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Unreliable Narrator

Six Kingdoms: Rebirth - Gameplay

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IC: Zaliyah – Metru Koro Hospital

Though the spark had gone out in Oreius’ eyes, he would find Zaliyah’s gaze still ablaze with motivation. She had long since come to terms with the monster this war had turned her into, both literally and figuratively. But unlike Oreius, she still had something to hate, something to fight for, something to fill that empty hole inside her for just a little while longer.

There was a reason Zaliyah had always believed she’d chosen the right side in this conflict. Though everyone who'd joined had their own reasons, the League were ultimately fighting for equal rights, for freedom from the domineering rule of an unfair and exclusionary religious institution. But the Toa, the Matoran, the Order of Mata Nui, even those who’d refused to fight at all, they’d all wanted the same thing. They’d wanted the war to end, for the world to go back to the way it was, but even if they’d succeeded in defeating the League, that never would have happened.

The oppressed had risen up once. No matter how hard one rebellion was stamped down, it wouldn’t stop someone, somewhere, somehow, from rising up again. Change was inevitable like that. And the world had changed so much in recent days. There was no going back to the way things were. 

Seeing Mata Nui’s severed head hadn’t felt like victory. Watching Sans fall to his death hadn’t felt like victory. Forcing the village to surrender hadn’t felt like victory. But this moment, seeing and hearing the figurative fire in Oreius fade away as the futility of the conflict finally dawned on him… that felt like a victory.

But only a small one.

“So, are we done here?” she asked, “I have a city to return to.”

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___________________________________________________

Legends Don't Last Forever

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On 11/21/2020 at 11:52 AM, Unreliable Narrator said:

IC: Axxon | that shore near the broken fortress

He didn't have a choice, did he? Sure, he did in theory, but what could he do when offered life or death?

Axxon agreed, of course. 

"I don't want to suffer any more. Not like this."

OOC: take it away, @Eyru

IC: Tuakana | Fortress Ruins

They took his hand. The poor boy's hand. And for the second time that day they emptied themselves into another. They poured their spirit through their fingers. From palm to palm. Metal to metal. Empty iron to gear and sinew, piston and flesh. Axxon became aware of an encroaching darkness like a storm on the horizon. It approached, faster than wind, and swallowed him whole.

Their essence sped through his veins and into his brain. Their thoughts mingled with his. Who was Axxon? Who was this titan from another time, wielder of truth and bringer of death? Who was Tuakana? Who was this being without a body, void and hunger given form and breath? He was they, and they he. Separate, yet one. His memories were theirs, and theirs his. Together, they each realized that they had once known each other. In another time, they had spoken. They were opposites. Lies and truth. Life and death. Dark and light.

But just as each day turns into night and again into day, so all things spin in a cycle that brings the past and future together. Time cannot be denied. It is a wheel ever-turning upon itself, bearing the weight of the universe, and they were brought irresistibly together. It was their doom. Even the Ark could not escape the cycle, so, of course, these mere beings could not. Even their agency was planned out for them. Their free will was written on scrolls by beings beyond time.

They opened his eyes and saw the blackened sand. The silver sea. They raised a vast hand and stared in wonder. They whimpered in pain.

They were two, and yet they were one. And Tuakana felt his pain, and wept. The agony of a thousand deaths ran in Axxon's blood. His titanic form shook under the weight of his own destruction. The Great Disks were merciless. Even in their sparing, there was no mercy. It was better to die than to live like this. The titan had accepted the Aspect's offer because of this pain, and now the Aspect understood. Their consciousness billowed like dark clouds, and reversed course.

Back into their body. Their eyeless sight again. They mourned the loss of their oneness, but they would regain it soon. Axxon wept on the ground, begging for peace or death, whichever came faster. They would grant his wish. They always kept their word. They raised a hand, long fingers outstretched. It would be swift. The tip of each black finger was stark against the sky. Long and sharp as knives. 

The hand fell like lightning. Axxon gurgled. It was over.

They stood for a long moment on the shore of the silver sea. Then they reached into their spirit. They summoned the deep magic from the corners of their essence. The Taboo rose from somewhere out of mind. It hung in their mind's eye like a dark fruit. Theirs to pluck. Theirs to consume. The forbidden knowledge rushed through them like lightning.

They placed one cold hand on Axxon's heartlight. The other reached up towards the sky. Far beyond the island, even beyond the floating corpse of a universe, an expanse of stars glittered in the black. Like fireflies on a summer's night. Like lightstones embedded in a cave wall. Like eyes glimmering in the dark.

Then one of them went out.

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IC: Apex (The Fau Swamp)

For a period of time, Apex dwelled beneath the village known as Le-Metru Nuva. Apex's time there was...Uninteresting. Most Rahi kept their distance from the village, with even a whiff of Apex's deadly venom scaring them off, and for Rahi far more bold, well, they were met with the ferocity of Apex. Usually these encounters ended at best, with the other Rahi fleeing away, or at worst, with the creature slain and their corpse offered to the settlement for sustenance and materials.

With each passing day as she observed the passing of life within the village, Apex felt tinges of anger whenever she perceive even a minor slight; trees cut and stripped, plots cordoned off and drain, litter or refuse tossed off without regard...Yet, there were also moments of appreciation. With how the villagers actively worked to balance out their impact; building their homes into and amongst the trees, rather than replacing them, redirecting streams and ponds rather than simply blocking them off, and working to reuse and recycle much of their waste. It were admirable efforts and truly did remind Apex of her age, when she herself would spend days upon days stalking and observing lone villages, judging whether their encroachment were beyond what was acceptable.

As for the residents of the village...Well, Apex didn't really interact with them. Apex never made her way into the village, preferring to keep her distance and remaining hidden, though her presence deliberately made known. And whenever she did encounter a denizen of Le-Metru Nuva, the interaction were usually the same, with them treating Apex with a weary response, like if they were face-to-face with an actual wild Rahi, though the argument could be made that they were indeed in front of a wild Rahi, just one with a supernatural sapience.

But amongst the citizens, one in particular caught Apex's attention, for they were the first one Apex met, Viltia. Viltia was an...Interesting individual. They were a Toa, which Apex remembered being anywhere from wise warriors who fought to protect, to haughty braggarts who only sought to prove themselves. Viltia was the former thankfully though. In addition, amongst the Toa, only one variety did Apex found respect in, and those were the Toa connected to the Green. Their natural connection was something that Apex lacked, with them being more of an anathema then the element of light, for in a sense, both shadow and light are elements of nothing, more of a duality than a conflict. But the Green, it was life, a flourishing force that filled the world with beauty, and shadow, it was death, a sucking void that left nothing. But there was one last trait of the Toa that deeply disturbed Apex. The tethers of silver bound, those that seemed to break and leak out of the Toa figure held an identity that Apex could not help but find similarity in that of her own element, yet, it was still wholly alien and separate.

As the days passed, and the waters settled, items of curiosity were slowly found amongst the swamp floor. Though most did not interest the ancient Aspect, being objects of civilization and technology, a few caught her eye, or rather, her nose. As the pool drained and was made bare, Apex's senses caught whiff of a scent that she recognized through some strange unknown means, as it was not like Apex had smelt this scent before, but rather, some other force informed Apex's mind what the scent was bound too. Approaching the pit, down in the pit was the glittering silver pool, and evident energy surging throughout. Instantly, Apex recognized it, and desired it...Energized Protodermis.

Thankfully, those denizens of the village held devices capable of storing the substance and did not seem adverse to allowing Apex to take the powerful mutagen for herself. But that was not the only thing that Apex recognized through some curious means. For amongst the remains was a staff, and beyond Apex's own understanding why, she recognized it as a great and deadly weapon, once wielded by..By..But by what? Apex did not know, for no matter how hard she tried, the shadowy veil upon her mind held fast, consciously obscuring knowledge that she knew she once held yet was not able to reclaim for some cosmic, divine reason. But regardless, whatever significance it held concerning herself and her past, Apex did not care for she herself lacked the ability to use such a tool and allowed the village to claim it.

But eventually, Apex's time amongst the village was to end, and it also seemed her companion Morangad sought to be free to roam once again. And so, the two parted, faring well to the residence...Well, at least Morangad did, Apex simply leered with as a neutral of a face as she could manage, though she did offer Viltia a simple phrase.

