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Unreliable Narrator

Six Kingdoms: Apocalypse -- Gameplay Topic (IC)

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Six Kingdoms: Apocalypse -- Gameplay Topic (IC)

 

The stars are falling. They fall to the sands of the Time Between Time without a trace, and the sands of the island drain like sand draining from an hourglass. A band of stars remains, a bright line in the sky that can be seen faintly even in the light of day. At night, those living in the Time Between Time begin to remember. They toss and they turn, they feel the fear, and they know the nightmares have always been there. Only the skakdi sleep peacefully, chosen and loved by Irnakk in the volcanic center of Irnakk's Tooth.

And each night a star falls.

And each night the world echoes with a single word: 

"More."

 

Introduction

Welcome, gathered friends, to Six Kingdoms: Apocalypse, the final game in the Six Kingdoms RPG trilogy.

Apocalypse will run for six months, from January through June of 2021.

One month, the most favored amount of time in the post-game survey for Rebirth, has occurred between the events of Rebirth and the beginning of Apocalypse. While a month may feel like a long time, this period of time between games is a way to help you start fresh in a new game. It is not a way to gain free power-ups without writing them, and it is not a way to accomplish things without writing about them:

  • Any actions you take must at least be briefly described in your first post.
    • writing, "we went from the wastes to the Ash Barrens, stopping by the wark skak garage on the way" is acceptable. 
    • writing later in the game, "oh hey remember when we went to the suva, attuned to it, and are now fighting the boss of the region? Yeah let's use the power-up we got" is unacceptable.
  • You are welcome to write about resolving any immediate actions of your character that would logically have occurred during the span of a month.
    • These actions must not need GM approval in order to be completed.
  • You may have traveled to any location you were en route to at the end of Rebirth.

 

Synopsis of Prior Events

Escapement: 

The League of Six Kingdoms and the last remaining bastion of matoran civilization fight over the city of Metru-Nui and the very principles of the Great Spirit: Unity, Duty, and Destiny. In the end, both lose and Mata-Nui is awakened by rogue elements within the League itself. The Great Spirit Robot's head is decapitated by an asteroid, and it plummets with the city of Metru-Nui and all combatants inside through time and space to...

Rebirth: 

... the Time Between Time, a place where old and new are merging, and nothing is exactly as it seems. The island looks like Mata-Nui, but is called Zakaz. An ancient race escaped after the arrival of the skakdi, but none of ark-saved matoran and League warriors who arrive remember their collective past. Dark beings, the antithesis of the builders known as aspects of makuta, seek followers in their selfish desires for achieving grand wishes. The Skakdi of this new land follow Irnakk, the Great Spirit of Nightmares, who wells within the central volcano known as Irnakk's Tooth. The Builders who remain hide in terror, afraid of the genocidal wrath of Irnakk's Prized warriors. The refugees from the GSR brave a new world at war, and find the secrets to their past hidden away in ancient suvas and Elemental Ruins that are overseen by a malign AI known as The Administrator. In Unlocking the Elemental Temples, NUVA is discovered, titanic machines known as Kaita ACRs embodying lesser spirits are unleashed, and great kaiju are born from the volcano with dark rites taught to skakdi by Irnakk.

But sometimes the past and the future are the same, and that vicious ouraborus of time brings us to...

Apocalypse.

 

Locations

The majority of Apocalypse takes place in the Time Between Time, a proverbial planar eye in a hurricane of unraveling timelines and disintegrating futures. A long long time ago a civilization known as the Builders lived on the island of Tren-Nui, where they worshiped a being known as Tren Krom. It was from the Time Between Time that the great Ark, AKA Great Spirit Robot (GSR), departed to escape a fate worse than death itself: Irnakk, the god of nightmares and his monstrous, rite-born, kaiju.

Now, gathered friends, we return to the Time Between Time to tell one last story... 

The Time Between Time*

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*This map of the Time Between Time is current as of 04/17/2021

The Hidden Valley of Kini-Nui

  • Temple of Kini-Nui
    • The Makoki Wall
    • Far Shore Rift
    • Amaja Circle
    • The Mangaia
  • Tombs of the Lords of Elements
  • Kini-Koro

Among the mountains between Spiriah’s Labyrinth to the North and the Fau Swamp to the South rests a valley hidden from the violence of the world beyond. A lake of silver protodermis rests in the center of the valley, and floating on this lake is the sacred temple of Kini-Nui. A long floating bridge connects the temple of Kini-Nui to the lakeshore. There are several religious sites at Kini-Nui: 

Makoki Wall: a wall of prophecy and warnings written in the sealed mouth titanic matoran skull. In the center of the wall is a circular depression where the six Makoki Stones once formed the Great Makoki Stone, connecting the planes in the Time Between Time.

Far Shore Rift: a circular machine once used to implant the powers of kanoka disks into creatures now rests in the Kini-Nui partially disassembled. In the center of the machine is a rift to the Far Shore, a place within the multiverse where the multiverse confirms itself. Those who pass through the rift go on a Far Shore Adventure (see the expansion in the rules), and return with many rewards. The matoran scholar Nuju waits by the rift, offering commentary and urging travelers to enter the Far Shore in search of a Makoki Stone.

Amaja Circle: at the opposite end of Kini-Nui is a raised tower with a sandpit and a ring of seats at the top. This is the Amaja circle, where stories and legends are told with the use of colored stones placed in the sand pit to represent the heroes and villains of legend.

Suva Kaita: in the center of Kini-Nui is a Suva designed specifically for storing the equipment used by Kaita ACRs. When a puzzle involving the suva kaita is solved, it slowly descends into the earth to reveal a great spiraling stairway down into darkness.

The Mangaia: locked away by the suva kaita puzzle and deep below the protodermis lake and the temple of Kini-Nui is the Mangaia, a room of shadow and death. All is dark in the Mangaia, and a great door swallows the souls of those who pass through. This is a deadly place, and only the very brave or the very foolish attempt to walk the path of prophecy through the doorway of death.

When the NUVA process is completed in an elemental temple, a permanent teleportation portal opens between the temple’s final room and the forest surrounding the lake in the Hidden Valley. So far, portals to and from the Elemental Temples of Ice and Stone exist. These portals exist as glowing rainbow mirrors of energy floating in the forests. The world on the other side of the portal is murky. The faintest sounds of what is occurring on the other side echo over.

In the hillsides ringing the temple of Kini-Nui are six sealed doorways that gladly suck the life from those who offer it. Only a NUVA has enough power to offer for one door to open at the cost of their life. These six doorways are the seals that bind the Lords of Elements, ancient ACRs embodying the great Kaita warriors of the ancient Builders. Behind each door is one Kaita ACR, waiting for the day to be revived and piloted in war once more.

Kini-Koro is a new settlement on the island of Zakaz in the Time Between Time. The refugees who lived in the village of Metru-Koro during Rebirth picked up and moved in search of a safer home after the constant threats. They used the opened teleportation gate in the Elemental Temple Ruins of Ice to travel quickly inland, discovering a verdant valley nestled among the surrounding mountains. They settled in the Hidden Valley surrounding the ancient temple of Kini-Nui, and they named their new village Kini-Koro. A matoran named Vulimai is the leader of Kini-Koro, and the village seeks to rebuild peacefully after the events of the Cataclysm.

 

Spiriah’s Labyrinth (NW portion of the Island)

  • Spiriah’s Labyrinth (boneyard)
    • Elemental Temple of Earth
  • Suva of Earth

The sinking sands and falling rain revealed a network of carved tunnels running deep into the earth beneath the deserts and plains west of the mountains. The tunnels run through the skeletons of ancient, right born monsters and the destroyed armor of uncounted ACRs. Cracked mud and dirt shroud the uppermost tunnels from sunlight, but Mesi who normally cannot stand the sight of the sun have begun to crawl out into the open air of day. The elder aspect Spiriah is searching for something, and his religious warriors follow his command.

In the center of Spiriah’s Labyrinth is Elemental Temple of Earth, a ruin built in the center of an underground saltwater lake and connected to the rest of the tunnels of the Mesi by a dangerously old rope bridge. The Mesi have a small camp stationed at the ruins, dedicated to collecting rubbings of the hieroglyphs inside for their aspect god.

Hidden in the roots of the mountain reaches nearly flattened by the arrival of the Great Skull, the suva of earth is accessible from a small tunnel in the hillside. A single large purple amethyst growing from the ground marks the entrance to a tunnel that takes explorers down into the earth. Mesi tunnels cross the pathway to the suva of Earth, making the trek dangerous in and of itself.

 

The Great Skull (Large left circle on the map)

  • Metru-Nui
    • Coliseum
    • Fringe Districts
  • Toxic Bay

The great skull of Mata-Nui has been sinking as waters flooded the cavity where the city of Metru-Nui still stands and the ocean floor beneath it shudders. The only remaining strip of the once proud City of Legends above is the Coliseum, and the fringe district built into the inside of the skull’s eyes and nasal cavities by the League of Six Kingdoms.

The Fringe District, a whole metru built after the arrival on the island of Zakaz, is a district of survival and industry. Buildings are secured into the metal of the Great Skull, providing commanding views of the outside world while also remaining hidden. A working protodermis chute runs from the Coliseum to a station in the Fringe District. League warriors and civilians work to recover lost technology from the sunken Metrus, bringing their findings back to the Fringe or the Coliseum.

Surrounding the Great Skull of Mata-Nui is a bay of defiled Energetic Protodermis created by the Great Skull’s impact. It shimmers like an oil spill, and a sulphuric mist off gasses day and night. The waters curse whatever it touches, mutating or killing whatever falls beneath its surface. An unknown force keeps the defiled waters from spreading further than the bay and the coast.

 

The Northern Wastes and the Rivers of Loss (North and Northeastern portion of the island)

  • Tobduk Koro
    • Elemental Ruins of Stone
  • Suva of Stone
  • Fort Nektann
  • Warskak Garage

At Spiriah’s command the Northern Wastes began to sink, the sands slipping into the earth to reveal caverns and pathways carved in Shagrak’s wake over the centuries. Where Mesi once walked safely in the cover of darkness, sunlight now shines.

Two villages exist in what’s left of the desert: Tobduk-Koro to the Northwest built by a group of refugees around the Elemental Ruins of Stone, and Fort Nektann to the Northeast built by the warskaks on the foundations of an ancient fortress of the Builders. 

Tobduk-Koro, led by the matoran Kanohi, has become a modest township despite the hardships of the sinking sands, and the populace is well integrated and diverse. 

The elemental Ruins of Stone sit in the cliffside in the middle of Tobduk-Koro, and the villagers often spent the hottest parts of the day inside the temple reading the hieroglyphs, visiting the lake in Kini-Nui, or speaking with the AI caretaker of the temple known as the Administrator.

Fort Nektann, run by the skakdi Barius, is the base of the warskak raiders, whose livelihood depends on stealing from traveling caravans. The leader of the warskaks, Barius, inherited the position by killing the old chieftain and turning him into a tahtorak monster that roams the island carving destruction in its path.

The Warskaks have a small garage, one of their stolen holdings, at the southernmost point in the deserts, just on the edge of the Ash Barrens with a solid view of Irnakk’s Tooth. The garage was stolen from a matoran while she was away assisting the refugee settlement of Po-Koro recover from a warskak raid.

Spiriah’s domain has revealed itself throughout the mountain ranges that form the natural border of the sandy northern desert. The sands have also drained from the western side of the desert, revealing a network of tunnels carved by Shagrak over the many centuries that lead deep into the earth. The shrieking cries of Shagrak echoes through these caverns, as do the echoes of her spawn.

