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S&T Contest 7 Entry

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#1 Offline Toa Makao

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Posted Sep 04 2012 - 07:29 AM

As I, Zaktan, leader of the Piraka, sit comfortably here in our Voya Nui stronghold with five "equals" who believe they are ruling an island's worth of Matoran by my side, I recall how I reached this point, and so I commend it to stone. I share with you my rise from slavery to slave-owning.

My story began many thousands of years ago, in an unseemly protodermis mine beneath Zakaz. The sound of pickaxes, all day, and all night, there is nothing duller. I slaved away, day and night, in that detestable hole full of protodermis, sweating vagrants and disgusting subterranean Rahi. What a waste. Of course I knew my own brilliance, but no one else did. To the overseer who ran the mine, I was just another greedy, overambitious worker nourishing empty hope. The mine overseer … he was as big as a mountain, red armour, good at intimidating the workers, a brutish lava ape. He had a whip like the Kanohi Dragon’s tail and an axe that looked like it could have cleaved one of the workers in two with one stroke, if they had given him a good excuse to do it. In short, he was the epitome of our kind. Which I'm sure is why the Dark Hunters put him in charge of their mine. The Dark Hunters owned the mine; they had since they killed the last overseer and owner – a weak, pathetic creature.

As much as the other workers hated the new overseer, I didn't. I was jealous of him, of the power he had over them; I could have been so much more than what I was. If only I had the chance to prove it. I remember thinking to myself, "Here I am breaking rocks with these worthless beggars; my life could be so much more than this. Someday they'll see, someday I'll show them all what power looks like, and on that day, lava will rain from the sky, the earth will tremble, the sea itself will retreat, the very cliffs will collapse to bow before me, even the wind will whisper my praises. And my name will be praised by every mouth still alive to do so. My magnificence will be undeniable, any who so much as think of dissent will die. I will be greater than Mata Nui himself. And it will happen, the world can count on that."

Little did I know that soon, I would be set on that course, which I'm now so close to completing. It was not long before the day came when I was given an excuse to push for greater station. The overseer was menacing some crippled wretch of an earth Skakdi working near me.

"Pick up the pickaxe, or you'll have more than a pain in the back to worry about!" he was bellowing. The earth Skakdi might have had a back problem, but they say injury only makes earth Skakdi fiercer. So it was to prove. This Skakdi did pick up his pickaxe, and threw it at the overseer. Had the brute not melted it with his eye beams, it would've hit him in the face.

"Get lost, or you'll have more than a pickaxe in the face to worry about!" he bellowed back at the overseer. Of course, this was his last show of defiance; the overseer had his assistant – a twisted, evil one with a crooked back – throw the earth Skakdi into the lava pool in the depths of the mine.

It was then that I had a delightfully cunning idea – the earth Skakdi was a good friend of many of the other miners, and I would use that to my advantage; I would use his death as an excuse to start a revolt. I operationalized my plan by silently killing a few of the overseer's guards, stealing their weapons and hiding their corpses until needed. I made sure to swiftly return to my designated area, and spread the word among the other miners. Once satisfied I'd recruited sufficient followers, I handed out the equipment, and dragged one of the guard's corpses out into the open. Sure enough, the brutish ape and his assistant came blundering and bellowing into our midst, demanding to know who had killed his guards. The trap was sprung immediately; both of them died in the ensuing fight, as well as a few of my men, but that mattered little to me. I was being heralded a hero, and was swiftly declared the new overseer. And so the slave became the slaver, exactly as planned. But I had little time to glory in my cunning and guile, or to settle into my new role. Word reached The Shadowed One, as it was his mine, and the news intrigued him such that he came to Zakaz in person. I'll always remember the day he walked into my new quarters.

"Quite a show," he said, almost before he'd shut the door behind him, "using revenge for the death of a 'friend' as a smokescreen to climb to the top; most revolutionary leaders wish they were so noble." He chuckled, and he cut me off as I began to speak. "Don't deny it, I know your kind; always manipulating. You executed his overthrow well, for a miner untrained in combat or leadership. As I hope you've guessed, I'm not here to punish you; you'd be no use to me dead. I'm here to offer you a place in our ranks. I need followers with command over guile such as yours. You have a will to conquer, to grow in power, to succeed just as all Skakdi do, now I offer you the rare opportunity to realise your desire. Serve me, and you shall have all of these things. Betray me, and you'll be lucky if I don’t let the Rahi have your corpse." Seeing I would be mad to deny such opportunity, of course I accepted, and in their ranks I stayed…for as long as it suited me.

But I'll not jump that far ahead; despite them growing unnecessary, I had my fun with the Dark Hunters. The work was certainly less mundane than eternal digging. It was while being initiated by The Shadowed One that I met five strangers of my kind who are currently the other Piraka, even if such a flimsy alliance cannot last. Firstly Reidak - he's more intelligent than his brutish manner would suggest, even if he chooses not to show it. The Shadowed One was particularly fond of pairing me with him for missions; he always liked sending teams or pairs with completely incompatible personalities on missions. His sense of humour, I suppose. Avak, much more useful than most of the others; he's useless at hand-to-hand combat, but his knowledge of machinery and his power to create prisons for any circumstance makes him a useful ally. Or a challenging foe, which is something I should and will keep in mind. Hakann is full of the bravado and omnipresent fury that characterises the fire Skakdi; his impulsiveness definitely makes him impossible to work with, and his treacherous nature makes him impossible to like. Thok, he's the stereotypical loner, who has certainly been making a much greater effort to mingle with the other five of us as of late, but I suspect a more sinister motive than supporting the team. Finally, Vezok, he was a lot calmer and slightly more intelligent before Vezon was split from him; now, he's practically anger given physical form. Even before the creation of Vezon he was far from the brightest of us, but now, well, most Rahi have a greater intellectual capacity than him. I've definitely taken a personal dislike to Vezok.

One of our additional training sessions entailed stealing from a safe without leaving any evidence, which Vezok and Reidak promptly failed, even if the cowardly Toa training us, Nidhiki, did say they did fine, being the weak sycophant he is. Thok used his power to animate the safe and make it spill its innards before him, before returning it to normal. Avak used his knowledge of machinery to discreetly open and reseal the safe, although it took a while. Hakann, being a skilled thief, stole its key from Nidhiki's satchel, and returned it without any of us noticing until he explained himself. Then it was my turn. Of course, I could have filed some of my protodites through the crack of the safe's door and opened it from the inside, but I felt that it was expected. I decided I wanted to try to open the safe differently. I used the greatest weapon at my disposal, one greater than any of the others' petty tricks; my mind.

So I stared through the crack of the safe's door, and familiarised myself with the mechanism holding the safe shut. Satisfied I could open it, I carefully inserted my thin scissor blades into the gap, and watching carefully, I coaxed the mechanism into movement, rotating the gears inside until the door clicked. And so the safe was open. After claiming its contents, I used my weapon once more to close the door. Toa Nidhiki gave me an approving look, though it meant little coming from such a doormat.

"You've learned something important, Skakdi," he said. "The greatest weapon isn't an all-destroying cannon, or an elemental power, or even a powerful and unique ability – it's the mind, especially if it's in the head of a lateral thinker." I resisted the urge to point out that I already knew that to Nidhiki, being cowardly and sycophantic as he was. And so that training session ended with The Shadowed One and his inner circle even more sure that we would be valuable assets to his lowly band of cutthroats, thieves and mercenaries, as unlikely as it was that we would settle with such unfavourable terms, as it was to prove. But once again, I'm getting ahead of myself.

It was all of us (minus Avak) who rebelled against The Shadowed One and lived. It was Vezok, Reidak and Avak who unleashed the Kanohi Dragon in Metru Nui. It was Thok who was sent to kidnap Turaga Dume. It was Avak and I who were sent to establish a Dark Hunter cell in Metru Nui once the Brotherhood's pet spiders were driven out, which we failed, having not expected to encounter Turaga Dume, the six Rahaga that Roodaka once told me about, and a yellow colossus unknown to us. It was Tracker, Avak, Thok and I who captured Roodaka and brought her before The Shadowed One for interrogation.

I even managed to take quite a few valuable objects without The Shadowed One's notice; take for example the time Reidak, Avak and I were sent to find and retrieve a cache of Griffin Gauntlets near the Southern Continent, shortly after the beginning of the war with the Brotherhood of Makuta. A travelling De-Matoran pointed us in the direction of a small town on an island not far south, before we took his valuables and Reidak buried him alive with his weapon's power to destabilise solid ground into quicksand. After a mercifully brief journey to the island, we arrived at the docks of a coastal village we found to be guarded by a Toa of Plasma.

"You've no business here, Skakdi," he sneered. "Crawl back to Zakaz." He raised his mace in an attempt to threaten us. "Or I will throw you back."

"Tsk, tsk," I said. "Such poor manners for a Toa, but no matter. We are here for a cache of Griffin Gauntlets; we have it on … good authority that they are on this miserable rock. And you’re going to tell us where."

"And if I refuse?" We smiled at his predictable defiance.

"That would be most unwise," I warned him. "Refuse, and we'll destroy everything in our path until we find them, starting with you and your village." I was fast losing my patience, but I did not show it. The Toa did falter for a while.

