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Everything posted by Emzee

  1. IC: Niici — Ko-Koro, The Wise Man’s Archive The Chairwoman nodded to Cyrix as he exited the back room. Moments later, Niici also took her leave. She gave Priicu a smiling nod before also departing the store. As she entered back into the brisk and windy atmosphere, Niici’s thoughts fell back into the establishment she’d just left. It certainly had potential. Perhaps, once it proved to be more successful financially, its proprietor would be open to an invitation. She’d first need to send a few of her colleagues to visit — see how the store runs when it’s actually open. Secondly, there was the personality and ambition of Priicu himself. It takes a certain type to be a Gentryman. Only by learning more about him and his wants would reveal if he would be a good fit. Nonetheless, she would remember the Wise Man’s Archive, and its owner, for some time. Cultured Gentry HQ It had been a long day, but after hours of working, Niici completed her first major item on her to-do list as newly reinstated chairwoman. Her office had been completely cleaned up and organized. Files on current members and their ventures, along with a historical record of meeting notes, treasury documents, and other written correspondence, were now in protected cabinets within her office. Most disappointingly, Niici could find very little about her predecessor. Indeed, the High Vizier Ambages had been meticulous in his notes and observation of others — Niici learned things about the Elders and the current board members that would surely give her leverage — but Niici had learned nothing new about Ambages. Either the deceased Architect had been very diligent about the files he kept in his private office, or someone else had done some cleaning up shortly after Ko-Koro was liberated. Heck, it might have even been done even while Ko-Koro was occupied. Niici sighed. Night had fallen at this point, and it had been a busy, yet productive day. As the Toa stood looking at the tidy shelves and cabinets around her, she glanced behind her on the ornate wooden desk, which was clear of all but a journal and a jewel-encrusted fountain pen. The open book revealed a page that only had the following text: Antidermis (meet with the Good Doctor at Nuju-Marion. Get research going with him) Syzygos; Muirtagh Fenn (Lawyer from Po-Koro). Also investigating Antidermis. Sent from Po-Koro? Cyrix; Toa Kalta (meet with Aelied). Get read on Aelied. Toa Kalta: Friends or Foes? Akiri Tarkahn. Set up formal meeting with him tomorrow East Le-Wahi Trading Company - begin meeting with them. Perhaps they can help with A.D. search? Niici took the journal, which hosted her daily agenda and quarterly initiatives, and locked it away. The Toa of Ice was done with work for the day. Tomorrow, she would start presenting her new initiative to her team, and delegating new tasks. Niici turned off the lights, locked the office and departed the HQ, the shadow of nightfall accompanying her trip back home.
  2. IC: Ra’lhen — Onu-Koro, the Mudpool Inn, A Pool™️ Resort The Toa nodded with approval at his thorough and sometimes frantic handiwork on his armor. After moments of denying it, Ra’lhen had to make the humbling admission: he was nervous. Despite the identity he had during the time of the Wanderers Company, he current and true identity still held a deep admiration for all of the Toa Maru. They were successors to the First Toa, and while Stannis seemed at least fairly grounded once you got to know him, Ra’lhen did not know the others well enough shed his Sentinel identity. Ra’lhen worked so hard that the armor looked almost as good as it did even he received it… yesterday? Time seems to be moving at the speed of a wedged boulder, or maybe this is a lot more adventuring than I'm used to, thought Ra’lhen Now looking almost completely fresh (but feeling the exact opposite), Ra'lhen made his way downstairs. Stannis was already there. Ra'lhen hoped he hadn't kept the Granite Guardian waiting for too long.
  3. IC: Makua — Ga-Koro, The Fowadi Makua gave a sly smile. “As it so happens, I am a sellsword by trade. You may also consider my skills as part of additional payment, if the situation comes where they are needed” The conversation was quickly interrupted by the antics of what appeared to be another Lesterin climbing the mast of the Fowadi. “Hah, people these days, am I right?” Makua said, not for a second considering his own methods of getting aboard the massive ship. “Welp, I’ll leave you to it. I pack light, so I’m free to settle in wherever and whenever” Makua looked around the deck of the ship. The structure truly was massive, with multiple entrances to the lower decks. With sword, rations, and widgets on hand, Makua walked away with an air of misplaced confidence in his spatial skills. He was making his way towards whichever entrance was closest, nodding assuredly to the other crewmen on the deck as if he was the captain.
