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Emzee

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About Emzee

Year 19
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    BZPRPG Guru & Senior Staff
  • Birthday 09/01/1989

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    Texas, USA

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  1. IC: Niici — Ko-Koro “Thank you so much,” Niici said, smiling warmly at the guards. The party walked briskly past them and Niici took the lead. A strong sense of optimism washed over the Ice Toa like the calming waves on Ga-Wahi’s coast. Now that her newly-acquired protector of Air was safely within Ko-Koro’s icy borders, Niici could contemplate her next moves and be in a smart position for whatever was to come. “So now what?” Makua asked playfully, strolling on Niici’s left. “Well, now we’re done,” Niici said. She turned around to her group. Jed, the Matoran refugee, was already preparing to head to his private dwelling. “It was a pleasure to serve you during this journey. I pray we meet again soon,” Jed said, bowing politely. “The pleasure was mine. Your expertise had truly paid off, and it will not be forgotten,” Niici replied, “Expect a more formal thank-you in the coming days” The former Xa-Koronan grinned ear-to-ear, and then strutted off into the village. One could wonder if Jed’s place was still standing after the apparent upheaval that took place during the traveling party’s absence. But whatever inconveniences sprung up from this unexpected change of leadership, Niici would help handle it. She owed the Matoran that much. “The rest of you may join me at my domicile,” Niici said, “It’s up ahead, and no. We will not be going by foot” - - - Makua and Niici — Northwest Ko-Koro, The Ice Pick Kitchen The sounds within the chamber were muted despite being packed with a mix between the refined, exquisitely dressed elder patrons, and the ostentatious youths that wined and dined within this establishment. Unsurprisingly, the mark of true Ko-Koronan high life was to speak at a respectful volume, being sure to not talk over the table next to you. Off to the side of the restaurant, Niici and Makua sat opposite each other. The ebony-wood table between them was adorned with a finespun damask tablecloth that flaunted pearl-white and sand-blue colored patterns — a clear tribute to the late Akiri Matoro. Makua couldn’t help but be enamored with the style of it all. Every ornament, light fixture, and piece of furniture looked hand-crafted and hand-picked for this restaurant. Thanks to the cloth-wrapped lightstones spaced around the dining area, the lighting was moderately dimmed to give a calming and intimate atmosphere to the table. The chair he sat in also felt so plush yet firm that he could probably sit in this exact spot and talk with the patroness across from him all night. But the thing that topped it all off for him? Easily, the wine. Aged for centuries after being imported from the north Ga-Wahi vineyards, the dark red beverage was like nothing he had ever had. It carried an amalgamation of soft spices and flavors which transmogrified as Makua tried to analyze the taste. Ultimately, he gave up analyzing and enjoyed the sweet wine for what it was. And he could tell from Niici’s expression and mannerisms that all of this was as common as icicles for her. This is her life, and I doubt she could imagine it any other way, Makua thought ruefully. As silence crept into the conversation that the two Ko-Toa were having, Makua picked up on the cue to respond to Niici’s loquacious résumé. “So let me get this straight,” Makua said, “You were once the president of the Cultured Gentry? That uppity charity backed by the corporations? And then they forced you about because of your voracious ambitions, but now you believe some of its members might be in danger.” Niici nodded with an excitement held back by discretion, and she beckoned him to continue. “And… now you want to help protect this group… even though they forced you out?” “Yeah… so…” Niici paused for a moment. The socialite quickly realized that she had not actually spoken about this plan out loud to anyone besides her butler Seba. And he was more of a yes-man these days than anything. She started to fret over whether her ideas made any sense. “After the Makuta was allegedly ‘defeated’, there was a lot of pressure from within the Gentry to clean house and scrub any evidence of dealings that may have been perceived as immoral. Akiri also began to have a more active presence. They saw me as someone who would indirectly expose them, despite the fact that I was in the process of protecting the group from an ex-Cultured Gentry member who was intending to expose them” Niici picked up her half-full glass of sweet wine and took a sip, savoring the mixture of tastes and spices. “However, Ko-Koro’s takeover, followed by Makuta’s apparent return, has changed their perspectives in ways that very few things could. Of