"No," he finally said. "I won't allow that. Nor will I allow you access to such weapons. If you want me to talk, I invite you to try and make me." And so we fought, three of us versus one of him, it was a brief fight of course. He used his Kadin to fly above and pepper us with seering plasma, only to be shot down by Avak.

"You'll never make me talk," he said, still defiant, even after defeat. I finally lost my patience.

"You two," I snarled at Avak and Reidak, "stay here!" I dragged the defeated and feebly protesting Toa away and suffice to say, it was one of the more gratifyingly horrific deaths I delivered; I returned in a much better mood. And so we did what we had promised the Toa – we destroyed his village until we found what we came for, the Griffin Gauntlets, which were in the hands of a particularly stubborn and aggressive Turaga of Fire.

Of course, just as stubborn as the Toa, the old fool made an attempt at resistance – he shook his staff at us, barraged us with sparks, and accidentally singed one of his carpets. He even threatened to use one of the gauntlets.

"I suggest you listen to me before you do anything rash, you ancient torch-lighter," I growled. "You know as well as I do that using that gauntlet would require you to kill one of us. And no Matoran, Toa or Turaga would dare do such a thing." He pondered that for a while, eventually relinquishing the gauntlets. A quick test of the gauntlets later, and the village needed not only new Toa, but a new Turaga too; Reidak looked gleefully between the gauntlet and the crushed Turaga and shards of crystalline protodermis on the floor.

"Imagine what one of these could do to a Makuta, see if they're so high and mighty when their armour is a crumpled—" Avak cut him off.

"A fine idea, assuming you could get close enough without being killed by a shadow hand, you fool," he scoffed, idly flexing the fingers of his gauntlet. "In fact, why don't you try it, Reidak, see what happens? Perhaps we'll get your share of the pay back on Odina..."

"If you and Reidak are quite done," I cut in. "I'm going to see if the Turaga had any other gauntlets stowed away, or anything else of value." Before either of them could protest, I left, actually intending to hide one of the gauntlets I had stolen. Someday, I will retrieve it.

But by far, the best paying job I ever did for the Dark Hunters was when Vezok, Thok and I were hired by a warlord on Zakaz about ten years ago. It was Ancient who approached us with the news.

"We've received a message from Zakaz; a warlord needs some mercenaries to bolster his forces to repel a siege. The Shadowed One has decided you're going. The boat is waiting for you down on Nidhiki Beach, as always. Amphibax will take you there and bring the boat back." When we did arrive on the east coast of Zakaz, we found ourselves in the middle of the siege. The sky was orange and smoking, and through the smoke we could barely see the fortress of the Skakdi warlord who had contacted us, my former tribe leader. At its gate was an army consisting mainly of earth, stone and fire Skakdi, with a small group of the defending force – consisting mainly of ice, water and air Skakdi – trying in vain to dismantle the battering rams beating upon the gate, and drive back the enemy.

Behind the front lines, the attacking tribe had flame launching cannons, its contents arcing through the sky into the fortress, which was burning rapidly. At the head of the attackers was a heavily armoured crimson warlord unfamiliar to us, on the back of a Tahtorak, a Devastator lance in hand. We watched in awe as in one stroke, he skewered three of the defenders and used the explosive power of his lance to finish them off.

"No place like home, huh?" Vezok said, capturing the scene in a nonchalant sweep of his arm. After a silent moment, he rolled his eyes, and asked: "Have either of you ever been told how humourless you are?" Again, his comment was ignored.

"We're not getting in this way." Thok pointed at the nektann and heavily armed Skakdi lining the battlements. "Perhaps there is anoth—" He was cut short as we were teleported away from the battle, into a long, stone chamber, the cacophony of battle still present in the air, but muffled. This was the warlord's throne room. My former tribe leader was poring over a table cluttered with battle plans and maps of the island. He was a magnificent specimen of our species, a titanic air Skakdi; wearing a horned circlet as a crown, in his hands he held an awesome greatsword, and strapped to his back was a wickedly curved battle dagger that could easily have been a sword to any lesser being. He turned to address us.

"So, the Shadowed One presents me with some of my own kind," the warlord said, evidently unsure if he'd been given a bad deal by the Shadowed One. "It's good that I was informed of your arrival before you got too close to the battle, and had the chance to teleport you here."

"What do you mean by that?" Vezok growled, his eyes beginning to glow. I quickly remedied the situation with my foot and turned back to the amused warlord.

"Don't mind Vezok, he's uncouth by nature and often forgets his manners," I apologised. "Now, what do you need?"

"I need you to break the siege by sabotaging the enemy war machines and disposing of their Tahtorak." he said. "If we overcome the enemy forces, I will have another job ready for you, if you want it."

"And our payment?" Vezok was impatient, as always.

"It will be given to you once you complete your task," the warlord’s voice was not one of a being who was going to change his mind, "and not before. And if you fail, I have no use for your corpses, except perhaps as food for my Tahtorak. Now, be gone." We began with the five battering rams. Thok froze one of the wooden legs of the first ram, and shattered it with his ice peg, effectively destroying the ram and burying a party of enemy Skakdi who had noticed us under the debris. Vezok disabled the second by firing water daggers from his buzzsaw into its treads. Soon, all five were either immobile or destroyed.

Next we fought our way away from the gates to the ten flame cannons, I split the first in half with my laser vision. Thok animated another to destroy the rest, and left it to cause general chaos amongst the enemy forces. Utilising the distraction, we slipped towards the five Tahtorak of the enemy tribe, approaching from behind, we slashed at their ankle pistons with our weapons, toppling the roaring creatures, and taking their riders by surprise. With their war machines useless, their Tahtorak injured and immobile, and one of their own cannons turned against them, the enemy tribe was demoralised and quickly surrounded and forced to either surrender or retreat. To finish, Thok rendered the flame cannon inanimate once more and left it for the warlord to claim. The siege was broken, and the warlord was generous with his payment.

"My control of this area of Zakaz has been affirmed, and each of you has my thanks. Even better, I'm now in a position to launch an attack on the enemy stronghold further inland, which is just what I plan to do. If you are interested, I would have you assist in our siege upon the enemy tribe’s fortress." Of course, tempted by the promise of more pay, we agreed.

We rode on Tahtorak of our own alongside the warlord; we were to serve as his generals for the duration of the siege. We rode through the forested oasis behind the fortress, where repairs were well underway, then back out into the open desert, before finally arriving at the base of a dormant volcano. Nestled in a valley at the base of this volcano was the fortress of the fire warlord, its dark, volcanic stone façade decorated with statues of the warlord’s spine and its battlements bristling with combat nektann.

The first of our force to advance up to the walls were the warlord’s machines, black nektann and repair nektann mainly, as well as laser ballistae. The enemy scouts were quick to notice the movement, and the gates momentarily opened, and a small army of earth, stone and fire Skakdi poured out. The laser ballistae shot fiery, circular holes into the enemy Skakdi, killing them with ease, and even melted parts of the wall. Vezok urged his Tahtorak forward, surging through and destroying a large section of the wall, and causing mass destruction in the town within the walls, roaring with maniacal laughter all the while. Thok and I herded a large portion of the army with our Tahtorak, before either trampling them or picking them off with our Devastators.

The warlord followed Vezok, before signalling Thok and I to follow him. His Tahtorak rammed down the gate, and our Tahtorak advanced down the main street to the keep, trampling and spearing any who stood in our way. After leaving the Tahtorak to the warlord’s lieutenants to prevent us from being overrun while we were inside the keep, we advanced through the stone corridors, dispatching the remnants of the enemy warlord’s army along the way.

Eventually, we arrived in the central room of the keep, where thin veins of lava flowed along the wall, and the fire warlord stood ready for combat in front of his throne. In one hand, he brandished a two-bladed battleaxe. On the other, he wore a black, clawed gauntlet, shadow energy crackling around it.

"What a role reversal," the warlord of air sneered. "Now your lordship ends, your land will be mine, I will become the most powerful warlord on Zakaz," he said as he unlimbered his greatsword, "and you will die."

"Don't count your necrofinches before they hatch," the warlord of fire warned. "I still live, and as long as I live, your dreams are just dreams. I leave you this last chance to retreat back to your hovel on the coast, and retire from the bloody politics of Zakaz, before I erase you from it." Our employer laughed.

"You truly believe you are still in a position to issue ultimatums?" He strode forward, greatsword swung over his shoulder. "Now, we prove the hubris of your words."

And so we fought. The warlord of fire swept away Thok with a torrent of shadow, and Vezok battered the warlord with an imitation blast of shadow. The battle continued, with the four of us at an impasse with the fire warlord. As we fought, a plan formed in my head, and I sent a few small clumps of my protodites to tell Vezok, Thok and the warlord. The air warlord fired a blast of wind from his greatsword, throwing the enemy warlord into the wall, before the enemy warlord could move forward again, Thok used his vision power to disorientate him, and Vezok used his impact vision to smash the wall. As I'd hoped, lava avalanched into the room and consumed the screaming warlord, killing him. Before the lava could flood the room, Vezok and Thok combined their elemental powers to freeze the lava back into rock.

I stood back and admired my handiwork, the dead warlord's face still protruded from the rock, frozen in a permanent scream of pain, as did his shadow gauntlet, which the air warlord grabbed triumphantly and donned. He turned back to us.

