Stone Region to recover from setbacks faster than usual.

 

That was precisely what occurred after House Archean was established, with Archean himself ruling over it as an ordinary Okotoan of Stone.

 

40 BE

The Last Mask Makers

Less than two years after sacrificing his magic, Archean Borne passed away, his ordinary body no longer able to support his old age. Around the same time, word reached the ruling party in House Patrus that his brother Vatten had recently died of mysterious causes, leaving both Ekimu and Makuta the only two members of the Mask Makers to remain.

 

Only a few short months after the deaths of the other Mask Makers, Ekimu and Makuta called the banners of Okoto to join them in the Jungle Region, where a great temple was beginning to appear. House Archean was left to keep the peace in the Stone Region while House Patrus journeyed into the Jungle.

 

House Patrus returned to the Stone Region before the year was up, declaring that ten Okotoans of Fire and Ice had appeared alongside what Ekimu claimed was the Temple of Time, though the Okotoans seemed to insist on calling themselves ‘Protectors’. With the strangers staying with Ekimu in the Water Region, the Stone Region did not bother itself with them, except to acknowledge Ekimu’s announcement of the strangers departing months after.

 

5 BE

Makuta’s Retreat

Around this time, Makuta retreated deep into Makuta City, dedicating himself entirely to a project to which even Ekimu was kept unaware. For five years, he toiled away until finally, the fateful day arrived….

 

0 BE

The Long Night Begins and the Massacre at Makuta City

Having summoned some of the highest nobles from all six regions to Makuta City, Makuta showed off his newest creation – a special Mask of Power that he claimed had been crafted using all six of the main elements of Okoto. Despite the warnings of Ekimu, Makuta donned what he had called the ‘Mask of Ultimate Power’ in front of the crowd.

 

Accounts from the incident were few and far between, but each of them agreed that the Mask of Ultimate Power must have been responsible for what happened next. The sky over top of Makuta City went as dark as night in an instant, and the temperature dropped to near freezing in seconds. Skeletal warriors twice the size of the Okotoans present crawled out of the ground and began to cut Okotoans down where they stood – only for the fallen to rise back up and begin attacking their brethren in turn.

 

Unprepared for such a brutal assault and such dark magic, many of the Okotoans in Makuta City were slaughtered, including Patrus II, the current head of House Patrus. Ekimu managed to escape the city with a small squad of 22 Okotoans, 14 of which were from the Stone Region. They managed to retreat back to the castle of House Patrus, where Ekimu was able to convince the Stone Okotoans to begin mobilizing against their new enemy.

 

The Long Night

There are little to no records from the Long Night; nearly all of Okoto and its population were wiped out, with less than 2000 Okotoans still alive by the end. Despite this, certain facts can be deduced.

 

It is known that the Long Night lasted for 12 years, and at its end, the Okotoans as a whole began to refer to themselves as ‘Protectors’, intending to stop the Long Night from falling ever again. Both Makuta and Ekimu were lost as well, leaving the original line of Mask Makers extinguished. House Patrus also collapsed, though its remnants managed to reform after the Long Night as House Petros.

 

Due to the lack of records, as time passed and those who survived the Long Night passed on, the entire ordeal was slowly forgotten and erased from history. The Protectors of modern times still believe that Makuta crafted the Mask of Ultimate Power, but there their understanding deviates from what actually occurred; for modern Protectors believe Ekimu and Makuta clashed with each other in a mighty duel, one that wiped out Makuta City and ended with both Mask Makers dead in the sand. Their current dating system, as such, is flawed, and is twelve years behind.

 

4 AE

Fracturing of the Stone Region

Following the end of the Long Night, the Stone Region fractured into several houses as they tried to rebuild. Still fuelled by the magic of the Mask Maker Archean, they were the first region to fully recover, managing to do so in only four short years. Ruled by House Petros and with House Archean keeping the peace, the only visible mark left by the Long Night was the crater left where Makuta City once stood.

 

It was at this time that House Raqmu, House Maran, and House Galum were all formed. True to their regional words, the Stone Region remained a united and solid region for nearly 300 years, with little of note occurring to change the status quo.

 

295 AE

Voxumo’s Rebellion Begins

Many in the Stone Region had become displeased with the Mask Maker Trijhak, who ruled over Okoto and was referred to as ‘Trijhak the Mad’ by many. In 295 AE the Fire and Ice Regions both actively rebelled against the throne, while only the Earth Region heeded Trijhak’s call to aid; the rest stood back and watched.

 

For the Stone Region, this was a choice made not of want but of necessity, as the divide within the region was rapidly heading towards a civil war. As tensions continued to rise, Lord Patrus IV, the current head of House Petros, met with the heads of the other major Stone houses with the hopes of establishing a peaceful agreement.

 

He left instead ordering his house to march on House Raqmu, as the civil war erupted.

 

296 AE

Voxumo’s Rebellion Continues & the Stone Civil War

With Lord Moret and House Maran remaining neutral in the war to come and House Galum pledging to Lord Bronze and House Raqmu, House Petros and House Archean found themselves overwhelmed on the field of battle. The Stone Civil War lasted for only a single battle, fought over the course of four days, during which Lord Bronze of House Raqmu slew Lord Patrus IV in single combat.

 

In the aftermath of the battle, many members of House Archean were put to the sword when they refused to surrender, sending the house to the verge of extinction; House Petros almost suffered similarly, but their decision to peacefully surrender allowed more of their number to keep their heads.

 

With the Stone Region his, Lord Bronze sent the forces of House Galum to help the Ice and Fire forces to crush those of the Earth Region, who were still fighting for the Mask Maker Trijhak; Lord Bronze led his own forces straight to the Ancient City. There he set most of his forces to sieging the city, while taking five other Protectors with him to infiltrate the city in secret. His plan succeeded, and Lord Bronze managed to slay Trijhak the Mad within his very own forge before the Mask Maker’s Skull Warrior guards could detect him.

 

For his loyalty to the rebellion, Lord Bronze was risen to the position of Stone Region Ruler, with House Raqmu officially overthrowing House Petros as the rulers of the Stone Region; due to the manner of Trijhak’s demise, Lord Bronze became known as the ‘Mask Breaker’.

 

297 AE

Aftermath of Voxumo’s Rebellion

With the Earth Region’s population seemingly wiped off of Okoto entirely (though some of its Protectors had managed to survive by infiltrating other regions and posing as their Protectors), the new Mask Maker – a Protector of Fire named Voxumo – left the regions to govern themselves for a year, so that all could recover from the war. During this time, Lord Bronze named one of his cousins, a Protector named Zatth, to his council – as well as RahiSpeak of House Maran.

 

310 AE

Voxumo’s Reign Continues

Lord Bronze and House Raqmu struggled to rule and maintain order in the Stone Region in the years that followed. While what was left of House Petros performed their duties admirably, they also did so grudgingly, and a constant watch was needed to make sure they did not plan treason. The keeping of law also began to fall by the wayside, as House Archean refused to help keep the peace for usurpers, and their diminished numbers would have rendered them poor aid regardless.

 

Around this time, an Earth Protector by the name of Ghidora, who had been hiding within the Stone Region for 13 years, managed to rise all the way up to the Mask Maker Voxumo’s personal council, as the Stone Region’s representative.

 

317 AE

The Poisoning of Stone & The War for the Throne

By early 317 AE, Lord Bronze’s Stone Region was the only one of the three regions to put Voxumo on the throne whose loyalty was still guaranteed. An attempt on Voxumo’s life by the Ice Region three years before – as well as the Ice Region’s constantly shifting political climate – had turned it into an unwanted and untrustworthy ally, while Voxumo’s relationship with Lord Burnmad, Ruler of Fire, had soured for unknown reasons a year before.

 

Unfortunately for the Stone Region, they had not yet been able to fully recover from House Archean’s refusal to help with the keeping of laws within the region, and House Rayne of the Water Region – led by Lord Terrorsaur Rayne, Ruler of Water following the collapse of House Vatten during Voxumo’s Rebellion – seized advantage of the security holes present, poisoning several shipments of water to the region.

 

Lord Bronze fell victim to the attack, as did Ghidora and RahiSpeak – though two visiting envoys from the Jungle Region managed to avoid drinking any of the poisoned shipment, and Lord Bronze’s cousin Zatth also avoided it, having journeyed to the Ancient City.

 

Left as the acting Ruler of Stone, as well as the acting head of House Raqmu, the newly titled Lord Zatth rallied those he could behind Voxumo, though the poisoning had rendered most of the population dead or unable to fight. He was also left without the support of House Galum, greatly decreasing the Stone Region’s military strength.

 

Remaining loyal to Voxumo, Zatth first journeyed to the Ancient City, where the actions of Pulse Vatten, son and heir of Trijhak the Mad, caused the Temple of Time to reappear in the Jungle as well as forcing Voxumo and his allies to retreat into the Jungle Region. Lord Zatth led his troops into the Jungle Region at the Usurper’s command, where they helped to form a blockade outside the newly reappeared Temple of Time before it disappeared, taking ten Protectors of Ice and Fire with it.

 

Following this, he marched back on the Ancient City alongside Voxumo to siege the city – only for Voxumo to be slain before the siege could begin, at the hands of a Water Protector who had managed to sneak into the camp.

 

With Voxumo the Usurper dead, Lord Zatth agreed to bend the knee to the new Mask Maker Pulse.

 

319 AE

The War for the Throne Ends

For the next 2 years, the Stone Region remained neutral in the War for the Throne, leaving the Jungle Region – led by acting Ruler Smoke Monster of House Cage – to fend for itself against the other three regions. When the Jungle Region was finally burned and defeated, Lord Zatth used its example to quell those in the Stone Region who still wished for war against the Mask Maker Pulse, instead dedicating his efforts to rebuilding the region.

 

320 AE

Lord Zatth, Ruler of Stone

Following the end of the War for the Throne, Lord Zatth was officially declared as the new head of House Raqmu, as well as the newest Ruler of Stone.

 

323 AE

The Earth Region Returns

In 323 AE, to the surprise of everyone, a large force of Earth Protectors rose from underneath Okoto, led by a mighty being that they called Kulta the Skull Grinder and protected by a legion of 100 Skull Warriors. Lord Zatth was quick to welcome the Earth Region back into the fold, securing their aid in continuing to rebuild the Stone Region and in turn providing the Earth Region with as much help as Stone could afford.

 

A new faith called the ‘Faith of the Skulls’ soon appeared in the Earth Region; understanding the bonds that had been forged, Lord Zatth allowed the Faith to prosper within the Stone Region as well. When a rival group calling themselves the ‘Knights of Ekimu’ declared Kulta and his Skull Warriors to be monsters, their words were ignored by many in the Stone Region, who either saw them as heretics or simply did not care.

 

324 AE

Pohatu, Toa of Stone

In an attempt to make peace between the Faith and the Knights, the Mask Maker Pulse summoned the six heroes of legend to Okoto. Pohatu, Toa of Stone, soon went to work as the guardian of the Stone Region.

 

326 AE

Poisons and Antidotes

One year ago, Lord Zatth announced to the rest of Okoto that the Stone Region was now ready to begin supplying antidotes to most poisons. Having worked on the project in secret since the Stone Region’s involvement in the War for the Throne ended, Lord Zatth announced that the time was finally right – and that no region would suffer as the Stone Region had ever again.

 

NOW

 

The Stone Region’s relationship with the Water Region remains poor following the War for the Throne, and their relationship with Fire is not much better, though they currently depend on the Fire Region to purify their water supplies. They maintain cordial (if strained) relationships with both the Ancient City and the Ice Region; their strongest relationship is with the Earth Region, where the Faith of the Skulls rules supreme.

 

Within the Stone Region itself, tensions are rising once more, and fractures are beginning to appear again. House Petros and House Archean have regained strength under Lord Zatth’s rule, and neither house is happy about House Raqmu continuing to rule as conquerors. House Galum’s opinions are hard to gauge, but even them remaining neutral could have dire consequences for the Stone Region’s current ruling house – and House Maran, as always, promises only to supply to the highest bidder.

 

Their regional words might claim that they are as strong as stone, but in actuality, ever since before Voxumo’s Rebellion, the Stone Region has been anything but.

 

REVIEW


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Elittra Valmai


#3 Offline Elittra

Elittra
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Posted Sep 08 2016 - 09:50 PM

teaser_-_ice.jpg

 

This particular entry focuses on the Ice Region of Okoto. Included are the current major houses of the region, each of which rules over several smaller, minor houses, as well as any living or dead Protectors relevant to the current state of Okoto. Any and all events detailed within are dated BE (Before Ekimu’s Fall) and AE (After Ekimu’s Fall).

 

It must be noted that of all regions, the Ice Region is perhaps the hardest to find and maintain proper records for; while the region has managed to give off an air of ironclad unity to the rest of Okoto, the truth is that the Ice Region is stuck in an almost perpetual state of war – one that leaves proper record keeping rather difficult, and has seen the eventual downfall of almost every single major house in the region except for Houses Glacies and Greavesy.

 

THE ICE REGION

“Cold as Iron”

 

MAJOR HOUSES

(AS OF 328 AE)

 

House Glacies

“Thriving like Ice”

Formerly headed by Lord Hero, who perished during the War for the Throne in 317 AE.

 

Current head unknown.

 

Throughout history, House Glacies has survived in isolation. Sequestered high up in the mountains of the Ice Region, their lands are difficult to leave but even harder to enter. The result is that House Glacies is not known for any particular accomplishments throughout history, and in fact, their ascension to the status of major house came about entirely without their involvement. Having survived in the face of any adversary to come their way – be it foreign invaders, other Ice houses, or natural disasters – their lands now number the largest of any in the region.

 

House Greavesy

“The Cold Preserves All, But the Self Above Else”

Formerly headed by Lord Roman, who perished during the War for the Throne in 318 AE under mysterious circumstances.

 

Currently headed by Lord Nato, who reluctantly took up ruling over the house after returning from a mysterious mission undertaken for the Mask Maker Pulse in 318 AE. He has been known to vanish for extensive periods of time, leaving the house to be ruled by a council of elder workers in his stead. Known also as ‘Nato the Traveller’ to many, due to his various trips – and his exploits with the Temple of Time during the War for the Throne. Some suspect that he might be a descendant of House Gelu, with the blood of the Mask Maker Nuju in his veins.

 

Formed around approximately 312 BE, House Greavesey is one of the oldest houses of the Ice Region. They have a history of sticking to the sidelines in any conflict, waiting to pick a side until the victor has become obvious; while this has allowed the house to survive in the tumultuous Ice Region, its reputation is also poor across the entire island. Recent efforts by Lord Nato to remain actively involved with helping the Mask Maker Pulse to first reclaim his throne and then hold onto it have done much to reverse this trend, but over 600 years of history cannot be wiped away easily.

 

House Rime

“In Ice, All Stagnates”

Formerly headed by Lord Driken II, who died of natural causes in 322 AE.

 

Current head unknown.

 

Other prominent members include ToaD, who served as the Ice Region representative on the council of Voxumo the Usurper before the War for the Throne began in 317 AE, during which ToaD was slain by Ice guards whilst trying to steal the Mask of Creation.

 

Once a proud and powerful house, efforts to expand their borders into the territory of other houses throughout the ages has left House Rime suffering from wars of attrition on multiple fronts. House Rime ruled over the Ice Region at the time of Voxumo’s Rebellion in 295 AE, but were overthrown in the middle of the rebellion by House Nivis. While holding onto their status of major house by a thread, it is clear even to their banner men that House Rime has grown stagnant – and altering their house words to mock this fact does not change the precarious position they are in.

 

House Nivis

“Avalanches Have No Fury Like Ours”

Former and current heads unknown.

 

House Nivis is a pugnacious, militant house. They are a significant contributor to the Ice Region’s military forces, as well as stubborn and proud – responding violently or spitefully to insults and affronts of any kind. After overthrowing House Rim in 296 AE during Voxumo’s Rebellion, their inability to compromise with the Usurper led to an assassination attempt in 314 AE. When the assassin was caught, the house head was slain and House Nivis lost favor across the island, leaving the Usurper to hand control of the Ice Region over to Lord FF of House Crustallus.

 

House Crustallus

“Harder than Ice”

Currently headed by Lord FF, who was originally selected to rule over the Ice Region by Voxumo the Usurper in 314 AE only for FF to lend his forces to the Mask Maker Pulse during the War for the Throne.

 

House Crustallus operates a series of mines along the mountainous border with the Stone Region. They rose to prominence less than a century ago, after the fall of several major houses left power vacuums throughout the Ice Region. Their rivalry with House Crustallum has kept both houses thriving as they each try to outpace the other. House Crustallus has been a notable believer and supporter of the Knights of Ekimu throughout history.

 

House Crustallum

“Stronger than Stone”

Current and former head unknown.

 

Once a single house, House Crustallus and House Crustallum split off from one another nearly a century ago over a dispute that many believe was centered on the Skull Warriors and the secretive Knights of Ekimu. Where House Crustallus firmly supports the Knights of Ekimu, House Crustallum placed more faith with the Skull Warriors, eventually leading to them splitting off from House Crustallus entirely. They have remained in close proximity to House Crustallus, and their competition has led both houses to thrive and expand together despite their constant and sometimes violent disagreements.

 

HISTORY

 

BEFORE 300 BE

Before most of Okoto adopted the house system, the Ice Region was dominated by divided, hostile tribes. They spent their days bickering and battling over every scarce resource that the icy region had to offer, and raids into the Stone Region and Water Region by the outermost tribes were commonplace.

 

300 BE

Formation of the House System in the Ice Region

Around the year 300 BE, only the Ice Region and Stone Region had yet to adopt the house system now used by the other four regions. While the many tribes of the Stone Region remained content to keep with their traditional, wandering ways, certain tribe leaders within the Ice Region felt that the region’s lack of progress was a sign of weakness – and in the Ice Region, weakness could not be afforded or tolerated.

 

One of these leaders – a female Okotoan by the name of Gelu – managed to convince the Mask Maker Nuju to help her unify the Ice Region under the house system. Formally forming House Gelu (named after Gelu herself) and taking on the house words ‘Cold as Iron’, they took on the arduous process of forcing the war-torn Ice Region to evolve.

 

297 BE

Everything Old Becomes New

It took House Gelu three years to force the Ice Region into adopting the house system – mainly by dismantling and destroying any tribes who refused to join, while sparing those that agreed to the new system. During this time, Nuju renounced his title of Mask Maker, having fallen in love with Gelu; he even went so far as to give away all of his magic to House Gelu, in the hopes that it would allow House Gelu and its descendants to survive against any threat that might rise against them in the future.

 

Despite adopting the house system, however, the Ice Region remained largely unchanged; the battles and arguments simply transformed into formal pitched wars and invasions. The Ice Region would remain locked in its war-torn deadlock for a long time yet.

 

150 BE

Cracks in the Ice

Nearly a century and a half after adopting the house system, the Ice Region began to change. The former tribal strongholds had grown and developed into fortresses and cities, allowing their houses to spread their influence further across the land through the expansion of villages, towns, and mines.

 

Several houses in particular began to show an ability to withstand the test of time, establishing themselves as the Ice Region’s primary powers – House Gelu, House Rime, and House Nivis. Aside from those three major houses, the smaller House Crustall, House Glacies, and House Greavesy also proved difficult to dislodge, thanks to guerilla defense tactics ahead of their time used in tandem with the natural defenses around their homes that the environment created.

 

138 BE – 136 BE

Ekimu’s Visit and Nato the Unifier

During a lull in the constant storm of conflict that was now beginning to actively consume the Ice Region, the Mask Maker Ekimu decided to venture outside of the Ancient City to visit each of the Ice Region’s major houses. He made visits to House Gelu, House Rime, House Nivis, House Crustall, House Glacies, and House Greavesy to preach a message of peace, stressing the importance of unification and coexistence to the future of Okoto itself. House Greavesy and House Glacies both took Ekimu’s message to heart; House Greavesy would stick to the sidelines through much of the Ice Region’s history to follow, while House Glacies actively withdrew from war and conflict altogether, only ever fighting to defend their own established territory.

 

House Gelu, however, truly took Ekimu’s message of peace and unity to heart. Their leader of the time, an Okotoan named Nato who was descended from the Mask Maker Nuju, accompanied Ekimu and his entourage on their journey through the territories of the other Ice Region houses. During the journey he grew to better understand the resources that each house had at their disposal, and those that they were constantly fighting for. Once Ekimu had departed from the region, Nato made the bold decision to try and unify the Ice Region houses – not through conquest, but rather through a careful negotiation of beneficial trade agreements between the major powers in the reigon.

 

For two years he continued to travel the Ice Region, establishing trade agreements with all of the major houses.

 

128 BE

The Construction of the Capital Begins

Having witnessed an unprecedented eight years of near-complete peace thanks to the actions of House Gelu and Nato, the houses of the Ice Region began to grow closer. Many of the smaller minor houses, hoping to benefit from the trade alliances, began pledging themselves as vassals to the various major houses.

 

Nato, seeing what he had accomplished, broached the idea of constructing a capital city for the Ice Region in the no-mans-land that existed between the territories of the major houses – a ghastly place that still bore the scars from centuries of endless conflict. Although House Nivis and House Rime took convincing, Nato eventually managed to persuade the other houses to commit men and resources to help clean up the abandoned warzone.

 

126 BE

Establishing the Frozen Throne

After two years of work, construction of the Ice Region’s first capital was completed – with its centerpiece being a magnificent castle carved from ice, and inside, a throne to match. Ekimu, wishing to see for himself what his previous visit had ultimately brought about, returned alongside the Mask Makers Makuta, Vatten, Archean, and Helryx to oversee the final stages of construction and give their blessings to the newly built city.

 

After some debate, the major houses of the Ice Region decided to formally declare Nato as their very first Ruler to the rest of Okoto, dubbing him ‘Nato the Unifier’. The city (called ‘Snowdrift’) and the Frozen Throne became Nato’s new seat of power, as the voice of the Ice Region.

 

102 BE

Patrus the Proud conquers the Stone Region

In 102 BE, reports reached the Ice Region that a single Okotoan known as ‘Patrus’ was uniting the entire Stone Region under his banner tribe by tribe, by right of conquest. House Crustall, whose lands were spread across the entire border with the Stone Region, kept an eye on the proceedings by the command of Nato, who at this point was beginning to weaken and tire from old age.

 

95 BE – 94 BE

Malgor the Fool

For many years, Nato had managed to maintain a relative peace within the Ice Region (though skirmishes and territorial disputes continued to break out between many of the minor houses caught between the spheres of the stronger houses). In 96 BE this changed, when the new ruler of House Nivis – an Okotoan known as Malgor – marched his army up to the gates of Snowdrift and declared his intention to become the Ice Region’s next Ruler… disturbing a gathering of the leaders from several major houses in the process.

 

He argued that House Gelu had ruled for too long, and that Nato’s old age was a weakness that the rest of Okoto would soon take advantage of; the Ice Region needed to prove its might to the rest of Okoto.

 

Although House Gelu still maintained a large army, as well as the loyalty of several other houses should it have come to war, Nato decided to step down peacefully. He formally abdicated the Frozen Throne to Malgor, naming him as the second Ruler of the Ice Region and agreeing that others should be given a chance to rule. To the surprise of many – including Lord Malgor and House Nivis – House Rime, the longest standing rival of House Nivis, pledged their full support for Malgor’s rule.

 

As his first act, Lord Malgor called all the banners of the Ice Region, summoning them to march with him on the Stone Region, where Patrus the Proud had an army full, prospering, and ready for conquest, should Patrus wish it. With its two strongest military powers united, the other Ice Region houses had little choice but to follow Malgor’s lead – though House Glacies and House Greavesy refused the call to arms regardless.

 

Upon arriving in the Stone Region, House Rime revealed their true plan on the eve of the battle with the Stone Region’s army, abruptly withdrawing their support. Many other houses followed them, fleeing or deserting rather than facing now-certain destruction against Patrus the Proud the following day. Malgor remained confident in his strength, rallying the demoralised remnants of his army and marching to meet Patrus on the field of battle the next day.

 

His force was wiped out to a man, and Malgor himself was beheaded mere moments into the battle by Patrus the Proud. In the chaos that followed, House Nivis was nearly extinguished entirely and the Ice Region collapsed back into anarchy. The trade agreements and alliances so carefully forged by Nato the Unifier were utterly forgotten as the houses returned to their old ways.

 

76 BE – 44 BE

The Rule of House Rime

After nearly two decades of civil war in the Ice Region, the remnants of House Nivis and their allies submitted themselves as a tributary to House Rime. With nearly half of the Ice Region now under their control, House Rime marched straight to Snowdrift and claimed the capital.

 

While the other houses feuded and fought, House Rime focused its attention on holding the territory it already had, including the capital. Although not recognized by the other major houses in the region, as the ones to hold the capital it was House Rime whom the diplomats and messengers from other regions came to, and House Rime who pushed their agenda onto the rest of Okoto.

 

When the Stone Plague ravaged the Stone Region and Water Region from 54-48 BE, House Rime was content to remain uninvolved. Inside the Ice Region, the rule of House Rime was slowly accepted as the other houses eventually withdrew into their borders, rebuilding and recuperating from the devastating wars.

 

43 BE

The Rise of Nato the Great

Descended from Nato the Unifier (who died in despair and disgrace decades ago), another Okotoan by the name of Nato (Nato II, to be specific) rose to prominence, seeking to overthrow House Rime and place House Gelu back on the Frozen Throne. Knowing that House Rime would not be persuaded by trade offers from the weakened houses of the Ice Region when it could simply take what it wanted, Lord Nato II took a different approach.

 

Cunning and careful, Nato II travelled alone across the war-torn wasteland to visit the leaders of many major and minor houses, seeking audiences with each of them. He ultimately managed to unite many of them, and those he did not pledged not to interfere. Unlike Nato the Unifier almost a century earlier, however, Nato II did not unite them in peace.

 

He united them in war, and the enemy was House Rime.

 

It was a short but bloody war. House Nivis rose up first, declaring its independence once more; their call to arms was followed by the other houses, who began to launch attacks on House Rime’s settlements and forts. Although still weak, House Nivis was able to muster enough men to lead guerilla assaults on House Rime’s camps within their own region, leaving the majority of House Rime’s forces no choice but to retreat into the core of their home territory – stranding House Rime’s leader and much of his house in Snowdrift.

 

Lord Nato II led the army of House Gelu to the capital that his forefather had built – and razed it to the ground, with House Rime’s remnants still inside. Called ‘Nato the Great’ by his supporters, Nato II returned to his home and declared the city-state of House Gelu to be the new capital of the Ice Region… and himself the region’s new Ruler.

 

40 BE

The Last Mask Makers

When word reached the Ice Region that the Mask Makers Archean Borne and Vatten Borne had both passed away, Nato II sent his condolences to their houses, as well as both Ekimu and Makuta – who were now the last remaining Mask Makers.

 

Only a few short months after the deaths of the other Mask Makers, Ekimu and Makuta called the banners of Okoto to join them in the Jungle Region, where a great temple was beginning to appear. Occupied as he was with rebuilding the Ice Region, Nato II did very little upon its arrival, aside from ensuring that the Ice Region sent its fair share of troops. He was mildly curious to learn that the leader of the mysterious arrivals had also been named Nato, but refused to meet with him; external affairs were of no interest to Nato II. War had united the Ice Region, but now his focus was on keeping it that way.

 

0 BE

The Long Night Begins and the Massacre at Makuta City

Nato II toiled for the next several decades, well into his old age to bring his people together, despite their continual efforts to tear themselves apart. Having decayed into an old, decrepit man defeated by the frustrations of politics and missing his youthful years of violence and adventure, Nato II ignored his advisors and forced his failing body out to Makuta City in the Stone Region, where the Mask Maker Makuta was unveiling his latest project.

