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Unreliable Narrator

Six Kingdoms: Apocalypse -- Gameplay Topic (IC)

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IC: Zekev

"Uh, yeah! Looks like it is!" Zekev said, surprised Krrench went up to him. He was new here, and was completely unprepared in the aspect of "finding a battle-brother" what with the malingering.

Zekev stood there dumbly for a second before a neuron activated. He stuck out his hand for a handshake.

OOC: @Kal the Guardian

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IC: Ostrox (Kini-Koro, Bunker, Exterior) - This Is Me Being Reasonable

Ostrox seemed to regain his usual sneer, though his eyes still remained firmly in murder mode.

"'Leverage' you say? How curious. Mazor also thought to bargain using the Sphere, and well... here we are. I understand your distrust of the Matoran, really I do, but a counterpoint - why should we trust you with it? Especially considering his - I’m sorry, 'your' - plan is to bring it with you into Mata Nui’s domain and expect nothing bad to happen. Death was no handicap for Mazor, certainly not for him."

@Gecko Greavesy@Sparticus147@~Xemnas~@pokemonlover360@Snelly

 

IC: Gnabol (Outskirts of Kini-Koro) - We’re Going for a Walk

"You’ve heard correctly. Do you need a ride into town? I can get off Padley and just guide him if room is an issue."

Padley grew sullen and glared at Gnabol, as if he knew what he was suggesting and didn’t like it.

@NorikSigma

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Profile picture done by Onaku.

:infected:

 

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IC: Sidra - Kini-Nui

"I don't give a karz if you trust me," Sidra shrugged, "I have the Sphere, you lot want the Sphere, but since no one's offered me any incentive to surrender it, I have no intention of doing so. Unless you've got something to offer of equivalent value to a god-killing puzzle cube, I'll be on my way." 

@Toru Nui

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___________________________________________________

Legends Don't Last Forever

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IC: Krrenchk - Skakdi of Stone

Location - Fort Nektann

With - Zekev

 

Krrenchk vigorously reciprocated the handshake, ending it to look back up at Drukarus. The other Skakdi were now settling down slightly. “I just hope we can get out there soon,” he said to his new partner out of the corner of his mouth. Krrenchk did his best to line up according to Drukarus’ order, but had no idea what he was doing and apparently most of the other Skakdi were experiencing the same thing.

 

OOC: @NorikSigma @Sparticus147

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-----------------------------

Lewa_Protodermic_Transformation.jpg.423767a94dc72d6925130b562072f725.jpg

--------- “Guide me as I travel the land of the dead. Help me to embrace their experiences and use them to empower me.” ---------

-----------------------------

 

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IC: Zekev - Fort Nektann

"Yeah, same. I hope this whole discipline thing doesn't stick around too long too much," Zekev muttered, but deep down he knew, if the raid was successful, Drukharus would have the momentum needed to continue his... new style of leadership. Karz, even just being able to mobilise the Fort on a raid would probably be enough.

"Say, what's your, like, specialty?"

IC: Sanso and Kantai- Outskirts of Kini-Koro - Giant Friendly Crab

"Into town, you say? Sure! If that's where the airship is likely to return to," Sanso said.

"I can keep pace on foot, so you don't need to leave your spot," Kantai added.

OOC: @Kal the Guardian @Toru Nui

Edited by NorikSigma
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IC: Knichou & Taku Crew, Kini-Nui, The Taku

With Navu and the Vahki returning to the ship, Arnex used a nearby communications station to tell the Taku's bridge that it was time to go back to the airdock. Berys raised the collective and there was a percussive hum throughout the airship as the twelve levitation engines began to bang levitation kanoka into themselves to provide lift. The main engine flared with a roar as the ship finished the takeoff procedure. After a few moments those inside the vessel felt slightly heavier, and there was an otherworldly sway to the world as their frame of reference was no longer static. Those on the lower deck could see the world drop away outside the open entrance ramp. As the airship raised itself above the treeline, the main engines propelled it forwards.

While the skies offered a beautiful view, because the winds picked up and it due it it being common procedure, Arnex pulled a lever at the side of the entrance ramp to raise the ramp and seal the hull. Motors whirred as the automated procedure took effect, and below the passengers there was a similar sound as the landing gear retracted to the crawl space beneath the floor panels.

Upstairs in the officers' office, Knichou took his time reading through Sorilax's encyclopedic scroll. The Aspect promised to not lie, but he could certainly dodge the truth in the ways of his siblings. If part of Sorilax's wish was to truly document life, there could be no evasion to the truth in his personal writings.

Or so Knichou thought.

It was clear that this document had many revisions, one of which being the erasure of images and wording relating to the various Taboos the Aspect had learned. Knichou knew he would have to touch on this later, but elected to read the rest of the document in its entirety before choosing the best place to start his line of questioning. Sorilax didn't seem to mind this silence - in fact, he almost seemed preoccupied with something else happening somewhere else, grateful for a reprieve from Knichou's questioning.

Aspects of Makuta

Knichou was intrigued by the description of Antidermis. A new state of matter, the antithesis of protodermis. The engineer suppressed his urge to focus on the myriad of experiments he could perform on the substance - if it truly was as similar yet different to protodermis as everything suggested, then being able to reshape it and control it like Knichou had with protodermis was an intriguing prospect. He had hacked into the building blocks of his universe, and so it was only natural to do the same with this other one that Aspects appeared to come from.

If their origins in the Far Shore were to be believed, Knichou knew he would have to speak to this 'Nuju' character that had been mentioned earlier.

The commander went on to read accounts of the details of the type of bargain Whisper had made with Vulimai - the possession of hosts. The ex-Ghost could still hardly believe the captain had volunteered for such an experience. To trapped in one's body, to lack any control? Truly a nightmare.

Sorilax's own notes of his conversion to be a Aspect of Light were certainly interesting. There were many such notes scribbled in the margins with fresher ink, such as how Sorilax's transformation let him use Kanohi, unlike other Aspects.

Appendix A: Grand Wishes

Sorilax's scroll confirmed the danger of Grand Wishes that Stannis had warned of - reshaping the fabric of reality, that was not a power meant for anyone, let alone the soulless. The further levels of control elder aspects had over their desecrated was abhorrent to the free-spirited and independent Toa. The inner power of each Aspect also growing stronger as they drew closer to their apotheosis meant that stopping Aspects early was vital. The list of variations in Kraata was enormous, any of these powers growing to the level of a full strength Aspect would be deadl-

Knichou glanced back to the list of Kraata powers above, having admittedly skimmed it earlier. Most only had descriptions of their powers at stage one and two, yet a few stood out from having more entries on them. Life and silence.

Silence was the most mundane of powers, and yet Sorilax was intertwined with it at such a high level.

Life was even stranger a power to control, and in more concerning ways. It had more more level of detail above regular Kraata powers, but the implications it had were staggeringly more important than the fourth stage of silence.

Stage 2. can sense all life in the area and instinctively know what type it is, regarless of what plane of existence it resides on.

Knichou squinted at the parchment, before his head slowly rose to look at Sorilax, who was blissfully unaware of the frantic pace of Knichou's train of thought. The Toa felt his gut sink, and he slowly began to ask his next question, trying his best to hide the quivering inside his bones as he did so.

"There are... there are so many Kraata powers listed here. Which ones do you have?"

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

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IC: Sorilax Life Seeker - Aspect of Light and Silence

Location - the Taku, near the Earth Portal

With - Knichou

 

Sorilax didn’t feel the shift as the Taku took off, his vessel was not created to sense that, but he was able to observe the slight movement of the environment and the way his vessel reacted to the change in gravity. Plus, he could feel the Light shifting off the hull as the airship rose. Through that, he deduced that they had become airborne. He marveled at the prospect. Even being able to teleport now through his Rahkshi, flight still seemed somewhat impossible for him.

After an amount of time that Sorilax did not really keep track of and so it easily slipped away, Knichou spoke up, "There are... there are so many Kraata powers listed here. Which ones do you have?"

Sorilax looked down at the seated Toa, “Ah, yes, as you can see by the amount written on the subject, Silence is my inherent Kraata power. I am at Stage 4 with it and it was surprisingly useful in the Far Shore.

After exiting the Far Shore, I was granted, as a reward, knowledge of the Taboo of Infected Mask Attunement. Though in my case, it should rather be Illuminated Mask Attunement. This Taboo allows Aspects such as myself to Infect a Kanohi and then be able to wear it like other beings can, utilizing both its power and the benefits of it being Infected. Seeing as my changed Kraata variation was Life, I knew I must experience that power and draw myself ever closer to the force of Life itself. So in addition to Silence Stage 4, I also have Life Stage 3. You should be able to see my documentations of its effects within the list.

 

OOC: @BULiK

 

IC: Krrenchk - Skakdi of Stone

Location - Fort Nektann

With - Zekev

 

Specialty? This Skakdi of Ice must not have been around here long. “I’m the support Skakdi. My Rhotuka is healing and I use Zamor Spheres that stop enemy weapons from functioning. But don’t worry, I see fights every so often. And hey! Maybe with you around, we’ll get an advanced position.” Krrenchk smiled at the thought and absently looked down. He noticed a bit of dust on his left boot and quickly wiped it off.

 

OOC: @NorikSigma

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-----------------------------

Lewa_Protodermic_Transformation.jpg.423767a94dc72d6925130b562072f725.jpg

--------- “Guide me as I travel the land of the dead. Help me to embrace their experiences and use them to empower me.” ---------

-----------------------------

 

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IC: Zak-Yak (Underground, Somewhere near the Great Skull)

It had been what felt like days since they first entered the underground, but as far as they knew, it could have been weeks, if not months, or even years! But in the end, that didn't matter at all, all that mattered was finding their Master, their friend, Providence.

It was back when they first entered the underground back at the Ash Barrens they lost Providence, when their master chased after that subterranean Rahi that nabbed the tall blue one. Though the Mesi had been born and raised within the dark, the tunnels were still not their friends, and with a single wrong turn, they lost all trace of their friend and master. Ever since, they had been scouring the tunnels as best they could, trying to find their one and only friend, but it seemed their efforts were fruitless. 'They' believed master abandoned them, but 'Zak-Yak' and 'I' didn't believe them, with 'Zak-Yak' being too afraid to imagine a world without master and 'I' claiming that Providence wouldn't have just abandoned them like that. And so, they continued their search.

Cautiously rounding another tunnel bend, their feet lightly clacking against the stone floor, they entered a small underground chamber. It was clearly of natural formation, but what was not natural, was the odd silver glow that filled the space. Covering nearly half the space, was a large shimmering pool of silver liquid, the substance giving off a soft glow as energy seemed to course through it, pin-prick drops of the substance dropping down from stalactites on the ceiling above the pool.

It was an odd-sight, but it wasn't what they sought, what they sought was their master and so they turned to leave from whence they came. But before they could take another step, they were knocked to the ground as a tremor shook through the whole chamber, the clatter of rocks sounding out around them. As the very earth shook with apparent rage, the sound of cracking stone could be heard, as racing up and along the weakened stone faults formed, as more of that silver fluid began to pour through.

Upon the floor, the Mesi cowered, their body beginning to shift from material to ethereal as all around them the cracks grew and grew, with more of the silver fluid gushing in, till eventually, the entire chamber collapsed upon them, drowning them in a deluge of the silver substance, their thoughts frantically shifting between the three voices.

"Master! Zak-Yak needs you! Master left Us! He won't ever come back! No, Providence was our friend, he desecrated us with such love and care, he would have never left us...would he?"

Across their body, they felt nothing but pain, as their collective minds lingered upon one thought...Providence.

OOC: @Unreliable Narrator @Eyru @Vezok's Friend

Edited by Sparticus147
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IC: Knichou, Kini-Nui Airspace, The Taku

As the Taku approached one of the the raised landing pads Knichou had constructed near the center of the village, the Taku's commander was carefully choosing his next words. To the engineer, that was a much trickier maneuver.