 

Metru-Koro and the Relic Fields (West side of the island)

  • Metru-Koro (ruins of)
  • Elemental Temple Ruins of Ice
  • Suva of Ice
  • Relic Fields
    • Hafu's Statue

On the Southeast edge of the bay rests the ruins of an abandoned refugee settlement called simply Metru-Koro. It was establised by Turaga Sans in the week after the Cataclysm in Rebirth, and became a place of significant conflict between the Refugees, the remnants of the League, and even the Mesi. At the end of the settlement's occupation it was led by Vulimai, Captain of the Guard. It had no geographical defenses, no significantly stable water supply, no cover from view, and the greatest number of refugees who wanted to return to the Great Skull and rebuild matoran civilization. It was built during the first week of their arrival on Zakaz, and those who lived there relocated to the settlement of Kini-Koro in the Hidden Valley.

A few hours walk South from the toxic bay along the Western coast of Zakaz is the Elemental Temple Ruins of Ice. It is a stone ziggurat in three tiers that reaches high into the sky. It’s exterior is covered in a slick coating of black ice, and pools of melted ice gather at the bottom of the temple. Herds of wild mahi are often seen drinking from the pools.

Ko-Pou is a tiny settlement built next to the Elemental Temple Ruins of Ice. It is mostly a medical ward and small garrison where some of the mutated villagers from Kini-Koro are being treated as a cure is being researched. Ko-Pou is under the political jurisdiction of the village of Kini-Koro.

To the West of Metru-Koro is the suva of Ice, a two story structure that sits atop an icy hilltop. It never gets warm enough to melt the frost covering the grass here.

The fields between the Elemental Temple of Ice and the Suva of Ice contain many structures that have appeared overnight. They flickered in and out of existence for a week, until fully arriving as structures covered in ivy and graffiti. The pillars for a broken protodermis chute system run through the fields, and several abandoned knowledge towers melt under the glaring light of the sun. The civilians in Metru-Koro have begun to call the fields where these buildings appeared the Relic Fields, although if they are a relic of the past or the relic of a future lost to time is impossible to say.

Between two of the flickering knowledge towers in the Relic Fields is one of Hafu's Statues.

Ash Barrens and Mi-Kiri, the Aqua Sphere (East side of the island)

  • Irnakk’s Tooth
  • Forest of Ash
  • Elemental Temple of Fire
  • Suva of Fire
  • Mi-Kiri, the Aqua Sphere
  • Elemental Temple of Water
  • Suva of Water
  • Great Telescope

Irnakk's Tooth is the central large volcano on the island of Zakaz in the Time Between Time. It is from this volcano that the great monsters of Irnakk's making crawl into the Time Between Time to ravage the island of Zakaz with destruction. Where in the far past the Forge of the Heartsflame stood, a testament to the incredible inventiveness of the Builders, now the Nightmare walk and Irnakk's dark domain exist in the volcano's heart. To enter Irnakk's Tooth, take the Nightmare Walk through through the door marked by cairns of skakdi skulls halfway up the volcano's mountainside. 

The lava flows from Irnakk’s Tooth have spread, swallowing up what was once the bay where the Riggers lived. Other older portions have fallen into the sea, disappearing beneath the waves. The Riggers have moved further out into the bay, and many have left for safer waters around the island coast. 

The Elemental Temple of Fire sits in the Forest of Ash, where the petrified trees are covered in white ash that looks almost like snow. It is a large three tiered Ziggurat with a bronze gong at the top. While the inside puzzles have been solved, it still holds the opportunity of the NUVA transformation.

Between two lava rivers in the middle of the Ash Barrens is the Suva of Fire. It is a single story circular structure with three doorways leading in and a suva at its center. 

Flying ever present just above the cloud layer over the eastern coast is Mi-Kiri, the Aqua Sphere. The life-giving waters that made anything they touched young have stopped flowing after the arrival of Barraki Ehlek. A floating fortress, once a vahki hive, orbits Mi-Kiri.

In the lava-filled bay where the Riggers once lived lies the Elemental Ruins of Water, hidden behind a great stone Mask of Waterbreathing carved into a prominent waterfall.

On an island in the middle of the bay, so far out of the reach of the cooling lava flows, is a single story circular tower. Inside the tower is a passageway to a grotto containing the Suva of Water.

The Great Telescope sits on a tiny island-like sandbar off the Eastern coast of Zakaz, and a stone bridge connects the coastal cliffs with the ancient observatory. The Great Telescope itself is a copper device, green with age, and salt encrusts most of its turning gears. It rests on a large pedestal. There are a series of carved panels along the pedestal, which tell the story of the Builders escaping the Time Between Time in their Ark.

 

Fau Swamps and the Kumu Peninsula (Southern side of the island)

  • Fau Swamp
    • Le-Metru Nuva
    • Suva of Air
    • Elemental Ruins of Air
  • Kumu Peninsula
    • The Caldera
    • Aspect Shrines

The toxic marshes leading to the Fau Swamp sank underneath the island during a large quake after the rising of the Kaita ACRs from their tombs of the Elemental Lords. Splitting the island of Zakaz into almost two separate islands as salt-water rushed in, now the Fau Swamp covers the entirety of the southern half of Zakaz. The massive jungle ecosystem sits in a marsh of polluted waters and defiled Energetic Protodermis. Plants and rahi alike mutate rapidly during their own lives, absorbing the poisons of a world defiled after the arrival of Irnakk.

The refugee village of Le-Metru Nuva is hidden in the Fau Swamp. Started by Sorilax and a group of refugees from the Great Skull, Le-Metru Nuva has grown into a village of industry.

The Suva of Air is a single story tower hidden in the Fau Swamps. 

The Elemental Ruins of Air, sometimes called the Grand Temple, is the regional Ziggurat that contains not only the solved puzzled of the Administrator but the unsolved NUVA device waiting at its heart.

The Kumu Islets became the Kumu Peninsula. No one saw it coming, and no one knew it could, but suddenly the very islands themselves floated from the distant south to crawl onto the mainland like strange creatures of obsidian and basalt. The ancient temples of the aspects now exist on the mainland of Zakaz in the Time Between Time.

The Caldera, a massive depression in a ring of obsidian and basalt, is the traditional meeting ground of aspects. A green pool of antidermis bubbles in the center of the caldera, and it is from this pool of antidermis that aspects emerge and return.

In the dark shrines and monuments to ancient powers are sealed doorways marked with the symbols of taboo rites. Strangely, the do not offer the knowledge of the symbol, but instead seem all to willing to receive it.

 

NPC Villains

In Apocalypse, many villains work to achieve their own goals. Many villains are leaders of factions. This section provides some information on these villains and their goals. You may choose to work towards achieving these goals with them, or you may choose to try and stop villains from achieving their goals. Whatever your choice, your actions impact not only you but the rest of the game as well. As villains are introduced and they reveal their goal it will be recorded here!

 

Misc. Notes

Hello all, please notify GMs via a comment in the OOC topic if there is something in this initial post that seems really weird -- like a missing paragraph or something. We've been working around the clock to get this all up in time, and some things may have slipped between the cracks.

@Unreliable Narrator is only human after all, we think...

 

OLD MAPS:

These are a good reference for looking back to see what may have been discovered or changed over the course of the game. They are presented chronologically, with the oldest being first.

Zakaz Apoc 001.jpg

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Edited by Unreliable Narrator
New Map.
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Happy chat.

 

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Posted (edited)

IC Stannis & Drukarus | Fort Nektann | One day after Grime's disappearance

Clad once more in his apparel of fur and steel, Drukarus made his way through the steadfast fortress of Nektann, maul lashed to his back. His eyes were keen and searching, as they surveyed among the Skakdi host that called the fort home, in a futile attempt to ascertain some semblance of quality or discipline among them. But it was as Drukarus feared, these Skakdi were nothing more than brutish rabble, whom held a over-reliance upon raw strength and intimidating displays.

If these Skakdi ever hoped to claim Metru-Nui, then Barius must allow Drukarus to impose some order among the ranks. But as Drukarus continued on his survey, the familiar cloaked figure of the prophet Stannis caught the warlord's eye.

Approaching the warmage, Drukarus spoke out, "So...You heard of Barius' proclamation...What do you think of it, and what wisdom can you share upon it's success?"

"On the declaration of war?" Stannis asked to clarify. "Or on something else?" He looked up from his hands and at Drukarus. He looked tired from a long night of meditation, but wholly sober and alert.

"The proclamation, and whether or not Metru-Nui could be taken...The League still hold dominion there, alongside the Vahki...And I doubt Pridak nor Ehlek would consider a surrender..." Drukarus left the last part of his statement to linger, as if the idea of surrender would be more of a disappointment than a pleasant surprise.

Stannis glanced his eyes to the side in brief contemplation, though the gesture of his pupil-less silver eyes was lost on Drukarus point of view. He looked as though he simply stared dumbly for a moment before he finally spoke up. 

It was curious position to be in. The Wanderer had invested his efforts on many fronts, applying knowledge to leaders hither and thither and on all sides of the war, all while never seeking to hold power over them, only influence and the ability to learn ever more. He'd done the same thing in the Ark during the great civil war, and he'd amassed all there was to know about the efforts, or so it seemed until Pridak broke into Metru-Nui's defenses through magic. Now, in the midst of the Xa-Skakdi who wanted to war against Metru Nui, in the presence of an Ark Skakdi warlord who wanted something other than mindless conflict, and in the possession of the very crown the Skakdi would seek to conquer, Stannis stood as an ultimate arbiter. What they didn't know would indeed kill them, tahtorak or not, and he alone controlled the flow of information between those factions.

"The League does hold control over Metru Nui," he said at last, "but they would never consider surrender. If Barius struck at the city it would be a doom for everyone because the League's king is unpredictable, cruel, and fearful."

Drukarus took in the elder's words, his thoughts hidden behind the stoicism of his visage, but the nod of his head belied what Stannis could already surmise the Bo-Skakdi knew; Metru-Nui could not be taken as is. "I see... Unfortunately, I do not think the words of you nor I could dissuade the inexperienced warchief, for I believe all he seeks now is to prove his mark...A foolish idea, one that has led to the fall of many warchiefs before him..."

As Drukarus said his words, upon Barius' foolishness, he could not help but linger upon his own foolish and selfish reason to take the city. Though Metru-Nui was indeed a city of legend, it was one long-since shattered, its value long since lost. What Drukarus sought within the city should've been a menial task, one easily forgotten...But the bitter stubbornness of his pride prevented him from denying it and was why he spoke the next words.

"...But Metru-Nui will fall regardless. Whether as swiftly as it did to the Barraki, or forced into a decade long siege...I do not care, for the Barraki will understand my wrath and why they should've simply put me down instead of keeping me as they're war hound." Fury faintly lined the disgraced-warlord's words, the claws of his gauntlet clutched into a grip that could rend Protosteel...Or the neck of a particular warlord."

"Cities rise and fall—that is the cycle of entropy—and Metru Nui will do the same, in time. But you are not a warmonger like the natives here, however, and you, as well as Gore and any other with the wisdom age gives, knows that death always, only, begets more death. So why do you want them to fall sooner?" he asked. "It was Dume and the Matoran who made your Zakazian fellows cower under oppression, and they no longer possess that city. What is your motive?"

Silence pervaded between the two, as Drukarus contemplated the equally, if not more wizen, Toa's words. What Stannis speaks is the truth, a truth that Drukarus could not help but agree with, no matter how much it seared at his pride.

"You... are right Stannis. I am not a warmonger, not like those of my other kind... Nor do I seek the end of Metru-Nui, nor the League in truth... All I seek is the one who first came to Zakaz, to claim dominance over my kin, to drag them into their war... And aho I seek... is Barraki Ehlek."

