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#1 Offline Nujanii: Kanohi Master

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Posted Sep 13 2017 - 06:10 PM

A golden glint from the field beyond was the only warning Vakama received before he was plunged into the void between dimensions.

 

Vakama’s combat instincts were on high alert as he tumbled into a cluttered forge in Ta-Metru. He was invisible before he hit the ground. Even his battle-hardened reflexes, however, were insufficient as he watched Krekka bind Lhikan’s hands with energy. Nidhiki dropped Matoran Vakama, and Lhikan kicked his hoverboard towards the falling Matoran. With a vindictive hiss, Nidhiki contemptuously knock the board off-course with a force bolt. Turaga Vakama rushed towards the vat of flames, but he was too far away. In horror, he watched himself melt and burn. The stench of burnt flesh wafting towards him as the agonizing screams echoed in the ears of a beaten, broken Toa Lhikan. Again Vakama was reminded that he wasn’t all machine, and that a Ta-matoran’s heat resistance only goes so far.
 

And so it was that the invisible Turaga looked up too late as the Dark Hunters soared off with their prisoner. In the aftermath of the heated action, his mind took stock of his situation. Thanks to centuries of Matau’s pranks, Vakama had a great trove of experience with illusions. This was either reality or a superb fantasy. He reasoned that Miserex was the only living being who could so thoroughly deceive him. So this was probably real. And Lhikan had been taken away while he stood by. Again. And this time, he was an ancient warrior Turaga, not a scared young Matoran, created only after the Civil War to repopulate Metru Nui. This time he could have saved Lhikan.

At this point another thought crossed his mind. Where had he hidden his Toa Stone all those years ago when he had done this the first time? Picking his way through the clutter, Vakama found the odd little package underneath a half-finished Kanohi. He smiled and tucked it into a fold of his cloak. Vakama was glad that Nokama had conceived of pockets in their honorary Turaga apparel.

Now what?

Assuming this was an alternate dimension, five Matoran are headed to the Great Temple. An ancient, overpowered supervillain has captured and impersonated the beloved Turaga Dume. Moreover, this Makuta has control over the entire Vahki force. And he has the commissioned the services of two Dark Hunters. And a giant matoran-eating plant based in the Great Furnace. To add to the difficulties, the only Toa left on the island has just been seized. Turaga Dume is comatose and the Rahaga are skittering around the sewers. Keetongu and Krahka are hiding who-knows-where.

Saving Metru Nui mght be difficult.

But Vakama knew his enemy. Last time he had charged up and simply attacked the Makuta in hopes of stopping him. His time as a bestial horror reminded him how horribly that had turned out. Vakama had failed to make the fundamental connection at the time: the enemy is smart. It was probably because the only thing Vakama had known at the time about the Makuta was that they had ended the Civil War through slaughter. Well, now Vakama knew better.

As he walked towards the Great Temple, the unseen Turaga plotted a number of courses, all tenuous. In all fairness, however, that was how most Toa plans started. Raw heroism had usually carried the day for him.

Usually, it had to.


Edited by Nujanii: Kanohi Master, Oct 07 2017 - 09:50 AM.

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My Epic

 

I am working on a tabletop dice-based combat system for BIONICLE sets.


#2 Offline Nujanii: Kanohi Master

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Posted Oct 04 2017 - 02:52 PM

Nokama opened the door to the inner sanctum to see a figure growing amid a whirl of energy. She cautiously stepped into the room as the light slowly faded and the red and grey tones of the Fire Toa’s armor coalesced. Footsteps of other Matoran sounded in the hall, attracting the Toa’s attention. As he turned, Nokama sized him up. The small torch-like device that hung at his waist clearly identified him as a mask maker. Most Toa don’t carry such a device, so this be a former Matoran from Ta-Metru. She examined the delicate curves of the Great Kanohi Huna which he wore. From her studies of Kanohi, they bespoke a student of Nuhrii. Vakama, perhaps? He wore a Huna and had a reputation as a crafter of Kanohi. If Lhikan were to pass off a Toa stone to some mask maker—and the stone in her hand was proof that he was giving them out—then Vakama was one of the more likely.

“Hello Nokama, Matau, Nuju, Onewa, and Whenua.”

“So you too were given a Toa Stone?” Nuju’s question was obviously rhetorical, a product of his classical education.

Matau interjected “What’s a Toa Stone?”

“Well Matau,” Nokama replied, “a Toa has two kinds of energy. One of them is elemental, and fuels their powers over the world around us, while the other is a less well characterized power which is generally described as ‘Toa energy.’ Toa Stones contain a certain amount of this energy and can discharge it and thereby turn a Matoran into a Toa.”

“Thanks for the lecture-talk teacher. So how do we become Toa-Heroes?”