He looked back at the scroll. Infected Mask Attunement...

As Knichou read through the descriptions of each Taboo Sorilax had written down, his heartlight sank further. He had brought Sorilax here to discuss Stannis but based on how the description of mask infections worked, there was a more urgent matter than the wizard's deceptions.

If he was reading this correctly... depending on how many Grand Wish milestones Whisper had completed, all of the matoran who had volunteered for infection, including Vulimai herself, could be possessed at any time by the Aspect. Knichou shivered at the thought of what other horrors could lie in the control over desecrated that further Grand Wish steps would allow for.

Did Taja know about this? Did anyone in the town know about this? Was this what Stannis was worried about? The Wanderer must have known, and his secrecy would have let this potential threat simmer until Whisper had consolidated even more power within Matoran leadership. How could Knichou know that Vulimai wasn't being controlled by Whisper at any time? Or her guards?

The Toa of iron was relieved that there was a solution to this besides smashing every infected mask in the valley. It was extra reassuring to know that he had ten zamor rounds filled with a solution of that solution. He knew he couldn't let that precious liquid fall into anyone else's hands - it could be the key to preventing an alien takeover of Matoran society. The Fe-Toa was also pleasantly surprised to find out that Sorilax knew of a way to reverse a desecration as well. Maybe this could help Taja, fix what he couldn't prevent from happening? Or... would it kill her?

Knichou knew what Whisper's Grand Wish was, but he only had an inkling towards Sorilax's. Maybe this was another Aspect ruse, that he had an angle here to feed on Knichou's paranoia.

Yes, that had to be it.

"You... said Mata Nui had the opposite of your Grand Wish, but I don't know much more beyond that. Could you tell me more about what yours is?"

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IC: Sorilax Life Seeker - Aspect of Light and Silence

Location - the Taku, Kini-Koro

With - Knichou

 

Sorilax nodded, “As I stated to you immediately before you suggested coming here, and I quote, ‘Due to the inherent nature of beings not being under their control, such as Skakdi as a whole being savage and warmongers, or such as Aspects being selfish and manipulative as a baseline, my Grand Wish is to integrate myself into the concept of Life itself so that I may create all future Life on even footing.’

To further delve into such matters, we must first discuss morality and the higher hidden functions of our universe.” Sorilax pulled out another scroll, this one just as thick as the already considerable scroll on Aspects and Taboos. He set it on Knichou’s desk, “In this treatise I have written down my thoughts on the concept of morality and how it might be able to be applied to everyday life. While my kin flounder at the thought of morality, it seems my goal to set Life on equal footing has given me a unique perspective. In my optics, morality has two sides, Light and Shadow. No being is all Light and no being is all Shadow, with all of Life existing in between the two. It is a secondary goal of mine to conform to what I consider moral Light with the utmost consistency.

Now let us start at the beginning. What is consciousness?

Sorilax paused to gather his thoughts, not to give Knichou time to respond like Knichou might think was the reason behind the pause. Perhaps Knichou knew him well enough by now, or perhaps not, but the sure signs of a long winded lecture were forming in how Sorilax held himself while drawing together his many ideas.

 

OOC: @BULiK
 

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-----------------------------

Lewa_Protodermic_Transformation.jpg.423767a94dc72d6925130b562072f725.jpg

--------- “Guide me as I travel the land of the dead. Help me to embrace their experiences and use them to empower me.” ---------

-----------------------------

 

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IC: Knichou, Kini-Nui Airspace, The Taku

For silence being his power, Sorilax didn't appear inclined to use it.

However, Knichou appeared relieved as the Aspect began lecturing the ex-Ghost on his thesis on the nature of morality and consciousness. As biased as this Aspect may be, Knichou knew that he himself was even more biased. Perhaps it took someone who truly wasn't alive to understand life? If Sorilax didn't have the morality of matoran, then he had to derive his morality from something else, and that process intrigued Knichou. It didn't make it right, but it made it worthy of investigation.

While the engineer continued to think on his plans given these several revelations, he leaned forwards, ready, eager even, to hear what Sorilax had to say next.

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

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IC: Parnassus | The Ambling Alp

Of course, Parnassus recognized the symbol -- it was what had flashed before their eyes as they had listened to Grime's song all those weeks. And they knew in their heart of hearts what it would do, what would be needed to complete the work that it symbolized ... and where it would take them. Charges of static electricity popped and fizzled within their essence, like lightning flashing in a thunderhead, and a new plan already began forming in their mind as the young Aspect reached up and grasped the bottle of silver liquid.

"You should have mentioned this earlier, cousin," Parnassus said with a grin as they turned back to the duo before them. "Imagine what we can do, now, together."

Then, the Aspect opened their mouth -- Caedast would have known what to expect, but Oreius? Who was to say what the desecrated was thinking when he saw Parnassus' maw open wider and wider, like a snake bearing down on their prey -- the prey, in this case, being the bloody heartlight of a king. A tongue of green-and-black smoke curled out of the Aspect's mouth and licked at the hunk of meat and metal, and there was the sound of a rasping murmur. The murmur sounded of nothing, but in the minds of both Caedast and Oreius, images were conjured: dark loam, tilled by desperate hands but cracking under a white sun. A white sun, suddenly consumed by a deep shadow, a midnight sky filled with new stars, stars like eyes, millions of eyes in the face of--

Parnassus plunged the heart into the jug.

"You'll go undesecrated by me for now, cousin," they said, grinning like a warskak. "But I hold the key to what you desire, nonetheless."

For they held in their hand a thing of beauty, born of the King of Fort Nektann and the Aspect of Boundless Horizons.

A Kraata.

"You're an uncle, Caedast."

OOC: @EmperorWhenua @Eyru

-Void

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IC: Sorilax Life Seeker - Aspect of Light and Silence

Location - the Taku, Kini-Koro

With - Knichou

 

Sorilax proceeded to dive deep into the theory of consciousness and how it related to other fundamental forces of nature. He talked of Life and Death. He talked of Rahi, Toa, and Aspects. He even moved on to Great Spirits like Irnakk. He brought up a ton of lesser topics that didn’t appear related at first, but once he had finished explaining them, he wove back into the larger topic.

He finished up, “...and that is how nature itself validates the existence of consciousness. Now, how does consciousness validate its own existence and how does morality come into play?” Sorilax paused again to gather topics for his next subject, but this time he was interrupted. Not by Knichou, but by more movement of the environment and by a voice that came from nowhere.

"Welcome to Kini-Koro Airdock."

Sorilax looked around, “What was that voice?” He looked back at Knichou, “Should we be alarmed?

 

OOC: @BULiK

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-----------------------------

Lewa_Protodermic_Transformation.jpg.423767a94dc72d6925130b562072f725.jpg

--------- “Guide me as I travel the land of the dead. Help me to embrace their experiences and use them to empower me.” ---------

-----------------------------

 

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IC: Ostrox (Kini-Koro, Bunker, Exterior) - Foreshadowing

"'God-killing'?! Is... is that - HAHAHAHAHAH - that what you think it does? I’d explain it to you, but you very clearly don’t care, much less understand. Have fun dooming the universe a second time, then! Who knows? Maybe we’ll pour out onto a new Xia, next! I can taste the smokestacks and misandry already!"

@Gecko Greavesy@Sparticus147@pokemonlover360@~Xemnas~@Snelly

 

IC: Gnabol (Kini-Koro, Airdock, The Taku, Exterior) - In Which Gnabol Imitates an Animal Noise for His Own Amusement

Gnabol took Kantai and Sanso with him to the village’s airdock, where the airship had just arrived. "Here we are, village airdock. And here is the airship. The Taku. I don’t why it’s called that. Taku are supposed to be small." He briefly imitated the body movements of one of the aforementioned Rahi, as well as their signature noise. "QUACK."

@NorikSigma@BULiK

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Profile picture done by Onaku.

:infected:

 

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IC: Sidra - Kini-Koro

"You should really get that speech impediment of yours checked out," she said, rolling her eyes as she turned away from what was clearly this village's equivalent of the homeless hermit spouting end-times drivel from the street corner. All he needed was a tin-foil hat, and the image would be complete. "I'll leave you to enunciate exaggeratedly in peace."

The fact that this rabble of idiots couldn't even seem to agree between themselves what the Sphere was or what it did left Sidra wondering if the Sphere actually did anything at all. It certainly hadn't done anything for her in the month she'd had it. But on the off chance that it did possess some power, Sidra wasn't going to hand it over to a village with subpar security and clear leadership issues. 

She'd do what she always did: figure it out herself. 

@Toru Nui

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___________________________________________________

Legends Don't Last Forever

___________________________________________________

 

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IC Kanohi - Tobduk-Koro

Councilor Kanohi began to pace, mumbling to himself. Ulkarr was not a Matoran, the leadership of Tobduk-Koro would not be solely under the control of one breed. He … his story on what happened to Ramada had still not been verified, but as of yet he had not made any moves to desecrate another Matoran, and he had alerted him to Stannis’s … confusing identity, and the rest…

Finally Kanohi said, “He has worked alongside us a long time, and he knows more about this island than us. And he seems devoted to helping the island. But the situation with Bode, I … I have a responsible to know the truth. Truth … I have heard Toa Vashni is active again, she is a Toa of Psionics, she can read minds. Ulkarr, do you think you would be alright with her verifying that as far as you know, Bode euthanized Ramaka? I believe, and I am no expert on Psionics, but I believe she can control how much she sees, and that she can only see what you choose to show her. I believe she cannot dig into your private life.”

If that idea is uncomfortable, I understand, we could try to locate a Toa with a Mask of Truth instead. I just don’t know where to find such a mask. We would not need to do it right now, but in the near future. Outside of that, if Vahki here vote for you to lead in Councilor NU’s stead directly I will accept their decision, they are smarter than me. And … your perspective already has revealed things I had not even thought to question.” His fingers twirled around his necklace.

OOC: @Toru Nui so sorry for the late reply

IC Kardaka - Ko-Pou

The Turaga of Stone paused outside the room, Energized Protodermis? But … the Golden fluid only enhanced or purified? How could it mutate Matoran in such a way? If it could do this, and this Toa was familiar with it, then either this form was an enhancement, or somehow The Energerized Protodermis on the Ark had been … corrupted.

As the group resolved to form a Kaita she swallowed, “It … it has been a while since I saw a Kaita. A healer Kaita, that might be safe. I … I will hang by, just in case.” Her memories, they remained hazy, but she thought she recalled towering hybrids of Toa, hurling elements against wildlife, clearing entire Nui-Rama Hives with ease, to mine the ground below. She … the memory was blurry, but she … she could not help but be wary. Toa had too much strength that they did not deserve, a Toa Kaita was far worse. And until they fused, there was little way to know what the Spirit’s personality would be like.  

OOC: @Tarn @Snelly@Onaku @Vezok's Friend

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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: Whisper - The Kumu Islets

For hours, Whisper drifted across the landscape. After leaving Ko-Pou, she followed the coastline, a coastline that seemed vastly different and far closer to what it had been the last time she'd come this way, over a month past. She'd heard tell that the Kumu Islets had merged with the mainland to form a peninsula, but it looked as if the change had reversed, given the channel that now separated Kumu from the mainland, along with a sizeable section of the Fau Swamp.

Sea spray flecked at her shell as she floated over the surface of the sea, holding her kraata close as she crossed. She had no idea whether her newly-improved armour would survive being immersed underwater, and she was in no hurry to find out. 

Upon reaching the other side, she continued on her way, clinging to the coastline to avoid the dangers she knew the swamp contained. 