"Your kind has grown one with this island. Ensure that you continue to grow as one, lest your foundation collapses without the roots of Nature to keep it supported."

~~~

The pair made a good distance away from the village, their direction unknown and unguided, at least to Apex's perspective as she simply allowed Morangad to guide their journey like he has. Morangad, from what Apex has gleamed, is like her, one alone, without others akin to themselves, for even if Apex' kin existed in mass, none of them were like Apex. Apex was alone, for even the Rahi of the swamp have changed, grown strange and different. And though that has not prevented Apex from forming connections, this island has proven itself to be one unlike the one she knew, leaving Apex truly, and surely alone...But here, in front of her was a kindred spirit, one entwined with nature, cast off and made alone, filled with a desire to avenge the destruction brought on by a mutual foe. Before Apex was an individual that was more than a guide, a companion. Before Apex, was what the deepest portions of Apex hoped, was a friend, but to her conscious mind, was a follower.

Moving forwards to stand ahead of Morangad, she stopped her and turned towards Morangad before she spoke with the gentle lapping of a brook and the ruffling of feathers. "Morangad, my guide, my...companion. You have offered me a great service so far, and I seek to repay such a service, yet such repayment would be one that would forever bind us to a central goal. Morangad..." Evident hesitation flashed across Apex' face, but not because she didn't want to ask this, but rather, a core part of her Aspect pride compelled her to not say the next word she wished to say, but Apex overcame this feeling. "...Please. Will you allow me to commit the ancient rites of my kin, and grant you our power, my power. Will you accept the strength of the worm and to become bound by sacred pact, long established by beings older than I, and to become akin yet separate to I?

OOC: @Burnmad @Kal the Guardian

Edited by Sparticus147
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IC: Nale Vella - Metru-Koro (Infirmary)

Nale's optics shot between Zaliyah and Oreius, and she opened her mouth--wanted to ask what just happened--but instead, the Fa-Toa looked at Oreius' face and it reminded her of her demeanor after the crash. When nothing made sense and the state of the world (and her own health) had left her wishing to become a hermit in Po-Koro, rather than ever fight again. Some might have thought the healing bestowed on her is what set her back on track, but even then, she could have just returned to what was left of the fledgling village without a limp. No, it was being reunited with Knichou, seeing the Taku, that had reignited that spark.

"Yes," she replied, optics now looking at the ground, "I think we are. We were done before we ever had this discussion."

Nale had felt what it was like to be a Toa again during the attack on Metru-Koro, like how it felt back in Metru Nui, and with that came the sense of being an authority figure again--a sense of control over things, outcomes. And maybe that had been what gave her this mindset the League left in Metru-Koro needed some kind of justice, some answer to their actions, even if the village had been forced into surrender. She didn't want them dead, god knows that was what Oreius wanted, she just wanted something done. It was all pointless. Pointless, Toa-minded kane-ra...you know. They had all done things they should be hanged for. She could still remember how Vyarik looked through her scope.

Zaliyah and Ostrox could return to Metru Nui, and whether the Hordika attempted to usurp Aurax or not, the new League leader would have to deal with them eventually. 
Sometimes, you let people go and see how the universe handles them.

Nale looked up at Zaliyah. "Do you plan on walking all the way back there?"

@Eyru@Nato the Traveler

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IC: Ostrox and Navu (Metru-Koro, Village Infirmary)

'Lost everything'? Ah yes, without the 'inferior races' to prop them up, the Matoran, Toa and Turaga had lost their position as supreme high overlords of the universe. They had even lost the automatons they built to police themselves, due to lacking the courage or means to do it themselves. Almost as if no amount of deciding not to try to kill him because they had to satiate their delusions of righteousness would change that their 'society' and 'culture' was a parasitic blight on the universe and needed to be eradicated for the good of all, or something. Imagine that.

The Toa was wrong of course. They hadn’t lost everything. Not yet. They would have their precious 'Great Spirit' to thank for that.

There were a thousand insults and mockeries he could have made of these nutcases, but they would have to stay in reserve in case of an undead apocalypse. This was Zaliyah's mission, and she was taking the lead on it. She didn't need him provoking the emotionally-unstable xenophobic zealots.

What Navu was doing outside wasn’t eavesdropping, it was… OK, yes, it was eavesdropping. She'd invite you to sue her, if any form of legal system was still in effect.

@Eyru@Tarn@Nato the Traveler

 

IC: Enra (Dead Forest)

"Oh. That..." Whatever answer Enra had been expecting, it hadn't been that. "Sounds worse, actually." True, the warbands fought each other, but nothing of the scale Xane was suggesting, at least, not since the Valley of Bones.

"Do you ever think that maybe... the problem's inherently us, and you and I and a few others are just the exception that proves the rule?"

@Nato the Traveler

 

IC: Gnabol (Metru-Koro)

Gnabol had the Skaklets moved out of the infirmary to make room for peace talks between Metru-Koro and the League. That could only work out so well.

Finding this place had been difficult. There was a still-standing hut nearby, but that was small, and had a dead frozen corpse inside. Instead, he took them to…

 

IC: Klawne (Metru-Koro, Iradra's Hut)

There was a knock at the door, and the sound of indecipherable babble, almost like a small child.

"Uh, hello? Is anyone in there?"

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Profile picture done by Onaku.

:infected:

 

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IC: Arkius - Po-Koro

Arkius regarded the spear curiously. "Yes... inanimate objects... there's surely potential there. Very well, ally Kilo, I entrust the spear to your care." With that, he handed it over to the prototype guardian.

 

IC: Ardoku - Po-Koro

"I... remember a name. I think it's my name but I can't be sure. Call me Ardoku."

 

IC: Iradra - Metru-Koro

Iradra continued to remain silent as the talks moved indoors, listening to the discussion evolving until she recognised the distinct expression on Oreius' features, an expression she'd seen all too often before. As Nale addressed Zaliyah about her mode of transport, her attention shifted to them.

 

IC: Okuo - Metru-Koro

Okuo brought his hand between Vhisola and the hole, nonverbally asking her to stand back as he stepped inside. "Nixie? This is Okuo. We met briefly before, I'm a friend of Vhisola's." As he spoke, his Great Rau began glowing a soft crimson hue. "I'm here to help."

 

@pokemonlover360@The UltimoScorp@Tarn@Harvali@~Xemnas~@Snelly@Nato the Traveler@Toru Nui@Conway@Sparticus147@Eyru@Vezok's Friend

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IC: Knichou, Onu-Metru, Knichou’s Workshop

Knichou turned around, surprised at the sudden knocking on the workshop door. He removed a pair of magnifying goggles and wiped his hands on his apron as he walked to the door.

“Come in, it’s open!” the Fe-Matoran shouted to the visitor, making a note to re-solder whatever it was he was working on once this visitor left.

The door promptly swung open to reveal an Onu-Matoran with an orange Pakari, escorted by a much larger being clad in grayish green armor. The silent bodyguard felt familiar to Knichou, but they declined to introduce themselves and instead moved to stand in the corner of the workshop while Nuparu shook hands with a baffled Knichou.

“Oh my oh my, so much has happened since we last spoke, I’ve been waiting to talk to you about it once things died down.”

Knichou gave Nuparu a confused look as the handshake proceeded. Seeing Nuparu was too bizarre for Knichou to handle, and the Fe-Matoran continued to reflexively shake the Onu-Matoran’s hand for an awkwardly long period of time.

“But you -”

“Yes, I know,” the Onu-Matoran interrupted, guiding the shocked Knichou to the nearby couch. “You didn’t honestly think that the dark hunter assassinating me right after we meet was a coincidence, did you? That the memory crystal had just the right instructions to send you where you needed to go?” Knichou blinked, mouth ajar, unable to form words. “Hmm… I guess I overestimated you in that department, which is perhaps exactly why Tuyet chose you for this job. Before you ask, yes, I know what I did and the stress it caused was a bit unethical, and no, I can’t tell you how I faked my death so flawlessly, but the point is... it worked out, didn’t it?”

Nuparu playfully nudged Knichou’s shoulder with a grin.

The war is over! Just how it was planned. I’m sorry you had to be kept out of it, but rest assured, this was the only way - Tuyet told me herself that this was the only way to make a timeline where Mata Nui's life was saved.

Knichou continued to watch Nuparu. His body sunk deeper into the couch, speechless, as Nuparu continued. The Fe-Matoran looked over at the bodyguard to try to glean anything from his body language, but Nuparu’s companion was an enigma, and it became confusing to look at him too long.

“But now that all of this is over, I can finally let you in on the big secret, so that’s why I came back down to Onu-Metru to visit you. That and... well... quite frankly there are a few pieces of memorabilia I’d like to get back from my old workshop. Don’t worry, I won’t kick you out – after all you’ve done for us, you’ve more than earned it.

Knichou felt lightheaded. He quickly excused himself and went to a disorderly washroom at the back of Nuparu’s shop. After a few seconds of heaving into a basin, the former Nynran looked at his reflection in the mirror and saw a fearful look in his eyes that reminded him of the day he won the war...

IC: Knichou, Protodermis Moat, Toa Canister

Knichou was unresponsive for a long time as he and Vulimai rode inside the turbulent canister. The undulating waves and lack of space did not make it comfortable to the passengers, not that Knichou could tell in his unconscious state. The Toa of iron’s mind drifted on an endless ocean of memories and lies, recuperating after a long day of various struggles.

Knichou’s adaptive armor shifted to be thin and insulating to protect him from a minor static shock that kept building up from him touching Vulimai. Occasionally parts of his Kanohi would glow for no apparent reason. The mask itself seemed to shift at an barely perceptible speed, the carvings almost… moving. Forming a new legend.

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Visit www.BZPRPG.com to view my project of archiving BZPower's RPGs, and also access the BZPower Roleplaying Wiki

BZPRPG Profiles - Exo-Force RPG Profiles - Six Kingdoms: Apocalypse (Knichou, Berys, Arnex, The Taku, Exuze)

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3 hours ago, Toru Nui said:

IC: Enra (Dead Forest)

"Do you ever think that maybe... the problem's inherently us, and you and I and a few others are just the exception that proves the rule?"

IC: Xane - Dead Forest

"I see it more as an unfortunate turn of circumstance,"  he replied thoughtfully. "It seems to me on this island there isn't much choice but for the warbands to fight over resources. By the sound of it, there's been too much conflict and distrust for them to try cooperating."

He scuffed his feet over the ashen ground, kicking a lump of charcoal a few bio away, "In my world, there were other races, other islands, other opportunities. There could have been trade and cooperation, but those in power felt it was easier to call themselves the chosen people and condemn the rest of us as savages... and those who opposed them saw us only as soldiers to fight their war for them." 

@Toru Nui

5 hours ago, Tarn said:

IC: Nale Vella - Metru-Koro (Infirmary)

Nale looked up at Zaliyah. "Do you plan on walking all the way back there?"

IC: Zaliyah - Metru-Koro Infirmary

"If I have to," she replied. "I don't expect you to give me a ride after what I did here. Peace doesn't mean forgiveness." 

@Tarn @Eyru

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___________________________________________________

Legends Don't Last Forever

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IC, Aurax: Coliseum

"Let it in, Saybo!" Aurax called. The Toa of Water opened the door, and a Vahki carrying a food tray stepped into the room.

Aurax eagerly reached out and took a bite of a muffin. "Mmmph, good stuff. Thanks Nuparu."

He stood up. "So, mind showing me to where you put my ACR and stuff?"

OOC: @Eyru @Kal the Guardian I'm gonna hold off on posting Whira for a bit until we've figured out the details of forging the Kraahkan.

IC, Atamai: Ruins of Stone

Atamai sighed, pleased with what he had done. All around him, the Matoran and other beings from Po-Koro had begun to build new homes and structures in and around the cliffs and the Ruins of Stone. He was happy to have been able to help bring them all there; he hoped that they would be safe enough from the giant Rahi.

As he went to go gather his friends, he passed by another Toa, a Toa of Fire. 

"Hey, those ruins you guys were talking about earlier.... what are they exactly?" said the Toa

Atamai paused briefly. "They were built by the original Matoran inhabitants of this island, seemingly for worship of a being named "the Krom." But based on what I saw inside, they may have also been co-opted for other ritualistic practices."

Atamai continued on, and soon was able to find all his friends.

"Okay, now that we're all here, we have some business to attend to in the Ruins," he said. He motioned for them to follow him.

Once inside, they spotted Zadred, who was standing around with a bored expression on her face. 

"Do you still have them?" Atamai asked the Skakdi. Zadred nodded, and handed him the metal box containing the Great Disks. Atamai concentrated his elemental power on the box's lid, and the metal shrank away, revealing the contents of the box.

He pulled out one of the Disks. "So... I've got the Great Disks. All six of them. Well, there was an... incident, where I was attacked. Leklo and Korruhn, two of the other Toa from Dume's office, helped save me. Korruhn died unfortunately, and I ended up giving Leklo the Ko-Metru Disk since he and Korruhn had discovered the Ruins of Ice and its Nuva door. I trust him with it. In the meantime, we still have five here with us. Including the one for this temple."

He shifted through the Great Disks and pulled out the Po-Metru Disk. "Let's find out what's behind door number 1, shall we?"

He led his companions through the first door they had opened, and then crossed the stone bridge and passed through the door under the waterfall. They entered the Nuva room.

Atamai put down the box of the other Great Disks and held up the Po-Metru Disk.

"Administrator! I've brought the Great Disk!" he said.

He slid the Great Disk into the device in the center of the room...

OOC: We have officially timeskipped the Po-Koro inhabitants to the Ruins of Stone.

@Vezok's Friend @Unreliable Narrator @Eyru @Tarn @The UltimoScorp @Onaku @pokemonlover360 @Harvali @Snelly 

OPEN SESAME

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IC: Sidra and Viltia

Location - Le-Metru Nuva, on the Northwestern fringes of (7, 13) in the Fau Swamp

 

Life and creation can take a great many forms.

Everything has to start somewhere.

For the people of Le-Metru Nuva, many things began with the village’s meagre forge. Its component stones were first created from the surrounding terrain, clay baked in a fire, shaped and assembled by the well worked hands of craftsmen and carvers.

The work carried out amidst its weathered bricks had started small at first. Basic, essential tools for construction and survival, hammers and saws and the like. Then came the smaller, more intricate items, the components and supports: nails and screws, brackets and plates, pulleys and frames, all integrated with the environment and helping hold the treetop village together.

Just like any true organism, the forge had grown over time, shedding old cells as subpar stones were swapped out and replaced, refining its palate as new and richer resources were brought forth from the mine and fed into it.

Soon the forge was able to give birth to a handful of weapons, even plates of armor, each produced through hour after hour of laborious effort, each made to replace or repair something that had been lost in the construction or defense of the village.

Time and time again the forge was improved and enhanced, becoming larger and stronger to accommodate new projects, new experiments. Its fires grew hotter, fiercer, enduring through the wind and rain that plagued the settlement. New hands joined the old, bringing with them curiosity and ambition, but also self-doubt and apprehension.

In the days that followed, Kanoka were created, skills were honed, and still the forge’s work was never done.

Then came the evening of the storm, the day of death and devastation, and the forge was left alone for a time. The hands that would normally stoke its fires busied themselves tending to the wounded, repairing what was damaged, and mourning what had been lost.

But as the village recovered, those hands returned, with renewed determination and conviction. The smithing space was upgraded, a new forge being constructed, fitted with disk molds and new tools, all dedicated to the purpose of crafting Kanoka, and from them, Kanohi.

And so it was that the hands of the hero began the arduous task of forging that first mask…

~~~~~~~~~

Viltia held the level 8 Kanoka of X-Ray vision in her hands with reverence. Even contemplating the countless hours and failed mergings that it took to get to this disc in her hands caused chills to run through her and her tethers to caress the disk. She retracted them. She needed to focus. It was time.

Giving a quick beaming smile to Sidra, Viltia began heating the disc, optics studying its unique properties as it warmed. When most of it glowed orange, Viltia pulled it from the forge and took it to the anvil. Tongs in one hand and hammer in the other, she started to pound the Kanoka into a crude shape. Her muscle memory had been fine tuned through many hours of practice. There was no wavering as a clang rang out each time she struck the piece of protodermis.

She properly gauged that the Kanoka was cooling off too much and reintroduced it to the forge. One of her tethers scratched her mask as she thought about her next steps. With sufficient heat returned, Viltia began her shaping again, this time with a hammer that had a smaller head.

It actually was starting to look like a real Akaku.

But now was the part Viltia had failed several times before on Noble Kanohi. The finer details, the ones that not only solidified the shape language, but sealed in the power and kept the Kanohi whole.

Making sure the almost-mask wasn’t quite glowing, but still moldable, Viltia put the mask in a vice and grabbed a hammer and chisel.

It may have been too hot to be comfortable in the hut, and it may have been foul smelling work, but Viltia was now in her element. A new element. One of her own making. It may have required retraining both her mind and body to the point of almost giving up several times, but determination (and Sidra) saw her through. Now she was one with the forge, the tools just an extension of her body. The heat was a warm blanket that lovingly embraced her. The long hours of tiring work were a conversation with a friend that you never wanted to end.

Viltia submerged the Kanohi in water, steam rising. She pulled it from the bucket, inspecting it while she held it in her tongs. There weren’t any cracks, no obvious flaws from impurities in the disc. Viltia set the mask just so on an anvil as the mask settled.

After the longest hour of her life, Viltia finally took the Akaku in her hand and picked up the mask, feeling it. It was smooth, indicating a great retention of purity. There were no sharp or jagged edges. It had retained its silver luster instead of becoming dull, indicating its power remained inside. She squeezed it, feeling it give every so slightly. It was ready to be worn and tried out.

She breathed out slowly, suddenly very anxious. It was only now that she realized it wasn’t just Sidra and Beruv with her. Torch, Match, and Spark were here as well. Even Wing was here! Though she looked very uncomfortable and out of her element in the enclosed setting with the sweltering heat.

Viltia paused, worried over whether she had done well enough to create a working Great Kanohi. She looked Sidra in the optics and gained all the confidence she needed to continue.
She took off her mask for the first time as a Toa. She didn’t want to have that feeling of elemental loss, so she quickly put on the Akaku without time to think about what an amazing achievement this was for her. Even as her mask of Rahi Control reverted to silver, the Akaku on her head turned a violet blue, accenting her light jungle green eyes. At least it worked as a Kanohi.

Now the true test. Was it a Great Kanohi?

She put her focus on the power she could feel in the mask and activated it.