 

Having summoned some of the highest nobles from all six regions to Makuta City, Makuta showed off his newest creation – a special Mask of Power that he claimed had been crafted using all six of the main elements of Okoto. Despite the warnings of Ekimu, Makuta donned what he had called the ‘Mask of Ultimate Power’ in front of the crowd.

 

Accounts from the incident were few and far between, but each of them agreed that the Mask of Ultimate Power must have been responsible for what happened next. The sky over top of Makuta City went as dark as night in an instant, and the temperature dropped to near freezing in seconds. Skeletal warriors twice the size of the Okotoans present crawled out of the ground and began to cut Okotoans down where they stood – only for the fallen to rise back up and begin attacking their brethren in turn.

 

Unprepared for such a brutal assault and such dark magic, many of the Okotoans in Makuta City were slaughtered – including Nato II (though prevailing tales suggest he died on his feet in one last, glorious battle, saving the life of his son and heir). Ekimu managed to escape the city with a small squad of 22 Okotoans, 2 of which were from the Ice Region – one of Nato II’s advisors, and his son. They managed to retreat back to the castle of House Patrus, before the two Okotoans returned to the Ice Region to mobilize their army.

 

The Long Night

There are little to no records from the Long Night; nearly all of Okoto and its population were wiped out, with less than 2000 Okotoans still alive by the end. It is known that the Long Night lasted for 12 years, and at its end, the Okotoans as a whole began to refer to themselves as ‘Protectors’. Both Makuta and Ekimu were lost as well, leaving the original line of Mask Makers extinguished. Those in the Ice Reigon who did not fight with Ekimu in the final battle (Nato II’s heir among them) narrowly survived after being forced to retreat into the lands of House Greavesy.

 

Due to the lack of records, as time passed and those who survived the Long Night passed on, the entire ordeal was slowly forgotten and erased from history. The Protectors of modern times still believe that Makuta crafted the Mask of Ultimate Power, but there their understanding deviates from what actually occurred; for modern Protectors believe Ekimu and Makuta clashed with each other in a mighty duel, one that wiped out Makuta City and ended with both Mask Makers dead in the sand. Their current dating system, as such, is flawed, and is twelve years behind.

 

0AE – 29 AE

Rebuilding

The Ice Region took longer than most to recover. With so many of their people and so much history lost, it was nearly impossible to be certain who was telling the truth about their lineage. Many houses were lost entirely, or their names taken by Protectors who had no true relation. During this time, Nato II’s heir perished; House Gelu, or something claiming to be it, took up the throne once more with what they claimed to be the heir’s baby, but the other houses were too busy rebuilding themselves to truly care.

 

30 AE – 200 AE

At some point, Ekimu’s Mask of Creation found its way into the Ice Region – presumably brought there by the surviving Knights of Ekimu, who are believed to have settled in the Ice Region, claiming to be awaiting the arrival of their ‘Knight of Future Past’.

 

The hands ruling the Ice Region changed a few times, but ultimately returned to House Gelu, whose house words became the words for the entire nation. During this time, a few members of House Gelu even held the title of Mask Maker, ruling over the island – possibly verifying that the line of Nato the Unifier (and thus the line of the former Mask Maker Nuju) still survived.

 

221 AE – 222 AE

The Destruction of House Gelu

Years after its tenure as Mask Makers, House Gelu continued to hold sway over the Ice Region, aided by the Knights of Ekimu. Other than House Rime, many old divisions and grudges had been forgotten. House Rime, seeking vengeance for its humiliation centuries ago, struck out against House Gelu with help from a mysterious group known only as ‘the Faith’. Together, they assassinated the Ice Region’s Ruler and invaded House Gelu’s territories.

 

Taken by surprise, the forces of House Gelu were swiftly defeated, and the surviving members of House Gelu made a last-ditch effort to save both themselves and the Protectors in their lands by abandoning the capital with the help of the Knights. Despite the clear victory, neither House Rime nor their allies were satisfied; both dispatched their forces all over the Ice Region, hunting down and killing any members of House Gelu or the Knights of Ekimu that they could find.

 

In the aftermath, House Gelu and its bloodline were considered eradicated, while the Knights of Ekimu who still lived vanished into the shadows, performing their duties undercover to avoid another incident.

 

223 AE

The Division of House Crustall

As House Rime’s all-out war on the Ice Region continued, House Crustall was torn by internal conflict. Half of its leadership wanted to side with House Rime, while the remainder persisted in their loyalty to the fallen Knights and House Gelu. Splitting into two separate houses – House Crustallum (those loyal to House Rime) and House Crustallus (those loyal to House Gelu) – they ultimately spent more time fighting each other than anyone else. Their conflict petered out when House Rime finally abandoned its vendetta, wishing to avoid repeating the same crushing defeat as before.

 

With the aid of House Crustallum, however, House Rime did succeed in seizing the throne and ruling over the Ice Region. Many violent conflicts and battles of attrition followed, as it continually encroached on the lands of other houses.

 

295 AE – 296 AE

Voxumo’s Rebellion

Despite their thinly stretched resources, House Rime aided Voxumo the Usurper in overthrowing Trijhak the Mad, as well as annihilating the Earth Region. Around this time, rumours also began to circulate that survivors from the bloodline of House Gelu still lived, disguised as members of House Glacies and House Greavesy; foolishly, House Rime sent most of its remaining forces to chase the rumours.

 

297 AE

Aftermath of Voxumo’s Rebellion

Fed up with House Rime’s rule and finally strong enough to oppose them, House Nivis seized the capital in a violent coup. With its armies still spread across the rest of Okoto or chasing rumours of House Gelu, House Rime was crushed entirely, to the point of near extinction.

 

314 AE

The Failure of House Nivis

For seventeen years, House Nivis reluctantly ruled over the Ice Region and served Voxumo the Usurper – but in 314 AE, with no sign of a rebellion from the other regions in sight, their leader personally led an attempt to assassinate Voxumo. He and the soldiers who joined him met their ends at the hands of Voxumo’s Skull Warrior guards, disgracing themselves and the entire Ice Region.

 

Determined to avoid a similar situation, Voxumo elevated House Crustallus to the status of ruling house, hoping to dull the bad blood between them and those who had supported the rebellion. In addition, he named their current ruler – a Protector named FF – the new Ruler of the Ice Region. At the same time, he named ToaD of House Rime to his personal council.

 

317 AE – 319 AE

The War for the Throne

By early 317 AE, Lord FF’s Ice Region was still on poor terms with Voxumo, despite the Usurper’s best attempts to change it; try as he might, Voxumo was unable to break past the Ice Region’s volatile political climate. Meanwhile, Voxumo’s relationship with Lord Burnmad, Ruler of Fire, had soured for unknown reasons a year before.

 

While Lord FF dealt with the Usurper directly and Hero of House Glacies managed trade, Nato of House Greavesy (the first of his name since the fall of House Gelu) secretly met with Lord Terrorsaur of House Rayne. Under the influence of Nato, House Rayne took advantage of security holes in the Stone Region to poison its shipments of water – killing its Ruler, Lord Bronze, as well as most of its population in the process.

 

Nato was subsequently imprisoned in the Jungle Region with the Ruler of Water, Lord Terrorsaur Rayne, by the Ruler of the Jungle Region - Lord TimeLord of House Hinterland. The incident prompted the Usurper to summon all the major house leaders of Okoto to the Ancient City for a trial; while en route to the trial, Nato and Terrorsaur murdered TimeLord before going on the run.

 

Lord FF, Lord Hero, Toad, and Lord Roman (ruler of House Greavesy) all attended the trial, where Lord Hero was slain by energies from the Mask of Time after Pulse Vatten – the true heir to the throne – attempted to use it. While Lord FF temporarily retreated to the Ice Region to gather his forces under Pulse, ToaD tried to steal the Mask of Creation and was killed for his efforts.

 

Nato, meanwhile, journeyed to the Temple of Time alongside four other Protectors of Ice and five Protectors of Fire. He would eventually return with only two Protectors of Ice and two Protectors of Fire, but their adventures lost in time will be covered in a later chapter.

 

(side note: to those who might be somewhat confused, I must note that I had the opportunity to meet with Nato and his companions following the conclusion of the War for the Throne, and what they shared with me was most worrying indeed.)

 

Lord FF stationed his troops within the Ancient City, preparing to withstand a siege from Voxumo – only to learn that Voxumo had been slain before the siege began, at the hands of a Water Protector who had managed to sneak into the camp. With the Usurper dead, Lord Zatth – acting Ruler of the Stone Region – agreed to bend the knee to the Mask Maker Pulse, and Lord FF pledged to keep a close eye on the Stone Region.

 

For the rest of the War for the Throne, the Ice Region largely kept to itself, as Lord FF and Nato (who was named the new Lord of House Greavesy following Lord Roman’s death under suspicious circumstances in 318 AE) struggled to keep the peace in their region while also helping Lord Zatth to maintain and rebuild the Stone Region.

 

323 AE

The Earth Region Returns

In 323 AE, to the surprise of everyone, a large force of Earth Protectors rose from underneath Okoto, led by a mighty being that they called Kulta the Skull Grinder and protected by a legion of 100 Skull Warriors. Following the counsel of Lord Nato (who had come to be known as ‘Nato the Traveller’, due to his habit of travelling Okoto more than governing his own lands), Lord FF welcomed the Earth Region back to the fold, but refused any involvement with the Skull Creatures.

 

A new faith called the ‘Faith of the Skulls’ soon appeared in the Earth Region; Lord FF wasted no time in outlawing the Faith in the Ice Region. When a rival group calling themselves the ‘Knights of Ekimu’ declared Kulta and his Skull Warriors to be monsters, their words were hailed as ironclad truth by Lord Nato and Lord FF both; old records revealing the aid that the Knights of Ekimu had once given to House Gelu were also soon discovered. As such, the Ice Region remains heavily in favor of the Knights, and Lord Nato in particular seems heavily associated with them.

 

324 AE

Kopaka, Toa of Ice

In an attempt to make peace between the Faith and the Knights, the Mask Maker Pulse summoned the six heroes of legend to Okoto. Kopaka, Toa of Icee, soon went to work as the guardian of the Ice Region.

 

NOW

 

The Ice Region’s relationship with the Earth Region remains poor following their return four years ago, and their relationship with Stone is not much better, though they do still hold some ties from rebuilding after the War for the Throne. They maintain cordial (if strained) relationships with both the Ancient City and the Fire Region; their strongest relationship is with the Water Region, though even this is neutral at best.

 

Within the Ice Region itself, tensions are rising once more as they always do – and the fractures remain just as obvious. House Rime seeks to regain their lost power, while House Nivis seeks to regain their glory. House Crustallus and House Crustallum are on the verge of a civil war despite Lord FF’s best efforts, as House Crustallum staunchly supports the Faith (and, rumor has it, so does House Rime). House Glacies remains neutral as ever, while House Greavesy, after playing such an active role in the War for the Throne, has faded further into the background than ever before, with Lord Nato vanishing at random points – and rumors abound that the ruling family of House Greavesy is descended from the line of House Gelu… which, if true, would mark them as the rightful rulers of the Ice Region by blood.

 

The Ice Region has always been at war with itself, and even now their allies across Okoto are few and far between – but at this moment they still stand united, and with the Long Night approaching, it might just be that the Ice Region could save all.

 

REVIEW


Edited by Lucina, Sep 09 2016 - 05:55 PM.

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Elittra Valmai


#4 Offline Elittra

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Posted Sep 25 2016 - 04:57 PM

teaser_-_knights.jpg

 

This particular entry focuses on the mysterious Knights of Ekimu. Formed during the Long Night by the Ekimu, the Last Mask Maker, the Knights actively shaped the history of Okoto in the years that followed, before falling and fading into obscurity. Due to the timing of their creation, all dates are listed as AE (After Ekimu’s Fall) following the Long Night.

 

THE KNIGHTS OF EKIMU

“We watch, we listen, and we remember.”

 

SIGNIFICANT ALLIES

Throughout history, the Knights of Ekimu have worked alongside various houses throughout Okoto. These allies are listed below, alongside the length of time that they worked with the Knights and significant details of their relationship.

 

House Petros

0 AE – 183 AE, 324 AE - Present

As the ruling house of the Stone Region, the support of House Petros allowed the Knights of Ekimu to reside within the region for nearly 200 years. Unfortunately, around 183 AE, the current Mask Maker was quietly overthrown by his heir – who was accompanied by 50 Skull Warriors and supported by House Petros, who suddenly declared the Knights to be enemies of the Stone Region.

 

Recently, House Petros has publicly made their approval of the resurgent Knights known, despite their pro-Faith leanings for the past 144 years.

 

House Archean

0 AE – 183 AE, 294 AE – Present

House Archean has remained a steadfast supporter throughout much of the Knight’s history; however, taking their cue from House Petros, they renounced support for the Knights in 183 AE.

 

Certain members of House Archean – unbeknownst to those who ruled the house – pledged themselves to the Knights in secret shortly before Voxumo’s Rebellion, and helped to ensure the rise of House Raqmu from behind the scenes. Even more recently, House Archean has become divided; half support the Faith, while half now openly follow the Knights.

 

House Raqmu

294 AE – 317 AE

Lord Bronze, who took over the lordship of House Raqmu in 292 AE, was secretly a member of the Knights; two short years later, he had managed to re-orient House Raqmu’s plans with those of the Knights. He pushed the agenda of the Knights during Voxumo’s Rebellion, helping to overthrow the corrupt line of Mask Makers and personally attempting to end the corrupted line himself.

 

Unfortunately, his involvement with the Knights was so secret that his death in the Poisoning of Stone in 317 AE at the start of the War for the Throne also spelled the end of House Raqmu’s alliance with the Knights, as Lord Zatth took command of both the house and the Stone Region, and later took on a heavily pro-Faith view.

 

House Gelu

0 AE – 221 AE

As the ruling house of the Ice Region for most of the years following the Long Night, House Gelu’s support was invaluable, especially in the otherwise war-torn and divided Ice Region. Their main headquarters was even located within the lands of House Gelu – and as such, the public presence of the Knights lasted longest in the Ice Region.

 

Unfortunately, the end to this particular alliance was both brutal and brief. By 221 AE, only the Ice Region still publicly supported the Knights – and when House Rime eradicated much of both House Gelu and the Knights themselves, the Knights were forced to scatter into the shadows as House Gelu was dismantled piece by piece, its few surviving remnants lost among House Greavesy.

 

House Crustall / House Crustallus

0 AE – 221 AE (Crustall), 222 AE – Present (Crustallus)

Up until the split in 223 AE, House Crustall was perhaps the Knights’ greatest supporter; following the divide into House Crustallus and House Crustallum, this still remained true of the former.

 

Until the Knights made a public resurgence in 324 AE, House Crustallus was the only house on Okoto to publicly acknowledge that the Knights even existed. They have continued to pledge their support, and now actively supply the returned Knights with men, food, and other supplies.

 

House Greavesy & House Glacies

221 AE – Present

When House Gelu and the Knights were crushed and defeated by House Rime and the Faith in 221 AE, they turned to House Greavesy and House Glacies for help. Both houses helped the fallen to disappear, aiding them in obscuring themselves within the shadows and helping them to fade from Okoto’s history.

 

Recently, House Greavesy in particular has done much to help re-introduce the Knights to Okoto, thanks to Lord Nato’s experiences with the Temple of Time.

 

House Vatten

0 AE – 183 AE

House Vatten began as the strongest supporter of the Knights; descended already from the line of the late Mask Maker Vatten, their Lord at the end of the Long Night was also Ekimu’s son and heir, who took over the ruler ship of Okoto.

 

In the year 183 AE, the current Mask Maker was slain by his son and heir, who had secretly allied himself with the Skull Warriors. After this point, House Vatten became a deadly enemy of the Knights, who lost many forces in the Water Region before retreating elsewhere.

 

The current heads of House Vatten – the Mask Maker Pulse and his heir, who resides in the Water Region and is but a child – are both more open to the Knights and less inclined towards the Faith, but have nonetheless chosen to take a more neutral route, and most of the Water Region continues to follow their example.

 

House Aodh

0 AE – Present

In the Fire Region, the Knights have retained both their strongest and weakest presence throughout their history. Although friendly towards the Knights, the Fire Region as a whole worships above all the sanctity of fire itself, and as such, looks down on anything they perceive to be another religion – such as the Knights and the Faith.

 

That said, House Aodh has always been companionable to the Knights. Around 218 AE, when the strongly pro-Faith House Darkfire attempted to overthrow House Aodh, many Knights had already gone underground, and many who had not were slaughtered. Despite this, where House Rime succeeded in the Ice Region, House Darkfire failed; thus, while still forced into hiding, friends of the Knights could still be found.

 

House Ash

218 AE – Present

House Ash started as allies to the Knights by proxy. Their extreme loyalty to House Aodh prompted House Ash to defend them from House Darkfire’s rebellion in 218 AE even if it left House Ash itself eradicated; by association, the lives of many Knights were also saved.

 

Since then, the Knights’ influence in House Ash has only grown. It was an agent of the Knights who discovered that Voxumo the Usurper had the blood of the Mask Makers in him in the year 288 AE, and it was from here that the seed of what would become Voxumo’s Rebellion sprouted.

 

House Qendroj

252 AE – 294 AE, 324 AE – Present

After overthrowing the extremely pro-Faith former ruling house of the Earth Region in 252 AE, House Qendroj (secretly led by a member of the Knights) pledged their belief and support for the Knights. They were heavily involved with the early stages of planning what would become Voxumo’s Rebellion before their Lord was slain and the house seized by a pro-Faith member.

 

Every pro-Faith member of the house was later slain; either during the rebellion or afterwards by those who still supported the Knights. Since the Earth Region’s return to the fold, House Qendroj has publicly supported the Knights, though it is not an alliance likely to survive for long, with the Faith controlling the rest of the Earth Region.

 

HISTORY

 

The Long Night

Despite originating during the Long Night, there are still little to no records of the Knights of Ekimu from that time period. That having been noted, of all the factions on Okoto, it is the Knights of Ekimu whose records of the Long Night remain the most coherent.

 

Of the less than 2000 Okotoans still alive by the end of the Long Night, approximately 100 served as the original Knights. Formed by the Mask Maker Ekimu himself, they consisted of the surviving Okotoans who had followed him and eventually taken refuge within the Water Region, where the final battle against Kulta and his Skull Army was fought in a city now lost beneath the waves.

 

When Ekimu fell into an eternal slumber to seal the forces of the Long Night away, the magic was powered by the unity of Okoto; thus, as the Long Night ended, the Knights scattered across the six regions to maintain unity.

 

0 AE – 150 AE

Times of Peace

For the first century and a half after the Long Night, the Knights of Ekimu rapidly rose in strength, power, and influence across Okoto. Under their direction, trade between the different regions (and within them) grew and prospered, helping to unify the island.

 

During this time, the Knights also helped to establish the first several Kings of Okoto, in the absence of any remaining Mask Makers. Kings had to be descended from the blood of one of the old Mask Maskers, as the magic within their blood would allow them to forge Masks of Power within the Ancient City. The Kings were primarily selected from House Vatten, as their blood was strongest; in addition to being descended from the Mask Maker Vatten, Ekimu’s trueborn son was also a member of the house. House Gelu in the Ice Region and House Archean in the Stone Region both produced one or two Kings themselves, but House Vatten remained the favored house of the Knights, with its heirs descended from Ekimu himself.

 

Reports from this time period are few and far between; with everything running smoothly, the Knights of Ekimu had little to worry about, and many records were later lost when King Vezok was overthrown in 183 AE.

 

166 AE

The Temple of Time is Lost

In the year 166 AE, a dark cult known only as ‘the Faith’ started popping up all around Okoto, and set their eyes upon the Temple of Time – and the Mask of Time. The Knights of Ekimu wasted no time in blocking off all access to the Temple. Despite requests from the Jungle Region to leave the area be, both the Faith and the Knights continued to skirmish. As the fighting continued, each battle became more vicious and bloody than the last; until finally, in a desperate maneuver, a small group of Knights deliberately damaged some of the core time circuitry within the Temple.

 

Already unstable by nature, the damage disconnected the Temple of Time from reality altogether; with nothing left to anchor it into a central position in time, it vanished. The Mask of Time was hidden away in the Ice Region by the Knights, where their influence was strongest, and the Faith seemingly disappeared.

 

183 AE

The Death of King Vezok

In the early weeks of 183 AE, King Vezok Vatten, the current Ruler of Okoto, died under mysterious circumstances. An investigation by the Knights soon revealed that the King’s demise was the result of a scheme orchestrated by King Vezok’s son, Vezon Vatten. His mind poisoned by the influence of Skull Warriors, Prince Vezon had secretly worked with the Skull Warriors to kill any members of House Vatten unwilling to pledge their allegiance to his new regime. He was aided also by the current Ruler of House Petros in the Stone Region, who had long harbored a dislike for the leaders of the Knights.

 

Soon after reporting their findings, the entire investigation team was slain, and their corpses displayed to all within the Ancient City. As King Vezon proclaimed himself to be the newest ‘Mask Maker’ – the title all future Kings of Okoto would take – support for the Knights in both the Water Region and the Stone Region evaporated overnight.

 

184-191 AE

Waning Support

For the next seven years, the Knights of Ekimu struggled as they continued to lose support across Okoto – thanks in no part to the Mask Maker Vezon. Although the Jungle Region and Earth Region were not outright hostile, they also refused to help the Knights commit treason against the Mask Maker. Forced to withdraw entirely from the Stone Region and Water Region, the Knights were left scattered across Okoto, with their two largest forces – in the Ice Region and the Fire Region – divided with no clear connection.

 

By 191 AE, the Knights had been driven entirely out of the Stone, Water, and Jungle Regions.

 

202 AE

The False Knight

In 202 AE, a Protector emerged in the Earth Region, claiming to be the prophesized ‘Knight of Future Past’ that the Knights of Ekimu had been waiting for since the end of the Long Night. Knights gathered under his banner from all across Okoto – particularly those that had been in hiding within the Stone, Water, Jungle and Earth Regions.

 

After gathering most of the Knights outside of the Ice and Fire Regions, the so-called ‘Knight of Future Past’ set them to building a new base of operations within the Earth Region. Once construction was finished, a celebration within the base was held – and that was when the Faith struck. The so-called Knight revealed himself to be an agent of the Faith before the entire base was obliterated, with Skull Warriors cutting down every single Knight of Ekimu present.

 

209 AE

The Death of the Mask Maker Vezon

A lone Knight managed to infiltrate the Ancient City in 209 AE despite its heavy security, though they were slain soon after by the Skull Warriors. Vezon’s heir took the throne soon after, and proved to be an even more zealous supporter of the Faith than his father.

 

The Ice Region and Fire Region were both given ten years to eradicate the presence of the Knights of Ekimu before the rest of the island would intervene.

 

218 AE

The Darkfire Rebellion

By 218 AE, the Knights of Ekimu had all but vanished from the face of the Fire Region – but the region itself remained favorable towards them, and refused to commit itself towards the Faith. House Darkfire, loyal to the Mask Maker and the Faith (as well as greedy for power) rebelled against House Aodh. They were nearly successful, killing many Knights in the process. The intervention of House Ash bought enough time for House Aodh to organize a proper defense, and with the help of House Ash and the Knights, House Darkfire was crushed.

 

House Darkfire’s line was eradicated entirely, and their place in the nobility of the Fire Region taken by House Ash. Although still forced to remain hidden, the Knights present in the Fire Region found a safe refuge – one that had proven itself capable of taking down anything that the Mask Maker might throw at them.

 

221 AE

The Fall of House Gelu and the Ice Region

With the Ice Region as their only remaining public ally, the Knights of Ekimu secretly shifted many of their operations into the lands of House Greavesy and House Glacies. The Mask of Creation was hidden away within the lands of House Glacies during this time as well.

 

These movements left House Gelu open to attack, however – and aided by the Faith, House Rime easily crushed House Gelu and any Knights foolish enough to remain in the public eye. Although survivors of both were able to scatter across the Ice Region, House Rime continued to hunt them doggedly. After the fall of House Gelu, House Crustall divided into two halves; one that supported the Faith, and one that still supported the now seemingly extinct Knights.

 

With only one noble house in all of Okoto still publically loyal to them, the Knights rapidly became a myth, as the Faith used its connections to extinguish any and all references to the Knights in Okoto’s histories, while integrating themselves so heavily into the island’s culture that they themselves were forgotten.

 

221 AE – 251 AE

Okoto Reunified

Despite the collapse of the Knights of Ekimu, for the next thirty years, Okoto still remained fully united – albeit at the behest of the Faith and the Skull Warriors, rather than the Knights themselves.

 

During this time, any surviving Knights were forced to be constantly on the run as their enemies hunted them down. An order that had risen to number in the thousands all across Okoto shrank during this time frame to barely more than one hundred – barely more than their original numbers following the Long Night.

 

252 AE

House Qendroj Rises

By the year 252 AE, the Knights of Ekimu had been driven to desperation, as the Faith continued to track them down and their numbers continued to mercilessly shrink. One member, who had been born and raised as a member of House Qendroj in the Earth Region, went against his oaths to the Knights and seized control of the house by slowly orchestrating the deaths of every other Protector ahead of him in the line of succession.

 

With House Qendroj now under the control of the Knights, its lands became the new unofficial headquarters for what was left of the organization. With a safe space to plan, build, and protect themselves, the Knights began to grow in number and strength once more. With the Mask Makers still following the guidance of the Skull Warriors, the Knights began to plant the seeds of a rebellion within the different regions, and awaited the time to strike.

 

291 AE

Trijhak the Mad

In 291 AE, the Mask Maker Trijhak ascended to the throne, and rapidly became known for his extreme mood swings and bloodthirsty, violent temper. With the aid of the Knights, it did not take long for rumors to spread that Trijhak was mad; around this time, a Knight hiding with the lands of House Ash in the Fire Region also stumbled across a Protector of Fire with the blood of the old Mask Makers in his veins called Voxumo.

 

With an insane Mask Maker on the throne tearing apart his own alliances left and right, and with a Protector with Mask Maker blood of their own, the Knights began to more directly influence events throughout Okoto. The opportunity to overthrow the regime of the Faith would soon arrive.

 

291 AE – 294 AE

Planning the Rebellion

For the next three years, many powerful Protectors across Okoto began to plot in secret under the guidance of the Knights, who kept their role in the plans hidden from all.

 

During this time, they managed to ally themselves with House Raqmu and portions of House Archean in the Stone Region; House Crustallus, House Greavesy, and House Glacies in the Ice Region; House Aodh and House Ash in the Fire Region; and House Qendroj in the Earth Region. 

 

With four regions under their influence, the Knights began preparing to make the rebellion public – only for tragedy to strike.

 

294 AE

House Qendroj Falls

A member of House Qendroj who was a member of the Faith learned of the plans, and in 294 AE wasted no time in killing off the house’s Head and installing themselves as the new Ruler of the Earth Region. What followed was a systematic purge of any Protectors in the Earth Region who were known to be supporters of the Knights (or who were simply known to dislike the Mask Maker Trijhak).

 

With the Earth Region lost, the rebellion was delayed, and new plans were put into place.

 

295 AE – 297 AE

Voxumo’s Rebellion & Aftermath

During the rebellion, the Knights managed to shift the allegiances of much of Okoto in their favor. Under their influence, House Raqmu took control of the Stone Region, almost all of House Vatten was slaughtered, the entire Earth Region was seemingly eradicated, and the Mask Maker Voxumo was placed on the throne.