course, many of them still believe that the Makuta’s purported defeat was correlated to increased frustration among followers, leading to the Ko-Koro takeover. Despite that, they are scared after what they saw the Legacy do. They want a protector at the helm” Niici’s eyes glowed a piercing light blue as she gazed into Makua’s bright azure pupils. “They want a Toa” Makua chuckled as Niici’s story finally clicked together for him. “So this whole thing was about getting back into the Gentry. Vidar-” “Is possibly the island’s deadliest warrior who now only moves by someone’s command,” Niici said with confidence, “My command” Makua pursed his lips as he smiled knowingly at the socialite, “and if they force you out again…” Niici’s eyes became cold, “Then there won’t be a Cultured Gentry anymore” Makua couldn’t help but be drawn into the other Toa’s strong conviction. Most upper-class citizens he had encountered over the years weren’t like this at all. They definitely didn’t have the confidence to pull off the domineering swagger that this woman had. It would be a challenging conquest, but if Makua could take her under his wing, she could end up being the ticket that launches him into a level of relevance that he has wanted for centuries. Briefly and involuntarily, his thoughts shifted to the antagonist of his story — the pathetic duffer-turned-monster who ruined Makua’s chance to be a shining hero and took away Tailua’s right hand. No. Makua refused to dwell on that now. With Niici’s assistance, he and Tailua would no longer hide in the shameful shadows of the Toa Kodin. They could be Mata Nui’s rightful heroes again. He just needed to not lose sight of her wit and intelligence. This svelte woman could turn the tables on him if he isn’t careful enough. But for now, the marionette was hitting all the right poses. Abruptly, Niici’s eyes darted up and past Makua’s head. It took barely a second for Makua to realize what was up. The aroma of fresh fish off the Ko-Wahi coast, seared to perfection and buttered generously, filled Makua’s lungs. He looked across the table to see Niici’s blissful expression as the servers brought forth their main course, and wine refills. Both Makua and Niici ordered the same seared fish but diverged in accompaniments. For Makua, his protein was complimented with a creamy soup of herbs and crustaceans as well as a flaky piece of honey-doused baked bread. In front of Niici, her fish was complemented by a leafy spiced salad and a bowl of sweetened fruit. The energy of their conversation just moments prior made them both feel gluttonous and they ate in silence. Afterward, however, they became a bit more talkative. “So tell me,” Niici said, “Where are you going to take your big payout?” “I’m going to travel the island and buy back my honor,” Makua said, grin wide and arms outstretched. “These islanders are going to be reminded of who Makua is, and I’m going to enjoy what each of these cities has to offer” “A road trip?” Niici teased. “A quick one. I’m not someone who enjoys being out of work for too long” Makua took another sip of his wine, looking as confident as ever. “Well, from what you’ve told me, it sounds like your wealthy friends could use a little protection. Any band of sufficiently prosperous people needs someone to protect their assets. While Vidar was a great purchase, he might not be enough,” Makua said matter-of-factly, “And protectors need to eat… that food was exquisite, by the way” Niici gave a knowing smile, “You want to be a rich man? Protecting rich men can get you there. You help me. You present yourself well. You’ll have a steady stream of high-paying work until you drop dead” Niici teasingly raised an eyebrow in anticipation of Makua’s response. The square jaw of a man with centuries of won battles under his belt enticed the female Toa of Ice. Mentally, he is quick on the draw. He is attentive and inquisitive, but most of all, he prioritizes the coin above everything else. Most men of Makua’s class do. Having Vidar protect her would lay a great foundation in her personal security, but having what is essentially a literal sellsword in her ranks? Everyone would yield to her, and no Akiri, Maru, or Makuta zealots would ever threaten her position. Ambages was cunning and ambitious, but ultimately, such attributes can only take a Matoran so far. Makua was a warrior that she could use. And he was intoxicating to the eyes as well. Niici was never one to turn down a bonus. She just needed to be mindful of his shrewdness. His face betrayed the mind of a man who could flip the power dynamics on its head if she isn’t careful enough. - - - Tailua and Vidar — Northwest Ko-Koro, Niici’s Home, Wine Cellar The stout Toa of Fire keenly sauntered down into the wine cellar and took the insane Toa of Air with him as soon as he saw Makua and Niici burst loudly through the foyer and irreverently prate and prattle on their way upstairs. The pretext: to count how many among Niici’s egregious