  4. IC: Ra’lhen — Onu-Koro, the Mudpool Inn, A Pool™️ Resort Thanks dad — I had no idea, Ra’lhen thought contemptuously. With the extreme dehydration, along with the disorientation of being in another city, it should not have been surprising to the Toa of Lightning that he was moving and thinking much more slowly than usual. But it was. And Ra’lhen found it difficult to form complete sentences out loud. The harsh truth was that Stannis was right, even if he was just as hungover (or more so) than the Sentinel. He wondered when was the last time the Granite Guardian had gone a such a bender. Regardless, at least it was a night to remember. As soon as Ra’lhen could remember what actually happened. Nothing would ever cure the day’s discomfort, but it would be wholly inaccurate to claim that the breakfast, juice, and waters did not help at least some. Ra’lhen could feel some of his energy returning as he finished the last of his meal. For the rest, he would keep up appearances. His days long ago with the Toa Kodin had been wild on some occasions, especially with uproarious men like Makua and Tailua in his team. Some days they would push Ra’lhen too far, and he’d wake up in a similar state like this. Every time, Ra’lhen would appear more on top of his game than Makua and Tailua — two cadets who ironically put great stock in appearances. Ra’lhen pretended that he was once again leading a team of Toa, and that he was about to deliver important news to someone. It fit, in a way — he was representing the Sentinels. How poor it would look to give the Onu-Koronans a negative view of their discipline. Speaking of which, he’d need to be clean before even considering meeting the famed Toa Maru of Earth. There was already so much working against Ra’lhen, between the hangover and the meeting of yet another man who had every reason to hold a grudge against him because of The Other Guy’s crimes. However, Ra’lhen had repeatedly been surprised at the grace of the Maru. He feared no reprisal from Sulov… so long as Ra’lhen looked respectable. Slowly, Ra’lhen stood up from the table. His balance is one of many things that would take more time to recover. “Meet you back down at the entrance within the hour?” Ra’lhen asked.
  5. IC: Niici — Ko-Koro, Wise Man’s Archive (Backroom) The Toa crossed her arms self-assuredly as Muir and the Archive’s owner walked away. As they departed, Niici glanced around the room full of manuscripts and books and then began to remember the look and layout of the library as she walked in. It was a nice place for sure, and it was curious that she hadn’t heard of it before. Maybe it was new. At any rate, such a calming quiet place would be a popular destination for the studious Ko-Koronans. Like all the other business owners in Ko-Koro and beyond, Niici had an obligation to facilitate a potential relationship with those businesses which showed potential. She would need to make sure she caught the owner’s name. Once things were settled here, she would have much to report on to her staff and to the board of directors. One of those notes would include reaching out to this fellow here. Niici’s suddenly found her train of thought being interrupted by the exchange of a cigarette between Cyrix and Syzygos. She raised an eyebrow and then quickly lowered — it should’ve been obvious the Toa of Air was a smoker. He had the demeanor. She just wished he had better taste in brands. Niici commonly carried her extended slim black cigarette holder with her, in case such opportunities arose like right now. She had begun pulling it out of her jacket pouch when she saw the brand that Syzygos was smoking. As much as she would've loved to partake, no respectable Gentry-fellow would be caught dead smoking a Fusa. She couldn’t risk word getting out about that potentially. And so, the cigarette holder moved back to where it was and rested in her pouch. The air dome beside her got so smoky that she struggled to see inside. She felt like she was said and seen what she needed to, and it would be wise to go back to HQ and process this while it was fresh. The Archive owner, like virtually all establishment owners, would be here when she or a representative got back. With that, she stood up and leaned forward slightly, turning her head to the right, and looking through the smoke at the two Toa. She waved politely and gave a telltale expression of Are we done here?, smiling all the way. OOC: @BULiK @Keeper of Kraata
  6. IC: Wokodin — Po-Koro, Sentinel Headquarters The towering hold which kept the brightest and strongest of Po-Koro’s servicemen was buzzing with a little more activity than usual. Times had become more exciting for the greener Sentinels and Officers in the force. While fear was immediately coursing through many of them like blood through veins, I had accepted this trait as part of the makeup of many of the Po-Koro Sentinels. Hewkii had been a strong leader with a vision, until the tension and intransigents of outsiders ate away at his spine. The Po-Matoran had lost his best friend, his far-away lover, his athletic drive, and now he was without his fame and his badge of office. Many even in my own squad had placed their trust in the newcomer, a Matoran who rose through the ranks by effectively pulling the strings of politics. To be fair, she was a better stateswoman than Hewkii, but could she lead? Would she be there with the clear plan of action when the time came? I didn’t believe so, but it was not first time my experiences, as