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IC: Mar (Obsidian Outpost)

"He brought the body. It was already dead after the two had gotten caught in the blizzard, they'd both be dead now hadn't they found this place" I said simply. It was mostly true, and I could stomach a white lie to put this whole affair behind me.

"So where are you headed now?" I asked to change the subject.

OOC: @Endless Sea (Alaki Nuva)


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IC: Joskander (Obsidian Outpost)

"Promised Dahkapa I'd meet up with him at Ko-Koro.  After that..."

Mind-shapers in Ga...?

...no.  That's not my decision to make.

And yet Enforcer's words lingered nonetheless.  Joskander grimaced.  He supposed he should have expected just how draining it would be, interacting with a broken brother.  Not that it would have changed anything- not that it would have kept him from his guilt- but he never would have been emotionally equipped for this.  As much as he wanted to help Dahkapa, was there truly anything he could do at this point?  Did Dahkapa even need him?

And, more than anything else, he just wanted to go and see Cephala.  To talk to a friend again.  It would lift his spirits, if nothing else.

"...after that, maybe do some running around here and there.  It's what I'm good at."

OOC: @Geardirector

Ach, I'm torn.  I wanna toss Joskander into Ga so I can write him as a walking meme again, but I don't think he'd want to leave his impromptu interrogation unfinished (he's deffo at least a little bit suspicious still) and the whole Dahkapa thing still lives rent-free in his head...


It is not for us to decide the fate of angels.

Dominus Temporis, if you're out there, hit me up through one of my contacts.  I've been hoping to get back in touch for a long time now.  (Don't worry, I'm not gonna beg you to bring back MLWTB or something.  :P )

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IC: Mar (Obsidian Outpost)

"I... don't suppose you've got room for someone else along for the ride?"

A smile. An attempt at one, anyway.


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IC: Joskander (Obsidian Outpost)

...?!

"Sure," Joskander said, and now he was smiling too.  "How far?"

 


It is not for us to decide the fate of angels.

Dominus Temporis, if you're out there, hit me up through one of my contacts.  I've been hoping to get back in touch for a long time now.  (Don't worry, I'm not gonna beg you to bring back MLWTB or something.  :P )

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:i::c: - The Dark Walk

The twelve Sactum Guard in the expedition may have been new to war, but their training proved them well. As one, they mechanically raised their spears and shifted into formation. Following Skri's orderers, they took up a position near the door to the hideout. The Ta-Matoran, Rall, made sure he took point, filling the doorway beside a young Ko-Matoran with a teal Akaku. They both aimed their spears and lightstones at the unsettling figure who had emerged from the darkness deeper in the hideout. Four other guards took up position just behind them, spears raised to stab over the heads of the two in front of them at any approaching enemies. The other six guards formed a line with their backs to the others, monitoring the entryway to the darkwalk, in case any fresh monsters emerged from the cavernous passageway to take the expedition from behind. Although some of their hands were trembling, they remained remarkably calm, embodying the icy stillness the sanctum guard asked of its soldiers. 

Without taking his eyes off his enemy, Rall whispered in a voice only audible to the Matoran beside him and any others near the doorway. "What the #### is this thing? I can't see him from this distance, but I know that's no Rahkshi. Is that shrapnel sticking out of its body?" 

The Ko-Matoran around him remained characteristically tight lipped. 

Edited by Visaru

--------------   Tarrok | Korzaa | Verak | Kirik   --------------

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IC: Zueya - Dark Walk Chamber

The shattered mask was eerie, but this? She had seen what had become of Skorm when he was poisoned by antidermis through Vakua sharing his memories; whatever this was, it was so much worse. It seemed to be waiting for them. Her mind raced, her muscles coiled like springs. First Skorm acts suspiciously, now this. The metal walls, the plants...

"It's not shrapnel, its... wood."

She had never seen Plantlife used this way. In her training, she had never bested Aelied; she knew that this sort of thing was possible, but who could actually do it? How was this person still alive? He would either need a freakishly high pain tolerance, or...

"Is... this a zombie?"

OOC: @Light @Visaru +Dark Walk crew

IC: Skorm - Alone

As Skorm made his way into the darkness, he examined the walls. They were smooth and rounded, like the Dark Walk had been, but much smaller. A tributary feeding into the main route, or a dark vein? Then again, he didn't even know if there had been a passage. For all he knew, he had been pulled through solid rock by a Rahkshi that was toying with him. A bit of fear stabbed into his chest; what was happening with the expedition? With Zueya? His absence would be noted, of course; she would be dead set on finding him once it was clear he was missing. That might make her too focused, more likely to trip up. He had to find her.

Strangely, this tunnel was less... claustrophobic that the Dark Walk, despite the smaller size and still-pervasive darkness. He felt the hazy hints of a vague memories; tunnels, when he was a matoran. He had worked in them. They were likely better lit, and smaller, but he was proportionally about the same size. Still. He couldn't let himself get too comfortable. Skorm concentrated on maintaining his orbiting debris, feeling out the walls around him in all directions. He almost didn't need the lightstone.

OOC: @Krayzikk

IC: Cyrix - Wise Man's Archive

The Le-Toa met Priicu's gaze and nodded back. However, when Cyrix broke eye contact as he looked around at the shelves, the ko-matoran kept watching him. Cyrix looked at the reading tables, specifically, the toa-sized ones. Unfortunately, none were still out; his quarry had been good with reshelving. Well, time for the more direct approach.

Still glancing about, Cyrix approached the desk, pulling out two five-widget pieces. "I have an unusual request; there was a Cy-Toa in here earlier. If you could, I need to see what he looked at here."

OOC: @ARROW404

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The times, they are a-changing...

 

 

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On 11/8/2021 at 2:13 AM, Keeper of Kraata said:

IC: Cyrix - Wise Man's Archive

The Le-Toa met Priicu's gaze and nodded back. However, when Cyrix broke eye contact as he looked around at the shelves, the ko-matoran kept watching him. Cyrix looked at the reading tables, specifically, the toa-sized ones. Unfortunately, none were still out; his quarry had been good with reshelving. Well, time for the more direct approach.

Still glancing about, Cyrix approached the desk, pulling out two five-widget pieces. "I have an unusual request; there was a Cy-Toa in here earlier. If you could, I need to see what he looked at here."

OOC: @ARROW404

IC: Priicu

The Ko-Matoran's face betrayed no toughts as he mulled the question over. Had he aided a criminal? Or was this perhaps a rival? Not one to betray a potential business opportunity, nor one to betray his local government, he took what he deemed to be the most logical response. "I could, if I had reason to." He poked at the widgets, sliding them slightly back toward the one who had placed them down. "Are you law enforcement? Do you have any identification?"

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OOC: This post is somewhat divided, I'll try to tag the people things are relevant to.

IC: The Dark Walk, Outside

As Safina's eyes peered into the darkness, and her focus drew away, that movement returned. A faint blur at the far edges of her Exo-Matoran's light--but this time accompanied by a low growl and rattling sound, then the faint crunch of a tread moving across dirt. Something was moving out there--but she only had an instant to refocus from the hideout and process the glimmer of fangs in the light as the creature entered her view, an enormous tiger-like creature pouncing for her. Its neck extended as it struck, razor sharp teeth gnashing for the left arm of her power suit. 

@Perp

IC: The Dark Walk, Hideout--The Lieutenant/Skorm

The Lieutenant's eyes remained fixed on the apparition that had appeared, the Ko-Toa slowly unslinging what looked like a rifle from his back. Meanwhile, however, Kehuri heard a soft male voice--definitely belonging to the Highlander--whisper in his ear. "Conserve your strength. I will need you to start a ripple in the earth on my mark if we need to get the Matoran out in a hurry."

A few scant seconds later Ronan heard the same voice in her own. "Anticipate the necessity of Plan B." 

Skorm turned to face the entity, assorted shards of masks floating off the table and swirling around him as he held up a hand, his eyes flicking to Zueya to check her actions. "Whatever he is, don't let him get to you," he snarled. "Focus on the objective."