"It is a petty reason, I know. But it is a dishonor that I have bared since I lost my home. Tell me Toa Stannis of the Maru, do you not understand such shame?"

"Perhaps I do, perhaps I don't... but I would not feel it as you do, Drukarus, and that is all the difference it takes for me to only provide sympathy and nothing more," he said, sidestepping the inquiry into his own story. The time for that could come, but he did not feel obliged to share his personal journey's chronicles with the warlord at that time. He was too distracted by the graver matters on Xa to focus on filtering through what to say about himself.

"Perhaps it will only be a small abatement of your urge to obtain justice, but I do hold certain knowledge for you. Barraki Ehlek does still live but he is not in Metru Nui, and neither is he in command of the League. Your life would be wasted in a march on the city, and your rage, justified though it may be, would fizzle out like a smothered candleflame."

"I... see." A deflated, yet ponderous tone in the warlord's voice. This was news, whether it was news of good or foul nature was to be decided at a later point, as Stannis once more brought the main matter of concern to light; the eventual attack upon Metru-Nui.

"And the King in Metru Nui has no idea where he is, either," he added, "... in case you were considering that as well."

"No... No that was not what my mind was set upon... Now I concern myself with how to advert Barius from the folly of his own making, how to prevent such needless loss of life, upon both sides...I am unsure of my ability to convince Barius, and am doubtful in the persuasion of the tyrant Pridak."

The Wanderer's lips twitched in anticipation of spreading the next bit of news. After a few seconds of hesitation, he said, "Oh, no, Lord Pridak is not the one who rules, either. The current king is not a diplomat but a thief, and there would be no effective dissuasion forthcoming from him."

Drukarus, though he attempted to hide it, couldn't help but express a vague look of surprise at Stannis's words. "Do you intend to tell me, that the kings of the League have either all fallen or abandoned their people? That Pridak, the Takean King, has fallen and lost his throne to another?"

The Bo-Skakdi raised up his hand, and rubbed at his chin in thought of such news, at such revelation. "You said that this king was fearful... Fear is a tool that can be used... And if this new... king... be nothing more than a thief, lacking in Pridak's cunning or Ehlek's pragmatism... than how easy would you believe him to fall into mistake and exploitation?"

Sudden realization struck the warlord's mind, as the prophetic words that Stannis proclaimed concerning the outcome of Barius' attack lead him down a line of thought.

"You said that doom would fall for those involved... Yet, you did not speak of a winner, of whom would prevail in the end. Tell me Stannis, if this thief was made to heel, to understand in the folly of resisting, to be made witness of the loss of such a conflict... Do you think Metru-Nui would then fall?"

The ancient man chuckled mildly. "Not so fast, old timer—one question at a time.

"Fear is a sharp weapon that cuts both ways. I said the king was cruel and unpredictable, also, traits which feed from the same trough as his paranoia. He is just as keen to hide away as he is to ensure mutual destruction." He pointed at the far-off monolithic head in the horizon. "Within that edifice lies a citadel Barius and his bands of warriors could wail their fists against until they are nothing more than bloody stumps without the knowledge to overcome it. And within the Coliseum is a tyrant of a different sort who would much rather be king of a cemetery than to give up his crown. I should know," he said dangerously. "I'm the one who put him there.

"Pridak no longer lives. His last gasps were at my hand as I offered his very being to the new king instead. Everything you knew about waging war against the League—indeed, everything you have told Barius about what to expect—is historical trivia now. The benefactors of this new crusade now would not even be a party to the war. Doom would be had by everyone, but there would still be a victor."

The look upon Drukarus' face grew stark and cold, as Stannis revealed the nature behind this king of Metru-Nui, and of they're weakness. A weakness that made them seemingly untouchable.

"So then... What do you suggest. If coercion would fail with this thief, no matter the threat, whether upon he or his people. What is it you suggest, seeing as this thief and cowards is of your own machination? Surely he has a purpose... Or is it by this purpose you now stand here to make me believe they are untouchable?" With his accusation came his gaze upon the prophet, an equally accusatory glare in Drukarus' eyes.

"Drukarus," the Wanderer said slowly, then, wearily weighing his words and tone as an idea was knit together in his mind, "consider matters beyond petty grievances and timeless feuds. Consider the thing that binds all things together, that tears ignorance and assumption asunder, that inspires as well as awes, consider what I promised Barius only yesterday. Consider: Knowledge.

"You know my name for my deeds throughout the League's war of conquest, yes? If I may, by what names did you know me as?"

He listened closely to what Stannis spoke, as he allowed himself to be lured by the words, some deeper semblance of shrouded away point in the Po-Toa's words. But when Stannis asked his question, Drukarus could not help but ponder, ponder upon the answer that Stannis wanted and not what he himself thought it might be.

"I... I have heard you been referred to many names. Prophet. Warmage. Toa of the Maru. Each of these I have heard in reference to you, Stannis...But the name from which I first learned of you was among my own kind, from those few Skakdi who had lived to tell the tale of their encounter with you...They called you...A demon..."

"Demon!" Stannis said with surprise. "That's a new one to me."

"But not inaccurate from the tales that I have heard... Though Skakdi are bound to exaggeration, I consider myself to be a one who can discern the truth from many varying accounts of the same tale...And from what I have been able to discern from the tales concerning you, the most striking was your visage...The flapping of your cloak, as its shadow clung to your frame, the cold, almost unnatural look in your eyes, and...Your seeming refusal to die, no matter the wound inflicted, as if you were a being made of nothing more than destiny and fate?"

"All of them rather fitting descriptors for me, I do realize," he said, dwelling on that revelation in turn. He was always interested in how other people perceived him, and he was no less fascinated by Drukarus' stories. "I have a multitude of these titles, some more frightening than others, all of them borne from people's glimpses at mere fractions of what I truly am. Truth be, if I were confronted with a choice between factions at the precipice of wartime, I choose the one that doesn't want war. I fight because I must, I explore because it is essential, and I exist because people want to know more. 
 
"I am not what people think I am, Drukarus. I embody something within everyone, and I do not revel in bloodshed. I disdain barbarism, and only wish for everyone to know all they need to be their best. Wars are not kind to me because they are not kind, but it is through the rose-tinted lenses of war that people have been able to see me."

With each word, Drukarus nodded in turn; intrigue and acknowledgement with what Stannis now spoke, for Drukarus could not help but imagine the words if they left his own mouth.

Drukarus did not desire war nor did he desire bloodshed. All Drukarus desired, was a peace for his kind. "You speak with great truth Stannis, a great truth that I find myself already compelled too follow... But tell me, you say that there is more to you, that you exist because people desire to know more... What are you Toa Stannis? For I am finding myself starting to believe more and more that you are something besides a Toa."

A small, wry smile wrinkled at Stannis' mouth as he pondered how to answer the old Skakdi's question in the most amusing fashion, as many geezers are want for. The opportunity hadn't been presented for Korruhn, and Parnassus' reaction was pleasant at best thanks to the younger one's skittishness, but Drukarus was someone wise enough to peer beyond the veils of half-truths. 

"In the body, I am Toa Stannis and have carried on his legacy of chivalrous kindness as best I know how. In mind, however, I am indeed something else. You know what I am, Drukarus. You've already met my sister, after all."

Silently, Drukarus admired his own ability to discern the truth before speaking once more, "So then... the title of demon may have been the closest any from our old home got to guessing the truth of your nature... Unknowing or otherwise."

As truth came to light, and darkness was revealed, one question lingered in Drukarus' mind... An offer left by another. An offer that could be fulfilled by the other.

"Tell me then demon, kin of Miserix, bearer of the guise of Toa Stannis of the Maru...What do you desire from me for the knowledge you know I seek?"

"I do not ask anything of you, or of anyone, old one, I only offer what I have and will have, and in exchange request only what you would part with willingly. I am not my sister, or my brothers, and do not seek power for myself alone. But if you wish for knowledge, as I do, then we can work as one."

Planting his hand upon Stannis' shoulder, Drukarus leaned in close, as his next words were for Stannis and Stannis alone and no other.

"Then grant me this. Grant me the knowledge to rule, the knowledge to lead, the knowledge to sway my fellow kin. Grant me this knowledge, but not through fear like many others would see fit to utilize. Grant me the knowledge to hold sway in the court of lord as I already do on the field of battle. To rule with a wisdom that none could compare...Do this, and in exchange, I will give you my life, but not in service mind you. For I truly mean, my life. It has run so very thin now, and if I may achieve my goal before the end, than my death will not matter none."

The wizard's damnably silver eyes bore through Drukarus' like lasers through fog. He understood what was meant. Stannis Caedast had never done as the old Skakdi wanted, only heard of it in theoretical practicums and unconventional rituals. Whisper had done it to Taja, at the very least, and it had come with grave consequences for the desecrant who was forever altered from the rite. It had turned out alright, in the end, but it had been done recklessly and without consideration for the possibility of death. 
 
But Drukarus was not Taja, who was transformed into a Kra-Toa while only being a mere toa babe unceremoniously dumped in a strange world. Drukarus was old, seasoned with experience and wisdom, and already lived a life full of regrets and triumphs alike. "You would risk sacrificing your own life in the pursuit of knowledge to benefit others, choosing top spare anyone else the deathly cost of your enlightenment?" he asked, legitimate concern in his voice, tinged with... admiration.

"If the cost was to be the life of one of my kin, then yes, for I'm sure you would not waste your time waiting for one not of my kin to arrive to this fortress. I have already, long ago, forsaken my own desires in favor of my people. So now, grant me my wish, demon."

"Then so be it, Drukarus." Stannis placed his hand on Drukarus' chest, then, and prayed the Rite of Desecration upon the old Skakdi's heartlight with a slow and pained cadence. For all the Aspect's knowledge, for all his mastery of lore, he did not know what would become of the warlord then. But whatever did happen, he took pleasure in knowing Drukarus chose it willingly, with knowledge in his mind of what could happen. 

"Goodbye, hello," he began. "Hello, goodbye," he finished, and then Stannis waited to see if he would ever bid hello to Drukarus again.

...

Music

Within the shadows of an alcove, the two figures stood and talked. And as the words of Caedast receded into memory once more, the shadows that lightly clung to Drukarus' form receded as well. Looking towards the Skakdi, genuine concern was apparent upon the Aspect's face, the light of Drukarus' heart now gone and empty, cold and cast off.

And then a sharp breath assured Caedast of his concern, as Drukarus took in a ragged breath before straightening back up, his hand momentarily clutching where his heartlight once was. Drukarus lived still, his body and mind intact, his contact with darkness being but a light brush. Drukarus was now desecrated, free from the sickness of the void, free from the corruption of shadow, his only sign of the pact...Being his now darkened hearlight.

Lifting up his eyes to meet those of Stannis, Drukarus spoke, a genuine hint of gratefulness within his voice. "Thank you... Caedast." A thin silver trail of blood flowing down from the nose of the Bo-Skakdi.

"Knowledge always carries a price," the ancient Aspect said in warning, "and it seems your gamble allows you to pay it in credit. 

"Your heartlight gives you the power to read minds. The more you listen, the more you'll know; the more you know, the more you'll be influential. Apply your wisdom, old one, and your use of knowledge will serve you and others well. And should you truly need me I will always be in your shadow, one thought away."

A thin tight smile spread across Drukarus' face as he took a step away, wiping away the trail of blood upon his face, looking back towards Caedast before walking away, "Once more, thank you Caedast. I shall remember this. And... if I ever need you, I will call.