collection were from the fiery village of Ta-Koro. Yes, even Ta-Wahi has some parts suitable for vineyards. The wines from there are just smoky. “I’m gonna be honest I’m just as depressed as you are,” Tailua said to a silent Vidar had they inspected rows and rows of Ta-Koro wines without a single instance of top shelf liquor. Why was it always wine cellars anyway? If there was one thing certain, it was that Tailua wouldn’t be caught dead drinking something so sweet. “Y’know, it’s gonna be different without you around,” Tailua continued, “You’ve been raking in money for me and Mak for how long now? At least a year. I got you out of that desert in Po-Wahi and took you to your natural habitat!” Admittedly, Tailua still never figured out how the ex-Makuta servant ventured all the way to the Po-Wahi quarry. The cave that he found Vidar hiding inside had a bunch of artifacts of Makuta’s — staves and masks and even some stuff that belonged to Ronkshou — and were promptly sold to Ostians for glorious profit. Makua figured that this was a secret hideout for Makuta’s lieutenants. Ronkshou was said to have lived in Po-Wahi. Was that his home that Tailua stumbled upon? And it went without saying that Vidar was crazier than a caged bat. Two of Tailua’s fellow Ostia compatriots died that day, but that just meant bigger shares for the rest of them. Tailua sighed ruefully as he looked back at Vidar. Vidar was sitting on the cold stone floor, looking up at the Fire Toa with curiosity and anticipation. The insane Toa was evidently accustomed to Tailua’s monologues at this point. “I know what Makua’s plans are but I don’t know about this Niici person. I can’t say things are gonna get better for you bro,” Tailua said, “One way or another, that girl is poison. I can only hope that at least Makua’s sane enough to escape. You know… since you’re stuck with the whole crazy thing” Vidar narrowed his eyes and proceeded to just stare straight ahead, where rows and rows of wines were categorized by Wahi and standing tall and proud. Vidar likely was over Tailua’s condescension, but it was never clear. Vidar was often unreadable to everyone including himself. The only thing that did make sense to Vidar in this instance was the very palpable sense that what was happening to him at this time was meant to happen. Atonement seemed like the right word, but usually, the arbiter of that has at least some foundational morals. The morals of Niici, Tailua, and Makua all seemed to change with the winds. It was a type of ethical inconsistency that always unsettled Vidar, both before and after his world stopped making sense. Vidar came to the conclusion that his former trafficker was right: things would not get better for the former servant of Makuta. OOC: To be continued
  2. OOC: Moving from Po-Wahi IC: Ra'lhen – Onu-Wahi tunnel, Ussal Taxi Lights flew by the Toa of Lightning as the pair of Ussal crabs sped through the wide, busy tunnel. Beside them, other taxis, carts and foot-travelers made their way towards and away from the underground city. As they rode Ra’lhen found himself glancing repeatedly at the iconic halberd that Stannis had on him, seemingly cleaved in two. Perhaps the linen-covered massive sword was a replacement? But one cannot change primary weapons so easily, Ra’lhen thought. Ages ago, before Ra’lhen had fallen to the Makuta’s influence, he was a tried-and-true swordman who took up kickboxing as a hobby. That was the only reason why it was possible for cleansed Toa to make a drastic switch himself. He wanted to ask Stannis directly, but it was difficult get a word over the relentless clatter of the Ussal’s feet, now echoed by the walls of the tunnel. While Ra’lhen worked to keep that curiosity front and center, the Toa couldn’t help but notice the many side tunnels and crevices that sprang from their route. In one of these tunnels, a deeply nested cave once held a near-paralyzed Wokapu Kodin. The Other Guy had broken his back, but fortunately his spine was intact enough to be mended by a good-natured healer named Cael. This was assuming Wokapu’s reiteration of the story was correct, of course. As the two Toa passed through various shadowy stages along their journey, Ra’lhen repeatedly was reminded of the many other atrocities set upon Onu-Koro by the Infected Toa. Onu-Koro, for whatever reason, did not suffer Ronkshou’s wrath as severely as say, Po-Koro, Ta-Koro, and Ga-Koro. But at least in most of those cases, the bodies of loved ones were recovered and memorialized. When someone disappeared in Onu-Wahi, they were often gone for good. Just then, bright lines severed Ra’lhen’s scrambled thoughts. It literally looked like a singular bright light at the end of a dark tunnel. The Toa of Lightning sat calmly at the Ussal taxis reached their terminus at the mouth of the tunnel. OOC: @Umbraline Yumiwa
  3. Emzee, you said that you have the files for toa quest 3, dark706’s comics the game, and destiny war 2, can I have the files?

