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Unreliable Narrator

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  1. Hey there! What are your 3 favorite Bionicle beings to play (like skakdi or zyglak) in PBP RPGs and why? Also, what are you favorite elements to play? Why?
  2. Act 1 Scene 5 is available. Thank you for reading UNfallen.
  3. Act 1 Scene 5 Vakama gripped his mask in weary pain. His dream still haunted the dancing shadows of his forge. He took deep breaths and focused his gaze to the silver blood coating his red palms. "It isn't real," he muttered. "It isn't real." In his dream he was old and weary, and a dim fire burned within him. He lived in a strange desert village that came under attack. He went to help, but the lights of a wheeled vehicle blinded his view. He heard the rumbling of its engine, then felt the impact crushing him into scrap. Voices called for him. "Vakama," Lhikan said, standing in the doorway of the forge. The lights from deeper within the room cast dark shadows across the toa's features. The mask maker dropped his hands and sat down on a stool by the forge. He blinked, and Lhikan still existed. "I'm, when," Vakama asked. Despite his best efforts, concern wormed its way into his voice. After a deep breath, he tried again; "Toa Lhikan. Please, come in. What brings you to the furnace?" Lhikan stepped through the doorway once invited, his gold armor glinting in the firelight. The room grew warmer, the fires sensing a kindred spirit in the warrior's soul. "Am I interrupting your work?" "No," Vakama lied. His current project sat in a treatment vat turning into molten goop. "How can I help you?" Lhikan smiled and accepted the lie; "I'm here to help you. How are you?" Vakama stood up and went to his workbench as he spoke. He couldn't look Lhikan in the eye, and already the small lie tortured his conscience. "Everything is fine. I've hired several assistants for the project, and once the Great Temple finishes blessing the ingredients we should be able to begin the hammering out of impurities." "Don't push yourself. It's okay to rest if you need it," Lhikan commented. "It's okay, the golden masks will be completed in time. What matters is the lives you save using them." Vakama glanced down at his bloodied hands. He understood now: the blood was yet to come, and it would be his fault. "Vakama, I don't doubt your willingness to sacrifice for our cause. I'm not supposed to tell you this, but I've put your name down as a candidate for the next Forgemaster of Metru-Nui. I trust you, but please, for all that is holy you must rest. It will save lives in the long run." Vakama bowed his head in shame, fingers clenching the side of his workbench. The fact he felt pride in his work and excitement at the prospect of fame and titled glory broke his spirit. He would be a killer by then, one undeserving of title or praise. "Yes, Toa Lhikan." "You must rest. Sit down, drink something, you look half in the forge yourself." Lhikan pulled the stool towards the door and fresh air. Vakama followed and reluctantly sat down. After a few minutes of silence between them, Lhikan asked; "Is that blood?"
  4. Dearest Whisper. In my evocations of your name I did not dare imagine you would stir from slumber. Please, allow this chronicler to recount what has come before and has come again... Act 1 Scene 4 is available. Thank you for reading Unfallen.
  5. Act 1 Scene 4 Farewells and introductions proved difficult for Lhikan. Something about the repeated words, the ceremony of it all, grated on his psyche. Why say goodbye? Why say hello, when he knew the entire relationship would sputter out eventually? All turned to ash. However, each helpless matoran who crossed his patch treasured those moments. He upheld the farce for their sake. “You’re right, I suppose,” Tuyet admitted as they walked out of the Archives together. “About what?” Lhikan asked, realizing he missed the entire elevator ride back to the surface in contemplation. He held his hand on the lip of a metal doorway, but when did he get there? Ever since the last battle, remembering the little details grew harder, and the inner world of his mind seemed to pull strongly against the reality without. “About Nidhiki playing tricks,” Tuyet elaborated while sliding onto the plush, maroon colored seat of their small, private airship waiting for them at the skydock. She kicked a foot up on the intermediary table between the u-shaped seating arrangement and clicked her fingers for a drink. An attending vahki poured cool water into a gold-rimmed crystal goblet. Lhikan slipped more tersely into the remaining space, silently seething at her copping his favorite spot. The port-side seat suffered from overused springs beneath the stuffed cushioning, and Lhikan hated how it felt on his back. “Yes, tricks,” Lhikan muttered to himself. He stared at Tuyet coldly and she stared back with the calculated look of innocence often flashed in public. “Nidhiki’s mission is vital. To avert the blockade on Artahka we’ll need all the help we can get. Removing the armistice with Xia is critical for the continued munitions supply of our frontline.” “Sure,” Tuyet said after a long pause. “I meant the fact he’s useless. But yeah, let’s totally stick with what you said.” Lhikan growled and his eyes burned with fire, but they were airborne. Too late to leave without attracting undue attention from the media. Instead, he stood up and stalked towards the other end of the cabin where the open doorway to the cockpit waited. “To Ta-Metru,” he barked at the vahki plugged into the controls. “Immediately.” “Off to see your little seer?” Tuyet asked with an evil smile.