"I regret that you are in the Shadowed One's employ rather than mine," the green titan said, and unusually for a Skakdi, the gratitude in his voice seemed sincere. "For it is thanks to the three of you that I've kept control of my own territory, and annexed this poor axe-dragger's territory into the bargain, making me one of the most powerful warlords on the island. And make no mistake, I will pay accordingly." He handed us a bloated sack of Skakdi argent, and a tablet. "These are blueprints for a launcher. Some of my men … acquired them … from the cache of an enemy warlord. They should be of some use to The Shadowed One."

He provided us with steeds to return to the coast – where we would sail back to Odina with Amphibax – and dismissed us. Of course, the blueprints never reached The Shadowed One, and were later used by Avak to make our Zamor launchers. We also kept a significant portion of the money, which we stashed near the air warlord’s fortress, where we recently retrieved it to buy copies of blueprints for various kinds of stationary nektann from Xia, which Avak used to produce the nektann that surround our stronghold.

For the present, our search for the Mask of Life has met with no success yet, but we have discovered a possible lead – Brutaka, a large, golden warrior who has been in this area for millennia, if anyone will know, he will. Fortunately, I have managed to secure his loyalty, but when searching for something as priceless as the Mask of Life, no allegiance is absolute. I will remember that, and the others had better remember, too.

Edited by Toa Makao, Jun 09 2014 - 12:02 PM.

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#2 Offline Toa of Italy

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Posted Sep 04 2012 - 09:55 AM

The following comes from an authorized Contest Judge: At least one inaccuracy or error has been found in your entry. After reading this judge post, you are authorized to edit your entry to fix these errors. After editing to fix these things, please post in the entry topic saying what you changed.There seem to be a few canon discrepancies. They are:

Sure enough, the brutish ape and his assistant came blundering and bellowing into our midst, demanding to know who had killed his guards. The trap was sprung immediately; both of them died in the ensuing fight, as well as a few of my men, but that mattered little to me. I was being heralded a hero, and was swiftly declared the new overseer. And so the slave became the slaver, exactly as planned. But I had little time to glory in my cunning and guile, or to settle into my new role. Word reached The Shadowed One, as it was his mine, and the news significantly intrigued him that he came to Zakaz to see what had happened. I’ll always remember the day he walked into my new quarters.

Both Legacy of Evil and the Dark Hunters guide state that Zaktan was a slave when the Shadowed One found him and recruited him. They state TSO saved him from slavery, so the situation Zaktan's in when he meets TSO doesn't quite fit the canon. If you want to keep the rebellion part, I suggest you say the rebellion failed and then find a reason for Zaktan's survival (perhaps that TSO learned of him and, being impressed, decided to recruit him).

Hakann is full of the arrogant bravado and omnipresent fury that characterises the fire Skakdi; his impulsiveness definitely makes him impossible to work with, and impossible to like.

You don't need to change this if you don't want to, though this description doesn't seem to fit Hakann very much. Here, it seems he hasn't got much intelligence, but Hakann orchestrated several schemes against Zaktan, including the theft of Brutaka's power, so you might want to add something mentioning this characteristic of his.

And I, as I had no powers or skills like the others had – at least none that I knew of at the time – I used the greatest weapon at my disposal, one greater than any of the others’ parlour tricks; my mind.

This isn't quite true. As far as we know, Zaktan always had his laser vision power and his body was made out of protodites from before Nidhiki's arrival in the Dark Hunters (as one can see in Legacy of Evil).

Our training ended with The Shadowed One and his inner circle assured that we would be valuable assets to his lowly band of cutthroats, thieves and mercenaries, as unlikely as it was that we would settle with such unfavourable terms, as it was to prove.

Though the training episode with Nidhiki is already canon at least as far as Vezok is concerned, I doubt it took the Piraka 4000 years before their training ended and they fully became Dark Hunters. If this part doesn't chronologically follow the episode with Nidhiki, you should state it to avoid confusion. Otherwise, you could cancel it or rephrase it.

It was all six of us who rebelled against The Shadowed One and lived.

Actually, Avak didn't participate in Zaktan's rebellion.

It was Avak, Thok and I who captured Roodaka and brought her before The Shadowed One for interrogation.

Unless this refers to a later episode (and Roodaka seems clever enough to avoid getting captured by the Dark Hunters twice) Roodaka's capture after her defeat in Metru Nui was due to the Dark Hunter Tracker. It does say that three more Dark Hunters were involved, but I think you should at least mention Tracker's participation.

It was Darkness who approached us with the news.

The DH Guide says that Darkness leaves TSO's side only to discipline incompetent Dark Hunters. Perhaps changing the name would be best.

He held up the device I had seen on the table, which must have been the teleportation device he used.

Again, you don't need to change it, but it seems odd that such an advanced device could exist on Zakaz. You could simplify by saying it was the warlord's third power.

As we fought, a plan formed in my head, and I sent a few small clumps of my protodites to tell Vezok, Thok and the warlord.

I'm not sure Zaktan's protodites can speak when separated from his body. At the very least, I think, he should have to send all those making up his head and mouth and reform them in front of those he wanted to speak to.

he handed us a bloated sack of Skakdi argent, and a scroll

MU natives usually use carvings to write. There are almost no scrolls to be found in the MU, so it is very unlikely Xia would use one for a Blueprint.

Some of my men…acquired them…from a Nynrah Ghost convoy en route another warlord’s fortress, they should be of some use to The Shadowed One.

Even providing a Skakdi managed to get past the Brotherhood of Makuta's travel restrictions and reach Nynrah, the Nynrah Ghosts do not usually travel to other islands, they take requests for creations and then leave the completed item for the buyer to find. Even if you mean the Xia-based Nynrah Ghosts, I doubt they would go themselves and most of all I doubt anyone would arrange a convoy through Zakaz (except the Skakdi themselves). Most likely, they would leave the cargo on the shore, as we know at least one Xia ship did.

Of course, the blueprints never reached The Shadowed One, and were later used by Avak to make our Zamor launchers. Nor did the money, which we stashed near the air warlord’s fortress, where we recently retrieved it to buy copies of blueprints for various kinds of stationary nektann from Xia, which Avak used to produce the nektann that surround the Piraka Stronghold.

First of all, I was under the impression Avak copied his Zamor Launchers from those Krekka and Nidhiki stole in Birth of a Dark Hunter. However, I admit that might not be the case. What, however, seems impossible, is that Zaktan and the others managed to avoid giving the money (if not the blueprints, which TSO might not have known about) to the Shadowed One. We have seen more than once what the Shadowed One does to those who try to hide the money from him.That's it as far as canon is concerned (though I also am not sure about how the Dark Hunters could own, and whether it would be convenient to them, a protodermis mine on a blockaded and war-torn island such as Zakaz). A few more things, but nothing serious:

Thok, the stereotypical loner, he has certainly been making a much greater effort to mingle with the other five of us as of late, but I suspect a more sinister motive than supporting the team.

No need for "he" as you already said who you're talking about, unless you are trying to emphasize that Zaktan is making a list of the other Piraka.

Now, he is perpetually angry, and even before the creation of Vezon he was stupid, and now, he possesses the sort of moronic brutishness that could rival Reidak’s.

Perhaps you should cancel one of the "and"s.

the former just as likely as the latter, perhaps even more likely.

Avoid repeating likely.

Our training ended with The Shadowed One and his inner circle assured that we would be valuable assets

Change assured with assuring

When we did arrive on the east coast of Zakaz, we arrived in the middle of the siege.

Avoid repeating "arrive".

he handed us a bloated sack of Skakdi argent, and a scroll

When you use argent do you mean silver or money? Either way, replace it with something more commonly used.That's all. I must say I liked the story very much. I especially appreciated the way you wrote it, with almost no grammar mistakes (unless I've missed something). Zaktan's thoughts are also described well.

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#3 Offline Toa Makao

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Posted Sep 04 2012 - 10:29 AM

The following comes from an authorized Contest Judge: At least one inaccuracy or error has been found in your entry. After reading this judge post, you are authorized to edit your entry to fix these errors. After editing to fix these things, please post in the entry topic saying what you changed.There seem to be a few canon discrepancies. They are:

Sure enough, the brutish ape and his assistant came blundering and bellowing into our midst, demanding to know who had killed his guards. The trap was sprung immediately; both of them died in the ensuing fight, as well as a few of my men, but that mattered little to me. I was being heralded a hero, and was swiftly declared the new overseer. And so the slave became the slaver, exactly as planned. But I had little time to glory in my cunning and guile, or to settle into my new role. Word reached The Shadowed One, as it was his mine, and the news significantly intrigued him that he came to Zakaz to see what had happened. I’ll always remember the day he walked into my new quarters.

Both Legacy of Evil and the Dark Hunters guide state that Zaktan was a slave when the Shadowed One found him and recruited him. They state TSO saved him from slavery, so the situation Zaktan's in when he meets TSO doesn't quite fit the canon. If you want to keep the rebellion part, I suggest you say the rebellion failed and then find a reason for Zaktan's survival (perhaps that TSO learned of him and, being impressed, decided to recruit him).

Hakann is full of the arrogant bravado and omnipresent fury that characterises the fire Skakdi; his impulsiveness definitely makes him impossible to work with, and impossible to like.

You don't need to change this if you don't want to, though this description doesn't seem to fit Hakann very much. Here, it seems he hasn't got much intelligence, but Hakann orchestrated several schemes against Zaktan, including the theft of Brutaka's power, so you might want to add something mentioning this characteristic of his.