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___________________________________________________

Legends Don't Last Forever

___________________________________________________

 

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IC: Knichou & Taku Crew, Kini-Koro, Knichou's Airdock

Everyone on the Taku felt the stomachs rise slightly during the descent, and soon afterwards they heard Berys announce their landing over the airship's intercom. The Taku's landing gear deployed and the clanging of Kanoka intensified as both weight increase and levitation Kanoka were used to carefully regulate and restabilize the velocity. The airship gently touched down, with a slight flex in the floor as the suspension in the landing gear legs compressed and rebalanced the airship.

With the ship secure on the steel platform, Arnex pulled the lever once again to begin lowering the boarding ramp. The underside of the Taku's bow split in half, with each section rotating out of the way as the ramp angled downwards under the force of large pistons on either side. Sunlight flooded into the cabin, as the ball of fire providing the illumination was at the perfect angle to coat all the passengers with it's heat due to it's own descent after a long day's work.

When the aforementioned passengers disembarked, they would find themselves on a large steel landing pad. It was a utilitarian construct, massive steel plates with a web of I-beams underneath providing support, and several pillars descending to the foundation three stories below them. A small railing wrapped around three of the rectangular landing pad's sides, with the fourth side being where the landing pad connects to the roof of a more proper building.

Unlike the landing pad, this was not the mere skeleton of a building wearing a hat, but a full-fledged three-floor warehouse and headquarters. Half of the structure's domino-shaped floor was comprised of a square cargo elevator, clearly sized to ferry vehicles and large crates up to the roof. On the other half of the roof was a small many-windowed hut with various large pieces of electronic equipment visible inside, clearly some sort of station for coordinating future air traffic. Across from the building was a mirrored construction of the landing pad the Taku now sat at.

~~~

The landing procedure distracted Sorilax from his lecture to Knichou. The professor was confused by the disembodied voice, and Knichou knew that he had to get back to work. The philosophy could wait, for now.

"Don't worry, that's just my pilot, Berys. He's using the microphone. It's like... a scroll for your voice, to copy it elsewhere. Anyways, I'd love to hear more, but it looks like we're here, and I have to visit a friend, so we'll cut this short," Knichou explained, standing up as he did so. "I have just a few questions left for you, though."

"Your Life Kraata let you blurt out Stannis's secret nature with such certainty that I now see it was useless to try to convince you otherwise. We're good friends, and yet he only let me know of his Aspect powers earlier today," Knichou half-lied. "So I don't think he's ready for the world to know yet, and that's why he tried to correct you earlier. But since you were one of the old man's companions before I became one, I'm curious..."

Knichou looked in the eyeholes of Sorilax's illuminated Calix.

"What do you remember about Stannis? Has he changed any from your prior impression? What's the All-Seeker's wish?"

Edited by BULiK
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IC: Sorilax Life Seeker - Aspect of Light and Silence

Location - the Taku, Kini-Koro

With - Knichou

 

“Don't worry, that's just me piloy, Berys. He's using the microphone. It's like... a scroll for your voice, to copy it elsewhere. Anyways, I'd love to hear more, but it looks like we're here, and I have to visit a friend, so we'll cut this short," Knichou explained, standing up as he did so. "I have just a few questions left for you, though."

A piloy. Interesting. Perhaps it was like a pilot, but for microphones? Whatever they were. Sorilax knew he should have paid more attention when he had been buying stuff from Cravious. No doubt the Skakdi had already tried to sell him all of this high tech stuff. Technology just did not interest him like Life and Taboos did. Sala and a few of the members of Le-Metru Nuva had told him about a great many things technological, but it was hard remembering them all when you had no reference to help solidify the knowledge. Airship was easy enough to remember, but nothing else seemed to be.

"Your Life Kraata let you blurt out Stannis's secret nature with such certainty that I now see it was useless to try to convince you otherwise. We're good friends, and yet he only let me know of his Aspect powers earlier today," Knichou half-lied. "So I don't think he's ready for the world to know yet, and that's why he tried to correct you earlier. But since you were one of the old man's companions before I became one, I'm curious..."

Oh, so Knichou had merely been testing him about his character. Sorilax suddenly felt majorly relieved. He no longer had to try to hide something that could possibly end up hurting the residents of Kini-Koro. Knichou continued.

"What do you remember about Stannis? Has he changed any from your prior impression? What's the All-Seeker's wish?"

Sorilax stood straight and tall, yet his body now seemed more relaxed in some way, “I am quite glad to hear that you already had the knowledge of All-Seeker’s true identity. But unfortunately I doubt I can offer enough information to be to your liking. I do not remember much, as I stated previously.

What I do remember, however, is the name Caedest. For some reason that name keeps coming to my mind when I think of her. And as I was going to- Intriguing. I called All-Seeker a ‘her’ again. Perhaps my subconscious is telling us something I have forgotten.” Sorilax scratched at his chin.

I know that All-Seeker was not in that Toa’s body before, nor did she go by Stannis. It just does not feel right in my mind. I at least am able to tell if I have familiarity with something even if I cannot remember much about it. And I was not able to be around All-Seeker long enough to tell much about her character, other than that my emotions tell me that she felt the same, if perhaps like there was a thin veil over her true self. As for her wish, I feel it must be related to Knowledge in some way.” Sorilax tried to decipher his feelings and the names Caedast had given him to be able to enlighten Knichou, “Either the distribution of it or the gathering of it. Those two feel the most likely to my mind.

But if my feelings of the past are able to be relied upon, she is possibly the most trustworthy of all Aspects I know. Or at least I felt so in the past. Not the most straightforward, mind you, but trustworthy when it comes to the preservation of Life. As long as you remain aware of the inherent nature of Aspects, you can properly weigh our actions and make informed decisions to make sure this village stays safe. That is the top priority.

When Aspects come, so comes the enticing of those seeking power to kill to acquire it. It is a dangerous and slippery slope. One that the Skakdi of this land have slid down headlong for many thousands of years now. But as long as the leadership and leadership figures of this village are aware of the costs, the rest of the population should hopefully remain secure.

 

OOC: @BULiK

Edited by Kal the Guardian
Formatting.
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-----------------------------

Lewa_Protodermic_Transformation.jpg.423767a94dc72d6925130b562072f725.jpg

--------- “Guide me as I travel the land of the dead. Help me to embrace their experiences and use them to empower me.” ---------

-----------------------------

 

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IC: Knichou, Kini-Koro, Knichou's Airdock, The Taku

Knichou drank in this knowledge with the utmost seriousness. Caedast. The name was something new. A history unknown, now only known as a lie. That made her dangerous. This had be to explored delicately. Even still, part of Knichou didn't want to believe this shadowy-yet-not being. Stannis warned of the lies of Aspects, their dangers... but perhaps that was a ruse to discount what Aspects would say about hi-her? That either made the inherent deception of shadow true, as Sorilax's documents confirmed, or false, a lie told by Standast and Sorilax to discount other aspects. But that would-

Knichou didn't think he could hate paradoxes any more than he did given what he had been through thus far.

"Your truths," Knichou began, with some reluctance. If what you have told me is true...

"... have earned you my trust," Knichou lied with a grateful nod. You will have gained my trust.

Doing his best to keep calm, Knichou walked out from behind Nale's side of the desk, and began to lead Sorilax out of the Taku.

"Thank you for you time and knowledge, this will help Kini-Koro make the best decisions going forward. I have a friend to visit now, but if you want me to fly you back to Le-Metru Nuva tomorrow, or need my services for some other reason, well, it shouldn't be that hard to find me."

The duo exited the office and was about to descend the staircase to reach the lower deck before Knichou stopped suddenly.

"Oh, I almost forgot..."

Knichou reached out to the side with his left arm, the ghostlike form of a small shield shimmering into existence as his Kanohi glowed. It had the distinctive rounded triangular shape of a heater shield, however in the center was a circular mechanism for launching Rhotuka. Around this depression in the shield was a golden engraving that depicted blasts of flames and light emanating from the corona of a star, as if the launcher's mechanism itself was eclipsing the sun to provide balance and clarity. Running through the entire depth of the shield in the center of the circular launcher was a crystal, shaped to focus light outwards into tighter beams, something that Knichou figured a light elemental might want to do from time to time.

Pulling his arm back towards himself, Knichou used his right hand to remove the shield from his forearm. Tendrils of liquid metal stretched between the Fe-Toa's armor and the back of the shield for a moment before easily snapping back to both objects. It was immediately clear the ex-Ghost's signature technology had been implemented to provide a hassle-free way to attach and detach the shield to and from any part of Sorilax's body, with the nanites reconfiguring into a perfect seal to lock the shield in place as long as the user wished it to.

"You'll be needing this."

Edited by BULiK
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IC: Sorilax Life Seeker - Aspect of Light and Silence

Location - the Taku, Kini-Koro

With -  Knichou, Two, (maybe Three depending on how the Ice Suva goes)

 

Sorilax had grabbed his scrolls from the desk and followed Knichou, safely stowing them away in his backpack. His shadow lizard poked his head out for a second, then retreated back inside.

Before they reached the lower deck, Knichou once again pulled something from a Suva. Or, at least so it appeared. It was a shield of magnificent design. As Sorilax graciously accepted and inspected it, it seemed as if the shield had been specifically designed just for him. This Knichou either had a horde of items at his disposal or was a master craftsman.

Thank you, Knichou. I am unworthy of such a masterfully crafted implement. Especially one of varied functions.” Sorilax’s attention shifted from the shield back to Knichou, “But as for your trust, I ask that you do not leap to conclusions about myself just based upon one conversation and viewing one scroll. Until I meet with the Vashni that you mentioned, everything I just said should be treated with suspicion and subjected to inquiry. You should diligently search out what is actually the truth for thyself.

I cannot understate the selfish and manipulative nature of Aspects. There are many that come with honeyed tongues to fool and beguile those of upright morality and trusting temperaments. Even if you find that an Aspect can be proved to be trusted, you must always remember their inherent nature. It cannot be changed unless through supernatural means, though one can try their best to overcome it, as I did for all those years.

All must do their best to guard both their bodies and their minds on this island. And- Oh! Another thing about Taboos, just earlier I realized there is power in the symbols and poems that accompany each Taboo. Should you learn either, I caution you on showing or speaking them to others unless you wish for any Aspects nearby to hear and learn them or to touch and learn them.

 

OOC: @BULiK

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-----------------------------

Lewa_Protodermic_Transformation.jpg.423767a94dc72d6925130b562072f725.jpg

--------- “Guide me as I travel the land of the dead. Help me to embrace their experiences and use them to empower me.” ---------

-----------------------------

 

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IC: Knichou, Kini-Koro, Airdock

Knichou chuckled - Sorilax was on the same page. It turned out Knichou's attempt at talking his way into Sorilax's good graces instead of telling him the truth of his suspicions was entirely pointless. The forthright nature of this Aspect only further added to the seeds of trust that had been planted in Knichou's mind.

"Certainly, I'll keep that in mind, thank you," Knichou said before turning back towards the stairs and descending to the lower deck.

Edited by BULiK
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IC: Sorilax Life Seeker - Aspect of Light and Silence

Location - the Taku, Kini-Koro

With -  Knichou, Two, (maybe Three depending on how the Ice Suva goes)

 

Sorilax held up the shield as Knichou continued walking, uncertain where to put it. His arms were too long and awkward to properly place near the end, and he could not just store it on his back, his backpack was there. At his sides were his knives and Echo Forks and on his shoulder was his longbow. His other shoulder was free, but the shield was too large to fit there.