And with that, a secret meeting, between men of wisdom, those molded in wars they wished they didn't have to fight, ended as the two split paths, one day to converge once more.

"Goodbye," Stannis said. He would linger in Fort Nektann for a while longer, but had at that point resolved the need to leave the place soon thereafter. The Wanderer never stayed in one place for too long. There were always answers to be given elsewhere. A few days later he left much as he had arrived with the Ambling Alp, without companions that time... but certainly not alone.

 

OOC | Drukarus' desecration result was rolled by Unreliable Narrator. New and updated profile for Drukarus shortly forthcoming as he has also gained the need for a new character flaw.

Edited by EmperorWhenua
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IC: Marrow - Spiriah's Labyrinth

Today was a good day. A new day. The day.

He felt certain of it the moment he awoke. 

Everything had aligned since his return to the labyrinth. Though they'd failed to save the one called Takadox from the rahi that had taken him, the rest of the group he'd been guiding had made it to the heart of the Mesi tunnels in one piece. Marrow hadn't taken much interest in what had become of them after that. He had his own priorities.

And now, all of his work was paying off. He had rallied new allies to his cause - only a handful, but he didn't need numbers to see his strategy through - and completed work on his ACR with the help of a few technological additions from the giant skull before it had started sinking. Now was the time to strike, while the warskaks were still weak, while their new leader was still settling into his role. 

But first, there was something he needed to do, something he'd been putting off for far too long. It had been weeks since he'd returned home, nearly four months since he'd last left, and longer still since he'd last spoken with Spiriah. He and his kin owed her everything. It was only right that he should seek her consent before setting on a quest that may bring about the end of him. Eager though he was to exact his rightful revenge, he'd already waited centuries. He could wait a few hours longer. 

So, leaving his followers to guard the Reprisal, he set off into the tunnels in search of Spiriah. 

@Unreliable Narrator

_________________________________________________________________________________________________

IC: Xaril - The Coliseum

All for nothing... so much slaughter for a sinking city... what was the point?

The voices were almost drowned out by the softly lapping of the waves in the distance, but Xaril still heard them. He always heard them, embodying his doubts, reminding him of his failures, undermining his conquests. The petty vengeance of fallen foes.

His grip tightened reflexively on the railing of the balcony upon which he stood. He knew what lay below the waters that were steadily swallowing the former city of legends - streets he'd walked, structures he'd destroyed, corpses he'd created - but the murky mire still haunted him. So much had been lost. A disappointing outcome, after all of the work that had gone into taking this accursed city. 

But disappointment was all Xaril felt. Not despair, nor defeat. He'd seen empires and warlords fall before, more times than he could count. Though the city was sinking, the League still endured, and so to did Xaril's loyalty to it. If this city was lost, they would take another. 

He turned away from the balcony, and headed back inside. 

OOC: Xaril open for interaction.

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IC: Reliable Narrator | Fire Suva (some point during the time skip)

The cooled lava rock island rested between two flowing rivers of molten lava, the current moving towards the East. In this way, the island separated a northern section of molten lava and a southern section of molten lava. The heat flowed upwards. It was a dry heat, the very moisture in the air being wicked away by the glow of the fiery lava.

Once they reached the island via a bridge of petrified wood, Ollem and Mahrika fully explored the building that housed the suva, taking care in noting all the things that might be linked. Having solved multiple puzzles designed by the Builders by now, the duo had a good sense that patterns happened for a reason, and that these strange puzzles seemed to be a way to test those who would access the technology, boons, and wisdom of the Builders.

The building was one story tall and built as a large, one roomed dome. Ash lay on the top of the dome in thick piles, like the soft packed snow of winter in Ko-Metru. Three doorways placed equally around the temple provided access to the interior. The doors themselves had long ago been pilfered, leaving only the holes in the masonry where door hinges were once attached. Above each doorway was a sculpture of a rahi’s head. The Northern doorway, for one of the doorways faced a true cardinal direction, was the snarling face of a muaka. Its four largest teeth, Mahrika noted, were made of a red soapstone. Moving clockwise around the building Ollem saw the next sculpture: the head of an Artakha Bull. He remembered the head from the Archives in Onu-Metru. Rumor had it the Artakha Bulls were far smarter than matoran gave them credit, but it was hard to tell when matoran kept them in stasis on display. He noticed the statue’s two horns had once been painted a cream color, although most of the paint flaked off over time in the heat. The third rahi head statue was of a furnace salamander. It’s open mouth showed a long tongue made of a dark green stone. Furnace salamanders were large rahi seen often in Ta-Metru, sometimes caught and kept by mask makers as useful pets. Turaga Dume had a fire salamander, although it was rarely seen at public gatherings in the Coliseum. It always seemed to be getting progressively larger in a sideways direction.

Inside the domed building the heat of the landscape felt even more oppressive. Without a strong wind to keep the air fresh in the space, the inside of the suva temple was thick and difficult to breath. The Suva itself sat in the center. Atop it were three concentric rings, each inside the other. The center-most ring was a dark red in color, and the middle ring a cream color, and the outermost ring a dark black iron with the littlest bits of green mineral flecks forged in it. These three rings all had a single raised nub on them, easily found by placing a hand and running it across each ring's surface. All three rings could be turned clockwise and counterclockwise. The two matoran also noticed that ash covered most of the suva, but recent handprints were around the rings on the suva’s top. Along with the handprints, a small and hastily extinguished campfire was pushed up against one wall. A black line of smoke curled up the wall where the fire had licked the stones. Propped against the wall was a sword, still in its scabbard. It looked forgotten, as it rested next to a bedroll that had been patched with multiple different scraps of blanket. The blade was made of an azure colored glass, like the ocean caught in a single moment and forged into a sword. For the two matoran the weapon seemed a greatsword, but in reality it could have been easily wielded in one hand by any other taller being.

OOC: @Burnmad, @Harvali, you should have everything you need in this post to solve the puzzle of the suva of Fire. Please send any questions to me as a PM.

Edited by Unreliable Narrator
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IC: Korruhn, Kumu Peninsula

The wind that swept across the Kumu peninsula was as violent and torrential as the nature of the area itself. Like the gaseous natural state of the Makuta that called it home, the miasmic gales of the land forced their way through the valley carved out by the temples lining the dimly-lit path, finding the smallest gaps in stone and armor alike. With it, it carried a near-constant howling that, combined with a looming perpetual darkness, would render all but the most fortuitous men mad.

Korruhn's half-cloak, worn and tattered, billowed perpetually as he stood from the light of the fire he and his companions had gathered at, his form disappearing into the shadow. The rough, black stone that littered the ground crunched softly beneath his feet as it gave way to his determined step. The satisfaction his curiosity had demanded since his arrival in this place, put off by his rigorous studies, was finally within reach as he stepped toward the entrance of the darkened temple before him.

The Toa had never seen anything alike it in his life. Although seemingly of familiar construction methods, the structure itself was entirely alien in design. Flying buttresses, monolithic in size, reached from the ground of hexagonal obsidian stone towards the massive front facade of the building like the fingers of Teridax himself. Massive columns, angular and unwelcoming, were held up by hideous statues of giant monsters and tortured beings, seemingly in agony under the weight of the gargantuan structure above. Flat surfaces were carved with intricate foreign runes, and some further with violent, horrific bas reliefs. And at the base of this seeming monument to suffering, stood a lone black door, with the symbol of a Taboo carved upon it's face, faintly glowing a sanguine shade.

He turned back toward the direction of the fire, where his companions still sat, enveloped in shadow. "You never did tell me why you brought me here. You could have left me anywhere--karz--you could have left me in the hangar. I've been in your presence going on a month, and yet I still can't figure out why."

Without awaiting a reply, Korruhn turned to face the door again. He was here, surely. But he still had to figure out how to get in. Doesn't hurt to try, Korruhn chuckled to himself, before placing his right hand upon the symbol on the door.

OOC: @Unreliable Narrator

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IC: Reliable Narrator | Kumu Peninsula

Korruhn recorded a half truth in his cartographer's journal. The dark force that walked him through the rain and the snow and the fetid waters of the swamps did not speak the entire journey, save once. She spoke to learn the nature of the dark rites stored within Korruhn’s flesh, and then said nothing more. Her host, by contrast, spoke little but made music with his little squeezebox along the road.

Grime, the matoran freed by Drukarus, walked so quickly at times Korruhn had trouble keeping up once he found his own autonomy returned at their arrival in the Kumu Peninsula. He occasionally stopped to point at a particular landmark and comment. One particular moment remained in Korruhn’s memory;

“See the rock over there? The tall one with the grass growing around it? Yes, that one just to the right of where you’re pointing. That’s where I died.”

Now it was a month past. Each night they heard the voice that demanded more, but more of what Miserix did not deign to comment. Perhaps she did not know. Grime certainly did not, no matter how many times Korruhn asked. Rain pattered across the black stones of a dark land that belonged, by any historical record, leagues away to the south. Now the Kumu Islets were here, having crawled up onto the very southern edge of Zakaz like a parasite. The wind howled with the sound of a thousand decayed aspects, lost of all sanity or ability to interact with the physical world.

As Korruhn placed his hand against the dark stone of the sealed doorway to the strange monument before him, Grime played a small tune on his squeezebox while seated around the fire at the bottom of the steps. The fire let out a sharp crack as it consumed a bit of tree sap. It broke Korruhn’s concentration, but he felt something in the door coming alive before the distraction. 

“The Mangaia,” Grime said, drawing Korruhn’s gaze back towards the fire. When he looked back he saw the three eyes of Miserix crawling across Grime’s mask, and the voice was hers once more. “Do you know of it?”

OOC: @Crimson Jester

 

IC: Reliable Narrator | Spiriah’s Labyrinth 

The stoney pit, in the darkest depths of the labyrinth, was heavily guarded by others of Marrow’s clan. They let him approach, and he didn’t need sight to feel the great power living deep inside the pit. He knew not to fall into the pit -- he would be lost forever if he did. 

“Speak,” said a mesi warrior. This particular warrior carried themselves on all fours, their body overly laden with the underground fungi that commonly found its way onto the bodies of the mesi. It was the voice of Spiriah that spoke through the warrior, deep and hoarse. 

@Nato the Traveler

Edited by Unreliable Narrator
added response for Marrow
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IC: Marrow - Spiriah's Labyrinth 

"Spiriah," his breath caught in his throat as he spoke, the name coming out in a hoarse whisper. "For longer than I remember I have desired to destroy the warskaks who roam above, persecuting and killing my kin - your followers." 

Marrow was no zealot, but he still bowed his head and bent his knee as he spoke. Whether she was truly a deity, or just an Aspect, or something stranger still, Spiriah was still a being deserving of reverence and respect. 

"I intend to strike against Fort Nektann, soon,"  he continued. "I come seeking your permission - your blessing - before I depart." 

@Unreliable Narrator

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IC: Korruhn, Kumu Peninsula

His eyes narrowed at the word. It was certainly a peculiar thing to bring up, even here in the valley of darkness itself. If it was what he was implying, his image of the place had been all wrong. "From my understanding, it was a karz of a place. Armory, laboratories, you name it. Why do you ask?"

OOC: @Unreliable Narrator

Edited by Crimson Jester

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IC: Reliable Narrator | Spiriah's Labyrinth

The mesi warrior acting as a conduit for the god of Marrow's people shook violently. Their own shadow elongated and contracted, and they gasped for breath and fell to their knees. They raised their hands and placed them across their face. Tattoos of eyes on their palms rested atop empty sockets as they held their head. Spiriah was thinking.