That one split second before knowing whether or not the mask worked fully felt like an eternity stretched thin, as if the Grand Untethered was once more trying to pour the raw universe into her mind.

It was the longest split second she could ever remember.

But then she had her results.

Viltia yelled out in joy and started jumping up and down, spinning in a circle, before rushing over to hug Sidra.

She had done it!

Viltia quickly swapped masks again, lifting up in triumph the first Great Kanohi made in Le-Metru Nuva. She had made a working Great Kanohi! She couldn’t stop smiling. The mask bobbed in the air as all her dearest friends cheered for her.

~~~~~~~~~

The forge had borne many children into the world, but the creation of Viltia’s mask marked the fulfillment of its intended purpose. As the Toa held her Kanohi aloft, the furnace itself seemed to brighten with pride, coals crackling, flames flaring.

But its work was not yet done, for now the hands of the assassin brought to it an even greater challenge, an ambition that went beyond purpose or pride.

This was not a matter of duty or destiny, but of devotion and determination.

The metal that was brought to the forge that day was unlike any other. It exuded an intense, impossible cold, fighting the fire, nearly snuffing out the forge’s blazing heart. But the forge’s flames were stoked to even greater intensities, overcoming the frigid steel, forcing it to bend and break, allowing the work to begin.
 

OOC: @Nato the Traveler Jam post between Nato and I.

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-----------------------------

 

--------- Six Kingdoms: Apocalypse Profiles ---------

 

-----------------------------

 

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IC: Morangad - Le-Metru Nuva

Morangad stared silently as Apex approached him and asked him her question. He had known since he had met the Aspect that this moment would come; it was an inevitability of dealing with her kind. Whether the Aspect in question viewed the worm as a gift or a chain, anyone who committed themself to fraternizing with the darklings was bound to have a Kraata foisted upon them at some point or another.

He had refused them at various times in his life. Though they came with undeniable power, the Tiokaha knew that they brought on dire penalties as well, not the least of which was a lifelong bond to the Aspect who birthed the slug in question; a bond which he felt was invariably unequal, more alike to servitude than kinship. And yet, in this moment, he could not find it within himself to refuse.

With the arrival of these new legions of Toa, Matoran, and various other species that occupied the head to the north, vengeance against the Skakdi was within reach. Unlike with the abomination that had contacted him the other day, he would not hesitate in accepting Apex's offer. After all, better the devil you know than the devil you don't.

"I will accept," he stated simply, meeting the Aspect's bestial eyes.

OOC: Morangad is ready to get slugged. @Sparticus147

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IC: Sidra – Le-Metru Nuva

Standing before the forge, Sidra slowly drew the sword that she’d retrieved from the Suva what felt like forever ago. She gave it a brief swing, relishing the familiar weight in her hand and the soft whistle of steel through air one final time. Faint wisps of mist hung from the blade as it moved, its seamless white surface shining brightly as it caught the light. It was a gorgeous piece of craftsmanship, and it had offered Sidra a momentary insight into what it was like to bend the elements to her will.

She almost didn’t want to let it go. She’d put in so much work to retrieve it from the Suva, and without it, she never would have bested the undead. But if sacrificing the sword would enable her to create a Great Disk, then it was worth the sacrifice.

Coals spat and sizzled as the sword of ice sank slowly into the crucible, steam erupting from the forge as the sword’s power fought valiantly to preserve its form. Sidra hastily emptied more coal into the furnace and then pumped the bellows, stoking the forge back into vibrant, fiery life.

The intense heat brought beads of sweat welling to the surface of her stinging skin. The excruciating warmth was an old, familiar feeling to her, albeit not a comforting one.  

 

Othorak pointed his broken sword tip towards his adversary as if asking her to try him one more time. "This ride was never going to land!  You've doomed yourself, Dark Hunter!  I'll see you in Karzahni!" Othorak's body finally plunged through the malleable metal warped from his heat…

 

She watched as the steaming sword bent and wavered, melting just as the airship had. The memory felt like a fairytale, a story about someone else, and in some ways it was. The world Sidra was in now wasn’t the one she’d fought in before. The person she was now wasn’t the one she’d been before. She finally felt like she belonged.

For the next ten minutes or so, she continued heating the metal, until she felt it was sufficiently melted for the next stage of the process. It was largely guesswork on her part; each of the different ores she’d worked with in her lessons had its own properties, and the unique steel the sword had been hewn from was more troublesome than any she’d contended with before.

She took up her tools and began the precarious process of pouring the liquid into the Kanoka mould, the sight of dripping, molten metal bringing another unbidden memory swimming to the surface.

 

Matoran died to rubble, falling glass, bursting gas pipes which caught aflame. The corpses twitched, twisted, and begin to move. Jaws fell slack in their matoran masks, hands bent backwards, and knees rattled together as the zombies began milling about incoherently. Undead lungs attempted to inflate for no reason: all their heartlights were red and unblinking…

 

She’d failed to save Ta-Metru from its fate, but she hadn’t failed Le-Metru Nuva. The fact that she was still standing here, in an intact hut, before an expertly-crafted forge, was testament to that. Crimson sparks fizzed in the air as the metal cooled in the mould, far quicker than ordinary ore would. But even as she finished pouring, Sidra could see the metal was still lumpy and congealed, and knew air pockets and other imperfections would be taking shape in the metal. Sighing, she removed the top of the mould and hurriedly tipped its contents back into the crucible to begin the process anew.

Beruv had told her that even seasoned smiths with decades of experience would often have to melt and mould a disk several times over before it was deemed complete, but it was still frustrating. She was so close. Tendrils of metal clung to the mould as she tipped it further, slivers of silver that stretched, sputtered, then spilled into the blackened bowl below.

 

The silver thread pulsed and twitched. Like the warning thread in a spider's web it wavered. The echoes of its threads rippled just below the waters of the swamps. The dead answered back. As if they'd been there all along, the corpses of dead rahi and matoran burst from the jungle around Sidra and Viltia. They swayed and moved as a single organism, bound together by silver mucus-like threads…

 

She took up a set of tongs and scraped at the clinging coils of metal, severing the threads and sending them spiralling down, just as she’d done to the undead they reminded her of.

Once all of the metal was back in the crucible, she upped the heat again, applying a fire disk and then tossing in a pouch full of powdered heatstone for good measure, to coax the heat to ever greater intensities. She staggered back as the furnace roared, her eyes watering from the intense heat radiating forth. Though she’d intended to complete the disk herself, she was forced to let Beruv step in and supervise for a few minutes, her natural Ta-Matoran resistance allowing her to endure the heat that Sidra couldn’t.

She took a seat a few metres away, taking off the thick leather gloves protecting her hands to gulp eagerly from her canteen to rehydrate, while she waited for the temperature to simmer down to tolerable levels again. Almost unconsciously, she found herself toying with the strange puzzle she’d retrieved from the crater, shifting the pieces around until they clicked together into a new shape, this time a triangular pyramid. The activity was calming, gently coaxing her away from thoughts of failure.

This had to work.

She refused to fail this time.

 

“Ah. Sidra. It’s a pleasure to see your most recent failure. Care to finally join us?” Only the top two thirds of Othorak rose from the rest of the Grand Untethered, his consciousness alone elevated above the others in a moment of rare individuation. Despite this he had the same voice, the same mask, and the same terrifying wound across his skull. His palms continued to extend, and the shadows with them towards Sidra. She rejected his calls. Sidra spoke, and Othorak melted under her gaze.

 

She felt liberated, unburdened. The Dark Hunters were gone, her obligation to them ending with the old universe. She’d started anew, and earned her place among these people. She’d destroyed the most horrific, impossible enemy she’d ever faced. Aside from a handful of Toa out there somewhere who might still be holding grudges for what she’d done to Dume, there was nothing left of her old life.

Shifting the puzzle back into a sphere, she tucked it away, donned her gloves, and returned to the forge once more. The heat had reduced from excruciating to just uncomfortable, and she was able to resume the work. The molten metal looked smoother now, more malleable, and it flowed smoothly into the mould when the time came to pour it some time later.

She stood and waited, applying a freezing disk to the mould to help it cool more quickly. With Beruv’s help, she carried the mould over to a bench and pried it open, revealing the perfect circle of silver contained within. She reached out to brush its surface with her gloved hand, surprised to find it completely cool to the touch already.

The moulds used by the village were simple and utilitarian, lacking the unique identifiers used by the mass-production equipment back in Metru Nui, so this Kanoka didn’t look like the Great Disk of Ice she remembered. It had no symbol on its face, no number stencilled on its surface, but even at this barest touch, she could feel the power within it.

 

And that made her hesitate.

 

She withdrew her hands, taking off the gloves and setting them aside. She remembered the warnings of a mentor chiding her for her recklessness, the condemnation of a Toa ordering her to find redemption, the dying words of an old man alone in his tower, and the acceptance of those she now lived with.

Did she truly deserve this power? After everything she’d done, everything she’d failed to do?

No one here was going to tell her she wasn’t worthy. The Toa she’d wronged were far afield, if they were even still alive on this desolate world. And of course, those she’d killed remained dead and gone, hopefully for good. And those whose lives she’d saved still drew breath to this day.

She didn’t have anything left to prove, least of all to herself.

And so, she reached out to take her Great Disk in her hands.

 

OOC: At last, the work of generations is complete. @Kal the Guardian @Unreliable Narrator, did you have anything GM-ish to add?

Edited by Nato the Traveler
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___________________________________________________

Legends Don't Last Forever

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IC: Knichou, Onu-Metru?, Warehouse?

The last thing Knichou saw on Tuyet’s face was a mix of confusion and pain. After a few seconds of what appeared to be excruciating pain, she dematerialized, and a few moments later, the earthquake stopped. Knichou breathed a sigh of relief. Beside him, Atamai fist bumped the grayish green lieutenant of Knichou’s Toa team, and the two Toa whooped in celebration.

It was finally over, Knichou had done it. He’d saved his fellow Matoran, he had finished the fight his brothers and sisters had died for all those years ago. The fight he had to flee from in order to win. But Nuparu said this was always the plan? They followed the plan, and died. I followed the plan, and lived. Why did the plan-

“Hey there, Ghosty”

Knichou jumped as he heard the voice of the Toa of water behind him. He turned around to see her tossing a rock between her hands. Whenever it looked like she was about to fumble, the rock would slow down just in time for her hands to move to catch it.

“Long time no see, errr… well, maybe not for you... flyboy

Flyboy? Where do I know-

“Well, now that I’m basically everywhere and everywhen at once, it’s a bit harder to keep track” Tuyet interrupted. “Don’t think about it too hard, you understood what I mean... or… you will?”

“How many times have we -“

“Had this conversation? Does that trope really make a difference? You wouldn’t trust me no matter what I said. I have something to show you, and unlike me, you don’t have all eternity to do it, so let’s get a move on.”

Before Knichou could blink, Tuyet had grabbed his arm. Knichou was powerless as the world melted around them. Snowy concrete took the place of the rocky cavern walls, and Knichou whirled around to take in the view of the new location. The stench of blood and burnt circuitry overwhelmed Knichou’s nostrils. Black, soot-filled snow was beginning to cake the surface of everything nearby.

Knichou turned to Tuyet for answers, but she had already vanished once again. Wonderful…

IC: Knichou, Protodermis Moat, Toa Canister

The canister began to feel slightly... chilly? Why were ice cubes everywhere? A small pile of ice cubes began to slosh around inside of the toa canister, adding another level of discomfort to this trip. After a few seconds, the dim red lighting of the canister's interior was interrupted by the soft blue glow of graphical displays. These displays were rather basic, only activating when necessary in order to save power, and were placed equidistant from each other along the circumference of the interior. Nearby each display was an array of buttons - a set of buttons in the four cardinal directions, a numeric keypad, and a button labelled ACCEPT. For several seconds they displayed a brief text message.

ATMOSPHERIC ANOMALY DETECTED. CLIMATE CONTROL ACTIVATED.

The canister's interior began to heat up and within a few minutes the ice would melt and the resulting puddle was siphoned away by the toa canister's life support protocols.

Edited by BULiK
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BZPRPG Profiles - Exo-Force RPG Profiles - Six Kingdoms: Apocalypse (Knichou, Berys, Arnex, The Taku, Exuze)

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IC: Arkius - Ruins of Stone

Arriving in front of the Ruins with the final batch of villagers, Arkius took a good look around at the environment surrounding their new location of settling, before nodding. The ruins and their surrounding area seemed secure enough to set up camp for the moment, after which they could consider their options on whether to stay here or move on elsewhere. As his eyes trailed to the structure, the Toa of Earth couldn't help but wince at a slight throbbing pain in his skull, though it quickly subsided.

Deciding to delve inside the ruins with Atamai and his team, Arkius could feel the headache worsen as he crossed the threshold into the ruins proper, though it helped him take his mind off the pain as he marvelled at the interior. Even so, as the group drew closer to the Nuva Chamber, Arkius couldn't help but feel a slight gnawing sensation in the back of his mind, just underneath the aching in his skull, almost like a voice whispering just beyond his hearing. As he tried to focus in on it, they finally arrived, and he could almost hear it. Right there at the edge of his hearing, a whisper in his mind, gnawing at him, familiar yet foreign to him in almost every way, like it shouldn't be.