 

Knowing that it was too soon to publicly return, however, the Knights of Ekimu continued to operate in secret, hoping to guide Okoto towards a better future.

 

298 AE – 317 AE

Voxumo’s Rule

Over the next nineteen years, the plans of the Knights of Ekimu slowly fell apart as the Mask Maker that they had installed was corrupted by the influence of the Skull Warriors in the Ancient City, and the ruling seats of both the Stone Region and the Ice Region were frequently contested.

 

The Knights themselves became divided as their plans fell apart at the seams; while some remained loyal to Voxumo, others began to plan another rebellion – this time to place Pulse, the last surviving member of House Vatten, upon the throne. Divided as they were, any and all plans that the Knights made rapidly fell out of their influence and control.

 

317 AE-319 AE

The War for the Throne

The Knights of Ekimu played a minimal role during the War for the Throne. With their members splintered across Okoto without a singular ideology to follow, the most they could do was step back and watch, helpless to stop the new Mask Maker Pulse from accepting the Skull Warriors.

 

Early on in the war, a Protector of Ice from House Greavesy named Nato vanished alongside nine others in the Temple of Time. During their travels, they found themselves trapped back in the past during the Long Night. There, they met the earliest incarnation of the Knights and learned of their existence, as well as Ekimu’s plans to halt the Long Night in its tracks. Ekimu helped send the surviving members of Nato’s party back to their time period, promising to make sure that the Knights knew to await his arrival.

 

323 AE

The Earth Region Retuns

By 323 AE, the Knights had begun to properly re-organize themselves. To their dread, in this year a large force of Earth Protectors rose from underneath Okoto – led by a mighty being that they called Kulta the Skull Grinder and protected by a legion of 100 Skull Warriors.

 

Within weeks of the Earth Region’s return, a seemingly new faith called the ‘Faith of the Skulls’ appeared. Operatives of the Knights within the Earth Region soon learned that this new Faith was simply the old Faith given a new face – and with the Skull Grinder’s presence, those who now followed the Faith had a tangible presence to guide them.

 

The resurgence of the Faith forced their hand, and the Knights of Ekimu revealed themselves publically to the island for the first time in a century. Thanks to the efforts of Nato and Lord FF, Ruler of the Ice Region, they were able to begin spreading the truth of the Faith and the Earth Region. Old records thought lost were re-discovered and shared, but it was still not enough to unite Okoto against the Faith.

 

NOW

 

Despite the efforts of Protectors like Nato and FF, the Knights of Ekimu remain a shadow of the organization that they once were. The resurgence of the Faith has re-unified the Knights, but they lack the power and presence of an authority figure such as the Skull Grinder.

 

As long as both the Knights and the Faith exist, Okoto will remain fractured…

 

…and if it remains that way for too long, the Long Night might come again.

 

Okoto must be unified.

 

Even if that requires the Knights of Ekimu to be destroyed.

 

REVIEW


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Elittra Valmai


#5 Offline Elittra

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Posted Oct 24 2016 - 08:44 PM

teaser_-_fire.jpg

 

This particular entry focuses on the Fire Region of Okoto. Included are the current major houses of the region, each of which rules over several smaller, minor houses, as well as any living or dead Protectors relevant to the current state of Okoto. Any and all events detailed within are dated BE (Before Ekimu’s Fall) and AE (After Ekimu’s Fall).

 

It should be noted that the Fire Region has undergone significant expansions since the War for the Throne. While they have historically always been a strong region, until recently, the size of their territory was quite small; now, however, they are easily the largest region on Okoto. Their conquering of the former Jungle Region has forever changed the political landscape of Okoto – for if one region can conquer another, who is to say that they will not try it again?

 

THE FIRE REGION

“Fire and Blood”

 

MAJOR HOUSES

(AS OF 328 AE)

 

House Aodh

“Fire and Blood”

Currently headed by Lord Burnmad, who has commanded the Fire Region since 310 AE. He was responsible for the destruction of two Skull Warriors in the year 316 AE, leaving Voxumo the Usurper open to further attacks and distrusting of his remaining allies; this ended up being vital to the success for Pulse Vatten to take his rightful place upon the throne. Lord Burnmad also led the Fire Region in later conquering the Jungle Region to end the War for the Throne.

 

House Aodh has ruled over the Fire Region for so long that the exact length of time is unknown, though most place their ascension around 102 BE. Its various members have often ruled over the Fire Region as a council of sorts; the Heads of other houses report to the council, who then in turn would report to whoever rules over the Fire Region at that time. Unlike other regions, where the ruling houses took command via conquest, House Aodh controls the Fire Region thanks to a complex set of political alliances and trade agreements, each tied together so that betraying House Aodh is to break ties with the rest of the Fire Region as well. Several houses have made this mistake through the years, and each has been extinguished for it.

 

House Ember

“The Flame Consumes All”

Formerly headed by Lord Imrukii, who was executed in 317 AE by Lord Burnmad for attempting to kill him and seize control of the Fire Region for Voxumo the Usurper.

 

Currently headed by Lord Dragonstar, who was assigned command of the house both by Lord Burnmad and by the decree of the Mask Maker Pulse in 318 AE. During the War for the Throne Lord Dragonstar helped Pulse to discover the long-lost Mask of Time, while also providing him with intelligence, having served on the Usurper’s council. Since the War for the Throne, he has served as one of the Guardians of the Ancient City; the day-to-day duties of running House Ember are performed by an unknown Protector under his command. 

 

Much like House Aodh, House Ember has existed for over four centuries. This is thanks in part to its many ties to House Aodh – of all the houses in the Fire Region, House Ember is most closely tied to House Aodh politically. Its size is of note as well, for House Ember provides more than half of the Fire Region’s soldiers, and the second-largest portion of the region’s workforce – particularly the region’s forgers.

 

House Ash

“Naught Remains but Ash”

Both the former and current head of House Ash are unknown. They have publicly retreated into the shadows after the mess with the Usurper, and were already unknown to most of Okoto thanks to their particular role in the Fire Region.

 

Perhaps the most noteworthy member of House Ash in recent memory is none other than Voxumo the Usurper. After discovering his ability to craft Masks of Power in 291 AE, he played an instrumental role in what would later become known as ‘Voxumo’s Rebellion’ from 295 AE to 297 AE as a figurehead for the rebellion to pledge loyalty to. After Trijhak the Mad was slain, Voxumo took command over Okoto. His reign was fraught with distrust and malcontent, and eventually ended in another rebellion that would later become known as the ‘War for the Throne’.

 

House Ash was once nothing more than a servant caste in the Fire Region, on top of being its smallest house. Its status was raised 100 years ago by the current head of House Aodh after they helped to foil an attempted coup by House Darkfire. While House Darkfire was dismantled entirely for their treason, House Ash was rewarded for their loyalty and elevated to the status of a major house. Nowadays all members of House Ash receive rigorous training in order to serve as royal guards to House Aodh, cementing their loyalty for years to come.

 

House Coal

“Fuel for the Flame”

Current and former heads unknown.

 

Noteworthy members include RG, who served on the council of Voxumo the Usurper until dying in 317 AE thanks to the misuse of the Mask of Time by Pulse Vatten.

 

As the largest supplier of coal on Okoto, House Coal has stood the test of time without ever resorting to violence due to its sheer value to the Fire Region and Okoto as a whole. With coal mines stretching across its entire territory, the threat to threats has historically been simple; any attempts to infringe upon House Coal’s territory would end with the mines being collapsed.

 

Members of House Coal are often unconcerned with anything found in their mines that is not coal, and many have been known to actively throw out anything mined that cannot be used as fuel. Despite the naïve image this has caused, the rest of Okoto has still been forced to acknowledge that House Coal’s mining skills could rival even the Earth Region in its prime, and their innovation in safety techniques and mechanisms (as well as their complex and advanced air filtration systems) are some of the most advanced technology present on the island.

 

House Kindle

“From a Spark, an Inferno”

Current and former head unknown.

 

The largest major house in the Fire Region, House Kindle provides nearly half of the regions entire workforce – and the second-largest portion of its soldiers. House Kindle is notable to the rest of Okoto for the numerous services it exports; particularly the Stone Region, for whom it has purified all shipments of water from the Water Region since the War for the Throne.

 

House Boscage

“Fire and Ashes”

Currently headed by Lord Smoke Monster, who was the Acting Ruler of the Jungle Region during the War for the Throne until being forced to surrender upon the conquering of the region by Lord Burnmad and the Fire Region. Through some smart political maneuvering, Lord Smoke Monster managed to keep his life and position, and now serves as Lord Burnmad’s primary envoy to the jungle-half of the Fire Region.

 

Formerly known as ‘House Cage’ before the conclusion of the War for the Throne and the conquering of the Jungle Region, House Boscage is the largest of the three surviving major houses from the Jungle Region. It began to shift into its current form at the beginning of the War for the Throne, when it replaced House Hinterland as the ruling house of the Jungle Region. Eight years ago, upon the conclusion of the War for the Throne and the conquering of the Jungle Region, House Cage expanded its territory and accepted the surviving members of many decimated Jungle houses into its ranks, officially forming House Boscage. As a sign of their loyalty to the Fire Region, they took on new house words – modelling them after the words of House Aodh and the Fire Region. Due to the nature of House Boscage’s formation, its members are involved with a wide variety of activities.

 

House Hinterland

“Growing Strong”

Formerly headed by Lord TimeLord, who went missing in early 317 AE at the beginning of the War for the Throne. Although never confirmed, many suspect that he was murdered by Nato of House Greavesy and Terrorsaur of House Rayne, who were both under arrest and escaped custody around the same point in time.

 

House Hinterland currently lacks a proper head, with most of their ranks wiped out in the War for the Throne. Lord Smoke Monster currently commands the house, though rumors suggest that he has been training the late Lord TimeLord’s heir to take his father’s place at the head of the house.

 

As the former ruling house of the Jungle Region, House Hinterland was primarily involved with governing the region, and was the smallest ruling house on Okoto. During the War for the Throne, with no heir of age, its last head handed control over to Lord Smoke Monster of House Cage upon his death, and House Cage subsequently replaced the smaller House Hinterland as the Jungle Region’s ruling house. This move ultimately saved House Hinterland when the Jungle Region was defeated and ravaged by fire during the War for the Throne, as the Fire Region forces concentrated their efforts on the larger House Cage. That being said, most of House Hinterland was still crushed during the war, and now only remnants of it remain, stubbornly clinging to their ideologies with the belief that the house might one day return to its former glory.

 

House Briar

“Our Roots Go Deep”

Formerly headed by Lord Lazuli, who perished during the conquering of the Jungle Region in 320 AE.

 

Currently headed by Lord Tekulo, who served on the council of Voxumo the Usurper and acted as Lord Smoke Monster’s right hand during the War for the Throne, and has continued in that role since, helping to smooth over the former Jungle houses relations with their new rulers in the Fire Region.

 

Other noteworthy members include Underscore, who acted as the Jungle Region’s lead Diplomat before his untimely death due to the misuse of the legendary Mask of Time in 317 AE.

 

Of all the major Jungle Region houses, House Briar weathered the conquering of the region the best. Where House Hinterland was decimated, House Cage survived only by absorbing other houses, and all other major houses were destroyed entirely, House Briar remained mostly intact. As the best herders and farmers in the Jungle Region, their skills were necessary to help the Fire Region begin making use of their new territory, as well as restoring the portions of the region that had been reduced to ashes. As the farthest major house from the Fire Region, their territories also remained mostly untouched.

 

HISTORY

 

BEFORE 352 BE

Like the rest of Okoto, the Fire Region at this time consisted mostly of wandering tribes, with no permanent settlements.

 

352 BE – 348 BE

The First Council of Fire and the City

By the year 352 BE, both the Earth Region and the Jungle Region had adopted the House System with the aid of the Mask Makers of the time. Fearing that they might come under threat from their neighboring regions, the tribes of the Fire Region all met together to discuss a formal alliance. The gathering was also attended by the Mask Maker Vakama, who of all the Mask Makers had always had a closer relationship with the tribes of the Fire Region.

 

Within a month, the various tribes had all agreed upon terms for a formal alliance. Going against the advice of Vakama, the tribe leaders decided not to elect a single leader for the region; instead, they formed the ‘Council of Fire’. The Council of Fire consisted of the leaders from every tribe in the region, ensuring cooperation for the good of the many.

 

The first action taken by the Council of Fire was to begin the construction of a massive walled city, large enough to hold every tribe in case of an emergency. With every tribe working together, construction was finished within four years, and they moved onto their next project.

 

348 BE – 340 BE

The Walls

By the decree of the Council, the tribes began construction walls along the Fire Region’s borders with the Jungle Region and Earth Region. For eight years the tribes of the Fire Region toiled endlessly, determined to keep themselves safe from the more technologically advanced Jungle and Earth Regions.

 

During this time, Vakama forged the Mask of Fire – the first of the primary elemental Masks of Power – and gifted it to the Fire Region for safekeeping in 345 BE. In return, the Council of Fire gathered and in thanks, renamed the city in the Mask Maker’s honor. Vakama City was officially christened as such in 344 BE.

 

In 343 BE, the fears of the Fire Region were proven partially true when the Eastern Wall was attacked by forces from the Jungle Region. The builders managed to hold off their attackers until reinforces arrived with the Mask of Fire, which was then used to burn the Jungle Region Okotoans until nothing but ashes remained.

 

While the Western Wall was completed early in 343 BE, it took an additional three years for the Eastern Wall to be completed, as attacks from the Jungle Region became commonplace – but the Eastern Wall was built all the same.

 

337 BE – 336 BE

Adopting the House System

When the tribes gathered in Vakama City and the Council of Fire met in 337 BE, the decision to adopt the House System was largely a formality. During the construction of Vakama City and the Walls, the tribes had split apart and merged back together naturally, as likeminded Okotoans grouped with those that they got along with best.

 

As such, every Fire Region tribe was officially disbanded, and the different groups each elected their new leaders, who in turn formed a new Council of Fire. Within a year, the houses of the Fire Region had been decided and each had left Vakama City to find lands to settle in. The names of these early houses have all been lost to history, but their legacies remain intact.

 

331 BE

The Council of Fire Meets

In the year 331 BE, delegations from each house gathered in Vakama City as the Council of Fire met once again. This particular meeting is said to have been where the Fire Region began to burn their dead to honor them, as one of the Council members perished in the midst of the gathering.

 

314 BE – 308 BE

The First War for the Wall

For nearly two decades the Fire Region lived in relative peace, without any noteworthy events taking place.

 

This changed near the end of the year 314 BE, when a large force of Jungle Okotoans struck at the southern tip of the Eastern Wall. Unprepared for the attack, the Fire Region forces stationed there were slaughtered, and the Jungle forces took command of that portion of the Wall. Over the next several months, the Jungle Region seized control of the Eastern Wall piece by piece, until the Council of Fire was informed and Fire reinforcements were sent to the Wall.

 

For the next six years, the Fire Region and Jungle Region warred over the Eastern Wall, with neither region able to claim solid ground in the conflict.

 

While the Fire Region could have easily burned down the jungle with the Mask of Fire, the Jungle Region now had its own elemental Mask of Power. The Mask Makers in the Ancient City had also warned the Fire Region against such drastic measures, threatening to bring their full powers down upon the region if significant damage was done to the jungle.

 

Unable to make use of their most powerful weapon, the Fire Region instead sent envoys to the Water Region in 307 BE, proposing an alliance. The Water Region agreed, and soon, thanks to their own elemental Mask of Power, the Jungle Region began to dry up even as Water forces started to invade. Under attack from two sides, with their livelihood crashing and burning around them, the forces of the Jungle Region were forced to admit defeat within a year.

 

307 BE

An Alliance of Fire and Water

Influenced by their successful alliance during the War for the Wall, the Fire Region and Water Region leaders met in 307 BE to establish a more permanent alliance, as well as an extensive trade agreement.

 

This alliance would remain strong for centuries, lasting right up until the Stone Plague in 54 BE.

 

306 BE – 106 BE

Establishing Traditions

For the next 200 years, the Fire Region kept mostly to themselves, aside from minor disputes with the Jungle Region and Earth Region. Many of the current traditions of the Fire Region were established during this period, including the quasi-religious reverence they now hold for the element of fire.

 

Even more importantly, it was during this period that the typical approach to leadership was given shape, as the Council of Fire set a pattern of ensuring the good of the Fire Region above all else. While this would usually mean ensuring the good of Okoto itself – or at the very least, mutual benefits for their allies and trading partners – the Fire Region established a reputation for not being afraid to actively take steps against other regions if the Council of Fire felt it necessary.

 

By the year 106 BE, the Fire Region was divided into approximately seven different regions, with nine major houses whose leaders made up the Council of Fire – House Blaze, House Ember, House Darkfire, House Coal, House Burn, House Flare, House Kindle, House Ackar (whose members commanded the Western Wall), and House Raanu (whose members commanded the Eastern Wall).

 

102 BE

Patrus the Proud conquers the Stone Region

In 102 BE, reports reached the Fire Region that a single Okotoan known as ‘Patrus’ was uniting the entire Stone Region under his banner tribe by tribe, by right of conquest. The Council of Fire noted the sudden advancements, as well as the reactions of the other regions (particularly the Ice Region and Stone Region), but otherwise, Patrus the Proud had little impact on the Fire Region… barring one individual.

 

101 BE

Lord Aodh of House Blaze

The current Ruler of House Blaze, Lord Aodh, had closely studied Lord Nato’s rise to power within the Ice Region, and had continued to follow the Ice Ruler’s movements. With the news of Patrus the Proud, Lord Aodh set his sights on the Stone Region as well, and infiltrated both regions with his own spies to study them.

 

Within months, Lord Aodh established a spy network that stretched across Okoto, reporting the movements and plans of all six regions to him, while he himself analyzed each and every plan that was reported to him.

 

100 BE – 96 BE

The Rise of House Blaze

Modelling his plans on a combination of Lord Nato’s negotiations and Lord Patrus’s conquering, Lord Aodh spent the next seven years putting them into action. Travelling with his lead traders, diplomats, and advisors, he visited each and every house in the Fire Region to establish new alliances and trade agreements, in the name of ‘uniting the Fire Region further against their foes’.

 

By 96 BE, alliances and trade agreements had been formed with each house in the Fire Region individually. Thus far, every alliance and trade agreement could be easily explained under the guise of paranoia; Patrus the Proud’s rise had dramatically shifted the political landscape of Okoto, after all, and it was only natural to become worried.

 

But Lord Aodh did not stop there. His next move was to meet with both House Ackar and House Ember at the same time – where he revealed the fine print in the alliances and trade agreements with both houses. The alliances and trade agreements officially declared that House Ackar be dissolved into House Ember, while at the same time permanently indebting House Ember to House Blaze. Greedy and power hungry, the Okotoans of House Ember agreed without a second thought – and within a fortnight, every member of House Ackar was either dead or absorbed into House Ember.

 

With his new powerful allies in tow, Lord Aodh next met once more with House Kindle and House Raanu. With House Ember to back him up, Lord Aodh established a new set of alliances and trade agreements with House Kindle that tied House Blaze, House Ember, and House Kindle more closely together than ever before – while also indebting House Kindle to House Blaze, as he revealed that the prior alliances and agreements made with House Raanu declared that House Raanu be dissolved into House Kindle. With three major houses working together, it took less than three days for all of House Raanu to be wiped out or absorbed into House Kindle.

 

With three major houses irrevocably tied together in the Fire Region and two others crushed, the rest of the Fire Region and Okoto took notice, as Lord Aodh’s endgame began to reveal itself. House Darkfire, House Burn, House Flare, and House Coal all banded together.

 

95 BE – 93 BE

The Fire Civil War

For the next three years, the Fire Region warred with itself, as Lord Aodh was forced to resort to conquest in order to control the region. With the strength of House Blaze, House Ember, and House Kindle behind him, he locked himself into contact with the forces of House Darkfire, House Coal, House Burn, and House Flare – led by Lord Roy of House Burn.

 

For over a year, the two sides remained deadlocked; but in late 94 AE, an overwhelming attack led to the complete eradication of House Flare, with not a single member of the house surviving. Having witnessed the lengths that Lord Aodh would go to, Lord Kapura of House Darkfire surrendered peacefully in early 93 BE. He willingly signed onto a new set of alliances and trade agreements that tied his house to House Ember and House Blaze, with House Darkfire indebted to both for allowing its survival. Left without House Darkfire’s firepower, House Coal soon gave in as well, and received a similar gift of mercy.

 

Now standing alone, House Burn retreated into their borders, resorting to guerilla tactics. They lasted for six months before the rest of the Fire Region managed to breakthrough and destroy them so thoroughly that only dust remained.

 

92 BE

The Rise of House Aodh

In early 92 BE, after winning the Fire Civil War, House Blaze was officially renamed ‘House Aodh’ in honor of their Lord, and his status as the first Ruler of the Fire Region. Thanks to Lord Aodh’s cunning, even if the other Fire Region houses had been smart enough to use it as an excuse to violate their new alliances and agreements, they could not – for each agreement tied them to the name of Aodh itself alongside House Blaze.

 

Although House Aodh was officially formed in 92 BE, it is commonly accepted that it actually originated around ten years earlier, when Patrus the Proud’s conquering of the Stone Region influenced Lord Aodh to begin making his own plans.

 

91 BE – 78 BE

Peaceful Times and Makuta City

For 13 years, Lord Aodh ruled over the Fire Region peacefully and without issue. In 78 BE he journeyed to Makuta City, where for the first time he met with the Rulers of the other regions on Okoto – including both Patrus the Proud and his heir. During their meeting, the aged Patrus spoke at length with Lord Aodh before leaving, journeying to the Water Region to set sail on his final adventure.

 

57 BE – 47 BE

The Second War for the Wall

The Second War for the Wall began when a portion of the House Coal mines collapsed underneath the Eastern Wall, leading to a portion of the Wall collapsing as well. The Jungle Region forces nearby wasted no time in seizing the area for themselves, and in the blink of an eye, the two regions were at war again.

 

By now too old to lead the Fire Region into battle himself, Lord Aodh reformed the Council of Fire, using the heads of the other Fire Region houses to advise him and lead the army in his stead. His son and heir, an Okotoan by the name of Nuhrii, led the forces of House Aodh. Nuhrii was brutal and cruel both on and off of the battlefield, but even he was unable to make significant headway against the Jungle Region.

 

When the Stone Plague began ravaging the Stone Region in 54 BE, Lord Aodh sent a small force of only ten Okotoans to help, but all contracted the Stone Plague and perished before reaching their destination; due to the war, the Fire Region could not afford to extend any further offers of help. When the Stone Plague spread to the Water Region, Lord Aodh was forced to ignore them, despite it souring relations between the two regions.

 

Slowly but surely, the Fire Region began to push the Jungle Region forces back – rebuilding the collapsed portions of the Eastern Wall as they did so. Lord Aodh, rapidly turning decrepit in his old age, resigned his position to Nuhrii in 47 BE. The two remained isolated for a week, before venturing out to meet with the Jungle Region leaders.

 

At the meeting, every single Jungle Region leader – as well as Lord Aodh – died in their seats, their drinks having been poisoned. With the Jungle Region forces now in disarray and the Fire Region forces hungry to avenge their fallen Ruler, Lord Nuhrii easily decimated the enemy before falling back behind the Eastern Wall, ending the Second War for the Wall.

 

After the war’s conclusion, Lord Nuhrii maintained the Council of Fire, using their political acumen to his advantage. It was also at this time that the name of Lord Aodh was immortalized – as with every head of House Aodh to follow, no Fire Okotoan would ever be given that name again.

 

40 BE

The Last Mask Makers

When word reached the Fire Region that the Mask Makers Archean Borne and Vatten Borne had both passed away, Lord Nuhrii journeyed to House Archean in the Stone Region and then to House Vatten in the Water Region to personally express his condolences. Following in his father’s footsteps, these meetings were also used to establish new political ties with both regions.

 

Almost immediately upon his return to the Fire Region, Lord Nuhrii gathered a large armed force under the orders of the last Mask Makers, Ekimu and Makuta, and added them to the Okoto army gathered in the Jungle Region. There, they witnessed the appearance of a great temple, which brought with it several Fire and Ice Okotoans.  

 

One member of the Council of Fire – an Okotoan named Keahi – was sent to the Water Region to speak with the visitors. Though Keahi was unable to gather much from them, he was able to later inform Lord Nuhrii that they were from a distant future, and had warned them to be watchful for creatures of shadow.

 

5 BE

Makuta’s Retreat

For the next several decades, the Fire Region was ruled in peace. Lord Nuhrii eventually stepped down in 8 BE, allowing his heir – Lord Vohon – to take command.

 

When the Mask Maker Makuta retreated deep into Makuta City in the year 5 BE, Lord Nuhrii journeyed with Keahi to the Ancient City, where they attempted to warn Ekimu of the dangers that Makuta would bring forth. They were unable to convince him, and both perished on their journey back home.

 

0 BE

The Long Night Begins and the Massacre at Makuta City

Having summoned some of the highest nobles from all six regions to Makuta City, Makuta showed off his newest creation – a special Mask of Power that he claimed had been crafted using all six of the main elements of Okoto. Despite the warnings of Ekimu, Makuta donned what he had called the ‘Mask of Ultimate Power’ in front of the crowd.

 

Accounts from the incident were few and far between, but each of them agreed that the Mask of Ultimate Power must have been responsible for what happened next. The sky over top of Makuta City went as dark as night in an instant, and the temperature dropped to near freezing in seconds. Skeletal warriors twice the size of the Okotoans present crawled out of the ground and began to cut Okotoans down where they stood – only for the fallen to rise back up and begin attacking their brethren in turn.

 

Unprepared for such a brutal assault and such dark magic, many of the Okotoans in Makuta City were slaughtered, including Patrus II, the current head of House Patrus. Ekimu managed to escape the city with a small squad of 22 Okotoans, 1 of which was from the Fire Region. They managed to retreat back to the castle of House Patrus, where Ekimu was able to convince the Stone Okotoans to begin mobilizing against their new enemy; in the meantime, the lone Fire Okotoan managed to return to the Fire Region, where he warned Lord Vohon before collapsing dead to the ground.

 

The Long Night

There are little to no records from the Long Night; nearly all of Okoto and its population were wiped out, with less than 2000 Okotoans still alive by the end. It is known that the Long Night lasted for 12 years, and at its end, the Okotoans as a whole began to refer to themselves as ‘Protectors’. Both Makuta and Ekimu were lost as well, leaving the original line of Mask Makers extinguished. Many members of the Fire Region survived by retreating into Vakama City, keeping it defended at all costs. Lord Vohon and his heir both survived in this manner, leading the remnants of their region through the Long Night.

 

Due to the lack of records, as time passed and those who survived the Long Night passed on, the entire ordeal was slowly forgotten and erased from history. The Protectors of modern times still believe that Makuta crafted the Mask of Ultimate Power, but there their understanding deviates from what actually occurred; for modern Protectors believe Ekimu and Makuta clashed with each other in a mighty duel, one that wiped out Makuta City and ended with both Mask Makers dead in the sand. Their current dating system, as such, is flawed, and is twelve years behind.

 

0AE – 5AE

Keep on Burning

Thanks to the cunning of Lord Vohon and his heir, while most of the Fire Region’s population was decimated during the Long Night, there was not a single house that died; as such, the rebuilding process was a simple one. Enforcing the loyalty of other houses to House Aodh was a simple endeavour following the Long Night, ensuring that even the most bitter of rivals would cooperate in the rebuilding of the region.

