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Team Curse

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#1 Offline The Renegade Emperor

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Posted Feb 25 2012 - 09:54 AM

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- Chapter 1: A new dawn -

He awoke.At first he couldn’t see very well, but soon his eyes got better and he saw a big sandy land. The sky was clear and the sun was shining high in the air, but at the horizon he spotted some dark clouds – they were far, honestly, and not so many to be feared to carry a tempest with them, however he didn’t like them very much, because experiences acquired sometime in the past, a past he seemingly almost lost, told him they wouldn’t just make rain.There were no signs of life around him, just sand and a few stones.Life he had been brought back without a particular reason.The fact is, how could he possibly be back to the living world? He didn’t know that, he just knew he was in some sort of desert.“No way of knowing where to go” he said. “Just what I needed. But let’s not go mad. I should better sum up.”“First, who am I? Second, where am I? Third, why am I here? Fourth, where’s the nearest village? And fifth, is there anyone around here?”“Is that all?”Answered.A voice suddenly came from behind him. As he turned to see who spoke he saw a tall figure standing up near a rock. The mysterious being carried a sword, two throwing knives and a dagger. His armor was red, silver and black and a mantle covered his back. He had never seen him, but he felt like he could rely on that mysterious person.“Is that all? You know, it isn’t so good to have a Toa that came from nowhere just half an hour ago while I was crossing the desert and is now nearly going mad asking himself things. Definitely not anyone's first desire. Perhaps someone’s first nightmare. I’m in the second group, so, I beg you, stop that or I will have to do something bad to your head. If you will agree I could someway help you.”As the character saw the Toa, because the newly reborn person was a Toa, becoming more reasonable, he started speaking.“Good. First, I cannot help you. You’re just a stranger appeared between the sands, for me. Second, you’re on the recently reformed planet of Spherus Magna. Third, I know as much as you do.”That wasn’t enough for the Toa. He still had to know who was he talking to and was about to ask him about when the unknown figure answered his question before knowing it.“I read from your eyes that you’re trying to create a link between my body and a name. Well, I don’t know if you’ve ever heard it. I think you’ve never seen me, too. Now by now I can tell you my name is Aetius. You’ll learn my past in another moment.”Aetius. The Toa had to admit that the warrior was right: he had never heard it. However, he didn’t show fear or doubt when he asked “So, what are we going to do?”.“I think I will take you to the village. And this should answer the fourth. There’s someone that could do the same to the other questions. And I need a weapon for you. At the moment you should stay behind me. Being a Toa will help you, but your powers won’t if you don’t remember how to make ‘em work.”---Aetius started walking heading north. The Toa followed him, having nothing more to do and hoping to find out who or what wanted him alive, hoping to find some old friends, if they still existed, hoping to find a home. There was just hope for him. He didn’t notice the shadow that dug into the sand as they left. Aetius did: instinctively he put his hand on the dagger.

Edited by The Renegade Emperor, Sep 30 2012 - 09:48 AM.

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#2 Offline The Renegade Emperor

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Posted Mar 05 2012 - 09:00 AM

- Chapter 2: Dangerous friends -

They walked for two hours, then Aetius decided to stop and prepare a camp for the night: sun was already setting. The Toa felt like he travelled an entire week. His energy reserves still had to understand he came back to world.“Tired?” asked him Aetius. His voice was friendly, but also rude, like he wasn’t really happy to have such a travel mate. The Toa didn’t answer. He just did a move with the head that meant “Just a little”.“Does your throat ache?” commented ironically Aetius. This time the Toa opened the mouth to answer it didn’t, it was just him that wanted not to talk, but a sign from Aetius alarmed him. He silently asked to not move, talk or breathe.The air was quiet and the stars shined. The clouds that the Toa spotted before at the far south were closer.“Don’t. Move.” whispered Aetius. The Toa didn’t understand the reason of that caution, but he preferred to not find it out himself. He sensed some danger in the surroundings. He looked at Aetius: suddenly the warrior became very slow in the movements, like if he was calculating, step by step, his route; he unsheathed his sword without doing any rumor with the right, while the left was ready to throw a knife.Something rustled in the shadows of the night.“Here he comes…” muttered Aetius.Unexpectedly a yell crushed the silence and a tailed figure cleaved the air. The Toa had never seen one before, but Aetius knew it was a Vorox, perhaps an alpha male. With a sudden jump, Aetius threw a knife that hurt the intruder’s left shoulder, then his sword clashed with the enemy’s talons. In facts, the Vorox was unarmed, like it thought to get rid of the travelers fast. As the two fought, the Toa stood in the night watching the battle with eyes full of doubts: he didn’t know what to do. Something inside his body said he had to stop his mate before he could harm or even kill the beast. A word came back to light in his mind: wisdom. Then he turned his eyes to the battlefield again.Just in time to see something he would have never seen: Aetius, with a rapid swing of the sword, distracted the Vorox, who got scared of the incredibly strong star ray that had been reflected from the metal. While it turned the face back to darkness, the safe and fresh darkness he liked to see and breathe, Aetius kicked its back and made it fall to the ground, then prepared to finish it.---The Toa literally froze himself. It seemed like the Toa Code, unconsciously, still moved him.“Don’t do that, please. Don’t. Do. That. I beg you. It’s unarmed.” he nervously said, stopping Aetius' hand mid-air.The Vorox looked at its saver and instantly thought at its entire life as an exile everyone disliked and hated: each time it found someone walking on the sands of the desert, that one attacked it; now it found a person who felt honest with it. Its once brilliant brain worked hard to choose if to become friendlier or to keep on its ravenous behavior.As for the warrior, at first he watched the Toa with a mixture of hatred and surprise, but then he put his arm down. However, he kept the sword at the ready.“Well, well, well. It looks like the day I’ve feared for so long has finally come: a Toa ruins my party. But keep this in mind: it won’t happen again.”Suddenly, the Vorox yelled. It seemed to have got to a choice, and his eyes explained it: death.