As Atamai neared the disk to the pedestal, Arkius finally could make out the words as they resonated within him, like a faint background noise underneath the beating of the headache. The never ending headache. Always there, even when he didn't notice it, beating against his skull like the beating of drums.

Open it!

Arkius grimaced, holding his head with a pained expression as the throbbing pain intensified, the pain beating against his skull, beating and beating against his skull, never ending, never stopping, like drums, like never ending drums. The voice grew louder, like a person on the other side of the room whispering loudly so that the entire room echoed with their voice, magnifying the pain. 

Open the chamber you soft fool!

Finally, Atamai placed the disk within, and the voice spoke as if right next to his ear, a searing pain in the center of his head radiating outward as the beating came to a stop with one final, thunderous strike that shook him to his very core. What felt like cold water trickling down his spine shot shivers throughout his body. He could almost taste something in the air, something new... yet something familiar.

Open the light and summon me and receive my majesty!

 

@Vezok's Friend@Unreliable Narrator@~Xemnas~@Eyru@Tarn@The UltimoScorp@pokemonlover360@Harvali@Snelly

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IC Kanohi - Tobduk-Koro

Kanohi grappled alongside the cliffs and structures Arkius and the others had helped cleave into the mountainside. The Toa had done well. The forge had been rebuilt thanks to the Toa, not as strong as before, and they still needed ore, but it still was stronger. The buildings were crude, but stabler than what had remained of Po-Koro.

He paused to tap a metal support beam, strengthening it with his staff. Toa Atamai, as he learned that mysterious Toa had been all along, he was strong. With the help of Jovan and Collector he had taken many of the metal cantrips of Po-Koro, some to use to defend the village’s borders that weren’t shielded by the mountains, others to shape into simple tools and supports, to keep the village more stable. The things this Odd Company had already done.

This, this still did not match the village in Kanohi’s vision. But he, he was beginning to believe Kat. Maybe he should not fixate on the exact specifics of his visions. What was it that Turaga Bomahri would say? The trees blinded him to the forest. 

Kanohi grappled away, it was easier to grapple here, terrain was less flat. That meant there was more to grapple to, and more of a reason to grapple. Back in Pi-Koro all he could grapple from was stone huts and the Knowledge Tower. Hopefully they would one day be able to scavenge the tower here, or at least recover more from the abandoned village. 

He signed as he grappled over the village. Many of the Matoran remained injured, many had died, but others he could see below. Bode paced about, creating a field, as other Matoran began to wrangle Mahi drawn to the growing patch of weeds. Hopefully they could rebuild a herd of the goats, using them for milk, meat, and tools. 

He grappled further along. He had to continue his rounds for at least a bit longer, then he would return to the Forge of Vakama. He was one of the few diskmakers in the village, and the village needed weapons. He knew very well how to forge disks of regeneration, and according to Sucordak, disks of weakening were not too different. Or rather, similar principles, done differently. Point was, weakening was not exactly the strongest power, but it would be better than nothing. 

OOC:  @The UltimoScorp  @Toru Nui  @Onaku

IC Mahrika - “The Mask of Water(fall) Breathing

Mahrika swallowed, “We … we need more information. What is Locus Abeo? How … how could he have only been imprisoned for a hundred years? Matoran civilization on this island collapsed long before that. And, why have we been given access to a gong to summon the tricksters to make pacts with them? Something that my tribe seemed to believe was forbidden.

OOC: @Unreliable Narrator @Burnmad @Eyru

IC “Collector” - The Ruins of Stone

Collector fidgeted as they stood alongside the Toa, their eyes darting behind them. This, this chamber, it could hold the power they have sought, to gain the powers of a Toa. To impress the Matoran. To befriend them. But all they could focus on was fear.

They struggled to listen as the others talked, but not to their words. What if a raid happened while so many Toa were in here? What if that beast came and ravaged this new village, made up of the survivors of two destroyed lands already. They, they had to be ready to run to the aid of the Matoran, at the first sign of trouble.

OOC: @~Xemnas~ @pokemonlover360 @Onaku @Snelly @Tarn 

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"Danger is the anvil on which trust is forged"-Jaller(Jala) :smilejala: 
"We're on our own here-like we've always been-and we'll stand or fall on our own"-Tanma
"He may seem slow and strange to you, but his simple words often carry a hidden wisdom"-Turaga Vakama on Kapura

9B586E38-224D-4703-8EE3-5A0AC1CB8344.png.4f8ec6246a5ad7273e1c0d55cb15537e.png
Kanohi: Stories of a Matoran Vigilante The Impact of a Rebirth: a Kanohi Fanfic The Willing Exiles: a Kanohi Fanfic SKA PC Profiles: Kanohi, Collector, Mahrika Avatar by @Harvali and edited by @Kal the Guardian

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IC: Knichou, Ko-Metru?, The Last Battlefield?

The Toa of iron carefully navigated through the razed streets of Ko-Metru, trying to discover why Tuyet brought him here.

The scream changed that.

Ahead of him there was a cry of immeasurable pain, cut unnaturally short. Knichou began to sprint towards the sound, arriving just in time to see the limp body of a Matoran tumble through the snow with immense force. The signature clinking of many Kanohi tied together stopped as the body came to rest, with the snow in the wake of the crash already morphing into a rosy slush.

Knichou shouldered his lightstone rifle as he rounded the corner, but was unprepared for the vista before him. Atop a mountain of corpses stood Pridak, looking just like the legends described, except wearing a golden Kanohi. Toa, Vahki, Matoran, and others clambered towards the Barraki to battle him, but one after another, they were incapacitated with traps and weapons that materialized in front of them.

Ahead of Knichou, his friends charged ahead. Stannis and Arkius took the lead, using their powers to shape the environment around them to clear a path and provide cover for the group, while Sans and Nale trailed behind. A cavalcade of freshly conjured objects rained down upon the group, grinding their advance to a halt.

Sans grew to an enormous, impractical height and charged ahead towards Pridak with every ounce of energy the Turaga had left. By making himself the largest target, Sans drew all of the Barraki’s wrath, his sacrifice giving Stannis, Arkius and Nale the protection to push forward. After becoming a pincushion for all manner of projectiles, the massive Turaga collapsed in front of the warlord, only for the three Toa to leap over the Turaga's massive form, finally within striking distance of the Barraki.

Knichou tried to catch up, but stumbled over the battlefield’s wreckage and his own rapidly-numbing legs.

IC: Knichou, Protodermis Moat, Toa Canister

Knichou trembled.

Edited by BULiK
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IC: Sorilax - Aspect of Light and Silence - Aspects of Makuta

Location - Kini-Nui (7, 10)

With - Sala, Nuju

Sorilax firstly noted Nuju’s tendency to accentuate his speech with various bird whistles and clicks. In a way it was oddly beautiful and mixed in the seagulls that sometimes took to the air around them. But his focus quickly shifted to more metaphysical possibilities. He looked over his notes after Nuju had finished answering Sala.

If the Far Shore really were as Nuju said, then they weren’t in a single time, but one of many, each with its own unfathomable variations. The way the Matoran had said it almost assumed the knowledge, which made it far more credible in Sorilax’s mind.

You say the Far Shore ‘validates’ the universe’s inconsistencies. What do you mean when you say validates? What actions are taking place to lead you to state it in such a way? What have been your observations that confirm your hypothesis?

And if there are infinite timelines, then wouldn’t it be universes plural, not singular, that it validates?

Sorilax went further down in his notes, “Now what is a ‘plane’ in relation to a universe? And are they just as infinite as these supposed timelines are?

Then he had mentioned an Ark. That name somehow stuck out in his mind. Hadn’t he once conversed with several someones about just such a thing? It felt like it, but it was a memory just out of reach, somehow withheld from him. And then Nuju had said Mata-Nui was an Ark.

Is this Mata-Nui Ark you mention related at all to the Great Spirit Mata-Nui that Sala has spoken to me about?

When Nuju had mentioned six Toa heroes, six masks had flashed into his mind, though he couldn’t be certain whether the masks were of the team Nuju had mentioned or some other team of Toa he had either helped or sought to harm in the many millennia of his mostly forgotten past. One day he would remember. One day.

And then Nuju’s mention of death. It was the opposite of life and so intrigued him very much so. “What is death like? And how is it that you found a way to escape from its clutches?

But this prime plane of existence, home of Tren Krom, consumer of universes, it sounded like more trouble than Nuju was giving it credit for.

This consumer, this Tren Krom, why would we ever seek to allow him access to this world? For that is what would happen should we repair this Makoki stone. We might think to gain access to his realm only, but a door once opened is opened both ways, and not so easily closed. And if what you say is true, Tren Krom has far more reason to come through and affect this world than to allow us passage to his realm without recourse.

Sorilax shook his head and scratched his chin with a Light hand, still trying to wrap his head around these vague theories that had very little evidence to show for them. “No amount of self realization or truth finding is worth jeopardizing the lives of everyone in this universe. Even if we are all eventually consumed in the end, that may just be Fate. Potentially unchangeable, as you postulated. To try to break it may cause irreparable harm to all universes, planes, and timelines, if such things even exist.

The Aspect pondered a course of action. The shadow lizard on his head rolled over in the flower crown as it slept. “Hummmm… No, it might be best if Sala and I remove the partial Makoki stone and hide it away. What better safeguard against destruction than to take away the key to the door of certain doom?

Sorilax sighed, “But I can’t just ignore your pleas for help. And I know too little of the things you speak. Access to this prime plane may very well save everyone instead of sealing their doom. What say you, good sir?

His mind, though it worked slowly, retained much knowledge. Sorilax kept tabs on the conversation. He had asked 9 questions (Well, 12, but one was to further clarify another question, one was rhetorical, and one was to signify that he was done talking and awaiting a reply) and would be glad to repeat them should Nuju not remember them or gloss over one.

He certainly had noticed over the years that generally beings only answered the last question you had asked. It had led him to asking only a few questions at once, but this Nuju seemed sharp enough to keep up. Nuju had kept up with all of Sala’s questions, after all.
 

OOC: @Sparticus147 @Unreliable Narrator The one in which Sorilax finally speaks.

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--------- Six Kingdoms: Apocalypse Profiles ---------

 

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IC Leklo and Ultan | Region of Ice Wasteland

They rode their speeders in silence. Not for want of things to speak about, what with their mutual friend Korruhn's seeming destruction hours earlier and a myriad of matters Ultan was unaware of, but even with the microphones and earpieces that made speech as simple as if they were sitting still neither of the toa wished to say nary a word. They were thinkers, these two, a wise sage and an even more headstrong philosopher, and there was much to think about in their own worlds, each awake or dreaming at any given moment. 

Their speeders were programmed to follow each other, Ultan's bike trailing Leklo's as if pulled by a tether, which allowed the older toa to rest. He was more worn than Leklo's spirited self, and he required all the respite he could be afforded. The sun kept cresting behind and then above them, all the while Ultan reclined his body on the dash of his speeder, legs firmly latched onto the body of the bike to keep him astride as it buckled and swayed every now and again. He dreamed, mumbling some nothings occasionally, the only chatter Leklo partook in as a silent party, hearing the aged seer's visions as muffled malarkey like the rumblings of thunder far away. The former Alpinist, meanwhile, relived images in his mind. The course of their battle was replayed over and over again like a small theatre behind his eyes; he dreamed, just his nightmares were wakeful. He regretted doing more to help his friends, falling victim to the lull between stages and standing idly before Korruhn dipped below the waves and began a fresh tragedy. 

He cursed himself for his incapabilities and ineptness of powers, and for better or worse wondered, hoped even, if perhaps at the end of the road he would finally unlock his elemental abilities and become a true toa-hero at the same stroke as the presentation of the NUVA door disc-key. It was a vain thought, he knew—but then again, he could not help but feel vainglorious at his feats in the past, and Leklo wanted more than anything the ability to achieve something from the morass of ill fortunes he'd been in ever since his ascension. Perhaps what was new was a sense of purpose.

What a silly joke that would be, he thought, and it was just cruel enough to be true. 

He retraced his steps from before, going east and south towards the Ice Ruins from whence they came. He bypassed Metru-Koro, choosing to ignore the whole settlement in his singleminded quest for the NUVA door and honoring the legacy of his friend. It was better that way, he told himself, to skip over the heartache and focus instead on his purpose. As the hours passed by the waste landscape turned greyer and more mountainous, all valleys of basalt and fiends of scree runoff from the shunted peaks nearby. When the sun tipped to hovering in front of his eyes they paused to rest, drink water from their botas, and reluctantly switched, with Ultan taking the point bike and Leklo being allowed to rest finally. He refused at first, citing Ultan's ordeal and sapped strength, but Ultan had none of it and asserted his ability to maneuver just fine and Leklo backed down with quiet gratitude. 

As he straddled the saddle of his vehicle he dipped his hand reassuringly in the satchel slung over his shoulder and felt the reassuring edges of the kanoka disk. And then his eyes closed and he dreamed dreams in darkness. 

 

IC Yumiwa | Kunok McGrokk's

Quote

The other growled. “Shame if I snap your neck proper. Right ‘ere.”

Kunok tsked. “I wouldn’t recommend it. You know I keep things moving around here. Things keep moving, people get to eat. You kill me dead and they’ll go hungry and unhappy on your account. You don’t want that kinda heat on you.”

The other growled again, but finally just snatched the bag of whatever “five” Kunok had offered them and trudged off, while other Skakdi carried away the salvaged machinery.