"The Bo-Toa?" His head turned to the side, ear turning, listening to the whispering darkness, then he laughed again. "My foolish brother. He did not heed, no. He thought himself above virtue, thought to reject it rather than face his destiny." The inky black figure raised his arms, gesturing to his wounds with a bright, unhinged smile. "Unfortunately for him, ideals, true purpose--they transcend life. Conquer death. His weapons, truths--irrelevant. I am no mere zombie, no dead man walking on another's whim. I am my legacy."

His grin turned sinister, looking straight past Skrihen and Plagia to the huddling Matoran they were protecting. "Ah, the brave faces of well-trained children. You wish a less cryptic warning, Toa? Run, before I test your courage too."

The figure's green eyes turned an oily, flowing black and began to leak tears of ink and shadow, a deep, red glow starting in their depths--as the mind of every Matoran in the cluster was gripped with sudden, all-consuming fear. 

It seemed Plagia's hope for quiet and calm would go unfulfilled. 
 

OOC: @darkwalk crew. @Goose @Endless Sea (Alaki Nuva) @Keeper of Kraata @ARROW404 @Visaru in particular

@Daniel the Finlander: the fear effect probably isn't immediately obvious until the matoran react? but I'll trust your judgment on that. 

Edited by Light
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No such thing as destiny.

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2 hours ago, Light said:

Meanwhile, however, Kehuri heard a soft male voice--definitely belonging to the Highlander--whisper in his ear. "Conserve your strength. I will need you to start a ripple in the earth on my mark if we need to get the Matoran out in a hurry."

IC: Kehuri

He nodded and held his position, the air about his Hau shimmering with activity. The earth around him was at his command. He wasn't sure how strong a ripple he needed, but took the command to mean a destabilizing ripple in the direction of their mysterious foe. Nothing could be simpler.

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IC: Safina - Onu-Wahi Dark Walk

Oh, she had so veritably underestimated their cunning; it was no less than an instant after she strained to hear what the commotion in the side passage was that her ears instead picked up the guttural noises and sobering movements of some thing cloaked in the darkness beyond the protective cordon of her lightstone torch. Her body and arms were in motion before her brain even had another moment to fully process - the adrenaline had already begun its grand tour of her veins.

The moment the beast lept from the shadows was one of pure instinct. The Exo-Armor encasing her could not stop her from tensing her muscles to move in much the same manner had she not been using it - at once pivoting her suit and body defensively, giving only one step of ground to her attacker. The left foot of her suit retreated backward, bringing with it the rest of that side, including the arm. In sync, the bladed right arm shot forward from its tucked position, aimed squarely at where the beast’s center of mass would be a fraction of a second later - she didn’t have the time to pick a target.

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IC: Plagia | The Dark Walk

The obvious line-of-thought was that we outnumbered him about twenty-to-one, and it shouldn't have been an issue for us to rush him. But I still remembered the Rama Hive, and the shadowy lieutenant who had held off what felt like an army all on his lonesome. This guy knew shadows too -- Karz, the way he was talking about legacy and whatnot, he might have been in with Makuta as well, empowered by him. This couldn't have been Senemos himself, could it? 

Quite frankly, we didn't know what he was capable of. Best, by my reasoning, to keep things low and slow.

"Wait, wait!" I said, one hand thrown up towards the figure, as though that might've stopped him. "We're not here to fight, for Spirit's sake! We want to talk!"

Had to buy some time... just had to buy some time for us to... to...

OOC: @dark walk crew, specifically @Light

-Void

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:i::c: - Dark Walk Hideout

Fear leaked out of the emptiness in the monstrous Toa-figure’s eyes, gripping the limbs and hearts of the assembled Matoran at the entryway. Each of them struggled against the terror, but they were no match for the sheer force of emotion that struck them all to their core, rattling their insides, sending sweat and uncontrollable shivers running up and down their bodies.

One dropped her spear.

The fear blossomed in their minds and bodies, wiping away their rational mind with a sudden pang of what felt like hunger, but a hunger more ravenous than they had ever felt: a hunger for life. A hunger to escape the monstrous being looming in front of them. 

Three more spears clattered to the floor.

One of the Matoran in the front turned and clawed their way through their comrades, trying to escape, trying to run for it, willing to brave the inky blackness and the unknown dangers of the dark walk in exchange for freedom from the horror inside. As they did, they pushed the Matoran behind them along. A few of the guards began to wail and scream in fear. 

Six more spears fell as they broke ranks. 

Some of the Matoran in the back line were able to hold their ground for a moment, but even doing that took the all will and force of effort that Ko-Matoran valued. They did not quite have the will to struggle also against the force of their fellows pushing them away, toward safety. 

Seven of the Matoran fled headlong into the darkness, their minds lost in the grip of hot fear, pushing along three more unwilling comrades.

But the two in the doorway remained, still standing even as limb-trembling terror flooded their bodies. Rall and the Akaku-wearing Ko-Matoran kept their spears aimed at the monster, able to somehow will their feet in place as their fellows fled into the darkness outside the hideout.


--------------   Tarrok | Korzaa | Verak | Kirik   --------------

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IC: Dartakh (The Dark Walk)

While Dartakh felt no fear, the same could not be said about the Matoran. The mysterious figure appeared to have the powers of shadow, or something else, as his eyes leaked and glowed red. Somehow, this seemed to get to the Matoran, who were overwhelmed by terror.

"Foolish brakas!" he muttered as he saw many of the Matoran rout. He wasn't surprised this happened, but he was nevertheless angry. The training had failed to instill a proper sense of discipline in the guards. There were many thing he hated, and cowardice was one of them. It had been a mistake to bring them down here. Worst of all, he'd probably get paid less if any Matoran were lost during the expedition.

"Someone go look after the Matoran and make sure they don't get lost in the dark!" he shouted to the others in the group, unable to go himself as he was the one with a device that could save them a whole lot of trouble. He turned to the Lieutenant and whispered: "Sir, looks like he's got powers of some kind. Should I use my device?"

The thought of wearing his Boruhka helm did not cross his mind. He simply assumed the Matoran were cowards, and that he himself was immune to fear. Even if the stranger had psychic powers, he felt confident -- perhaps arrogantly -- that he could resist them with ease.

OOC: @Light and @darkwalk gang

Edited by Daniel the Finlander
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:i::c:

On 10/27/2021 at 10:51 PM, The UltimoScorp said:

IC Tarkahn - Akiri's Office:

He nodded slowly, taking in the words of all of those in the chamber. A less astute man might have wanted a chorus, but Tarkahn knew that innovation thrived when there was competition. He noticed the discomfort of his Guard captain, and let the lid fall completely over the heatstone on his desk.

Korzaa gave a small nod of thanks to Tarkahn. She appreciated the small gesture of kindness, the effort taken to make the traditional guardswoman feel more comfortable in her foreign leader’s space. 

On 10/27/2021 at 10:51 PM, The UltimoScorp said:

"I understand your concerns regarding their mental abilities, however, for the time being, I do not share them. These are refugees, after all. It would hardly behoove them to start causing trouble to the people taking in their civilization. I agree with you, Korzaa. They should be welcomed here. And any who wish to reside permanently should be allowed to do so, under the same expectations as any citizen of Ko-Koro."

She nodded again as he addressed her, a dispassionate recognition of her opinion being heeded.

On 10/27/2021 at 10:51 PM, The UltimoScorp said:

He paused for a moment, then added, "Although with cultures coming together like this, perhaps some expectations and rules will need to be changed..."

But she visibly stiffened at the idea that her village would need to change itself to accommodate the newcomers. She had a strong sense of what it meant to be Ko-Koronan, and hated the idea of that being challenged.

But before her identity as a Ko-Matoran, she was a Guardswoman, and she would leave her concerns for the professionally correct time.

On 10/27/2021 at 10:51 PM, The UltimoScorp said:

He shook his head.  "Thoughts for later. On to more pressing matters. The rahkshi. I suspect the cultists of Makuta are behind the attacks somehow. But we need some kind of solution. How can we stop the attacks once and for all? I can hardly call on the other Koros for this, as I'm sure they are all dealing with similar situations."

He rubbed his temples, "If Nuparu would just allow us access to those schematics, we could mount a better offense against the things."