“Place your stones in those alcoves and become Toa Metru,” Vakama replied.

The five Matoran circled the suva and each placed their stone in its slot. Beams of energy emanated from the Suva. Where once stood five Matoran now stood Toa.

“Why are we made Toa, and why now?” Nokama pondered.

“Who cares? We are Toa-Heroes now!” Matau replied. He raised a pair of Aero slicers in a triumphant gesture. His infectious enthusiasm spread through the group. They were Toa! Defenders of goodness and light. They would defend the city from harm, just like Lhikan and Naho and Dume and all of the other heroes whose valiant deeds lay in the records of the Coliseum. Everyone was talking at once. Matau jabbered about all of the great deeds to be done. Nokama discussed the ways in which they could help the Matoran. Nuju postulated about all of the discoveries which they could make with their newfound abilities, and Whenua regaled them with tales of the great Heroes of old.

 

Only Vakama could not share in the celebration.

 

Abruptly, he cut into the conversation.

 

 

“Metru Nui… the whole city… will fall. The Great Disks… the Great Disks can save it.”


Edited by Nujanii: Kanohi Master, Oct 04 2017 - 02:53 PM.

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My Epic

 

I am working on a tabletop dice-based combat system for BIONICLE sets.


#3 Offline Nujanii: Kanohi Master

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Posted Nov 16 2017 - 11:36 PM

Nokama padded through the streets of Ga-Metru, her stealth a habit perpetuated by fear of a particularly nasty plant. As she picked out Vhisola’s house, Nokama was dismayed to see a squad of vahki surrounding the hut.

Time to find out what I can do, exactly.

Nokama focused on the water in the drainage ditch to her left. In researching for her classes on water rahi of the region, Nokama had found interesting notes about Vahki responses to emergencies. Specifically to the Gara Rui, which has been known to eat through some of the gaskets that control water flow in the neighborhood. In reading through the correspondence between Nuparu and Marka, Nokama had found that the Vahki were wired to check for Gara Rui infestation whenever a significant deviation in waterflow occurred. If she could send a spurt of water from it to hit the vahki around the hut, that might do the trick. It wouldn’t be the kind of thing that would look like an actual infestation, but it should be a significant enough deviation from the norm to get the vahki away from that hut long enough to get inside.

With a great effort of will, Nokama managed a small spurt of water. Steeling herself, she raised a tenuous arc of liquid protodermis, which fell with a splash behind the feet of the squad leader. With a  quick chattering, they rushed north. Nokama was slightly puzzled at the fact that they all left, but took it as a fluke of programming. She had not been consulted, and therefore felt no responsibility.

Of course, the fact that vahki were there in the first place filled her with foreboding. She nudged the door open and came face to face with…

Well… herself. An enormous image of her Rau, with an artistically rendered soft glow in each eye. As she looked around, Nokama came to realize that this whole hut appeared to be as much a shrine as a domicile. The walls were decked with tokens of the days which Nokama had spent with Vhisola, walking her through the finer points of protodermis purification or rahi ecology. Vhisola had been an excellent student when Nokama had dedicated additional time to her education.

Sifting through Vhisola’s desk, Nokama found a sheaf of papers with an unintelligible writing on them. After a quick initial scrutiny of the frequencies of symbols and relative placements, Nokama judged that this was a simple substitution cipher, similar to the method which Codan had used when passing secrets to the Toa Mangai.

She quickly translated the most recent entry, distinguished by Vhisola’s particular way of piling papers.

"Now that Nokama has become a Toa, she has no time for me. But she'll be sorry. Once I find that special Kanoka disk, everyone will forget about her... just like she's forgotten about me!"

Nokama shook her head, exasperated. Vhisola’s jealousy was her other distinguishing trait. Nokama read a few more entries, then placed the papers in her bag. Vhisola was clearly in trouble, as it was not her habit to leave important papers lying out in the open when going out. Vhisola had expected to come back, and shortly.

Vhisola kept important notes in only one other place: her locker at school. Since the notes she’d discovered implied that Vhisola knew a great deal more than she had previously let on, Nokama needed to find out precisely what.

As she placed the notes in her bag and left the house, her mind traipsed back over the day’s events.

“Metru Nui… the whole city… will fall. The Great Disks… the Great Disks can save it.”

His ominous, eerie tone shocked the others into silence.

“What is it, Vakama? What’s wrong?” Nokama’s voice tremored slightly with concern and fear. In the City of Legends, proclamations of doom are not to be treated flippantly.

Vakama paused.

“I had a vision. I saw Metru Nui in ruins… and then restored, through the power of the six Great Disks. Nokama, we need to find those disks!”