Edited by Emile A239, May 05 2012 - 12:56 PM.

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#3 Offline The Renegade Emperor

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Posted Mar 11 2012 - 10:59 AM

- Chapter 3: Choices -

The creature jumped with so much power that Aetius fell to the ground at the impact. Aetius, not the Toa, who, in the meanwhile, thought it was better for him to not stay so close to it. However, it seemed like the Vorox had not completed his job: it moved towards the Toa.He had just stepped a bit backwards when Aetius, fallen but not defeated, attacked the beast.With great surprise from both the travelers, he turned back and defended the Toa. The warrior stopped his hand in time, because, if he went on, he would have cut the Vorox’s right arm. As for his mate, he had not yet understood all the facts.“I thought I had seen all in my life, yesterday. Today, I saw a Toa save a Vorox - and ruin my party, by the way - and a Vorox protect a Toa. I still have to get some certainties if this is a dream or -” said Aetius. “I think I can explain it” interrupted the Toa. “I mean, the fact that it -” and he pointed a finger to the creature that was yet defending him “- protected me. It looks like it understood your words, which, to be honest, scared me, and attacked you. It thought you would have killed me, its saver, if it didn’t do something. That’s all.”Aetius replied watching his travel mate with eyes full of rage. Then, just as if nothing happened, he spoke again. “I was saying I still had to get sure if this is a dream or not, but these facts seem to prove it isn’t. As for it, listen to me: I don’t approve that it protects you. If it won’t go back home leaving us, I will make him go. I’m not sure I will be gentle, in that case. So, find a way to get it out of my footsteps.”When he finished his speech, the Toa started working on his request: he knew Aetius wouldn’t have changed his choice. At first he tried to move far from the Vorox, but it still went after him; so, he told it with gentle manners and nice words to go. The Vorox was as hard as Aetius. Suddenly, desperation caught the Toa: he had to go with Aetius because he was his only hope to find out what was his purpose for being, but the Vorox wouldn’t let him travel with someone who seemingly wanted to kill its saver.The Toa had only one chance to match the two things, but it was too desperate, too dangerous. He had not to fail. Using all his courage and skill, he said “No way getting it going back. Must go on.” “Nuh-huh. It goes home or nothing. Sure you can’t convince it?” “Just like I’m sure I’m living.” “That’s not good. For it, I mean. You know what I’m doing now?” “Nothing.” “What does nothing mean?” “It means you aren’t doing anything.” “Why shouldn’t I?” “Because you’re trapped.” “What the…”Before he could move, the Vorox, who, unseen, outflanked him in the meanwhile, attacked: it landed on Aetius’ back, pulling him down to the ground and blocking all his movements. “Get off my back, you dirty beast! If your friend the Toa didn’t distract me, I wouldn’t have fallen so easily and you would have passed to a better life!” shouted with real hatred the warrior. But the beast was waiting for something: for an order. The Toa, with a move of the hand, told it to do as Aetius said. “I see Toas and Vorox now go side by side, huh? So, what shall I do to regain your friendship?”Here, the Toa laughed. “Don’t worry, you haven’t got to buy it back! I’d just like that you allow him to follow us.” “Just, you said? Okay, so be it, by I don’t want you to die - you I mean you, Toa, not him -, but you should know that if he tries again to attack me, I won’t use any mercy.” “Alright. Well, what is our path?” “We will head north-east, then go straight on for two days, then turn east. In a week time we should get to the City.” “Okay. Lead our steps.”Smiling but not totally happy, Aetius began walking. A forest could be seen at the horizon right in front of them.

Edited by Emile A239, May 05 2012 - 12:56 PM.

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#4 Offline The Renegade Emperor

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Posted Mar 24 2012 - 09:20 AM

- Chapter 4: The water by the trees -

Their travel was quiet and plain. The desert was made of anything but sand - sand everywhere the eye could see. Except in front of their faces. A dark forest was nearing. The Toa couldn’t believe that: flourishing woods full of life so near a cruel desert. “I should better ask Aetius about this.” he thought.“Hey, Aetius, listen. How can those trees possibly survive in this landscape?” “The answer is in the river which crosses that forest and the lake hidden in its deepest abyss” he said, hesitating. “But no one knows how can they be enough. Stories speak about wizards, poisoned waters and arcane spells. I don’t believe to no one of these foolishnesses, and so you should do. And I’m not sure we would like to find out what’s behind ‘em.” To definitively close the speech, he sent a glance to the Toa that meant just “We’ll find the truth later”. Therefore, the Toa preferred walking to talking.---Sixteen hours after these things happened, they finally got to the green borders. During the journey they had to slow down, then stop for three hours because the Toa was feeling worse every step he did towards the forest. He had a bad foreboding about it. The Vorox was getting worried about him and Aetius wasn’t so helpful to its morale: he just stood with folded arms, waiting to go back to the trail. Then the warrior got tired of the time waste and drove them on the course.The trunks of the trees made the Toa have an intense headache and his mates could see it: his eyes were half closed and his steps were doubtful. Aetius stated to prepare the camp there. They all needed a rest.In the meanwhile, countless sounds came from the forest: singing birds, howling wolves, falling leaves, a pouring river. It would have been such a good place to stay, but the darkness of the trees gave the woods a disturbing appearance.Then night fell above everything again. The moon rays worsened the aspect of the land. The silence was total. The stars were bright as never before.Suddenly, Aetius spoke: “We should get back traveling. We’ve rested enough.”. The Toa was too unhealthy to complain and the Vorox just wanted what his saver did. So, they all moved into the dense and heavy air of the forest.Some call it the “Never-ending plague” because of its mysterious power, which makes everyone feel very tired and disturbed. However, many had to cross it to travel fast: the shortest way crossed those trees. Taking another route would have taken the travelers three miles more.---In short, their travel was quite quiet, except some events. The three wanderers suffered greatly the “plague”, even if that hadn’t been their biggest problem. In facts, on day three, while they were crossing the river using an old and unsafe wooden bridge, the water tried to catch them twice. The water. Aetius had to change a bit his mind about wizards and spells, however they didn’t go mad and went on, scared but not hurt.Finally, on day five, they appeared at the other border of the woods. The fresh air heartened their minds and the sun almost blinded them. A large grassy field stood in front of them. At the far line between earth and sky, some columns of smoke tried to reach the white clouds.“Our pain ends here” said a newly smiling Aetius. “The smoke you can see comes from the City of the Two Peoples, the City of Toa and Glatorian, Matoran and Agori: New Atero. It’s not a big settlement, but it’s safe enough to let everyone live a peaceful life. Come on, I need to talk to someone there.”The warrior put his foot on the green grass moved by the smooth wind. A smell of flowers perfumed it, the birds sang happily above their heads. The Toa and the Vorox followed their comrade, looking at the countless colorful shapes of spring.