 

184 AE – 191 AE

The Third War for the Wall

Nearly 180 years of peace followed the Long Night; where other regions remained in a perpetual state of uncertainty (regardless of whether the threats ever truly panned out), thanks to the alliances and trade agreements tying the entire region to House Aodh, the Fire Region was secure and united.

 

In 184 AE, the Jungle Region Ruler of the time – a Protector by the name of Tanma – struck at the Eastern Wall, using the attack to unite his region, which had been descending into anarchy. Although the initial attack was easily repelled, the Fire Ruler – Radiak Aodh – was infuriated by the Jungle Region’s audacity, and retaliated in full. Within weeks, the conflict had descended into an all-out war.

 

Hoping to snuff out the Jungle Region before too much damage could be done, Lord Radiak made an alliance with the Water Region, hoping for a repeat of what had won them the first War for the Wall. Unfortunately, the Jungle Region had made an alliance as well – with the militarily superior Ice Region. While the Water Region’s northern borders were under siege, additional Ice Region forces also travelled to the Jungle Region to assist against Lord Radiak’s forces at the Eastern Wall.

 

As the war began to tip in the Jungle Region’s favor, Lord Radiak became desperate for allies; while the Stone Region forces refused to get involved, citing their dislike for both Jungle and Water, the Earth Region pledged their support at last in 190 AE.

 

In their first battle, the Earth Region forces betrayed the Fire Region, while additional forces began sieging the Western Wall.

 

With the region under attack from all sides, Lord Radiak enacted his final gambit. Relinquishing his position to his heir, Vultraz, Lord Radiak rode out to battle at the Eastern Wall with the Mask of Fire – where he activated the elemental Mask and created a fire so fierce and powerful that he himself was burned alive. The fire consumed the lives of every Earth and Ice soldier stationed at the Eastern Wall, along with half of Lord Tanma’s forces and nearly a third of the Jungle Region itself, ending the Third War for the Wall in a single shot.

 

With no reason left to fight, the Ice Region surrendered to the Water Region and retreated back into their territories – but the newly christened Lord Vultraz was not finished. Reclaiming the Mask of Fire, he rode to the Western Wall, where he mercilessly burned every single Earth Protector that he could see before they too retreated. Still furious with the Earth Region’s betrayal, Lord Vultraz pledged that the entire Earth Region would someday burn for what they had done.

 

209 AE

The Death of the Mask Maker Vezon

When the Mask Maker Vezon died in 209 AE, his heir – a zealous supporter of the Faith – gave the Fire Region and Ice Region ten years to eradicate the presence of the Knights of Ekimu within their borders before the rest of the island would intervene. While Lord Vultraz did not particularly care for the Knights himself, he considered the threat insulting, and subsequently welcomed any and all Knights into the Fire Region simply out of spite – while also helping them to hide from the Faith in the process.

 

218 AE

The Darkfire Rebellion

By 218 AE, the Knights of Ekimu had all but vanished from the face of the Fire Region – but the region itself remained favorable towards them, and refused to commit itself towards the Faith. House Darkfire, loyal to the Mask Maker and the Faith (as well as greedy for power) tried to rebel again House Aodh and assassinate Lord Vultraz.

 

They were nearly successful, slaughtering many Knights and members of House Aodh – but the intervention of House Ash, led by Lord Telius, bought Lord Vultraz enough time to organize a proper defense and retaliate. After pushing back the initial strike and killing those responsible, Lord Vultraz gathered forces from House Ember and together, House Aodh, House Ash, and House Ember crushed House Darkfire entirely, eradicating their line. As thanks, Lord Vultraz raised House Ash to the status of a noble house, and Lord Telius joined the Council of Fire.

 

Having proven his abilities to both defend his home and subsequently wipe out those responsible, Lord Vultraz – and by extension, the Fire Region itself – were now relatively safe from the grasping claws of the Faith and the Mask Maker.

 

291 AE – 294 AE

Trijhak the Mad and Planning the Rebellion

In 291 AE, the Mask Maker Trijhak ascended to the throne, and rapidly became known for his extreme mood swings and bloodthirsty, violent temper. At this time, a member of House Ash named Voxumo was discovered to have the blood of the Mask Makers in his veins – opening the door for a possible rebellion, particularly with an insane Mask Maker on the throne tearing apart his own alliances left and right.

 

For the next three years, many powerful Protectors across Okoto began to plot in secret. The Fire Region allied with houses from the Stone Region, Ice Region, and Earth Region in this endeavour, knowing that the Water Region remained loyal to Trijhak and refusing to work with the Jungle Region.

 

When House Qendroj and the Earth Region fell back under the influence of loyalists in 294 AE, it briefly delayed the rebellion – but not for very long.

 

295 AE – 296 AE

Voxumo’s Rebellion

In 295 AE, the Fire Region and Ice Region both began to actively rebel against the throne, battling with the Ancient City and the Earth Region, whose loyalists were the only ones to answer Trijhak’s call.

 

The rebellion was a war of attrition, resulting in heavy losses for all involved until the Stone Civil War ended with House Raqmu victorious. Led by Lord Bronze, the Stone Region joined the fray, and within weeks victory was within the rebellion’s grasp. At the end of the war, while Lord Bronze led the assault on the Ancient City and slew Trijhak the Mad, House Aodh led the charge on the Earth Region.

 

There, the Fire Region finally made good on Lord Vultraz’s promise from so long ago; though their Ruler perished in the battle, the forces of the Fire Region took great pleasure in exterminating the entire Earth Region. Fires were maintained at the entrances to mines all across the Earth Region, and every last possible Earth Protector was cut down.

 

297 AE

Aftermath of Voxumo’s Rebellion

With the Earth Region seemingly wiped off of Okoto (though a few Protectors managed to survive, infiltrating other regions and posing as their Protectors), the newly christened Mask Maker Voxumo left the regions to govern themselves for a year so that all could recover from the war. During this time, House Aodh solidified their hold on the Fire Region, and re-armed the defenses along the Eastern Wall to prevent an attack from the Jungle Region.

 

316 AE

Lord Burnmad Aodh

In 315 AE, Lord Burnmad took over as the head of House Aodh and Ruler of the Fire Region after his father passed on. Now privy to information he had lacked previously, Lord Burnmad determined that Voxumo was doing a poor job of ruling over Okoto, and in 316 AE, he sent several Protectors to infiltrate the Ancient City with orders to destroy the remaining Skull Warriors and kill Voxumo.

 

Although they were able to destroy two Skull Warriors, the team was ultimately killed by the rest, with the final team member barely making it back to the Fire Region with the Mask of Fire before perishing. The incident caused Voxumo to expel all Protectors except the members of his personal council from the Ancient City, sealing all known entrances as he retreated within.

 

317 AE – 319 AE

The War for the Throne

By early 317 AE, Voxumo’s relationship with both the Fire Region and the Ice Region had deteriorated, leaving only the Stone Region’s loyalty still guaranteed. Although the Stone Region’s military might was enough to threaten any attempts at an uprising, the poisoning of their water shipments from House Rayne in the Water Region wiped out half of their population, leaving both the Stone Region and Voxumo vulnerable.

 

Through his lead trader, Lord Imrukii of House Ember, Lord Burnmad had established a ground-breaking trade agreement with the Water Region and Jungle Region – though the terms of the agreement were seemingly broken soon after by Lord TimeLord, the Ruler of the Jungle Region, when he accused Nato of House Greavesy and Lord Terrorsaur of House Rayne of treason and jailed them both.

 

The Fire Region remained neutral in the conflict that was brewing until the trial of  Nato, Terrorsaur, and several others in the Ancient City, which Lord Burnmad attended alongside Lord Imrukii, as well as Dragonstar of House Ember and RG of House Coal. During the trial, RG was slain when the Mask of Time (which had been re-discovered by Dragonstar days before) was misused by Pulse of House Vatten.

 

Following the trial, Lord Burnmad officially allied the Fire Region to Pulse, heir to Trijhak the Mad, alongside the Water Region and Ice Region. When Lord Imrukii attempted to assassinate him and seize control of the Fire Region for Voxumo, Lord Burnmad executed him. He then took up the defense of the Ancient City, as well as manning the Eastern Wall in anticipation of an attack from the armies of Stone and Jungle, who had retreated into the Jungle Region.

 

After the death of Voxumo the Usurper and the surrendering of the Stone Region, the Fire Region remained most heavily involved in the conflict. With the Stone Region retreating (and watched over by the Ice Region) while the Water Region defended their own borders as well as the Ancient City, the Fire Region continued to battle the Jungle Region… until at last, Lord Burnmad had had enough.

 

He did not just end the War for the Throne.

 

He ended the Jungle Region itself.

 

In late 319 AE, using the Mask of Fire, Lord Burnmad set the jungle ablaze, starting at the Eastern Wall – and then the Fire Region forces relentlessly advanced into the jungle, continuing to push the enemy back and setting more of the jungle ablaze. Piece by piece, Lord Burnmad conquered the Jungle Region, until nearly two thirds of the jungle had been burned away and Lord Smoke Monster of House Cage, acting Ruler of the Jungle Region, finally surrendered.

 

323 AE

The Earth Region Returns

In 323 AE, to the surprise of everyone, a large force of Earth Protectors rose from underneath Okoto, led by a mighty being that they called Kulta the Skull Grinder and protected by a legion of 100 Skull Warriors. The Fire Region remained neutral towards them, though their history left the relationship between both regions strained at best.

 

A new faith called the ‘Faith of the Skulls’ soon appeared in the Earth Region; while the Protectors of Fire remained mostly indifferent to the Faith, the Protectors of Jungle took to the Faith almost immediately. When a rival group calling themselves the ‘Knights of Ekimu’ declared Kulta and his Skull Warriors to be monsters, their words were mostly ignored by the Protectors of Jungle, though many Protectors of Fire took their words to heart.

 

324 AE

Tahu, Toa of Fire

In an attempt to make peace between the Faith and the Knights, the Mask Maker Pulse summoned the six heroes of legend to Okoto. Tahu, Toa of Fire, soon went to work as the guardian of the Fire Region. As the Jungle Region was no longer its own entity, Lewa, Toa of Jungle, instead began serving as the guardian of the Ancient City.

 

NOW

 

The Fire Region’s relationships with the Water Region and the Ancient City remain very strained following the War for the Throne and the Conquering of Jungle – and with their rocky history in the last 150 years, their relationship with Earth is not much better. Their relationship with Stone is equally strained and rapidly worsening, as the Stone Region’s frustration with relying on the Fire Region to purify their water supplies grows. They have managed to maintain a cordial relationship with the Ice Region, but even the northernmost region is now wary of the firepower at Lord Burnmad’s command.

 

Within the Fire Region itself, tensions are high between the Protectors of Fire and the Protectors of Jungle, and the peace remains fragile, as their leaders must actively work to prevent a civil war from breaking out, knowing it could spell the end of the Protectors of Jungle. While the Protectors of Fire remain as loyal to House Aodh as ever, there are some who wonder whether Lord Burnmad and House Aodh have finally gone too far by conquering the Jungle Region, and some now actively seek their downfall from the shadows.

 

The Fire Region’s regional words are ‘Fire and Blood’ – and Lord Burnmad’s actions may have doomed them to that exact fate.

 

REVIEW


Edited by Stark, Dec 01 2016 - 04:53 PM.

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Elittra Valmai


#6 Offline Elittra

Elittra
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Posted Dec 31 2016 - 10:18 AM

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This particular entry focuses on the former Jungle Region of Okoto. Included are the former major houses of the region, each of which ruled over several smaller, minor houses, as well as any living or dead Protectors relevant to the state of Okoto before the region’s conquering. Any and all events detailed within are dated BE (Before Ekimu’s Fall) and AE (After Ekimu’s Fall).

 

Due to the conquering of the region in 319 AE, the lore and histories in this chapter only exist up until that particular point in time, and do not stretch until the present day. The conquering also resulted in the destruction of many internal historical records; only external records of the many wars that the Jungle Region partook in throughout history remain.

 

THE JUNGLE REGION

“Ours is the Fury”

 

MAJOR HOUSES

(AS OF 319 AE, before the Conquering)

 

House Cage

“So End Our Foes”

Headed by Lord Smoke Monster as of 319 AE, who also served as the Acting Ruler of the Jungle Region during the War for the Throne after the death of Lord TimeLord Hinterland.

 

House Cage has also been home to many Protectors with the name of ‘Makani’, beginning with Lord Makani the Vengeful, who led the Jungle Region in the First War for the Wall. Since then, the name of Makani has evolved into one of legendary status, gifted only to the Jungle Region’s fiercest leaders and warriors.

 

Supplying nearly two thirds of the Jungle Region’s soldiers and traders, House Cage was easily the most powerful house in the region; unlike similar houses in other regions, however, no member of House Cage ever attempted to take control of the Jungle Region. Members of this house have always been happy to allow their strength to speak for itself, and their restraint has won them respect all over Okoto.

 

House Hinterland

“Growing Strong”

Formerly headed by Lord Timelord, who went missing in early 317 AE at the beginning of the War for the Throne. Although never confirmed, many suspect that he was murdered by Nato of House Greavesy and Terrorsaur of House Rayne, who were both under arrest and escaped custody around the same point in time.

 

As of 319 AE House Hinterland lacked a proper head, with Lord TimeLord’s heir still not of age; as such, the duties of running the house had been taken over by Lord Smoke Monster.

 

House Hinterland was the smallest ruling house on Okoto before the War for the Throne. The vast majority of its members were tasked with governing the region or assisting with that task, leaving the other houses to perform the other duties of the region. When Lord TimeLord disappeared, Lord Smoke Monster of House Cage took over as Acting Ruler as per Lord TimeLord’s wishes; officially, House Cage also temporarily replaced House Hinterland as the Jungle Region’s ruling house, although most governing duties still remained with House Hinterland.

 

House Briar

“Our Roots Go Deep”

Headed by Lord Lazuli as of 319 AE.

 

As of 319 AE, other noteworthy members included Tekulo, who served on the council of Voxumo the Usurper and acted as Lord Smoke Monster’s right hand during the War for the Throne. Also includes Underscore, who acted as the Jungle Region’s lead Diplomat before his untimely death in 317 AE.

 

House Briar are known as the best herders and farmers in the Jungle Region, thanks to their fertile lands being closest to the Water Region. They have been invaluable to the rebuilding of any lost forests after conflicts with the Fire Region, particularly the Wars for the Wall.

 

House Raeib

“That Which is Blessed”

Current and former heads unknown.

 

History largely unknown, thanks to the destruction of most records in the Conquering.

 

House Gresh

“Ever Vigilant”

Current and former heads unknown.

 

History largely unknown, thanks to the destruction of most records in the Conquering.

 

House Lasang

“Death Before Disgrace”

Current and former heads unknown.

 

History largely unknown, thanks to the destruction of most records in the Conquering.

 

HISTORY

 

BEFORE 360 BE

Like the rest of Okoto, the Jungle Region at this time consisted mostly of wandering tribes, with no permanent settlements.

 

360 BE

Formation of the House System in the Jungle Region

With the Earth Region having invented the House System in 389 BE and the Water Region adopting it soon after, the Jungle Region tribes began to acknowledge its possible advantages – particularly in the realm of conquering. One tribe, led by an Okotoan named Tanma, reformed itself into House Hinterland under the guidance of the Mask Maker Matau, named for a plant common within their lands. With the help of House Hinterland, the other various tribes of the Jungle Region reformed as well.

 

House Hinterland soon rose up as the ruling house of the Jungle Region, alongside the pledge that the other houses would be allowed to continue their traditional lifestyles – leaving the task of governing the region and maintaining diplomatic relations with the rest of Okoto to House Hinterland.

 

348 BE – 343 BE

The Fire Region Walls

In 348 BE, the neighboring Fire Region began the construction of two walls, running along its borders with the Earth Region and Jungle Region. The Ruler of the Jungle Region, Lord Orkham of House Hinterland, invited one of the Mask Makers – one by the name of Matau – to the Jungle Region, where they wined and dined. With Matau drunk out of his wits, Lord Orkham learned that the Fire Region had united to build the walls, feeling vulnerable and threatened by the Jungle Region’s house system.

 

Matau was officially declared ‘missing’ a few days later; unbeknownst to the rest of the island, however, Lord Orkham had him in captivity, and through torture and questioning, learned many secrets of the Mask Makers and the other regions of Okoto. For over a year, this process wore on; once Matau had outlived his usefulness, Lord Orkham executed him and burned the body, leaving no traces behind.

 

He met with the other Jungle Region leaders in 344 BE to begin planning their assault on the Eastern Wall, believing that it would be an easy target. They struck the next year, but were unable to penetrate the ramshackle defenses set up by the Fire Region builders – and once Fire Region enforcements arrived with the Mask of Fire, every single Jungle Okotoan attacking the Eastern Wall (including Lord Orkham himself) was burned until nothing but ashes remained.

 

314 BE – 308 BE

The First War for the Wall

For the next several decades, the Jungle Region stewed, largely ignored by the Mask Makers as its leaders slowly planned for another attempt to take control of the Wall.

 

In 314 BE, led by Lord Makani of House Cage, the Jungle Region struck at the southern tip of the Eastern Wall. They slaughtered the Fire Region forces stationed there and easily took command of that portion of the Wall. Over the next several months, the Jungle Region continued to seize control of the Eastern Wall piece by piece, with many victories attributed to Lord Makani. By the time that Fire Region reinforcements arrived, Lord Makani was already known as ‘the Vengeful’.

 

For the next six years, both regions warred over the Eastern Wall; despite his best efforts, Lord Makani was unable to gain a solid foothold in the conflict with the Mask of Fire in play, even with his own Mask of Jungle being used.

 

In 307 BE, the Jungle Region found themselves attacked on two fronts as the Water Region entered the fray in a truce with the Fire Region, using their Mask of Water to dry up the jungle while Water forces invaded. The Jungle Region was unable to continue fighting for long with their livelihood crashing and burning around them, and despite Lord Makani’s protests, they admitted defeat within a year.

 

307 BE – 58 BE

Generations

For many years, the island of Okoto lived in something resembling peace, but the Jungle Region in particular remained rather combat-focused, often striking out against other regions despite the Mask Maker’s efforts to moderate them. During this time, several other Okotoans named ‘Makani’ appeared, until the name took on such a mythical nature that its use as a birth name was banned, and it was designated as a title for the Jungle Region’s greatest leaders and warriors to take up instead.

 

57 BE – 47 BE

The Second War for the Wall

Over two centuries later, Lord Taiki of House Briar was assigned the task of preparing an opportunity for the Jungle Region to seize the Eastern Wall once more. Under his direction, House Briar dug underneath the wall and into the territory of House Coal before sabotaging House Coal’s supports, causing the House Coal mines to collapse under the Eastern Wall. Having prepared ahead of time, the Jungle Region forces stationed nearby were able to claim the area before the Fire Region was even aware of the incident.

 

Lord Taiki came into direct conflict with Lord Nuhrii of the Fire Region several times, finding the Acting Ruler of House Aodh more similar to himself than he liked. Despite his inability to press further into the Fire Region, Lord Taiki was honored with a re-naming ceremony, becoming the first Okotoan to take up the ceremonial title of Makani.

 

When the Stone Plague ravaged the Stone Region and Water Region in 54 BE, the Jungle Region ignored both region’s pleas for aid, continuing to focus on the Fire Region and the Eastern Wall.

 

Slowly but surely, however, the Fire Region began to push the Jungle Region forces back after Makani Taiki lost a leg in battle and was forced to return to his home to recover. He resigned his lordship over to his son, Lord Sanso, who also took his place as the commander of the Jungle Region forces in 49 BE.

 

In 47 BE, Lord Sanso and the other Jungle Region leaders met with Lord Aodh and Lord Nuhrii for a peaceful negotiation. Every single Jungle Region leader perished at the meeting, as did Lord Aodh, their drinks having been poisoned. The deaths threw the entire Jungle Region into disarray, while Lord Nuhrii used the death of his father to galvanize the Fire Region forces, who easily decimated what remained of the Jungle forces before they withdrew back behind the Eastern Wall, ending the Second War for the Wall.

 

40 BE

The Last Mask Makers and the Temple of Time

After the passing of the Mask Makers Archean and Vatten Borne, Makani Taiki and Lord Wilhelm of House Hinterland gathered their forces at the command of the Mask Makers Ekimu and Makuta, gathering at the site of the mythical Temple of Time, which had not been seen for many years. There, they also witnessed the appearance of several Fire and Ice Okotoans.

 

Unwilling to let the visitors remain in the Jungle Region, the two forced Ekimu to take them to the Water Region instead. Until the visitors finally reappeared, vanishing again alongside the Temple, the two used up many Jungle resources in a futile attempt to learn how the Temple operated.

 

0 BE

The Long Night Begins and the Massacre at Makuta City

When Makuta summoned the highest nobles from all six regions of Okoto to his city in the Stone Region, only an aging Makani Taiki went, alongside a single aide, as the other Jungle Region leaders remained suspicious of the Mask Makers and the other regions.

 

Makuta showed off his newest creation – a special Mask of Power that he claimed had been crafted using all six of the main elements of Okoto. Despite the warnings of Ekimu, Makuta donned what he had called the ‘Mask of Ultimate Power’ in front of the crowd.

 

Accounts from the incident were few and far between, but each of them agreed that the Mask of Ultimate Power must have been responsible for what happened next. The sky over top of Makuta City went as dark as night in an instant, and the temperature dropped to near freezing in seconds. Skeletal warriors twice the size of the Okotoans present crawled out of the ground and began to cut Okotoans down where they stood – only for the fallen to rise back up and begin attacking their brethren in turn.

 

Unprepared for such a brutal assault and such dark magic, many of the Okotoans in Makuta City were slaughtered, including both Makani Taiki and his aide. While Ekimu managed to escape the city with a small squad of 22 Okotoans, none of them were from the Jungle Region… leaving them unaware of the new enemy, and unable to prepare themselves.

 

The Long Night

There are little to no records from the Long Night; nearly all of Okoto and its population were wiped out, with less than 2000 Okotoans still alive by the end. Despite this, certain facts can be deduced.

 

It is known that the Long Night lasted for 12 years, and at its end, the Okotoans as a whole began to refer to themselves as ‘Protectors’, intending to stop the Long Night from falling ever again. Both Makuta and Ekimu were lost as well, leaving the original line of Mask Makers extinguished. The Jungle Region in particular suffered very heavy losses early on, and what was left survived only because the current ruler of House Hinterland – Lord Kumo, granted the title of Makani Kumo the Merciful – quickly gave up the region as lost and retreated with every Jungle Protector he could into the Water Region. There, Makani Kumo and the majority of his forces held the region alongside the Water Region forces long enough to buy Ekimu and those who would eventually become the first Knights of Ekimu enough time to retreat underground.

 

Due to the lack of records, as time passed and those who survived the Long Night passed on, the entire ordeal was slowly forgotten and erased from history. The Protectors of modern times still believe that Makuta crafted the Mask of Ultimate Power, but there their understanding deviates from what actually occurred; for modern Protectors believe Ekimu and Makuta clashed with each other in a mighty duel, one that wiped out Makuta City and ended with both Mask Makers dead in the sand. Their current dating system, as such, is flawed, and is twelve years behind.

 

0 AE – 20 AE

The Temple of Time and Lady Tamaru

After the Long Night, the Temple of Time was discovered back in the Jungle Region. It was largely ignored while the region built itself back up, and knowledge of its existence was soon commonplace.

 

At this time, House Hinterland – and the Jungle Region as a whole – was ruled by its first ever female ruler. Lady Tamaru was fierce, and by honoring the region’s traditional warrior ways, earned the region’s loyalty and respect.

 

As such, when she revealed a child that she claimed to be from a mere commoner, it was not questioned by anyone – though when House Hinterland’s ownership of Makuta’s Mask of Control was revealed in 6 AE, rumors began to spread regarding the child’s true parent.

 

166 AE

The Temple of Time is Lost

In 166 AE, a mysterious conflict between two unknown forces was fought throughout the Jungle Region, with both parties having set their eyes on controlling the Temple of Time. One side, becoming desperate as the fighting wore on, deliberately damaged some of the temple’s core time circuitry.

 

Already unstable by nature, the damage disconnected the Temple of Time from reality altogether; with nothing left to anchor it into a central position in time, it vanished. The Mask of Time soon vanished as well, rendering it impossible to call the Temple back from wherever it had vanished to.

 

184 AE – 191 AE

The Third War for the Wall

The current Ruler of Jungle – Lord Tanma of House Hinterland – led a strike against the Eastern Wall in 184 AE, using the attack to unite his region, which had been slowly descending into anarchy ever since the Temple’s disappearance eight years previously. Although the attack was easily repelled, the Fire Region Ruler – Radiak of House Aodh – was infuriated, and retaliated in full; the conflict soon descended into an all-out war.

 

Predicting that the Fire Region would once more ally itself with the Water Region, Lord Tanma forged a pact with Lord Ignis, the Ruler of the Ice Region. With the military might of the Ice Region on their side, the Jungle Region managed to tip the scales of the war in their favor, with Ice Region forces assisting them against the Fire Region at the Eastern Wall while Lord Ignis himself sieged the Water Region’s northern borders.

 

As the war began to tip in the Jungle Reigon’s favor, Lord Radiak became desperate for allies; while the Stone Region forces refused to get involved (citing a dislike for both Jungle and Water), the Earth Region pledged their support in 190 AE... at the command of Lord Tanma, who had, alongside Lord Ignis, forged a non-aggression pact with the Earth Region a year prior.

 

For this reason, in their first battle, the Earth Region forces betrayed the Fire Region and began to siege the Western Wall.

 

Unfortunately, Lord Tanma had underestimated just how far his enemy was willing to go in order to protect his region and retain control over the Walls. In 191 AE, Lord Radiak rode out to battle at the Eastern Wall with the Mask of Fire. He activated the elemental Mask and created a fire so fierce and powerful that he himself was burned alive; the fire also consumed the lives of every Earth and Ice soldier stationed at the Eastern Wall, along with half of Lord Tanma’s forces and nearly a third of the Jungle Region itself, ending the Third War for the Wall in a single shot.

 

Upon learning of the massive losses down south, Lord Ignis surrendered to the Water Region, with his forces retreating back into the Ice Region while Lord Radiak’s son, Lord Vultraz, ruthlessly annihilated the Earth Region forces at the Western Wall. With his allies destroyed, his territory burned away, and his own people beginning to call for his head, Lord Tanma was forced to admit defeat.

 

295 AE – 296 AE

Voxumo’s Rebellion

During Voxumo’s Rebellion, the Jungle Region remained neutral, unwilling to remain loyal to Trijhak the Mad but also refusing to work alongside the Fire Region.

 

297 AE

Aftermath of Voxumo’s Rebellion

In the aftermath of the rebellion, the Jungle Region’s relationship with the Fire Region became even more strained, as many Protectors in the region began to wonder if their region would suffer the same fate as the Earth Region.

 

Their fears were allayed somewhat by the Mask Maker Voxumo, who, despite being a Fire Protector, was determined to develop a better relationship with the Jungle Region than previous Mask Makers. The current ruler of the Jungle Region – Lord TimeLord of House Hinterland – would grow closer to Voxumo as the years passed, becoming fiercely loyal, though he would remain extremely wary of the other regions.

 

302 AE

Lord TimeLord’s Paranoia

In 302 AE, Lord TimeLord began suffering from paranoia. Becoming convinced that someone would try to kill off his son and heir – TimeLord II – he sent him away to a small, isolated island with only elders for company. The elders were given the task of teaching TimeLord II how to rule over the Jungle Region and how to craft Masks of Power, something Lord TimeLord felt his son would be capable of as a descendant of Makuta.