And I, as I had no powers or skills like the others had – at least none that I knew of at the time – I used the greatest weapon at my disposal, one greater than any of the others’ parlour tricks; my mind.

This isn't quite true. As far as we know, Zaktan always had his laser vision power and his body was made out of protodites from before Nidhiki's arrival in the Dark Hunters (as one can see in Legacy of Evil).

Our training ended with The Shadowed One and his inner circle assured that we would be valuable assets to his lowly band of cutthroats, thieves and mercenaries, as unlikely as it was that we would settle with such unfavourable terms, as it was to prove.

Though the training episode with Nidhiki is already canon at least as far as Vezok is concerned, I doubt it took the Piraka 4000 years before their training ended and they fully became Dark Hunters. If this part doesn't chronologically follow the episode with Nidhiki, you should state it to avoid confusion. Otherwise, you could cancel it or rephrase it.

It was all six of us who rebelled against The Shadowed One and lived.

Actually, Avak didn't participate in Zaktan's rebellion.

It was Avak, Thok and I who captured Roodaka and brought her before The Shadowed One for interrogation.

Unless this refers to a later episode (and Roodaka seems clever enough to avoid getting captured by the Dark Hunters twice) Roodaka's capture after her defeat in Metru Nui was due to the Dark Hunter Tracker. It does say that three more Dark Hunters were involved, but I think you should at least mention Tracker's participation.

It was Darkness who approached us with the news.

The DH Guide says that Darkness leaves TSO's side only to discipline incompetent Dark Hunters. Perhaps changing the name would be best.

He held up the device I had seen on the table, which must have been the teleportation device he used.

Again, you don't need to change it, but it seems odd that such an advanced device could exist on Zakaz. You could simplify by saying it was the warlord's third power.

As we fought, a plan formed in my head, and I sent a few small clumps of my protodites to tell Vezok, Thok and the warlord.

I'm not sure Zaktan's protodites can speak when separated from his body. At the very least, I think, he should have to send all those making up his head and mouth and reform them in front of those he wanted to speak to.

he handed us a bloated sack of Skakdi argent, and a scroll

MU natives usually use carvings to write. There are almost no scrolls to be found in the MU, so it is very unlikely Xia would use one for a Blueprint.

Some of my men…acquired them…from a Nynrah Ghost convoy en route another warlord’s fortress, they should be of some use to The Shadowed One.

Even providing a Skakdi managed to get past the Brotherhood of Makuta's travel restrictions and reach Nynrah, the Nynrah Ghosts do not usually travel to other islands, they take requests for creations and then leave the completed item for the buyer to find. Even if you mean the Xia-based Nynrah Ghosts, I doubt they would go themselves and most of all I doubt anyone would arrange a convoy through Zakaz (except the Skakdi themselves). Most likely, they would leave the cargo on the shore, as we know at least one Xia ship did.

Of course, the blueprints never reached The Shadowed One, and were later used by Avak to make our Zamor launchers. Nor did the money, which we stashed near the air warlord’s fortress, where we recently retrieved it to buy copies of blueprints for various kinds of stationary nektann from Xia, which Avak used to produce the nektann that surround the Piraka Stronghold.

First of all, I was under the impression Avak copied his Zamor Launchers from those Krekka and Nidhiki stole in Birth of a Dark Hunter. However, I admit that might not be the case. What, however, seems impossible, is that Zaktan and the others managed to avoid giving the money (if not the blueprints, which TSO might not have known about) to the Shadowed One. We have seen more than once what the Shadowed One does to those who try to hide the money from him.That's it as far as canon is concerned (though I also am not sure about how the Dark Hunters could own, and whether it would be convenient to them, a protodermis mine on a blockaded and war-torn island such as Zakaz). A few more things, but nothing serious:

Thok, the stereotypical loner, he has certainly been making a much greater effort to mingle with the other five of us as of late, but I suspect a more sinister motive than supporting the team.

No need for "he" as you already said who you're talking about, unless you are trying to emphasize that Zaktan is making a list of the other Piraka.

Now, he is perpetually angry, and even before the creation of Vezon he was stupid, and now, he possesses the sort of moronic brutishness that could rival Reidak’s.

Perhaps you should cancel one of the "and"s.

the former just as likely as the latter, perhaps even more likely.

Avoid repeating likely.

Our training ended with The Shadowed One and his inner circle assured that we would be valuable assets

Change assured with assuring

When we did arrive on the east coast of Zakaz, we arrived in the middle of the siege.

Avoid repeating "arrive".

he handed us a bloated sack of Skakdi argent, and a scroll

When you use argent do you mean silver or money? Either way, replace it with something more commonly used.That's all. I must say I liked the story very much. I especially appreciated the way you wrote it, with almost no grammar mistakes (unless I've missed something). Zaktan's thoughts are also described well.

Firstly, thank you for the compliments at the end, I try my best. Secondly, I will address the corrections I think I should explain myself on.My argument against your first correction is only a technical one; as far as I'm aware, it is only said he was a slave before being recruited, not that he still was one when he was recruited. Of course, I may be wrong, I do not own Legacy of Evil or the guide and only have the words of wikis to go by, which are surely not worded exactly the same as the actual sources.Secondly, your second correction, I didn't intend to imply Hakann is stupid, only impulsive and arrogant, which are traits relatively common among Bionicle's red characters, particularly villainous ones. And even if I did, I've always viewed Zaktan as the arrogant sort who views himself as mentally superior to all of the others. All the same, I suppose I should change the wording slightly.Thirdly, your third correction (about Zaktan's powers) laser vision is perhaps not the right power to use to open and reseal a safe without leaving evidence. And as I recall, Zaktan only discovered he was made of protodites after TSO attempted to execute him for rebellion (hence why I added "at least none I knew of at the time"). In the case of laser vision, maybe I should correct it to "no powers fit for the task".Fourthly, the training, by "our training ended" I meant as a single additional training session, not their initiation training.Next, the teleportation device, meant to be a Xian import, it was bonesiii who suggested the teleportation being caused by a device rather than the warlord's power, which it was originally.As for Zaktan's protodites, suddenly losing your head (literally) in the middle of battle to share a plan isn't really discreet. And that is why I chose to send just a few small clumps of protodites out to do so, they are all individual beings afterall, and surely if the being they coalesce to form can talk, so can they?I don't think it was ever said where Avak got the idea to make the Zamors from.Next, assured/assuring, this may just be a difference between US and English grammar but that correction doesn't make grammatical sense to me.By argent, I meant money, I like using rarely used words, spices it up a little and breaks the monotony.As for your other suggestions, I have no problems with them, most were just oversights.

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#4 Offline bonesiii

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Posted Sep 04 2012 - 10:37 AM

This is not technically a judging post yet; I read the draft he PMed me, but haven't yet re-read it in new form. Some comments:

Both Legacy of Evil and the Dark Hunters guide state that Zaktan was a slave when the Shadowed One found him and recruited him. They state TSO saved him from slavery, so the situation Zaktan's in when he meets TSO doesn't quite fit the canon. If you want to keep the rebellion part, I suggest you say the rebellion failed and then find a reason for Zaktan's survival (perhaps that TSO learned of him and, being impressed, decided to recruit him).

I interpreted him as simply being a higher ranking slave to someone in that situation, though I agree the line about slave becoming slaver implies otherwise. I think it would be much better to just change that line rather than the whole section.

Actually, Avak didn't participate in Zaktan's rebellion.

This one is my fault, as I could not find anything to say he was against it. He left the DH with them, therefore he participated, but the wording is vague as to what is being referred to by that. I couldn't find anything on BS01 to clear it up.

Again, you don't need to change it, but it seems odd that such an advanced device could exist on Zakaz. You could simplify by saying it was the warlord's third power.

That one again is my fault; as I was not sure it is okay to say teleportation could be a Skakdi power. Such a device could possibly be there, and if it did, certainly a warlord would be the most likely to claim it due to its value. Unless there is evidence that such a power is okay for them...

I'm not sure Zaktan's protodites can speak when separated from his body. At the very least, I think, he should have to send all those making up his head and mouth and reform them in front of those he wanted to speak to.

They could form the shapes of letters to avoid the issue. It would be odd for his head to leave. :P

Perhaps you should cancel one of the "and"s.

It's not quite a list because the second clause contrasts with the first, then the third is a different idea. It would probably be better to make the third a separate sentence.

Next, assured/assuring, this may just be a difference between US and English grammar but that correction doesn't make grammatical sense to me.

Actually, he's correct, because it's inside the prepositional phrase beginning with "with" (sorry I didn't catch it, heh). As far as I know that's universal to English grammar.And FTR, rarely used words are okay. It may be an issue with voters, but I think it was clear in context.

Edited by bonesiii, Sep 04 2012 - 10:43 AM.

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#5 Offline Toa Makao

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Posted Sep 04 2012 - 11:12 AM

This is not technically a judging post yet; I read the draft he PMed me, but haven't yet re-read it in new form. Some comments:

Both Legacy of Evil and the Dark Hunters guide state that Zaktan was a slave when the Shadowed One found him and recruited him. They state TSO saved him from slavery, so the situation Zaktan's in when he meets TSO doesn't quite fit the canon. If you want to keep the rebellion part, I suggest you say the rebellion failed and then find a reason for Zaktan's survival (perhaps that TSO learned of him and, being impressed, decided to recruit him).