Korzaa put her attention and energy to the Rahkshi attacks. She didn’t need prepared notes for this.

“There is something strange with the Rahkshi recently,” she agreed, “but we have absolutely no intelligence on why this might be. There are no records of Makuta cultists ever working with the beasts before, although of course that is not proof it's happening for the first time. However, the Rahkshi's new behavior we have observed is familiar…”

She paused for an uncomfortably long time.

“It is the same sort of behavior as they had before the Makuta was defeated. I do not want too speculate rashly…”

Another pause. She spoke the thing aloud. 

“But you all must be aware of the strange storms over Kini-Nui and the theories of Makuta’s return. I do not often give rumors much credit, but even if the probability of their truth is infinitesimally small, the danger would be so unfathomably large we must take them seriously."

“If the rumors are true, no amount of Exo-Armor or inter-village cooperation will be enough to put a stop to these attacks. There is only one way we know of to defeat the Makuta or a being of similar power."

She turned her attention to Reordin and gave him a stiff nod — a professional gesture that indicated a depth of gratitude she did not have the means to express.


--------------   Tarrok | Korzaa | Verak | Kirik   --------------

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IC: Joskander (Obsidian Outpost)

"Well, if you want off, I suppose the cable car's right there..."  Joskander gestured at the outpost.  "Alternatively, I'm thinking about popping on over to Ga-Koro after I see Dahkapa again.  Got a buddy that lives there..."

OOC: @Geardirector


It is not for us to decide the fate of angels.

Dominus Temporis, if you're out there, hit me up through one of my contacts.  I've been hoping to get back in touch for a long time now.  (Don't worry, I'm not gonna beg you to bring back MLWTB or something.  :P )

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IC:

Skri swore briefly and forcefully.

On the one hand this proved, just as she and Reo had been talking about before, that not every citizen was suited to training as a Sanctum Guard. The two that stood fast were her best and under any other circumstances she would have told them how proud she was. But even if the others were not necessarily best suited she knew them better than this. Fear, uncertainty, in just one or two maybe even cowardice but none of the three would make them flee so easily. So desperately. She reached for the vines about the figure's body, an easy means to shut him up, and narrowed her eyes for they were not there. With her eyes she could see them as plain as day but to her element they simply did not exist. And that, coupled with the flight of her charges, boded very ill indeed.

"Plag, this isn't right." The Sanctum Irregular's voice was low and firm, leeched of its irreverence. The look Kehuri gave her was obvious but there was no time for his bleeding heart. She flicked her wrist and the length of vine still untouched darted out and closed around her staff, yanking it back towards her. It would be needed, soon, and genuine concern entered her mind at last. Not fear, not yet, but a realization that the Lieutenant, or his superiors, had drastically underestimated the lethality of the situation they found themselves in. She wanted to go collect the fleeing Matoran, shepherd them out of the tunnel as was her priority. But the truth was that at this moment she could do nothing for them except hope they fled towards the surface. "The vines aren't real."

"Kehuri we need to know who in this room is real and where and we need to know right now." She snapped the instruction, any etiquette long in abeyance. The pollen still in the air, not yet latched onto any particular surface, she gathered up and sent behind her towards the entrance. Danger was properly with them, now, and the only question was who she could get out alive. "LT we need to shore up. Rall watch the door, and under no circumstances stay anywhere except behind me."

Skrihen, unlike most of them, had met Makuta's worst. Not the Rahkshi, though they were enough for fear. She had met Heuani however briefly and experienced an attack by real shadow. This figure, whatever he was, didn't ring true but he didn't feel right, either. And she knew her trainees well enough to know that even the most frightened would have stayed here, with her, rather than face the darkness alone. 

Something was very, very wrong and she didn't like it at all.

@ARROW404 @Light @Void Emissary @Visaru

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fK5oqYf.jpg

 

On this eve, the thirtieth anniversary of that first colony, many are left to wonder; is the world fast approaching a breaking point?

 

 

  Breaking Point: An OTC Mecha RPG

 

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On 10/14/2021 at 12:50 AM, BULiK said:

IC: Nichou [The Massif] (Many weeks prior, but also, the next day)

IC Stannis | The Massif

It was not immediately clear who it was who greeted him, but in the time it took to get close he racked his memory—the voice was familiar, as was the stocky body of the matoran, and by the time they stood a bio apart, the Wanderer stopped his march and smiled down at the matoran.

"Nichou, my friend," he said, "don't you remember? Size matters not in the eyes of Mata Nui."

"Well put," Nichou grinned wistfully. "If only everyone could see the way He does..."

Nichou looked upwards as Stannis drew closer. Seeing the Maru in person was altogether strange, albeit not unexpected. When seeing a friend again for the first time in a long time, it's easy to get lost in the different details. One may not be able to place each and every incongruency, but there is a shimmer, an unreal feeling, as one's imperfect memories of a person attempt to line up with the version in reality, altered by time and growth. Nichou already knew Stannis was different on the outside, and, to a degree, on the inside as well. New proportions, a new element with new powers, as well as new a Kanohi, and other equipment. He may still have been the same underneath, but with new experience lurking behind those grey eyes that seemed to wisen the Wanderer beyond his years. Stannis had weathered challenges Nichou could only imagine, and from just a glance, it was evident across the granite guardian's body.

The carpenter was no doctor, but he had seen his fair share of wounds up close in his time. Clotted blood clung to Stannis's shoulder and knuckles like frost, and a deep gash across his chestplate exposed a fresh scar. "Looks like the 'protecting and serving' business has been as busy as ever." Nichou said as he looked towards the recent wounds. "Is everything okay? Let's find somewhere warmer for you to rest—it looks like you've had a long night.

"Ko-Koro is safe now, again," Stannis said with a weary voice. "The evildoers have been routed and a new akiri has been set in control. For the first time in a long time, I have hope for the city."

His damnably grey eyes were blank vacancies against the backdrop of fog, making it seem as though the august toa-hero had holes all the way through the back of his skull, but Nichou could tell they were resting on him. It gladdened the Wanderer to see an old friend again, wishing only it were under more comfortable circumstances. He winced and eyed the parapets of the town's keep. "Yes, rest sounds... good. I'll be alright, I know where to go and can get there fine, but your company is more than welcome."

Nichou nodded and began to walk with Stannis to the new elevator at the face of the massif's titular stone foundation, listening to his friend's good news. "That's wonderful—and the legacy's hostages...?" The companion trailed off, the question clearly the next immediate worry on his mind.

"Is there someone you are most concerned about?" Stannis gently asked, sensing the urgent intent.

"Well, actually... yes." Nichou stuttered. "I came to Ko-Wahi with a friend I made in Po-Koro; a Po-Matoran Kohlii player named Kyhra. Kaukau, eyepatch, snakeskin duster—hard to miss." As they walked, Nichou's left hand absentmindedly toyed with the pocket with a Ishi's letter inside. He gave a sigh. "I went here, he went to Ko-Koro just before it locked down and subsequently fell. It's a long shot, but... I was hoping he'd made it out."

The elevator whirred as it slowly heaved the Po-Toa and Onu-Matoran upwards towards the keep overlooking the Massif. Nichou shrugged. "If you don't know any news... well, it is what it is."

The Wanderer tilted his head in thought a moment and then said, "It's not that I have no news, but I call Po-Koro home now but I do not know a villager by that name. There were no Kolhii players with snakeskin dusters and eyepatches in Ko while we were there."

"Strange... but thanks, regardless."

Nichou was silent for a moment as he processed the news, or lack thereof. His face had a solemn, but unsurprised expression. The odds of Kyhra surviving, AND having been met by Stannis, were not a bet many gamblers would take. Conditional probability was a deep rabbit hole, easily eating away at hope with the multitude of dark possibilities. In his heartlight, Nichou knew his friend's survival was a fool's hope, and this was useful nail in the coffin he needed to set that worry aside. 