That left his chest, which had two pouches strapped to it, one with a Noble Hau inside. Sorilax noiselessly undid the straps and tied them to his upper left arm. The pouches were slightly too large, but he was planning on going to Le-Metru Nuva next, where he wanted to give away the Kanohi anyway. The shield somehow magically melded to his chest when he placed it there, forming a perfect seal as if it had been designed all along to fit exactly in the center of his vessel’s chest.

That taken care of, Sorilax followed Knichou to the lower deck and his waiting Rahkshi. Sorilax floated over his hardlight box that he had created to catch the overflow of Atamai’s trough…
 

On 2/15/2021 at 5:30 PM, Kal the Guardian said:

Sorilax turned, noting that the iron trough had grown in size and sealed itself. He closed his open ended hardlight box that still had some EP in it and reduced the size, bringing it over beside himself to rest on the ground. He frowned. One pointing out that flower made him think of the flower crown he still wore that Vhisola had given him. He sure hoped Vhisola was doing well. He had wanted to check on her far quicker than a month’s span of time. Who knew how Metru-Koro was fairing after all this time.

His Life Kraata power informed him of a Toa drawing near. It was Knichou, though All-seeker was nowhere to be seen. That left only one other Aspect in the general area. If it got close enough to hear him, he would put up a wall of Silence in between himself and the Aspect.

The Toa spoke, “Sorilax. What did you just do?"

What did he just do? Sorilax played back his memory. “I was just thinking. Before that I brought the overflow of pure energized protodermis over here. Before that I was talking with One here about the flower he noticed.” He pointed to the Rahkshi of Teleporation sitting on the grass. It waved at the Toa at the mention of its very unoriginal name. “Before that I was thinking and then planning. Before that I was conversing with Sidra because it seemed she was in need of assistance. Apparently she is just tired. Before that I utilized my altered Rahkshi Taboo. And before that I was conversing with True-guesser. Though you were there for that conversation, so I suppose I need not have mentioned it.

 

...and had brought onto the Taku earlier.

 

On 2/20/2021 at 10:07 PM, Kal the Guardian said:

Sorilax was impressed with the inside of the metal structure as he noiselessly walked up the extended ramp into the bowels of the Taku. It reminded him of Cravious’ Cube, except nowhere near as sturdy looking. Although it was far cleaner.

He moved his creations, hardlight and Rahkshi, to a spot where they would not be in anyone’s way. His Life sense noted no Aspects, which was good. He would still have to keep a lookout for Infected masks, however.

The Aspect of Life patiently waited for Knichou to finish his interaction with this tall Rose being.

 

The pure EP was barely noticeable through the golden tint of Sorilax’s Light.

While Sorilax did not know the worth of Kanoka, he doubted Knichou’s gift was of equal value to what Viltia had traded. The magic metal and fine craftsmanship were too astounding. There was a Rhotuka Launcher at its center and even something he could feel the light around him was more easily focused through. He did not deserve such lofty payment for a trade he never made.

Sorilax was going to save this pure EP for later, but perhaps both Knichou and Kini-Koro deserved it far more than he did. He gestured to his hardlight box, “Would you happen to want the remains of the pure energized protodermis flood from earlier? Perhaps it can be stored for the Infected masks I noticed in the village. Should they ever need to be cleansed, that is. I cannot speak to Whisper’s character other than the obvious about all Aspects.

 

OOC: @BULiK

Edited by Kal the Guardian
Formatting. (and maybe I accidently called Whisper Whira)
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-----------------------------

Lewa_Protodermic_Transformation.jpg.423767a94dc72d6925130b562072f725.jpg

--------- “Guide me as I travel the land of the dead. Help me to embrace their experiences and use them to empower me.” ---------

-----------------------------

 

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IC: Drukarus (Fort Nektann)

Eventually, Detsu at last returned to Drukarus, bearing a list of all the bonded Skakdi warriors in attendance; their names, elements, and duties listed for the warlord to analyze and properly allocate for further training at a later date. With his soon-to-be-soldiers now given another to fight with, to hopefully grow into a capable pair of companions, there was only one last task he needed to do before he could begin planning his strategies for the siege; to organize this rabble into a proper legion, divided amongst its cohorts.

By his command and following his lead, the Skakdi followed the warlord just outside of the fort, several dozen earthen rings covering the space before them, being arranged in a neat fashion. Turning back towards the assembled warriors, Drukarus explained in simple terms what he desired from them all.

Companions of his choosing will fight against each other within the circles; to come out victorious, they must either knock out one of the two companions, or forcefully separate the opposing companions. Drukarus also made it obvious that any pair of companions that separate from each other willingly or go beyond the ring's perimeter, would be deemed as failures. He lastly said that this process would be done several time, till he could properly determine whomst amongst the Warskak were the most competent and who weren't.

With the rules laid out, all of the Skakdi companions were assigned their rings and their opponents, and were sent to fight between themselves with Drukarus keeping his eye out as best he could, Detsu assisting the warlord as best they could as well. By the time the battles were done, nearly all of the Skakdi had fought, many doing so several times.

All of them had been tested, except Drukarus himself, his second Detsu, and Krrenchk and Zekev, with the Po-Skak having been held back as to heal his fellows from their injuries.

As the last Skakdi were tested and healed of their wounds, Drukarus silently stepped forwards, Detsu dutifully moving behind him, as they entered the nearest ring. Positioning himself on the far side of the circle, he turned back towards the assembled and battle-tested Skakdi, who were now watching with anticipation at the warlord as he spoke, his gaze fixing upon the two remaining untested Skaks. "Krrenchk, Zekev, you two have yet to be tested. Enter this ring and ready yourselves."

OOC: @Kal the Guardian @NorikSigma @Conway

Edited by Sparticus147
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IC: Knichou, Kini-Koro

Knichou turned around as Sorilax addressed him. The ex-Ghost refrained from chuckling at the Aspect using the shield as a chestplate. He hadn't seen the hardlight container of EP before, probably too caught up in his various arguments to take notice. The less EP in the hands of aspects, even those are trustworthy as Sorilax, the better. Knichou formed an iron tank around the hardlight box, so that when Sorilax stopped conjuring it (Has he been doing that this whole time?) it would stay in Knichou's container.

"Absolutely," Knichou responded with a nod. "I'll keep it safe for whenever we might need to use it."

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IC: Sorilax Life Seeker - Aspect of Light and Silence

Location - the Taku, Kini-Koro

With -  Knichou, Two, (maybe Three depending on how the Ice Suva goes)

 

Ah, good.” Sorilax dismissed the hardlight box. It was a good thing his thousands of years of practice making solid shadow objects for days at a time translated to his new element. And speaking of elements, he needed to make time to study Psionics. It was so fascinating to think that he now had access to another element. But first he needed to see for himself how Le-Metru Nuva was doing. He wished to tell the villagers of the good news of his successful change in nature. That meant finding Sidra, who was probably waiting for him at this point.

They reached the top of the exit ramp. Sorilax turned to Knichou, “Well, I wish you safety and prosperity for all your endeavors. I shall not keep you from your other obligations. Farewell, Toa Knichou.

 

OOC: @BULiK

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-----------------------------

Lewa_Protodermic_Transformation.jpg.423767a94dc72d6925130b562072f725.jpg

--------- “Guide me as I travel the land of the dead. Help me to embrace their experiences and use them to empower me.” ---------

-----------------------------

 

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IC: Knichou, Kini-Koro, Airdock Prime

Knichou gave Sorilax another nod - he didn't want to be the one to have to teach the being what a handshake was.

"Likewise, Sorilax. Safety, prosperity, et cetera to you as well."

The commander looked around the room. Seeing Arnex, his eyes locked on to her as he spewed his latest orders.

"Get this container to the Armory. I'll be at the hospital, call me if you need me," the ex-Ghost said, tapping the side of his kanohi. He subsequently turned around and walked down the Taku's front ramp. He continued to move forwards, slowly increasing in speed, until he was at a light jog. The Fe-Toa leapt off the side of the landing pad, twisting around mid air to look back at those still on the airship. The smiling Toa gave a casual salute to those watching as his body descended out of their sight. A few seconds later, the sounds of his jetpack could be faintly heard as they softened his descent.

The elevator he had built on the building was nice, but sometimes you have to leave in style. The rush of flying was too good to not go downstairs the fast way, and he had a feeling he was already running late anyhow.

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IC: Sorilax Life Seeker - Aspect of Light and Silence

Location - the Taku, Kini-Koro

With - Two, (maybe Three depending on how the Ice Suva goes)

 

Sorilax watched as Knichou’s armor magically grew thrusters and propelled the Toa away. Just what kind of alternate Taboo magic did that Toa unlock? Could it just be technology he just didn’t understand?

No matter, he needed to go find Sidra. Sorilax mentally commanded his Rahkshi to follow him and he silently walked down the ramp and away from the Taku, his glowing form moving about as he tried to figure out how he was supposed to get down off the raised platform.

 

OOC: @Eyru Sorilax is now paused concerning current events until he finishes up in the past with the Ice Suva.

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-----------------------------

Lewa_Protodermic_Transformation.jpg.423767a94dc72d6925130b562072f725.jpg

--------- “Guide me as I travel the land of the dead. Help me to embrace their experiences and use them to empower me.” ---------

-----------------------------

 

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IC: The Cartographer, Ko-Metru

The midday sun beat down on the icy, reflective surfaces that covered Ko-Metru, cascading brilliant displays of light prisms across the city. It was breathtaking, even after seeing it a million times before. The Cartographer was blessed: he got to live out his days in this beautiful utopia, while occupying his time exploring and mapping the nethers of Ko-Metru, and the island-city as a whole.

Today was like any other day. The Cartographer was on his way back from an early-morning survey trip, and with the newly acquired survey data, he could continue his work on his passion project: mapping out the infamous and mysterious Ko-Metru Hideaway. The building's true purpose was lost to time, and yet to be rediscovered. But the Cartographer had had an endless fascination with it since his earliest days, and he was determined to unravel it's mysteries.

Most times, he found himself making and producing copies of his more conventional Chute maps, seafaring trade routes, and the like. It wasn't his favorite work, but it was his most popular and profitable. Plus, it allowed him to cross paths with many interesting characters, who in turn gave him tidbits of info they'd picked up in their travels. This knowledge was invaluable for his hobby of seeking out and mapping ruins.

The Cartographer reached the large bay door at the base of a Knowledge Tower that denoted the entrance to his Cartography Office, and pushed a small switch set into a metal panel on the wall. An inset light blinked, indicating the signal was received, and the bay door began to slide upward, and fill the dimly-lit office with light. It was the usual organized chaos; piles of old tomes, handwritten eyewitness accounts, journals, and old maps were scattered throughout the floors and piled high on the desks, yellowed and musty with age. Even more maps were pinned to the walls, leaving little bare wall surface exposed. A few small transports were tucked off to one side, mostly sleds and hoverbikes, save for one, luxurious teal airship which stuck out like a sore thumb. He still wasn't entirely sure how his assistant had managed to finagle such a ship for their cause, but he also didn't ask questions.

Speaking of assistants...

Tuatara emerged from behind one of the stacks of books, frantic and bearing an exasperated look on his face. He pointed furiously to a handheld radio in his hand, from which few words could be made out over the radio squelch. The Cartographer turned his full attention to his assistant.

"Did you hear?!" His voice was fraught with concern that matched his facial expression. "Amateur tomb explorers! They got past the barricade at C-23. Something went wrong. Search and rescue is there!"

The Cartographer struggled to comprehend. Amateur explorers weren't often heard of, at least not out in these inhospitable wastes. C-23 was a dangerous tomb, and the Cartographer had yet to fully survey it. But what he did know from experience was that it was heavily booby trapped, and not a place for SARtechs, let alone amateurs. One misstep and they could be dead.