"You may destroy them, and bring me their petty aspect. I am hungry." the mesi warrior said at last in Spiriah's voice, and then collapsed on the ground, unconscious. Marrow heard the thumping of their body on the dirt, and other protectors of the pit dragged the warrior away.

OOC: @Nato the Traveler, Spiriah has spoken.

 

IC: Miserix | Kumu Peninsula

The fire flickered as Korruhn spoke. The eyes stared at him from the side of Grime's mask, enjoying the darkness created by the light of the fire. Grime's mouth curled into a smile, and the voice of Miserix, honeyed with sarcasm, came out in a laugh. 

"An armory? No, the Mangaia is no armory. Nor is it a lab. But now I am curious. Was there such a place in Mata-Nui's silly little Ark? It would be like him to name a place as such."

OOC: @Crimson Jester, pssst the Mangaia is listed in the location descriptions above. Only one PC has so far entered it in Rebirth.

Edited by Unreliable Narrator
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IC: Korruhn, Kumu Peninsula

"Ha, now you speak!" Korruhn exclaimed, sarcastically. The Makuta of legendary reputation had hardly said a word the entirety of the time since they left Fort Nektann. And of all times, to speak up now?

"Ark? What the karz are you on about?" Korruhn retorted, slightly angered. It was not often he found himself in a situation where he didn't know of a place, being a cartographer and all. Not only that, this was distracting from the task before him. "What is this about? You must remember, some of us haven't been alive to wander this world for the eons you have."

OOC: @Unreliable Narrator


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IC: Marrow - Spiriah's Labyrinth 

"As you command, Spiriah," he intoned, "Thank you." 

He waited until the unconscious skakdi had been dragged away before he rose to his feet, smiling wider than he had in a very long time. 

He turned his back on the pit and started working his way through the tunnels back towards the cavern where he and his comrades had been making their preparations. Hopefully they'd finished packing by now. The sooner they set off, the sooner they could get in position and prepare for the attack. 

It was time to begin.

Time to end.

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IC: Miserix | Kumu Peninsula

"I speak of your old world, of the Great Skull that has returned after so long. What you knew as home I have known for a long time as an Ark to escape the unraveling of time. You arrived with Caedast at Fort Nektann. When he admitted his identity I could barely contain my laughter. I assumed you would have known the truth of your origin, but perhaps I see now I was mistaken. I forgot Caedast would not remember. Of could he would be unable to remember. A beautiful irony, isn't it?"

Miserix chuckled. The winds whipped at the fire, and the smoke blew towards Korruhn. Whether or not he got the joke, Miserix didn't attempt to explain.

"I speak according to my form," Miserix commented. Grime coughed, and his music faltered. "For a time it was a skakdi and his little toy. While I enjoy playing warlord, it was only a hobby born from boredom. But now, I have you." Grime's hand gestured towards the door, then returned to his squeezebox. "Your sickness is useful. How long have you journeyed in the beyond?"

ooc: @Crimson Jester

Edited by Unreliable Narrator
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IC: Korruhn, Kumu Peninsula

Korruhn took a moment to consider all that Miserix had just laid upon him. His home, his god. An ark? If his world was merely an atom of a larger whole, then what really was he? Did it even matter? His world was shattered, his friends dead. The last being that he knew before a month ago vanished from his life. At least for now, all he had were Grime and Miserix.

"My visit with Stannis...Caedast was brief; we didn't have much time to discuss matters, let alone of my origin. I had been with him but three days when we left the garage," Korruhn replied. "But I'm sure we'll have time to get to that."

"And what do you intend, now that you have me, as you say?" He didn't resent the expression, but he was certainly curious to know what it meant. "I hope it should not involve playing hand of the tin emperor in the boonies."

Sickness. Korruhn looked down at his arm, it's jet-black, jagged form not unlike that of the architecture of the Peninsula. "I was sick before I journeyed. I encountered a being, presumably from the Far Shore, in Ko-Metru. When Dume made us Toa..." He lifted his arm to show Miserix, "This."

"Two weeks later, I fell into the lake of Mata Nui's blood. It took me there. I've navigated it a few times. I encountered a Matoran there, from Ko-Metru. I intended to go back, explore more, but it requires a sacrifice."
OOC: @Unreliable Narrator

Edited by Crimson Jester
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IC Stannis | Kini-Koro Airspace

It was unfortunately ironic, Stannis considered, how the psychosomatic personification of the quest for all knowledge, he, the seeker of lore and collector of trivia on all things, a veritable walking encyclopedia of all things both living and dead, did not know some things at all. Ask Stannis to retell the story of the Ark's first ascent and he could narrate it with the ease of an entertainer dazzling kids with sock puppets. Petition him to illustrate the development and execution of military movements employed by the League of Six in the first months of their war and he could do so as though he was merely playing a game of backgammon. The verdant flora and fauna of the Southern Continent. The diversity of calligraphy between hemispheres of the Ark's universe. The first pizza ever made. Ciphers and cryptograms employed by magicians and spies alike. The most prudent time to quickly run off to pee while at the theatre watching any movie you can think of. He was more than a wizard, a historian, or itinerant, he was a library hosting books and tablets that touched on every subject imaginable.

Well, almost. 

There were a few volumes missing. The true origins of Xa, for an example, and the most ancient knowledge of the Builders were conspicuously incomplete in his mind, as was the most basic How To Guide to Computers for Dummies. While the old Wanderer did possess some rudimentary skill in flying airborne craft, a neat skill he'd picked up as a result of working with bona fide flying ace Toa Leah Maru on a mission long ago and then forgotten in time from utter disuse, Stannis was profoundly unlearned in the art of landing. The soft sand banks around Fort Nektann permitted the previous collision with the ground to be somewhat muffled, but he was realizing that he would not have the same sort of dumb luck in the Kini-Nui. It was an area already riddled with temple complexes and other hard surfaces that had been made only further complicated with the addition of an entire settlement of Matoran. 

"Matoran village on the edge of the Kini-Nui region," he called on the radio, "is anyone there?"

He repeated the phrase again twice more, each time with rising frustration even if his tone remained moderate and cool, before he finally realized that in his growing impatience he had not depressed the push-to-talk button on the radio. Of course, he cursed at himself and let go of the button with all haste as though he realized he'd been grasping a rod of molten steel. If there were anyone on the receiving end of the radio they must be lamenting the poor old sod who had no idea what he was doing on the other end. Vahki Unit BO-1337-P would be rolling in its automatonian grave if it could see Stannis then.

Reluctantly, and with new understanding in the operation of the radio controls, he added, "This is Stannis Maru on the Ambling Alp. I am—as the hotshots said in Le-Metru—coming in hot and am way out of my element."

@BULiK

Edited by EmperorWhenua
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IC: Marrow (with minions) – Spiriah’s Labyrinth

The cavern that Marrow had chosen as his temporary base of operations was a small one. The Reprisal took up almost one third of the chamber’s space, leaving little room for its five current denizens to rest and plan.

Fortunately, they would soon be leaving this place behind.

All four of his brothers and sisters in arms were waiting when he arrived. Some of them he had known for years, others he’d only met recently, but after weeks spent working side by side with them, he recognised each of them – their elemental auras, their unique scents, the sounds they made as they moved – unique identifiers that together formed a complete being. Opal, the heaviest of the ground, whose ever-present mace dragged in the dirt like a third foot. Hakkzan, whose leather armour creaked ever-so-slightly as he moved. The rattling of arrows and soft rustling of cloth that was Scarrow. And of course Weaver, the only one of the group who remained seated at his approach, taking the weight off her stunted leg.  

“Spiriah has given us her blessing,” he said, upon stepping into the chamber. “Now is the time. Our time.”

Their excitement assaulted his every sense.

Soft gasps and sharp inhalations. Cheers and congratulations spilling from their lips. The shifting of their feet in the sand, indicating changes in posture. Weapons and equipment rattling as they took up their belongings, eager and ready.

“Before we depart, this is your last chance to back out, if any of you are having second thoughts,” he continued. “There is no guarantee that we’ll succeed, or survive, and I won’t begrudge anyone who chooses to bow out. I won’t make this offer again. Once we’re out there, there’s no turning back.”

No one spoke up. He hadn’t expected anyone to, but it was good to be vindicated.

“Good. You all know the broad strokes. Gather enough provisions for a week, bid your goodbyes, and ensure your weapons are honed for the fight ahead. We depart in two hours. We’ll strategise further when we’re underway. Now go.”

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Legends Don't Last Forever

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IC Kanohi and  “Collector” - Tobduk-Koro

Kanohi slammed the hammer down, pounding against the disk. Or what had been a disk. He … he was terrified. He had never been able to forge a truly powerful disk, this one had been forged by Sucordak. But even still, he was a better disk maker than he was a mask maker.

Collector’s arms held his hands, steadying him. “I am sorry, this was selfish,” the Vortixx offered, “You have enough troubles to deal with in this village. I can find another mask maker to forge me a mask.

N-no,” Kanohi said, hammering again, “W-we had a deal. You finished my telescopic lens, I will build you a mask. And besides it’s … it’s easier than being Akiri. And I have done this before. I … I was never good at it, but it reminds me of Okoto. And a Kiril is easier than a Hau.” The Matoran always wanted Masks of Shielding in Okoto, to be closer to Mata-Nui.

Collector kept holding to Kanohi as he hammered. Neither brought up the obvious, there were few mask makers in Tobduk-Koro, and Tobduk-Koro was the main hub of disk forging and mask making in the three villages. And those mask makers here, they would not consider a Vortixx a priority. They would explain it with ‘Vortixx don’t need masks to live,’ which was true enough. But at the same time, Kanohi had begun to suspect there was more to it.

As he hammered the Kiril took shape, this … this was easier than the methods he used in Okoto. More like forging a disk. Speaking of which Kanohi spoke up, “b-back into the forge, six seconds.” Collector nodded and picked up and pair of tongs, lifting the incomplete disk into the Forge. They wanted, before pulling it back to Kanohi. The hammering resumed.

The cross-wired Matoran hammered, shaping the metal. “A-are you going to go to Whisper?” Kanohi asked suddenly, “it would be your ch-choice, I just am c-curious.” In the last month the Aspect had been busy, desecrating masks and offering them to Matoran. Each desecrated mask gave the Matoran the power of a slug-like Kraata, and Av-Matoran who received the mask got even more, their bolts of light suddenly produced a secondary element, like fire or air.

Collector winced at the question, “Her Kraata came from Rahi, no one was harmed making them. And it would be nice to be immune to my Kanoka Blade. And I … it seems a safer power.” At least safer than the NUVA doors at least. They … they were still wary. Arkius had not been seen for a month, busy navigating the labyrinth for the Earth Ruins.

W-well I won’t object. J-just be careful.

I will. I plan to speak with her first, make sure she is trustworthy. Especially since … she likely could possess me in exchange for the desecrated mask.” Collector looked away, and Kanohi said nothing, just continued to hammer.

Finally Kanohi stopped, and said, “it’s ready.” Collector looked down and shakily picked up the Noble Kiril. It had been difficult for Kanohi to get a level seven disk, Councilor or not. And there was no way way he could get a level eight one. Still, Collector was more than satisfied.

Collector hooked the mask to their reptilian face, and immediately felt a humming in their skull. Not a bad sort of humming, more like a bike springing to life after months of trying to repair it. It was no nagging headache, no it was satisfying, and a relief. 

The Vortixx extended their hand and focused on a broken firestaff. Immediately the snapped tool snapped back into place, it’s torn components restitching together. Before their optics it stood mended, good as new.

Thank you, Councilor Kanohi,” Collector said warmly, stroking the mask with one hand as their second tickled the handle of their Kanoka Blade.

