Valos readjusted his Kanohi Arthron and glanced up at the sky with a sigh. It was a while yet ‘til sundown, but already daylight was fading, veiled by the grey clouds that approached from the North and threatened to unleash their fury on the mountainside. The Av-Matoran chided himself for neglecting to pack a heavier cloak, but little could be done about it now, so far from home. “Not that a little rain will stop us, eh, boy?” he said to the Energy-hound who acted as his mount. The large canid called Axel simply snorted in response and Valos chuckled. “I thought as much. Anyway, we’d best make tracks. We don’t want to keep the villagers of Feoras waiting.”
The duo hailed from Anam Nui, a great city that was the successor of Metru Nui as the capital of Matoran civilization on Spherus Magna. Valos was a courier, and on this particular day he was to deliver a number of Kanohi to a mining village far across the mountains in the East. Valos had never made the Eastern-mountains run before, but he was confident that nothing could go wrong. Though it seemed that the storm had other plans. It was soon upon him, rain coming down in torrents as the wind bent the trees and nearly tore Valos’s map from his hands. After a time, the Matoran and his hound came to a stop on a ridge that overlooked a small village that was nestled away almost completely out of sight in the little valley below. “This can’t be right,” Valos said to no-one in particular as he examined his sopping-wet map. “Nowhere on here is this village…” The sun had already vanished in the West and Valos was soaked to the bone, so he decided it was best to stop at least for a little while and rest. Axel seemed uneasy as they approached the village gate, despite Valos’s attempts to calm him, and loosed a low whine when they paused at the gate. “Ho there!” a guard called from the parapet. “What business have you in Eriu so late?” ‘Eriu…?’ Valos thought. He’d heard that name before, but knew nothing of this village. “My name’s Valos,” he told the guard, “a courier from Anam Nui, and in need of some shelter until the storm passes.” The guard ordered the gate to be opened and allow Valos passage. Just beyond, he was met by three cloaked Matoran led by a Bo-Matoran who carried a lantern. “Evening, stranger,” he said cheerfully, “what brings you all the way out here?” “I was on my way to Feoras and lost my way,” Valos explained as he dismounted Axel. “I was hoping someone might be able to point me in the right direction.” “Feoras? That’s only a few hours’ trek from here,” the Bo-Matoran said. “It’d be best if you waited until the storm let up before setting out again, though. Come; we were heading for the Turaga’s cabin just now. She loves to tell stories of the old days on nights like this.” Valos tended to Axel first, then met up with the other Matoran at the home of the village Elder. There were at least a dozen other Matoran there, all Bo-, Le- and Ce-Matoran. Their leader was a kind Ce-Turaga, and she and the Matoran greeted Valos warmly, as though he were an old friend who’d been gone a long time. They spent hours listening to the Turaga’s tales; tales that ranged from her own adventures as a Toa, to tales she heard from the Agori tribes in the South. And at the others’ behest, Valos told a few of his own tales, of some of his misadventures as a courier, and they were delighted to find that he was also a talented artist. He made a small charcoal drawing of the Turaga and presented it to her as thanks for allowing him shelter and a chance to hear her stories. Then, to the villagers’ dismay, he announced it was time he set out again. They helped him pack for the last leg of his journey, gave him directions to Feoras and bid him farewell, and asked that he visit them again soon. He promised he would, and set out into the night, and Axel seemed glad to be moving again, though Valos believed it was simply the storm that had unnerved the hound. By dawn, Valos had finally reached Feoras, and the Po-Matoran who had placed the order for the Kanohi greeted him at the gate. “We were afraid the storm had done you in,” he said. “What kept you?” “I got turned around and ended up in Eriu,” Valos told him as he unloaded Axel’s saddlebags. “Oh, really? Spooky old ghost-town, eh?” Valos paused. “Ghost-town?” “Aye; nobody’s lived there since the war wiped it out. Shame, though. I hear it was a beautiful village back in the day.” Valos said nothing more about Eriu during his time in Feoras, but on his way back to Anam Nui, he made sure to stop by the village again, and was shocked to find that nothing was left of Eriu, save the blackened buildings that made up the heart of the village. As he wandered dumbstruck about the debris, he noted that everything looked older than it should have, as though the village had, indeed, been decimated centuries ago. He soon found himself standing where he and the villagers had gathered to hear the Turaga’s stories, and wondered if he had imagined it all. Perhaps it had been a trick of the light, or his own tired mind playing with his senses. With a sigh he turned to leave, but something caught his eye. He looked up at the only wall that still stood, and there in the middle, protected by a frame and glass, was the drawing he’d given the Turaga.
Edited by Silverglass, Apr 21 2013 - 11:16 PM.