 

316 AE

Father and Son

In 316, with his paranoia leading him to believe that he was being hunted and would die soon, Lord TimeLord visited his son for the first time in fourteen years. He left his son – who was only sixteen – with his Mask, before returning home.

 

317 AE – 319 AE

The War for the Throne

By early 317 AE, Voxumo’s relationships with the Fire Region and the Ice Region had deteriorated, leaving only the Stone Region’s loyalty still guaranteed, though Lord TimeLord and the Jungle Region were now also seemingly extremely loyal to the Usurper – though, unknown to the other Jungle Region leaders, Lord TimeLord was secretly operating with other plans entirely.

 

Inviting the lead traders of the Fire Region and Water Region into the Jungle Region, Lord TimeLord established a ground-breaking trade agreement with both regions – though the terms of said agreement were seemingly broken soon after by Lord TimeLord himself when he accused Nato of House Greavesy in the Ice Region and Lord Terrorsaur, Ruler of the Water Region, of treason and jailed them both without evidence (though he was unknowingly correct in doing so).

 

The two executed Lord TimeLord later while en route to their trial in the Ancient City, though a lack of witnesses meant that Lord TimeLord was merely declared as ‘missing’. In his place, operating under a posthumous command, Lord Smoke Monster of House Cage took command of the Jungle Region before venturing to the Ancient City, where several other Protectors were on trial. During the trial, the Jungle Region’s lead Trader – Underscore of House Briar – was slain when the Mask of Time (which had been re-discovered days before) was misused by Pulse of House Vatten, the ‘true’ heir to the throne.

 

Following the trial, Lord Smoke Monster officially allied the Jungle Region to Voxumo the Usurper alongside the Stone Region, and they all retreated into the Jungle Region. There, they assisted Voxumo in attempting to enter the Temple of Time, but were prevented from doing so by Nato; the Temple of Time soon vanished with Nato – along with several other Ice and Fire Protectors – still inside.

 

After the death of Voxumo the Usurper and the surrendering of the Stone Region, the Jungle Region found itself alone in fighting against the forces of the Mask Maker Pulse. They would have been crushed almost instantly if all of Pulse’s forces had remained active, but thanks to a variety of circumstances, they fought mostly against the Fire Region until 319 AE, at which point Lord Burnmad, Ruler of the Fire Region, had had enough.

 

Using the Mask of Fire, Lord Burnmad set the jungle ablaze, starting at the Eastern Wall – and then led his forces into the Jungle Region, relentlessly advancing, pushing the Jungle forces back and setting the region ablaze as they did so. Piece by piece, Lord Burnmad conquered the Jungle Region until nearly two thirds of the jungle had been burned away and Lord Smoke Monster finally surrendered, hoping to save the surviving remnants of the region.

 

For his efforts, Lord Smoke Monster was gifted the title of ‘Makani’ – the first in several hundred years – though he is not recognized as such by those who are not of the Jungle element.

 

320 AE – Present

Fire and Blood

Since the conquering, the Jungle Region does not exist; it is merely another portion of the massive Fire Region, under the command of Lord Burnmad.

 

But Lord TimeLord II is still out there.

 

Lord Tekulo still watches over what remains of the jungle.

 

Makani Smoke Monster, by necessity, sits on the Council of Fire.

 

The former Jungle Region and all its protectors remember…

 

…and theirs is the fury, in fire and blood.

 

REVIEW


Edited by Stark, Dec 31 2016 - 06:34 PM.

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Elittra Valmai


#7 Offline Elittra

Elittra
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Posted Jan 09 2017 - 01:40 PM

teaser_-_water.jpg

 

This particular entry focuses on the Water Region of Okoto. Included are the current major houses of the region, each of which rules over several smaller, minor houses, as well as any living or dead Protectors relevant to the current state of Okoto. Any and all events detailed within are dated BE (Before Ekimu’s Fall) and AE (After Ekimu’s Fall).

 

The Water Region is of particular note for its relationship with the Mask Makers of Okoto throughout history. While the original line of Mask Makers – from which both Ekimu and Makuta hailed – did their best to remain impartial, the Water Region remained favored by many; this, coupled with Ekimu, his Knights, and much of the Jungle Region taking refuge within the region during the Long Night also led to the vast majority of Okoto’s Kings (later referred to as Mask Makers themselves) to hail from the region.

 

THE WATER REGION

“Right Conquers Might”

 

MAJOR HOUSES

(AS OF 328 AE)

 

House Rayne

“Flood from a Raindrop”

Formerly headed by Lord Drift, who died under suspicious circumstances in 315 AE.

 

Currently headed by Lord Terrorsaur, who has ruled over both House Rayne and the Water Region since coming to power in 315 AE; rumor has it that Lord Terrorsaur poisoned his father after Lord Drift considered turning Pulse Vatten over to Voxumo the Usurper. Lord Terrorsaur instigated the War for the Throne in 317 AE by killing Lord TimeLord, Ruler of the Jungle Region, and he led the Water Region to victory during the war.

 

House Rayne is both the oldest and largest house in the Water Region, and before the formation of House Vatten, it historically ruled over the region as well. It has been extremely loyal to House Vatten ever since the latter house’s creation by the Mask Maker Vatten Borne – this loyalty has become reinforced in recent times by their support for Pulse Vatten after Voxumo’s Rebellion, leading up to the War for the Throne and even afterwards. Its loyalty to House Vatten is so ingratiated into its culture that it was often considered a puppet house for House Vatten prior to Voxumo’s Rebellion. Its members have a reputation for being quick to act and unapologetic about their actions; this has equally benefitted them and caused them trouble throughout their history.

 

House Vatten

“Right Conquers Might”

Currently headed by the Mask Maker Pulse, though this title is more ceremonial than anything else, as only Lord Pulse, his two sons, and a handful of guards and servants make up the house.

 

Noteworthy members of the house include its former head, the Mask Maker Trijhak the Mad, who was slain in 296 AE by Lord Bronze of House Ragmu.

 

Other noteworthy members include Lord Pulse’s two sons, one of which is the heir to both House Vatten and the island of Okoto itself, as well as their mother, who perished in 325 AE.

 

It is currently the smallest major house on Okoto; while its actual members number higher than House Hinterland, its household remains smaller. Although historically a smaller house, due to its members typically being split between the Ancient City and the Water Region along with House Rayne’s extensive loyalty leaving no need for many staff or servants, House Vatten is still recovering from a near extermination during Voxumo’s Rebellion. Formed in 42 BE by the Mask Maker Vatten Borne, the vast majority of Okoto’s Kings and Mask Makers since the Long Night have originated from this house. It also has close ties to its sister house in the Stone Region, House Archean.

 

House Corruich

“The Rage of Rapid Rivers”

Current and former heads unknown.

 

Noteworthy members of the house include Jed, who has become known throughout Okoto as the ‘Kingslayer’ ever since the War for the Throne, where he killed Voxumo the Usurper by stabbing him in the back after serving on the Usurper’s Council.

 

Formed approximately half a century before Voxumo’s Rebellion by Protectors dissatisfied with the other houses of the Water Region, House Corruich is made-up largely of offshoots from House Rayne and House Conlectus. Much like House Rayne, its members have developed a reputation for being quick to act and being loyal to House Vatten – though like House Conlectus, its members are often wary of other regions. In the years since its formation, House Corruich has grown to become the third largest house in the Water Region.

 

House Conlectus

“Water Erodes All”

Current and former heads unknown.

 

One of the smallest major houses on Okoto before several others were exterminated – or close to it – during both Voxumo’s Rebellion and the War for the Throne, House Conlectus is known for their distaste regarding other regions, as well as frequently plotting against the other houses in the Water Region. Their luck is also notoriously poor, with House Conlectus often suffering heavy losses in whatever plot or conflict they take part in. As a result, the house has become particularly xenophobic – especially towards the Stone Region, often leading to trouble with House Vatten, though their dislike for the Jungle Region and Ice Region is well-known too. House Conlectus is the butt of many jokes in the Water Region due to their xenophobia, as their founder – Lord Takadox Conlectus – was born in the Ice Region to parents from the Stone Region and Jungle Region.

 

House Lurrun

“Water Boils, Water Burns”

Current and former heads unknown.

 

As the second largest house in the Water Region, House Lurrun has historically provided the majority of the Water Region’s soldiers – though compared to other regions, this number is still rather small. They are also known for having significant external ties to the Fire Region, being the result of numerous alliances between the Water Region and Fire Region throughout history. Its members frequently push for greater ties with the Fire Region; wishes that began to come to fruition during the War for the Throne. Despite the strained relationship between the Water Region and Fire Region following the Conquering of Jungle, House Lurrun has continued to push for greater ties, leaving their loyalties in question.

 
HISTORY

 

BEFORE 389 BE

Much like the rest of Okoto, before formally adopting the house system, the Water Region consisted of multiple nomadic tribes. Due to the abundance of water in the region, these tribes often settled in one location for longer periods of time than were normal for the tribes of other regions.

 

374 BE – 368 BE

The Rise of Rayne

While the Earth Region adopted the house system fifteen years prior in 389 BE, the Water Region remained set in their ways until the number of raids from tribes in the Ice Region began to increase in frequency. An Okotoan named Rayne, who had spoken with the Earth Protector Midak (founder of the house system in the Earth Region) years before, requested that the various tribes of the Water Region meet.

 

There, Rayne demanded that the tribes of the Water Region adopt the house system, or face the consequences – nebulous as they were. A good number of the tribes agreed, but not enough to truly unit the region, leaving it split between those who were set in their ways and those who wished to move forward. Rayne, irritated, began threatening to destroy the tribes that did not agree. When word of this behaviour reached the Ancient City, a Mask Maker named Nokama – known to favor the Water Region – became worried and met with Rayne, cautioning against civil war and recommending that she lighten her demands.

 

Nokama soon left to meet with the other tribes, having been impressed with the house system in the Earth Region and wanting to help the Water Region advance as well. Nokama advised the tribes that had not initially agreed to Rayne’s proposal to reconsider, and most did, choosing to submit to Rayne’s demands. House Rayne was thus formed, with the condition that the tribes that had not agreed to join would not receive any support or protection from the newly formed house. It was also agreed that no other houses were to be formed as long as Rayne herself still survived, leaving Rayne as the first Ruler of the Water Region; for much of her reign she ruled alongside Nokama, who stayed in the Water Region to oversee the transition.

 

361 BE

The Fall of Rayne

In 361 BE, Lady Rayne was killed during a raid by a tribe from the Ice Region, leaving the Water Region in a state of flux without a successor ready to inherit the region. Without a ruler or any of the restrictions that Rayne had enforced while alive, her younger brother, Conlectus, formed a new house under his own name – House Conlectus. Lord Conlectus and his house viewed any involvement with other regions as bad luck, a belief that would become more extreme over time. With Rayne having no heir, Lord Conlectus assumed leadership of the Water Region – though he was condemned by Nokama for his xenophobic attitude, and the Mask Maker withdrew from the region, refusing to return until his death.

 

349 BE

The Return of House Rayne

After ruling over the Water Region for twelve years, Lord Conlectus seemingly died of old age in 349 BE, though his body was never discovered. Leadership of the Water Region was soon claimed by Lady Berix of House Rayne, backed by the support of Nokama. Once more the ruling house of the region, House Rayne would hold onto the position for the next three hundred years until the Stone Plague would ravage the region.

 

308 BE - 307 BE

An Alliance of Water and Fire

The Fire Region and Jungle Regions had been at war over the Eastern Wall that divided their regions for six years by 308 BE. Unable to make any significant headway against their foes, the Fire Region sent envoys to the Water Region and proposed an alliance; the aging Lady Berix agreed, and the two regions united. Together, the two regions easily crushed the Jungle Region and ended the First War for the Wall.

 

With their wartime alliance having proven fruitful, the Fire Region requested a more permanent alliance and trade agreement; the Water Region, represented by an Okotoan named Lurrun, agreed. Lurrun formed House Lurrun at the same time, as a symbol of the ties between the two regions; however, House Conlectus also grew in size, with many Okotoans still apprehensive of becoming involved with other regions.

 

219 BE – 214 BE

The Great Flood

An especially bad storm led to the Water Region flooding in 219 BE, with constant rainfalls preventing the waters from receding. Over the next five years, most of what the Water Region had built and accomplished was washed away and eroded, while over half of their population died or disappeared due to a variety of circumstances. This event prompted the survivors to begin building their villages underwater; any and all future above-ground settlements would simply be extensions of the underwater buildings, designed to survive flooding.

 

143 BE

The Three Week Reign of Takadox

For many decades, the Water Region had been dedicated to rebuilding itself, and existed without any major strife. This ended when Lord Takadox of House Conlectus, a very persuasive speaker, attempted to seize power from the current Ruler of the Water Region, Queen Hahli. Providing evidence to back himself up, Lord Takadox claimed that Queen Hahli was a fraud from the ‘barbaric’ Stone Region, and that he was the rightful Ruler of the Water Region.

 

Supported by nearly all of House Conlectus and half of House Rayne, Lord Takadox managed to seize power. In an effort to prevent Queen Hahli from returning to her former position, he tried to have her killed, though she managed to escape to the Stone Region. For two and a half weeks, Lord Takadox consolidated his power within the region; first by trying to convince his opponents, then by threatening them, and finally by attempting to kill them all off. Within days it became apparent that Lord Takadox was too extreme in his methods, particularly as he attempted to declare war on every other region on Okoto. He began claiming that the Mask Makers were faking their ability to craft Kanohi Masks, and self-styled himself as a ‘Barraki’ who would conquer and rule every region.

 

As it became clear that Takadox was a power-craving megalomaniac, Queen Hahli returned from the Stone Region with proof that he had falsified his evidence against her. She also discovered a secret that Takadox himself had hidden away – that Takadox was not originally from the Water Region himself. His support crumbled away almost overnight, and within a week, Queen Hahli regained control over the Water Region. Despite the advice of her numerous advisors, Queen Hahli executed Takadox within days of re-assuming her position, contributing to House Rayne’s reputation as quick to act – even as Takadox’s actions solidified the reputation of House Conlectus as a xenophobic laughingstock.
 

78 BE

The Voyage of Patrus the Proud

Having grown old and weak, but still yearning for adventure, Patrus the Proud – the conqueror and unifier of the Stone Region – travelled to the Water Region alongside several Stone Okotoans. There, he gathered a fearless crew of Water Okotoans and, going against the warnings of local fishermen regarding the weather at the time, set sail. Unsurprisingly, Patrus and his crew were never seen again, and are assumed to have been lost out at sea – though not attempts were ever made to find or recover the ship.

 

54 BE – 48 BE

The Stone Plague

Over in the Stone Region, a plague began to sweep across the desert after miners came into contact with a mysterious purple plant. When called upon for aid, the Water Region responded by sending help directly – a plan that backfired immediately, as the plague was carried back to the Water Region and spread like wildfire. In desperation, the Water Region asked their old allies in the Fire Region for help, but the Fire Region (busy trying to defeat the Jungle Region in the Second War for the Wall) refused, souring relations between the two regions and ending their alliance.

 

After six years of devastating losses to the region’s population, Ekimu finally managed to stop the plague, using his Mask of Creation to forge a mask designed to systematically kill every single one of the purple plants. In doing so, he came to be viewed as a saviour throughout both of the affected regions.

 

42 BE

Borne Anew

Six years after the Stone Plague, the Stone Region and Water Region were still struggling to recover. Two of the final four Mask Makers – the brothers Archean and Vatten Borne – decided to dedicate themselves to restoring both regions.

 

While Archean dedicated his efforts to the Stone Region (reportedly giving up his magic to heal the region itself) and established House Archean, Vatten travelled to the Water Region. There he established House Vatten, keeping his magic for himself and focusing on healing the region through water and plants that were known to be safe, attempting to avoid and prevent any future occurrences of plague. His efforts were almost immediately successful, and Lady Dalu of House Rayne enthusiastically handed control of the Water Region over to House Vatten as thanks, proclaiming that House Rayne would forever be in their debt.

 

40 BE

The Last Mask Makers

A mere two years after restoring the plague-ravaged regions, both Archean and Vatten passed away. While Archean died of natural old age without his magic to sustain his lifespan, Vatten died under suspicious circumstances, though nothing could be proved for certain. With both of them dead, however, only Makuta and Ekimu remained.

 

Only a few short months after Vatten’s death, the last two Mask Makers called the banners of Okoto to join them in the Jungle Region, where a mysterious temple was beginning to appear. Lord Tarix – Vatten’s son and heir, born before the Stone Plague – was interested in but also apprehensive of the occurrence, and sent House Lurrun. There, the stationed Water Region forces witnessed the appearance of a great temple – supposedly the mythical Temple of Time.

 

Ten Okotoans – five of Fire and five of Ice, claiming themselves to be ‘Protectors’ – exited the Temple. The visitors accompanied the forces from House Lurrun back to the Water Region alongside Ekimu himself, as well as a Fire Okotoan named Keahi, who visited briefly before returning to the Fire Region. Lord Tarix provided accommodations for all of the visitors within House Vatten, and often joined them, learning that the visitors had come from the distant future. Their leader – an Ice Okotoan named Nato, much like the current Ruler of the Ice Region – filled both Lord Tarix and Ekimu in on the future Okoto’s history, and the war that was erupting in his time.

 

0BE

The Long Night Begins and the Massacre at Makuta City

Having summoned the highest nobles from all six regions to Makuta City, Makuta showed off his newest creation – a special Mask of Power that he claimed had been crafted using all six of the main elements of Okoto. Despite the warnings of Ekimu, Makuta donned what he called the ‘Mask of Ultimate Power’ in front of the crowd.

 

Accounts from the incident were few and far between, but each of them agreed that the Mask of Ultimate Power must have been responsible for what happened next. The sky over the top of Makuta City went as dark as night in an instant, and the temperature dropped to near freezing in seconds. Skeletal warriors twice the size of the Okotoans present crawled out of the ground and began to cut Okotoans down where they stood – only for the fallen to rise back up and begin attacking their brethren in turn.

 

Unprepared for such a brutal assault and such dark magic, many of the Okotoans were slaughtered – including the current heads of House Rayne and House Lurrun. Ekimu managed to escape the city with a small squad of 22 Okotoans, 3 of whom were from the Water Region – Lord Tarix himself, and two of his guards. They managed to retreat back to the castle of House Patrus in the Stone Region, where Ekimu was able to convince the Stone Okotoans to begin mobilizing against their new enemy; in the meantime, Lord Tarix and his guards journeyed to the Water Region. He immediately mobilized the region into a full retreat, while also sending envoys to warn the Jungle Region – but the envoys never returned.

 

The Long Night

There are little to no records from the Long Night; nearly all of Okoto and its population were wiped out, with less than 2000 Okotoans still alive by the end. It is known that the Long Night lasted for 12 years, and at its end, the Okotoans as a whole began to refer to themselves as ‘Protectors’. Both Makuta and Ekimu were lost as well, leaving the original line of Mask Makers extinguished. Those who survived in the Water Region did so by remaining either underwater or underground, though Lord Tarix was rumored to be slain somewhere beneath the waves. Although it has been lost to history, the Water Region became a site of refuge for many Protecxtors, with almost half of the survivors having retreated to the Water Region, where the water slowed the movements of the creatures of the Long Night.

 

Due to the lack of records, as time passed and those who survived the Long Night passed on, the entire ordeal was slowly forgotten and erased from history. The Protectors of modern times still believe that Makuta crafted the Mask of Ultimate Power, but there their understanding deviates from what actually occurred; for modern Protectors believe Ekimu and Makuta clashed with each other in a mighty duel, one that wiped out Makuta City and ended with both Mask Makers dead in the sand. Their current dating system, as such, is flawed, and is twelve years behind.

 

0 AE – 17 AE

Swimming Upstream

After the Long Night was finally over, the Water Region had been ravaged – any above-ground signs of habitation were few and far between, and rebuilding underwater was a risky prospect, as the water itself now reflected the previous twelve years. As such, rebuilding was initially thought to be a lost cause – until it was discovered that Ekimu’s son and heir, Artakha, along with a few other members of House Vatten, had managed to survive the Long Night.

 

House Vatten assumed leadership over both the Water Region and Okoto as a whole, guiding both and giving the Water Region the drive it needed to begin rebuilding. In time, members of House Lurrun and House Rayne re-emerged, including Lady Kiina, the daughter of Tarix and rightful Ruler of the Water Region, who championed the rebuilding efforts. No members of House Conlectus ever emerged, though the house would later be re-founded.

 

While the reigns of Okoto would occasionally shift to other regions, House Vatten would remain split between the Water Region and the Ancient City for the next several hundred years up until Voxumo’s Rebellion. With the blood of both Ekimu and Vatten in them, its members were uniquely suited to ruling over Okoto, as the primary heirs always would, while the next in line would rule over the Water Region.

 

183 AE

The Death of King Vezok

King Vezok Vatten, the current Ruler of Okoto, died under mysterious circumstances in 183 AE. A secret investigation by the then-relevant Knights of Ekimu determined that his demise was the result of a scheme orchestrated by his son (Vezon), whose mind had been poisoned by the influence of Skull Warriors, though the Knights were already beginning to fade into the pages of history.

 

Lord Vezon was aided by the current Ruler of the Stone Region, and with his father’s death, proclaimed himself the new Ruler of Okoto, under the title of ‘Mask Maker’ – the title that every future ruler of Okoto would also claim.

 

184 AE – 191 AE

The Third War for the Wall

In 184 AE, the Jungle Region Ruler of the time – a Protector by the name of Tanma – struck at the Eastern Wall, using the attack to unite his region, which had been descending into anarchy. Although the initial attack was easily repelled, the Fire Ruler – Radiak Aodh – was infuriated by the Jungle Region’s audacity, and retaliated in full. Within weeks, the conflict had descended into an all-out war.

 

Hoping to replicate the alliance that had won the first War for the Wall so many centuries ago, Lord Radiak sent an envoy to Lady Gavla, Ruler of the Water Region, and the two forged a new alliance. Unfortunately, the Jungle Region had made an alliance as well – with the militarily superior Ice Region. The Water Region was soon forced to defend its northern borders as they fell under siege, and they were left with few resources to contribute to the southern front.

 

While a series of maneuvers escalating in both desperation and violence eventually allowed the Fire Region to win the war, the Water Region was ultimately of little help, aside from deterring additional Ice Region forces. Nonetheless, during this time House Lurrun grew exponentially in size, until it eclipsed House Vatten.

 

196 AE – 198 AE

The Water Civil War

In 196 AE, a lone Protector by the name of Tuyet revived House Conlectus under her banner, partially in reaction to the rather poor fortune that the Water Region suffered in the Third War for the Wall, and partially out of the belief that the other regions were no longer worth acknowledging. She demanded that all relations with other regions stop, that House Lurrun was a blight upon the Water Region, and that House Rayne (her own former house) was nothing like the House Rayne of old.

 

Lady Naho, the current ruler of House Lurrun, took deep offense to Tuyet’s remarks, though she did not show it. Instead, she formally requested that Tuyet stop spreading rumors about the other houses – prompting Tuyet to declare war on House Lurrun. House Conlectus, being a relatively new house with few members, was easily crushed; Tuyet was forced to surrender by Lady Naho and Lord Nightbeat of House Rayne.

 

Although the region lived peacefully for the next two years, the Water Civil War was only officially declared as ended when Tuyet died in 198 AE of seemingly natural causes at a meeting with a representative of Lord Nightbeat. Despite the embarrassing results of the war, thanks to the actions of Mask Maker Vezon, House Conlectus continued to grow in size.

 

209 AE

The Death of the Mask Maker Vezon

In 209 AE, a lone Protector disgruntled with Mask Maker Vezon managed to infiltrate the Ancient City. There, they assassinated Lord Vezon, though they themselves were toon slain by the Skull Warriors. Lord Vezon’s nephew, Vamprah, ascended to the throne to replace his late uncle.

 

252 AE – 254 AE

Buried Earth

During a visit from representatives of House Qendroj in the Earth Region, several members of House Conlectus conspired to kill them and hide the bodies, in an attempt to send a message to the other regions. Unfortunately, their attempt was mostly successful – sparking a major scandal between the Water Region and Earth Region, along with a rapid increase in hostilities. For two years, the Water Region tried to search for the bodies to no avail, until a survivor by the name of Reysa came forward, implicating the sons of the current Lord of House Conlectus.

 

House Rayne and House Vatten, including the Mask Maker Vamprah, refused to comment – leaving House Lurrun alone to prosecute House Conlectus. Disgusted by the inaction of the ruling houses and by the lengths House Conlectus had gone to, a Protector named Corruich and other former members of House Rayne and House Conlectus joined together to form House Corruich.

 

289 AE

Antirrhinum

Wanting to secure better relations with their neighboring region, Lord Snapdragon Rayne decided to visit the Jungle Region on a whim, without any prior announcement. Though surprised, the Jungle Region welcomed his small travelling company, although they were also eyed with suspicion by many parties. Aware that the current Ruler of the Jungle Region – Lord TimeLord Hinterland – was suspicious of his intentions, Lord Snapdragon unexpectedly proclaimed that for the next year, the Jungle Region would receive extra shipments of water from House Rayne – and at a cheaper price than other regions.

 

In an attempt to further cultivate relations, Lord Snapdragon invited the various Lords of the Jungle Region to a banquet in the Water Region, boasting that as of that night, ‘the Water Region and Jungle Region shall forever support each other’. In return, one of Lord Lazuli Briar’s Protectors claimed to have halted a plot to poison Lord Snapdragon – unwittingly doing so in front of Lord Snapdragon’s young son Terrorsaur. Unknown to Lord Snapdragon, his young son also witnessed and overheard a meeting between Lord TimeLord and his advisors about their plans for Okoto, though Terrorsaur was too young to fully understand the implications of what they were discussing at the time.

 

Lord Snapdragon’s maneuvers, though initially frowned upon by Lady Sirien Vatten (the Ruler of the Water Region at the time), would later lead to both regions effectively remaining neutral during Voxumo’s Rebellion, refusing to risk breaking their newly forged bonds.

 

291 AE – 294 AE

Trijhak the Mad

In 291 AE, Lord Trijhak ascended to the throne, and rapidly became known for his extreme mood swings and bloodthirsty, violent temper – a temper that caused him to sentence more than half of his Councillors to death and condemnation of anyone that did not agree with his twisted view.

 

In the Water Region, House Lurrun and House Corruich rapidly became apprehensive of the new Mask Maker, though with both House Vatten and House Rayne firmly (if somewhat reluctantly) remaining loyal, they avoided thoughts of rebellion. House Conlectus was predictably enthusiastic regarding Lord Trijhak, claiming him to be ‘exactly what Okoto needed’, though whether they truly agreed with him or simply hoped to use him to discredit House Vatten is unknown.

 

In the second month of Lord Trijhak’s reign, his madness was already becoming apparent. He attempted to solidify relations between the Water Region and Jungle Region, building on Lord Snapdragon’s accomplishments, only to turn around a month later and claim that the Water Region was waging a secret war against the Jungle Region. He further declared that the war was an undeniable truth and obvious to those who had visited the Jungle Region. As he descended further into madness, Lord Trijhak then summoned Lord Snapdragon to be executed for the crime of hiding information from Trijhak himself – the ‘All-Seeing Mask Maker’. However, the execution never came to pass; Lord Snapdragon arrived at the Ancient City with an honor guard, only for Lord Trijhak to claim that he had listened to too much anti-Mask Maker propaganda from the Fire Region, and that a summons for execution had never been sent.