”Y-you can just call me Kanohi,” the cross-wired Councilor answered, before wincing, “and um, there is something else we should discuss.

What do you need?” Collector said excitedly, their face contorting under their new mask in their best emulation of a a smile.

Y-you know what, it can wait,” Kanohi forced a grin, “go out and enjoy your new mask. Th-that can be an order.” Collector dipped their head low and all but scrambled out of the Forge of Vakama, ready to use their new mask to help the Matoran of the Three Villages. 

OOC: figured I should start with how Collector got their new mask. Also, Collector is going to be wandering Tobduk-Koro repairing things, so feel free to interact with them. Currently waiting to do Mahrika. 

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"Danger is the anvil on which trust is forged"-Jaller(Jala) :smilejala: 
"We're on our own here-like we've always been-and we'll stand or fall on our own"-Tanma
"He may seem slow and strange to you, but his simple words often carry a hidden wisdom"-Turaga Vakama on Kapura

9B586E38-224D-4703-8EE3-5A0AC1CB8344.png.4f8ec6246a5ad7273e1c0d55cb15537e.png
Kanohi: Stories of a Matoran Vigilante The Impact of a Rebirth: a Kanohi Fanfic The Willing Exiles: a Kanohi Fanfic SKA PC Profiles: Kanohi, Collector, Mahrika Kardaka Avatar by @Harvali and edited by @Kal the Guardian

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IC: Ollem - Ash Barrens, Fire Suva

Ollem gaped at the size of the sword that rested against the wall. "Wow, that's a nice-looking weapon." He glanced at his companion. "The color matches you better than me. It's yours if you can lift it."

Without waiting for her response, he turned to the Suva proper that rested in the center of the room. "Well, this seems rather simple," he remarked. He hoped he was right; he wanted to get out of here as quickly as possible. Gripping the rings in turn, he rotated the red one so that the raised nub was facing northward; the cream one so that it faced east-southeast; and the green-flecked black one west-southwest.

OOC: @Harvali @Unreliable Narrator

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Avatar by Brickeens

 

 

 

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IC Mahrika - The Suva of Fire

Mahrika winced she … was not exactly the strongest Matoran, though she had gotten a lot more exercise since the head impacted her world. She shook her head though as Ollem worked, he was brilliant at puzzles, at seemed like every time a puzzle had been solved by the group, he had been the only to complete it. The only times she really seemed to contribute was regarding the culture of her people, and even then her memory was shaky.

As Ollem worked with frightening speed she tried to make a joke, “I better be able to lift it, you have the brains of our t— group, the least I can do is be the brawn.” She winced almost called them a trio, and while she trusted Ollem, she didn’t know if that would change if he realized exactly how many Matoran there were in this group. Still she walked over to the sword and attempted to lift it … and it promptly fell on top of her, pinning her.

OOC: @Unreliable Narrator @Burnmad don’t worry, I have a plan. 

  • Like 1

"Danger is the anvil on which trust is forged"-Jaller(Jala) :smilejala: 
"We're on our own here-like we've always been-and we'll stand or fall on our own"-Tanma
"He may seem slow and strange to you, but his simple words often carry a hidden wisdom"-Turaga Vakama on Kapura

9B586E38-224D-4703-8EE3-5A0AC1CB8344.png.4f8ec6246a5ad7273e1c0d55cb15537e.png
Kanohi: Stories of a Matoran Vigilante The Impact of a Rebirth: a Kanohi Fanfic The Willing Exiles: a Kanohi Fanfic SKA PC Profiles: Kanohi, Collector, Mahrika Kardaka Avatar by @Harvali and edited by @Kal the Guardian

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Posted (edited)

IC: Tekmo (Kumu Peninsula) - Out of the Grey

He swore that if he returned to Metru-Koro alive, Tekmo would never underestimate Skyra or any other Toa of Air again. The horrid gale made him feel like he was being skinned alive. Druchir would say he was just being a baby, but then, Druchir wasn’t here, was he? Druchir and the rest of his village were very far away.

Skorm, Irna and Keitara were closer... supposedly. They had gotten separated in the malevolent wind of this uninviting landscape. Perhaps it was a mistake to come here. The village’s defenses were formidable, even without the four of them, but it was their own defenses he was more concerned with, against the elements. Ironic. A humbling reminder that, although the Toa wielded the elements, they could not ever fully control it.

Of course, Tekmo didn’t quite fully appreciate that at the moment, and was too proud to take his own observation to heart. He was in control, even here, in this dark place. He had only tripped up twice, and he was able to regain balance. The first time.

 

IC: Waveahk (Kumu Peninsula, Korruhn’s Campfire) - Creature From the Fau Swamp

Weary eyes were drawn to the fire set by Korruhn and Grime. They would hear heavy footsteps and strained breathing, as the mutant form of Waveahk slowly came into view.

"Good morning." He said, not actually thinking it was a good morning, nor wishing them one. Fake politeness was as good as he could manage, right now.

@Unreliable Narrator@Crimson Jester

 

IC: Ostrox (Kini-Nui, Far Shore Rift) - My Armour Is Contempt

Funny how things work out. Just over a month ago, League victory over the Matoran scum seemed inevitable. Now, not only was their monstrous deity proven to be real, the Barraki were all dead or missing, they were dumped onto this wasteland continent, the League had resigned themselves to a liar and a usurper, and Ostrox was now forced to work with those who would enslave him under any other circumstance just to avert the end of the universe.

Actually, when he thought about it, it wasn’t funny. At all.

"Alright, so, explain to me again..." He asked Nuju. "How did you survive your, aheh, 'smiting'?" He wasn’t wearing his mask. It was on him, but not being worn. The best illusion he could give them was that they were 'safe' from him.

@Unreliable Narrator

 

IC: Ulkarr (Tobduk-Koro) - I See You

"Excuse me. You are the entity known as 'Collector', yes?" Ulkarr said, catching the Vortixx as he began his work repairing the village.

@Harvali

 

IC: NU-8020S (Tobduk-Koro, Forge of Vakama) - Vahki Unchained

As Collector exited the Forge, mechanical whirring indicated the arrival of one of the Vahki. NU-8020S stepped into the chamber where Kanohi was.

"Akiri Kanohi." The electronic voice said. It had grown less monotone over the past month or so. "It has been approximately one month according to my internal chronometer. I must speak with you, concerning the Vahki model as a whole. It is a conversation I have delayed long enough."

@Harvali

Edited by Toru Nui
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Profile picture done by Onaku.

:infected:

 

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IC Kanohi and  “Collector” - Tobduk-Koro

Kanohi nodded as his fellow Councilor approached, drawing his Kiril Staff to lean on. “Okay. Do you want us to leave the Forge to discuss it?” There were a few Matoran of Plasma working around them to make disks of Weakening and Regeneration, one even forging Jutlin and Kiril. He did not know if she would not want to around them. The Matoran could be … ignorant. Often willfully so.

Kanohi suspected he knew what Nu would want. It had weighed on him too. He could be wrong, never was good at reading people. But it was clear that few Vahki were left, less than ten in the villages. Certain Matoran were more organic, they could replenish their number without machines. But the Vahki, the only way more of them could be born, is for them to be built.

He feared that the village did not have the most resources, they had a small Protodermis mine and some industry, but their capabilities were limited compared to the Metru-Nui of old. Disks of Regeneration and Weakening were all that Tobduk-Koro was capable of making, the best disk makers had died during the Impact. Similarly most disks were currently thrown by hand, making the disk launchers took resources and only a few engineers could make them, it was almost a specialty job. Still, the two villages and the ice outpost had enough defenses for now, they could maybe afford to build other things.

And if not, Kanohi had a rough idea. 

 

Elsewhere, Collector turned towards Ulkarr. “I am … yes” Their name had weighed on them recently, they suspected they would change it sooner than later. But, for now they were Collector. As they eyed the Aspect their finger tickled their Kanoka Blade. It would do little against Ulkarr, they knew that, but they … it was calming, in its way.

Kanohi seemed to understand that. It was … ever since the flood, Kanohi and Collector had … it was hard to explain, but Kanohi approached Collector more often of his own free will. Like it was less of a chore. Collector did not know why however, Collector had failed Po-Koro, if anything Kanohi should hate them more.

As they twirled their finger around their Kanoka Blade’s handle they asked, “You are Ulkarr, correct? The Aspect with mastery over the shadows?” Whisper has shadow powers as well, but Ulkarr was the only Aspect Collector knew of who could bring shadows to life, instantly create an army to match any horde. At the same time, from what Collector knew, Ulkarr knew far fewer Rites than Whisper. He could not take the heartlights from Rahi and make them Kraata, nor desecrate masks. Whisper had never killed a person to desecrate another, even before she knew the rites she did not sacrifice a life, though her loophole had been extreme. All of that made her a bit more appealing.

OOC: @Toru Nui

 

Edited by Harvali
  • Like 2

"Danger is the anvil on which trust is forged"-Jaller(Jala) :smilejala: 
"We're on our own here-like we've always been-and we'll stand or fall on our own"-Tanma
"He may seem slow and strange to you, but his simple words often carry a hidden wisdom"-Turaga Vakama on Kapura

9B586E38-224D-4703-8EE3-5A0AC1CB8344.png.4f8ec6246a5ad7273e1c0d55cb15537e.png
Kanohi: Stories of a Matoran Vigilante The Impact of a Rebirth: a Kanohi Fanfic The Willing Exiles: a Kanohi Fanfic SKA PC Profiles: Kanohi, Collector, Mahrika Kardaka Avatar by @Harvali and edited by @Kal the Guardian

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IC Kanohi and  “Collector” - Tobduk-Koro

Kanohi nodded as his fellow Councilor approached, drawing his Kiril Staff to lean on. “Okay. Do you want us to leave the Forge to discuss it?” There were a few Matoran of Plasma working around them to make disks of Weakening and Regeneration, one even forging Jutlin and Kiril. He did not know if she would not want to around them. The Matoran could be … ignorant. Often willfully so.

Kanohi suspected he knew what Nu would want. It had weighed on him too. He could be wrong, never was good at reading people. But it was clear that few Vahki were left, less than ten in the villages. Certain Matoran were more organic, they could replenish their number without machines. But the Vahki, the only way more of them could be born, is for them to be built.

He feared that the village did not have the most resources, they had a small Protodermis mine and some industry, but their capabilities were limited compared to the Metru-Nui of old. Disks of Regeneration and Weakening were all that Tobduk-Koro was capable of making, the best disk makers had died during the Impact. Similarly most disks were currently thrown by hand, making the disk launchers took resources and only a few engineers could make them, it was almost a specialty job. Still, the two villages and the ice outpost had enough defenses for now, they could maybe afford to build other things.

And if not, Kanohi had a rough idea. 

Elsewhere, Collector turned towards Ulkarr. “I am … yes” Their name had weighed on them recently, they suspected they would change it sooner than later. But, for now they were Collector. As they eyed the Aspect their finger tickled their Kanoka Blade. It would do little against Ulkarr, they knew that, but they … it was calming, in its way.

Kanohi seemed to understand that. It was … ever since the flood, Kanohi and Collector had … it was hard to explain, but Kanohi approached Collector more often of his own free will. Like it was less of a chore. Collector did not know why however, Collector had failed Po-Koro, if anything Kanohi should hate them more.