I interpreted him as simply being a higher ranking slave to someone in that situation, though I agree the line about slave becoming slaver implies otherwise. I think it would be much better to just change that line rather than the whole section.

Actually, Avak didn't participate in Zaktan's rebellion.

This one is my fault, as I could not find anything to say he was against it. He left the DH with them, therefore he participated, but the wording is vague as to what is being referred to by that. I couldn't find anything on BS01 to clear it up.

Again, you don't need to change it, but it seems odd that such an advanced device could exist on Zakaz. You could simplify by saying it was the warlord's third power.

That one again is my fault; as I was not sure it is okay to say teleportation could be a Skakdi power. Such a device could possibly be there, and if it did, certainly a warlord would be the most likely to claim it due to its value. Unless there is evidence that such a power is okay for them...

I'm not sure Zaktan's protodites can speak when separated from his body. At the very least, I think, he should have to send all those making up his head and mouth and reform them in front of those he wanted to speak to.

They could form the shapes of letters to avoid the issue. It would be odd for his head to leave. :P

Perhaps you should cancel one of the "and"s.

It's not quite a list because the second clause contrasts with the first, then the third is a different idea. It would probably be better to make the third a separate sentence.

Next, assured/assuring, this may just be a difference between US and English grammar but that correction doesn't make grammatical sense to me.

Actually, he's correct, because it's inside the prepositional phrase beginning with "with" (sorry I didn't catch it, heh). As far as I know that's universal to English grammar.And FTR, rarely used words are okay. It may be an issue with voters, but I think it was clear in context.

Alright then, thank you both for reading it and your judgements.But does that grammar still apply in past tense? It really doesn't look or sound right to me.

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#6 Offline bonesiii

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Posted Sep 04 2012 - 11:16 AM

Yes. Have a look at the sentence again:

Our training ended with The Shadowed One and his inner circle assured that we would be valuable assets

The past tense is carried by the sentence's verb "ended." "With" attaches the rest to that, and always in such attachments English grammar uses "ing".By the way, assuring usually has a direct object; us in this case. It's not totally required as it can be implied, but it would help it flow better:

Our training ended with The Shadowed One and his inner circle assuring us that we would be valuable assets


Edited by bonesiii, Sep 04 2012 - 11:18 AM.

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#7 Offline Toa Makao

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Posted Sep 04 2012 - 11:26 AM

Alright, I'll change it then.
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#8 Offline TLhikan

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Posted Sep 04 2012 - 01:00 PM

The following comes from an authorized Contest Judge: At least one inaccuracy or error has been found in your entry. After reading this judge post, you are authorized to edit your entry to fix these errors. After editing to fix these things, please post in the entry topic saying what you changed.First off, cool story, I like it. I only found one minor problem:

“What a role reversal” the warlord of air sneered “now, your lordship ends, your land becomes mine, I become the most powerful warlord on Zakaz” he unlimbered his greatsword “and you die.”

I believe that there should be commas after "reversal", "Zakaz", and "greatsword", and that "sneered" should have a period after it, with "now" beginning a new sentence. -TLhikan

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#9 Offline Toa Makao

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Posted Sep 04 2012 - 01:10 PM

Thanks TLhikan, I'll change that now.
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#10 Offline bonesiii

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Posted Sep 04 2012 - 04:35 PM

