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The Unknown Turaga (Memoirs of the Dead)

S&T Contest 7 MemoirsoftheDead

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#1 Offline ZippyWharrgarbl

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Posted Nov 26 2012 - 10:26 PM

The Unknown Turaga

~~~


It’s been a while since I’ve written here, but I feel recent event will have to be recorded, and this time, I will not be carving it for the public to see tomorrow, when the couriers spread word of the city’s news to every home on Metru Nui.

 

My name is Kodan, and I have discovered something terrible.

 

I assume whoever is reading this is familiar with Turaga Dume, the Turaga of Metru Nui. He is often seen nowadays either addressing Matoran in the Coliseum or on the large monitors installed around the city. I’m sure I am not the only one to notice this, but he seems to avoid public encounters that are one-on-one or require too much casual conversation. He rarely calls on the Toa in person any more, and I am called on far less. At first, I assumed it was merely a passing mood of the Turaga’s; he rarely acts in such a way, but what other reason could he have for such odd behaviour?

 

Next came the stories. I ignored them at first, thinking they were made up by paranoid Matoran travelling the streets at night. But they kept coming, more and more Matoran coming to the Toa and myself with stories of sinister-looking beings skulking around at night. After so many reports, I hesitantly handed the reports on to Turaga Dume, who sent me a response in the form of a written letter, stating that I was to record actual news, not tricks of the light, and I was forbidden to print any of the accounts. No matter how much I told the growing number of Matoran witnesses, they would not waver in their insistence.

 

I convinced Toa Naho to accompany me one night, in search of the mysterious shadows. We patrolled for much of the night, and just before daylight peered over our fair city, we saw it. A huge, nearly invisible creature, with massive claws that glinted in the thin beam of morning sunlight that had miraculously flickered by us. Toa Naho started forwards, her rapier in hand and ready to swipe at the smallest movement. But, just like that, the beast was gone again as the sunlight slithered back. The sun was rising behind us, and Toa Naho was uneasily glancing at the shrinking shadows on the street, weapon still raised and ready. After a minute or so, she sheathed her blade, looking vaguely worried.

 

I now wonder if I should have regretted volunteering to deliver the news, but I do not feel like it is something that I would leave to anyone else. I was, after all, the one to record the goings-on of the city. So, for once, I was the courier instead of the Chronicler.

 

I would see something dreadful that morning, but I did not know it, as I raced with sunbeams towards the impressive silhouette of the Coliseum on the horizon, praying that the thing was not lurking in the alleys or skulking after me in the shadows. I made it to the doors and thanked the Great Spirit between gasps of exhaustion and relief. I had ascended the stone steps, walked through the silent corridors, and saw the Turaga’s door ajar.

 

I should not have looked.

 

I saw… I saw something terrible. Shadows clung to the walls, the ceiling, the floor, and circled around the Turaga himself. But it was not the Turaga, not the Turaga we respected and trusted. It was a monster, a twisted creature who wore the guise of the Turaga of Metru Nui. It looked like the Turaga, and yet it was not him, it could not be, it was too gnarled and tainted in soul.

 

This image of the beast in the Turaga’s clothing flashed by in a mere instant, and suddenly the room was golden, lit by the sunrise filtering through thin curtains, fluttering softly in the soft breath of a morning breeze. Turaga Dume turned from his mirror, and smiled at me. It was not a nice smile.

 

“Now, now, Kodan,” he chided, the sickly leer still etched in his features. “I did tell you I was not having any more… visits.”

 

My heartlight flashed erratically, and I tried to cover it with a hand and feign my sheer horror was mere exhaustion. “Ah, my apologies, Turaga. I meant no disrespect. Toa Naho and I decided to look for that creature last night, you see, to put those rumours to rest-“

 

“And I trust you found them to be nothing but silly stories?”

 

“Quite the opposite, Turaga. We saw the beast, it was just as the Matoran had described-“

 

The Turaga raised a hand to quiet me. “Oh, my. So, you are making up stories too, are you?”

 

“No, Turaga! We saw it!”

 

“Wouldn’t it be a problem if you told more of these... lies? Poor Matoran might believe you, and that would do nothing but cause an unnecessary panic.” 

It pains me even to think on what happened next, even as fleetingly as a brief recall for the sake of this journal. It was a scene that will undoubtedly plague my nightmares for the rest of my however short life. It was terrifying, it was gruesome to see, and I could only shield myself from what was to come. I felt that I was doomed as the monster loomed over me, its ugly maw a mere hand width from my mask. I fell to the floor and curled with my arms over my head in a desperate attempt to protect myself, but I could feel the thing’s breath, hot and putrid, on the back of my neck. I couldn’t look at the face again, the mottled, rusted thing that glared at me with crimson, burning slits and was almost like a Rahi but not a Rahi, it was too scheming, too… too…

 

“Turaga?”

 

I opened my eyes, and saw Toa Naho looking at me, concerned. The Turaga was kneeling at my side as if I had collapsed. The Turaga then told Toa Naho that perhaps I should take a day from my usual duties and, perhaps, follow her along to close a sea gate. It wasn’t going to be exciting, but it would give me reason to have a well-earned break. I tried to object, but unfortunately, neither the Turaga or Toa Naho would have any of it. So, I left with Toa Naho, and she allowed me to stop by my hut before we set off with another Toa.

 

I know I will not return from this voyage. I know that Turaga Dume- or whatever is in his place- knows that I learned his secret. And I know that he will continue whatever he is planning, unless someone can stop him.

 

I haven’t told Toa Naho about this. Hopefully, if I tell no one, I will be the only one to be eliminated. I doubt she would believe me if I told her, anyway; she would most likely tell me it was due to my faint, or from a night without sleep. So, I will leave my journal, hidden from the Turaga’s impostor and that Kanoka-wielding, clawed beast that stalks our streets. I will place it somewhere only a true, pure-hearted resident of Metru Nui can find it, and pray that they will be able to ward off whatever evil those monsters plan to bring.