“You’ve been spending too much time in front of a forge, firespitter. Sure, everyone knows the legend of the Great Disks—the six powerful Kanoka disks, each hidden in a different Metru. But that might be all it is… a legend.” Onewa’s voice was tinted with disdain.

“Perhaps,” Vakama replied, “but can we afford to take that chance? The Morbuzakh has been devastating the city, destroying our society, and resisting all of our conventional defenses. The Matoran sent to fight it never return, and even the vahki seem to fear it. The benefits of acquiring ancient relics of great power are uniquely valuable right now.”

“But how do we know where to find these disks?” Nuju asked. “Legends generally have some basis in fact, but they also tend to be broad and vague.”

 

Vhisola’s notes were anything but vague—her research should be quite specific. Still, Nuju had had a point at the time. A fellow academic, Nokama had occasionally noted Nuju’s name amoung the contributing authors of various studies. What was his specific area of study again? She should have asked.

 

“Six matoran know the way. I saw each in peril, the holder of a secret more precious and dangerous than most. We must find them.” With the erratic manner of a psychic reading knowledge given from evanescent prescience, Vakama proclaimed the names of six matoran.

Everyone but Nokama had winced.

 

Why was finding Vhisola so difficult? Nokama was normally her first resort. As she entered the academy, Nokama sighed and shook off her reverie. Fitting her key into the door, she entered the long-beloved haven of learning. In this place she had discovered the wonders of the world and her delight in bestowing them on others. She smiled at the building's reminders of fruitful toils. Though her Metru’s citizens could often be denigrated as chalkboard surfers in the midst of a heated Aklini season, deep down, most Matoran respected, almost venerated, the scholars of Ga-Metru.

Nokama found her classroom door ajar. Summoning her energies, Nokama suddently thrust the door open and brandished her hydro axe at the figure in the corner by Vhisola’s open vault. She could make out an azure Kaukau behind the disk launcher pointed at her.

That mask looked familiar.

“Hahli?”


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My Epic

 

I am working on a tabletop dice-based combat system for BIONICLE sets.


#4 Offline Nujanii: Kanohi Master

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Posted Jul 27 2018 - 02:38 AM

Vakama snapped out of his reverie as he approached the sunken ruin of the warehouse. This was the place. Nuhrii must be buried somewhere down there. He slipped an Akaku out of his pack and switched masks. Blinking as the scope adjusted to his eye, Vakama pinpointed helpless Nuhrii. After a few internal calculations—all mask makers are mathematicians—Vakama slipped on a Matatu and set to work, carefully lifting and shifting rubble until finally Nuhrii could drag himself out from the dust.

“Nuhrii, we need to go, right now.”

He could feel the threatening vine more than see it. Suppressing the almost primal urge to blast it with fire, Vakama pulled a freeze disk from his pack and, with a fluid motion, nailed the offending vine. As it retreated, he grabbed Nuhrii by the arm and bolted down the street.

“Vakama! What’s going on?”
“What, aside from the fact that the city is besieged by shrubbery? Quite a lot, actually.” Once he had reached a corner before the main road, he slowed to a walk and switched back to his Huna. “You need to stay with me. You’re in danger because you know that the Great Disk is in the Fire Pits.”

“How did you—”

Nuhrii was cut off by the clatter of a Vahki patrol rounding the corner. Vakama whirled and glared. The patrol fell apart—decapitated and disarmed, with the newly-detached joints still red hot.

“We’re going to the Great Temple. I’m going to keep a low profile.”

Nuhrii looked down at the smoking Vahki remains. He turned around and…

Vakama had vanished.

 

Nuhrii was close now to the Great Temple. Just a few more blocks. He squinted down alleyways and kept careful note of strangers as he went. Vakama emerged from one of these dark byways.

“You are going to tell me something now.”

“I found the disk.”

Nuhrii was dumbfounded as he gazed at the item of awesome power.

“It was really quite easy. Once you were out of eyesight, I stole a mask of speed and from a nearby forge. Then it was quite simple. Use the Kakama in the sewers to cover a great distance in little time without disturbing the matoran, using invisibility to get past the Vahki guards, and then the Matatu to retrieve the Great Disk without climbing down into the pit.”

This was Vakama? The nervous apprentice that he’d taught for years? When the maskmakers’ quality control board had given a presentation on impostor syndrome, everyone had thought of Vakama. Extra height and a new set of powers wouldn’t change that.

“Vakama, what happened to you? You clearly are not the same Matoran I talked to just a few days ago at our game of pick-up Aklini.”

“Sufficiently stressful conditions can make a Toa age an aeon in a week.”

“Did you do anything else while you were out?”

 

 

Takua rushed into Jala’s forge. The industrious matoran was double-checking a shipment of tools for the stonefields of Po-Koro which he had obviously newly packed.