The following comes from an authorized Contest Judge: At least one inaccuracy or error has been found in your entry. After reading this judge post, you are authorized to edit your entry to fix these errors. After editing to fix these things, please post in the entry topic saying what you changed.Several grammar things, and a few more minor canon problems. All easily fixed, with one section I think needs expanding. Let me just say too, that I felt this was a brilliant story, very psychological with Zaktan, and shows well how he uses brains to support his vast ambition. I really liked how you picked moments throughout his "rising" to show this, yet connected them all to that theme so it's clear it's one story, and the Zakaz finale brought things back around to home well, and showed that he'd achieved mastery in that way. Of course, you punctuate it with the implied irony well for we readers at the end, knowing it all falls apart in the end, heh.This is just a note in regards to previous conversation:Which I’m sure is why the Dark Hunters put him in charge of their mine. The Dark Hunters owned the mine; they had since they killed the last overseer and ownerTherefore, the overseer could be called a slave too, just a higher rank of slave, and not the owner. And the slave to slaver line can be taken poetically, so shouldn't be a problem, at least since we don't know exactly whether Zaktan was considered a slave at the moment before becoming a DH as discussed before. In other words, he may be a slave who is a slaver (poetic term for overseer of other slaves), or a servant who is a slaver, but either way he's not the owner.I remember thinking to myself;“Here I am breaking rocks with these worthless beggars; my life could be so much more than this. Someday they’ll see, someday I’ll show them all what I can do, and on that day, lava will rain from the sky, the earth will tremble, the sea itself will retreat, the very cliffs will collapse to bow before me, even the wind will whisper my praises. And my name will be on every pair of lips still alive to utter it. My magnificence will be undeniable, any who so much as think of dissent will die. I will be greater than Mata Nui himself. And it will happen, the world can count on that.” Little did I know that soon, I would be set on that course, which I’m now so close to completing.I think it would be better to split this up this way, and with a comma, not semicolon:I remember thinking to myself, “Here I am breaking rocks with these worthless beggars; my life could be so much more than this. Someday they’ll see, someday I’ll show them all what I can do, and on that day, lava will rain from the sky, the earth will tremble, the sea itself will retreat, the very cliffs will collapse to bow before me, even the wind will whisper my praises. And my name will be on every pair of lips still alive to utter it. My magnificence will be undeniable, any who so much as think of dissent will die. I will be greater than Mata Nui himself. And it will happen, the world can count on that.”Little did I know that soon, I would be set on that course, which I’m now so close to completing.You have a will to conquer, to grow in power, to succeed just as all Skakdi do.This last part kinda throws off the point TSO was trying to make; that Zaktan was something special. Might wanna reconsider it, depending on what you were going for. I doubt he believes that all Skakdi succeed. Unless he was trying to temper his praise by an intentional contradiction lest Zaktan let it go to his head.Seeing I would be mad to deny such opportunity, of course I accepted, and in their ranks I stayed…for as long as it suited me.You have this line at the end of the long paragraph of TSO's speech; should be a new paragraph. New speakers generally get new paragraphs always, even if what they said is being summarized in narration rather than quoted, and besides that 'graph is very long.Now, he is perpetually angry, and even before the creation of Vezon he was stupid, but now, he possesses the sort of moronic brutishness that could rival Reidak’s.The logical flow of this would be better if you split it into two sentences, now that I look at it again in context; this way (with context shown):Finally, Vezok, he was a lot calmer and slightly more intelligent before Hakann split Vezon from him. Now, he is perpetually angry. Even before the creation of Vezon he was stupid, but now, he possesses the sort of moronic brutishness that could rival Reidak’s.The "Now, he is" sentence goes with the first sentence, not the second, so it shouldn't be combined with the second. You could even (though you don't have to) combine it with the first to make the grouping clearer, with a semi-colon, like this:Finally, Vezok, he was a lot calmer and slightly more intelligent before Hakann split Vezon from him; now, he is perpetually angry. Even before the creation of Vezon he was stupid, but now, he possesses the sort of moronic brutishness that could rival Reidak’s.(which commenced after the Dark Hunters hired a new trainer, an outcast from Metru Nui)This is up to you, but parentheses are usually avoided in fiction. I've used them occasionally myself, but I think they're better when there's some kind of humor, irony, or other emotional value to their contents. To just give a factoid is probably not the best use as that's usually done in nonfiction so it can knock the reader out of suspension of disbelief; feels too explainey/info dumpey. I suggest dashes or commas instead; either would work.So I stared through the crack of the safe’s door, at its inner workings, and almost laughed at its ridiculous simplicity. I carefully inserted my thin scissor blades into the gap, and watching carefully, lifted the latch holding the door shut. And so the safe was open. After claiming its contents, I used my weapon once more to close the door.Another thing I should have thought of the first time I read this ( :P) but that is up to you -- through a crack in a safe, I imagine all he'd be able to tell was that a bar crossed it, not how simple or complex the things that handle that bar are. A safe -could- be designed, for example to prevent the bar from moving until a code had been put in, perhaps by knob. I think laughing at its simplicity may be unjustified overconfidence, and I doubt Zaktan would make that mistake. I think he would view what he did as an experiment, and then when it actually worked, he would almost laugh, etc. While attempting it I think he would have a more confident but experimental attitude -- confident that if it didn't work, at least he would have ruled it out.BTW, since the question of Hakann's intelligence was brought up, just noting that the portrayal here of his method of opening the safe does show that Zaktan believes him to be smart, so no problem there (but is too proud to say so, heh). Also praising him by silence, since for those he -did- see as stupid he said so.“I see you’ve learned something important, Skakdi,” he said, “the greatest weapon isn’t an all-destroying cannonThis one is probably my fault, but I think a new sentence should be started for the second part here, like this:“I see you’ve learned something important, Skakdi,” he said. “The greatest weapon isn’t an all-destroying cannonBecause if you took out the said-tag, what would remain would be a comma splice in his speech. And I think he would probably naturally pause there anyways.Several more errors with said-tags and the like:“You’ve no business here, Skakdi” he sneered “crawl back to Zakaz” he raised his mace in an attempt to threaten us “or I will throw you back.”“You’ve no business here, Skakdi,” he sneered. “Crawl back to Zakaz.” He raised his mace in an attempt to threaten us. “Or I will throw you back.”“Tsk, tsk” I said “such impoliteness for a Toa.“Tsk, tsk,” I said. “Such impoliteness for a Toa.“That would be most unwise” I told him “refuse“That would be most unwise,” I told him. “Refuse“No.” he finally said “I won’t allow that.“No,” he finally said. “I won’t allow that.And so we fought, three of us versus one of him, it was a brief fight of course.Splice at the second comma. Recommend splitting to two sentences.“You’ll never make me talk” he said“You’ll never make me talk,” he said“You two” I snarled at Avak and Reidak “stay here!”“You two,” I snarled at Avak and Reidak, “stay here!”Or:“You two,” I snarled at Avak and Reidak. “Stay here!”“I suggest you listen to me before you do anything brash, you ancient torch-lighter” I growled “you know as well as I do that using that gauntlet would require you to kill one of us. And no Matoran, Toa or Turaga would dare do such a thing.” He pondered that for a while, eventually relinquishing the gauntlets.The usual quote mistake, plus the Turaga's response should be a new paragraph:“I suggest you listen to me before you do anything brash, you ancient torch-lighter,” I growled. “You know as well as I do that using that gauntlet would require you to kill one of us. And no Matoran, Toa or Turaga would dare do such a thing.”He pondered that for a while, eventually relinquishing the gauntlets.“Listen, you two” I said “I’m going to see“Listen, you two,” I said, “I’m going to seeOr:“Listen, you two,” I said. “I’m going to see“We’re not getting in this way” Thok pointed at the nektann and heavily armed Skakdi lining the battlements “perhaps there is anothe-” he was cut short as we were teleported away from the battle, into a long, stone chamber, the noise of battle still present in the air, but muffled. This was the warlord’s throne room.Besides the usual, I would cut his words off differently. A longer dash is usually used; I've shown it that way. Also, cutting a syllable off halfway doesn't seem to make sense; I'd cut it off at the start of the syllable as that's how it would sound. I'd also have the explanation of what cut him off be a new paragraph as that's definitely an action-counteraction scenario.“We’re not getting in this way.” Thok pointed at the nektann and heavily armed Skakdi lining the battlements. “Perhaps there is anoth—”He was cut short as we were teleported away from the battle, into a long, stone chamber, the noise of battle still present in the air, but muffled. This was the warlord’s throne room.“So,” the warlord said, smiling wryly “the Shadowed One“So,” the warlord said, smiling wryly, “The Shadowed OneJust to note, the T would be capitalized here -only- because that's how TSO's name is always shown, although I suppose it wouldn't absolutely have to be. It should not be confused with a new sentence, hence the comma.“So, what do you want?” I asked. He smiled again.“Of course, I digress” he said “I need you to break the siegeAgain the paragraph breaks are wrong due to the action-counteraction rule; everything one speaker does belongs with their words generally. Also the usual:“So, what do you want?” I asked.He smiled again. “Of course, I digress,” he said. “I need you to break the siege“It will be given to you once you complete your task” the warlord’s voice was not one of a being who was going to change his mind “and not before.“It will be given to you once you complete your task.” The warlord’s voice was not one of a being who was going to change his mind. “And not before.Thok disabled the first by freezing one of the wooden legs of the ram, and shattering it with his ice peg, Vezok disabled the second by breaking its wheels with his impact vision.Thok disabled the first by freezing one of the wooden legs of the ram, and shattering it with his ice peg. Vezok disabled the second by breaking its wheels with his impact vision.I also notice that storywise you didn't seem to mention the opposition they would have to outmaneuver as they were breaking the siege. Perhaps an edit to make that clearer is in order. Perhaps say something like that the enemy's confusion over their identities paralyzed them for just long enough for the DH to run through these targets quickly, and maybe some other tactic they used that those who serve the warlord already might not think of. As it is, considering he could teleport his warriors there, it seems a bit odd that he needs to hire DH to do this.I was thinking Zaktan would plan out an arrangement of how each broken ram and cannons would fall to block the shots of guards as they moved on to the next, for example. Then when they went for the Tahtorak, the enemy might hold its fire to prevent killing their own creatures. Also maybe Zaktan could know of a method to easily slice pistons in the ankles to make walking impossible without actually killing the creatures, which would suffice as the warlord's forces could overtake the enemy before they'd have time to repair them, without putting his own team at risk, which locals likely wouldn't think of.“Now, your lordship ends, your land becomes mine, I become the most powerful warlord on Zakaz,” he unlimbered his greatsword, “and you die.”“Now, your lordship ends, your land becomes mine, I become the most powerful warlord on Zakaz,” he said as he unlimbered his greatsword, “and you die.”“Don’t count your necrofinches before they hatch,” the warlord of fire warned “I still live, and as long as I live, your dreams are just dreams. I leave you this last chance to retreat back to your hovel on the coast, and retire from the bloody politics of Zakaz, before I erase you from it.” The other warlord laughed.“You truly believe you are still in a position to issue ultimatums?” he strode forward, greatsword swung over his shoulder “now, we prove the arrogance of your fine words.” And so we fought, the warlord of fire swept away Thok with a torrent of shadow, and Vezok battered the warlord with an imitation blast of shadow. The battle continued, with the four of us at an impasse with the fire warlord.Several problems here, including action-counteraction and a splice.“Don’t count your necrofinches before they hatch,” the warlord of fire warned. “I still live, and as long as I live, your dreams are just dreams. I leave you this last chance to retreat back to your hovel on the coast, and retire from the bloody politics of Zakaz, before I erase you from it.”The other warlord laughed. “You truly believe you are still in a position to issue ultimatums?” He strode forward, greatsword swung over his shoulder. “Now, we prove the arrogance of your fine words.”And so we fought. The warlord of fire swept away Thok with a torrent of shadow, and Vezok battered the warlord with an imitation blast of shadow.The battle continued, with the four of us at an impasse with the fire warlord.“I cannot thank you three enough” the green titan said, and unusually for a Skakdi, we could tell he actually meant it “thanks to you, I’ve kept control of my own territory, and annexed this poor axe-dragger’s territory into the bargain, making me one of the most powerful warlords on the island. And make no mistake, I will pay accordingly” he handed us a bloated sack of Skakdi argent, and a tablet “these are blueprints for a launcher. Some of my men…acquired them…from the cache of an enemy warlord, they should be of some use to The Shadowed One.” And with that, he provided us with steeds to return to the coast – where we would sail back to Odina with Amphibax – and dismissed us.Again several mistakes. One thing here is a style thing, but personally when I have a narrator say that something is what a person meant, but didn't say, I use single quotes and italicize it, or at least single quotes. You could ignore that part as quotes are commonly used. [Edit: I just realized I almost certainly misinterpreted that part. NVM...] Also I'd split this 'graph up just due to it being long, but it's not essential. Also, the last sentence starts kinda strangely; "and with that" usually precedes something like "he left" or something else that takes little time. Generally "he provided us with steeds" is not an "and with that" kinda thing. I'd just cut those words.“I cannot thank you three enough,” the green titan said, and unusually for a Skakdi, we could tell he actually meant it. "Thanks to you, I’ve kept control of my own territory, and annexed this poor axe-dragger’s territory into the bargain, making me one of the most powerful warlords on the island. And make no mistake, I will pay accordingly."He handed us a bloated sack of Skakdi argent, and a tablet. "These are blueprints for a launcher. Some of my men…acquired them… from the cache of an enemy warlord. They should be of some use to The Shadowed One.”He provided us with steeds to return to the coast – where we would sail back to Odina with Amphibax – and dismissed us.longer than the Matoran have, if anyone will know, he will.Splice.longer than the Matoran have; if anyone will know, he will.Or:longer than the Matoran have. If anyone will know, he will.BTW, is this statement confirmed accurate?Brutaka, a large, golden warrior who has been in this area longer than the Matoran haveThis line from his BS01 page seems to imply otherwise:

Brutaka was teamed with his friend, a powerful and famous warrior named Axonn. The two were posted near the village of Voya Nui to serve as the Kanohi Ignika's first line of defense. At the same time, they also secretly protected the region's Matoran.

To avoid the issue you could just say "for a very long time" or the like.

Edited by bonesiii, Sep 04 2012 - 04:46 PM.

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#11 Offline Toa Makao

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Posted Sep 05 2012 - 12:13 PM

Of course it's not your fault that you missed a few grammatical errors, you're only human. And thank you for the praise, I feared my entry would seem too list-like, maybe my standards are a little high, so reading comments like that is encouraging.As for the previous overseer, by that I meant, he oversaw the mine work, and also owned it and all proceeds were sold for his profit. Since the Dark Hunters murdered him and took over his mine, they had installed a new overseer to monitor the tedious day-to-day stuff at the mine, leaving them free to do Dark Hunter stuff, but all profits go to them, so yes, the new overseer is more of a slave. The previous one was his own boss.As for TSO's praise, he was merely observing that all Skakdi are naturally ambitious like that, it was not intended as praise or anything else.

Edited by Toa Makao, Sep 05 2012 - 12:19 PM.