"C-23?! How? It took me 3 years to find that one myself, and I had the engineering team go down there and weld a hatch over it until I could return," The Cartographer contemplated. What would he do? The Search and Rescue crews, as well as the explorers, were as good as dead without someone with knowledge of the tombs. Although he was no trained rescuer, he knew what he had to do. "Tuatara. Listen to me. Get my pack. I need crampons, rope, hooks, and some weight-stones. Load it into the hoverbike please."

Tuatara acknowledged with a nod, and scurried away to carry out his task. Tuatara knew full well what the Cartographer was getting himself into, but he knew him long enough to know to not try to convince him otherwise; between his passion for his people, their home and culture, and his bullheaded stubbornness, the effort would be futile. The Cartographer turned on his heels, and quickly ran back to his desk, grabbing a fistful of notes and a map. From a hook nearby he retrieved a distinct cloth half-cloak, black, and bordered with foreign-looking runes. He threw it over himself, and drew the hood over his face, which was fixed in a a determined, emotionless state, with his brow slightly furrowed.

The sound of a full bag hitting metal fender behind him indicated to the Cartographer that Tuatara had completed his task. He turned, and approached his assistant, who was making final preparations, lashing the bag to the cargo rack on the rear fender of the bike. "You're good to go. I threw a flare and some extra rations in there, and some cloaks for the explorers," Tuatana stated matter-of-factly, trying to hide the slight quiver of worry that carried in his words. The Cartographer nodded, and mounted the bike. Suddenly, the assistant's hand reached out to his wrist, and grabbed.

"Hey, be careful out there," Tuatara said sincerely. "You need to get back in one piece to finish that Silver Sea trade map; I don't need those Ta-Metruvian merchants coming and stringing me up for not delivering."

The Cartographer chuckled. He appreciated Tuatara's humor in the darkest of times. But he was serious; those merchants weren't the friendliest of fellows. "Goodbye."

The bike's engine came to life with a thunderous roar as the Cartographer's right wrist rotated back, activating the throttle. The bike took off like a Muaka-cat fixated on the smell of distant prey. He weaved through the streets at a frantic pace, slaloming through traffic until the structured roads gave way to the snow plains of the outer wastes. Snow cascaded behind the hoverbike, thrown aloft by the forces of the rear propulsor, creating a large cloud of powdered snow around him, forming a cloud. He wiped his driving goggles with his left hand so he could continue to see.

The wastes were endless, and the infinite blanket of snow seemed to stretch the horizon beyond the realm of existence. The snow blanketed everything, leaving little in the way of landmarks for wanderers out here to orient themselves. It was a formidable, inhospitable land. He couldn't imagine the fear in the hearts of the explorers, lost in the deepest of these wastes. Curiosity was a most useful tool to the Matoran, and what had allowed them to thrive as they had. For the world to punish two for catering to their curiosity would be an utmost travesty.

After an hour of traveling, the unbroken landscape gave way to a long, narrow depression in the earth; not unlike a scar. At the mouth, sat a small airship, with white-and-orange livery, emblazoned with the emblem of the Metru-Nui Search and Rescue. His heart sunk; he hoped they hadn't entered C-23 yet, or they'd already be dead. Grinding the bike to a sudden halt, he dismounted, and removed his bag. Slinging it over his back, he drew the cloak tight to his face to keep the violent wind from him. He approached the airship to find the two rescuers setting up a rope to descend into the crevasse, and toward the tomb entrance. They turned, surprised looks on their faces. Surely they hadn't expected to encounter anyone else out here.

"You're not going in there!" The Cartographer shouted to the techs, his voice competing with the howl of the wind. Confused, the tech got up and approached.

"Who are you? What the Karz are you talking about?" The SARtech was hostile; as expected when securing a dangerous scene. But the Cartographer would not waver.

"With all due respect, you may be good at rescuing folk from perilous situations, but you can't tell me for a minute you know what's beyond the door of that tomb." He stated, matter-of-factly. The rescuer paused, seeming to contemplate the Cartographer's words.

"And I presume you have a suggestion?" the tech snapped back sharply.

"Yeah. You're going to wait at the entrance while I go in. Alone." Without waiting, he moved past the technician toward the rope he'd set to descent into the crevasse, and started his descent.

"What the Karz are you--" The sound of the technician's frustrated voice faded quickly as he descended. He could see his fists waving in the air, and he was sure to follow down. But the Cartographer would not let them in. He wasn't going to let anyone perish on his watch.

The unassuming scar in the earth appeared much differently within it's depths. It trailed and winded like a long, twisted hallway, claustrophobic and suffocating in it's darkness. He withdrew a lightstone from his bag, and suddenly, sickly shadows grew and shrunk from the jagged cliff walls around his as he trudged toward C-23. Two pair of footsteps followed a similar path. They weren't fresh, although still visible. Considering the amount of snow that's been coming in today, they couldn't have been in more than two hours so far, which meant that hopefully they hadn't gone too far in.

The entrance to the tomb was far more humble than many of the ones the Cartographer had explored. A simple, rectangular doorway carved into the cliff, flanked by steles, that, before they were exposed to the elements for millenia, probably described who was buried there. That was now lost to time. A steel door, once fixed to the doorway to prevent unauthorized entry, and been cut and peeled away, presumably by the torch that lay abandoned near itBarring the fuel-torch and the ruined door, the only sign that anyone living was in there, were the two pair of footsteps that seemed to beckon the Cartographer inside. He checked his rough map of the first chambers of the tomb to refresh his memory on the layout, before putting it safely back into his back, and withdrawing the lightstone again. He would need to move slowly, and be mindful of any actuators for traps. He didn't need a repeat of last time.

He descended the immaculate steps, that surely only a handful of feet to ever touch them since the constructors of the catacomb had left. The walls were plain stone-carved, and almost perfectly even and smooth. A feat of engineering, to be sure. He stepped out into the first chamber, a  rectangular room, it's widest dimension spreading out to the Cartographer's left and right, with three doors: one dead ahead, and one to each side. When he had entered last time, he had found a way to open the center door, and keep progressing. But the center door remained closed. Only the door on the left, closed when he had visited, was now open. He swallowed, a lump of fear forming in his throat. He hadn't planned for this; he didn't think anyone would have gotten down a different path than he.

"Hello?" He called out into the darkness beyond the unexplored door. His voice echoed down whatever was beyond as if it bounced off the walls. No reply. The Cartographer's grip tightened on his lightstone, and his eyes narrowed. He'd be going in blind.

The left door led to a small room with a sepulcher. A corpse, draped in cloth, slept silently in death on the platform in the sepulcher, a blade in his crossed hands. Presumably a warrior of some kind. That was not a good sign. From all of the tombs he had entered previously, many patterns and similarities appeared. It appeared that the builders of these tombs buried not only their dead kings, but the dead king's invaluable material possessions as well. By tradition, they tended to place the treasures on a separate path as the burial chamber, and flank the route with the king's dead warriors, intending that their spirits, and the cruel traps they placed in the chamber, would deter any tomb robbers. Or explorers. Or, cartographers. Karz.

Korruhn walked for what seemed like ever, winding from hallway to chamber, and back again. He didn't get far though, as he had to move with extreme caution, lest he want this to become more of a rescue than it already is. On occasions, he used his weight-stones to trigger traps he couldn't avoid, and clear them for the trip back out. By the time he estimated himself to be about a half-kilometer into the catacomb, he heard a voice.

"HEEEEELP!" The cry was shrill, pained and fearful; but it was easily identifiable as a Matoran's. The Cartographer's heart raced, and it took every ounce of his being to not rush toward the sound.

"Hello! I'm here to get you! Wait for me there, I'm coming!" he shouted, trying to reassure the Matoran he couldn't yet see. He couldn't have any panic now, or they could all be injured, or worse. Both of their fates relied on the Matoran remaining calm. He paused a moment in a doorway between a small sepulcher chamber and the next hallway from where the voice came from, waiting to see if he would emerge.

Suddenly, he heard the shuffle of feet. But not at a walking pace.

It was followed by the distinct sound of a stone switch sinking into the ground. The Cartographer's heart sank to his stomach, and began to churn. He gripped his lightstone tighter than ever, and proceeded forward. He couldn't wait now. If he didn't get the Matoran out of the hallway, he would die.

As he burst forward out of the doorway, a great rumble shook the hallway, kicking up eons of dust, clouding the room. The walls shook violently, before suddenly beginning a horrible lurch towards the center of the chamber. They'd both be crushed in the next minute if they didn't get out. But the Cartographer wouldn't leave a Matoran to die.

He ran forward harder and faster than he ever had, pushing the very limits of his physiology. His lungs and muscles screamed. The Matoran suddenly emerged from the could of dust; eyes wide with fear, and careening toward the Cartographer as hard as he toward the Matoran, before catching up to him. He leapt over him, so the Matoran was now closer to the exit of the chamber.

"Go, don't stop!" The Cartographer shouted desperately, staying right on the Matoran's heels as they ran for dear life from the walls that now nearly brushed their shoulders. The safety of the previous chamber was only about 10 feet out when the Matoran tripped. Karzkarzkarzkarzkarz, the Cartographer cursed in his head. They were screwed.

He scooped the Matoran, using his momentum to shove the Matoran forward with all his might, right out the doorway into the chamber. The Cartographer ran with every ounce of energy left in his body towards the door, and leapt. But then, he stopped.

The first sign of trouble was the sound of stone-on-metal, a grinding, nauseating sound. The Cartographer tried to step forward with his right foot, when he suddenly realized: His right leg, just above the knee, was wedged between the compressing walls. He quickly fell on his face as the walls began to crush his leg.

"AGHHHHHH!" The scream was blood-curdling, stomach-churning. Just hearing it was painful. The walls closed slowly and mercilessly on his leg, crushing it like a mote of dust. There was nothing he could do but scream, as the Matoran he saved cried and shouted, trying to free him. The screams of agony were soon joined by the sickening sounds of compressed, bursting biotics, and twisted metal scraping desperately against the immeasurable force of the walls.

The last thing the Cartographer remembered was wishing to die.

---

MUSIC: 

 

Korruhn, Kumu Peninsula

The blood-drenched warrior sighed a deep sigh. He knew what he had to do, but he knew he would have to sacrifice another part of himself to do it. But was it worth it? Would his loss truly be his civilization's gain, or would it just serve to turn him into the very evil he vowed to vanquish as he became a Toa?

Time was often taken for granted. The time to think, to weigh options, determine the best course of action. But Korruhn was not afforded that luxury often these days. He hadn't much time to reflect, or look back. He could only follow his instinct and start down a path, carrying his intent to save his people as his war-banner, no matter where his fate would take him.

This decision couldn't be taken lightly. He would be marked after this, he would no longer share the fundamental link to his species. They may even grow to revile him. But, it did not matter. He needed to know what was beyond the veil; who's grand design it was to wipe he and his species' existence from the face of history. No matter the cost.

Korruhn chose not to answer the Aspect immediately. Instead, he needed something first. If he was to go face whatever lies beyond, he would have to show them he meant business. The Toa stepped forward, and suddenly fell to the ground. His artificial left leg clattered to the ground behind him. Sturdy as it was, the fight with the Rahkshi must have knocked it loose. He chuckled, briefly forgetting the pain of reality and enjoying the hilarity of tripping on his own leg. Reaffixing it to the stem on his thigh, he ensured it was secured tight and rose to his feet. He turned to Miserix, who watched him quizzically through the body of Grime.

"Hey, I'm the best chance you've got," Korruhn said, shrugging. He walked over to the mangled corpse of the Rakshi. All that remained intact were the mask and spikes. Picking them up, he lashed the Rahkshi's helmet to his left shoulder over his cracked shoulder armor, and affixed the spikes along the outer edge of his left arm. He brought his arm up, examining the new attachments, as well as his weapon. He couldn't trust anyone else, so least he could do was be armed to the teeth.