Pleased with himself, Kunok took a look around and spotted the new arrivals coming from the Panda

“Ah my dear Yumiwak! I see you were successful! Well met yet again. Welcome to the aftermath.”

"The aftermath," I sneered. I was equally aghast and awed by the whole of the destruction and it couldn't be helped that it registered on my tone. "I delivered the furs, and I have the lady of the dunes," I said, gesturing vaguely at Zataka behind me. "I see that in my absence things really turned into poodoo around here, so tell me, in vivid detail, what happened?"

Was it the tahtorak? Was it the tahtorak?

 

IC Stannis | ????

"What do you want to do to me?"

"It's my job to just help you, as I said. My goal is that by the end of our session you know yourself better. Well, that and charge you a fee."

"I knew there was a catch."

"..."

"You are a charlatan just like myself. I know me well enough already."

"You seem to be very assured of yourself."

"I am."

"Why do you think that is?"

"I have been wandering the planes for eons. In my various guises I have seized armies, conquered lands, and claimed heartlights. None, even those who I trusted, knew the truth of what I am, nor should they have, because the truth would have been too hard for them to comprehend. I am eternal, everlasting, and foundational to the Builder's existences, an answer to their dreams and wants and desires. I know me best because I have known me longer than anyone. Why must I need any any more credibility than that?"

"Because you are a void, 'Stannis.' You cite yourself as, er, 'foundational,' but would you not also admit that the Builders are foundational for your existence?"

"..."

"You wear the body of a Builder. You even claimed his name as your own. You supplanted his place in the realms and used his good name and status to advance your own goals. It would seem difficult to have accomplished what you have without the things this toa's body provided you with."

"You could say that. But: I am no void. I provide answers where there are none, choice where there is none, clarity where there is none."

"Bold claims. But what is it that you would you say you are for the Builders, 'Stannis?'"

"I am their salvation."

"How is enslavement a salvation? Isn't that what Mata-Nui attempted?"

"I am NOT Mata-Nui."

"You are not, but you both are much alike. You believe you know what is best for everyone. You tug at strings, treat the stars as insects, and seek to control the flow of all things. Isn't that why you followed him to the Ark? You saw something akin to yourself in Mata-Nui and wanted to learn from his inevitable failure. So, do you think it is possible for you to also fail?"

"No. Because Mata-Nui has not failed yet."

Edited by EmperorWhenua
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IC: Knichou, Ko-Metru?, Memento Mori?

Pridak snarled with delight at finally having Stannis within reach. Two Exo-Toa grew out of the dust beside the Barraki to challenge Arkius and Nale so the warlord could have his long-awaited duel without their pesky interruptions. One Exo-Toa launched an electro-rocket at Arkius, who raised a wall of earth as a shield. The advanced warhead exploded on contact with the barrier. The earth lessened the concussive force of the blast, but disintegrated to create earthen shrapnel that peppered Arkius’s body while the electric energy coursed through the Toa, sapping his strength.

Seeing a steaming Arkius collapse in the snow, Stannis summoned boulders to both crush the Exo-Toa and block it from executing his old friend. Pridak cackled at the destruction and raised his curved sword in anticipation. The other Exo-Toa attempted a similar maneuver with Nale, but the Toa of magnetism used her powers to send the electro-rocket back at her opponent, frying the Exo-Toa’s autonomous systems.

Knichou was now stepping over Sans’s mangled corpse, rushing to the aid of his companions despite his feet sinking further and further into the black snow. The former Ghost didn’t know why his armor wasn’t adapting to the snow so he could get closer to his friends – it should have built snowshoes long ago. Without his armor’s help, Knichou felt powerless. His fate determined by the weather, trapped like an animal.

Pridak’s sword clashed against Stannis’s halberd with frightening speed. After a flurry of thrusts and parries, Stannis was able to knock Pridak’s sword out of the warlord's grasp. The Barraki scowled at both Toa’s successes. Retreating for a moment to be out of Stannis’s range, the warlord raised his free hand towards Nale, fingers outstretched. A Nynrah Ghost Blaster grew out of his forearm and fired a projectile. Nale steadied her rifle just in time to see the oncoming attack through her scope. She was struck by the blast, and screamed as she fought against Pridak’s will for control over the mechanical parts of her body.

Knichou continued to trudge up the hill, out of breath. Arkius groaned, too weak to do anything else as Knichou passed him. The Nynran was almost to Nale. He could help her. He needed to help her.

Stannis knocked Pridak on his back and raised his halberd to the heavens. It was finally time to strike the Barraki down and end this war, once and for all. Knichou watched the duo, momentarily pausing his trek in anticipation of what he thought would be a legendary moment. The engineer found it strange that Pridak barely raised an arm to defend himself. Pridak’s mind was clearly elsewhere.

Nale’s hands shook as she lost control. Pridak used the control granted by the Ghost blaster’s projectile to shift Nale’s rifle to the side.

A frightening crack resounded through the arena, and the granite guardian reflexively paused his strike. Slowly looking down, Stannis saw blood tricking from his abdomen. He looked back towards Nale, saddened and confused, while Pridak slowly began to stand.

Nale dropped her rifle and pulled out her knife. The embossed KARVAN glinted in the apocalyptic sunlight as she turned the blade towards herself. Her eyes screamed in fear while her lungs barely had the power for a whisper. All her strength was being used to fight Pridak’s control, she couldn't even cry for help.

Knichou was still too far away. He was too late to come to yet another friend’s aid. As Knichou reached out to help Nale, he saw stone crawl up her legs and to her arms, locking them in place. Knichou’s head whipped back to Stannis. The weary Toa had turned around to save Nale from her own dagger. The elder’s enigmatic eyes turned to Knichou, and Stannis smiled a pained smile.

A spike of liquid metal smashed through Stannis’s heartlight. The Toa still smiled, even as his life force oozed between his lips. The metal retracted and Stannis crumpled in front of Pridak, his lifeless eyes still staring into the Fe-Toa’s soul.

Pridak laughed. No taunt could have hurt Knichou more than seeing his new mentor die, so Pridak didn’t waste the energy.

It turned out to be historic, legendary moment after all. The war would soon be over.

Once and for all.

Edited by BULiK
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IC: Nale Vella - Metru-Koro (Infirmary)

"That's true," Nale replied. It was the first thing Zaliyah had said that the Toa of Magnetism fully agreed with. "But I'm not forgiving you, just trying to be realistic. Zakaz is a wild place--you walk your way back and we're condemning you to whatever lives between here and the head."

She crossed her arms, then shrugged. "But if you're prepared, then depart as you wish."

@Eyru@Nato the Traveler

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IC: Knichou, Protodermis Moat, Toa canister

Knichou’s heartlight raced, pulsing with an almost unnatural rapidity as his breathing quickened.

IC: Knichou, Metru Nui?, Deus Ex Machina?

Knichou’s limbs locked up, literally and figuratively. He trembled with fear, but even when he rallied his willpower and attempted to move, the adaptive armor no longer flowed with him. He was trapped in his own armor, locked in his own body.

Pridak grabbed Knichou’s throat and raised him into the air. The jetpack of Pridak’s adaptive armor activated and Pridak’s chokehold lifted Knichou high above the ruined city.

The blinking lights and high pitched sounds of alerts from Knichou’s adaptive armor stopped as the nanodermis flowed into Pridak’s adaptive armor. The altimeter overflowed as the heads up display shut down and abandoned Knichou to look on his death with his own eyes. Knichou’s strength withered away, both because of the overwhelming fear and his rapidly dwindling oxygen supply.

Without his tools, he was powerless.

NO!

I’M NOT POWERLESS!

I

AM

A

TOA!

Pridak had fully absorbed Knichou’s adaptive armor into the warlord's own. While the Fe-Toa may have been naked and defenseless, the armor was no longer limiting the Nynran’s movement. As his vision began to blur and the darkness encroached on the periphery, Knichou grabbed Pridak’s arm and squeezed.

Knichou called upon every last shred of elemental energy in his body. The metallic protodermis nanites obeyed his command, the primordial power of iron superseding the electronic directives of Knichou’s magnum opus. Pridak’s double-strength suit of adaptive armor pushed inwards at once, a molecular stabbing spree as nanites forced their way into his body under intense pressure. Pridak howled in pain, but this sound died out within seconds as Pridak inadvertently swallowed the liquid metal armor, which began to pulverize as much surface area as possible.

As Pridak’s strength faltered, Knichou’s increased. Finally able to breathe again now that Pridak’s grip had weakened, the force of the Nynran’s assault increased tenfold. Pridak was no longer flying. Both of the warlord’s arms vainly grasped at his throat, which Knichou was now throttling as the entangled beings fell towards the city below.

The Revenant watched with a horrified awe and animalistic pleasure as he saw fear in Pridak’s eyes for the first time. Luckily for Knichou, the roar of the wind drowned out the sounds resultant of the Revenant’s brutality. In his primal rage, Nynrah’s Revenant increased the pressure on the Barraki.

It was time to end it all. Avenge his friends. Give revenge for his homeland.

The Ghost of Nynrah could not stand to see Pridak wearing Artakha’s Kanohi. He would scourge this perversion of the Matoran faith if it was the last thing that he did.

The Revenant would purge the Heretic King even if it was the last thing that anyone did.

The Heretic’s torture paused momentarily. The Revenant would not allow too early a death to be the Heretic’s salvation from the reckoning he was due. The Revenant released one hand from the Heretic’s throat and raised it as high as he could reach, fist clenched. Layers of iron flowed to cover and strengthen the fist.

Pridak choked and wheezed as air returned to his lungs for a brief second. Knichou looked into the warlord’s twisted eyes and to his dismay, saw his own.

The Revenant did not pause, however. What was set in motion would come to pass.

The Heretic slammed into the Ko-Metru street with a crunch, instantly followed up by the steel fist of the Revenant smashing into the Kanohi.

Artakha’s Legacy shattered the old man’s Kanohi, and all was still for a brief, everlasting moment.

Edited by BULiK
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IC: Apex (The Fau Swamp)

"I will accept."

“Then Morangad, in order for the pact to be formed, a wish, a desire, a purpose must be instilled into the rite. Morangad, will you, my guide and companion, assist me in my goal to bring this island to life once more? Will you assist me in its regrowth and healing, as well as to bring those who have wrought this great devastation to ruin, so that new life may be made from their death?”

Morangad did not speak, but only offered a solemn nod. And with that, conscious decision making gave way to raw instinct and supernatural prediction, as all around them the shadows swirled about into a veil that casted the dawn, shining brightly through the canopy, into twilight, with the very edges of which starkly fading into a backdrop of stars. But more laid amongst those stars than what first appeared, for eyes, shining bright and keen, numbering in the dozens, stared back now, their nature being of Rahi of young and ancient, timid and mighty, known and forgotten. For in quiet anticipation they stared, waiting for the rite that was to be conducted within the heart of the jungle to commence.

Reeling over, the form of Apex began to shake and shudder as Apex seemed to begin retching, till at last, two items were expelled. A small, extinguished Heartlight, and a canister of defiled Energized Protodermis. Both were quickly snapped back up into the jaws of the ancient Aspects, as flowing from their form and maw came a fog of shadow that coalesced above the duo, forming a vague image of Apex herself, yet seemingly bearing the presence and immensity of the Tahtorak itself.

Then the grating sound of tearing metal was heard, as Apex’ jaws crushed down upon the canister, its contents spilling forth and filling Apex’ maw, as the silver energized fluid fell in droplets from in between her teeth. But before whatever horrible effects of the substance could take hold, ancient words began to be uttered. 

Good bye

But not from Apex herself, but from the eyes, those eyes bound to the Rahi that once and still dwelled within the jungle, as their cacophonous calls formulated into the words of the elder ritual, forming a solemn and otherworldly hymn and rhyme as the eyes grew brighter.

Mortal Soil

Decrepit and raw

Then, the shadows began to lash out, like the tendrils of some great sea monster, constricting and coiling around the Protodermis that sizzled and burned within Apex’ jaws, yet any harm did not seem to be evident, as the Protodermis reacted less like a semi-solid liquid, but rather like a living creature, struggling against a predator that it had no hope of escaping. 

Shadow born cosmos

Where I see all

Slowly, traces of sickly and haunting green began to slither their way through it, with the shadowy tendrils forming the swiftly changing Protodermis into a new singular form - one of a worm.

Hello

There, writhing frantically in an unnatural display, still clasped firmly within the jaws of Apex, was a Kraata. Its head, a sandy-yellow and metallic, its tail, a tan color. Commanded by Apex through some subtle unknown means, the Kraata ceased in its movements, with Apex’ allowing the thing to slither forth and out, planting itself upon her snout as it stared towards Morangad. Then, Apex leaned her head forwards, allowing the worm to move from Apex’ muzzle to Morangad’s shoulders, with the serpent wrapping itself around the Tiokaha’s neck, as the Jutlin upon Morangad’s face began to shift and change, starting from where the Kraata caressed the mask. From these points of contact, came a blackened corruption, slowly moving across the Kanohi, till the mask was a mottled black, only traces of its former color remaining.

But as the entire series of events occurred, within Apex’ subconscious mind an entire series of harrowing events were happening on their own. A silent scream, a haunting wail, a forgotten echo, all of that and more was trying to be heard as Apex’ internal voice cried out. For what spoke and acted in the world beyond wasn’t truly Apex, not as the individual she was, but rather the essence that formed her key being, the invisible force that held her existence, the penumbra that dwelled within the Antidermis that formed her. Deep within the inner self of Apex, she was trapped within a dark, empty, void, truer than the pitiful lack of light that substituted that which was within that cave.