Edited by bonesiii, May 22 2014 - 07:11 PM.
Format reconstructed after a BZP glitch. -bones

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#2 Offline TLhikan

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Posted Nov 29 2012 - 05:25 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.

 

Minor grammatical stuff: 

 

...but he seems to avoid public encounters which are one-on-one or require too much talk with another person

 

"That" would be more correct than "which". Also, the sentence sounds a tad off to me, but that just may be my style of writing/reading.

 

 

 

..he rarely acts in such a way, but what other reason could he have had?

 

Tense trouble: Kodan has been speaking in present tense until this sentence. 

 

 

“Wouldn’t it be a problem if you told more... lies.

 

Question mark needed  :).

 

It pains me even to think on what happened next fleetingly, that scene that will srely plague my nightmares for the rest of my however short life.

 

This sentence is rather awkwardly constructed (and contains a spelling error :P). Perhaps "It pains me to think on what happened next, even fleetingly. That scene will (I'm not sure what word you're trying to put here) plague nightmares for the rest of my life, however short it may be.

 

 

 

I see no cannon issues though, so you're good there :D!

 

 

 


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#3 Offline ZippyWharrgarbl

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Posted Nov 29 2012 - 06:29 PM

Thank you very, very much! I'll get these things sorted out immediately.

 

It's good to hear that there are no canon inconsistencies, though! That was my main worry.

 

EDIT: Okay, I fixed up all the stuff you mentioned!

 

1) "I’m sure I am not the only one to notice this, but he seems to avoid public encounters which are one-on-one or require too much talk with another person"

 

was edited to:

 

"I’m sure I am not the only one to notice this, but he seems to avoid public encounters that are one-on-one or require too much casual conversation."

 

2) "At first, I assumed it was merely a passing mood of the Turaga’s; he rarely acts in such a way, but what other reason could he have had?"

 

was edited to:

 

"At first, I assumed it was merely a passing mood of the Turaga’s; he rarely acts in such a way, but what other reason could he have for such odd behaviour?"

 

3) "Wouldn’t it be a problem if you told more... lies."

 

was edited to:

 

"Wouldn't it be a problem if you told more of these... lies?"

 

4) "It pains me even to think on what happened next fleetingly, that scene that will srely plague my nightmares for the rest of my however short life."

 

was edited to:

 

"It pains me even to think on what happened next, even as fleetingly as a brief recall for the sake of this journal. It was a scene that will undoubtedly plague my nightmares for the rest of my however short life."

 

This leaves the final word count at 1229 words, not counting the title.


Edited by ZippyWharrgarbl, Nov 29 2012 - 07:03 PM.

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#4 Offline Toa of Italy

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Posted Dec 24 2012 - 05:36 AM

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.

 

Some verb uses didn't sound quite right to me, but I don't think they qualify as mistakes. I also have found nothing that prevents Kodan from knowing about the false Dume, so there are no canon issues either.


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#5 Offline X-Ray

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Posted Jan 31 2013 - 09:01 PM

[font="'trebuchet ms', helvetica, sans-serif;"][color=#008080;]What we have here is a small time psychological thriller, telling the story of Makuta's usurpation of Turaga Dume's role from the perspective of a Matoran. You did well describing the thoughts and sensations as witnessed by Kodan, relaying his emotions very clearly. I also like how you gave Makuta a legitimate reason to have Kodan eliminated. [/color][/font]

 

[font="'trebuchet ms', helvetica, sans-serif;"][color=#008080;]However, I don't think Makuta would have really been so careless as to leave a door open in the middle of him doing... whatever it was he was doing. I also would have liked to see more of Kodan himself, such as him interacting with a witness to Nidhiki's prowls, or a conversation with Toa Naho. We only get to see him interact with his elder, "Turaga Dume." I feel that you could have done well to show Kodan interacting with someone else, just to spice it up.[/color][/font]

 

[font="'trebuchet ms', helvetica, sans-serif;"][color=#008080;]All in all, I found this story to my liking, though I would have done some things a little differently. I wish you luck in the contest, Ms. ZippyWharrgarbl.[/color][/font]

 

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


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#6 Offline ZippyWharrgarbl

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Posted Feb 02 2013 - 03:50 AM

Thank you, Toa of Italy, for passing my story!

 

Thanks, X-Ray! And I agree with you that Makuta Teridax probably wouldn't be that careless; I would change that, but it's a bit tricky to, since if he was REALLY as careful as he usually is, he'd have locked the door. I didn't really realise this error until you ponted it out, so thanks! Maybe I'll just say that maybe he was sort of careless that day and decided to be more careful in future.

 

I also agree that I probably should have developed Kodan more and had him interact with more people. In the future, I'll see to it that I put more thought into things like this. At the time, I was a little worried about keeping it as canon as possible. I didn't want to add in a character who didn't fit- this was a problem in the first draft of the story, which had much more interaction but read more like a shopping list than a work of fiction. I probably shouldn't have dropped the interaction, ha ha!

 

And thank you very much for your well-thought review, Mister X-Ray! And good luck to you on your future endeavours!


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#7 Offline fishers64

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Posted Nov 14 2013 - 11:47 AM

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.


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