Maybe he'd put up a poster or two in the city regardless, just in case. Everyone probably had a friend of family member that they were separated from, surely such missives would congregate somewhere in the city as it rebuilt from the siege. Perhaps the fledgling architect would build that memorial wall. But... now that Stannis mentioned it, a one-eyed kohlii player with such a distinctive fashion sense was quite the improbability in and of itself. Nichou avoided mulling on what that meant—instead, the talk of survivors had reminded him why he had sought out Stannis those many months ago.

The elevator shuddered to a halt at the top of the cliffside. The Massif's keep dominated the horizon ahead. "Have you heard from any of our other Companions since you destroyed Makuta?

"I've heard Lekua was called to something and Lepidran is running a miniature zoo in the jungle, but I have not heard much more. I do miss Atiel sometimes," he said fondly. He liked his hammer. 

"And you? Any more strange matoran visitations?" he asked, good-naturedly recalling the time when the Chronicler had visited the Companions. Perhaps Takua had seen Nichou as well, but perhaps not. It was a harmless reference to the past. 

An eyebrow was raised as the duo walked towards the cathedral. "Strange matoran visitations?" Nichou scoured his memory. The strangest visitation he had had was that time when that unusual Ta(?)-Matoran ran into the companions on a Ko-Wahi mountain trail, looking for Aurax, Lepidran, and Stannis.

"Any more? Like that time soon after Nuju got captured?" Nichou asked in response. "No, nothing of the sort."

"I tagged along with Lekua for a bit, but I haven't seen him in a while. Nice to hear he's found his calling - he was always the most vocal about his disappointment with the Companions disbanding, though his feelings weren't unique. If he was doing anything less than some adventure, I'd be disappointed - he is a Matoran most fit for it. As for me? I've been mostly going here and there: seeing the sights, learning new things, meeting new people - did some stone carving in Po-Koro, wound up doing some light architectural work here, et cetera. 'Working and preserving', as you told Toa Noran back in the day."

Nichou wistfully paused as they began to navigate through the keep's halls, with Stannis taking more of a lead. The more the Onu-Matoran thought about his own travels since he saw Stannis, the more he remembered Sigrus's longing for adventure the night before. Nichou was glad that he had plans to set out - this conversation reminded him that he needed to, in Sigrus's words, be lost again, moreso than the carpenter wanted to admit.

"Visitors are few and far between."

Nichou was silent for a moment, though it was clear he had more to say.

"I was going to ask about Lepidran. I'm... glad to hear he's doing well, doing what he always wanted to do. I'll admit... I feared worse, when he went off with you on your destined quest, and did not emerge from Mangaia as a Toa like you did. Same with Aurax. Is he well? I couldn't find his workshop anywhere when I lived in Po-Koro.

"Aurax is dead," Stannis said, "murdered by Rahkshi early in our campaign." It came off matter-of-factly but it was meant as a kindness. Stannis had come to appreciate the grace of ripping a bandage off in certain turns of discussion, and the fate of the erstwhile Company member remained a rough subject for him. In some way he'd felt like he'd let Aurax down, that it was somehow his fault that a member had been killed when it was not Stannis' choice who his companions would be, and the commander in him did not let that wound on his sense of Duty down. "I am as sorry as can be."

Nichou could only grimly breathe. It wasn't a sigh as much as it was a singular, conscious, measured breath. As if the crisp air overflowing throughout his lungs took his mind off the grief. The carpenter's pace slowed.

Inhale.

Hold.

Linger.

Think.

Stop.

Exhale.

Pause.

Repeat.

This wasn't news. News implied... new-ness. Nichou always wondered if any of the former companions had met a grim end to their journeys, and if so, how he would react to such news. To Nichou's surprise, there were no tears, only a sinking emptiness behind his heartlight. An empty pit of darkness that would be even more painful to claw out. The news sank like a lump in Nichou's throat that couldn't quite be swallowed. The itch could now be scratched, but it hadn't left him. Perhaps time would heal.

Exhale.

"That's...'"

Inhale.

Hold.

Linger. Determination. Restart.

"Aurax went into the unknown knowingly..." Nichou continued after a gulp. He took the time to find the proper words. "Hindsight makes the danger more obvious, yet also lessens it. Makes your eventual victory more assured. Destined."

He began to recite a cryptic stanza of the prophecy that had been forever burnt into both of their memories since they were just a plucky band of ragtag Matoran in Ko-Wahi.

"Enduring their strife,
"Mortality's knife,
"The heroes will find what he took.
"

Silence.

"I've long wondered what the cost for victory truly was. The assault on the hive, Pala-Koro, the Rahkshi attacks... so much death for our protection, but never, it felt, in the service of ever truly bringing an end to the war. Just to hang on to what we had. At least in his final moments, perhaps Aurax knew he died for that great purpose, that greater progress, as it was destined."

Inhale.

"He lived and died by the Virtues. May Mata Nui watch over him." Exhale. Nichou resumed his previous pace, having finished eulogizing. Boots clacked against stone, the sounds resonating off of the tight corridors. They were now in the halls of the Massif's keep. "Where was he laid to rest?"

But as Nichou looked up at his toa-hero he saw those thin lips quiver in a recital of the same litany Nichou had said. "Mortality's knife," Stannis echoed aloud without thinking, only remembering. Nichou asked where their friend was buried and, for a moment, Stannis could not say. He could not say it because he was still there in his mind, standing at the dark earthen mound marked with just the humblest of totems in one of the most dark and inaccessible sections of an ashen wasteland. The smell of smoke and soot was still fresh in his nostrils and the red of blood still painted his hands, or, at least, he imagined it all to be so, over, and over, and over again. 

There wasn't a single threat or enemy that Stannis had confronted that he remembered the Prophesy and the losses they'd suffered because of it. Mortality's knife. Aurax was not the first death in the great war against Makuta but he had been the first one to happen in the company of seemingly spiritually ordained heroes, and until Aurax was butchered by rahkshi the company had been under some delusion that they were destined to succeed. Stannis did not cling to such high hopes, however, and constantly feared that mortality's knife was a blade with his name on it—not Aurax's, not Oreius, not anyone's but the one who treads ahead, and so the loss of someone Stannis treasured as a companion, friend, and believer had come as a grisly shock and macabre reminder that they were not predestined to do anything but suffer, because they were soldiers in a war. And ever since then, whenever Stannis faced odds against him, he still felt death's shiv cut closer to him again. 

The keep came into focus—How long had I been remembering? he wondered—and he realized Nichou was still expectantly awaiting his answer. "Ah—in a remote corner of the Charred Forest, near where he died. I have tried to find his place of rest since it happened in order to provide higher honors but have not been able to stumble upon it, so perhaps it is not meant to be."

Their presence in the Keep reminded Stannis why he had come to the Massif and he looked around the space with new alertness. Few things had changed from when Antrim Vakitano resided in the small fortified redoubt, but it looked more as a reproduction homage than a time capsule from the past. The new Toa-Protector had taste, yet Stannis did not seem reassured. While he ostensibly came for rest and respite after Ko-Koro's battle, he was truly there for business with the lord Brykon. 

Edited by Umbraline Yumiwa
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On 11/16/2021 at 12:10 AM, Krayzikk said:

"Kehuri we need to know who in this room is real and where and we need to know right now." She snapped the instruction, any etiquette long in abeyance. The pollen still in the air, not yet latched onto any particular surface, she gathered up and sent behind her towards the entrance. Danger was properly with them, now, and the only question was who she could get out alive. "LT we need to shore up. Rall watch the door, and under no circumstances stay anywhere except behind me."

IC: Kehuri

He glanced at her in surprise at the request. Yes, he had an elemental connection to the whole room around them, but sensing the displacement of earth beneath everyone's feet wasn't as simple as one might think. The earth here was already compacted, it would take concentration to feel each of them. But he supposed that was what he was supposed to do. With each word said his stomach sank lower. The Matoran had fled- did this Toa have Rahkshi powers? Matoran who had braved the Dark Walk wouldn't flee just from this. He clenched his jaw. The most dangerous Rahkshi were the ones a Hau couldn't block. He shook his head, shrugging the thought off. The leaders of the group would handle the details. He had something he needed to do.