  6. Oh! Yeah I know Doronai. Some folks on the site play it I bet you could get a group together.
  7. Act 1 Scene 3 Each oily puddle in the decrepit tunnel glittered with the hazy reflection of flickering ceiling lights. Thick layers of soiled propaganda posters held up crumbling sections of the walls, touting slogans of long abandoned unification, once vivid colors and poignant words long lost to time and decay. Unidentifiable wires with filthy tape-covered protective coatings ran the length of the hallway like the roots of some ancient tree located deeper within. Three drab colored matoran stood in the brightest part of the tunnel. One sat on a grey, large, locked box while the others acted as muscle for the operation. The seated one’s back remained rigid and his eyes stayed alert behind his mask despite the hours of dreary inactivity. One of his guards felt the smooth trigger of their ghost blaster. Designed for larger beings, the weapon looked comical in the mercenary’s grip. The third stuffed her hands in the pockets of a thick, heavily patched jacket and leaned on a wall, pretending to ignore the others. They all stirred anxiously as the sounds of footsteps drew nearer from further down the tunnel. “Close enough,” said the seated matoran as a puddle’s surface rippled. He watched the closer puddles for any signs of movement. “Took you long enough.” “I’m here, that’s all that matters. Do you have it?” The voice echoed down the tunnel, but the three matoran couldn’t quite place its source. “Maybe,” said the seated matoran. “Do you?” A silver cylinder clattered across the floor, rolling to a stop at the matoran’s feet. The cylinder was approximately two feet long, and over a hand wide. He picked it up and observed the small indicator lights on the top of it before stepping off the box. “There’s less than a full tank this time,” he said. He wrapped a knuckle on the cylinder. “Where’s the rest? He’s not gonna like being shorted.” “You’ll have to deal with it. Blame the war. Destral isn’t exactly a swim in Ga-Metru.” After a long pause the matoran shrugged and said; “fine. I’m not gonna sit here and argue with a toa.” He gestured to his guards, rose from his seat, and they all walked away with the cylinder carried in his arms. But the locked box remained.
  8. Which TTRPG? I'm always looking for a new BIonicle themed TTRPG System. Also welcome back!
  9. Act 1, Scene 2 Moody red lighting filled the room, distorting shadows into thin and evil things. The red heat lamps dangling overhead brought some sense of warmth to an otherwise frigid bunker. A dirt packed floor and unfinished walls defined the space of the room. Metal braces and earthquake beams compartmentalized the outer edges from an inner space surrounding the great discovery. “It’s still under analysis, but we’re clear of a few things regarding the artifact. It’s very old based on the samples sent to the labs, but at the same time it resembles some of the newer technology we’ve been seeing from Xia during the current armistice with the vortixx, possibly even Nynrahn,” said Chief Engineer Nuparu as he pointed towards the large, ring-like structure taking center stage atop a concrete and sheet metal dais in the large underground chamber. Nuparu stood with a slight hunch to his posture, a tool apron weighing him down over the dark linen robes of his order. Despite the oil stains on his hands and the corners of his pakari, Nuparu did his best to look clean in the presence of the City’s protectors. Normally the onu-matoran inventor sat behind a desk in the Coliseum, or worked from his studio loft in the upper levels of Onu-Metru, and remained outside public view. He relished the opportunity for field research, but he found adjusting the gears in a vahki’s neurocore more intriguing than speaking with political leaders. Nevertheless, he did his duty. Lhikan nodded in attention with his arms crossed stiffly across his chest. “So what does it do?” “We don’t know,” Nuparu replied. His vahki assistants stripped of their exterior plate armor scuttled about, clockwork mechanisms chittering and clattering as loudly as their own peculiar dialect of matoran speech. If the artifact was the Archives, Nuparu felt confident he and his vahki stood at the public admissions gate. If only he could explain to Lhikan why he didn’t know. That was the interesting part. That was-- Lhikan’s eyes narrowed; “Who else knows about this?” “Only those selected by Turaga Dume.” Nuparu pulled a flax hand towel from his apron and began wiping the slick stains from his palms. Nuparu continued; “I thought Toa Nidhiki would be in attendance today. He’s not actually hiding is he? Having the rug pulled out from under you once is quite enough.” “Nidhiki? No, no. He’s been busy playing tricks elsewhere,” Lhikan said. Nuparu took the queue and didn’t ask further. As Nuparu and Lhikan talked, Tuyet rubbed a hand on the warm metal surface of the ring-like structure. It felt like protodermis, but it felt warmer than regular metals. She realized the heat lamps must have been running for a long time. How long did Turaga Dume wait before summoning the Mangai? Her gaze wandered across it, taking in the five individual sockets where something about the size of a kanoka disk might fit. Part of the top and upper right of the structure was missing, meaning a sixth unknown socket based on the spacing of the other five. She huffed in frustration. The longer she stared at it though, the more she felt a sense of nostalgia. Why couldn’t she place it? She jumped up onto the dais for a closer look. “No, please Toa Tuyet, don’t interact with the artifact we don’t know what it might do yet,” Nuparu pleaded as she brashly stood up in the center of the ruined ring and began roughly examining by kicking her foot against the metal and pulling on anything loose. “It’s fine,” Tuyet countered as she tossed a torn wire to the ground and ran a hand across the machine in its disrepair to prove her point. “You know, there’s writing in these sockets.” “Yes, yes,” Nuparu agreed in the hasty tone of someone trying to find a way to politely ask another to stop. “We’re still determining the meaning and what programs it may be referencing. Some of the spelling is found in other ancient coding languages. We’ve requested an expert in that subject. The writing could also be a reference to--” “No, it’s not like an engineering thing,” Tuyet countered as she ran her hands across each of the sockets present. Matoran letters were carved behind the exterior panel of each socket, difficult to view but easy to feel. She closed her eyes and imagined each letter one after the other in her mind. “They’re names, Nuparu: Whira, Whisper, Sorilax, Icarax, and Caedast.”