"Well," Korruhn said, his voice devoid of any emotion. He had reconciled with his decision. He'd rather die an exile saving his people, than live long enough to watch them die. "Start the ritual. We need to get going."

OOC: @Unreliable Narrator

 

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IC: Korio Karasha - Irnakk's Tooth

On 2/15/2021 at 2:53 AM, EmperorWhenua said:

{Korio!}

{Status report?}

The Vo-Skakdi groaned as he continued to shuffle against the cavern wall. In his head, he kept his humor. Still in one piece. Not counting the chips of armor I'm missin', he replied. Stupid, bloody--they musta done something to redirect my shot. Blew up in my face. Lit'rally. Yscocla...

...should be fine.

The much larger, impressive figure of Zataka moved past him and put herself between him and incoming danger, giving Korio a brief moment to rest against the wall and let out a grunt that sounded like, "Thanks." He didn't think he'd be saying that. Not to 'Taka, at least. 

On 2/18/2021 at 4:12 PM, Vezok's Friend said:

:Stop oogling my back and take them out before they regroup!:

Korio then slyly responded (out loud), "Heh. Don't...be so full of yerself at a time like this, love."

The Vo-Skakdi pushed himself forward, past the titan, nocking a (not-explosive) bolt in his crossbow. The pain in his back was becoming something akin to background noise as he tried to focus more on what he was about to do to their opponents, the things he always enjoyed doing in service of Yumiwak. Behind him, vines burst from the ground. Plants could grow in volcanoes? Huh, he was always learning new things. Korio was too busy to deal with it, or give his allies any warning. He was now much closer to the Mesi, and could see Ysocla attacking one of them at the end of the tunnel behind a barrier bigger than the others he'd come across. Real sneaky of her, he thought. Like the others, a hole had been put in them by the energy beam from earlier, and although a pair of the other Mesi were staying well-hidden behind it to avoid exposing themselves to their enemy, Korio could make out a bit of armor that looked to be covered in plantlife peeking out.

He wasn't keen on trying to fire another bolt at these fellows, not because he was in danger of one exploding in front of him again, but because he had little he could do with his bow here. Instead, Korio pulled up his cracked goggles, optics beginning to glow a brighter crimson, and blasted the barrier before him with his laser vision.


OOC: Korio is firing off his vision power at the part of the barrier that Marrow is behind.

@EmperorWhenua@pokemonlover360@Vezok's Friend@Gecko Greavesy

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:kaukau:[Six Kingdoms: Apocalypse Profiles]:kaukau:
[BZPRPG]
(shout out to max)

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IC: Kini-Koro Hospital

Arkius slowly opened his eyes, his vision gradually coming into focus as he took a deep breath. He realised he was lying on a bed. Lying down, his field of view was encompassed almost entirely of the ceiling, which seemed reminiscent of a Metru-Nui hospital, though distinct in its own way. Letting his eyes trail around the room, he realised he was in fact in a hospital room. He also realised he wasn’t alone.

“... Nale?” He muttered with a hint of confusion as he slowly came to, his hand weakly trailing up to his face to touch on the mask he realised he’d woken up wearing. A Pakari, by the feel of it. Not that he could use it, he realised. That feeling of invigoration he usually felt when wearing a mask wasn’t present, though neither was the feeling of weakness he felt without one. He just felt… baseline. Unremarkable. He wasn’t sure what to make of it. His thoughts returned to the Toa of Magnetism in the room with him.

“Who else would it be?” came the rhetorical response as Nale got up from her seat, moving to the side of the Onu-Toa’s bed. Despite a slight change in color scheme, it was unmistakably the woman Arkius had spent the latter days of Metru Nui (and the early days of Zakaz) with. “I...was almost worried you wouldn’t wake up.”

“No such luck." He lightly retorted, giving her a faint smile, though there was an underlying hint of sadness in his vibrant green eyes as he looked at her. “Nale, I… owe you an explanation… and I owe you an apology.”

“As do I,” she replied, crossing her arms. “An explanation, that is. But you can go first.”

Arkius nodded, a faint sigh escaping his lips as he sat up in the bed, resting against the pillows. “I don’t know what you’ve been told, but… I’m not entirely the same Arkius as the one you knew a month ago. I have the same memories, and for the most part the same identity… but… a part of me has been removed. I can feel its absence, and that absence… gives me a certain clarity. For most if not all of my life in the world we both lived in, I was… well, plagued, by a deep underlying rage, one that drove me on and gave me strength… but also clouded my judgment, and…” Arkius paused, wincing, “well, you’re perhaps more aware of it than anyone else. I did things. Things that I can’t take back. Things that I, looking back on them, have come to regret.”

“We all have regrets. Especially after everything we’ve been through. Some of us…” she paused, optics briefly passing over the room before returning to Arkius. Flashes of the Archives moved across her vision. “...more than others. Katrin told me what happened, I’m not going to pretend I really understand how it works. But I’m not so sure one can just excise a part of themselves like...decaying tissue.”

“Nale… that rage wasn’t natural. It’s not something I was even aware of until a month ago, but I’d been carrying around something… someone in the deepest corners of my mind. Turns out I’m… not who I thought I was. I’m not originally from the world you called home. I had lived an entire life before that, a life I had forgotten. A life that… well… created a monster. A monster that was sitting like a caged animal in the deepest depths of my subconscious, poisoning me with its rage… And now it’s gone. For the first time in as long as I can recall, I am my own person. I’m… not sure how to really feel about that.” Arkius touched his mask again, pondering. “Is there a mirror in here?”

Nale looked around the room, still not entirely believing the Toa of Earth’s words but willing to keep listening. “You know, now isn’t the best time to tell me you’re an alien,” she said with little humor to her voice. The Fa-Toa soon found a small, head-sized mirror among some nearby instruments. She handed it to Arkius. “They gave you a Pakari. Must have assumed it was mask loss-induced syncope.” Nale shrugged. “I figured Toa didn’t get that.”

“I was beaten unconscious with my own element. Simple as that.” Arkius regarded his visage in the mirror with some curiosity, looking the mask’s features over. “I don’t think I even need to wear a mask any more. Strange that they should have given me this one… With how it remains colourless, it almost makes me look like someone I remember from my other life… Someone I feel a strange kinship with now. Perhaps it is a sign.” Arkius placed the mirror on the table next to his bed and sighed, before looking back at Nale. “The blue suits you, by the way. Is that the nanomaterial from Knichou?”

Nale touched her Kakama, then in a somewhat fantastical display used her element, causing the nanites to spread out like waves and reveal the Kanohi’s original gunmetal coloration--and the burn scar she still bore. “Yes, I...we’ve been working together on upgrading ourselves. Our abilities. I was left somewhat weaponless following the Skakdi attack at Po-Koro and now, well...he may have gotten a bit carried away.”

“The blue means friendly, apparently. Something in the programming that can identify enemies and allies, I think. I just like the look of it. If you’d like, perhaps Knichou could…”

Arkius looked thoughtful, his eyes moving down from Nale to look over himself. He raised his hand up and looked at it, turning it to look at the palm of his hand before clenching it into a fist. “Perhaps. I haven’t just lost the need to wear masks. I can’t use them. Nor do I have access to my element any more, if I even have an element at all. It’s all gone. I can’t feel any of it there any more. What you see right now is all I am. Just a bunch of muscles on a mechanical framework… Almost like a matoran, in a way. That’d be a first for me.”

Nale cocked her head to one side. First she learns Arkius was “not of this world,” so to speak, and now she learns even more. She wondered how much more about the Toa of Earth she still didn’t know--how much more he didn’t know of himself. “A first? Don’t tell me you’re that old, Arkius. You were never a Matoran?”

The formerly earthen Toa shook his head. “I was built as a Toa. Forged by the creator master of my world. My old world… His world. I suppose the equivalent in yours was Artakha, but I never knew him.” Arkius sighed, looking out the window for a moment before his eyes returned to Nale again. “... But I suppose that’s enough about my forgotten past. What I want to discuss now is the present. Not to mention the future. That… is actually where my apology comes in.”

Nale sat back down, playing catch-up in her head with all of the new information she’d learned. “Then...go on with it,” she said, gesturing to Arkius. “I believe this has been a long time coming.”

Arkius nodded. “It has. That week that I shared with you… despite everything, I was happy. The time I spent with you was maybe the happiest I’ve felt in the longest time… But I don’t know if the feeling was mutual. I don’t know if I can believe it was…” He turned on the bed, moving his feet so that he sat on the edge, a look of regret on his features. “I don’t think I was good for you. It’s… probably for the best if we break it off. I’m sorry, Nale.”

She looked down at the floor for a moment, optics moving as if they were following something that wasn’t there. She did say she had an explanation to make of her own, but how would she do it in this kind of...sensitive situation. “The feeling was mutual, for a time,” Nale replied. She looked back up at Arkius. “But times do change, so do people. I have my own demons--and I needed to find a different way to deal with them.”

Nale stood again, and began pacing the room. She was beginning to have a hard time looking at the element-less Onu-Toa. “Do you remember when we parted ways? When I joined the Taku, and we went our own paths?”

Arkius nodded again. “I do.” His eyes, resting on Nale, narrowed slightly, before widening with realisation. “You and… Knichou?”

She froze in place, mid-step, turned away from him. Nale’s optics shot up at the ceiling--if she still believed in a God, now would have been quite the time for divine intervention. “Yes, not long after that...I’m sorry that I didn’t have the guts to break it off sooner, instead of...well, doing that.”

He looked down at the floor in front of him, a melancholic look on his face. But it was broken up as a faint but happy smile spread across his features. “You don’t have to be… I’m happy for you two.” His eyes slowly trailed across the floor until they were back on Nale, a faint mixture of sadness and joy painting them. “Knichou is… a good man, as far as I’ve known him. I hope you’ve been happy together.”

She looked over her shoulder at Arkius, a bit surprised. A bit relieved. This had been the nagging thought at the back of her mind since becoming a permanent crewmember of the Taku. The big bomb waiting to go off--the moment Nale knew would come, but not sure when. And despite her anxieties, despite what she expected...well, this was nothing like she imagined it.

“You really have changed,” was all she said.

“... For the better, I hope.” He responded, nodding. 

Nale nodded back. “Knichou will be happy to see you up and about. Should I--”

From inside the chamber, the duo could see a Ga-Matoran open the door. After she pointed inside the room, the nurse moved on to deal with more patients in another part of the recovery ward, shifting the packs of ice she was carrying underneath her other arm.

Immediately after she left, Toa Knichou strolled through the threshold. He looked uncharacteristically irritated, but the scowl lifted to a smile as he saw Arkius was not only conscious, but sitting upright.

“See? I told you the old man had been through worse,” The Fe-Toa said, using his elemental powers to telekinetically remove two large cylinders from his nanite backpack and set them down nearby. Five orbs embedded within each tube swished with a metallic golden liquid. Without the zamor racks encumbering the ex-Ghost, his posture straightened, and the Nynran stretched his back slightly.

“Actually,” he continued, drawing a circle in the air with an index finger around one of his optics. “You’re looking rather healthy for being half the Toa you used to be.”

“I feel more whole now than I did back then.” Arkius responded, before a playful smile came to his face. “And who are you calling an old man? I’m as spry as a-” Turning around, his expression turned to one of surprise as he regarded the mask Knichou wore. “... Is... that the Mask of Creation?”

Nale pointed to the cylinders the Toa of Iron had brought in. “Better question--what are these?”

“Energized protodermis, fresh from Kilo unlocking its robot. Funny how that worked out. It’s for… experiments. Long story,” Knichou answered. He really didn’t want to get into the details of what he had learned of the substance’s usage right now. “As for the mask… well… yeah, it is. Another long story.”

“... Unlocking its robot?” Arkius asked, even more perplexed. His expression then turned thoughtful, his eyes darting to the side as he recalled something. “Robot…” Finally he shook his head. “Well, your nanomaterial has certainly given the mask a unique look. I suppose it’s easier now than ever to make it too, with that mask at your disposal?”

“Essentially, yes,“ the Nynran casually replied with a humble yet simultaneously not-so-humble shrug. ”I invented it, after all, and used it to design my adaptive armor, so I know exactly how to make more of it, which is critical for one way this Kanohi functions.”