With the rite completed, the light of day returned to the clearing, with the eyes, stars, and twilight swiftly dissipating. In addition, the once frightening and imposing form of Apex gave way to exhaustion as Apex quickly tittered back away from Morangad before collapsing upon the ground, her body heaving with heavy shallow breaths. Apex’ gaze was wild and stark, her eyes barely able to focus on a singular object.

Looking up from her prone position, Apex’ head planted against the mud of the jungle floor, Apex was just able to focus long enough on Morangad to mouth a single phrase, though no sound came out other than a silent breeze and the slight rustle of grass. With that, Apex simply laid there, too exhausted, both physically and mentally to continue speaking or traveling, as day eventually descended into night.

OC: @Burnmad Your Jutlin has now been infected by a level two Kraata of Shattering. Enjoy.

Edited by Sparticus147
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IC: Parnassus | Fort Nektann

Parnassus matched Korruhn's gaze. They were a young Aspect, they knew this -- younger than most of their kin, perhaps even younger than some of the warskaks who wandered this fortress. 

But they were not young enough to trust this newcomer.

"You're a curious one," Parnassus said. "Most of our kin are stingy with their secrets -- particularly with each other. Why would you give me such a gift?"

At the same time, they uncorked their own wellspring -- the spring of raw fear that burbled deep in their chest. They allowed a tiny portion to slip out from their spirit and into Korruhn's, all while watching his eyes. He would begin feeling the first droplets of paranoia trickling into his essence now -- and then, Parnassus would see what he was truly made of.

OOC: @Crimson Jester

-Void

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IC: Reliable Narrator | The Coliseum

The Vahki beeped agreeably as it nodded in assent, then turned to lead Aurax out of the room, half-eaten croissant still in hand. If the new Barraki followed, the Vahki would lead them down the corridor to the elevator. The floors rushed by as they descended, but they stopped after only a few moments. They emerged to see a lobby staffed by another Vahki, this one blue and orange with a white Huna hanging from its neck. The two robotic beings exchanged a silent communication, then the new one turned to Aurax.

"Your personal items are stored on this level, Barraki Aurax," it said mechanically, eyes unblinking. "This way, please."

As they walked away from the elevator, the other Vahki took its comrade's place guarding the lobby. They turned a corner to see a large door, easily big enough for an ACR to fit through. The blue-and-orange Vahki beeped twice as it mentally communicated with the door's security system (ordinary beings would have to settle for the keypad on the side of the door), and then the door slid sideways into the wall, allowing the group to enter.

Fluorescent ceiling lights snapped on as they walked into the room, illuminating a large warehouse-like space. Every surface was smooth, polished steel. Aurax's ACR stood in one corner, alongside the remains of Pridak's. The walls were hung with various weapons and pieces of armour. A long metal table divided the room, with drawers underneath it full of tools to repair equipment. There were no windows.

"This was Barraki Pridak's private equipment chamber," the Vahki whirred. "It is now yours. A cargo elevator can be accessed there—" it pointed to one wall. "—and if you need anything, you can use this communication pad." It indicated a small keypad with a built-in microphone and speaker sitting on the edge of the table.

"Will that be all, Barraki Aurax?"

 

OOC: @~Xemnas~ @Kal the Guardian

 

IC: Oreius | Metru-Koro Hospital

the Toa of Fire looked around for affirmation or condemnation. Is this what everyone wanted? To just let the two League soldiers leave as they wished? He took a deep breath, recognizing that it wasn't his decision anymore.

"If you're leaving for Metru-Nui," he said slowly, wondering if someone else would chime in. "Then we should discuss what you'll do when you get there. Will you support Aurax's new reign?"

Despite their differences, there was an unspoken and unknown similarity between Oreius and Zaliyah: neither of them trusted the newly crowned king. But were either of them willing to risk this new, unstable peace he had created?

 

OOC: @Nato the Traveler @Toru Nui @Onaku @Tarn @Conway @Sparticus147

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IC: Zaliyah - Metru-Koro Hospital

"I'll honour the peace he struck," she replied. "But I will also honour my cause, and my commander. What that means for Aurax's future is out of my hands, and his." 

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___________________________________________________

Legends Don't Last Forever

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IC: Knichou, Reality?, Destruction?

Knichou warily looked around, too tired to do anything else. Stannis’s lifeless face stared back, shifting to a frown of disappointment. Arkius picked himself up from the muddy snow, shooting Knichou a glare. Nale took a step back, tear-stricken optics darting between Knichou’s own eyes and the Ghost’s stained fists.

There was no pain, only a profound sense of loss, as the world began to sublimate. A hazy mist began to float off of every surface, and every object began to slowly lose shape as the effect intensified. Materials themselves shifted, becoming more monotonous, losing all texture and structure.

Nale fell to what was formerly snow, shaking. Knichou ran over to try to help her, but she reeled back in fear when the Ghost reached out with his murderous hands to help her. The Toa of magnetism’s body dissociated further, merging into the formless ground. Everything drained of color, every object lost it’s shape until there was no way to even distinguish between them, until it was impossible to remember there were once objects. Everyone and everything returned to the silver sea.

Metru-Nui was no more. There was only the silver sea and the blood red sky.

Knichou was alone again.

With everything else gone, Knichou fell backwards as the process slowly took hold over his physical form. Floating in the endless ocean as all entropy disappeared, the Ghost watched the stars die.

The universe was dead, but the Ghost wasn’t dying. The emaciated Ghost was cursed to observe.

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IC Stannis | Therapy

You say Mata-nui hasn't failed yet. Why is that?

Because he hasn't. 

But he's dead. The Ark is in pieces. His realm is asteroids in the nighttime sky. Is that not true?

It is not. His domain is one of death. Do you really think me foolish enough to think death would do him in? 

Would it not?

No. Mata-Nui has always understood death to be a part of life. The other side of the same face. Mata-Nui thrives on worship, pageantry, sycophantry, all parts of a greater whole.

Of what do you speak, 'Stannis?'

I speak of the one thing that can bring back the dead and instill feelings of awe and terror in the hearts of witnesses. I speak of unshakable strength dwelling in a more virtuous echelon. I speak of Faith. Death is Mata-Nui's domain, but Faith always was his calling. This is how he continues his existence. Even now, the Builders still perform acts in his name! Even now, people such as Korruhn and Atamai loyally work to restore his former powers! Great Spirit-this and Mata Nui-that. They don't know the half of it. His sway is clear, enthralled in his personality as they are. A being only truly dies when their name is not spoken of anymore, and that spirit continues to live on, strong as ever before, Ark or not. His mission is not yet finished, even if his wish was long-ago granted.

What separates you from Mata-Nui?

...

...

We are different.

How so? It seems to me that both of you function in similar fashions.

We are different because we are. Every Aspect is their own world. I come from my dreams... and he comes from his.

But all dreams come to an end, do they not?

That is the cycle of things... yes. But then the wakeful nightmares begin again, and the Builders never cease to perpetuate their own nightmares.

 

IC Leklo | Ice Ruins 3,6

It was another nightfall by the time the two toa slowly rumbled their speeder bikes close to the desolate ziggurat they'd been at a couple days before. Leklo's anticipation materialized as anxiety and he'd been twitching his legs the whole while as he saw the terrain turn familiar again. He and Korruhn had traversed this area by foot originally and things he once surveyed up close had wizzed by with blurred but recognizable focus, like a faraway glance of an old friend in passing. He touched the kanoka constantly by that point, mentally urging Ultan to throttle them farther and faster, but the older toa was far more reserved than Leklo and less inclined to allow his thrillseeking whims to gain the better of his instincts, and so he'd been leading at a regulated and even speed, neither too exhilarating or unhastened, but simply economical.

They still hadn't said much. They knew what was at stake and each appreciated the strengths of the other that led them to their present course. Leklo was cherished for his loyalty and drive, whereas Ultan was in turn appreciated for the honesty and wisdom he lent. The former Alpinist found the balance of characteristics comforting, a familiar equilibrium as what he felt with Korruhn, albeit in a somehow reversed fashion. In this dynamic, it was he who was the headstrong adventurer, whereas he had been an insightful foil to his former best friend. The silence of their ride had given him ample opportunity to reflect on his role as a toa, and as a scholar as well as athlete. Every toa-hero had to be both sides of the face at different points in his career, and to excel at being a hero he would have to know how to apply both in the appropriate times. Once again, he considered himself uniquely capable of being great at what he was called to do, equally monastic and social, learned and impulsive, wise and wily. Duality was in his nature, it seemed, a valuable commodity in a world full of contradictions.

Leklo's icy blue eyes scanned the dark horizon as Ultan slowed their bikes to a stop by the temple's entrance. He jumped off in an excited hurry and futzed with the pommel of his sword with his thumb as he stood otherwise idly. Things were quiet. A distant cry of a rahi or a local native could be heart echoing from some far-off bluff, but otherwise they only seemed to have the stars and their anxieties for company.

"I can wait out here," Ultan said. 

"No," Leklo quickly asserted. "I asked you to come to be by my side. Come in the temple with me, Ultan. Please."

"I will have to secure the bikes, then," was his matter-of-factly response as he maneuvered the two speeders to behind a boulder like they were two soko steeds led to water. He returned a moment later, two keys in hand, and placed one in his cloak's pocket before tossing the other to Leklo. "In case we have to split up."

He nodded and placed the other key in his satchel, knowing it was a prepared and wise approach. Neither knew what was going to happen next, or if they would have to flee in a hurry or simply walk out. And then, without standing on any more ceremony, Leklo took his steps towards the void-cave of the ancient ruin, another companion alongside him for this attempt, and a familiar disk at the ready for whatever secrets the chamber held.

The elevator ride was unnerving as it was before. Leklo couldn't stop shaking his leg. 

...

@The Captain @Unreliable Narrator

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IC: Kas & Admin | Ruins of Water

“As I stated: he tried to turn me off,” The Administrator replied to Ollem and Mahrika’s continued queries. The Administrator didn’t really understand why these Builders were considering the thought of freeing Kas. It seemed antithetical to the values and purposes they had on this island. The preservation of those values and purposes was important, wasn’t it? 

Or was he allowed to change?

Kas, in contrast, was very concerned by Ollem’s visible disbelief and hostility. He just wanted someone to let him down. It’d been a long time since his feet touched ground, and he didn’t particularly enjoy being dangled like a loosely strung puppet. 

“Look, I admit I did some not so great things. As I said, I’m a changed toa here. It’s not like I have wealth anymore. My friends, I’ll tell it to you straight: you let me down, and I’ll show you how to access the Administrator of these ruins. Then you can learn whatever you want and I can just go home. I know the way, let me show you. Don’t you find it weird that one singular AI is managing all these temple ruins that he didn't even build? Isn’t that just a little strange? And you’re right, my little blue friend, things really have changed since you started living under a rock. I mean no offense, I’ve been out of touch myself recently.”

Kas hoped his pleas wouldn’t fall on deaf matoran.

OOC: @Burnmad, @Harvali

 

IC: The Administrator | Ruins of Ice

"Ah. Leklo. It is good to see you once again. Where are your old friends, Korruhn the apostate and Sidra? I see you are new this this temple, light bearer. Tell me, what is your name and why do you come to pray within these halls," said the Administrator as Leklo and Ultann arrived once more in the room with the frozen tree that reminded Leklo so clearly of his first adventure with the Cartographer.

OOC: @EmperorWhenua, @The Captain

 

IC: Reliable Narrator | Le-Metru Nuva

Frost blossomed across the surface of the Great Disk even without Sidra’s intent. It’s power of freezing proved so strong, it seemed the disk itself could barely contain it. The glowing forge’s light dimmed as the embers cooled by nearly being within a close proximity to the newly forged masterwork. Sidra did the impossible: she reached a pinnacle of civilization using homegrown techniques, unorthodox materials, and a whole lot of grit.

OOC: Congrats on your great disk forging! @Nato the Traveler, @Kal the Guardian

 

IC: Grime | Fort Nektann

Grime nodded his head in affirmation towards Gore, who’s name he’d learned over the course of the meal’s preparation, and then headed out into the Fortress. It was so big! He was so small! Where was anything or anyone? He knew there was a radio tower somewhere in the fortress. Maybe the skakdi working would broadcast a message about dinner.

He stumbled upon three figures he knew and one he didn’t: Drukarus, Parnassus, and some hooded figure radiating shadows. Of course, She was there too. It seemed Drukarus was her current prey. Grime respected that.

He didn’t know the new one. The new one didn’t have the feeling. Grime placed a hand over his heartlight, ducking around the corner out of sight as Parnassus’s wave of terror leaked out into the hallway. Hopefully nobody saw him jam a fist in his mouth to avoid squeaking out in terror.

OOC: @Burnmad, @EmperorWhenua, @Conway, @Sparticus147, @Crimson Jester

 

IC: Nuju | Kini-Nui

“You could certainly try to remove the Makoki stone, but I have a feeling it won’t be as easy as pulling it off the wall. Besides, doing so would make me disappear. I’d no longer have a connection to this plane, and I’d once again exist only as variables and possibilities. I’m sure I’ll still have visitors from time to time, even if the portal is closed. It seems others can’t help but find their own personal way of falling into the Far Shore now and again.” Nuju paused there, taking a few deep breaths of the air wafting off the lake. He didn’t feel rushed to answer all the questions posed, but he felt it necessary to provide enough to help. It seemed Sorilax, for all his wisdom, didn’t study the same areas of thought as Nuju. Perhaps the aspects in this plane were less aware of their origin than he realized. Perhaps this was what aspects were actually meant to be: true individuals unaware of the crawling, violent, desperate moments of their birth in the same way matoran couldn’t remember themselves before consciousness inhabited their bodies.