 

By month five, Lord Trijhak became convinced that his Concil was plotting against him, and sentenced more than half of them to death, proclaiming that this would be what happened to those who dared to secretly rule Okoto behind his back. When one of the remaining two Council Members suggested that he was going too far and left, Lord Trijhak sent out another execution summons, intending to send a message to those who would dare suggest anything treasonous. When the Council Member did not answer the summons, Lord Trijhak instead publicly executed three citizens in the Ancient City as a warning to all of Okoto not to hide things from him.

 

The situation only worsened during his second and third years on the throne. He used the Golden Mask of Skull Spiders to unleash the creatures on unsuspecting crowds, causing mass panic and chaos; demanded that the regional Rulers give up their rights to rule and hand control of their regions over to him; and became utterly delusional, believing that he had lived for six centuries and defeated both Ekimu and Makuta.

 

295 AE – 296 AE

Voxumo’s Rebellion

During Voxumo’s Rebellion, the Water Region remained neutral, refusing to aid either side, though both House Lurrun and House Corruich had to be coerced or bribed into non-action. For House Vatten, this decision turned out to be fatal, as it was almost completely eradicated following the death of Lord Trijhak – presumably in an attempt to extinguish all traces of the Vatten bloodline, which was believed to have become tainted after Trijhak the Mad. House Rayne endured the rebellion, however, and hid Trijhak’s heir – the young Pulse Vatten – within their ranks.

 

Lord Trijhak himself was slain when he foolishly allowed Lord Bronze – who had conquered the Stone Region in the name of the rebellion – into his personal chambers, revealing to Lord Bronze that he did not believe the rebellion even existed and sending his Skull Warrior guards away. Wasting no time, Lord Bronze killed Trijhak with a single blow to the Mask Maker’s head with his hammer, shattering Trijhak’s mask at the same time; the act would later earn Lord Bronze the nickname ‘Mask Breaker’.

 

297 AE

Aftermath of Voxumo’s Rebellion

With the new Mask Maker Voxumo sitting on the throne and having given each region a year to govern themselves and recover, House Rayne, ever loyal to House Vatten, had the time and resources necessary to hide all traces of Pulse Vatten’s survival, fully ingratiating him into their household. At the same time, a Protector of Earth named Dallior fled to the Water Region as his region was exterminated, and disguised himself as a Protector of Water working for House Corruich.

 

316 AE

Lord Terrorsaur Rayne

After his father passed away of natural causes in his old age in 316 AE, Lord Terrorsaur took over as the head of House Rayne and Ruler of the Water Region. Unaware of Pulse’s true identity as Trijhak’s heir, he named him the Water Region’s new head Trader – unknowingly giving Pulse the freedom and resources that he would need to establish ties to other regions and build a power base.

 

317 AE – 319 AE

The War for the Throne

By early 317 AE, Pulse had already used his role to secretly establish ties with the Trader Dragonstar Ember in the Fire Region, as well as Lord FF Crustallus, Ruler of the Ice Region. Lord Terrorsaur had also named the Protector Dallior as the Water Region’s head Diplomat, unaware of Dallior’s origins – though he was now aware of Pulse’s true identity as the True Heir.

 

Both Pulse and Dallior journeyed to the Jungle Region, where they established a trade agreement with the Fire Region and Jungle Region – though it was almost immediately broken when Lord TimeLord Hinterland accused Lord Terrorsaur and Nato of House Greavesy of treason, imprisoning both of them alongside Dallior while they were passing through. Although Lord TimeLord could not know, he was correct; Lord Terrorsaur had conspired with Nato to poison House Rayne’s shipments of water to the Stone Region, causing an incident that wiped out half of the Stone Region’s population and removed one of the Mask Maker Voxumo’s key pillars of support.

 

As tensions escalated across the island, the Water Region itself remained neutral until the Trial in the Ancient City, where the Mask Maker Voxumo intended to try Lord Terrorsaur, Nato, Pulse and various other Protectors for treason, continuing a series of escalating events that were reminiscent of the Mask Maker Trijhak’s descent into madness a mere two decades prior. Shortly before the trial, Pulse discovered the long-lost Mask of Time in the Earth Region, and attempted to activate it upon arriving at the Ancient City; his misuse of the Mask killed several Protectors and also served as a temporal anchoring point for the Temple of Time, which reappeared in the Jungle Region. The incident also sparked off the War for the Throne for real.

 

As Voxumo (now being called ‘the Usurper’) and his allies retreated into the Jungle Region, Lord Pulse, left in the Ancient City, declared himself the Mask Maker, and forged an alliance with the Fire Region (led by Lord Burnmad Aodh), Ice Region, and Water Region. When the Usurper’s army began to siege the Ancient City, Pulse sent the Usurper’s former Water Region Councillor, Jed of House Corruich, to assassinate him. Jed succeeded in his task, stabbing Voxumo in the back – an event that earned him the nickname ‘Kingslayer’.

 

Following the Usurper’s death and the Stone Region’s surrender, the Water Region divided its forces between its own borders and the Ancient City to defend both; it was aided in the latter by additional troops from the Ice Region and Fire Region.

 

The Jungle Region continued to fight for another two years against the Mask Maker Pulse, until it was finally crushed in 319 AE by Lord Burnmad in the Conquering of Jungle, ending the War for the Throne.

 

323 AE

The Earth Region Returns

In 323 AE, to the surprise of everyone, a large force of Earth Protectors rose from underneath Okoto, led by a mighty being that they called Kulta the Skull Grinder and protected by a legion of 100 Skull Warriors. The Water Region remained neutral towards them, having had very little to do with the Earth Region throughout history (barring Dallior’s involvement in the War for the Throne).

 

A new faith called the ‘Faith of the Skulls’ soon appeared in the Earth Region; witnessing the rather varied reactions to both the Faith and the Skull Warriors across Okoto, Lord Pulse kept his own opinion carefully netural, and the Water Region followed his lead. When a rival group calling themselves the ‘Knights of Ekimu’ declared Kulta and his Skull Warriors to be monsters, their words were acknowledged by Lord Pulse and the Water Region, though they again remained carefully neutral, hoping to avoid becoming embroiled in the conflict that was brewing.

 

324 AE

Gali, Toa of Water

In an attempt to make peace between the Faith and the Knights, the Mask Maker Pulse summoned the six heroes of legend to Okoto. Gali, Toa of Water, soon went to work as the guardian of the Water Region.

 

Of the six Toa, Gali was the first to be recognized across Okoto by various Protectors – mainly those who had been present during the Trial in the Ancient City during the War for the Throne. Pulse, in particular, had witnessed a particularly worrisome vision of her in which he saw the Toa stabbed in the back.

 

NOW

 

The Water Region’s relationships with what remains of the former Jungle Region and the Stone Region both remain poor following the War for the Throne, the latter especially after the Poisoning of Stone by Lord Terrorsaur. Despite fighting together during the War for the Throne, their relationship with the Fire Region has become strained following the Conquering of Jungle. Their relationships with the Ice Region and Earth Region are both neutral at best, though significant ties have been forged with the Ice Region in recent years. The Water Region’s best relationship remains with the Ancient City, but as Lord Pulse’s efforts to prevent conflict from breaking out across Okoto continue to fail, the Protectors of his own element are slowly starting to lose faith.

 

Within the Water Region itself, stability is beginning to evaporate. Rumors abound that House Rayne is merely a puppet of House Vatten, and House Vatten’s legitimacy is beginning to be questioned, despite proof that Lord Pulse can forge Masks of Power, as his ineffectual rule has led to some to wonder whether he is just yet another usurper. House Lurrun has become torn between its loyalties to the Fire Region and to the Water Region, while House Conlectus actively fans the flames of tension between other regions and within the Water Region itself. Of all the Water Region’s houses, only House Corruich remains stable – but even this could change in the blink of an eye, as more and more Protectors of Earth emerge from their masquerades as members of the house.

 

The Water Region has always been the example that the rest of Okoto aspired to, and its faith in the Mask Makers has kept them going through the darkest of times. Right has always conquered might.

 

But the Mask Makers of old are dead, and of the new, only Pulse and his son remain.

 

Perhaps Might shall soon Conquer Right.

 

REVIEW


Edited by Stark, Jan 09 2017 - 10:15 PM.

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Elittra Valmai


#8 Offline Elittra

Elittra
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Posted Jan 18 2017 - 06:49 PM

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This particular entry focuses on the Earth Region of Okoto. Included are the current major houses of the region, each of which rules over several smaller, minor houses, as well as any living or dead Protectors relevant to the current state of Okoto. Any and all events detailed within are dated BE (Before Ekimu’s Fall) and AE (After Ekimu’s Fall).

 

The Earth Region, for a long time, was an artifact of history following its apparent destruction during Voxumo’s Rebellion. Although some of its members managed to survive and hide in other regions, the majority were either slain or forced underground… where they discovered the Skull Grinder and Skull Warriors, who helped them to rebuild their society until it was possible to return aboveground. Now, much of the region supports the Faith of the Skulls, and though they claim to have forgiven, they will never forget.

 

The region has also been noted by the rest of Okoto for their lack of formality compared to the rest of the island. Though the Earth Region still gives the heads of houses titles such as ‘Lord’ or ‘Lady’, among others, these titles are often ignored in conversation, even during formal events.

 

THE EARTH REGION

“What is Dead May Never Die”

 

MAJOR HOUSES

(AS OF 328 AE)

 

House Sevoi

“Tremors within the Serene”

Current and former heads unknown.

 

A noteworthy member of the house was a Protector by the name of Ghidora, who managed to survive the extermination of the region during Voxumo’s Rebellion. He lived in hiding within the Stone Region, eventually rising to serve on the Council of Voxumo the Usurper before he died in the Poisoning of Stone during the War for the Throne.

 

Of the three remaining major houses of the region, House Sevoi is perhaps the largest and the strongest, having historically provided the Earth Region with most of its troops and combat training (the need for which has grown exponentially in the last thirty years). While the region itself is ruled over by Kulta and the Faith, of the three houses, House Sevoi is by far the most faithful, holding the most power because of it. Due to their faith, it is a member of House Sevoi that acts as the Earth Region’s envoy to other regions in Kulta’s stead.

 

House Zemlja

“The Light of Night”

Current and former heads unknown.

 

The second largest and most powerful house still remaining in the Earth Region, House Zemlja is unparalleled in their ability to re-shape and carve gems into special ‘light stones’ that are used all across Okoto to light mines and other dark areas more permanently than torches allow. Their ability to provide this service secured House Zemlja’s survival following Voxumo’s Rebellion, and it drew Kulta’s personal attentions to them as well.

 

House Qendroj

“Here We Stand”

Currently headed by Lord Dallior, who survived Voxumo’s Rebellion by hiding in the Water Region, where he eventually rose to become its head Diplomat. During the War for the Throne he helped to put Pulse Vatten on the throne, and now sits as the head of House Qendroj at Pulse’s command – though this has done little to endear Lord Dallior to the other houses in the Earth Region and many members of his own house.

 

As the former ruling house of the Earth Region, House Qendroj was decimated by the forces of the Fire Region, Stone Region, and Ice Region during Voxumo’s Rebellion, surviving due to the loyalty of several other houses alone. In the years since they have diminished even further, and as the lone house within the Earth Region to not keep to the Faith, their political power is next to none. Still, true to their house words, they still stand; whatever happens, House Qendroj will endure.

 

HISTORY

 

BEFORE 389 BE

Prior to inventing the House System, the tribesmen of the Earth Region were a largely peaceful people. Due to the rocky, barren nature of their homeland, their settlements were few and far between, as it was difficult to grow food and find water sources. Their villages were devoted mainly to the mining of various materials, most settlements specialising in the acquisition and crafting of whatever resources – metals, minerals, gems, etc. – happened to be most prevalent in their particular locale.  

 

These resources were then refined, and traded to other tribes both inside and outside of the Earth Region, in exchange for other goods that the individual villages couldn’t fabricate or acquire themselves. However, due to the lack of raids and in-fighting that were prevalent among many of the other tribal regions at the time, as the years went by, the villages blossomed into towns and cities, food and water became scarcer, and thus, population growth slowly began to become a problem in the Earth Region.

 

389 BE

Midak the Mighty

A disenchanted, adventurous Okotoan by the name of Midak Sevoi was thrust into unemployment when the mine he worked at ran dry. Unable to find work in the other, already-overcrowded mines nearby, he set off to explore the rest of the Okoto. Disappointed to find that the tribes of the other regions were even more savage and disorganised than the one in his own, Midak approached the Mask Maker Whenua, begging for wisdom and assistance in improving the conditions for his people.

 

The Mask Maker obliged, and together the two of them got to work. Midak’s home city, having the largest population, and access to the most metal-rich mines, was their first target. Midak’s sons, Nuparu and Onepu, were easily persuaded, and set about recruiting others to their cause. The city’s leaders stubbornly refused to change their ways, until Onepu simply killed them, before thrusting his father into the position of leader.

 

Although disheartened by his son’s actions, Midak nonetheless made the best of his position, officially establishing his lineage as House Sevoi, naming his home city the first capital of the Earth Region, and declaring his intention to bring the separate towns and cities together as single nation. Onepu began using the House Sevoi’s stockpile of metal resources for a new purpose, constructing weapons and armour with which his people could consolidate their power and defend themselves. Nuparu, alongside Whenua, sought a more peaceful path, building roads to link together the other towns and settlements.

 

House Zemlja was the next to rise to prominence, their mastery of light stones proving immensely useful in furthering the exploration and unification of the Earth Region’s scattered settlements, as well as establishing safe travel routes to other regions of the island. Other houses soon began to establish themselves, and under the oversight of the newly-christened “Midak the Mighty”, the Earth Region started to evolve into an organised, effective nation. It was the beginning of a revolution for all Okoto, and over the decades that followed, the other Regions began to adopt the House system that Midak and Whenua had pioneered.

 

345 BE

Death of a Nation-maker.

Towards the end of 345 BE, tragedy struck. Wrestling with old age, the constant stresses of running a nation that still didn’t have enough food and water to go around, and keeping his pugnacious son Onepu in line, Midak died when a large city he was visiting near the Earth/Stone border came under attack from a mysterious illness. Although too late to save his father, Nuparu was able to identify the cause of the plague: a strange purple plant that had been uncovered in a recently-opened mine.

 

It was Onepu, however, who put this information to use. He sealed the mine, barricaded the village, and razed both to the ground, preventing further spread of infection.

 

In the wake of their father’s untimely passing, the Earth Region fell under the uneasy rule of the two brothers.

 

343 BE – 340 BE

The War of Brothers

Come 343 BE, when the Council of the Fire Region completed the construction of their wall along the Earth/Fire border, the two brothers reacted very differently. Nuparu wanted to reach out to their neighbours, convince them that the people of the Earth Region wished only to coexist with the rest of Okoto in peace, while Onepu took the wall as a sign that the Fire Region was preparing for war, and urged for a pre-emptive strike.

 

The prospect of war with the larger, well-defended nation was unappealing to many of the common folk, who began demanding for Onepu to stand down from leadership, arguing that Nuparu, as the older brother, should’ve been ruling alone from the beginning.

 

Onepu, enraged by this suggestion, attempted to oust his brother and seize the throne for himself, a decision that ultimately plunged House Sevoi – and much of the Earth Region – into a bloody civil war between the supporters of the two siblings.

 

Nuparu died early on in the conflict, and Onepu two years later, but the war – known now as the War of Brothers - raged on without them. By the time the Fire Region had completed construction of their Eastern Wall, a good third of the Earth Region’s population had been wiped out. The war ultimately ended when Lord Zemya of House Zemlja convinced the other Houses to cut off trade to House Sevoi, and the other supporters of the warring factions. Already starved of manpower and motivation, being deprived of actual food brought the war to a swift end.

 

Zemya pronounced herself the new ruler of the Earth Region, and, given Sevoi’s dismal state, no one objected to a new House taking the reins for a while.

 

339 BE – 295 BE

A Watchful Eye

Under Zemya’s watchful rule, the Earth Region prospered. As an avid idoliser of Midak, and former student of Nuparu, Zemya knew the importance of careful thought and contemplation, and kept a wary eye on the other regions – watching, planning, and learning. From their observations of the other regions, particularly the Jungle Region and Water Region, the Earth Region began to adopt techniques to cultivate land for farming and produce, to purify seawater for drinking, and perhaps most importantly, they learned how not to start a war with the Fire Region.

 

Content in their self-dependant isolation, the Earth Region watched from afar as, one by one, the other regions (with the exception of Stone) followed their lead and took to the House System. Only a few years after the Ice Region established its first houses, however, the aging Zemya made the decision to step down as ruler.

 

Although she had hoped that the people of the Earth Region would be able to elect a new ruler without violence, her idealistic dreams were soon shattered.

 

295 BE – 290 BE

The War of Succession

House Sevoi, having rebuilt much of its military might during Zemya’s rule, declared their intent to retake the throne – a throne that was, admittedly, still situated in the middle of their territory. Their current leader, an oppressive lunatic who quickly earned the moniker “Mamru the Malevolent”, wasn’t even remotely popular with the common folk, and soon another civil war broke out over who should hold the throne.

 

After three and a half years of bloody fighting, General Dosne of House Qendroj came up with a plan to bring the war to a swift close. With the aid of miners from House Zemlja and their allies, Dosne supervised the construction of a secret tunnel leading from outside Sevoi’s borders, into one of the mines near their capital. Once the tunnel was complete, Dosne was able to lead a squad of elite troops right past the front lines and directly into the heart of Sevoi territory, assassinating Mamru and ending the war.

 

But even with Mamru’s reign cut short, the Earth Region was still left with the question of who should rule them next.

 

291 BE – 55 BE

Peace through the Years

As the hero who’d ended the war, Dosne was the obvious choice to be the new ruler. He accepted the position gladly, his first act being to establish a new capital at the junction where the borders of the three most prominent houses – Qendroj, Zemlja, and Sevoi – met, to avoid infringing on anyone else’s territory.

 

Leadership of the Earth Region changed hands many times over the decades that followed, the populace making sure to avoid the conflicts of previous years by establishing a democratic system, wherein the people voted for which house and candidate they wanted to bear the burden of the Crystal Crown next.

 

After witnessing the Stone Region’s unification under Patrus the Proud and the Ice Region’s own rise and fall, each subsequent Ruler of the Earth Region found themselves faced with the same problem: if any one of their neighbours one day decided they wanted to conquer the Earth Region, what hope did they have of stopping it?

 

The Earth Region had a decent-sized army, and access to plenty of metal and stone to build fortifications with, but against the more militant, numerically-superior regions of Okoto, the Earth Region had little hope of winning.

 

It was Zemya III, a descendant of the first, who came up with the idea to expand the existing mines and caverns beneath the region’s cities into shelters wherein the populace could hide and survive in the event of an invasion. These efforts were stalled, however, when the following ruler ordered the project to be discarded, although the digging was resumed and abandoned again several times over the years that followed.

 

55 BE – 53 BE

The Stone Plague and the Second War for the Wall

This was a particularly stressful time for the people of the Earth Region. With the Second War for the Wall raging in the Fire Region, the entire population was on edge, uncertain if they were about to get new neighbours, or worse, the Fire Region would ask them to join in the war effort. This situation was exacerbated further when the Stone Plague broke out.

 

Recognising the purple plant from ancient illustrations as the same one that had been responsible for the extinction of a city, and the death of Lord Midak centuries before, the Earth Region refused to help, withdrawing further into their borders and resuming their subterranean mining efforts.

 

40 BE

The Last Mask Makers

Following the deaths of the Mask Makers Archean and Vatten, the Earth Region briefly stepped back into the wider world of Okoto to heed the summons of Ekimu and Makuta when a mysterious temple began to appear in the Jungle Region. They dispatched a column of their troops to join the rest of Ekimu’s army at the site of the Temple of Time, where they greeted a group of Fire and Ice Okotoans who had, allegedly, arrived from the future.

 

Although sceptical of the stranger’s claims, the group relayed this information to their Ruler nonetheless, before the Earth Region retreated into isolation once more.

 

35 BE

The Mysterious Abyss

Five years after the departure of the mysterious time travellers, miners beneath the capital city discovered what appeared to be a cavernous, pre-existing tunnel network buried deep below the surface of the Earth Region. Moreover, these were not natural passageways. If the size of the tunnels was any indication, they had been dug by someone, or something, noticeably broader and taller than the average Okotoan.

 

An expedition was sent down to investigate the tunnel network, but they did not return… nor did the second group. Before a third party could be dispatched, an earthquake – triggered by a volcanic eruption in the Fire Region – collapsed the entrance to the mysterious tunnels. The current Ruler of the Earth Region, deciding that it had to be a sign from the gods, elected to abandon all digging beneath the capital, and leave the strange tunnels buried.

 

0 BE

The Long Night Begins and the Massacre at Makuta City

When Makuta summoned the highest nobles from all six regions of Okoto to his city in the Stone Region, the event was attended by the heads of every single house in the Earth Region – including its Ruler, Lady Korgot of House Qendroj, as well as her second in command, Lord Etoku of House Sevoi.

 

Makuta showed off his newest creation – a special Mask of Power that he claimed had been crafted using all six of the main elements of Okoto. Despite the warnings of Ekimu, Makuta donned what he had called the ‘Mask of Ultimate Power’ in front of the crowd.

 

Accounts from the incident were few and far between, but each of them agreed that the Mask of Ultimate Power must have been responsible for what happened next. The sky over top of Makuta City went as dark as night in an instant, and the temperature dropped to near freezing in seconds. Skeletal warriors twice the size of the Okotoans present crawled out of the ground and began to cut Okotoans down where they stood – only for the fallen to rise back up and begin attacking their brethren in turn.

 

Unprepared for such a brutal assault and such dark magic, many of the Okotoans in Makuta City were slaughtered. Ekimu managed to escape the city with a group of 22 Okotoans – 2 of which were Lady Korgot and Lord Etoku.

 

The Long Night

There are little to no records from the Long Night; nearly all of Okoto and its population were wiped out, with less than 2000 Okotoans still alive by the end. Despite this, certain facts can be deduced.

 

It is known that the Long Night lasted for 12 years, and at its end, the Okotoans as a whole began to refer to themselves as ‘Protectors’, intending to stop the Long Night from falling ever again. Both Makuta and Ekimu were lost as well, leaving the original line of Mask Makers extinguished. The Earth Region in particular suffered devastating losses, for as the forces of the Long Night rose from Makuta City, they also rose from the mysterious abyss in the Earth Region, which, without its leaders, was next to defenceless. Lady Korgot and Lord Etoku returned to their region to find it already in ruins and swarming with the forces of the Long Night; they managed to unite the survivors and retreated to the Fire Region, abandoning the Earth Region entirely. While some of the survivors stayed within Vakama City, others continued on to the Water Region, where they would take shelter with Ekimu.

 

Due to the lack of records, as time passed and those who survived the Long Night passed on, the entire ordeal was slowly forgotten and erased from history. The Protectors of modern times still believe that Makuta crafted the Mask of Ultimate Power, but there their understanding deviates from what actually occurred; for modern Protectors believe Ekimu and Makuta clashed with each other in a mighty duel, one that wiped out Makuta City and ended with both Mask Makers dead in the sand. Their current dating system, as such, is flawed, and is twelve years behind.

 

0 AE – 25 AE

The Light at the End of the Tunnel

Having abandoned the entire area twelve years prior at the start of the Long Night, the Earth Region was slow to rebuild.

 

Thanks to the network of half-forgotten tunnels, shelters and mines beneath its surface, small bands of survivors could be found all across the region. But they were scattered, uncertain, and it took time for them to band together once again and repair what had been broken. A new capital was established near the site of the old, and the ruins of Dosne’s ancient city left to crumble.

 

166 AE

The Faith

Around this time, a mysterious cult known only as ‘The Faith’ began to rise to prominence across Okoto, taking steps to secure the Mask and Temple of Time, and bring about the destruction of the secretive Knights of Ekimu.

 

Although the exact origins of this cult are unclear, some theorise that it originated in the Earth Region, began by a group of Earth Protectors who discovered… something buried deep below the ruins of the old capital.

 

184 AE – 191 AE

The Third War for the Wall

As the Third War for the Wall broke out in the Fire Region, representatives of the allied Jungle Region and Ice Region reached out with a proposal for a non-aggression pact to the Earth Region in 189 AE. The current Ruler – an overambitious fool named Kaj, hailing from a minor house and eager to make a name for himself – was quick to agree, formally establishing the alliance with Lord Tanma and Lord Ignis.

 

A year later, as Lord Tanma and Lord Ignis had predicted, the desperate Fire Region reached out to the Earth Region, begging for military aid.

 

While the majority of the populace seemed inclined to refuse the call to arms, arguing that simply denying the request would be enough to fulfil the requirements of the pact, Kaj disagreed. Rallying all the troops he could convince to follow him, he set off to the front lines, intending to follow Lord Tanma’s plan and betray the Fire Region the moment battle was joined.

 

He never returned.  

 

Lord Radiak, Ruler of the Fire Region, took up the Mask of Fire and brought its full ferocity crashing down upon the unfortunate soldiers under Kaj’s command. ‘Kaj the Coward’, as history would later dub him, attempted to retreat beyond the wall back into the Earth Region, but was intercepted by Lord Vultraz, Radiak’s successor, and burned alive along with scores more of his men.

 

What little remained of Kaj’s house was exiled from the capital, and the new ruler resolved to stick to the region’s old ways of isolationism.

 

202 AE

The False Knight

A member of the Faith, masquerading as the ‘Knight of Future Past’ long awaited by the Knights of Ekimu, rose to prominence within certain circles in the Earth Region. Lured from their hiding places by their promised saviour, many members of the Knights journeyed to the Earth Region to help build a new fortress devoted to the Knights, in a distant, unused corner of the region.

 

However, upon completion of the project, the Faith member revealed his true nature, setting off a trap that brought the base crashing down upon the heads of the unfortunate Knights. Those that weren’t buried alive were cut down by Skull Warriors as they tried to flee.

 

252 AE

The Brutality of Bomonga.

With the Knights of Ekimu driven to near-extinction by the efforts of the Faith, Bomonga Qendroj (whose own grandparents had been among those slain by the false Knight decades before) forsook his oaths and executed a careful plan to eliminate the obstacles in his House’s line of succession, thus placing himself next in line to be ruler of the Earth Region. Although they did not approve of his methods, once Bomonga took the throne, the Knights of Ekimu were thankful for the safe haven he provided them.

 

They brought with them the upper half of the Mask of Time, having kept it safe in the distant Ice Region since the loss of the Temple of Time almost a century earlier.

 

286 AE – 287 AE

Mavrah, the Lost

In the intervening years, a youthful, adventurous Protector by the name of Mavrah was conducting an archaeological excavation of the ruined remnants of the ancient capital, chasing up rumours about the supposed resting place of the long-lost, near-mythical upper half of the Mask of Time. What he found instead were derelict records that pre-dated the Long Night, discussing an ancient tunnel network of unknown origin that had allegedly been discovered in caverns deep beneath the old capital.

 

He brought his findings to Bomonga, who denied his request to assemble an expedition to locate and explore these mysterious tunnels.

 

Unperturbed, Mavrah set off to find them on his own.

 

He was never seen on the surface again.

 

291 AE – 294 AE

Trijhak the Mad and the Fall of House Qendroj

In 291 AE, the Mask Maker Trijhak ascended to the throne, and rapidly became known for his extreme mood swings and bloodthirsty, violent temper. At this time, a member of House Ash named Voxumo was discovered to have the blood of the Mask Makers in his veins – opening the door for a possible rebellion, particularly with an insane Mask Maker on the throne tearing apart his own alliances left and right.

 

For the next three years, many powerful Protectors across Okoto began to plot in secret. The Fire Region allied with houses from the Stone Region, Ice Region, and Earth Region in this endeavour, knowing that the Water Region remained loyal to Trijhak and refusing to work with the Jungle Region.