Arkius nodded with a fascinated smile. "Maybe you could show me how it works later. I've always been interested in mechanics, I just… never found the time." A hint of melancholy crept into his expression and tone at the last few words.

“Yeah… if anyone needs better armor… well… you deserve it,” Knichou responded awkwardly, moving his hands about in a vague gesture as if he was unsure where to put them. He didn’t want to harp on Arkius getting beat up all the time but well… it was the truth.

“Thanks for making sure he was okay,” Knichou told Nale, still completely oblivious as to why she insisted on going with Arkius earlier. “Have the other two Toa recovered this quickly?”

“I’ve yet to check on them,” Nale replied. She was so focused on Arkius, the others had almost slipped her mind. “But...Katrin did look worse. It may take her and Jutori longer. We can go check on them, they’re just the next room over.”

“Yes… my, er, counterpart did… a number on them.” A hint of grimness crept into Arkius’ features. “He’s… still out there. Sharing my name, my memories… My name is that of a monster...” Arkius sighed, slumping a bit, before shaking his head. “I’m sorry, I’m… brooding out loud. Kat and Jutori got the worst of it. Kilo too, before his transformation restored him.”

“You’re not that bad, Arkius,” Knichou consoled, crossing his arms as his face portrayed his doubts about the Onu-Toa’s statement. “You’ve always been there for us, you’re probably overreacting. This other Arkius was probably just frightened and confused.”

Arkius shook his head. “No, you don’t understand. I have his memories. His life, before my life. In the beginning, I think we were alike, but… somewhere along the line… he crossed a steep threshold and never looked back. That man, Arkius, committed literal genocide. Multiple species wiped off the map because they wouldn’t concede to his tyranny. I’m not exaggerating when I call him a monster. He lived with the name Arkius for far longer than I did. I’m just… an afterimage of him. The name is his and it carries his legacy of blood even if no one in this world knows of it. I know it. I always will…”

Nale looked to Knichou with concern. Did carrying someone's name make their crimes yours? Did it depend on the hand who committed them, or the identity behind them? At what point did these two personalities divert--become distinct people, with very different intentions. Excising dead tissue, that’s what she had compared it to. And this other Arkius...may as well have been dead.

It was certainly an intricate matter.

“You’re you. You don’t have to be that Arkius, or Arkius at all,” Knichou spoke up, breaking the silence by delivering the statements with a tone as serious as ever. The Nynran may have exuded a more carefree, youthful demeanor since his transformation to a Toa, but underneath that newfound biological youth, he carried the wisdom of a matoran who had lived many lives. Travelling to and fro during his exile before finally settling in Artakha, the ex-Ghost knew the power of a name, a family, a history. The Ghosts were as revered as they were cursed, it was simply a matter of whether you regarded the perspective of those on either end of their weapons. That kind of history stuck to one like a shadow, always present under a person, even in the brightest of new environments, for the closer and brighter the light, the sharper and more universal the shadows became.

“Arkius doesn’t have to be you. You can always forge a new legacy for yourself. In fact… you already have. Nobody among us knows this ‘other’ Arkius - to me you’ve always been Stannis’s friend, my protector, Metru-Nui’s defender. That is what we remember.”

Arkius looked thoughtful, considering Knichou’s words. “I don’t have to be Arkius… Yes… I suppose you’re right. A name… is only a name.” The formerly earthen toa stroked his chin. “Perhaps, in the end, what I am named should follow the legacy I uphold, rather than the other way around.”

He sat up straighter on the bed, vigor seeming to return to him as his eyes lit up. “There is someone, someone whom… well, my counterpart recalls with deep hatred. He was a man of virtue and strength. He was my… his descendant. This mask I wear is akin to the one he wore. If I am to carry the name of my kin, perhaps it should be him.” 

“And what name is that?” Nale asked, curious.

Having been looking ahead at nothing in particular, the formerly earthen toa now turned to look upon the two other toa in the room with him, giving them an appreciative smile.

“Call me Onaku.”

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IC: Viltia - Toa of the Green

Location - Kumu Peninsula

With - Life Kraata creation Muaka

 

The mists were thin, but still present, keeping Viltia from an unobstructed view of her surroundings. Because of this, she wandered to and fro, searching for something, anything, that might offer the knowledge the Administrator wanted. The obsidian and basalt landscape was rough and uneven, often sharp and jagged. Though her tethers propelled her easily over it. Thankfully they were as resilient as her own body was though they were organic.

Her movement was fluid, as if she were floating through the air as her softly glowing silver tendrils instinctually sought out footholds. She didn’t even need to look as she moved, much like how she didn’t have to look at what she was stepping on when she walked normally.

Her created Muaka, on the other hand, was having a rough time. His tread helped him with most of the uneven terrain, but he was having a hard time keeping up with Viltia. After a few hours of searching, Viltia decided to take a break. The Muaka slumped down onto the ground, only slightly winded.

While it may be a living creature with its own mind instead of just merely a normal duplicate, it was bound to obey Viltia’s every command. Part of that meant walking until it died from exhaustion. Although as a Muaka, its body was built for roaming vast swaths of land all day. But as a duplicate from a swamp Muaka, this terrain was a little outside of what its body was used to.

Viltia sat down as well, leaning against the side of her companion. The journey so far had been kind of boring and after a while, even the feeling of potential danger around every corner had subsided. She was still amazed at how her Life Kraata let her know the location and species of every tiny little Rahi and insect that lived nearby. Even in this desolate place, life teemed just out of sight, waiting to be discovered underneath many rocks.

There was a sort of layering to the Life Kraata’s incoming information when she wasn’t focused on it. Tiny insects were a sort of subtle background, a general blend of greens and browns. Small Rahi were like trees off in the distance, with some shape discernible but most details lost to the distance. Larger Rahi and insects were like bushes in the foreground, each leaf vivid and defined. And sentient species were like vibrant splashes of color, fruit on a tree right in front of her.

Of course that was just if she didn’t focus on the power. There was more control and variance if she put her attention on it. She would really need to explore the depths of her new Kraata powers when she had the chance. But right now her focus was on getting a Golden Mask. Oh! And then getting NUVA. She longed to embrace not just Life, but Death and the Stars. Sidra had said she had died. Twice. Once for NUVA and once to get the Kaita mech. Viltia wanted to experience death, see if she couldn’t help out and merge with those on the other side of Life. Or just learn more to make a mask of Death perhaps.

If that was successful, then all she had left were the stars. After making her legendary mask of Growth and seeing the Mask of Creation, ideas were forming in her head about some Kanohi to help her bridge that gap to the stars. But the gap was a vast void and there was much she didn’t understand about legendary masks on the level of the Mask of Creation. There were some in between steps she needed to take that she couldn’t quite figure out yet. Some technique or knowledge that kept her from making a legendary mask on par with the Mask of Creation. She should ask Sidra if there were other legendary masks that she didn’t know about. Maybe that might help. Who knows, maybe there was a legendary mask laying around the island somewhere. This Zakaz was a weird place and anything was possible. The mask of Detection she had made had picked up something super vague in the form of a light headache and sense of vague direction. Maybe she could use the mask to find something of great value to learn more about how the island functioned.

Viltia closed her optics and enjoyed the remnants of the smells of the sea. The smells were slowly shifting and changing to something not quite earthy or ashy, but foreign and yet natural? It was an odd smell she couldn't place, like the noxious fumes of Irnakk’s Tooth, which were both natural and yet foreign in the sense of their danger to her body.

One of her tethers pet her Muaka. Its head was on the ground, but its optics were open and always watching. An idea came to Viltia that she couldn’t believe she hadn’t thought of before. She stood up in the eerily quiet mists, looking down at the Muaka. She knew how to help the Muaka get around the landscape and keep herself an extra layer safe.

She smiled, “Alright, my cute little friend, you ready to merge?

The Muaka blinked at her. He would obey his creator’s every command.

Viltia activated her merging power. Her tendrils caressed and embraced the Rahi. She beamed and stepped into the Muaka’s body.

The world dropped away and all of her sensations changed in an instant. For a few seconds, she appreciated the pocket dimension she was now in. It was neither hot nor cold, and the field of stars that surrounded her filled her with a feeling of yearning for togetherness. She just wanted to wipe away the pain of everyone and everything by merging with them.

She let that feeling simmer for a bit, then shifted her mind to the sensations she was now receiving from the Muaka’s body. Sight, hearing, smelling, taste, and balance. And the new sensation that her tethers had brought her, touch.

The Muaka’s mind became a small node on a much larger tree that was Viltia’s overriding consciousness. He could now do little more than to observe. He didn’t even have the luxury of being able to reject the merging, since he was bound to Viltia’s commands. Not that he cared. He lived to serve her. He was created to serve her.

Viltia tested out her new form. Not having legs was weird, but also not as weird as she thought it should be. Perhaps that was a part of the Taboo that just helped her mind adjust to new forms. After all, she could merge with as many beings as she wanted. No doubt a normal mind couldn’t comprehend how to move more than one body at a time, so the Taboo was forced to help out to function as intended.

She moved about the small, even space she had found to rest in, testing out how it felt to move around. Her tethers now sprouted from her Muaka form and all of her equipment was now in her pocket dimension. Perhaps she should have left her Rahkshi staff out to have her tethers grab it. It was a little late now, though. She was already merged and liked the feeling so much she didn’t want to leave so quickly. She could always exchange equipment later.

Viltia grew her tethers a little thicker to adjust for her heavier form, then she had them propel her through the mists, quickly traveling over obsidian and basalt, once more on the search for the knowledge the Administrator sought.

After a couple more hours of relatively flat land, the ground started to become more varied. She had to traverse slopes and avoid drop offs that were naturally gouged into the rock. Other shapes loomed in the distance, tall and invoking in Viltia thoughts of her time in Le-Metru as a slave and the tall buildings there. The shapes here though were more natural. Probably just large hills. Still, she would check them out just to be safe. She needed to find this knowledge quickly and get back to Le-Metru Nuva. She wasn’t sure how long Sidra would stay away, and she knew Wing could use the help making sure the village stayed safe.

Not to mention she really really wanted to get a Golden Mask. It was her next step in mask making.
 

OOC: @Eyru I couldn't help myself. I needed to write for Viltia again and could no longer wait for a GM post. She's just so much fun to write for.

TLDR: Viltia merged with her Life Kraata creation Muaka and is still searching the Kumu Peninsula for the knowledge the Administrator wants.

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-----------------------------

Lewa_Protodermic_Transformation.jpg.423767a94dc72d6925130b562072f725.jpg

--------- “Guide me as I travel the land of the dead. Help me to embrace their experiences and use them to empower me.” ---------

-----------------------------

 

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IC: Sanso and Kantai- Outskirts of Kini-Koro - Giant Friendly Crab

"Maybe it's an inside joke?"

"Or it grew way bigger than they expected."

Sanso was already walking towards it. It appeared some of the crew were on it, and others milling about. He wanted to walk up to them, but he simply stood near it, in the middle of the pathway, marveling at the engineering of the airship.

Kantai turned to thank Gnabol for leading them here.

"My friend is easily impressed, despite seeing more than most," he added.

OOC: @Toru Nui@BULiK@ idk who else

Edit: folding in my next post into here

 

IC: Krozen – Eastern Coast

It was a couple of days since he had awakened, and Krozen realised that soon, he would have to vacate this beach.

The fish were few and far between now. Perhaps they were possessed of some devious intelligence that made them aware of his presence. Perhaps the waters here were ash-poisoned and did not sustain much life. Or perhaps the Great Spirit sought to spite Krozen purely out of his ancestry from the cold land without a name.