“You ask several good questions, Sorilax, Aspect of Light. Truly, the Far Shore is enigmatic. From our perspective the universe should be plural, you’re correct. However, taking a wider view of the true scope, all our individuality exists within a singular universe. All our universes form a macrocosm. There is us, and then there is Tren Krom. 

“This universe of us, the Makoki, is broken into several planes. If the Makoki were a book, each plane would be a page or a chapter. Different things happen, different parts of the same story, but separate from each other until bound into a single book. The Makoki stones are the binding of the pages to the book’s spine. The different timelines are like different drafts of the same book. Using this rough and crude analogy, the Far Shore is the editor. Tren Krom would be our reader, of course, slowly turning each page in rapt fascination. They are beyond us. They can visit whenever they want. They don’t require us, and yet we require them -- for does a story truly exist until someone actually reads it? Writing a story is its genesis, editing the story is its transformation into a complete work, but reading or telling it is what makes the story truly real. That’s why the Amaja is important,” Nuju gestured towards the southernmost point of Kini-Nui where the raised tower and sand pit stood. “The Amaja is us telling the stories, making them exist from one generation to the next. If we don’t tell the stories, they die out. Just like if no one worships you, Sorilax, you die out.

“You asked a few more questions. Let me see if I can remember them: what is the Ark, what is death, how did I escape, and why should we access Tren Krom? Yes I think that’s all of them. What is the Ark? The Ark is where I lived: where Metru-Nui existed and Mata-Nui slumbered under careful watch by the Order of Mata-Nui. While you won’t remember it Sala, standing in this temple on this island is a homecoming. We were both from here, and the Ark as well.  I didn’t know while I lived in the Ark that we were inside one plane all its own, designed to travel between planes and timelines. All I knew was that the stars were fake, and that something greater existed beyond us. From there, I began my research. If the Ark were a page in my earlier example, then it would be a page that could be inserted into any book without drawing suspicion -- perhaps the blank one at the end for personal notes, library stamps, and coffee stains.

“As for death and how I escaped,” Nuju chuckled and gestured at himself, “it was the most painful thing I ever experienced and I didn’t escape. Not everyone gets to say the Great Spirit Mata-Nui crushed them to death with a maul inside his own divine brain. I am very much dead in your world. In my time in the Far Shore I have not found an entity named Death who travels from door to door to collect the souls of those who pass at their preordained time. It seems much messier, and I have no clear answer. 

“As for opening a doorway to Tren Krom that leads both ways, you seem to think Tren Krom can’t already visit whenever they choose. Tren Krom is very much here. Always. I don’t know how, I just know they are very much able to manipulate what they want as they choose. It’s like having a reader with a red ink pen. If Tren Krom can visit us, why can’t we access them? After all, shouldn’t stories have a lasting impact on their readers? I appreciate you waiting Sala, and I hope I answered all your questions Sorilax. But now I have a question of you both: with everything I said and you have learned, what are you going to do?”

OOC: @Kal the Guardian, @Sparticus147

Edited by Unreliable Narrator
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IC: Knichou, Eternity?, Creation?

The mask of creation emerged from the silver sea, floating in the air and staring down and Knichou's lifeless body.

That’s what that mask was, wasn’t it? Knichou hadn’t seen Artakha when he took refuge in the demigod’s island... but the mask felt familiar for some reason.

A body grew out of the mask. The grayish green titan from earlier. The one with Nuparu? Where is Nuparu? How did that lead to now? Where is Tuyet? Where am I?

Knichou’s corpse floated in the endless ocean, watching the titan slam his hammer into the sea. The island of Artakha grew around them – the cities Knichou remembered marveling at in his exile from the Ghosts. There was no life in the cities, that was not for Artakha to create, but it would only be a matter of time before a new population found it and grew to sustain it. Eons passed in minutes, buildings aged, crumbled to dust, and rose again as the cycle perpetuated. When the island's skyline was exactly as Knichou remembered, time slowed to what felt like a halt.

Artakha shrunk to Pridak’s lithe form, the Kanohi shifting slightly to match the Barraki’s facial structure. The city winnowed to dust and in it’s place the countless dead of Metru-Nui rose from the silver sea. The battlefield was littered with the weapons, some still embedded in their victims, some Knichou recognized as tools he and his friends designed in a past life. There was no victor, only death, and in death the combatants were equal and indistinguishable.

The mask of creation lowered further still, now being worn by the diminutive silhouette of a Turaga. The battlefield rotted and on it’s fertile grounds arose walls, homes, greenhouses, and offices.

The cycle continued. Blasts of energy began to immolate the village, but the barrage stopped. Creation and destruction were always in flux, necessitating each other to proceed. This was an inflection point. A brief, rare balance, with an unclear outcome. Whether further order or chaos would be created was anyone's guess.

The mask of creation’s body faltered and sank in the sea. The mask floated back to the surface. It drifted to the Ghost’s corpse and attached to his face, shifting form slightly once more.

Knichou watched himself open his eyes as the silver sea swallowed him.

IC: Knichou, Protodermis Moat, Toa Canister

Knichou awoke with a shiver. Immediately he felt a pressure inside of him and involuntarily began retching inside the canister. After taking a few second to finish expelling any vomit, he reached up and touched his face, and upon confirming his fears, ripped the Kanohi off his face. He then instinctively looked at his hands. To his relief they were neither dusty bones nor forever tainted by the blood of another living being. Dazed and confused, the Nynran tried to slowly steady his involuntarily staccato breathing and began to take stock of his surroundings. Extremely cramped, faint red lighting, errors everywhere, and wait who was-

Now the ex-Ghost remembers how he got here.

"Are we ok?"

Edited by BULiK
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IC Leklo + Ultan | Ice Ruins

"It's okay, Ultan. The Administrator is a friend," Leklo said, not totally convinced in the term's approximation to the truth but applying it anyway. 

"I am Ultan," said the other. 

His mouth moved without sound at first as he struggled to cough up the words from his throat. In the face of the icicle tree and the frigid chamber he wanted to cry in memory for his dark companion, but that wouldn't have benefitted anyone; he finally urged sound out but it came slowly, like a regurgitated frog awkwardly crawling out of the maw one leg at a time. "Something happened to Korruhn and he cannot be with us right now, while Sidra... is walking a different path," he said tactfully. 

He walked forward, familiar now with the turn of the passages and puzzles, and patted his satchel. "I have returned with a 429. To fulfil my purpose." He sounded hopeful. 

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"... Even you, EmperorWhenua, you stupid beautiful contrarian, you." —Tyler Durden

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IC: Reliable Narrator | Ruins of Stone

Several days passed as the new village became established around the ancient elemental ruins far to the north of old Po-Koro. They found wild mahi herds, fought off a few nui-jaga after discovering a nearby nest, and observed wild kikanalo herds pass by each morning. A forge was rebuilt, and the crafters of this new little bastion of civilization once again took up their tools. Artisans finally had a moment to breathe, even in the hustle and bustle of resettling the lands surrounding the ruin. Several artists began the process of documenting the landscape through sketches, poetry, sculpture, and even dance. One dance in particular, the dance of the rain demon, became rather popular among the matoran. It told the story of their desperate fight against the pouring rain from the demon in the hills, and of the brave adventurers who saved them from drowning above and below ground. Those who fought to save their lives became local heroes, and the few who set off to tell Metru-Koro of the news took with them the names of their heroes and the tales of their honorable deeds.

So it was that old friends found each other again in this settlement, and new friends came into the fold. They shared meals and tales, and recounted the different things they’d seen on their adventures, until finally the day came and Atamai returned to the innermost chamber of the Ruins of Stone.

Each who entered said their name at the Administrator’s request. Those who didn’t found themselves repelled, ejected from the halls until they revealed their true selves. It seemed the Administrator was in a foul mood today, but not with those in this particular temple. He did his best to sound elated, but his voice was laced with deeper frustration.

“Welcome back, Atamai of the Ark. A Great Disk is here, I feel its power. Place it into the device as is your right. Quickly, quickly!”

A small crowd came with Atamai to the innermost room, Arkius standing closest behind him. Villagers gave him a wide berth, even in the temple’s confined halls, for his strength seemed to have no boundaries and his fury easily burst forth even over things deemed small by others. Many remembered him for his powerful deeds during the rainstorm, and some considered him a worthy leader in his own right. While the village happily obeyed Akiri Kanohi, the seer of their new home, some refugees whispered of the possibility of moving on should Arkius choose to depart and settle elsewhere. Atamai's other friends were there as well, standing just inside the doorway.

Atamai slid the disk into the device in the center of the room. It clicked into the device with a resounding echo, making the Administrator purr happily. The letters written on the far wall lit with a soft golden glow: NUVA.

“Yes, a Great Disk. For so long I have wondered who would access this portion of these temples. Who would use what came before to save what still can be. Destiny is so fickle, Unity so fragile, Duty so shakable, yet here you are.”

The device rumbled and shook as it came to life. The surface of the disk became embossed with a strange new symbol, a nuva symbol, and then the device sank into the floor with a blinding light. As it disappeared, taking the disk with it, a blinding light radiated from the source. Beneath Atamai alone the light was answered. As if the stone never existed beneath his feet, Atamai fell through the floor and disappeared. The stones returned, leaving the room with one less toa, a crowd of friends and villagers holding baited breath, and terrifying silence.

Arkius, the closest to the disappearance, saw only the smallest glimpse of where Atamai went -- a field of golden liquid light. The light from this place bathed him in its power, as even his proximity was enough to be affected in the instant Atamai vanished.

Arkius, strong and powerful, fell to the floor as his body changed forever. It grew larger and stronger. His muscles increased, as did his connection with the earth. His mask shifted, fusing with his face as the heat from the light melted it into a single sinewy skin. When the transformation stopped, Atamai was still gone, but Arkius knew now who he was: Arkius of the Nuva Proxima, blessed in the light of Tren Krom. Old memories flooded back, untapped nightmares of a past he never lived, never did, and could never return to for absolution. Different timelines of the same man merged, forming a single entity that walked as a giant in the Time Between Time.

He could feel those around him tapping him, not with their hands or voices, but with their elemental auras. He couldn’t see these auras, he couldn’t hear or smell them, but he could feel them brush against his own range of elemental mastery like currents flowing in different directions where a river joined the sea. He felt then if any asked, and if he felt them worthy, he could offer his own element and even the powers of his skin-like mask for them to use as their own while nearby. He knew then as well another mask was needed to replace his old, and that the powers of his calix were forever a part of his individual being.

 

OOC: Nuva Proxima revealed

NUVA PROXIMA (Character Change)

Nuva Proxima occurs as a side effect of the Nuva process within the elemental temples. The closest individual to the source of the change -- in this case Arkius played by @Onaku --receives the tiniest amount of what the disk-bearer experiences and receives the following benefits:

  • All currently active psychological effects or powers are removed.
  • All diseases are removed.
  • You may share your element and breed quirks with one other willing creature you see within your elemental range.
  • The mask you were wearing is fused to your face and you require a new mask. The old mask is now considered one of your breed quirks. If you could not use kanohi masks before, you now gain a breed quirk that says: “you may wear kanohi masks and access their powers.”
  • While still within fair levels (think going from the punching down a house metaphor to punching down half a city block), your mastery of the elements you control have increased. If you previously did not have elemental powers, or if you needed a tool or another being to access your elemental powers, you gain the following breed quirk: “you may now use your own base element at toa level. If you did not have a base element, pick one element to be your base element.”
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IC: Vulimai (Protodermis Moat)

Throughout the whole trip, Vulimai simply tried to be as comfortable as she could within the cramped canister, but that was a difficult task. At first, things were going smoothly, with whatever material the Toa's armor was made of forming an insulation between the two, stopping the constant static shocks. But then, seemingly materializing out of nowhere, ice cubes appeared, with the canister's internal systems kicking in to neutralize the effect. Looking about at the flashing consoles and monitors, Vulimai attempted to decipher the pods controls, and when that failed, she settled on leaving it within auto-pilot, one of the few systems she figured out alongside the air conditioning and the sustenance dispersal unit, unfortanely no peanuts were there to come out.

For several hours, the duo floated along, with Vulimai growing evermore worried about the Toa's condition and about whatever strange occurrences may start occurring. Looking up at the Toa, Vulimai examined the mask without touching it, noting the fine craftsmanshipa and its significant, though she was not able to place its exact nature, just that it was a mask of evidently great power. A part of Vulimai wanted to remove the mask from the sickly and distressed Toa, but another part of her admonished herself for contemplating such a risk, so Vulimai simply continued in silence. Thankfully, they at last reached land, with the hatch automatically opening and Vulimai scrabbling out.