 

However, by 294 AE, Bomonga grew weak in his old age. He was assassinated and usurped early in the year by another member of House Qendroj – one secretly loyal to the Faith. This was followed by the systematic slaughter of many members of the Earth Region who were loyal to either Bomonga or the Knights – though the Mask of Time, hidden in an unknown location by Bomonga himself, escaped their clutches – as did a Protector named Dallior, who also knew of the Mask’s location (though Dallior was not knowledgeable of or affiliated with the Knights or Faith).

 

295 AE – 296 AE

Voxumo’s Rebellion

In 295 AE, the Fire Region and Ice Region began what would become known as Voxumo’s Rebellion, a campaign that ultimately resulted in the Earth Region being completely wiped out by the combined forces of the Fire Region, Ice Region, and Stone Region. A small handful of survivors escaped by disguising themselves as members of other regions – including Ghidora Sevoi and Dallior Qendroj - but another, larger group found another way to survive. While Bomonga had disregarded Mavrah’s ramblings about inhabitable underground caverns, others now saw his words as their only hope for survival.

 

And so, while the war raged, this band journeyed deep into the ruins of the old capital, following the same path Mavrah had set out on ten years earlier….

 

297 AE – 316 AE

Earth in Exile

For the next nineteen years, the few Earth Region survivors scattered across Okoto managed to survive, with some rising to prominence – among them Ghidora Sevoi  (who came to serve directly on Lord Voxumo’s council) and Dallior Qendroj (disguised as Dallior Stamos and serving as the Water Region’s head Diplomat… and also close with Pulse Vatten).

 

Meanwhile, underground, the surviving Protectors died off one by one in the tunnels, until only members of House Qendroj, House Sevoi, and House Zemlja remained.

 

In 307 AE, they encountered Mavrah – not only alive, but seemingly thriving, despite having vanished twenty years prior. Mavrah led them deep underground, where they found the mysterious Skull Grinder and its large force of Skull Warriors, whom Mavrah had been living with ever since disappearing. The Skull Grinder took the Earth Protectors under their wing, guiding them through the tunnels and helping them to survive until the time came that they could reveal themselves to Okoto once more.

 

317 AE – 319 AE

The War for the Throne.

The Earth Region played next to no role in the War for the Throne, aside from the two survivors that had achieved positions of importance.

 

Ghidora – Council representative for the Region of Stone – met his end alongside much of the Stone Region’s population during the Poisoning of Stone early in the war, while Dallior – Head Diplomat of the Water Region – revealed an estimated location for the Mask of Time to Pulse (whom he remained loyal to for the duration of the war) and Dragonstar (Head Trader of the Fire Region). Dallior would later unwittingly activate the Mask of Time to rescue Nato the Traveller and his surviving companions from the distant past.

 

For his part in the war, Dallior was named as Pulse’s first heir in the line of succession (until an heir of House Vatten and the throne could be born) as well as the Acting Ruler of the Earth Region.

 

323 AE

The Earth Region Returns

After twenty-six years spent underground, the Earth Region unexpectedly rose once more in 323 AE, under the guidance of Kulta the Skrull Grinder and a legion of 100 Skull Warriors.

 

The Faith of old was soon publicly reborn as the ‘Faith of the Skulls’, which in turn provoked the resurgence of the Knights of Ekimu, though the Knights were unwelcome in the Earth Region and their appearance quickly caused relations with the Ice Region to sour.

 

Dallior was also declared as the head of House Qendroj by Lord Pulse for his services during the War for the Throne, though this action alienated him from many members of House Qendroj and the Earth Region fully rejected Lord Pulse’s proposal that they elect Dallior as their Ruler.

 

324 AE

Onua, Toa of Earth.

In an effort to preserve the shaky peace of Okoto, the Mask Maker Pulse summoned the Toa of Legend in the hopes of them being able reconcile the oppositional ideals of the Knights and the Faith. Onua, Toa of Earth, soon went to work as the guardian of the Earth Region.

 

NOW

 

Due to their unrelenting embrace of the Knights of Ekimu, the Ice Region’s relationship with Earth Region is hostile, to say the least. To a lesser extent, Earth’s relations with the Region of Fire and the Ancient City are similarly strained. They are largely neutral towards the Region of Water, and have managed to foster a mutual trust with the Region of Stone – as well as the remnants of the conquered Jungle Region.

 

Of the multitude of Houses that once made up the proud and prosperous Earth Region, only House Sevoi, House Zemlja, and House Qendroj remain. House Sevoi has maintained its position as a military powerhouse, while House Zemlja is rumoured to have earned the personal favour of Kulta the Skull Grinder for their skills with light stones.

 

House Qendroj, however, has not fared so well since Voxumo’s Rebellion. Despite being ruled by a member of the Faith prior to the exile of the Earth Region, their time among the Skull Creatures has left them with an unfavorable opinion towards the Skull Grinder and Skull Warriors, though this attitude has caused them to be ostracized within the Earth Region, and they have lost almost all of their political power.

 

Following their return, the Earth Region took up new regional words, after both the Skull Creatures and their own rebirth – ‘What is Dead May Never Die’.

 

They have no idea.

 

REVIEW


Edited by Breath of the Wild, Jan 19 2017 - 05:22 PM.

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Elittra Valmai


#9 Offline Elittra

Elittra
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Posted Jan 24 2017 - 11:12 PM

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This chapter deals with a variety of subjects – many of them lost to time entirely. Of everything here that follows, very little is still remembered in the modern day, and even less of it accurately. Even Ekimu, where he to awaken, is uninformed of the full story. This chapter is a recording of ages long past, where legendary powers ruled over Okoto and the island itself was bursting and alive with its elements.

 

In the centuries since, those elements have faded away into little more than a mishmash of border disputes and traditions. The legendary powers that once ruled over the land have been killed, or split, or faded away, or worse still – corrupted by their antithesis, Dark Energy.

 

Would this knowledge help the so-called Protectors? Perhaps. I have wondered myself, considered it many times… but always, they are at war with each other, and I always come back to the same question: would they understand? Makuta learned of the histories, and in doing so failed to grasp their meaning. He brought calamity to Okoto, and his mistake may still spell Okoto’s doom.

 

LEGENDS, FORGERS, KINGS I

(Of Legends and Forgers)

 

 

THE TIME BEFORE TIME

(The Age of Legends)

 

Long before the Mask Makers, in the time before time, there existed six legendary, powerful beings who walked Okoto. Together they ruled over the island’s inhabitants and the various elemental tribes that were scattered about. To the natives of Okoto, these titans were gods; the Okotoans worshipped them, and built altars in their honor. In return, the titans protected the Okotoans, and guided them.

 

The six titans were composed of two groups, each of them three strong.

 

The first trio represented three fundamental forces that balanced the world: Wisdom, Power, and Courage. The second trio represented what the Okotoans called the three virtues, which were principles to live by: Unit, Duty, and Destiny.

 

Umarak, known as ‘the Crafter’, represented Wisdom. Considered by the Okotoans to be all-knowing, he was often sought for advice, and made his home deep within the jungle of the island. It was said that it was Umarak who had first gifted the Okotoans with intelligence, and he who had risen the first of the tribal leaders to guide their companions.

 

Heremus, known as ‘the Soldier’, represented Power. His strength was feared by the Okotoans, and if angered, he was an unstoppable force. As a born warrior, Heremus served as the island’s primary guardian against outside forces, and tales of his exploits against powerful dragons and mystical sea serpents – among others – were passed down through the tribes as stories to share by the fireside.

 

Angonce, known as ‘the Creator’, represented Courage. He spent his days toiling away in the center of the island, creating the ancestors of many of the creatures who wander Okoto today. Little about Angonce was known to the Okotoans, so busy was he endlessly toiling away, but his close relationship with both of his brothers was known throughout the land.

 

Eankbut, known as ‘the Spider’, represented Unity. While Umarak is credited with gifting the Okotoans with intelligence, it was Eankbut who united them into the first tribes. Her presence could always be felt throughout the island via the Skull Spiders, a seemingly endless but peaceful horde of large arachnids that she controlled with the Golden Mask of Skull Spiders. Eankbut used the Skull Spiders to keep an eye out for any Okotoan who was in trouble, and was known to spring to the aid of any Okotoan in need.

 

Annona, known as ‘the Dreamer’, represented Duty. Of all the titans, it was she who had the closest relationship with the Okotoans themselves, serving as a mentor and mother-like figure for all. It was she who provided the tribes with their first teachings, teachings that would evolve into rules and regulations over the ages. Annona lived among the Okotoans, wandering with her own small tribe of Okotoans, which was comprised of every Okotoan of Metal, whose numbers were smaller than even the Okotoans of Time.

 

Finally, there was Kulta, known as ‘the Grinder’, who represented Destiny. She was mostly an unknown to the Okotoans, becoming known to show up only when an event of great consequence was about to occur. She held the knowledge of the final destiny for everyone who would ever step foot onto the island – the end of every path, including the paths of the other titans and herself.

 

? BE

Titans Fall

The fall of the Titans began with Kulta, whose foreknowledge was slowly beginning to drive her mad. She began to ramble on about her own fate, claiming that she was destined to end Okoto, and all life on it; but the other Titans, lacking the context her knowledge provided, did not listen… at least not at first.

 

Unwilling to end the lives of her fellow Titans – whether directly or indirectly – as fate foretold, Kulta retreated deep under Okoto, deeper than any of her fellow Titans had dared to venture before in the hopes of finding something that would allow her to re-write her fate. There, in the depths, she found something – though she never said what (or who) it was, the powers that she returned with would come to be known as ‘Dark Energy’.

 

With her sanity already beginning to fragment, Kulta unwittingly sealed her doom by harnessing the Dark Energy. It sought to control her, and began to ravage her mind; and though Kulta managed to fight back and eventually overcome it, the damage had already been done, and her mind had been twisted, torn, and ripped to shreds. It was in this state that Kulta became fixated on what she now believed was the only possible way to circumvent fate:

 

To force Okoto to reach the end of the path before its destined time.

 

Having only just returned to the island’s surface, Kulta used the Dark Energy to summon creatures of death and darkness incarnate – Skull Creatures, enslaved to her own will. Their presence corrupted her even further as she searched out her first target… but in the end, her target came to her. Heremus, having heard of Kulta’s fall from Eankbut and the Skull Spiders, confronted Kulta in the island’s volcanic region. Their battle was fierce, lasting for days, before Kulta and the Dark Energy began to overpower their opponent. Heremus, realizing that the duel would soon end in his death, forcefully split his own essence apart into six mystical beasts; in later years, these six beasts would each take on the aspects of one of Okoto’s elements, becoming the mythical Elemental Creatures.

 

With Okoto’s main guardian out of the way, Kulta made her next move – striking at the Tribe of Gravity and slaughtering them all as the other Titans, learning of the fate of Heremus, scrambled to prepare a defense.

 

Angonce, knowing that they would not be strong enough to stop Kulta forever, poured as much of his powers and magic into his six Okotoan assistance as he could, transforming them into the six legendary Toa. Once their transformation was complete, he wiped their memories and sealed them away, until such a time as they would be needed to defend Okoto in his stead. He then gathered the other Titans in the center of the island at his workshop, and together, they waited for Kulta to arrive.

 

Unable to resist the chance to wipe out the remaining Titans all at once, Kulta struck, ambushing her former brothers and sisters during the night. Using the Dark Energy, she forcefully and permanently transformed Eankbut into a large spider; while still possessing her powers and magic, Eankbut was now unable to use them as she fought against the corrupting influence of the Dark Energy, knocking her out of the fight before it could even begin.

 

Working at Angonce’s command, Umarak and Annona managed to lure Kulta beneath the workshop, where they sealed the tunnel behind themselves and forced Kulta to track them beneath the surface, following her original path. Once the Titans were as close to the source of the Dark Energy as they dared, they sprung the trap, using their powers and magic to seal Kulta away – though doing so cost Angonce his life, weakened due to his earlier creation of the Toa.

 

It was a victory, but only a slim one – and they knew that Kulta would someday return. Annona, weakened and slowly dying from a Dark Energy wound, gathered the entire Tribe of Metal and left Okoto to never return. Eankbut, trapped in her new form, retreated into the Okoto jungle with the Golden Mask of Skull Spiders, where she would eventually come to be known as the Lord of Skull Spiders.

 

As for Umarak… feeling disgraced and ashamed following Kulta’s defeat, he pledged himself to the task of eternally guarding her, casting aside his title of ‘Crafter’ forever. He would later take up the moniker of ‘the Hunter’, hunting down Kulta to return her to her prison any time that she managed to escape it.

 

Annona would later perish after gifting all of her powers and magic to the Tribe of Metal – much like Angonce did for the Toa. Though her gift’s physical alterations were subtler, it did gift the Tribe of Metal with extremely extended lifespans, and the ability to craft Kanohi Masks of Power… among other abilities that the Tribe of Metal would discover throughout time.

 

THE BEGINNING OF RECORDED TIME

(The Age of Forgers)

 

800 BE

The Council of Twelve

Some centuries later, around approximately 800 BE, the Tribe of Metal had long since both cast aside and forgotten their old name, having taken to calling themselves ‘Mask Makers’ instead. When their home was felled in a natural disaster, they set sail – unknowingly returning to the very island that their ancestors had originally left behind.

 

They soon took up residence in the center of the island, where a city had been built around Angonce’s workshop, and claimed ruler-ship over the island. Their leaders – the twelve Mask Makers most skilled in the forge – each claimed an area of the island for their own, ruling as their patron Mask Maker.

 

Krom, Ruler of the Mask Makers, settled as the Patron of the Water Region to the east, though he often travelled to the city (already, even in those days, called the ‘Ancient City’ by the Okotoans) for business or to forge.

 

Mata, Krom’s second in command, settled as the Patron of the Light Region to the west. Of the Council of Twelve, he alone protested Voltex’s ‘exile’ to the forge under the Ancient City.

 

Nui, Mata’s sister, settled as the Patron of the Tribe of Time – a small people, who fiercely guarded the mythical Mask of Time and lived within the jungle.

 

Tren, twin sister of Nyn, settled as the Patron of the Ice Region in the north. It was she who first militarized the region, an action which has had consequences throughout the region’s history – for both good and ill.

 

Arab settled as the Patron of the Shadow Region to the south, though she would often visit Mata and the Light Region.

 

Rey settled as the Patron of the Earth Region to the southwest. She helped the region’s people to find some of their most profitable mines – some of which are still in use over a thousand years later.

 

Karda settled as the Patron of the Jungle Region to the southeast. She would pass on her stubbornness to the region’s people, which has in recent years caused the Jungle Region endless grief.

 

Hafu settled as the Patron of the Stone Region to the west. He quickly got lost in his work with carving, leaving the people of the region to continue fending for themselves as they had been.

 

Metru settled as the Patron of the Sky Region, whose people lived in a mythical cloud city above the jungle. It took him nearly a month to build a device that would allow him to make contact with the city, whose people had not seen or spoken to any of the land dwellers below since the Titans had vanished.

 

Voya settled as the Patron of the Fire Region in the south. Her appetite for battle and conquest still resonates within the region to this day, although like Voya herself, the Fire Region is notorious for winning almost every battle that they enter… because they choose them very carefully.

 

Nyn was delegated to serving as the Patron of the Ancient City, where the lesser Mask Makers all took up residence, despite her wish to rule over the Water Region.

 

Voltex, who had managed to anger several of the other Mask Makers in the Council of Twelve, was assigned as the Patron of the Forge as a punishment. He was exiled below the Ancient City, where he took up residence in what had once been Angonce’s workshop.

 

740 BE – 700 BE

The War of Twelve

As the years passed, Nyn’s jealousy continued to boil, even as Voltex retreated further and further from the spotlight. Things came to a head in 740 BE, when she attempted to rise up against the rest of the Council with the help of several lesser Mask Makers; she and her cohorts were captured and executed by Krom.

 

This action led to a total war.

 

Voya, Metru, Tren, Nui, and Hafu all disagreed with Krom’s actions, believing that he should have consulted with the rest of the Council for Nyn’s sentence. Mata, Arab, Rey, and Karda all backed up Krom, who insisted that he was in the right. The two sides continued to argue, and each disagreement led to another, until they started to pile up into actual combat. Thanks to their numbers, both sides were evenly matched, and each attempted to coerce Voltex to their cause – but he refused, preferring to remain neutral, for he still resented all of them for exiling him to the forge (and his resentment had only grown when they passed him over for control of the Ancient City after Nyn’s execution).

 

The war raged for five years with no significant victory for either side until 735 BE, when the Region of Light and its entire population were exterminated thanks to the combined efforts of the Ice Region and Stone Region, led by Tren and Hafu. Mata was slain a year later by Tren in single combat, erasing the last traces of the Light Region.

 

This victory allowed Tren and his allies to continue gaining ground, and in 732 AE, Fire Region troops led by Voya managed to slay Arab. Left without a Mask Maker to guide them, the entire Shadow Region was wiped out over the next three years, and they were extinct by the end of 729 BE.

 

Around the time of Arab’s death, Nui and her people (the Tribe of Time) retreated from the conflict, intent on constructing what they called a ‘superweapon’ that would win the war for their side in a single blow. The superweapon was finished construction in 720 BE, and they activated it; however, it went awry. The Mask of Time, which had been used to activate the superweapon, split in two, with both halves vanishing (the top half would later reappear on Okoto, but there have been no confirmed sightings of the bottom half since). The superweapon misfired with a low charge, blasting a beacon of burning light straight into the sky, where it instantly incinerated Metru and the entire Sky Region, erasing them from Okoto forever; and only moments later, the superweapon itself vanished in the blink of an eye – taking Nui and the Tribe of Time with it.

 

So it was that by 719 BE, only the Regions of Fire, Ice, Stone, Water, Earth, and Jungle remained – commanded by Voya, Tren, Hafu, Krom, Rey, and Karda respectively. With little to no traces left of the Regions of Light, Time, Sky, or Shadow, the Mask Makers came to a mutual agreement to avoid completely exterminating each other, instead choosing to focus on eliminating only the high level commanders.

 

Although the battles became both less common and less vicious, Okoto was still locked in combat, although the next Mask Maker would not perish until 710 BE, when Voya managed to take down Rey. Disregarding the agreement made nine years’ prior, Voya went on to burn away most of the remaining Earth Region forces in order to prevent them from transferring to Krom or Karda’s command. At this point, Krom acknowledged that he had lost the war; he and the Water Region soon withdrew from the fight and surrendered.

 

Karda and the Jungle Region continued to fight on for an additional ten years by pioneering many of the guerilla tactics that underdogs would use all over Okoto for centuries to come. However, their efforts came screeching to a halt at last in 700 BE when Karda was assassinated, and the Jungle Region subsequently surrendered.

 

Aside from a very small number of lesser Mask Makers who had managed to survive the war, only Krom, Tren, Voya, Hafu, and Voltex remained after the War of Twelve – and four entire elements were now extinct.

 

699 BE

The Flight of Voltex

Disgusted by the destruction that his fellow Mask Makers had wrought upon the island, Voltex assembled a large crew of willing Okotoans from the Fire Region, Water Rgion, and Stone Region before sailing away to the southeast of Okoto. They eventually found an island and settled down, constructing a great labyrinth to hide their new home from prying eyes.

 

While the Okotoans that had sailed away with him settled into their new lives, Voltex decided to dedicate his own life to observing Okoto and recording its history.

 

690 BE – 687 BE

Rise of the Skull Army

In 690 BE, Kulta finally broke free of her prison for the first time. Followed by an army of Skull Warriors, Skull Scorpios, and a legion of Skull Bashers, Kulta invaded Okoto from far below. Locked away near the source of the Dark Energy for hundreds of years had erased what little was left of Kulta before her corruption, and her form had shifted to resemble the Skull Creatures that she now commanded – she had become the Skull Grinder.

 

The remaining Mask Makers, fighting alongside a united Okoto, were able to prevent the Skull Army from gaining any significant footholds outside of the Earth Region. With help from two powerful and seemingly immortal beings known as Umarak and the Lord of Skull Spiders, the forces of Okoto were able to defeat the Skull Army within three years, and the Skull Grinder was locked away once more. Once the Skull Grinder had been returned to its prison, Umarak and the Lord of Skull Spiders both retreated into the earth to guard the enemy once more.

 

 Unfortunately, the victory was not without consequences – the lesser Mask Makers now numbered below twenty, and Tren succumbed to her wounds after the battle was over.

 

570 BE – 500 BE

The Next Generation

Peace reigned across Okoto for over a hundred years, until in 570 BE, the first child of Hafu and Voya was born. Over the course of the next seventy years, the entire next generation of ruling Mask Makers was born:

 

Johmak, born in 570 BE to Hafu and Voya, was trained to rule over the Mask Makers and Okoto by Krom from a young age. She was more reclusive than most Mask Makers, and would often venture out on her own to explore the island.

 

A twin boy and girl, named Brutaka and Axonn respectively, were born to Krom and Odina (a lesser Mask Maker) in 554 BE. The two were nearly inseparable, though while Axonn often refused to leave the Ancient City, Brutaka could sometimes be seen visiting the Ice Region.

 

Jerbraz the Warrior was born in 540 BE to Hafu and Voya; he spent his entire childhood training in the Fire Region with his mother before setting off on his own adventures. Tales of his combat prowess spread like wildfire across the island, as he courageously defended the Okotoans from any threat that he happened across.

 

 Trinuma, born in 537 BE to Krom and Odina, quickly surpassed the rest of her fellow Mask Makers in the forge. She and Jerbraz became very close, and her creations saved Jerbraz from the jaws of death on numerous occasions.

 

Tobduk, born to Hafu and Voya in 516 BE, and Lariska, born to Krom and Odina in 500 BE, forged the first black market on Okoto – something for which most of their fellow Mask Makers decried them, though the two ignored them. Trade between tribes of different regions became more common under Tobduk and Lariska, as different tribes attempted to hire their services, no matter the cost. These fights were also the cause of many border disputes, conflicts that would eventually lead an Earth Okotoan named Midak to create the House System.

 

499 BE – 360 BE

Tragedies and the Noble Six

In 499 BE, Johmak vanished while exploring in the Water Region. Search parties led by several of the other Mask Makers searched for months until her body was finally found, trapped underneath a waterfall. Her death was a tragedy that, unbeknownst to everyone at the time, signalled the beginning of the end for the Age of Forgers.

 

The following year, both Krom and Odina perished in the forge, when an attempt to forge a new Mask of Time went horribly wrong. Their deaths struck at both Hafu and Voya particularly hard, as they were now the last of the Council of Twelve still on Okoto. While Voya dealt with her grief by retreating deep into the Fire Region, Hafu became obsessed with the idea of setting sail once more for a new homeland, believing that Okoto had brought their people only grief and despair.

 

Tragedy struck once more in 460 BE, when Axonn died giving birth to her and Brutaka’s daughter, Kratana – beginning the third generation of ruling Mask Makers on Okoto, known as the ‘Noble Six’ for their contributions to the island, although there were actually seven Mask Makers born during this period. Brutaka would also perish, in 440 BE, giving into the grief that would plague him after Axonn’s death.

 

Later, in 411 BE, Hafu, Jerbraz, and Trinuma would all vanish from Okoto forever, setting sail with the remaining lesser Mask Makers in the hopes of finding a new homeland, and Voya would die of old age in 392 BE, after giving up her powers and magic to the Fire Region. This would appear to be the end of the First Mask Makers, although Voltex still lived, and it was possible that Hafu still did as well.

 

The seven Mask Makers born during this period:

 

Kratana herself, born in 460 BE to Brutaka and Axonn, was somewhat withdrawn, and often helped out in the Earth Region in the guise of an ordinary Earth Okotoan when not working in the Ancient City’s forge. She was the first of the Noble Six, though her name is no longer remembered in modern times, outside of what remains of the Earth Region’s histories.

 

Vakama, born to Tobduk and Lariska only days after Kratana, was very much a product of his upbringing. He was the second of the Noble Six, growing to strongly favor the Fire Region and often visiting with Voya. He would later convince Voya to give up her powers and magic to the entire Fire Region, and later help that same region to establish the Council of Fire. His legacy still exists in modern times in Vakama City, which sits between the borders of House Aodh, House Ember, and House Coal.

 

Whenua was born to Tobduk and Lariska in 440 BE, though his birth was marred by the death of Brutaka a week later; the elder Mask Maker had finally given into the grief that had plagued him since his sister’s demise. Whenua was the third of the Noble Six, helping Midak Sevoi of the Earth Region to invent the House System that would come to define Okoto. Although Whenua held no strong preference for any of the regions, he was often sighted in the Earth Region with Kratana, who continued to visit the region in disguise.

 

Matau was born to Tobduk and Lariska in 435 BE. He was energetic, oblivious, and trusting – traits that quickly led to him becoming estranged from Tobduk and Lariska. Still, he was the fourth of the Noble Six, eventually helping House Hinterland to instate the House System in the Jungle Region – though his oblivious and trusting nature would lead to that same region betraying him only a few years later.

 

Nokama, born to Tobduk and Lariska in 429 BE, almost immediately took a liking to the Water Region. She was the fifth of the Noble Six, with her favoring of the Water Region eventually leading her to help them establish the House System. Nokama was also the first ruling Mask Maker to fall in love with an Okotoan – with Rayne, the first Ruler of the Water Region. Her love for the Okotoan would last long after Rayne’s death, leading to Nokama eventually giving her powers and magic to the region in order to help it (and House Rayne) prosper.

 

Onewa, born to Tobduk and Lariska in 390 BE, was the most reclusive Mask Maker since Voltex centuries before – though Onewa’s reclusiveness was primarily her own choice. Of the ruling Mask Makers born in this generation, only Onewa was not one of the Noble Six, as she preferred to remain within the Ancient City and work in the forge. As such, her name would have been lost to history, were it not for the roles that her children would come to play.

 

Nuju, the last of the children born to Tobduk and Lariska, was born in 360 BE. He became well-known for his dislike of many of his fellow Mask Makers, preferring to spend time among the Okotoans – usually in the Ice Region, where he found the cold weather soothing. He was the sixth and final of the Noble Six, helping an Okotoan named Gelu to form the House System within the Ice Region. He would later fall in love with her, giving up his powers and magic to live an ordinary life in the region.

 

389 BE – 298 BE

The House System

With Kratana at his side, Whenua helped the Okotoan Midak Sevoi to create the House System for the Earth Region in 389 BE. The effort was successful for the most part, leading to the other regions of Okoto (barring the Stone Region, who had no Mask Maker favoring them and were content to stick with their old ways) to adopt the system one by one.

 

Fifteen years later in 374 BE, a Okotoan named Rayne in the Water Region had the opportunity to speak with Midak, and became convinced that she could convert her own region over to the same system. After increasing reports about Rayne’s threats of violence, Nokama intervened; for the next six years, she worked alongside Rayne to set up the House System, a task they did not complete until 368 BE. During this time, the two had also fallen in love, and they ruled alongside each other once the House System had been fully integrated into the region.

 

When Rayne was killed by a marauding band of Ice Okotoans three years later, Nokama slaughtered the entire party responsible, before retreating from the Water Region, both disgusted with herself as well as Rayne’s son Conlectus, whose xenophobia now ruled over the region.

 

Just one year after Conlectus seized control of the Water Region, Matau helped an Okotoan named Tanma to form House Hinterland; he then oversaw the house’s successful attempt to convert the Jungle Region over to the House System.