  4. IC: Ra'lhen -- Po-Koro "Yes... I believe it was," Ra'lhen answered, trying really hard to remember that guy's name, "Koran... Korilo... Kalaro... don't worry it'll come to me" With that, Ra'lhen nodded, showing he was ready to leave. He followed Stannis to where the Ussal taxis were waiting for their patronage. The Lightning Toa tried to remember the last time I rode on such animals. It may very well have been before he'd even become a Toa... an archaic time in his life that was becoming blurrier by the week. If only a certain other period of Ra'lhen's life could be so easily forgettable. Indeed, the Toa couldn't help but consider what could happen if he was recognized in Onu-Koro. Granted, not even the super-observant Akiri seemed to recognize the Toa's connections to the dreaded Makuta servant. That, or Renaka was even better at reserving her emotions than Ra'lhen thought -- and he already felt that Renaka was remarkably good at being so stoic. OOC: @Umbraline Yumiwa
  5. IC: Makua — The Gates of Ko-Koro “Then we’ll have to make it a point to head there,” Makua said to the Hau-wearing Ko-Matoran, "It’s easily been decades since I spent much time here. I’m sure so much has changed in that time” Tailua — The Gates of Ko-Koro The Toa of Fire’s eyes glistened in anticipation of the graciously offered heatstone that was placed before his robed traveler. He could see Daron had also appreciated the gesture, raising his hands to accept the warmth. Tailua did wonder how the Pakari-wearing guard would respond to a Toa who was likely better off without a Kanohi at all than with what he had on at the moment. Daron had a pitiful looking Great Miru – this one was in the style of Akiri’s Kongu’s mask. There was a thin crack that ran diagonally from the top left to the bottom right, and several pieces around the mask were chipped off. Still, when Tailua first encountered the former Makuta-servant, he hadn’t had a Kanohi at all. Fortunately, Tailua’s side-hobby of looting fallen Toa and Matoran across the Le-Wahi region had proven fruitful for the Toa of Air. Tailua showed him generosity, and as such Daron had owed him. Daron’s face looked tired and worn to the guard. His facial expression was one of neutrality, though slightly compromised by the bitter cold that was around him. Still, the robed Toa practiced patience -- something that Tailua was starting to struggle with. OOC: @Visaru
  6. IC: Ra'lhen - Po-Koro, Akiri Residence Ra'lhen gave one last nod to the Akiri, her guards, and the two Toa before following Stannis. "Please pass on the news of my newest mission to the Sentinels. If they ask, of course," Ra'lhen said to the Akiri, "I am confident that we will return with strengthen alliance with Onu-Koro" And with that both Stannis and Ra'lhen found themselves outside of the Akiri's hut. "You know... funny thing," Ra'lhen said, shifting his eyes around him, "I've never actually walked from Onu-Koro to Po-Koro. The last time I was there, one of your buddies teleported me here and I've been in Po-Wahi ever since. Is going on foot still the way to travel?"
  7. OOC: Not at all @Visaru! Sorry for the multi-week delay Niici — Ko-Wahi The Toa of Ice held her head high, her classy demeanor never faltering. Instead, she gave off an air of equanimity that implied her patience was generous, but had a limit. She nodded graciously to the Huna-wearing Ko-Matoran. "I'm Niici, I live in the gated community to the north," she explained. "With me is my butler Seba, a returning resident named Jed, an injured monk named Daron, his friend Tailua, and my friend Makua. Makua is a fellow Toa of Ice who intends to take up residence in this village. Daron and Tailua will stay no longer than a day or two -- until they have recovered" Niici liked the name "Daron". It was a last-minute idea to give him the name of a long-dead and forgotten lover of hers. The brash Ta-Matoran Guardsman met his end almost a century ago, and for as loud-mouthed as he was, he didn't seemed to be missed as much as other fallen Guardsmen. The robed and hooded Toa now being called "Daron" was shivering the most out of the group, completely unprepared for the frigid winds and not having the type of armor that active warrior Toa typically wore. The hood was covering his frosted face almost completely. This made him appear all the more vulnerable. Tailua's arm-attachment was also detached and concealed, making him also appear little less intimidating. Niici's attention returned to the two Matoran guards in anticipation.