Looking around her immediate surroundings, she could tell they were on the near shore, with Metru-Koro just in sight within the distance, thankfully still in one piece from what she could tell in the early morning sun. Far down along the banks, Vulimai could spy Tekmo, seemingly searching the shore and looking for the two. Calling out, Vulimai alerted the Toa of the Green before returning to the canister to drag Knichou out...Before watching them promptly empty their stomach on the bottom of the pod.

"Are we ok?"

"Well...I suppose that makes things easier," Vulimai said as she looked into the open hatch of the beached canister. "And I suppose if you're talking in the sense of strictly being alive, than yes, but I will admit you looked better before I'm sure."

OOC: @BULiK @Toru Nui

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IC: Ostrox and Navu (Metru-Koro, Village Infirmary)

And out of the Matoran’s hands as well, Navu thought.

Well, this wasn’t what Ostrox wanted to hear. Matorankind either had to forsake their vile faith, or die. There could be no in-between, or the universe was doomed. Perhaps he would have to break his vow of secrecy to Mantax and tell Zaliyah just what happened beneath the Coliseum. It wouldn’t be the first time…

Hang on. He was onto something here. Lies could only be fought with the truth, and staying silent about it wouldn’t help anyone. This Oreius seemed to be nothing more than your typical mad zealot, though perhaps he was mellowing out a bit. But this Nale and Iradra seemed more reasonable, if only by comparison.

Perhaps… perhaps there was hope for them, like there was hope for Zaliyah. A small, faint glimmer of hope. But in such hopeless times, you took what you could get.

"Oh, one other thing, before I forget. In an act of good faith, I can reveal some classified information to you, if you’d like. Before you get excited, it’s nothing that will compromise League interests and nothing that Zaliyah knows about. This information pertains as to how we all, er, arrived on this island."

@Eyru@Nato the Traveler@Tarn@Onaku@Conway

 

IC: Tekmo (Silver Sea Shoreline)

Tekmo scampered off to where Knichou and Vulimai had made landfall. He was greeted by the aroma of fresh vomit, which made him feel green - more green than usual - just by having to see and smell it.

"Ah, see? I told you we'd make it. I never doubted you for a second... though, perhaps for half-a-second, you were gone for a while. Do you need assistance standing captain? Er, naval captain?"

@BULiK@Sparticus147

 

IC: Enra (Dead Forest)

"Did you fight for ‘em?" Enra asked, somewhat hesitantly. "Not judging or anything, but is there one side we should avoid more than the other?"

@Nato the Traveler

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Profile picture done by Onaku.

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IC: Knichou, Protodermis Moat, Coast

"No, Tekmo, I'll be fiiii-ne"

Knichou stumbled out of the hatch of the Toa canister, nearly tripping. He recovered his balance and continued to exit the canister, squinting and raising a hand to shield himself from the sunlight. How long had it been since the attack? A few hours? A day? Weeks? However long it was, Knichou felt simultaneously rejuvenated and utterly exhausted. Perhaps that would clear up when he started to get moving again - a canister ride really necessitates some stretching afterwards.

"Right. Captain," Knichou said, pointing a finger gun at Vulimai as he used his other hand to stow the mask of creation inside of his adaptive armor's liquid metal backpack and pull out his trusty Kakama. "We need to get back to Metru-Koro and assess the situation. Have either of you made contact with anyone since the crash?"

Edited by BULiK
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1 hour ago, Toru Nui said:

IC: Enra (Dead Forest)

"Did you fight for ‘em?" Enra asked, somewhat hesitantly. "Not judging or anything, but is there one side we should avoid more than the other?"

IC: Xane - Dead Forest

"No, I stayed out of it, until the very end," he replied. "A few friends and I journeyed to the city when we heard a final attack was coming, but we arrived just in time to fall from the sky with everyone else. I don't know what became of my companions."  

1 hour ago, Toru Nui said:

IC: Ostrox

"Oh, one other thing, before I forget. In an act of good faith, I can reveal some classified information to you, if you’d like. Before you get excited, it’s nothing that will compromise League interests and nothing that Zaliyah knows about. This information pertains as to how we all, er, arrived on this island."

IC: Zaliyah - Metru-Koro Hospital

She turned around to squint at Ostrox, her confusion all too apparent.

What could he possibly know that she didn't? And why would he sit on a secret like that for over a week just to spill it now?

2 hours ago, Unreliable Narrator said:

IC: Reliable Narrator | Le-Metru Nuva

Frost blossomed across the surface of the Great Disk even without Sidra’s intent. It’s power of freezing proved so strong, it seemed the disk itself could barely contain it. The glowing forge’s light dimmed as the embers cooled by nearly being within a close proximity to the newly forged masterwork. Sidra did the impossible: she reached a pinnacle of civilization using homegrown techniques, unorthodox materials, and a whole lot of grit.

IC: Sidra - Le-Metru Nuva

"Hello beautiful," she marveled, turning the icy disk over in her hands. "I did it," she beamed at Beruv and Viltia. "I actually did it!"

Edited by Nato the Traveler
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___________________________________________________

Legends Don't Last Forever

___________________________________________________

 

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IC: Arkius - Nuva Proxima

"Esteemed people of Onu-Metru. It is my honor, and my privilige, to present to you all the new guardian of our district, who arrived with the new heroes of the city of Metru-Nui the Toa Boreai. Honourable, powerful, unshakeable! Gathered friends, please welcome... Toa Arkius!" An Onu-Matoran speaker with a grey Pakari steps to the side on the stage as a large black armoured Toa of Earth steps forward with a humble smile and wave, the crowd gathered cheering for their new Toa guardian. 

"People of Metru-Nui. People of Dura-Kaia. People of the Southern Isles and of the Western Peninsulas, all you who have escaped the harrowing fate that yet looms over the universe. In our hour of need, the Great Provider has bestowed upon us his greatest champion, a great and powerful Toa. You all know his name. His actions in the great war, and his inspiring heroics in the last few days, we all have felt his powerful and unyielding presence. And under his guidance, there is no doubt that we will survive! Please, everyone, rejoice, for the great Toa Arkius of the Nuva Exoda is here!" The gathered masses gasp and bow as the silver and black armoured Toa Nuva of Earth steps forward with a grim expression on his face. He raises his hand, and the people fall silent, as he gazes over them with an unyielding determination in his eyes.

"Great and resilient people of Metru-Nuva. It has been a long few years for us all. We have lost our home, we have all lost people we love, and we've all lost sight of our glorious destinies. But no more shall this vex us! Here in the new jewel of a city which we have built to be our new home, we have established a new order! A new Kingdom of Toa to protect our people from the woes that have troubled us in the past, and new dangers which lurk in the corners of our new homeland! Indeed, it is uncertain what these new lands may bring, be in its unseen corners a bounty of good or a host of ills, but what is certain... what is absolutely unquestionable, is that he who leads us will keep us safe! He will keep us secure! And he will lead us... into a better tomorrow! People of Metru-Nuva, citizens of the Kingdom of Toa, honourable subjects to the crown, please, revere and bow to your lord and saviour, King Arkius of the Nuva Regalus, first of his name, vanquisher of the darkness!" The reverence is indeed palpable in the air, people kneel and bow before the silver and gold clad Toa Nuva of Earth as he strides forth onto the balcony of the immense palace at the center of the tiered city, his black mask adorned with a golden crown as he gazes over the people with fierce eyes and an all too satisfied smile.

"What transpires here today cannot ever leave this room. People of the Ember Clan. People of the Undercity and of the Noble Isles to the West. People of the Nomadic Desert Clans. People of the Archweald and of the Rimehold. You all stand here today in judgment of one man. A man whose atrocities have cost us all greatly and irreparably. Whose crimes have deeply scarred the lands and painted the earth in the blood of countless innocents. Esteemed people of this court, this man stands accused of multiple counts of genocide, of harrowing and enduring despotism, and of establishing a far reaching conspiracy to conceal the truth. Defendant Arkius, how do you plead?" An immense and imposing Toa Nuva of Earth stands in the center of the chamber. Stripped of crown, stripped of armour, stripped of dignity, yet standing fierce and defiant despite the heavy chains that bind him. His eyes move over the people in the room, many of whom flinch from his vitriolic gaze, before he turns to his daughter with a hardening grimace, baring his clenched teeth in an expression of loathing and betrayal.

...

...

Open the light and summon me and receive my majesty!

Arkius reeled back a step, suddenly all to aware of his presence next to Atamai, far closer than he'd intended to protect his ally from any unknown danger, yet even in this newfound awareness he could not react in time to stop Atamai's sudden fall as the floor opened up underneath him. The earthen toa's eyes trailed down, down after the Toa of Iron as his face became illuminated with a golden light he felt all too familiar.

Arkius was no more.

Arkius had arrived.

As his form twisted and expanded to its full glory, he growled as his mask melted and conformed to his face, the indignity of continued mutilation vexing him, before finally he opened his own eye for the first time in an eternity, and looked to the spot where Atamai had fallen through.

@Vezok's Friend@Unreliable Narrator@~Xemnas~@Eyru@Tarn@The UltimoScorp@pokemonlover360@Harvali@Snelly

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IC: Viltia - Toa of the Green - Metru-Nui Refugees

Location - Le-Metru Nuva, on the Northwestern fringes of (7, 13) in the Fau Swamp

With - Sidra

 

Beruv smiled. Sidra had accomplished a feat that she wasn’t sure she could have done herself. Truly her two pupils had grown to meet her level of skill and then surpass it. Yes, she had the finesse and stability that came with a lifetime of work, but these two were created to forge. It was an integral part of their being. She couldn’t be more proud of them.

Viltia clapped vigorously, overjoyed for her friend. “You did it!” she shouted at the roof. “How’s that for forging our own destinies!” Her Kanohi of X-Ray Vision was already being used down in the mines, and now with Sidra’s Great Disc completed, her mind filled with the future and what masks she wanted to make for herself.

There was so much to do! And outside of forging, there was that weird tree to find, the Air Suva and temple ruins thing Sorilax and now Morangad had told them about, and who knew what else. At this point, she felt like she could even make a Great Disc from scratch! But those things would have to wait.

She forced herself to calm down, “Okay, okay. It’s time to go get your reward. If it really is a reward.” Viltia thought of the Grand Untethered and Nektann, “This island isn’t exactly the safest place. Did you want me to come with you in case something goes wrong?

 

OOC: @Nato the Traveler

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-----------------------------

 

--------- Six Kingdoms: Apocalypse Profiles ---------

 

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IC: Nale Vella - Metru-Koro (Infirmary)

Nale raised an eyebrow, looking to Zaliyah and Oreius to see their reactions. Was Ostrox about to reveal to them what Mazor had revealed to her the night before?

"I think I know what you're about to share. I may have had it spoiled for me recently, but...for everyone else's sake, continue."

@Eyru@Nato the Traveler@Toru Nui

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IC Kanohi - Tobduk-Koro

Kanohi grappled across the mountain reaches, looking for danger. With most of the Toa present gaining their reward in the ruins, he had decided to stay behind, to look out for the beast or any other danger. His optic scanned the mountainous around them, searching for the slightest source of rain.

Below some Matoran practiced the motions of their new dance, shouting and stomping with the violence of the torrent. Two thumped and waved their ribbons, as two others clanged together metal scrap for the thunder. They were the storm. Three Matoran stood in the center, wearing big ornate masks and shouting. They were the Toa who saved the village, wielding ribbons colored like their elements. Kanohi looked away, the tallest of the Toa’s left arm was decorated with a cord tied to a small clay Matoran figurine, grappling around the Toa.

Kanohi let out an uneasy moan. The tale glorified the Toa, as it should. Practically Arkius, who had ended the flood. Kanohi had a few honors too. But Collector, the Vahki, and Kilo, those heroes were hardly mentioned. It-it wasn’t right. They saved many, Collector had kept the ground solid enough for the Matoran to be evacuated, the Vahki helped get the Matoran to safety. But they, they were footnotes in the dance. Because they weren’t Toa, or Matoran

The vigilante turned Akiri hooked another boulder and landed atop it, before scanning the surrounding reaches again. He had to protect the village. It was a flawed place, like Metru-Nui before it. But there was still good here, and he had a duty. And too much death had passed already. So for now he would try to help people, and remind the Matoran that their Toa had not stood alone. 

OOC:  @The UltimoScorp  @Toru Nui 

IC “Collector” - The Ruins of Stone

Collector stumbled back as Atamai vanished, seemingly swallowed up by the very temple. They ran to the spot, optics darting about. “Administrator, what have you done with this Noble Toa?” They drew their Kanoka Blade, ready to protect the rest. The power they had sought had evaded them, all of their efforts were wasted. But after everything, for now, they hardly noticed.

Was this whole Nuva thing a trick? Or a sacrifice? For as Collector’s optics darted around, looking for another ambush, they realized Toa Arkius’s body was now twisted into a larger prouder form. He looked larger, thicker, and his mask looked … almost organic. Like it had bled into his face. The very ground seemed to rumble beneath him, like a Blade Burrower carving their mad tunnels. 

Arkius had been the closet one to Atamai… Collector practically dove at Arkius, “Toa Arkius, a-are you alright?” Had … had the sacrifice been for his sake?

OOC: @~Xemnas~ @pokemonlover360 @Onaku @Snelly @Tarn 

Edited by Harvali
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"Danger is the anvil on which trust is forged"-Jaller(Jala) :smilejala: 
"We're on our own here-like we've always been-and we'll stand or fall on our own"-Tanma
"He may seem slow and strange to you, but his simple words often carry a hidden wisdom"-Turaga Vakama on Kapura

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Kanohi: Stories of a Matoran Vigilante The Impact of a Rebirth: a Kanohi Fanfic The Willing Exiles: a Kanohi Fanfic SKA PC Profiles: Kanohi, Collector, Mahrika Avatar by @Harvali and edited by @Kal the Guardian

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