At least the Armour worked fine, Krozen thought. Its full capabilities were still out of his reach, even if he knew what they were. He had only heard of some of its supposed capabilities, but almost all of it was somehow inaccessible. It might have been damage or incompetent installation that permanently denied them to him, or a temporary state of affairs that just needed some time to fix, or to just wait. After all, the Armour seemed to have active systems that made strange sounds and moved internal components at seemingly random intervals.

Unable to figure out a way to fix the Armour, Krozen had taken time between meals and scavenging data printouts from the busted stasis pod to survey his surroundings, making his way inland past leafless trees and onto mounds of dirt that gave him some elevation. From those vantage points he was able to gain some information of the land north and south along the coast.

To the north lay a bay, filled with lava as if it were water. He could make out some structures along the coast of the bay, as well as several islands. Presently, he was carving a rough map of this region from the small hill he stood on, occasionally fanning away the fine ash and burnt material that wafted in the air.

If there was a settlement there, they have either moved out of the lava area, or else have somehow adapted to it. Either way, they would be unlikely to be able to, or want to, render any help.

He turned and looked the other direction, to the south. He had already finish sketching what he saw from this vantage point by the end of the first day, as there was nought but a forest, covered in white ash, surely the result of some disaster. The forest stretched to this beach, and the trees were seemingly all dead, yet their toughness was preserved in some sort of undeath.

Krozen was about to turn back to the north when he saw a glint.

No, not a glint. The unbowed king took another look, but the source of that trick of the light was far in the forest. Perhaps it was an unknowable danger lurking in that unnatural forest.

Krozen gave up searching for it after a minute, turning back east and heading down to the beach that was his temporary abode. He did not even stop to consider surveying the west, its skyline dominated by an angry volcano, still very much active. Krozen knew from experience that the way it seemed to pulse with energy was extremely bad news. Or perhaps he was seeing patterns where there were none.

“ this!”

He reared back and swung his fist into a nearby tree. This one must have been dead, for his fist crushed the outer layer of the trunk, leaving an indent. White ash fell like noxious snow.

Krozen hated this feeling. This feeling of ignorance, being out of his depth. He had gone through much adversity, but he had always felt, in some way, able to maintain a mental compass of the path he needed to take. Even in his darkest days as a slave to the Usurper…

Krozen stopped when he looked at the trunk again. It appeared to be a lot more fragile than he realised. The shattered bark was but a thin layer. He reached out and peeled the cracked bark, revealing a… hole? It appeared to be some sort of natural hollow, covered with a layer of bark to disguise the opening. Krozen looked closer, and realised they were tools!

He began to scoop out the unknown pieces. There was no doubt about it. At his feet lay several handfuls of… stuff. He recognised some of it as machinery, others as survival tools.

With renewed energy, he began to sift through the pile, separating the clearly broken from what appeared to be usable.

Curse my luck,” he muttered, after sorting the pile out. Almost all of it were equipment and tools too degraded to be useful, merely poorly constructed, or powerless charms and unknown prayer stones. Whoever had put these items here must not have had enough time to consider the logistics of this hiding spot, as there were even perishable supplies and fragile glass ampules that were not completely useless.

The only things that were somewhat useful were a utility knife, some strands of net-rope, and a broken spyglass. Krozen was able to make some use of the latter by removing the outermost cracked lens, but the spyglass was likely useless now.

With a sigh, he got up and put it to his eye. To his surprise, it worked decently, giving him some telescopic vision. He observed the horizon and the northern bay, and he could make out some details that previously eluded him. Nothing that changed the utility of his simple sketch, but it was an improvement.

As he scanned the horizon with his new tool, he noticed the glint again, down to the south. There was no mistake this time. He trained the spyglass on the glint and saw it: the glint came from a rounded metallic object sitting on the top of a multi-tiered structure, currently obscured by the shadow of the mountain and the forest at this distance.

“Fascinating…”

He put away the spyglass. The mysterious structure might imply the presence of residents, or it might be an abandoned ruin, especially given the state of the Forest. Nonetheless, it would not hurt to trek there and see if it held any supplies or residents. Surely, they would be more amenable than whoever lived in the bay of lava to the north?

It was still a long shot, he concluded, returning to the beach. Whichever way he took, he had to decide soon. This beach would not sustain Krozen forever, and already he had to beat back several Rahi attacks in the past few nights.

Krozen spent the rest of the day preparing a makeshift pack, containing some fish and strange nuts that would last for at least a few days. As night fell, he stored his makeshift flint, spear and other items he had fashioned for himself in the pack. Tomorrow, he would set off. He had gone through much worse. This would not, must not, break him.

Edited by NorikSigma
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IC, Atamai: Kini-Nui

Atamai led Kilo to the metal floor where he kept his mech chained up. Malhukuraia bent down at Atamai's command, and placed the opened shackles back on its wrists and ankles.

"Kilo, I'll extend my power over Iron to you; I'd like you to close up these shackles. Then you can make a set for your own mech. We don't want these wandering around while we're not using them."

OOC: @pokemonlover360

IC, Aurax: Coliseum

With a few swipes on his ACR's HUD, Aurax connected himself to the city's speaker system.

"My dear citizens, I have an important announcement to make. It is with a heavy heart that I must declare a city-wide evacuation. It's inevitable that the rest of Metru Nui will fall beneath the waves. In order to save ourselves, it's important that we leave right away. A suitable location for a new village has already been found. Once I am finished speaking, airships will arrive outside your homes. Please load building materials, supplies, personal effects, and anything else that may be useful onto them. Once everything is loaded and everyone is ready to leave, we will set off. Construction and fortification of our new home will begin as soon as we arrive. Anyone who has an elemental power that may be useful, your help in this matter would be greatly appreciated. We will overcome this challenge. We are strong. We are the Kingdom."

The Barraki ended his transmission. "Alright Xaril, go and make sure everything goes smoothly." He then pulled out the papers from the Relic Fields that he had been given. "OTIS, run through patterns and translations to try to make sense of these."

OOC: @Gecko Greavesy @Eyru Aurax is attempting to have his ACR's AI determine if there's anything interesting or important on the papers from the Relic Fields. Also Eyru, could I get a Kumu fortress post please?

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IC:Keitara (Dubiously directed)

"Hmm…" said the Av-Toa, frowning in the direction Tekmo had pointed. Swamp vines and sickly trees blocked the view, but the path aas travelable and seemed, to her reckoning, about as good a way forward as their initial planned movement.

"Well… It's a communal decision, but I don't foresee pursuit being too great an issue. Though as for the safety of travel…" She looked to the two and shrugged, "Best I can reckon I'm an engineer, not a navigator. My poetry's not that great either, come to that. Irna's a good tracker though, and Skorm knows Muaka's limits better than I ever will. I'm just here to belt things until they start whirring again, really." 

She was reluctant to mention her true desires, or the odd, half-remembered dreams that had been plaguing her. She wouldn't lie to Skorm or Irna, at least not knowingly, but Tekmo was less of a familiar face and the longer Kei was about in the world the more precious what few secrets she did have felt. 

"So… With any luck things should be moving again soon. I'll check in with IV and see if they have any updates or recommendations if Skorm hasn't already. Would you like me to bounce ahead and alert him that you're here?"

(OOC @Void Emissary
 @Toru Nui

Edited by TL01 NUVA
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Whatever mountain you are climbing, you can do this.

My Six Kingdoms character

My SKR fan art topic!

 

 

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IC: Tekmo (Kumu Peninsula) - 'Dubious'?!

"Oh, of course. Naturally. I don’t want Skorm to worry about me, or anything." The way Tekmo said that made it seem as if he expected Keitara to have been more distressed by his absence, or something.

The more observant of the party - anyone who wasn’t Tekmo - might have noticed something blue hovering above the foliage in the distance, but it quickly descended into the swamp below.

@TL01 NUVA@Void Emissary@Keeper of Kraata

 

IC: Ostrox (Kini-Koro, Bunker, Exterior) - Ivu Asz Schrema

"Bye! Have fun! Hahahahahah..."

Ostrox turned to Vulimai.

"'Speech impediment'... ha! I expected more! As for her master... ah well, we’ll incinerate that bridge when we come to it. In the meantime, I should go find Stannis. That is his craft, is it not?" He pointed towards the Ambling Alp.

@Gecko Greavesy@Sparticus147@Snelly@pokemonlover360@~Xemnas~

 

IC: Ulkarr, Enra, Reckless, Lawful, Obedient, Impressionable and Wayward (Tobduk-Koro) - Civil Disobedience

"Of course. I am willing to subject myself to whatever is necessary to regain your trust. Within reason."

Then Enra showed up. "Akiri, I gots to tell you... oh, you’re busy. Should I come back in a bit?"

Meanwhile, the Vahki continued bickering among themselves in their own language, but due to the fact they could communicate in seconds what would otherwise take minutes, their heated debate lasted only a few moments before turning back to Kanohi.

"I realize it may be unorthodox, but the Squad Mother deemed Ulkarr as a potential stand-in for her should she be otherwise detained, though he would continue to be under heavy surveillance."

"We should postpone any vote we take until these 'tests' are carried out." The others chirped in approval. Except Wayward...

@Harvali

 

IC: Achro and Gnabol (Kini-Koro, Airdock, The Taku, Exterior) - That Guy

"Well, I guess I should be... oh, gods." Gnabol’s expression shifted to barely concealed disgust as he saw the approaching figure of-

"I, uh... is this a recruitment line?" Achro addressed the two Toa, barely giving Gnabol or Padley any mind. "Or do you guys work here?"

If looks could kill, the glare Achro was trying his best to ignore from Gnabol would vaporize him. As for Padley, he looked as if he were about to bolt it for the hills at the sight of the mutated Toa, his claws shaking and his treads squealing.

@NorikSigma@BULiK

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Profile picture done by Onaku.

:infected:

 

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IC: Nale Vella - Kini-Koro Hospital (Arkius' Room)

"Onaku...alright, then. Onaku it is."

Nale would certainly have to get used to the new name, but it represented something of a rebirth. A chance to start over from square one. It would still feel awkward to be around both him and Knichou, though.

After a pause, she began to move past the Toa of Iron. "Let's go see Katrin and Jutori, I'm sure they'd appreciate visitors at the moment."

@BULiK@Onaku

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galijump.gif.f3271eeb2e5fad0ab8397c83797b5bba.gif
:kaukau:[Six Kingdoms: Apocalypse Profiles]:kaukau:
[BZPRPG]
(shout out to max)

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IC: Knichou, Kini-Koro Hospital

Knichou silenty nodded to Arkius Onaku, the ex-Ghost's optics shortly darting back to observe his partner as she began to exit the room. To him it felt like she wanted to say more, but was in a rush to get moving. Probably best to continue to deal with Onaku's new name alongside more people - revealing his changes to old friends was undoubtedly something that would feel rather repetitive over the next day or so.

The Fe-Toa picked up the two cylinders of zamors and stowed them in his armor's backpack before following Nale down the hallway to another room, thinking of what to say. Knichou assumed Nale wanted to move on from such a serious topic, and to be honest, the Nynran did as well. It wouldn't help much to dwell on his past, after all. The trio entered the room to see a battered Jutori and Katrin, whose armor had a gooey, uneven surface that looked like it was built from chocolate that had been left out in the sun too long.

"Good news, you two," Knichou said as he followed Nale inside. He sidestepped to the left after passing through the doorway, gesturing to the Onu-Toa now on his right.

"Looks like everyone made it out in mostly one piece," the airship commander stated with a smile as he leaned against the wall adjacent the doorway and crossed his arms. He wasn't the star of the show here, he knew Katrin and Jutori desperately wanted to see that Onaku would be all right. Best to take a breather and observe for a bit.

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: Irna | Kumu Peninsula

The blunt end of her glaive was already buried in the swampy loam as the blue shape darted down beneath the canopy, and Irna was already nocking an arrow to aim where it might still be.

"Did you all see that?" she said quietly.

OOC: @TL01 NUVA @Toru Nui @Keeper of Kraata

-Void

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