Edited by Emile A239, May 05 2012 - 12:57 PM.

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#5 Offline The Renegade Emperor

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Posted Apr 09 2012 - 06:27 AM

-Chapter 5: The City-

Colors changed from green to yellow, red, pink, blue and white as they approached the City outposts. Sentinels were monitoring the area. However, no one stopped the weird trio: perhaps Aetius was a known and respected person there. But they looked with great attention to the Vorox, thinking that the warrior captured the beast and fearing it would have tried to escape.“So, what do you think about it, Toa?” “It’s… simple and beautiful at the same time. I mean, it hasn’t got great constructions, but its poor appearance makes it something unparalleled.” “Well, it’s still a provisional place. The Toa are searching for better areas to build the true New Atero, even if I agree with you: I prefer cities like this, a little bit irregular and wild. But nothing will be like the original Atero.”Aetius finished his sentence with a sigh, then his old temper took over again and he walked towards the open gates of the city.Inside, they found themselves into a crowded marketplace, with people from everywhere. Different languages filled the air, some asking for a price, others answering, some talking about a matter, others commenting. Stalls offered their products: fruits, vests, furniture, ornaments, swords, armors… Oddly, the Vorox was more interested in furniture than in fruit.Aetius turned to the Toa and stopped him. “Before we go anywhere, I need to buy you something that will be helpful in your journey around the world. I need a weapon for you. You can see some here: choose the one you like most.” “Why are you doing this?” asked perplexed his mate. “Doing what?” “Why are you going to pay it for me?” “First, you have no money. Second, this is a dangerous world. And I don’t like to see anyone dying, less or more, but I’ll explain you later. Third, I’m still of the idea that this beast will betray you. Now, make your choice. Swiftly. We have much to do.”Without replying, the Toa started looking at the weapons. There were different kinds: guns, bows, swords, knives, spears. Often he tried them or tasted their weight, sometimes instead he never gave them a look, especially in the case of the guns. He never liked them - but when?Many of the arms were really good, but only two caught his attention. He liked very much a sword with silver handle and large blade and a big, oval shield which remembered him something of his past life. He made a gesture to Aetius, who neared to examine his choice.“Very well chosen. Nice manufacture, right weight and length, good balance. Alright, give me them, I’m paying.”The Toa obeyed, then turned back to the square, watching the crowd while he waited for Aetius to come. The Vorox stood by his side as it had always done from the time it got saved from certain death.After a few minutes of debates, he bought the weapons for a price he believed reasonable - the seller wouldn’t have agreed - and gave them to their new owner, who put the shield in the left and stored the sword on his back, just like Aetius taught him.“Now you really look like a Toa! Come, let’s find a place for the night. Those clouds will make it rain heavily and I don’t think you’d like to get wet like a fish, nor to sleep with the grass as cover.”The Toa looked where the warrior pointed with his finger: the clouds he saw when he awoke were almost above their heads. The air was still and fresh. A sudden darkness fell on the earth.A storm was coming.

Edited by Emile A239, May 05 2012 - 12:57 PM.

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#6 Offline The Renegade Emperor

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Posted Apr 15 2012 - 01:48 PM

- Chapter 6: More than a tempest -

They found a roof just in time when the first drops fell on the ground.Their refuge was a two floor house that was built with many others to give a bed and a safe place to stay to wanderers. The idea to build those houses came some weeks before from the Toa: they knew that traveling on Spherus Magna was hard and dangerous, so they decided the construction of the buildings. Matoran and Agori worked together for a week to accomplish the job.Aetius immediately went upstairs, in the study, closing the door after him. “I have something very important to think about. Please leave me alone for two hours.” he said. The Vorox was really tired, so he lied down - on the floor.The Toa preferred to watch New Atero under the rain: looking out of the window while he was sitting on a small chair, he saw the simple and low buildings made of poor bricks and wood. Most of them didn’t go past the second floor, including the ground one, and just a few passed the third. A sudden thunder, accompanied by a loud rumble, lighted a bigger building with tall guard towers and a taller one in the middle. He didn’t know that, but it was the headquarters of the Toa and Glatorian. Even if it was a provisional settlement, it didn’t mean the people of New Atero needed no protection.The rain now fell heavily and he barely saw an Agori running home. Then a door opened, projecting a light rectangle on the road. The Agori entered the door and closed it, disappearing with the light.The Toa could already smell that strange scent that comes from wet wood. “It surely comes from the door” he thought.A loud snoring behind him destroyed the poetry of the moment: as he turned to the source of the sound he saw the Vorox sleeping blissfully.---He spent an hour watching out of the window and examining the city’s buildings, then something crashed the wall at his right. The Vorox, alarmed, was now fully awake and was snarling to apparently nothing. The Toa had no doubts: a fight was approaching. However, he felt ill. An intense headache caught him, and it was worse than in the forest. He someway knew the reason of this illness, so he decided to do the only thing he could do in that very moment. He unsheathed his sword and prepared to defend himself, then he charged the void. But the void wasn’t empty: something hid in it. Something obscure and powerful.It was too powerful to be handled by a single Toa, so when Aetius came into the main room, a bit delayed by the closed door, he found the Toa on the floor. His sword had been thrown away and now it lied, unused, two meters from him. The Vorox was unconscious. Aetius feared for the Toa’s sake, but fortunately as he got near to him he heard him breathing. The thing in the void hissed when the warrior appeared, then it went back to where it came from.“Hey, can you hear me?” asked a worried Aetius. “Yes. Yes, I hear you.” “Good. Now, can you stand up?” “I think I can. Why?” “We have to get out of here. We need a safer place to stay. And we must hurry.” “What was that thing?” “Troubles. I’ve delayed too much the moment to make this planet cleaner and happier.”The Toa saw a new light in Aetius’ eyes: it seemed they wanted to burn something, once and for all, and as soon as possible. But he also caught a beam of a distant past full of pain.“Come. Take the Vorox and follow me. I have to tell you something about me, something you’re not going to like.” said the mouth under those eyes.Taking the Vorox with his arms, he went after Aetius’ steps, in the dense smoke of the explosion.