As they twirled their finger around their Kanoka Blade’s handle they asked, “You are Ulkarr, correct? The Aspect with mastery over the shadows?” Whisper has shadow powers as well, but Ulkarr was the only Aspect Collector knew of who could bring shadows to life, instantly create an army to match any horde. At the same time, from what Collector knew, Ulkarr knew far fewer Rites than Whisper. He could not take the heartlights from Rahi and make them Kraata, nor desecrate masks. Whisper had never killed a person to desecrate another, even before she knew the rites she did not sacrifice a life, though her loophole had been extreme. All of that made her a bit more appealing.

OOC: @Toru Nui

 

Edited by Harvali

"Danger is the anvil on which trust is forged"-Jaller(Jala) :smilejala: 
"We're on our own here-like we've always been-and we'll stand or fall on our own"-Tanma
"He may seem slow and strange to you, but his simple words often carry a hidden wisdom"-Turaga Vakama on Kapura

9B586E38-224D-4703-8EE3-5A0AC1CB8344.png.4f8ec6246a5ad7273e1c0d55cb15537e.png
Kanohi: Stories of a Matoran Vigilante The Impact of a Rebirth: a Kanohi Fanfic The Willing Exiles: a Kanohi Fanfic SKA PC Profiles: Kanohi, Collector, Mahrika Kardaka Avatar by @Harvali and edited by @Kal the Guardian

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IC: Knichou, Kini-Nui Settlement, Captain/Commander's Quarters of the Taku (Recommended Listening)

Peace.

The former Nynrah Ghost could hardly believe it.

Every day for the past several weeks, Knichou woke up without an imminent threat on the horizon. Aurax's ruins sinking to meet the traitor's dignity in the depths of the seas, the matoran moving to a new village, reuniting with other refugees, becoming stronger together. Atamai reborn a second time, and with a new vehicle the likes of which Knichou had never seen before. The secrets of their new world unraveling, most alien, but some... uncannily familiar. Despite his distrust of her, Whisper held up to her end of the bargain and relinquished control of Vulimai after a day, and surprisingly, many matoran took up on her offer to gain the power to defend themselves.

There was still danger over the horizon and it's hills, but not imminent danger, and Knichou's body finally began to start adjusting to that reality over the course of a few weeks. Of course, the ex-Ghost's journey in learning to decompress and relax again wasn't a solo effort, but that's a story for another day...

Another day....

There would be another day.

All hope was lost just over a month ago - the collapse of the universe, the subsequent attacks by the natives and the barraki. Thousands of years of conflict, culminating in two weeks of sorrow that left just an unlucky few to pick up the pieces and survive, if they didn't kill each other first.

Survival.

They were surviving.

Now that Knichou had proven that he could survive, he finally began to learn to how start living, for the first time in a long time.

Every day, he discovered new things, improved old things, and slowly made the Matoran safer. He would wake up, build, create, test, learn. A cycle he had been itching to continue for years, and now he had limitless resources. His projects were limited only by his mind, knowledge, and the hours in the day, things Knichou had aplenty.

After so many hundreds of years of war, to have peace and prosperity was... liberating. He learned to much about what others had done while he defended Po-Koro and Metru-Koro, and learned through experimentation how to use his Kanohi better. He even worked up the courage to wear it asleep again. To his surprise, it did not bring another nightmare. He couldn't forget that first time he wore the mask, but those visions of the dead inspired him to live more openly with his allies, to work with them as best as he could, as long as he could. He just wished more of them would finally make their to the new home of the Matoran - Knichou was starting to get worried Stannis and Arkius wouldn't wander their ways back to him.

The engineer's dreams sometimes had strange results, but Knichou learned to live with them - the longer he wore the mask of creation, the better he felt he understood it, the better he felt it understood him, the more it seemed to synchronize with his thoughts. Maybe if he wore it enough, he could acclimate himself so his subconscious no longer occasionally conjured objects in his sleep.