  8. IC: Makua — Ko-Wahi The self-possessed Toa of Ice led the way, alongside Niici, with Jed and Seba behind them. Tailua took the rear, heedfully guiding a robed, cowl-wearing Vidar in front of him. The former Makuta servant’s face remain occluded, and he had the look of a traveling monk. According to his prior experience in Ko-Wahi, along with confirmations from Niici, Jed, and Seba, the group would be arriving at Ko-Koro right before sundown. While Makua kept his expression calm, he couldn’t help but he elated. He missed the crispness of Ko-Wahi breeze, as well as the slight thinness of the air at this high altitude. He looked back to Tailua. He was doing well, but the bare elements weren’t exactly the greatest comfort to him right now. However, he knew his friend would be warm enough once they reached the village proper. --- Niici — Ko-Wahi “Now remember, you must follow my lead,” Niici warned the group, mainly Makua and Tailua, “I’m on good terms with these Legacy guards, but it’s best that they not know about Vidar. The last thing I need is Echelon to discover his existence, at least before I have the Toa properly secured” “Yes, we went over it already,” Makua assured her, “Still seems bold to bring this Makua-scum right to the Legacy’s door, as you say” “The Legacy is part of why I need him,” Niici replied, “If some of these groups get a little too out of hand, I need a way for protection, as I’ve said” Niici turned around to see Tailua and Vidar. She was about to confirm their assent before she heard Seba, her Matoran butler, gasp. The socialite whirled around to see Ko-Koro's gates off in the distance... looking very different than how it looked when she left Ko-Koro all those weeks ago. “Just... how powerful was this Legacy stronghold you spoke of?” Makua asked in a low voice. His eyes darted between Niici and the gate before them, which was guarded by uniformed Sanctum Guard Matoran. “Listen...,” Niici responded, “We stick to the plan. Follow my lead and no one will suspect a thing” “But what about protection from the Legacy fanatics?” Makua asked, “Vidar doesn’t seem all that necessary now” “Actually,” Niici responded in an even softer voice, “If the Ko-Matoran have retaken the village, I will need Vidar even more than I did previously” Niici put on a calm face that demanded respect without drawing unnecessary attention. How this would play out depended on who was guarding. Niici (or rather, her money) held a lot of clout in Ko-Koro, being one of the richest Toa in the village. That generally kept guards from having the gall to ask too many questions. Armed with the requisite confidence, she proceeded towards the Ko-Koro gates, Makua and the others following closely behind.
  9. IC: Ra'lhen - Po-Koro, Akiri Residence The Toa nodded graciously. "It will be my pleasure to help broker this agreement," Ra'lhen said to the Akiri. Though part of him was always apprehensive about visiting the other villages, he felt better now with his new armor, and with Stannis being there and likely drawing the bigger crowd. It was an advantage that Ra'lhen distinctly lacked back in Ostia, where the Ra'lhen's presence and service worked as yet another seedy tale that was spread through the alleys and docks -- a tale of an ex-Makuta servant among their ranks. It was why life in Ostia had not always been pleasant, especially at the hands of the other Sentinels. But it probably made Hewkii's life easier when he was in charge. "I'm hoping that the Onu-Koronans will be cooperative," Ra'lhen said, "They are prosperous, yes. But some of that protection comes thanks to Sentinels, whose presence has helped keep potential problems from spreading westward to Onu-Koro" He looked at Stannis and the others expectantly. He was ready whenever they were.
  10. OOC: Moving from Le-Wahi IC: Tailua -- Ko-Wahi -- Southern River Steam emerged from around the iron mug as Tailua gripped it with his left hand, the water filling also boiling. He rose the mug to his face and took in the aroma, which was that of a common tea from Ta-Koro -- no one else was allowed to have any. The liquid warmed his insides and provided somewhat of a cushion against the increasingly low temperatures. And this isn't even the worst of it, thought Tailua. He, along with a hooded Vidar, two Matoran, Makua, and Niici (the rich socialite herself), were taking a short rest along the banks of the chilly river that separated Ko-Wahi's mountains from Le-Wahi's occluding fog. Niici insisted on it after they had crossed the river, it's bridge well-worn but clearly maintained as a critical trade route. Nearby, Tailua could see her making some sort of drinkable concoction. He had never seen anything like it. Though for Tailua, who couldn't even name one of the many herbs in the tea that he took for granted, that was not saying much. Apparently, Niici had needed this concoction, it was medication that she took periodically. She had gone into more detail about it -- why she required the medicine and how it affected her -- but Tailua struggled to even feign interest. For him, this entire expedition was extremely boring. Makua was able to engage with her incessant babbling, for his own gain, Tailua knew. But for the Toa of Fire, the price of listening to her self-absorbed raving was too high for what he knew Makua wanted. But that was the lean, silver-tongued Ko-Toa, in a nutshell. She's so far out of his league she could lap him around the world twice over, Tailua thought as much as he hoped. If he were wrong, he'd never hear the end of it from Makua. He drank more of the tea after a sudden chilly breeze swept through. All he had was a poncho to shield against the cold, but he knew the wind would cut through it like bamboo disk through the air. He looked to his left at Vidar. Perhaps it was a callback to his days as one of the Makuta's chief enforcers, but even in insanity, the Toa of Air dared not flinch at the breeze. Surely, he would have been through worse during his Makuta days, Tailua conceded. And so, Tailua sat in silence continuing to enjoy his warm beverage. To him, the sooner Vidar was delivered to Niici's residence in Ko-Koro, the sooner he gets paid, and the sooner he'd be off doing something actually cool.