Edited by Emile A239, May 05 2012 - 12:57 PM.

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#7 Offline The Renegade Emperor

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Posted May 06 2012 - 04:33 AM

- Chapter 7: A walk into memories -

They ran as fast as possible in the rain. The Toa was slowed down by the Vorox’s weight and his back hurt. He fell badly when that thing attacked. He turned back at their old home: the smoke went high to the sky; a little crowd was already spying the site, despite the rain.The smoke column opened new windows in the Toa’s mind.---A distant flash hit his eyes. He was running towards those brutes, creatures of an evil organization of mercenaries, which brought destruction everywhere it passed: friends tortured to fight each the other, innocent animals forced to work hard for hours without taking a rest, houses destroyed with no reason.He ran against that beast, willing to render it harmless. Skillfully dodging the enemy’s attacks, he charged a fire blast with his twin swords. The ball of flames and heat crossed the black air of the tempest, fire in the shadowed falling rain. The beast fell to the ground unconscious, just one of the many victims of the Toa’s fire blast.Around him, his comrades - his friends - battled countless enemies. They were brave, they were masters of swords, spears, guns. But the enemy was as well.Distant thunders of cannons. On the ground, faces of Toa and mercenaries sang their last, horrible truth: we’re all doomed to die, no matter how; we already met death, but we would have never expected to do it this way.Dead corpses all over the battlefield. Others on the edge of the chasm, striving to gain some more steps from it. Scars on their armors, dust and mud on their faces.War. That was war.A war against an evil called Dark… Dark… He couldn’t remember their full name. They were dark people, indeed. Ruled only by the desire of power, at any cost.At the other side, the Toa. He was one of them.He sprinted forward. He had to win that war. For his brothers. For their homes. For peace. For freedom.A little, shy beam of solar light ripped the clouds’ barrier. There was still hope. He rose his swords again, getting ready to face another enemy.---His brain-storming was interrupted by Aetius’ words. “Hey, you alright? You seem a little bit absent.” “I’m okay. I was just thinking.” “Okay. Well, by the way, tell me what you think about this. This is going to be our next home.”They were in front of an obscure, tight entrance. It brought to a small cave.“If you call it a home… Whatever, it’s okay, in my opinion.” “Glad of hearing this. But, just to let you know, even if you didn’t like it, I would have brought you and your mate - if you call it a mate… - here, willy-nilly.” “Sounds good.” “Shut up and get in.”The inside of grotto was dry and very comfortable, despite its outer appearance. In an angle, far from the “door”, there was some food, a bed and a weapon rack.“Welcome to my secret hideout, Toa. Put the Vorox on the bed, then sit down.” “On the floor?” “Yeah, why?” “Are there no chairs in here?” “Nope. This is a hiding place, not a conference room!” “Okay, okay. Just saying…”They sat down on the rocky floor. They could spot the rain falling out of their new home watching out of the entrance.“Well, now listen carefully. I’m not going to repeat this, so keep your ears open and try to get everything from my words. These won’t be nice ones. They’ll speak about war, about death, about torture, about something no one would desire to get from life. But life can’t be gentle with everyone. So it was for me. I’m not judging life for what happened to me and to my people. We have gotten so much from it that we should have foreseen something like that. We didn’t, and we suffered greatly for that.This is my tale. This my life.”And so he began, accompanied by the background of the rain drops.

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#8 Offline The Renegade Emperor

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Posted Jul 13 2012 - 10:24 AM