Raising his shield higher, he dropped his Hau's protection. He lowered his center of gravity, knees bending, so his form was well covered by his round shield. He needed all of his mental focus to do what he was about to do. One by one, he sent a slight ripple through the ground under each of the remaining members of the team. It was tough, but as he focused, he could feel where the ripple was dulled by the weight of their feet upon it.

OoC:
I'm still thoroughly confused about the Toa of Gravity. I didn't get an answer to my question earlier. Did "he" speak up during the role call? Is there a physical presence where "he" is? If someone knows, maybe @ me in the discussion topic or PM me and I can edit this post accordingly, if things haven't moved on too much by then.

Edited by ARROW404

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On 11/16/2021 at 12:55 AM, Umbraline Yumiwa said:

IC Stannis | The Massif

"Ah—in a remote corner of the Charred Forest, near where he died. I have tried to find his place of rest since it happened in order to provide higher honors but have not been able to stumble upon it, so perhaps it is not meant to be."

Their presence in the Keep reminded Stannis why he had come to the Massif and he looked around the space with new alertness. Few things had changed from when Antrim Vakitano resided in the small fortified redoubt, but it looked more as a reproduction homage than a time capsule from the past. The new Toa-Protector had taste, yet Stannis did not seem reassured. While he ostensibly came for rest and respite after Ko-Koro's battle, he was truly there for business with the lord Brykon. 

IC: Nichou [The Massif]

Nichou frowned. The Charred Forest was a graveyard, in a sense. While Aurax's final resting place may be lost in that arboreal labyrinth, where it very well may never be found again, Nichou couldn't think of a better place for Aurax to lie. A battlefield, Makuta's scar on Mata Nui, that will one day heal and become fertile ground now that he was defeated.

"Deep in the Charred Forest? You must have been to so many unique corners of the island on your quest," Nichou redirected the conversation as the two continued to wander. "What was your favorite?"

Nichou would be travelling soon, after all. Perhaps Stannis knew some great places to visit in the future. It was probably more interesting and useful a question than asking to tell the same story everyone had heard before, even if Nichou wanted to hear it again but from the man himself.

Stannis had been in many places, some were strange and others mystical, and despite all that the Massif remained his favorite place to be. He winced in pain as he took a seat by the roaring fire, feeling the warmth in the hearth refresh his weary bones and melt the morning chill that still clung to his armor like dew. Nichou's question was in reference to adventure, though—he could see the wanderlust in the builder's eyes, the same that he saw when the companions first assembled oh-so-long ago, and an answer of "why here, of course," would not do and be met with confused disappointment. No, better to keep Nichou's spirits up and hopes focused forward to the magic that abounded on the island of Mata Nui.

"It's called the Keeping Place," he said. "That is my favourite. It's not accessible by most, even among the Toa Maru only I can enter it, but deep below the Kini-Nui's temple basements lies a realm wherein I have never felt closer to the Great Spirit. Time loses its meaning thence and one can't help but feel part of a greater ebbing and flowing of destinies. I've been there several times since we first entered, and every time I go it is a treat to the senses and soul."

"The Keeping Place?" Nichou repeated, optics flaring with curiosity and awe. What Stannis was describing sounded... indescribable. A pleasantly surprising answer to Nichou's question. "What does it keep?"

"Anything," Stannis said. "Things that are known and others that are not."

"Hmmm..." Nichou mused on the non-answer. "That sounds incredible. Reminds me of here, actually."

"Visit anywhere else interesting? Maybe somewhere that I could actually go to? I'll be leaving soon - Sigrus and I are going to help Ko-Koro rebuild, maybe do some old school exploration as well, see a bit more of the island."

"Is that right?" Stannis said, looking pleased for the first time in their meeting. "Like the old times? And with Sigrus!" It was hard to imagine a better travel companion than the pacifist monk who shared a love of all life like Lepidran with equal appreciation for hammers like Atiel, and possessed a spiritual zeal that rivaled the Wanderer's own. He was good company to have when things got rough, and for all Antrim's and Brykon's abilities as Toa-protectors it was in the hands of the camerlengo that the Massif thrived. In Stannis' mind, Sigrus was the best administrator the township had in a very long time, and he included himself in those ranks as well with humility.

"Yup!" Nichou nodded enthusiastically, posture and demeanor brightening along with his smile. "I got to know him better the other day, and that night was when we both realized how ready we both were to get back out there."

"Toa Brykon supported us all the way, almost leading us to the answers we already knew in our heartlights, in that way he does. I'm sure Sigrus's expertise will be missed, but the Massif will provide, as it always does."

Stannis winced again, only this time it wasn't at a physical pain as much as an emotion. The Massif will provide, he demurred. As it always does? He was not so sure of that anymore. It will always be a place of healing and nourishment, a temple for sojourners and wayward souls alike, but the heart of the Massif was in its people. 

Looking around, Stannis knew this was not the same Massif he knew and administrated before. Antrim Vakitano was dead and many whom were there in his era had moved on. Sigrus would be one of the last of that timeline, the last of falling fruits from the old Toa-protector's legacy tree. It was a sombering realization that shook Stannis somewhat and he shivered both from the cold seeping off his armor and the icy thought that coursed in his veins. The Massif has changed, he thought. It's different, not what it was. Not... my Massif.

Without thinking he spun a small messenger back off his shoulder and placed it in his lap. That makes this somewhat easier to do.

To the excited matoran, he smiled thinly, his gaze far away. "Does he still dislike me somewhat?" Stannis asked of Sigrus. "Some small, petty chip on his shoulder?"

Nichou chuckled. "Well, let's just say... he thinks you gave him ample room to shine and demonstrate his skills by cleaning up the mess you left behind when you left to start the Companions."

"So... yes."

"Serves me right," Stannis said with a goofy grin. 

And then he leaned up against the warm mantlepiece, closed his eyes, and quietly fell asleep.

Nichou wistfully smiled, lingering for a few moments. Sigrus was right - Stannis was the same matoran Nichou knew. The Onu-Matoran carefully stood up, leaving the Toa Maru to rest. The carpenter quietly left the chamber to go back to the hamlet below and finish the last few arrangements before he could set off on his next adventure.

OOC: A long time coming, this saga has almost wrapped up. Gonna be ready for arc 3 sooner or later!

Edited by BULiK
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IC: Savrehn - Ko-Wahi - The Drifts

“What?!” It came out more like a grunt through gritted teeth. Were they just committing suicide now? Savrehn looked over at Kreigero and those apologetic feelings came up again. Now they were simply jumping to their doom.

“I’ll see you on the other side,” the mountaineer said, feeling the muscles in his arms strain and the ice axe continue to slip.

The Ko-Matoran closed his optics and said a prayer under his breath before leaping from the shield and to the unknown, legs flailing and ice axe raised. Savrehn didn’t even yell as the abyss came closer and he disappeared from Kreigero’s sight.

OOC: @BULiK@~Xemnas~


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:kaukau: [BZPRPG] :kaukau:
(shout out to max)

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On 11/4/2021 at 3:20 PM, ~Xemnas~ said:

IC, Atamai: Ko-Wahi

"I'll jump next, and then you can after me, Savrehn!" he said. The historian turned and looked grimly at the abyss, raised his pick, and leapt.

1 hour ago, Tarn said:

IC: Savrehn - Ko-Wahi - The Drifts

“What?!”

“I’ll see you on the other side,” the mountaineer said, feeling the muscles in his arms strain and the ice axe continue to slip.

The Ko-Matoran closed his optics and said a prayer under his breath before leaping from the shield and to the unknown, legs flailing and ice axe raised. Savrehn didn’t even yell as the abyss came closer and he disappeared from Kreigero’s sight.

IC: Kreigero [Ko-Wahi, Drifts]

The huntress felt slack on her rope shortly after Atamai announced his plan. She was still looking above her as she waited for the rope to stop moving once she heard the sound of Atamai beginning his climb, which she knew she would hear any moment now..

Time felt compressed. She held her breath with the same tightness as her hands held her icepicks.

She could hear Reyal barking. He must must have reached the edge of the crevasse.