  11. IC: Ra'lhen - Po-Koro, Akiri Residence "I agree. The talents and minds of the other Koros should sought without question,” Ra’lhen said, “I remember those days immediately following the Makuta’s... departure. There are still old wounds from that time, but for Mata Nui’s sake we need to bury that. Bury it all, in my opinion” One may have noticed a very light hint of passion in Ra’lhen’s voice. It was true that the Toa of Lightning had grown tired of the infighting that the villages had fallen into and were, in many cases, still recovering from. It was one of the things that disappointed Ra’lhen the most out of Hewkii’s leadership, far more than his sometimes less-than-professional treatment of the Sentinel. “Perhaps I can talk with my commanding officer, and help set up a meeting with the people of Onu-Koro," Ra’lhen proposed, “I imagine they’ll want something in return, but I feel like we have much to share that will show them that we appreciate their amity”
  12. IC: Ra'lhen - Po-Koro, Akiri Residence The Toa of Lightning thought for a moment. What was the plan, once they arrived at the Dark Walk? Obviously, the main goal was to give Po-Koro some degree of safety and security by venturing into the Dark Walk and presumably dealing with any dangers that lurk there. But alas, a goal was not the same as a plan. “I must echo my friend here,” Ra’lhen said, tilting his head slightly in Stannis’ direction. “We were trying to hash out the details”
  13. IC: Ra'lhen - Po-Koro, Akiri Residence Questions, answers, and follow-ups danced across the sitting area between the revered Toa of Stone and this lesser-known (to Ra’lhen anyway) newcomer named Muirtagh. He had expected that the leader of the Toa Maru would be put under a lot of scrutiny, with many appearing seemingly out of nowhere to ask equally seeming dire questions. Whether it was because Stannis had genuinely been involved in so much across the island of Mata Nui or if it was that everyone just assumed Stannis had all the answers – Ra'lhen couldn’t tell for sure. When he had exited his exile as a servant of Makuta, he entered a new one as an exile in Ostia. He did not travel, did not engage himself in the local gossip. Hardly any of the names dropped during this conversation were familiar to Ra’lhen. But nonetheless, the Toa listened, drinking from his steaming mug every other moment. The term that did stand out to Ra’lhen was antidermis. One may have noticed an eye twitch from the Vo-Toa when he heard that term, but he did not speak. Nonetheless, the story that Ra’lhen could piece together so far was riveting. A member of a Toa Team, felled and taken by Antidermis... and healed by Stannis? It certainly was an interesting development, and apparently Muir agreed. He proceeded to drill into this detail. “You said that you healed Skorm. Or, rather, that you… 'purged the evil inside him, and absolved him of his sins with a litany', as I recall,” Muir said, “Care to elaborate? How does one purge the evil inside someone?” “With considerable effort... maybe with a little arcane wisdom,” Ra’lhen said out loud. Whether that was intentional or not was a mystery that Ra’lhen deftly kept hidden as he rose the mug to his face. He took another sip of tea from his mug in a cool, detached manner, assuming no one heard him. He didn’t think too much of how Stannis could’ve pulled off such a feat. After all, it was like the Po-Toa said earlier, he’s a wizard.