- Chapter 8: Aetius’ tale –

“You cannot start a story without talking about the people that are involved into its plot, nor without saying who’s bad and who’s good. Therefore, I’ll start from the very beginning.My people lived on this planet since it existed. We were known as the best weapon craftsmen – and the best men in the use of them. Our village, Koltumieh, was in the far North and few knew how to reach it. So, if customers couldn’t get to us to buy things, we brought these to the customers.Bandits and marauders didn’t even try to attack us. Our outposts and fortresses were many, well located and strongly armed. However, beasts didn’t know our language, so we had to escort merchants’ convoys to prevent the attacks of the wild animals.Only the Skrall dared to face us, yet with scarce results. Every time we drew them back, they raised their weapons again. Their strategy was good and I think they stole it from ours: they attacked with few men, ambushing us. They never could stop us, but they caused our convoys to delay.The reason of our success was that our tribe, if we can call it this way, wasn’t a distinct and separate one, but it put together people from every friendly tribe. Fire, Ice, Water and Jungle tribes lived together in our settlements, fighting and working side by side.Obviously, there was a separate class in our small society, known as Cúhmeiri, from the name of our first Master, Cúhmeir the Bladeborn. You have to know that a war made this planet to tremble.Thousands of years ago, a great discovery broke the thin peace between tribes: it was found that the core of the planet contained an energized substance which provided huge amounts of energy. And the tribe that could have ruled on it would have had the biggest power. As always when talking about of power, madness made its appearance. So the scourge began. Core War, they called it.My people didn’t side with anyone. We didn’t fight in that war. Our reason to fight is to protect innocent lives from harm, not to cause harm. But not fighting didn’t mean not suffering. Driven by their crazy desire for power and glory, warriors came to our village and killed many of our people, for unknown reasons. They all said, no matter which tribe they belonged to, that we had been sentenced as deserters and traitors. We couldn’t fight them back at that time. They were too much, too strong and better armed. Also, more infamously, they caught us during sleep time.Later, when the Great Cataclysm destroyed the planet and sent two fragments of it into orbit, we answered to the world that betrayed us. We traveled further in the North, mile after mile, until we found the valley of Mcheyl, where our first leaders, the Hjalemiri, which means Eagles of the North in our language, founded our new city, Varxylieh, Sun of the Dawn. Here we regained our strength, protected by the cold, cruel mountains.However, our greatness was still far from the once powerful and respected Nation. So, Cúhmeir, the leader of the Hjalemiri and great hero of the Resistance of Koltumieh, decided to give his followers, the Cúhmeiri, the opportunity to get hired by External People for murder jobs. Therefore, we were known also as Assassins.This way, we earned lots of money and other precious goods like food and raw materials for our weapons. In a hundred years, we were as solid and well-off as before the Core War and, in the meantime, we also made some discoveries that gave us many other tools to fight whatever we were called to battle. These discoveries were the Cúhmeir’s artifacts and the Exomyte Vein. Probably you’ve never heard them, so I think I’ll have to explain something.The Exomyte is a strange mineral that, if put on contact with air, burns for a seemingly infinite amount of time. In facts, its name means “never ending flame”. The eldest sample of this particular stone has been found two years after theCore War and it’s been shining since that day. As for Cúhmeir’s artifacts, I can’t tell you much about them, since they’re the most sacred things in our culture. However, I’m allowed to reveal you the details of two of them: I’m sure you won’t blab these things to others, because, in that case, we would find you, anyway. And then you’d be shut up for the eternity.Back on our little secrets, the first is the Pistol. I carry one on the right arm, do you see it? Its ammo is made of little balls of metal, which are fired when the fragment of Exomyte gets in contact with a small cup of an explosive liquid. This generates an explosion, which sends the bullet flying, until it hits enemies’ cranium. It’s slow to reload, so we don’t use it very often, but it proved to be really useful in critical situations. It provides a fear factor, do you understand? People aren't used to see such things, so they’re scared when they see a prodigy like that. The other artifact is our trademark, the Cúhmeiri’s standard equipment, whereby we could defeat everyone with its only aid. Its name is “Deathflash”, but it’s more commonly named as Hidden Blade, which I have on the left arm. The mechanism that moves both the pistol and the blade is based on the usage of a certain force with the arm, which needs to be moved with “X” force. They’ve been designed by our ancestors, whose things are old as the world. The Hjalemiri discovered a temple where they stored all their knowledge and transcribed it on a stone. Its instructions had been used to develop these weapons.Now, it’s time to speak about the reasons of my worry. As you may have understood, I’m a Cúhmeiro. And like all my companions, I’ve dedicated my whole life to fight our enemies. We’ve never understood where they come from, but we suspect they’ve always lived further in the North. Sincerely, I doubt about this, since those regions are inhabited by the most dangerous creatures I’ve ever seen and its ground spits toxic gas non-stop. However, all those treats seemingly never affected them, for they are very skilled both in weapons and magic. Yes, magic. Or, at least, we call it this way. Perhaps it’s a technology so advanced that we can’t understand it. Sorcerers, that’s how we called them. Anyways, they’ve been our biggest concern since we first met ‘em after the Core War. Cúhmeir was already dead at that time. Writings in the Book of the History, the book where our story is written, say that they appeared north-east from the city. They were unarmed, or so we thought, because, when they reached the gates, they unleashed some mysterious power and broke them, thus giving them the opportunity to kill many of our warriors. However, they were less than us, so we could reject their forces. But they soon returned with more warriors and they promptly answered to our violence. And they repeated their attacks during the years, searching for something. Century after century, we’ve made it until ten years ago. This time we were the losers. It happened during a night, one of the darkest ones. They struck with brutality and rage. Desperation, a thing we never knew even during the long days of our battles against the other tribes during the Core War, ruled in our hearts. I can still remember the horrors of our fall.Can you imagine it? Innocent people, burnt in their houses while they were sleeping; the unfortunate ones who woke up just to see their dears carbonized in the middle of the ruins of their once beautiful house, now burning in the night, star on the ground mirror of the sky, their tears evaporating within the flames; my brothers and sisters falling while fighting one hundred enemies per one; our old Master killed with unnecessary bestiality. My Blade Sister and future spouse stabbed in the back...”Aetius’ eyes glowed at the light of the candle he lighted few minutes before. He lowered his head. Silence. Small drops fell on the ground. But it was just matter of minutes. He raised his head again, his eyes burning, desiring vengeance.“My future spouse stabbed in the back, her eyes slowly closing, surrendering to the only thing we’ve never been able to defeat; her last words, which I barely heard in the roaring of the flames in the darkness and the war cry of the enemies: “Save our treasure… let me go… we’ll meet again, because the Great Spirits wants it”. I can still remember that I told her “I won’t let you die, Lijnee, I promise you”. But I was already talking to an empty corpse. That has been the only promise I couldn’t keep in my whole life.I can’t tell you much of what happened after. I was blind for the rage. The only thing I know is that I somehow managed to escape with the survivors I had been able to find, less than a dozen I think, behind me and the artifacts of our treasure in a sack.By that day, we’ve been wandering in the known world, scattered and confused. Weak, for the first time. We kept us far from our fortresses, conscious of a sure death if we would have ever approached one of them. We’ve been traveling to the four corners of the world and even further. Barely accepted by the other Glatorian and Agori, Toa and Matoran watch us with suspicion. Our methods are very different from yours. The Toa Code prohibits murder, and murdering is our way to defeat the enemy. So we had to keep far from the main cities, too, for we don’t want investigating eyes on us, and to go here and there, trying to find something that could give us a new hope. That’s why I was traveling in the desert where I found you. I had been informed of some troubles in that zone: merchants caravans told about strange noises, arcane words and storms of every type. Now, all my doubts - and fears - have seemingly been cleared. The thing that attacked us is perhaps one of the members of the leading class among the Sorcerers, one of the Wiilkyti. “Wiilkyt”, in our language, means “necromancer”. In facts, we’ve had reports of strange underground activities, usually in tombs, of these people. Since we’ve known the Sorcerers, they’ve always been wandering in tombs, cemeteries and such, practicing their arts on tombstones. We actually don’t know if their true purpose is to create some sort of undead creatures, but we think they’re trying to find a way to definitely destroy us. And the Wiilkyti have the power to do such things. During our investigations in their territories, we’ve found out that they grant their minions’ weapons special powers. It looks like they have the biggest “magical” resources in their civilization. They can shape shift and transform their bodies into practically everything, as far as we know.I don’t know what they’re up to and I don’t know what they want from you, but I swear I’ll do my best to find the truth.