Edited by BULiK

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On 10/3/2021 at 10:47 PM, Goose said:

IC: Aerus (Echelon's Lair)

The look that spread across Aerus’ face was one of genuine horror. He knew Echelon - he knew what he was. But still, what had survived of his conscience through these years of service still could not help but be appalled at kidnapping a child.

“So he… he abducted you to teach you? Or to experiment on you?” Quite frankly, the premise of Echelon abducting someone as part of some twisted scheme made a fair bit more sense than the idea of him accepting someone who willingly came to him seeking tuition, which at least joined some of the dots in Aerus’ mind. Why, however, he would so willingly elect to become a teacher… that remained a mystery.

IC (Syrik) [Echelon's Lair]

Syrik gave a small, cold smile.

"Same thing, with him. He had some interesting theories about power..."

His gaze slid over to the door that led to Echelon's old laboratories and the cells that adjoined them. The smile remained, but there was a haunted look in the man's eyes that his chameleonic casualness couldn't hide. He spoke his next words softly, and Aerus could've sworn he heard his voice choke a little.

"...and pain."

The Toa was staring at his own hand now, which began to curl into a fist. It looked almost involuntary; the hand shook as the fingers closed. Aerus heard — or perhaps felt, inside his skull — a low, buzzing hum. The air tasted metallic. Syrik's face seemed to be caught in a struggle between anguished grimace and manic grin, lips tautened and curling back to reveal clenched teeth. His eyes were wide and staring.

And he was right.

Abruptly, the hand dropped back to his side. The humming stopped, and so, it seemed, did whatever had come over the Fa-Toa.

Syrik pulled over a chair and settled into it, breathing a long, slow breath. For a moment he looked drained, exhausted, before the demeanour of relaxed affability returned. His eyes flicked back up to meet Aerus'.

"He ever tell you 'people make the best weapons'?" he asked with a knowing smirk. "I'm sure he did. One of his favourite maxims. It's why he used the Tryna, after all. But those flesh-puppets of his were only good for direct control; and sure he had mercs, but they're expensive, and not exactly loyal. He needed a weapon that could operate independently out in the world, go places he couldn't, but that he could still control. That's where I came in."

He scoffed.

"He never told me any of this, of course, but it didn't take me long to figure it out. The missions made my purpose pretty clear. Why he needed me...why he made me."

Edited by Ghosthands
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IC: Aerus (Echelon's Lair)

Aerus’ first response was to process. His ears were still ringing, which gave him a moment in which to sort through what he had just witnessed - trauma, certainly, but more than anything else… instability? He recalled how he first thought of Echelon as a madman, and he certainly was by the end, but for most of the time Aerus had known him he was in control of himself. This new Toa, this Syrik, was a smokescreen; the calm and control, the mannerisms inherited… inherited directly, Aerus noted, recalling the lazy flick of the wrist with which he had exercised his elemental magnetism.

How appropriate that he should wear a Mahiki, Aerus thought. Beneath his illusion, there is only madness.

Which made him even more dangerous than Aerus had at first suspected.

“...I take it he got more than he bargained for.” Aerus’ voice was steady, and almost accusatory - too much certainty to be questioning. “He was a creature of habit, after all. When he found something that worked, he used it until its usefulness ceased. So either he accomplished what he had you set out to do, or - and I think, more likely - he learned a lesson. He had two living tools in my time with him, and only I was independent, while his Toa was kept on a tight leash.”

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Nikarra - Kaelynn - Ronan - Muir - Donal Aerus - Montague - Kira - Learu - Alteora - Fuacht - Nessen - Merrill

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IC: Cyrix - Wise Man's Archive

The Le-Toa hoped the lack of recognition was a positive. In a moment, he weighed the benefits and negatives of enlightening the shopkeeper; anonymity was always good. On the other hand, he could test some of the local response to the team. He'd be able to tell Aelied; if whomever he was tailing caught on and reported back to the Sanctum, the old man would only need to say he was verifying an identity. Which technically, Cyrix was doing.

He cleared his throat; it got dry in the cold. Only thing he didn't care for about the climate; maybe it was why ko-matoran were taciturn? File for later. "Cyrix, of the Toa Kalta. Just running down some paperwork; Aelied forgot to ask the guy in here to make extra copies."

OOC: @ARROW404

IC: Zueya - Dark Walk Hideout

Zueya's eyes widened when she spotted the figure's leaking eyes. She had never seen it herself, but she had seen it in shared memories and sensations. Skorm had described it. She added two and two together; the not-zombie's insane pain tolerance, the creepy things it was saying... now bleeding black from the eyes. Antidermis.

She steadied herself; she'd need to be grounded. She heard the some of the matoran guards fleeing; nothing she could do without zapping them into a coma. This guy, though, she could do something about. "Skorm, his eyes! I think he's infected! Gukko cage maneuver!"

Bracing one end of her staff behind her, Zueya poured energy through it, firing it into the air above the figure; the lightning bent and crackled as it split into many prongs and encircled the figure in a flickering electric cage. Sparks of light shone around the lightning stream as spores were burnt away; the miniature flares cast the room in an eerie light.

OOC: @Light @Krayzikk


The times, they are a-changing...

 

 

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IC, Atamai: Ko-Wahi

Timing had never been one of Atamai’s strong suits. 

What he had planned on doing was sticking his axe into the wall, keeping him safely away from falling. 

What actually happened was the wall came upon him a lot faster than he had anticipated. His ice axe did find its mark, but so did his face. Momentarily stunned, Atamai’s grip on his axe loosened, and he fell backwards away from it. The rope was still tied to him. His companions would surely follow. 

OOC: @BULiK @Tarn

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OOC: Jam with @Light. Recommended listening.

IC: Ronan (Dark Walk)

Ronan showed no reaction to the voice in her ear - best not to offer any hint to their opponent, after all, and she had anticipated that they were headed in this direction from the moment he had appeared. Internally, she was still reaching out with her powers, searching for an ally in the darkness…

One revealed itself, behind the specter and along the wall, just waiting to be called to serve.

Still, Ronan's face gave away nothing. In her mind, however, she shifted gears, reaching into the iron walls for anything she could use to get the upper hand, or that might at least hint at the notebook's location.

The iron walls were thick but revealed little beyond the presence of a door close to where her potential ally was. Iron had no eyes, it could not see. Only feel.

And Ronan felt, felt the door and felt the iron around it - each door in this place, each entrance, had been rigged, and their enemy stood between it and them. Her mind flashed back to the flechette, how it had launched forward at the Vo-Toa - it could serve them all well to turn this place's traps and machinations to their advantage.

The wall behind the figure revealed no traps, nothing untoward. The one to Ronan's left, however, was far heavier, and whispered nothing of the caress of the earth against it--nor did it brace anything.

A mystery for another moment. Perhaps even for their escape plan, although she did wish for a moment that she had a Suletu - communicating its existence to the lieutenant, or even just that of the door, without giving up the element of surprise would have been ideal. Still, her efforts had at least uncovered a friend in the darkness.

And imperceptibly, that darkness shifted, as Ronan's newfound ally carefully - quietly - checked that it was unbound, and able to move freely.

Her new friend had some difficulty moving, at first--but it tore itself free from whatever had it against the wall, then shuffled forward.

On 11/15/2021 at 11:10 PM, Krayzikk said:

IC:

"Plag, this isn't right." The Sanctum Irregular's voice was low and firm, leeched of its irreverence. "The vines aren't real."

"Kehuri we need to know who in this room is real and where and we need to know right now." She snapped the instruction, any etiquette long in abeyance. "LT we need to shore up. Rall watch the door, and under no circumstances stay anywhere except behind me."

Skri’s words gave Ronan pause - she looked over the stranger for any metal she might use to verify his presence, but came up short, the Rahkshi staff not being viable. For now, she had to stick to the plan.

And so, slowly and as silent as the grave - helped in no small part by the dulled acoustics of the Dark Walk itself - her ally continued to move into position behind the stranger: close, but not too close, to get within reach for what it needed to do next without alerting him or its own allies to its approach. But to call it a new friend was, perhaps, inaccurate; after all, Ronan knew it well, no matter the shape that it took.