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#12 Offline TLhikan

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Posted Jan 09 2013 - 02:11 PM

The following comes from an authorized Contest Judge: No inaccuracies or errors were found in your entry. Unless another judge or member finds a problem later, your entry is likely to go on to the polls.

 

-TLhikan


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#13 Offline X-Ray

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Posted Jan 30 2013 - 08:20 PM

[font="'trebuchet ms', helvetica, sans-serif;"][color=#008080;]I liked your portrayal of Zaktan in this story. It was very in depth, showcasing his cunning and tactical brilliance. I also liked how you portrayed the rest of the Piraka, particularly during the safe cracking scene. [/color][/font]

 

[font="'trebuchet ms', helvetica, sans-serif;"][color=#008080;]However, I wasn't exactly thrilled with the length you took in describing the Piraka's mission to Zaktan. It was admittedly interesting to see a new adventure with the Piraka, which explained how they got their Zamor launchers and Nektann plans to boot, but I would have preferred to see Zaktan's take on being transformed into Protodites, which you did not mention, and maybe some more coverage on how he interacted with the other Piraka. Perhaps you could have chosen a more stealth based mission to highlight Zaktan's cunning. As it was, the battle scene was a bit of a drag and didn't bring out anything new in the Piraka. Also, you misspelled "utilizing."[/color][/font]

 

[font="'trebuchet ms', helvetica, sans-serif;"][color=#008080;]All told, this story did well expanding on little details from mainstream canon, such as the Toa of Plasma and the safe cracking scenes, but where you beat your own path, I'm afraid to say that you got lost. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that you beat a bad path, it just could have been a little better.[/color][/font]

 

[font="'trebuchet ms', helvetica, sans-serif;"][color=#008080;] :akaku: X-Ray :akaku:[/color][/font]


Edited by X-Ray, Jan 30 2013 - 08:39 PM.

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#14 Offline Toa Makao

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Posted Feb 17 2013 - 02:57 PM

[font="'trebuchet ms', helvetica, sans-serif;"][color=#008080;]I liked your portrayal of Zaktan in this story. It was very in depth, showcasing his cunning and tactical brilliance. I also liked how you portrayed the rest of the Piraka, particularly during the safe cracking scene. [/color][/font]

 

[font="'trebuchet ms', helvetica, sans-serif;"][color=#008080;]However, I wasn't exactly thrilled with the length you took in describing the Piraka's mission to Zaktan. It was admittedly interesting to see a new adventure with the Piraka, which explained how they got their Zamor launchers and Nektann plans to boot, but I would have preferred to see Zaktan's take on being transformed into Protodites, which you did not mention, and maybe some more coverage on how he interacted with the other Piraka. Perhaps you could have chosen a more stealth based mission to highlight Zaktan's cunning. As it was, the battle scene was a bit of a drag and didn't bring out anything new in the Piraka. Also, you misspelled "utilizing."[/color][/font]

 

[font="'trebuchet ms', helvetica, sans-serif;"][color=#008080;]All told, this story did well expanding on little details from mainstream canon, such as the Toa of Plasma and the safe cracking scenes, but where you beat your own path, I'm afraid to say that you got lost. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that you beat a bad path, it just could have been a little better.[/color][/font]

 

[font="'trebuchet ms', helvetica, sans-serif;"][color=#008080;] :akaku: X-Ray :akaku:[/color][/font]

[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]Welp, guess imperfection's to be expected, and utilising/utilizing is just the difference between US and UK grammar, at least I think so. Honestly, my intention here was to utilise the existing canon to the best of my ability to create something new, because I knew that I'd fall down in improv for completely new stories. I do struggle to find originality sometimes.[/font]


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#15 Offline fishers64

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Posted Aug 21 2013 - 12:03 PM

The following comes from an authorized Contest Judge: No inaccuracies or errors were found in your entry. Unless another judge or member finds a problem later, your entry is likely to go on to the polls.

 

Most of the canon problems have been fixed, which is good. I would like an edit to clarify that Zaktan did not own the mine when TSO recuited him, that he was still a slave to the mine owner, but I don't think it's too badly necessary. And I like the rich detail you've woven through Zaktan's history - nicely done. 


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#16 Offline Infrared

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Posted Aug 22 2013 - 02:42 PM

The following comes from an authorized Contest Judge: At least one inaccuracy or error has been found in your entry. After reading this judge post, you are authorized to edit your entry to fix these errors. After editing to fix these things, please post in the entry topic saying what you changed.

 

Nicely done! However, I have found some mistakes, both canon and grammatical. None are too major, though. Also, I haven't read the other judges' posts in depth, so I apologize in advance if some of this has been said before.

 

 

 

As I, Zaktan, leader of the Piraka, sit comfortably here in the Piraka Stronghold of Voya Nui with five “equals” believing they are ruling by my side and an island’s worth of Matoran under my command, I recall how I reached this point, and so I commend it to stone.

 

I think this makes more sense as 

 

 

As I, Zaktan, leader of the Piraka, sit comfortably here in our Voya Nui stronghold with five “equals” who believe they are ruling an island’s worth of Matoran by my side, I recall how I reached this point, and so I commend it to stone.)

I think it makes it easier to understand and flows better.

 

They probably didn't call it the "Piraka Stronghold," so I changed that as well. That appears elsewhere in your story, too.

 

 

 

The mine overseer…he was as big as a mountain

Ellipses (a fancier name for "dot-dot-dots" :P) can be confusing, but I think you're supposed to have a space on each side of them.  For example, this quote would become "The mine overseer ... he was as big as a mountain." This happens several times throughout the story.

 

 

 

He had a whip like a Kanohi dragon’s tail

"Dragon" should be capitalized, and it might be better to use "the" instead of "a" when referring to the Kanohi Dragon.

 

 

 

In short, he was a perfect epitome of our kind.

"Perfect epitome" is redundant; I think just "the epitome" would work better.

 

 

 

And my name will be on every pair of lips still alive to utter it.

This is kind of a weird one and I'll have to check with bonesiii on it, but I can't find a mention of MUans having lips. "And my name will be whispered by every mouth still alive to utter it" might be better.

 

Also, something I noticed throughout the story was that you used "[Element] Skakdi" instead of "Skakdi of [Element]." It's not too important, but it might be good to change it.

 

 

 

 

Word reached The Shadowed One, as it was his mine, and the news significantly intrigued him that he came to Zakaz to see what had happened.
 
I think "significantly intrigued him" should be "intrigued him enough."
 

 

“Quite a show,” he’d said
 
"He'd said" is better as "he said."
 

 

“using revenge for the death of a ‘friend’ as a smokescreen to climb to the top; what a gentleman.”
 
The concept of a "gentleman" doesn't seem very MUan, and I haven't found "gentleman" or "gentlemen" anywhere in my search of BS01. I'll check with bonesiii, but I think it'd be better if you changed it.
 

 

I used the greatest weapon at my disposal, one greater than any of the others’ parlour tricks; my mind.
 
I think it would be better without the "parlour," for reasons similar to "gentleman" above.
 

 

 

Vezok disabled the second by breaking its wheels with his impact vision.[quote]

Wheels are actually a surprisingly rare method of locomotion in the MU. You don't have to change it, but it's something to consider.

 

[quote]The warlord followed Vezok, before signalling the three of us to follow him.[/quote]

It should be "the two of us"—there's Vezok in the front, then the warlord, and then Zaktan and Thok in the back.

 

 

[quote]I stood back and admired my handiwork, the dead warlord’s face still protruded from the rock, frozen in a permanent scream of pain, as did his shadow gauntlet, which the air warlord grabbed triumphantly and donned it

It should just be "donned," without the "it."

 

Now, I've found two canon errors as well. The first is that Nidhiki was training the Piraka before their rebellion, which took place 5,000 years ago, yet Nidhiki became a Dark Hunter only about 3,000 years ago. Another is that the new Zamor Launcher blueprints were on Zakaz (older ones had been stolen by the DHs before from Nynrah), yet Nidhiki and Krekka stole the prototypes from another source. It's possible, but it might be better if the Skakdi gave them something else.

 

Nice job with the story! :) I realize that it looks like a lot of stuff here, but it really doesn't amount to much. Good luck!


Edited by Infrared, Aug 22 2013 - 02:43 PM.

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#17 Offline bonesiii

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Posted May 22 2014 - 07:39 PM

No edits have been made to the latest judge post, but other than one thing, I saw nothing important. However, this may be an issue (I'm not sure):
 

The first is that Nidhiki was training the Piraka before their rebellion, which took place 5,000 years ago, yet Nidhiki became a Dark Hunter only about 3,000 years ago.

Can it be resolved? Perhaps by having that be somebody other than Nidhiki?


Edited by bonesiii, May 22 2014 - 07:40 PM.

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#18 Offline Toa Makao

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Posted May 23 2014 - 06:55 PM

If you mean the training session with the safe, that's canon and I can't remember stating it happened at a certain time.
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#19 Offline fishers64

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Posted May 23 2014 - 07:37 PM

Yes, but the way you ordered it in the story is non-canon. According to the BS01 timeline: 
 

5,000 Years Ago

  • █ The Skakdi Dark Hunters Zaktan, Hakann, Vezok, Thok, and Reidak plan to overthrow the Shadowed One, but the leader of the Dark Hunters discovers their treachery. The Shadowed One attempts to execute Zaktan with his disintegrator eyebeams, but Zaktan is instead split into millions of Protodites.