Blades of the Night,

Masters of Doom.

Silence is our cloak,

Darkness our cowl.

Avoiding the day to protect it,

we’re the Cúhmeiri!

My story ends here. Now it’s time for the future to come.”

Edited by Emile A239, Jul 13 2012 - 11:40 AM.

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#9 Offline The Renegade Emperor

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Posted Aug 14 2012 - 10:59 AM

- Chapter 9: Prophecies and words -

Now the rain fell quietly. It seemed like it wanted to massage the world, instead of hurting it. Some clouds, at the east, were already disappearing. “It’s a positive sign,” thought Aetius.But, if the storm had been calmed, something else was storming the Toa’s head. So many things to think about, and all told at once. Too much job for a brain that was still young for that age. Old, yet young to the world. He knew to know many things, but he couldn’t remember them, like if they were sealed in some deep abyss in his mind. It was frustrating.However, he couldn’t have said, in that moment, that he was unhappy. He had a flash when Aetius finished his story. It seemed like the only way for his memories to awaken was to let them find their time to rise again from the pits of oblivion. Whenever they would have been ready, they’d have come back to him, breaking the doors and running their unrelenting marathon to the finish line.---He walked under a new day’s sun. Everything shined. But it wasn’t time for happiness. Their hearts, if hearts they can be called, were dark in the inner. Many of their brothers and sisters died in that battle. Now their corpses lied on the ground. They were empty: their dreams, wishes, memories, all destroyed in the time of a hit. A foreign metal penetrating their body, and everything was gone. An entire life reduced to nothing in few seconds. That’s why many used to say “Life is what gives you everything, if you can find everything. But it doesn’t like to borrow things. So it takes back what you took and something more.”His steps drove him on a path through the bodies. Through faces that once smiled, laughed, cried. Once. Not twice. Life is like a venomous food: you can try it only once, because it’s so powerful that it won’t allow you to taste it again. They all knew it was the truth and it couldn’t be changed.As he walked, others took the bodies from the battlefield and brought them to a place where they’d have been admired from the dears that would have wanted to admire them exactly how they died. Maybe they would have guessed what they were thinking at the end of their days.The Toa was now sitting on a chair, trying to relax before the future battles. War still raged around him. Many of his mates saluted him as a hero, making him their congratulations for the excellent job on the field, for the significant role he had during the final hours of the battle. He saved the reinforcement troops. Someone else would have thought to the glory. He didn’t he thought to those lives, that didn’t deserve to die. Die. Die. Die. Die. All those words, all related to death, stormed his mind.No, he didn’t want to be called “hero”. He just did “what had to be done”, like many others said before, but only to cover their happiness for getting a medal or a reward or whatever it was. No. No one deserves to die. Life is too splendid to be wasted in a moment.He wanted to fight again, wherever someone needed his help, wherever there were innocent people dying.Slowly, he stood up and walked out of his tent.---“Hey, are you alright?”Aetius’ voice broke the silence they were submerged into.Yes, he would have helped that stranger. Even if he was a murderer, he deserved to live. His people deserved to live.“Yes, yes. Don’t worry for me. Actually, if my sword can be someway useful for your cause, you won’t have to worry about your war, too.”“Worry about his war? Oh, but he has to. And you should follow him.”A hissing voice came from the entrance of the cave, where a dark blue sphere had appeared. Aetius unsheathed his sword.“Put down that scrap metal, old enemy. Someone could be hurt, if you don’t calm yourself. As for me, I’m not going to harm anyone. Not yet. I’m here to talk. Oh, and I have to give you my congratulations, your story was really touching. I’m so afraid for your wife. Poor Aetius, so unlucky, so alone, so angry… so stupid.”“Repeat that, please.”“Don’t be that much touchy, fool of an Assassin. It won’t be good for your heart. And do not pretend to have not heard what I said. Anyways, let’s get serious. I’m here because I’ve got a flash of your destiny. The destiny of Aetius, the destiny of this Toa and the destiny of your quest companions.”“Who do you mean with companions?” asked Aetius. “And which quest?”“I don’t know. I’ve just seen pieces of your future, not the entire days that have to come. Now, if you will gently allow me to talk without interruption…” A nod from Aetius gave him permission to talk. “Good. The first thing you have to know is that you and the other three heroes won’t see the snake. Don’t look at me with that face, Assassin. With snake I mean traitor, and, oh, what a traitor! But you won’t know who he is until the end of your adventure.Then, one will be very useful thanks to his power. However, he’ll be hurt his power itself, and he won’t have a role in the final battle.Another will find his desires brought to reality, but this won’t make him as happy as he thought he would have been, because he’ll suffer from another loss.Another one will find his destiny when one of you will fulfill his.Then, one will have desires and dreams that are too big for him and will be near to see them coming true, but it will be just a glimpse.Another one won’t take the journey with the rest of the team, yet he’ll help the company during the travel. It will be a coincidence.”