Her oldest friend, her most loyal companion, made its move while the element of surprise was still in its favour, sweeping the legs of the stranger from behind. Death, once again, had been kind to her.

But she had never been known to rely on Death alone. From the thick iron wall, a long strip tore free, and shot out into the unknown behind it - shot out at just the right height to behead anyone of Toa height who might be lurking there. Her ally, after all, had torn free from something on that wall - who was to say it wasn’t a Rahkshi staff?

41 minutes ago, Keeper of Kraata said:

IC: Zueya - Dark Walk Hideout

"Skorm, his eyes! I think he's infected! Gukko cage maneuver!"

Well, at least I got in an actual surprise attack first.

OOC: @ dark walk crew

Edited by Goose

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IC: Kreigero [Ko-Wahi, Drifts, Crevasse Opening]

A crash against the wall, heard by Kreigero as well as felt through vibrations in the ice wall.

The rope jerked backwards with the inertia of two falling matoran, choking Kreigero's waist.

Burning palms as the handles of the ice picks were yanked from her alongside her breath. Still embedded in the ice.

Slowness.

An involuntary scream.

A spin.

Barking.

Her shoulder.

Spin.

Her-

Crunch.

Darkness.

IC: Reyal [Ko-Wahi, Drifts, Crevasse Opening]

The Hapaka's descent would be slower, but much less dangerous. It lept between outcroppings with surprising agility. It could not see the Matoran yet, but their scent was unmistakable.


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On 11/21/2021 at 7:39 PM, Goose said:

“...I take it he got more than he bargained for. He was a creature of habit, after all. When he found something that worked, he used it until its usefulness ceased. So either he accomplished what he had you set out to do, or - and I think, more likely - he learned a lesson. He had two living tools in my time with him, and only I was independent, while his Toa was kept on a tight leash.”


IC (Syrik) [Echelon's Lair]

"Then it sounds like he learned his lesson," Syrik replied with a smirk. "He had a contingency for me, but it wasn't quite as reliable as he thought."

The Toa leaned back in his chair, but his gaze remained fixed on Aerus intently, eyes narrowed: examining, evaluating.

"I think you and I are the same, in a way."

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16 hours ago, Keeper of Kraata said:

IC: Cyrix - Wise Man's Archive

The Le-Toa hoped the lack of recognition was a positive. In a moment, he weighed the benefits and negatives of enlightening the shopkeeper; anonymity was always good. On the other hand, he could test some of the local response to the team. He'd be able to tell Aelied; if whomever he was tailing caught on and reported back to the Sanctum, the old man would only need to say he was verifying an identity. Which technically, Cyrix was doing.

He cleared his throat; it got dry in the cold. Only thing he didn't care for about the climate; maybe it was why ko-matoran were taciturn? File for later. "Cyrix, of the Toa Kalta. Just running down some paperwork; Aelied forgot to ask the guy in here to make extra copies."

IC: Priicu

The Toa Kalta? That did change things. Priicu, having had his nose buried in paperwork since his still-quite-recent return from Onu-Koro, hadn't had the time to become intimately familiar with the Koro's Toa Team, but he did recognize the weight the name carried. "Toa Kalta Cyrix," he echoed, leaning back slightly. "I apologize for my lack of recognition. I only returned to Ko-Koro recently, so I am a little behind the times." He patted his desk and nodded slightly. Still, he didn't get the impression his prospective business partner and the inquisitive Toa were in league with one another. The story didn't quite ring true. He had led with an attempted bribe, after all.

On the other hand, he didn't want to be found in contempt of the authorities either. One didn't simply throw around the title of Kalta like this, and there were consequences for impersonating an authority figure. As such, he figured he was telling the truth about his identity. "Right. This way, honorable Toa," he said, then led him to the public records section of the Archive. "He had a look at this shelf, though I didn't see what documents he looked at specifically." He also conveniently forgot to mention the boxes in the back. If they were in league, the affair would resolve itself once the Toa caught up. If they were not, then this Toa would likely not find what Vrill had been looking for, and Priicu himself would have deniability.

"As a member of the Koro's official Toa team, I would like to offer you a free library card, for your future visits," he offered amiably. "It wouldn't be right to ask you to pay, when you already do so by your service."

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2 hours ago, Ghosthands said:

IC (Syrik) [Echelon's Lair]

"I think you and I are the same, in a way."

IC: Aerus (Echelon's Lair)

Something twinkled in Aerus’ eyes, and a smirk gently began to tug at the corner of his lips. He had thought similarly, of course - another living servant of Echelon, used for the jobs that corpses couldn’t complete and underestimated at every turn. But-

But.

He still wanted to know where Syrik was going with this.

“Do tell.”

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[BZPRPG PROFILES]

Nikarra - Kaelynn - Ronan - Muir - Donal Aerus - Montague - Kira - Learu - Alteora - Fuacht - Nessen - Merrill

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IC: Mar (Obsidian Outpost)

"Cablecar works for me, not so much for him" I said, gesturing to Karv, "I'll have to settle on taking the scenic route, so to speak"

My tone is more jovial now, it's about time I just had some normal problems to deal with from the day-to-day, "Ga-Koro might be a good place for me to at least point my nose at for now."

OOC: @Endless Sea (Alaki Nuva)


BZPRPG Profiles

Nuparu-Ferron-Mar-Zelvin-Trava-Wiremu-Farzan-Mako-Krex-Tamachan

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IC: Joskander (Obsidian Outpost)

"Sounds like a plan, then."  Joskander nodded curtly.  "Ko first, though, if that's all right with ye."

OOC: @Geardirector


It is not for us to decide the fate of angels.

Dominus Temporis, if you're out there, hit me up through one of my contacts.  I've been hoping to get back in touch for a long time now.  (Don't worry, I'm not gonna beg you to bring back MLWTB or something.  :P )

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IC: Savrehn - Ko-Wahi - ????

It was dark. Oh, it was dark. Savrehn put together what had happened: Atamai and himself had missed their target, and dragged Kreigero down with them when they fell. No, Atamai had made it, didn’t he? Something went wrong.

Savrehn had felt an impact not long after, and now he was certain of it.

He was dead.

The afterlife was exactly how he had expected it: a black void, empty and quiet. There was no Mata Nui here, and no Makuta either. You just died, and then it was over. He could still think, and the idea of being alone with his own thoughts for the rest of eternity bothered Savrehn far more than the idea there was no gods. And if he was dead, then that meant…

…Kreigero and Atamai were too. The hardened mountaineer was almost moved to tears by it. Not that he even could cry, because he had no corporeal form anymore, and because he didn’t cry in the first place. But he wanted to, knowing that the two Matoran were gone and it felt like his fault. He should have just kept his mouth shut back at the inn. Or maybe there was another path they could have taken in the Drifts, a safer one.

Maybe he should have kept to himself, and stayed alone.

Savrehn was suddenly startled when he realized he could hear something. It sounded like whimpering. Could he hear Reyal from beyond the grave, mourning the loss of his owner? Then he could hear a ghostly voice, calling out for his dead party. Kreigero. Atamai.

Oh, no.

That was him.

Savrehn opened his optics and quickly wiped any semblance of tears away. It was still dark. He forced himself to sit up.

“Oh, for ####’s sake—”

He wasn’t dead. Not yet.

OOC: @BULiK@~Xemnas~


galijump.gif.f3271eeb2e5fad0ab8397c83797b5bba.gif
:kaukau: [BZPRPG] :kaukau:
(shout out to max)

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IC Stannis & Brykon | The Massif

Flint and Steel, Part 1

It was quite nearly evening when the Wanderer awoke. The fire crackled with liveliness and its bright orange flames mingling perfectly with the late afternoon’s dim sunlight across the parlor of the keep. He realized that he was not where he’d dozed off at and was instead nested cozily on a broad recliner with a veritable mountain of blankets over him. Brykon must have moved him from his seat at the hearth, he realized, and he briefly thought with bemusement of the big man picking the Granite Guardian up with ease like a sack of rice before swaddling him on the chair facing the fire like a hapless babe or an infirm patriarch. The kindly giant was hospitable as he was strong, and deserved the world of respect.