According to your story, the "training session with Nidhiki" happened prior to this event.
 

3,000 Years Ago

  •  The Shadowed One declares war on Metru Nui.
  •  The Dark Hunters take over most of the city at night. The Toa and Dume are forced to retreat to the Coliseum.
  •  Toa Naho manages to slip past the Dark Hunters and escape the city; as a result of her plea for help, roughly one hundred Toa arrive on Metru Nui, turning what was supposed to be a swift strike into a protracted, month-long war.
  •  Lariska convinces Toa Nidhiki to join the Dark Hunters. He offers to capture Turaga Dume and the Toa in return for control of Metru Nui. The Shadowed One agrees to the plan, but secretly plots to eliminate Nidhiki once the plot is carried out.
  • █ As Lhikan is about to inform Nidhiki of Toa reinforcements arriving to defend Metru Nui, he witnesses Nidhiki and Lariska in secret conference. The Skakdi Dark Hunter Hakann negotiates a trade with Lhikan. If the Toa of Fire allows the Dark Hunters to leave the island in peace, the Dark Hunters will return the Makoki Stone to the Toa Fortress. Lhikan agrees, providing that no Dark Hunter ever returns and that they take Nidhiki along.
  •  Nidhiki describes the Dark Hunter base in the canyons of Po-Metru and Lhikan rallies the army of Toa to march to confront the Hunters and end the war. Once arrived, the Toa army is ambushed by Dark Hunters, but in turn, an army of Toa hundreds-strong ambushes the Dark Hunters.
  •  The Dark Hunters, defeated, depart Metru Nui with Toa Nidhiki, who has been exiled for his betrayal.

 

However, Nidhiki becoming a Dark Hunter happened after that event. So either the order of events needs to be changed, or the Dark Hunter administering the test would have to be changed. I think it's canon that Nidhiki administered the test. So you just need to switch the test and the rebellion. 


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#20 Offline Infrared

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Posted May 23 2014 - 07:41 PM

I've done some investigation into the time discrepancy, and it turns out all the Piraka but Avak rebelled against TSO 5,000 years ago but didn't actually leave until later, so it all works out. I was a bit worried I had found an error in the actual canon since I remember that scene as well. :P I think it was in Legacy of Evil? Anyway, I see you've also fixed my other corrections, so:
 
The following comes from an authorized Contest Judge: No inaccuracies or errors were found in your entry. Unless another judge or member finds a problem later, your entry is likely to go on to the polls.

 

Edit: Forgot a word


Edited by Infrared, May 23 2014 - 07:42 PM.

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#21 Offline bonesiii

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Posted May 24 2014 - 05:01 PM

So, let me see if I understand what that was about properly.

I just skimmed over the story again, and the rebellion is mentioned after the training, but the way it's phrased, it doesn't have to mean it actually took place after it. It just says who participated. This should be fine, right?

And Infra, you had thought the rebellion was when they left? But now realize it wasn't? So the training in this story clearly takes place after the rebellion. Did I get this right? :)

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#22 Offline Toa Makao

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Posted May 24 2014 - 05:26 PM

Ah, I think I get what fishers is getting at - it says somewhere in there that Zaktan didn't know he was made of protodites (more specifically, he didn't have any powers fit for the task that he knew of) which happened before Nidhiki defected. But maybe that could be edited slightly and explained away - protodites are too small to take objects out of the safe, or something.

Edited by Toa Makao, May 24 2014 - 05:26 PM.

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#23 Offline Infrared

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Posted May 24 2014 - 05:36 PM

@bones: Yep.

 

@Makao: It doesn't even necessarily have to be that he couldn't use the protodites—maybe instead he wanted ​to use his weapon as a demonstration of his cunning. But yeah, you should probably reword that one way or another.


Edited by Infrared, May 24 2014 - 08:52 PM.

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#24 Offline Toa Makao

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Posted May 26 2014 - 02:22 PM

Done.
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#25 Offline bonesiii

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Posted May 26 2014 - 02:32 PM

Okay, so, I'm going to mark this one as good to go to the polls. Correct me if wrong. :P
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#26 Offline Quisoves Pugnat

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Posted May 26 2014 - 02:57 PM

While this isn't a continuity error as such, I find it highly unlikely that the Dark Hunter's test safe would have any cracks, given that no safe could be expected to have them. This would be like a martial arts student training against a person with a bad arm, or some such disability. He can't expect real-life attackers to be like that.

 

Also, the claim that "most rahi have a greater intellectual capacity than [Vezok]" seems at odds with his portrayal in Legacy of Evil. If I recall correctly, one of the other Piraka, immediately after the creation of Vezon, notices that Vezok has lost the calm, calculating part of his nature, and he I believe that he comes across as intelligent throughout the story.

EDIT: For what it's worth, BS01 claims that "Vezok used to be extremely clever, and an excellent tactician."


Edited by Quisoves Pugnat, May 26 2014 - 03:06 PM.

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#27 Offline bonesiii

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Posted May 26 2014 - 03:38 PM

Good points, QP. I'm going to officially approved edits on those, however, I've got issues with both points:

1) This one is actually plausible, given the vast time periods things are expected to endure. Since things still wear down, a safe would have to be replaced, and it's quite plausible somebody might keep something in the safe but not be able to afford to regularly replace it. So eventually cracks could form. Still, it might improve the story (if there's space for this, I dunno) to actually mention something along these lines. :shrugs:

2) It appears you may have misstated the problem; the actual quote is:

"Finally, Vezok, he was a lot calmer and slightly more intelligent before Vezon was split from him; now, he's practically anger given physical form. Even before the creation of Vezon he was far from the brightest of us, but now, well, most Rahi have a greater intellectual capacity than him."

So the dumber than Rahi phrase refers to his post-split state. The actual issues are the "slightly more intelligent" and that he is said not to be the brightest. That said, this account isn't being written by an objective witness, so you could write this off as a begrudging compliment that Vezok used to be smarter than he now is, without admitting he used to be smarter than the account's writer, Zaktan. I understand you're probably saying that objectively he was still smarter than most Rahi even post-split, but there too I'd see it as Zaktan insulting him a bit, or as poetic license for how his temper makes him seem.


FTR, IMO these are both minor and debatable enough to not affect my calling it okay for polls. :)


Edited by bonesiii, May 27 2014 - 06:33 AM.

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#28 Offline Toa Makao

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Posted May 27 2014 - 04:11 AM

1. I didn't mean the damage kind of crack, I meant the crack around the edge of the safe door. Perhaps I could describe it better?

2. Yes, it is meant post-split, and "slightly more intelligent" etc. is indeed Zaktan begrudgingly praising Vezok.

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#29 Offline bonesiii

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Posted May 27 2014 - 06:37 AM

I didn't mean the damage kind of crack, I meant the crack around the edge of the safe door. Perhaps I could describe it better?

 

Okay, well, I'll have a look... Here's the relevant part:

 

Of course, I could have filed some of my protodites through the crack in the safe and opened it from the inside, but I felt that it was expected. I decided I wanted to try to open the safe differently. I used the greatest weapon at my disposal, one greater than any of the others' petty tricks; my mind.

So I stared through the crack of the safe's door

So, if we just read ahead a little it's already clear. :shrugs: Couldn't hurt to move "of the safe's door" to the first use, though, just so people don't get confused.


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#30 Offline Toa Makao

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Posted May 27 2014 - 12:06 PM

Sure, done.
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#31 Offline Quisoves Pugnat

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Posted May 27 2014 - 02:40 PM

1. I didn't mean the damage kind of crack, I meant the crack around the edge of the safe door. Perhaps I could describe it better?

2. Yes, it is meant post-split, and "slightly more intelligent" etc. is indeed Zaktan begrudgingly praising Vezok.

That makes sense. :)

 

One other thing I forgot to mention which doesn't sit well with me is this:

It was Avak and I who were sent to secure The Shadowed One's rule of Metru Nui once the Brotherhood's pet spiders were driven out, which we failed, having not expected to encounter Turaga Dume, the six Rahaga that Roodaka once told me about, and a yellow colossus unknown to us.

The Dark Hunters guide states that Dweller was stationed as a spy in Metru Nui, suggesting that the Shadowed One wasn't interested in outright conquering Metru Nui post-Great Cataclysm until the right time. It seems to me that if he really wanted to conquer it, he wouldn't send merely two operatives. Additionally, Keetongu fought Teridax in Time Trap. While I don't remember the exact sequence of events, it was right after Teridax had sent all of the Rahkshi of Metru Nui to distract Voporak, so the Shadowed One might have seen Keetongu. If nothing else, Voparak might have seen him and mentioned him to the Shadowed One.


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#32 Offline Yaldabaoth

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Posted May 27 2014 - 04:04 PM

Even if Metru Nui was completely abandoned, you'd think TSO would have sent more than two Dark Hunters to seize it.

 

Since we don't know if he even made any move to claim the city, that would imply that his experience in Time Trap cautioned him away from seizing Teridax's domain as his own. After all, TSO might be arrogant and prone to temper tantrums, but he ain't dumb.


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#33 Offline Toa Makao

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Posted May 29 2014 - 06:20 PM

I never read Time Trap, so I wouldn't know. I'll think of some way to amend it in the morning. Maybe set up that Dark Hunter cell TSO always wanted?
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Last of the Matoran Universe (please read and review)




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