“Is that all you’ve got to say?”“No, Toa. There’s one left. Between these five people and you lies a traitor. One of this team will betray the others. But I still have to tell you what I saw of the last member.”“Who’s the last member?” asked Aetius.“The last member is this Toa. Look at me, Toa. The prophecy is this: you’re only a shadow, compared to the person you should be, the person you wrongly claim to be, the person you remember to have been in a seemingly lost past. And don’t think that your actions weren’t intended from the beginning. Even if you friends will never think so, you’re a shadow, compared to everything.”“Have you done spitting insults, murderer?” shouted angrily Aetius.“No, no, no. Not this way, Aetius. I could seriously wound you, mind that. And remember that the assassin, here, is you.”“I kill for justice, not for the sole purpose to have personal fun, beast!”“For justice, you say? Who are you to decide who can live and who can’t? You can’t judge it.”“I CAN’T, HUH? SO, WHAT ABOUT YOU? CAN YOU? COME BACK AND FIGHT, COWARD!”Only the nascent voices from the market answered.Aetius sighed. “Always the same thing. They never fight their enemy, instead they send their minions to battle for them and then they take all the glory. Cowards, friends, sons and relatives of cowards! Ah, but they’ll pay for this!”“Me not want ‘em pay. Me want food.”A harsh, hoarse voice came from behind. “WHAT? You just spoke, didn’t you? Y-you spoke?” Aetius couldn’t believe it. He gave a rapid glance to the Toa, but the latter was astonished as well.“Me can talk. Find no one to speak to, but can speak.”Even if that was hard to believe for both the relatively young Toa and the experienced Assassin, the voice came from the Vorox itself. He spoke with great difficulty, and they perfectly understood it. He continuously tried to find the words he learned somewhere in his limited mind ( limited because being a Vorox wasn’t as complicated as living like a “civilized”: obey the boss, find food, find water, kill intruders; the duties and needs of a Vorox were limited, so the brain was, too ), forcing the mouth to pronounce sounds it never produced in a whole life and, thus, pronouncing many of them wrongly. It was a pain for him, the few words he knew couldn’t form a complete and clear sentence.“Okay, okay, we’ll provide food as soon as possible. Now stop talking and saying nonsense sentences, we’ve understood, and I don’t want your dirty sweat on my floor! But, now, would you gently explain us how the heck you learnt it?”, exploded Aetius. He didn’t stand Vorox and was already tired of the whole thing. He thought that a talking Vorox would have been way much worse than a silent one. He figured how it would have continued mumbling and muttering the whole time. He was ready to kick it off of his hideout and send it back in the desert.“Me find a thing one day. No know name. Had many white sheets with black lines. Look into it and find I can read. Seem like I already know how.”---The Toa and the Assassin got out of the cave. The sun was shining again, but the air was fresh, now. “Ah, I love this air! Reminds me of Varxylieh. Come, let’s find some food vendor. I’m as hungry as that Vorox”, said Aetius.As they walked, no one cared of them. Seemingly, nobody was searching for them with the purpose of getting explanations on that explosion in the house they borrowed.They soon found what they were looking for. Aetius bought some fruits and paid and the two were walking back to “home” when the Toa asked: ”Tell me, Aetius. You’re a veteran of these regions. How would you explain the ability of that Vorox? How’d you explain the fact he could actually talk?”“I’m not sure, but I think it’s a recollection of its past.”“What do you mean?”“You see, Vorox haven’t always been the beasts they are now. Once they were great warriors, and some of the finest, I believe. Then, they reverted to… well, to what they look like now.” Our” Vorox probably has the ability to speak, yet with great stresses, because its mind might have saved the skills that once belonged to the Sand Tribe and got passed to him, from father to son. Perhaps, the retrieval of the book unlocked those memories and now it’s capable of talking. Talking as we usually do, I mean. Until you call their snarling and screeching “talking”, they can talk.”On the road back to Aetius’ hideout, the Toa pondered on his words. However, he doubted the Vorox learnt how to talk by accident: he often saw a light in his eyes, a light he knew belonged to sadness, a sad mood caused by a desire that others didn’t want to accomplish. The Toa thought that the desire of the Vorox was to be accepted once again.

Edited by The Renegade Emperor, Sep 30 2012 - 09:46 AM.

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#10 Offline The Renegade Emperor

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Posted Sep 30 2012 - 09:49 AM