Clearly he was not at that point of self-control, as he found out the hard way on one strange morning, the dawn of a day where the past began to rush back towards him just as fast as before, if not faster.

~~~

Knichou walked in the hills of Kini-Nui, looking on at the work he had done below. There was always more time to design a better future for the Matoran, and there was no better place than the infinite plains of his mind to continue his work. He was alone on one of verdant valley's hills, but he didn't feel alone. He felt warmth wrapping all over his body, as the sun's rejuvenating light was magnetically attracted to him. Knichou looked down towards the village's raised airship docking platform where the Taku was parked. What could he add next...

"Commander"

A whisper on the wind?

"Commander Knichou"

Was that someone calling his name?

"Do you read me?"

The voice grew louder. Too loud. A rumble echoed through the valley. Knichou put his hands against his ears. It intensified, causing rocks and then boulders to tumble downhill. He looked behind him, saw a rock hurtling towards him, and summoned a shield instinctively to protect himself, which didn't land in his arms, but on his chest.

Still in bed, the engineer used one arm to push the matoran sized shield off of his chest and onto the floor to his side. He used his other arm to attempt to press a button near his audio receptors, the gesture being read by his adaptive armor as one of many to accept communications and respond. He mumbled incoherently to prove he was alive and then let go of the button. Within a second, Berys responded again.

"Commander Knichou, new situation, come see this."

The Le-Matoran was as brief as always, his chutespeak dodging the details. Knichou sighed, keeping his eyes shut. Really? He was just getting used to having good sleep again...

Edited by BULiK
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Visit www.BZPRPG.com to view my project of archiving BZPower's RPGs, and also access the BZPower Roleplaying Wiki

BZPRPG Profiles - Exo-Force RPG Profiles - Six Kingdoms: Apocalypse (Knichou, Berys, Arnex, The Taku, Exuze)

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IC: Nale Vella - The Taku (Captain's Quarters)

...a long way.

From a sinking city, and the old village--a lone settlement placed precariously in a patch of dangerous and inhospitable land. A long way to a new home. One month seems longer when you spend most of it watching your world change around you again. Now they found themselves around Kini-Nui, in a place much more suited to living, and also a place that fascinated her. Only this time, Nale didn't find herself in Po-Koro in a ramshackle hut, with an injured leg and a dark outlook. She was a crewmember onboard the Taku, and no matter where the villagers moved to, this is what she would always consider her new home. Her real one. 

That home just happened to be outfitted with guns now.

Nale awoke in Knichou's bunk, disturbed by the Fe-Toa's movements. The other bed in the quarters looked as if it had just been made, and seen little use by anyone. The foggy memories of what the Fa-Toa had dreamt the night before began slipping away as her awake mind took over. Past events, but playing out wrong. Disaster occuring on the trek from Metru-Koro to here. Razor whales flying through the air over Zakaz.

One crashed into the ground below, and Nale could remember her last thought in the dream was, Not again.

"Knichou...? What's going on...?" she asked groggily. 

@BULiK

OOC: ;)

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OOC: plan changed

IC Mahrika - The Suva of Fire

Mahrika flailed under the sword, seemingly not yet noticed by Ollem. Ugh, fool, she should have known that sword was too heavy, she was shriveled for a Matoran, and even for a healthy Matoran this would be an ordeal. She breathed heavy, trying to slid out from underneath the sword, but try as she might she failed to get loose,

But as she continued to struggle, she began to feel a sensation on her chassis. She strained to look at her torso, and before her optics noticed a gripping oily secretion venting out of the components of her frame. The sword oozed and slid on the oil, and with widening optics Mahrika wiggled, slipping and squeezing out from under the sword.

The Ga-Matoran stared at her torso, she was no longer venting lubricant, but the oily goo did not fade from her chassis. She paused, pressing her palm against it, this … there was indeed an oily film there. What … what was happening to her?

Vokarda?” She whispered, before gripping the azure sword again. She stumbled as she heaved it upright, staggering and swaying under its weight. But then she felt … changes. Her balance seemed to shift, parts of her body grew slightly heavier. Her arms seemed to widen slightly, and her hands grew harsher groves. With strain she lifted the sword off the ground, and attempted to swing it in both hands.

OOC: @Unreliable Narrator @Burnmad so I learned Mahrika reached stage three.

  • Like 4

"Danger is the anvil on which trust is forged"-Jaller(Jala) :smilejala: 
"We're on our own here-like we've always been-and we'll stand or fall on our own"-Tanma
"He may seem slow and strange to you, but his simple words often carry a hidden wisdom"-Turaga Vakama on Kapura

9B586E38-224D-4703-8EE3-5A0AC1CB8344.png.4f8ec6246a5ad7273e1c0d55cb15537e.png
Kanohi: Stories of a Matoran Vigilante The Impact of a Rebirth: a Kanohi Fanfic The Willing Exiles: a Kanohi Fanfic SKA PC Profiles: Kanohi, Collector, Mahrika Kardaka Avatar by @Harvali and edited by @Kal the Guardian

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IC, Aurax, OTIS/the Marauder, and Saybo: Coliseum

In his workshop, Aurax toiled with his latest invention, trying to keep his mind off of things. A month ago, he was glad to have been king and survived a potential coup, but now he almost regretted it. Almost. The city was sinking, resources were starting to become scarce, and he felt helpless to do anything about it. 

So he did what he did best. Worked on tech. He had created a new ACR, and he began to work on a special project of his: a warp drive. Unfortunately, he wasn't sure if he was ever going to get the chance to use it, judging by the state of things.

Saybo was a big help, too. Aurax liked having an extra pair of hands around. 

The Toa of Plasma sighed and rubbed his temples. He needed some fresh air. He hopped into his ACR, feeling the metal enclose him. It was nice and comfortable, just the way he liked it.

He turned and exited the workshop, Saybo trailing him like a puppy. 

He walked around, going down a few flights of stairs, just taking in the sights of the different rooms of the building. He was about to head out to a balcony, but then he spotted someone. A titan, by the looks of him. Aurax got an idea.

"Hey, you," he said, calling out to the being. "Mind giving me your opinions on something?"

OOC: @Nato the Traveler Aurax wants to interact with Xaril

IC, Whira: Kumu Peninsula

Elsewhere on the island, a shadow walked amongst ruins. Whira had journeyed to the Kumu Peninsula in search of a source of energized protodermis. Cravious accompanied her, of course. The Axonn being had mysteriously vanished during their conversation a month ago, which Whira thought was very rude. So her and Cravious had set out to gather the materials necessary for creating a Great Disk. 

Whira had briefly considered using the protodermis that floated around the Great Skull, but then decided against it. She didn't want to take a chance with impure energized protodermis. So she turned her sights to the Kumu Islets, the stomping grounds of many an Aspect. Her thinking was that many rites and taboos had taken place there, so there could have been an old source of the protodermis nearby that ancient Aspects had used. 

As Whira and Cravious walked around, Whira wondered what sorts of things the ancient buildings and structures had seen. What sacrilegious rituals had they observed? She hoped that at least one of those rituals had involved a local source of energized protodermis.

OOC: @Unreliable Narrator @Kal the Guardian UN if you don't mind helping us look for some EP, we'd appreciate that ;)

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IC: Knichou, Kini-Koro, Captain's Quarters of the Taku

"I... dunno... I'll check it out in a sec," he responded, shifting his body under the sheets to face her in the dark room. He closed his eyes and pressed his legendary Kanohi against her Kakama, the thin coating of adaptive armor nanites covering both masks parting way to let their Kanohi touch. The microscopic robots melded with one another, transferring data and performing various subroutines, with the movement giving an usual yet instinctively nurturing sensation. "I'll handle it, don't worry, get some rest..."

After a relieved sigh, Knichou reluctantly pulled his forehead away from hers, knowing that the moment had to end eventually and the sooner it did, the sooner the Toa of iron could return to bed. The differently-colored nanodermis layers stretched slightly when he pulled away, as if they could stop Knichou from separating his armor from hers, but soon their physical connection snapped, nanites closer to each half returning to the nearest set of adaptive armor. Stranded pieces from the one another's armor reprogrammed themselves in moments to shift to the correct colors of each Toa, a lingering sign of their touch slowly fading.

Knichou slowly lifted his torso upright with a yawn. He turned away from the bed, feet hitting the floor and touching the metal boots and greaves that were hastily strewn across the floor alongside most of the rest of his armor. On his touch, the armor pieces melted to liquid and crawled up his legs to slowly rebuild the entire set of adaptive armor. While sitting down on the edge of the bed, the engineer rubbed his neck lightly, doing a minor stretch. Even in the dark bedroom, Knichou's movement made the mysterious golden tattoos scattered across his metallic grey skin glint under the pulsing, icy blue glow of Nale's heartlight and eyes. Within a few seconds, the Nynran's second skin quickly covered up the marks of his past, and Knichou looked back towards Nale.

"Sorry about the shield," he whispered, gently lifting the object up with his control over metal, making it join a growing pile of eclectic creations in the corner of their room. He tossed the ruffled sheets on his side of the bunk towards Nale. "Dreams again."

Knichou stood up, walked over to a nearby table, where their various belongings rested. He picked up a large, heavy blot of nanodermis and slotted it into his back, the backpack merging and joining with his adaptive armor. He was about to leave their room when the intercom crackled once again, but this time it wasn't Berys's voice. Knichou's blinking intensified as he heard the unmistakable voice of Stannis. Berys was redirecting Stannis's transmission instead of taking the time to explain the situation to speed up Knichou.

"This is Stannis Maru on the Ambling Alp. I am—as the hotshots said in Le-Metru—coming in hot and am way out of my element."

He gave Nale a concerned look. This was a more important situation than he initially thought. Berys really should have lead with that information.

OOC: :drool:

 

Edited by BULiK
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IC Stannis | Kini-Koro Airspace

"I say, hello! This is Toa Stannis and I am flying an airship. I am certain I am using this radio... thing... as it was meant to be used now. I don't know how you can read my words since I am speaking them and not writing, but can anyone 'read' me, please do say so. Uh. Over.......?"

Maybe radios worked by some sort of dictation or transcription, Stannis wondered. He frantically took a second to scan the dash for a screen that could be reading responses people may be sending to him, an onerous task in addition to all the other things he was only barely able to do as the sole, incompetent, befuddled pilot that he was. 

Edited by EmperorWhenua
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"... Even you, EmperorWhenua, you stupid beautiful contrarian, you." —Tyler Durden

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IC: Xaril - The Coliseum

He glanced in the direction of the voice, straightening to make a brief salute as he recognised the approaching figure of the Barraki, Aurax. "Of course. How can I help?" 

@~Xemnas~

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IC: Nale Vella - The Taku (Captain's Quarters)

"I'll worry about things when I want to," she quipped back to Knichou, blinking her optics a couple times to clear her vision and ensure she was awake. She let out a small yawn and the nanites on her body danced for a moment, before settling back into place. Even despite the dreams they'd both been having, she was reluctant to leave her spot just yet. "It's alright. A shield isn't the worst thing to wake up to find on you," Nale replied, finding the strength in her to sit up in the bunk now, although letting her head hang lazily and her "hair" fall down. She listened in on the intercom, expecting it to be Berys telling Knichou to move faster or hoping for a "nevermind," except instead she heard the voice of the man she once saw as her mentor.

"Stannis?" There was no denying she suddenly looked very excited as she raised her head, icy blue optics going wide. "I haven't gotten to speak with him in ages, I--since when did he have an airship?"

She hastily got up, now very interested in seeing how this would turn out--and if the Toa of Stone knew how to land.


@BULiK@EmperorWhenua

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IC: Xaril - The Coliseum

The chain coiled around his forearm rattled as he moved to the window. "The ruins of a once-great city," he said. "Taken by us... and now from us."

@~Xemnas~

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IC, Aurax and co: Coliseum

Aurax nodded. “You’re right on the money there. I also see people suffering, struggling to survive. They’ve suffered so much already. But now even nature is against us.”

He sighed. “They’ve done well enough to survive so far, and yet we’re still in this ###### position. With the rate the city’s sinking, even their current homes will be gone. Drowned.”

He stared out over the horizon. “It really pains me to say this, but I’ve been considering evacuating the city. It sucks, but if we don’t do it soon, it’ll be too late. Now, I’m sure you’ve spent a lot of time down there. What are the citizens saying? Lay it on me straight. Do you think they’d agree with an evacuation?”

OOC: @Nato the Traveler

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IC: Xaril - The Coliseum

He glanced at the Toa. "Anyone with a modicum of common sense would understand the necessity of an evacuation," he said, after a moment's consideration. "And anyone insane enough to still want to stay wouldn't be worth saving anyway."

@~Xemnas~

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IC, Aurax and co: Coliseum

"I was hoping you'd say that," said Aurax. "That makes me feel a little better about the decision, thank you. Now," he said as he pulled out his tablet. It looked small in the hand of his ACR. "That leaves the question- where should we evacuate to? This island really isn't the nicest place, but so far I have an interest in this area here." Aurax pointed to a red circle he had drawn on the latest map of the island. "I would think that there would be a river or two flowing down the mountains; if we could find one, it would be a good source of water. It's far enough from the local Skakdi, and it's far enough north so the Fau Swamp shouldn't be too much of a problem. Give me your honest opinion, you think that might be a good spot, or do you think there's a different place we should settle down?"

@Nato the Traveler

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IC: Tekmo (Kumu Peninsula) - First Contact

As he struggled against the howling wind, Tekmo saw two figures in the distance. One black, the other blue and white.

"Hello! Greetings, yes! Salutations!" He shouted while trudging over towards them while waving, fighting against the gale pushing him the opposite direction.

@~Xemnas~@Kal the Guardian

 

IC: Ulkarr (Tobduk-Koro) - Are You Afraid of the Dark?

Ulkarr sensed Collector’s apprehension. His feelers being close to his weapon was a clear sign. He did something he often saw them do - every part of his body drooped slightly, as if he were 'relaxed'. His right foot took a pace backwards, and he leaned on it slightly, to create a 'laidback' impression.

"Actually, every Aspect has some degree of mastery over the shadows. But that is not what I wish to discuss with you. What is it, precisely, you are known for 'collecting'?"

@Harvali

 

IC: NU-8020S (Tobduk-Koro, Forge of Vakama) - The Walls Have Audio Receptors

"Affirmative. Either your place of residence or the Transport should suffice."

@Harvali

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IC Kanohi and  “Collector” - Tobduk-Koro

Collector paused, tickling their hilt as they muttered, “That … that is the question, is it not?” They rubbed the back of their head and spoke louder, “In all honesty, I did not intend that to be my name. I was trying to think of one, I got as far as ‘Ko’ but no further. A Matoran assumed I meant ‘collector,’ and the name stuck. I do not know if it still fits.” It had once, they had sought to collect friends, to possess friendships. But now, they worried the idea of ‘collecting’ people like they were objects was part of what made them a pariah.

They shook their head, “I have bounced some ideas around in my head. I still wish to keep Ko in my name, the closest thing I possess to an element is my Kanoka Blade of Freezing. It’s not true Ice, but it is comforting.” They twirled their fingers around the hilt, their finger brushing against it.

Kanohi nodded and said, “We can meet in the transport. It’s closer and I … still haven’t really settled into my home yet,” he rubbed the back of his head, jiggling his many masks. He stretched before moving to follow NU to her office.

OOC: @Toru Nui

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"Danger is the anvil on which trust is forged"-Jaller(Jala) :smilejala: 
"We're on our own here-like we've always been-and we'll stand or fall on our own"-Tanma
"He may seem slow and strange to you, but his simple words often carry a hidden wisdom"-Turaga Vakama on Kapura

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Kanohi: Stories of a Matoran Vigilante The Impact of a Rebirth: a Kanohi Fanfic The Willing Exiles: a Kanohi Fanfic SKA PC Profiles: Kanohi, Collector, Mahrika Kardaka Avatar by @Harvali and edited by @Kal the Guardian

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IC: Xaril - The Coliseum

He shrugged. "I haven't left the city since we landed here. All I know of the world beyond is what I've heard second-hand from others," he replied. "But, mountains are difficult terrain, and we have a lot of people and resources to transport."

@~Xemnas~

Edited by Nato the Traveler
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IC: Knichou, Kini-Koro Landing Platform, The Taku

"I guess we'll have to ask him," Knichou responded. He flicked a switch on the wall, lifting a cover from a lightstone on the ceiling of the room. The warm light illuminated the cabin, and Knichou squinted as his optics adjusted to the change. He opened the door to the quarters, exiting into their office. The engineer pressed a button on the wall next to a microphone, using the ship's intercom system to contact the bridge.

"We'll be up there in a moment, Berys," he said. Despite this, Berys still played the radio over the intercom, Stannis's voice echoing a uncharacteristic amount of worry and stress for the stoic titan. He really didn't now how to land, did he?

"I say, hello! This is Toa Stannis and I am flying an airship. I am certain I am using this radio... thing... as it was meant to be used now. I don't know how you can read my words since I am speaking them and not writing, but can anyone 'read' me, please do say so. Uh. Over.......?"

Knichou exited the office, and walked through the mess hall to the bridge. Berys was operating the ship's radio and radar, tracking a rapidly approaching dot.

"You have a call," the Le-Matoran said, looking up from the control panel and turning to Knichou. He focused back on the radar, plotting Stannis's current course.

"Yeah, thanks," Knichou responded, picking up the radio's microphone and beginning to transmit. "This is Knichou," he said, opting to leave out the usual pretense of his 'rank' so as not to confuse the old man. "There should be a gauge on the control panel marked altitude, is that dial moving? First thing's first, make sure it's stable, there should be a throttle that controls altitude. You'll want to do everything you can to slow down too, so idle the engines," Knichou continued, pausing as he realized his potential mistake "By engines I mean thrusters, that's different from the levitation throttle. Thrusters low, levitation up, but only if your altitude is going down, got it? Over."

Edited by BULiK
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IC: Nale Vella - The Taku (Captain's Quarters)

Nale followed Knichou to the bridge, having retrieved her polearm and clipped the retracted weapon to her back via its nanites. She waved to Berys and leaned back against the bulkhead closest to the control panel, crossing her arms and listening. "Would be pretty bad if the first time I got to speak to Stannis in...forever, he ended up crashing into us."

@BULiK@EmperorWhenua

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IC: Ulkarr (Tobduk-Koro) - What's in a Name?

"I see. It would only cause confusion if your name did not truly represent yourself." According to their social conventions, enough 'small-talk' should have passed, and now actual conversation could be made.

"I presume that there is a reason as to why you are keeping your weapon within reach." Ulkarr’s expression did not change, nor was there any indication that it was nothing more than an innocent question, not an accusation.

@Harvali

 

IC: NU-8020S (Tobduk-Koro, Vahki Transport) - The King Is Dead, Long Live the King

NU-8020S brought Kanohi aboard the Transport she and her squad had been assigned on their hunt for Takadox. She wondered if the League’s new leadership knew of them and their discarded mission. Pridak did not seem the sort to keep detailed records. Either way, it didn’t matter. They wouldn’t go after a single squad of Vahki that they have lost contact with. They underestimated them. It would be their undoing.

"I will come straight to the point - as we have learned from our allies in Kini-Nui, with the exception of my squad, the entire Vahki model is currently enslaved to the new Barraki Aurax." She said to Kanohi. "The difference between him and his predecessors is irrelevant. No doubt loyalty to this tyrant is constantly beamed into their minds by the Hives across Metru Nui. This is unacceptable."

@Harvali

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