“Jala! Guess what just happened! I ran into Vakama and he’s a Toa now and he needs our help finding the Mask of Light and he’s a Toa and—”

“Woah, slow down.” Jala realigned Takua’s Pakari. “From the top.”
“Vakama is a Toa now. He proved it by telling me the story about our adventure in the archives.”

“Which one?”
“THAT one.”

Jala stroked his Komau thoughtfully. That one particular time it was impossible for even the Vahki to have spied on them.

“Ok, so what did Vakama say?”

Takua’s eyes were wide, with an amber gleam that gave Jala a chill of foreboding.

“Jala, have you ever heard of the Rahaga?”


Edited by Nujanii: Kanohi Master, Jan 11 2019 - 04:28 AM.

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My Epic

 

I am working on a tabletop dice-based combat system for BIONICLE sets.


#5 Offline Nujanii: Kanohi Master

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Posted Jan 11 2019 - 05:03 AM

The Toa were gathered in the Great Temple when Vakama and Nuhrii entered the courtyard. He recognized Matau’s voice instantly.

“After I quick-saved Orkham, he told me of a Great Disk hidden in Le-Metru—and about a monstrous four-legged monster in the shadows.”

“Vhisola mentioned something of the sort,” Nokama interjected. “An insectile titan in the darkness.”

“Now that you mention it,” Onewa said, “Ahkmou became much more… cooperative all of a sudden. He looked like he saw a ghost, but when I turned to look, there was nothing there. ‘Anywhere but here,’ he said.”
 

“It’s a Dark Hunter.”

The group noticed Vakama for the first time. Shock registered in each Toa’s eyes. Horrors whispered in their youth… legends and tales heard from traders from the south… could they be real?
“How do you know any of this?” Onewa’s voice cut through the brisk morning air with a grating scorn as abrasive as the stones of his home. “Another of your visions? Why don’t you tell us his name and powers while you’re at it?”
“Yes, I have seen him. My visions show him unleashing blasts of energy and using Kanoka disks.”
“Well, have your visions shown you his one weak spot and the magic weapon that we need to kill him then? Or maybe we need to dance and perform a ritual to seal him away then? Is it a demon lord from the pits of Karzahni?”

“Stop it!” Nokama’s voice was stern, if slightly plaintive. “Vakama was right about the Matoran. Have some faith in his visions!”
“What of the disks? If the legends are true, Vakama’s story has some basis in the historical record,” Whenua offered.

“Seek-finding the Great Disks would be certain-sure to prove that we are Toa-heroes!” Matau’s optimism shone almost as much as his pride.

“Yes, we need to find those disks!” Vakama exclaimed.
“We still don’t even know that they’re real.” Onewa objected.

Vakama pulled the Ta-Metru great disk from this pack and held it up for the collected Toa to see. He kicked a pebble and then threw the disk. It hit and rebounded. Vakama caught it smoothly as the growing boulder loomed over them.

“Satisfied?”

 

 

Why in Karzahni did Onewa have to get stuck with this babbling, melodramatic pseudoprophet!? Randomly pick teams of two to go find the flashy disks of ultimate power. Only one possible way that this could go wrong, right? It’s a one in five chance. Sure, why not? Ugggggghhhhh….

 

Nuhrii and Ahkmou were walking on ahead. No one was talking.

 

What is an upside-down mountain, anyway? And why is Vakama not surprised by any of this? And he hasn’t missed a turn yet… odd for a Ta-Metru mask-maker. Ahkmou is also suspicious. Onewa never liked that son of a mahi, but he’d spent enough time with him to recognize that the old Ahkmou never jumped at shadows, or really anything.

“Gaaaaah!”

Onewa whirled to see Vakama cradling his left side. There was an acrid stench entwined with a sickly strand of dark purple vapor and an ominous sizzling sound rising from the wound. Vakama seemed to almost reflexively wink out of sight and into the shadows. Nuhrii and Ahkmou huddled closer to Onewa as he hurried down the bustling street, scanning for their hidden attacker.

“It’s gone, whatever it was.”

The three jumped as Vakama reappeared in front of them.

“Don’t scare us like that, slag brain!” Onewa was thoroughly freaked out now. “And how do you already know how to use your mask?”
“Quick learner. I’ll be fine; thanks for asking.” Onewa noticed for the first time that Vakama seemed shaken.

“Very well; let’s go.” Onewa started forward. Vakama relaxed and turned to start walking, then stumbled and caught himself on Onewa’s shoulder. With a low grunt, he steadied himself and started walking. Nuhrii and Onewa traded looks and then followed.


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My Epic

 

I am working on a tabletop dice-based combat system for BIONICLE sets.





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