- Chapter 10: A message -

Under the shining sun, many figures walked here and there in New Atero. The biggest crowds could be found in the market area, with its colors and smells of remote zones, and in the fortress.This was the biggest building in the city: it was rectangular-shaped, with guard towers at the corners and a taller tower in the middle. It had been built with rocks and stones and it had been designed to be as solid and strong as possible. There were only two gates: one faced the City Doors; the other led to the commercial part of the city, where blacksmiths, artisans, apothecaries and merchants had their shops. Near, the market, where farmers and erratic vendors sold their products.Inside the fortress, some huts and shacks provided shelter to the warriors that resided there. These were aligned to the wall, while the utility rooms stood all around the circular central tower.Among the people that were solving their duties in the stronghold, there was a rather small figure, yet very respected and wise. His power had been, yes, diminished a long time before, but he still had a great influence over the activities and the people of New Atero. And, as usually happens in similar cases, responsibilities towards everyone.Something disturbed the peace of that morning. A guard and a handful of citizens came to the Council Room, where all decisions were taken by the Council, the group of the most important persons of both Peoples. They had reports of a mysterious accident in the Unstable District. Usually, that’s how it was called, because it was always full of wanderers that spent their nights in the free houses and then moved again on the next day, but that time it seemed that a name had never been more appropriate.The fact was this: an explosion occurred in a house that got recently assigned to an Assassin, a Toa clad in golden armor and a Vorox. When the guards assigned to patrol the area arrived to the place, there was no one in the building. Perplexed and worried, they split: one of them would have stayed there to keep people distant and to watch the house, in case the culprits would have come back; the other would have searched for witnesses who knew or saw or somewhat interacted with them.Turaga Vakama was troubled: keeping a balance between Agori and Matoran, Glatorian and Toa, was hard, and this thing would have probably broken the delicate equilibrium that stood in the City. The whole Council understood the gravity of the situation. Both sides would have suffered from any eventual scandal. The old Turaga went for a walk as soon as the discussion started. He needed to think alone, without someone that could interrupt or disturb him.“Let’s go calmly”, he told himself. “First, the Assassin. Everyone knows of their particular reputation and they’re mostly feared. People tend to avoid them and those who get in contact with them. The employee of the houses, however, has done her work, and for this she won’t be accused. Nor she’s been treated with suspicion. The weapon vendor? He’s not a different thing. Just did his job. The guards of the outposts? Well, they’re completely involved. They should have clarified the identity of the three as soon as they approached the first barrier. I suppose they’ll get some disciplinary actions.Then, the Vorox. How could it have followed the other two suspects? Vorox are wild beasts. They’d gladly kill everyone who gets in their sight, if it wasn’t for the guards and the warriors for hire. Bah, I’ll solve this mystery later. I’ve got no clues.Last but not least important, the Toa. Most of the Toa are part of the security corps, and the others all live here. Unless a Matoran has secretly been made a Toa, but I’d scratch this eventuality. They wouldn’t have had any need nor any tool to do that. And his armor. Golden. Gold is usually associated to Light, but, as far as we do know, Takanuva is the only one there is. I can’t tell if it’s Destiny that someone else rises as a Toa of Light, nor what could be his or her Duty, neither who would he or she have to be connected by Unity. Since I can remember, the Three Virtues have led us, so I suppose we should let them work as ever.However, I really don’t know what to do now. It’s a big mess. Maybe we should send some guards to get the three travelers, so that the Council could judge them. The Two Peoples want answers and I can understand their worries. I don’t even want to imagine where it could end up to, if we don’t solve this issue.”Images of swords and cries, fires of rage, flashed in his mind.The world, again a desert. Piles of ashes and scraps of rusty metal resting on the cracked ground. The only remnants of a past civilization, that ended like it hadn’t ever been civil. All the efforts, vanished in an instant, compared to the eternity. A mere handful of sand and seconds, in the universe. But countless drops of sweat, infinite days of desperate hard work, an immensity of places, for them.Turaga Vakama didn’t know if he was travelling too fast with the ship of his mind, nor if he was being too exaggerated, but he was determined to prevent Spherus Magna from falling into confusion and turmoil. Suddenly stopping himself, he turned back and headed to the fortress, about to send an entire legion of Guards in search of the mysterious trio.“If they’re guilty of anything, I won’t allow them to make us pay for their actions”, he thought, with a renewed strength in his Fire.---In Aetius’ hideout, the three companions were resting, everyone thinking about their future. Aetius was determined to not bow his head under the Sorcerers’ dominion; the Toa had promised his help, but he still was thinking to what this promise would have led him, and yet the mists around his rebirth had to be cleared; the Vorox wasn’t worried of anything, but he would have followed the Toa everywhere: he was loyal, after all, and he felt in debt with the golden-armored warrior, though he had some doubts about the latter’s alliance with the Assassin.A movement and a sound from the outside of the cave diverted their eyes from the ceiling, which they had been examining for about half an hour, and pointed them directly to the entrance.Aetius, who was wary by nature and always more ready to drawing a sword, then listening to the others, other than doing the opposite, immediately stretched his right arm: the pistol just waited to fire.“Come on, whoever you are! I hear you!”, he yelled. The Toa and the Vorox stood behind him, prepared to defend their lives. “Come one, show your face, if you aren’t a coward! But be warned, I’m ready to kill you if you do a false step!”Silence. The loudest rumor was the three’s regular, deep breathing.“No answer? Do you fear us?”Silence, once again, was the sole answer.“So, what do you pl-” “I do not fear anything, and certainly not you.” “Ah, at last you regained your ability to speak! Let me ask, what are you planning to do?”“Kill you, impostor, if so are you.”A shadow jumped from the entrance. A blade sparkled at the candles’ light. A loud bang echoed from a wall to the other, then a sound of swords being unsheathed. Two pieces of metal clashed. Then hush.“You?!” “How about you?”The first voice was surprised, the second, belonging to Aetius, had a disappointed taste.The two warriors were like petrified, each staring at the other. None of the two even hinted at lowering his weapon, they just kept watching the eyes of their own opponent. Silence was now as a weighty mantle, hovering above the heads of everyone.Then the statues put their swords back in their sheath at the same time. Aetius rudely said, referring to his enemy, “Always been like that. Never saying who he was, and then making it out of trouble just by a means of seconds.”The shadow now stood in front of them, straight and tall. The being was a strong, young Glatorian with a small scar on the face. His armor was like Aetius’, but had a different color. Instead of being red, it was of a dark brown, yet it had the same mantle. On his right side a sword rested, on the other there was a small bag. He carried a sack with him, bound to his back. The Toa also thought to get a glimpse of a Hidden Blade.“Let’s skip that thing, Aetius, for we must discuss about something important. I have a message for you, from all of the Cúhmeiri. We need help.”

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