  14. IC: Ra'lhen - Po-Koro, Akiri Residence The Toa of Lightning took in the Akiri's words. Even when faced with the urgency and uncertainty of the situation, Renaka spoke with clarity and discipline. Every word and movement was clearly calculated and carefully controlled. It was a level of impassive professionalism that would have made Ra'lhen distrustful if not for his not-so-pleasant experiences with her predecessor. It's something that I can grow used to, I suppose, Ra'lhen assured himself. Just then there was a polite knock on the door. Ra'lhen raised an eyebrow and glanced towards the door, watching the bodyguard march over and admit the visitors. A moment later, two Toa walked in. Ra’lhen didn’t recognize either of them, and he wondered what business they would have with the Akiri. “Akiri Renaka. I apologise for the interruption, but I need a few words with Toa Stannis, in connection to a case I'm researching,” one of the Toa said after nodding respectfully. Oh? Ra’lhen looked at Stannis. “If you need to meet with them, no need to mind me,” Ra’lhen said reassuringly, “I think my questions have been more or less answered” OOC: @Umbraline Yumiwa @Silvan Haven @Goose @BULiK
  15. IC: Niici -- Fau Swamp The boggy atmosphere felt almost choking to the Toa of Ice. The oppressive humidity felt like a defiant child pulling at your arm and holding you back as you try to make your way forward. Her main guide was her elemental affinity. She concentrated deeply in order to get a sense of the all-to-familiar crisp air. That feeling would guide her north, towards Ko-Wahi. “So...,” Makua had altered his pace just so that he was moving in lock-step to Niici’s right. She braced herself for whatever annoying query she was about to hear. “Once you have Vidar living the high life in Ko-Koro...,” Makua said, “What’s your plan? Seems like an... odd choice for a bodyguard” Niici kept her gaze forward, only most subtle of grins appearing on the left side of her face. “You think I would need a bodyguard?” “Tailua and I are here, so I’d hazard a guess that protection is necessary” “A reminder, Makua. You and your fire-friend are here to guarantee Vidar’s safety. Not mine,” Niici said with calm conviction. “Which leads me back to my first question,” Makua answered as smooth as he was unrelenting, “What makes this savage with scrambled eggs for brains so valuable?” Niici finally shifted her eyes towards Makua. The male Toa of Ice’s face was unreadable, overshadowed by excessive confidence and cold indifference. “Do you remember the first couple months after the Makuta was defeated?” Niici asked. “Sure” “Specifically, the Akiri? The tension between the villages? The attacks? How the oh-so-virtuous villages came so close to all-out war?” “I think most try to pretend that never happened” “Most... are fools,” Niici said, “But I learned something during that time. When villages were building up armies, inventing new and creative ways to destroy each other if it ever came to it. You see, there is wisdom, and building up an arsenal... even when you know, or hope, that you will never use it. Simply to have it... makes everything you own that much more valuable because of its security” “How so?” “Would you dare to steal from the Sentinels? Or the Guard? Or the Marines?” Niici answered, “Sure, the Sanctum Guard has always been free game, but of course, they did not need the subtle advice implicitly given by the other villages. And now the Legacy runs it” Niici could see Makua running her words through his mind. Breaking them down and understanding the meaning. He was a well-paced learner. Why he associated himself with an oaf like Tailua was a mystery to her. “Vidar... is your Sentinels. It’s whatever cataclysmic plans and devices they have kept away in the so-called ‘Black Room’” Niici nodded. “There is now, so much more I can do with Vidar under my control. I can do my work knowing that I have something in my back pocket in the event that anyone tries to stonewall me again. Not that they well, of course. Mutual assured destruction dictates that I should really try all avenues of diplomacy before going into all-out war which could destroy me” “A sound plan, except...,” Makua began with a slight hint of amusement lining his voice, “How will this weapon help you, if no one knows, or even believes you have it?” Niici scoffed. “How do Nuparu classified defenses help Onu-Koro, if no one knows or believes that he has them? In fact, we have seen some of what he has -- just enough to believe that he has more” Niici continued, her voice low and icy with conviction, “My enemies will know what I am capable of, but they won’t be able to name it, or clearly identify it” Niici closed her eyes. “But they will know” Niici, Jed, Seba, Tailua, Vidar, and Makua continued north, until Niici could feel that unmistakable arctic breeze, and the fog had now made its presence completely known. This was the borderline, that mystical area which diving Le-Wahi and Ko-Wahi. Niici believed she had navigated far away enough from the worst of the fog to avoid getting lost. In any case, following the elemental “scent” had guided her well so far, and she knew that it would continue to lead her north. OOC: Moving to Ko-Wahi
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