  10. Act 1, Scene 1 The elevator descended into darkness. It’s cage-like design rattled loosely in misalignment. A flickering emerald lightstone illuminated the space within, casting long shadows across the tarnished metal bars and graffiti covered grate floor. Two impatient toa and one anxious matoran filled what little space existed. A toa of water wearing a studded leather jacket picked flakes of dried blood from her knuckles as her red and gold companion huffed smoke into the air with irritation. Both looked the part of weary heroes, although the moral veneer of their rank grew thin with the centuries of war. The matoran of earth by contrast dressed plainly in the robes of his order. Lhikan grumbled under his breath as he turned the matoran’s clearance badge over absentmindedly in his hand. The noble toa of fire found himself desperately hoping each time he flipped it over something new might appear. Each time it read; Tehutti, Resident Archivist. If found, please return to the nearest vahki. Tehutti stood in his corner, trying to think of something to break the tension in the air. Silence scared him. In particularly quiet moments, Tehutti often heard the roars of titanic beasts and the falling of rain echoing from a great distance. He chalked it up to lack of sleep and too many trips to the rahi rooms. The more he considered possible conversation topics, the more deeply Tehutti felt the pain of his inaction. At last, he blurted; “Did you find the kidnapper?” Lhikan sighed and didn’t respond. Tuyet leaned against the bars and continued focusing on her knuckles as the elevator descended ever deeper into the heart of the Archives. Tehutti looked at his big clumsy feet the rest of the ride in painful silence. When the elevator doors finally screeched open, Lhikan strode through without a moment’s pause. Tuyet gave the archivist a thin smile. “It’s been a long night,” Tuyet said, then followed after Lhikan.
  11. Loved the new chapter -- excited to see what comes next!
  12. UNfallen - Prologue Was it worth it? Incense smoke wafted lazily through the air, transporting and otherworldly. Rain fell, grey and unrelenting. Only a thin pane of floor to ceiling glass defined the outside from the inside, but the cold of the storm permeated so forcefully as to leave mildew tracks across the frame. The glass shuddered in the gale. Beyond, a thin rim of frozen ice stood as a bastion against roiling waves glittering with starlight, half hidden in the forbidding mists of opportunity. A thin and dark line obscured by the weather hinted at a greater world enveloped in the inky darkness of departing time. That far shore lingered without definition, only promise, and from it beckoned a haunting golden light. He stood in solemn contemplation of the worlds beyond, his back rigid and restrained despite the exhaustion of his eternal toils. He breathed the incense, and filled his synthetic lungs with the burnt history of civilizations. His cold heartlight beat slowly, contemptuously. A silver disk of protodermis rested in his hands. Its polished surface reflected the room behind, but not him. A perfect circle, the disk represented so much more than purpose or possibility. He held the future, but a future at the cost of itself. Was it worth it? He blinked, and remembered standing across the waters on the island shrouded in mist. Memories returned, palpably real. In the space of an instant he stood one foot in the present and his other in the past. The machine rested before him in its disrepair; a once circular structure echoed the shape of the disk in his hands, now tortured by misuse and neglect, still active despite all attempted destruction. Components were torn away to reveal a hollow interior of softly pulsing muscle and sinew soldered to wires and metal struts in grisly excess. The rain fell around him, soaking his white robes to a dark grey in the shadow of the machine’s golden light. It needed many pieces to be whole, and over countless cycles of oblivion he gathered them, coveting them like starlight in a jar. He held the disk before him, filling the open space of the machine with it in his view as if plugging a drain. Was it worth it?
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