Just so, the thought was dashed as soon as it came about as Stannis was reminded of his duty and how it would betray the host’s trust. A panicked spark in his eyes shone and he scanned the room for his satchel, and then faded when he found the bag neatly tucked just an arm’s reach away. But then the panic returned an instant later when he realized the clasp had been unbuckled. He hadn’t time to process that fact when the wooden spiral staircase groaned from weight as the house’s denizen stepped down and entered the parlor.

Welcome home, sleepy-headed Maru. Welcome home,” Brykon cheerily rumbled.

The casualness was unnerving but Stannis found himself falling for the man’s mirth and smiled heartily in thanks as he was handed a mug of mulled wine. Suddenly, all his woes had faded like cobwebs burnt away.

My messengers gave word of success in Ko-Koro,” Brykon said as he sat down on the hearth and stoked the flames with a poker. “It’s true, then? The cabal is done for?

True as we can make it,” Stannis confirmed. “Echelon is dead and his organization routed from the city. A new akiri has been elected, and while I have my misgivings the choice has been made and Ko-Koro shalln’t fall to darkness again.” He sipped his wine, sweet and indulgent; it burned with spices, pepper and cinnamon. “Or so Tarkahn promises.

A fool’s promises,” Brykon murmured as he absentmindedly played with the logs, “because only fools promise peace and security.” Matoro said the same when he was leader—‘Peace through Willpower,’ he’d said—and yet, look what happened to him? Brykon thought. Matoro had been killed by his own lieutenant, a victim of schemes hatched within his own halls. Even in the Massif Brykon knew better than to give a full oath of his guardianship’s effectiveness, and while he promised to do all he could to keep the village and its holy places safe and secure it came with the qualification of his own fallibility. He was walking in the footsteps of Toa Antrim, and even that disciplined protector was able to be ultimately destroyed by a foe he underestimated despite his wisdom. How could Brykon be any better than Antrim, or Matoro?

Or Nuju, Stannis thought, lost in his own mind but sharing in the same fears as Brykon. Nuju, the very same elder who christened Stannis as “The Wanderer” and set credibility to the path he’d already started on. Nuju, the great man who Brykon murdered.

And Brykon, the kindly host who gave Stannis warmth and comfort.

The toa-protector continued to play with the fire, realizing what Stannis’ silence foretold and refusing to speak of it. That was a long time ago for him and he’d tried to forget the chapter of his life when he’d been a marionette in the Peer’s plots and done their chaotic dirty deeds. Bad Company had been a scourge on the world and it was a monstrous carriage with Brykon holding the reins and in many ways his role as guardian of this High Place was an act of penance for the crimes he’d committed. It was a paltry excuse for an expiation but he sincerely believed his cloistered life in the neutral principality of The Lord was what was best, and that good—insofar as he was able to—was what he needed to do for atonement. For his part, he embraced his role in The Massif with all his heart, dedicating his power and will to protect his wards and the settlement’s monastery while maintaining its neutrality and trade routes.

Neither knew how long the moment had gone on, both toa stuck in their thoughts about themselves and the other. Knowledge was a terrible thing when without purpose, and it left both men all too aware of the other one’s meandering mind but utterly without meaning. What was the point of remembering the past when there was a willful intent to avoid it? What was the point of knowing someone—truly knowing—if no action took advantage of it? If it were a contest of mind games between the two men Brykon would be the undeniable victor, but to Stannis’ good fortune the spymaster had no intention to play because he was tired, recalcitrant, and wished to move on.

Just so.

You’re uncomfortable and I can tell it. Is it because of me?” Brykon asked.

Stannis blinked and chose his words carefully. Was he wise? he thought, then stole a glance at his bag and saw the cylinder half spilled out of the sachet and still neatly sealed in wax. No, Brykon was not the wiser. He was asking questions, the right questions, in complete ignorance. Stannis nodded, but it was an answer to a different question altogether. It was because of Brykon, but where the Toa-Protector had it wrong was in thinking his role in the monastic village as keeper of its original founder’s legacy was of concern. It was because of Brykon… his criminal past which, while forgiven, still required justice. “Yes,” he responded at last, and then quietude took over again.

Eventually, conversation resumed. Brykon invited his guest in a supper as night fell on the land, talk flowed of affairs near and far away, but finally finally his curiosity was piqued. “What is it you have there?” Brykon asked and pointed to the satchel, one hand stretched out to it and the other holding a goblet of wine. "You were very protective about it even in your slumber."

A deliverable,” Stannis answered truly between bites of stew, “to be delivered to you.

His brows creased and knotted against each other in concern. Mock concern? Stannis wondered. “And what sort of ‘deliverable’ would require entrusting to a Toa Maru for safekeeping?

The Maru, for what it was worth, stared implacably back at Brykon. “Lord Brykon,” he said in a stern, unwavering tone, “dispense yourself of the ruse of ignorance. Let’s not make this any more dramatic than it already will be.”

The toa-protector sat back in his chair and folded his hands behind his head. He knew what it was, what it had to be, as improbable as it was certain: The warrant for his arrest for crimes against the Matoran, the ones he’d danced around earlier but tried to ignore as best he could. The council of akiri, which until recently been embattled by petty feuds between their domains and Ambages’ machinations, had finally taken the opportunity to begin their process of justice for their fallen elders, and while the warrant may have borne Akiri Tarkahn’s signet stamp it truly had been issued by all six of them—most of whom still remembered the day the turaga were assassinated like it was yesterday. Dorian had to be the one to tell them the story, tipped them off to the killers; it had to have been Dorian because he, more than any of them, had the heart and conscience to do what was right.

If it was anything less fateful, Brykon would have been proud.

He knew what the deliverable was, truly had been expecting it for a while, but for some reason he did not anticipate it to be handed over by the island’s holy man and—he’d even venture to say—a friend. “You have a funny definition of dramatics, Stan. Now spit it out as well.”

The Maru’s leader stared at Brykon with even, steely eyes that drank up every detail. Here was the man who’s stare people shirked away from, Brykon thought; here was the man who could look at Makuta’s servants and be implacable as a wall. “It’s a warrant,” he said at last, and then clarified, “for your arrest.”

I expected this to be handed down by Dorian Shaddix, or Toa Reordin of Ko-Koro, not… the fabled Granite Guardian. Isn’t this a little outside of your jurisdiction?” Brykon questioned, though his heart was not in his own defense. 

I serve all of Mata Nui’s folk, just as the six Akiri seek to represent them. They needed someone to deliver this sentence and I volunteered,” he said with a shrug. Who best, after all, to deliver the verdict against The Massif’s protector than the strongest progeny of the Massif himself?

Brykon sighed, long and deep, and took another sip of wine. “Give it to me after dinner. Let’s call it my ‘just desserts.’” He winked.

Stannis couldn’t help it but think, just for a moment, that the worst was already behind them, that the arrest had been made and they could both move on from the horrible eventuality. But time took its toll regardless, and as the pot of stew grew meager and the wine carafe was drained so did their list of excuses to delay the inevitable. At last, Stannis rose from his seat, pulled the flap of his satchel, and removed a scroll with a bright white wax seal.

Under the directive of the council of Akiri, I am to arrest and bring you to justice your your crimes, specifically: Complicity to the murders of Turagas Vakama, Nokama, Whenua, Matau, and Onewa, the act of murder of Turaga Nuju, and crimes against Matoran.

At last,” Brykon said, “the hammer falls.” He broke the seal and read his warrant. His eyes lingered on the words 'dead or alive,' realizing just then that mercy was not a given. He stole a glance at Stannis Maru, sizing him up for the first time as an adversary, and then settled his gaze back on the letter that spelled out his doom. When he was finished, he let it roll up again and then set it on the table softly. 

"We can't do it here," Brykon said. "There's too many onlookers, it would make a mess."

"Not in the village," Stannis concurred. "I'm here to arrest you, not disrespect you. But the trawler town in the fjord, not far from here and within the region's borders. You know of it?"

Brykon nodded, but said, "Never been," looking sullen at his empty goblet like an hourglass running out.

"Well, there. Come dawn?"

"Mmmmmm."

Edited by Umbraline Yumiwa
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