 

It took another eight years until the Fire Region considered adopting the House System, with Vakama having left them to either grow stronger or be left behind on their own. In 352 BE, he joined the tribes of the Fire Region, where the tribes agreed to form an alliance, though rather than select one Ruler for the region as Vakama suggested, the tribes instead formed the Council of Fire, consisting of the leaders from every tribe in the region. They would be busy for the next four years constructing a walled city that still stands even today – Vakama City.

 

In 349 BE, Nokama returned to the Water Region at the request of Lady Berix, the new Ruler of House Rayne. There, Nokama helped her to assassinate Conlectus before supporting Berix’s claim to the Water Region. Just one year later, while the Fire Region began constructing the Eastern and Western Walls, Matau was invited back to the Jungle Region by its Ruler, Lord Orkham Hinterland. There, Orkham imprisoned Matau, torturing the Mask Maker for any and all information he knew about the regions of Okoto and the Mask Makers themselves before finally killing him a year later. His crimes were never discovered.

 

In the meantime, Vakama crafted the first of the six Elemental Masks of Power – the Mask of Fire – and gifted it to the Fire Region. For the next five years, he crafted an Elemental Mask of Power for every region, gifting them to the various Rulers for safekeeping. The Masks of Ice and Stone were granted to Nuju and the tribe that would eventually become known as House Patrus in lieu of any Rulers to give them to. It was during this period that Vakama also grew close with Onewa.

 

Around 334 BE, both Tobduk and Lariska unexpectedly ventured below the Ancient City, though they informed Vakama and Onewa that a ‘Hunter’ had warned them of a danger lurking below. The two never returned, and abiding by their final request, the Mask Makers never went looking for them, avoiding the tunnels underneath the Ancient City entirely.

 

Nokama, having grown weary with life after Rayne’s death and satisfied that Lady Berix and House Rayne no longer required her aid, gave up all of her powers and magic to House Rayne in 330 BE. Without her magic to sustain her long lifespan, she passed away later that year of old age.

 

Eighteen years after Nokama’s death, in 312 BE, Kratana passed away during birth (much like her own mother had), though the two twin brothers born to her and Whenua were as healthy as could be. Archean and Vatten were both caring and kind, though they spent much of their time in the Ancient City, studying ancient texts left behind by Voltex.

 

In 300 BE, several tribes in the Ice Region began to see the lack of a House System in their region as a weakness. One of the tribal leaders, named Gelu, was sent at her tribe’s suggestion to the Ancient City, where she convinced Nuju to help her unify the Ice Region under her own banner. Re-forming her tribe into House Gelu, she and Nuju did just that for the next three years – primarily by dismantling and destroying the tribes who refused to join. Nuju fell in love with Gelu in the progress, and gave away his own power and magic to House Gelu much like Nokama had for House Rayne, before marrying Gelu as well.

 

297 BE – 55 BE

The Last Mask Makers

The Mask Maker Makuta was born to Vakama and Onewa in 297 BE. More than any other Mask Maker, Makuta was obsessed with learning history; of the regions, of Okoto, and of the Mask Makers themselves. Like Archean and Vatten, he dedicated much of his time to studying the ancient texts of Voltex, but his curiosity often even drove him further under the Ancient City, into tunnels long-abandoned.

 

Makuta’s younger brother Ekimu was born nine years later in 288 BE. By his twentieth year, Ekimu had forged the legendary Mask of Creation for himself, as well as gifting the legendary Mask of Control to his sibling. Ekimu quickly became popular with the peoples of all six regions, and his word alone was enough to quell all but the greatest of conflicts between regions.

 

Nuju passed away of old age in 264 BE without his magic to support him, though his numerous Okotoan heirs within House Gelu retained enough magic within their bloodline to craft Masks of Power. Tragedy then struck the Mask Makers in 210 BE, when a catastrophe in the Ancient City forge ended with both Onewa and Whenua dead. Vakama, distraught over their deaths and the last of his generation of Mask Makers, kept to himself for many years before vanishing without a trace in 199 BE.

 

With Vakama’s disappearance, the number of Mask Makers on Okoto had officially shrunk down to four – Archean, Vatten, Makuta, and Ekimu.

 

From 138 BE to 136 BE, Ekimu worked alongside Nato the Unifier to spread a message of peace in the warring Ice Region – one that Nato the Unifier would use to peacefully negotiate his own ruler over the region. Although this was the most notable of Ekimu’s accomplishments, he made similar trips to every region except for the Stone Region, increasing his popularity across Okoto.

 

After Patrus the Proud conquered the Stone Region and reshaped it with the House System, Makuta visited the region in 88 BE alongside Archean and Vatten. The meeting went poorly, with Patrus insinuating that the Mask Makers were not worthy of Okoto; rather than execute him, Makuta sent Archean and Vatten back to the Ancient City before journeying to the north of the Stone Region with a crew of Stone Okotoans to build a massive city.

 

For ten years they worked, building a city of Makuta’s own design – one that he claimed would be more magnificent than the Ancient City, and that he secretly hoped would win him the love of many Okotoans, for he had grown jealous of Ekimu’s popularity across the island. After the city’s construction, Patrus mocked it, calling it ‘Makuta City’ – a name that stuck. Despite this, the city thrived just as Makuta had hoped, with Okotoans from all over Okoto flocking to live under his rule in the city.

 

Makuta worked tirelessly to improve life within the city, and although he was still not as popular as the other Mask Makers, it was agreed that he made a good ruler – and Patrus even admitted that Makuta had proven himself more than worthy of inhabiting the Stone Region after all, allowing Makuta to guide and teach his son and heir before setting sail away from Okoto in his old age.

 

Although Patrus and his crew were assumed lost at sea, they actually ended up sailing to an island located to the southeast of Okoto – an island where they found a massive labyrinth. Patrus, never one to be defeated by a mere obstacle, guided his crew through the treacherous labyrinth before arriving at its center, where they discovered a society of Fire, Water, and Stone Okotoans ruled over by the Mask Maker Voltex. Patrus and his crew joined the society, and Patrus himself became close friends with Voltex in his final years before passing away in 45 BE, Voltex’s magic unable to prolong his life any further.

 

54 BE – 0 BE

End of an Era

When the Stone Plague spread across the Stone Region and Water Region for six years from 54 BE to 48 BE with no end in sight, Ekimu used his Mask of Creation to forge a Mask of Power specifically designed to kill every single plant that was responsible for the plague. The Mask also killed every single infected Okotoan, but despite the massacre, Ekimu was hailed as a hero.

 

Despite his efforts, however, in the six years that followed both regions were unable to recover from the plague. With two elements on the verge of dropping to extinction, Archean and Vatten stepped in – with Archean journeying to the Stone Region and Vatten journeying to the Water Region. While Archean gave up his power and magic to the Stone Region to help it heal, Vatten instead took control of the Water Region, keeping his magic and using it to slowly revitalize the region.

 

For their efforts, the two brothers became known as the ‘Borne’ brothers to the Okotoans, while the Water Region went so far as to name a new house after Vatten – a house that would rule over the Water Region for centuries to come.

 

Unfortunately, with no magic left to sustain his long lifespan, Archean passed away just two years later in 40 BE – and soon afterwards, Vatten also perished, though a variety of suspicious circumstances and contradicting evidence surrounded the latter, leading some Okotoans to believe that Vatten still lived. Later that same year, the Temple of Time reappeared in the Jungle Region, and Ekimu and Makuta gathered an army of Okotoans from all six regions in preparation for its arrival.

 

Ten Okotoans of Fire and Ice calling themselves ‘Protectors’ revealed themselves, claiming to be from the distant future. While Makuta returned to his city, Ekimu accompanied the travellers to the Water Region. There they stayed for several months, with their leader – an Ice Okotoan named Nato – filling Ekimu in on the wars occurring in his time.

 

After the travellers left, nothing much of note happened, though Makuta often vanished for extended periods of time. In 5 BE, however, he retreated into his palace within Makuta City, dedicating every second of his time to a project that even Ekimu was kept unaware of. Makuta’s retreat roused Voltex’s suspicions, and he began preparing to return to Okoto for the first time in seven hundred years.

 

After five years, Makuta completed his project; and in 0 BE, he summoned the highest nobles from all across Okoto to join him for a demonstration in Makuta City. Many other Okotoans also attended, as well as both Ekimu and Voltex. At the demonstration, Makuta showed off his newest creation – a special Mask of Power that he claimed had been forged using every element of Okoto… including those long extinct and forgotten. Despite the warnings of Ekimu, Makuta donned what he had called the ‘Mask of Ultimate Power’ in front of the crowd.

 

What followed was a massacre. The skies over top of Makuta City went as dark as night in an instant, and the temperature dropped to near freezing in seconds. Skeletal warriors twice the size of the Okotoans present crawled out of the ground and began to cut Okotoans down where they stood – only for the fallen to rise back up and begin attacking their brethren in turn. Unprepared for such a brutal assault, many of the Okotoans in Makuta City were slaughtered.

 

After trying and failing to duel Makuta and removed the Mask of Ultimate Power from his brother’s face, Ekimu fled the city with a small squad of 22 Okotoans. They retreated to the castle of House Patrus, where Ekimu convinced the Stone Okotoans to begin mobilizing against the Skull Army while sending the members of his group all across Okoto to warn their regions.

 

Voltex, though he had not been present on the island for the Skull Army’s last attempt to destroy Okoto, recognized them nonetheless after his centuries of study, as well as the influence of the Dark Energy within the Mask of Ultimate Power. He fled with his own team towards the Ancient City, hoping to keep the old city and its magic out of the Skull Army’s hands – but he was too late.

 

He and his team arrived at the Ancient City to find it already under the control of the Skull Grinder and its Skull Army, fresh off of tearing right through the Earth Region. With most of Okoto still unaware of the threat and the Skull Army cutting through those who did like butter, both Ekimu and Voltex started to become desperate.

 

This time, right from the start, the Skull Army held the upper hand – and the Mask Makers knew it.

 

The Long Night had come.

 

(To be Continued in Legends, Forges, Kings II: Of Kings and Wars)

 

REVIEW


Edited by Breath of the Wild, Jan 24 2017 - 11:20 PM.

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Elittra Valmai


#10 Offline Elittra

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Posted Jan 25 2017 - 09:55 PM

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This chapter deals with a variety of subjects – many of them lost to time entirely. Of everything here that follows, we now reach material that is still remembered in the modern day, though perhaps not accurately, or even remember by many. This chapter is a recording of what I fear to be Okoto’s long fall, where legendary powers have faded and the island itself is bursting and choking with conflict.

 

Within, I have included the most thorough write-up possible of the Long Night, though it still lacks much from that time frame (including my own quest to reclaim the Mask of Control from the Skull Army). I have also detailed the Kings who ruled over Okoto following the end of the Long Night, and then the Kings who followed – those who claimed the title of Mask Maker for their own in falsehood, with no regard for their history, or what a Mask Maker truly is.

 

Okoto’s last three rulers have been less than stellar. Trijhak the Mad, Voxumo the Usurper, and now Pulse – who, as the years of his reign pass, begins to be dubbed ‘the Unworthy’ by many all over the island.

 

Another age is reaching its conclusion.

 

LEGENDS, FORGERS, KINGS II

(Of Kings and Wars)

 

THE LONG NIGHT

(Unrecorded History)

 

The Long Night.

 

Makuta, manipulated by Dark Energy, brought calamity to Okoto in the form of the Skull Army. Led by the Skull Grinder, the Skull Army soon ravaged the Earth Region and claimed the Ancient City for their own, leading to twelve dark years of terror and catastrophe. Makuta, his mind crushed by the Dark Energy powering the Mask of Ultimate Power, remained within the ruins of Makuta City.

 

It was Ekimu who discovered that the Skull Army was slowed just as much as the living when in water – with this in mind, he led those who could follow him into the Water Region. While there were large pockets of Okotoans who managed to survive the Long Night in the lands of House Greavesey at the northern tip of the Ice Region (primarily Okotoans of Ice) and within Vakama City (primarily Okotoans of Fire and Earth), by the end of the Long Night those who hid within the Water Region would make up half of the total survivors, with one hundred of them becoming the first Knights of Ekimu.

 

Ekimu spent much of his time buried within the oldest texts available to him, hoping to find some secret to destroying the Skull Army; he was often joined by Makani Kumo of Jungle and Lord Tarix of Water, as well as Lord Tarix’s sister, Chiara. During the first two years of the Long Night Ekimu and Chiara fell in love, with Chiara giving birth to a son that they named Artakha.

 

In the fourth year of the Long Night, Lord Tarix was slain in battle by the Skull Army, but Makani Kumo inadvertently saved Voltex, who had spent the last several years trying fruitlessly to track Ekimu down. After uniting with the younger Mask Maker, Voltex filled Ekimu in on everything that he knew, and they spent the next two years constructing a plan; it was during this time period that both Umarak and the Lord of Skull Spiders made themselves known to the Protectors of the Water Region, and joined them in their fight against the Skull Army. Although Voltex at this time had an inkling of their origins, he left the matter alone.

 

By year six, working closely with Umarak, Voltex and Ekimu managed to devise a plan for sealing away the Skull Grinder once more before Okoto could fall – though the magic they intended to use would rely on Okoto remaining united in the years to come. While Ekimu and Umarak remained in the Water Region, preparing to summon the Toa that Angonce had created centuries ago, Voltex set off on a quest to reclaim the Mask of Control from the Stone Region.

 

Voltex returned over a year later, months after three Jungle Protectors had arrived in his place with the Mask of Control. He was joined by an additional three Jungle Protectors, though he and his companions were rather worse for wear; in particular, Voltex’s right leg was ruined, and even with the magic of himself, Ekimu, Umarak, and the Lord of Skull Spiders, he was left with what would become a permanent limp and source of pain.

 

During Voltex’s absence, the Toa had been summoned and had also retrieved the upper half of the Mask of Time. With all of their tools finally in place, preparations for the final battle began, though it was still a long time in coming.

 

 Ten years into the Long Night, the Temple of Time – the ancient super-weapon of Nui’s design – reappeared once more. The ten travellers that had visited Okoto fifty years prior had unintentionally returned to Okoto, and found themselves greeted by the Skull Grinder personally. They fled the Temple of Time, losing members along the way, and would have all perished were it not for the intervention of the Lord of Skull Spiders, who guided them to Ekimu.

 

While Voltex, Makani Kumo, Chiara (who perished during the battle) and the six Toa repelled the Skull Grinder, Ekimu and Umarak worked together to send Nato and some of his remaining companions directly to their own time period, with Ekimu promising to have the Knights watching for Nato’s return.

 

Two years later, the final battle of the Long Night was fought in the Water Region. It ended with Ekimu cast into a deep slumber and later assumed dead after the city they fought in sank beneath the waves, while the Skull Grinder was once again sealed beneath Okoto. The Lord of Skull Spiders retreated once again, while Umarak dedicated himself to trying to unite the Elemental Creatures – and Voltex returned to his home within the labyrinth before sending his people back to Okoto to help re-populate the island.

 

(I was present there during the battle, but I have vowed never to speak about what I saw – though I will admit that the ‘sightings’ of certain old friends that followed immediately afterwards had more truth to them than the Okotoans ever knew).

 

BEGINNING OF THE MODERN ERA

(The Age of Kings)

 

0 AE – 5 AE

Rebuilding

For the first five years following the Long Night, Okoto had no ruler to guide the island, as the various regions mostly stuck to themselves, too busy rebuilding their homes to bother worrying about the loss of the Mask Makers who had led them for so long.

 

6 AE – 56 AE

King Artakha the Builder

In 6 AE, Ekimu’s son and heir, Artakha, resurfaced within the Water Region alongside Lord Tarix’s heir, Lady Kiina. While Lady Kiina ruled over the Water Region, at the behest of his advisors, the young Artakha settled in the Ancient City and named himself as Okoto’s first King. During his reign he busied himself with helping the regions to rebuild, as well as inviting Protectors from all across Okoto to live under him directly in the Ancient City itself – much like Makuta City had once served the same purpose.

 

Lord Vohon Aodh, who had ruled the Fire Region since before the Long Night and managed to keep Vakama City out of the Skull Army’s hands, came to serve as one of King Artakha’s principle advisors, often speaking or acting as a proxy for the King – particularly in the early years of the King’s rule. His actions eventually led to him being referred to as Artakha’s right hand, and in 28 AE, the position was officially declared to be ‘Hand of the King’. Lord Vohon served in the position for thirty-two years until passing away of old age in 38 AE. The position of Hand was taken up from that point forth by Lady Kiina, who left her daughter in command of the Water Region.

 

For his efforts, he became known as Artakha the Builder, and after he passed away due to sickness in 56 AE, the throne passed on to his elder son – Krakua Vatten.

 

57 AE – 59 AE

King Krakua Vatten

King Krakua’s rule was short, lasting only three years, for he began to suffer the same sickness his father had shortly into his rule. His time on the throne was spent trying and failing to fight off the sickness, before he passed away in 59 AE, leaving the throne to his younger brother Karzahni Vatten.

 

60 AE – 86 AE

King Karzahni the Cruel

For twenty-six years, King Karzahni ruled over Okoto – and, despite the title that history eventually attached to him, he was one of the best to sit upon the throne. King Karzahni was a firm believer in peace, and his title grew from his approach to those who inspired conflict within the regions, for the King made sure they suffered. Those unlucky enough to be caught performing acts of violence found themselves strung up by the King himself, left to starve to death before the eyes of every citizen in the Ancient City.

 

For better or for worse, his approach to violence seemed to work; King Karzahni’s time on the throne was one of the most peaceful in Okoto’s history. He also married Lady Kopeke of House Gelu, and, following the traditions of the Water Region, named their eldest daughter his heir.

 

In 86 AE, at the advice of his Hand, Lord Zaktan of House Hinterland, Karzahni stepped down from the throne to pursue the forging of Masks of Power full-time. He lived an additional ten years, serving as one of Queen Kopeke’s primary advisors, before passing away in a forging accident.

 

86 AE – 99 AE

Queen Kopeke Vatten

Queen Kopeke ruled for only twelve years, though it was she who – with the aid of Lord Zaktan – abolished the position of Hand and replaced it with the Council. The Council included a single Protector from each region of Okoto, keeping Queen Kopeke more informed of what each region was up to.

 

She married Lord Nato III of House Gelu in 94 AE, against the advice of her Council. The two frequently fought over how Okoto should be ruled, until Queen Kopeke and Lord Zakatan died of poisoning in 99 AE – an incident that the now King Nato only narrowly managed to survive.

 

100 AE – 123 AE

King Nato Gelu

After recovering from the poisoning, King Nato managed to keep his hold on the throne by forging a Mask of Levitation in the Ancient City’s forge. He solidified his power immediately by marrying Lady Gaaki of House Vatten, and together, they investigated the death of Queen Kopeke and caught those responsible – Council Members Thok and Hakann of the Ice Region and Fire Region.

 

The two had a child within the year that they named Zaktan, in honor of the late former Hand; as per part of their marriage agreement, Zaktan took on the name of his mother, rather than his father. The rest of King Nato’s rule passed without troubles, and in 123 AE, he voluntarily stepped down, passing the throne onto his son – as well as House Vatten.

 

123 AE – 177 AE

King Zaktan the Cunning

Taught to be suspicious of others from a young age in the hopes of avoiding him suffering the same fate as Queen Kopeke, King Zaktan became a master of manipulation. Shortly after taking the throne, he selected a wife from one of the lower houses in the Fire Region that was locked into servitude of House Aodh – a Protector by the name of Varian Ash.

 

Varian was Zaktan’s equal in every sense of the word – and the two systematically devastated each and every enemy that they came across. The two had a grand total of twelve children – eight of which eventually settled down within House Ash. Their eldest son and heir, Vezok, was already married with grown children of his own by the time King Zaktan and Queen Varian finally stepped down from their places on the throne, as their old age began to catch up with them.

 

The events of the decades that followed would render much of King Zaktan’s legacy forgotten – particularly the fact that his children had settled within House Ash, introducing the blood of the Mask Makers into the Fire Region for the first time.

 

178 AE – 183 AE

King Vezok Vatten

After rising to the throne, King Vezok only reigned for five short years – years that proved to be exceptionally turbulent. Unbeknownst to him, his eldest son, Vezon, had ventured deep beneath the Ancient City in his youth, and had been corrupted by Dark Energy.

 

Spotting a chance to seize the throne for the Skull Army, whom he was now loyal to, Vezon spent five years disrupting the political landscape of Okoto from behind the scenes until his father finally caught him late in 183 AE… at which point he murdered him and took the throne for himself, now guarded by a garrison of Skull Warriors.

 

In one fell swoop, Vezon ended the Age of Kings.

 

THE GAME OF THRONES

(The Age of War)

 

184 AE – 209 AE

Mask Maker Vezon Vatten

Vezon’s first move as King as to abolish the title of King, and replace it instead with ‘Mask Maker’.  Those who would have fought against the change were too busy embroiled in the Third War for the Wall to notice until it was too late to argue against it or any of the other changes that Lord Vezon was enacting… which was, of course, why Lord Vezon had instigated the Third War for the Wall in the first place.

 

Behind the scenes, the Knights of Ekimu actively worked to bring about Lord Vezon’s downfall – but their work was ruined when one of their members went rogue and executed him in 209 AE, turning Lord Vezon into a martyr. The Knights were able to salvage the situation when it came to light that the rogue Protector had been killed almost immediately by the Skull Warriors – but Lord Vezon’s death still spelled the end of the Knights.

 

210 AE – 255 AE

Vamprah the Faithful

Without any true heirs of his own, it was Lord Vezon’s nephew Vamprah who ascended to the throne. While Lord Vezon’s mind had been twisted by the insidious influence of the Skull Warriors, Lord Vamprah was devoted to the extreme, fanatical in his faith.

 

Having eliminated any presence of the Knights of Ekimu from the Water Region years before – and with the Stone Region, Earth Region, and Jungle Region becoming more hostile towards them – Lord Vamprah ordered the Fire Region and Ice Region to do the same. Although his ploy worked, with the Knights appearing to disappear, Lord Vamprah was not satisfied, and in 218 AE, at his order, House Darkfire rose up against House Aodh in the Fire Region. The attempted rebellion failed, and House Darkfire was systematically dismantled by Lord Vultraz Aodh, who remained openly favorable to the Knights just to spite Lord Vamprah, knowing that the Mask Maker could do nothing.

 

Unfortunately, the Ice Region was a different story. Only three years after the Darkfire Rebellion, House Rime struck at House Gelu alongside the Faith itself – and the subsequent assassination of the Ruler of the Ice Region left the entire area in chaos. The Knights and House Gelu were forced on the run as they were slaughtered with abandon, and by 222 AE, both groups were considered eradicated.

 

Controversy that would have ended the reign of any other ruler struck three decades later, when several representatives from the Earth Region vanished while visiting the Water Region. No formal investigation into the deaths was made, and when a survivor stepped forward two years later, Lord Vamprah ignored her – and, following his lead, much of Okoto did the same.

 

Lord Vamprah finally perished at the very end of 254 AE from a mysterious illness, leaving the throne in the hands of his son.

 

255 AE – 291 AE

Mask Maker Bitil Vatten

Lord Bitil Vatten held no strong opinions towards any of the issues that Okoto was dealing with at the time. While the island had a tentative peace during his reign as a result, it also allowed long-ignored conflicts to fester and boil.

 

Unfortunately for all of Okoto, Lord Bitil also held no particular opinion towards his son and heir – leaving Trijhak to be raised by his Skull Warrior guards instead.

 

His death in 291 AE was sudden and surprising, though no details were ever given out.

 

291 AE – 296 AE

Trijhak the Mad

Trijhak the Mad – raised by his Skull Warrior guards, whose Dark Energy would have corrupted him by mere association alone… add in the Dark Energy experiments performed on his mind, and his lack of sanity would have been understandable, had anyone been aware of it.

 

Within months of taking the throne, Lord Trijhak had managed to alienate almost all of his allies – so when the Fire Region, Ice Region, and Stone Regions rebelled against the throne in 295 AE, only the Earth Region (conquered forcefully only months prior by nobles fanatically devoted to the Faith) came to his aid.

 

During the rebellion, all but six of Trijhak the Mad’s Skull Warrior guards were destroyed, and after Bronze Raqmu (the Mask Breaker) killed him, House Vatten was hunted to extinction in the hopes of erasing the contaminated Mask Maker bloodline… though Trijhak’s young son and heir, Pulse, survived and was hidden away by House Rayne.

 

297 AE – 317 AE

Voxumo the Usurper

The rebellion had only managed to find its footing when a member of the dormant Knights of Ekimu discovered that a Protector of House Ash named Voxumo had the ability to craft Masks of Power. Voxumo became the figurehead for the rebellion, and after its victory, he took the throne.

 

Unaware of the true nature of the Skull Warriors, he kept the six that remained as his personal guards, and when he left the regions to govern themselves for a year, slowly succumbed to their corruption. Although Voxumo was able to hide the signs, he began to show signs of madness himself – particularly paranoia. He remained functional up until the Ice Region (conquered by House Nivis immediately after the rebellion, who disliked Voxumo) attempted to assassinate him in 314 AE. Although it failed, the incident brought out his paranoia in full force, leading Lord Mustang Aodh, Ruler of the Fire Region, to begin making plans to kill Voxumo himself.

 

Although Lord Mustang died under suspicious circumstances before he could put his plan into action, his son – Lord Burnmad Aodh, and the new Ruler of the Fire Region – managed to find them. Disappointed in Voxumo’s rule himself and beginning to suspect that Okoto was once more under the influence of an insane Mask Maker, Lord Burnmad attempted to have Voxumo killed in 316 AE. Though this attempt also failed, it did result in the destruction of two more Skull Warrior guards.

 

Having soured his relationships with all except the Stone Region, Voxumo became more aggressive and paranoid, knowing that it was only a matter of time before another rebellion would occur – and a year later it did. The War for the Throne began with the Poisoning of Stone, weakening Voxumo’s strongest allies; though Voxumo did not live too much longer, as he was stabbed in the back by Jed Corruich (who became known as the Kingslayer).

 

317 AE – Present

Mask Maker Pulse Vatten

As the son of Trijhak the Mad and the so-called ‘True Heir’ to the throne, Lord Pulse came out of hiding in 317 AE and managed to assemble an alliance between the Water Region, Fire Region, and Ice Region to put him on the throne. With the death of Voxumo the Usurper (as well as the Poisoning of Stone and the Stone Region’s surrender) later that same year, he claimed the throne for himself – but the next three years of his rule were still fraught with conflict, as the Jungle Region continued to fight against his forces.

 

After the Fire Region conquered the Jungle Region in 319 AE, the War for the Throne finally ended – but tensions all across Okoto, if anything, rose. When the Earth Region returned four years later in 323 AE under the command of Kulta the Skull Grinder, the Knights of Ekimu revealed themselves to Okoto once again as well – and lines began to be drawn all over the island.

 

Knights versus Faith. Region versus Region. House versus House.

 

Lord Pulse’s attempt to make peace in 324 AE by summoning the six Toa of legend did nothing to lower tensions, and the Toa became additional tools in every region’s arsenal.

 

War has yet to break out, but it is only a matter of time. Lord Pulse has ruled for ten years, and so far, has proven to be entirely ineffectual at maintaining the peace.

 

It is a matter of months – perhaps even weeks, or days – before the first shot will be fired… and when it is, war will consume Okoto once more.

 

This time, neutrality will not be an option.

 

This time, the different regions will not just be fighting against each other – they will also be fighting with themselves.

 

Pulse the Unworthy has watched over an Okoto that is coming apart at the seams…

 

…and as the Knights of Ekimu have tried (and failed) to warn them – Kulta’s presence in the Earth Region means only one thing.

 

The Long Night is coming.

 

And the dead come with it.

 

REVIEW


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Elittra Valmai





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