well as many achievements had been doubted. And in this case, I dared not speak in favor of Hewkii. The political climate had changed too much, and many of my outspoken colleagues were on the outs with the Sentinel organization. Po-Koro needed unwavering leadership and strength to keep itself as the rightful king-state of this island. We have the force, we have the numbers, and we have the technology. And of course, we have me. I thought about this as whispers and murmurs continued in the main hall outside my office. Words traveled quickly as they bounced off the stone walls. Though such words were not always clear, you learned to decipher through the acoustics. I took a swig of coffee from my standard Sentinel mug. I was getting rather impatient. One of my reports, Ra’lhen, had not shown for his briefing. The trip to Ostia was a long but easy one. He should have arrived by now and it was never like him to eschew such responsibility. After setting the mug down on my desk, I rose from my seat and left my office, embracing the cool air of the HQ atrium. This is where much of the chatter took place. Rows of stone slabs hosted busy officers and clerks. My office was on the third floor and I walked up to the stone railing, looking down at the open, busy floor below. Might not hurt to make sure the Sentinel wasn’t lost inside the labyrinthine structure that was the headquarters. Once I trudged down the stairs and arrived at the floor of the atrium, my mail stop had caught my eye. There had been some deliveries, evidently. “Codex of Absolution?” I grumbled softly. Ra’lhen had been tasked by the Akiri to assist in establishing a mutual protection alliance with Stannis Maru. I narrowed my eyes grimly. Either Akiri Lichtgheist had not bothered to look up Ra’lhen’s personnel record, or she was naïve about the Sentinel’s capability and reliability to travel to the dark caverns of Onu-Koro given his past. Or maybe she really trusted Stannis. Unconscionable. Nonetheless, I took refuge in knowing I didn’t need to waste the day waiting around for him. There was plenty to do as it was.
  7. IC: Makua — Ga-Koro, The Fowadi “Aye!” The Toa raised his right arm, extending his sword towards the water that separated him from the ship. As the ice raft continued to sink, Makua channeled his energies through the blade and creating a rectangular platform directly under the rope. The sword, originally dubbed the Sword of Vengeance, had been Makua’s trusty Toa tool ever since he was transformed from his Ko-Matoran form. The metal quality was unlike most of the blades that were forged around the island of Mata Nui. Myths spoke of it being made of a different metallic alloy altogether. Some myths also claimed it was forged by the Makuta himself. A weapon perfect for taking him down, if only Makua could have gotten close. Whatever the sword’s true history was, Makua was grateful for the gift. One day, he would need to pay old Toa Olaki his respects once again. Once Makua stepped onto the flat, floating iceberg, the platform began to sink. With minimal effort, Makua sheathed the sword into his back and climbed up onto the massive deck of the Fowadi. He stood proudly as he looked down at the tan and brown Po-Matoran. “Looks even more impressive in person,” Makua said, looking around on the ship deck before looking back at the armored Po-Matoran. “I’m Toa Makua, pleasure to make your acquaintance,” Makua said, “Are you the quartermaster?” OOC: @sunflower
  8. That particular game and a bunch of others can be found in the link in this topic.
  9. IC: Niici — Ko-Koro, Wise Man’s Archive (Back Room) Was it studied by the right scientists? Niici thought. Of course, she dared not say that out loud — after all, she knew the answer to that already. Niici knew who her trusted scientists were, and none of them have ever spoke of anything like Antidermis. Which meant they weren’t yet aware of it. Niici filed this in her mind along with everything else that had been said. “Syzygos is a smart man,” Niici said, shifting her gaze to the indignant lawyer as she leaned back, “To let this fear of the unknown keep us from understanding what Antidermis can truly do will only continue to hurt us,” Niici said. She nearly snickered at the “unknown” pun, for reasons only she and a few other people would know. Niici did not want to press the issue too hard. Cyrix clearly detested the idea of Antidermis being helpful in any way. It wouldn’t make sense for her to take a stand against that of all things, considering her very limited knowledge about it. The chairwoman certainly did not want to reveal more about her intentions, while the intentions of the other Toa all seemed nebulous. As blatant as Muir’s conviction seemed, Niici then realized that even he could be putting on an act. She was in a room full of men doing everything in their Toa-power to not show their whole hand. As comfortable as she was now that they were discussing something she had no prior knowledge of, her demeanor and responses would be remembered. She needed to be smart about which topics to pursue. “I suppose we can all agree on its danger,” Niici lied, switching glances between all three of the Toa, “I will, however, still endorse additional research so that we at least have better cures, or possibly immunization” She then gave a self-assured shrug of indifference, “Well those are my thoughts anyway” OOC: @Keeper of Kraata @ARROW404 @BULiK @Goose
  10. IC: Makua — Ga-Koro, Naho Bay (near the Fowadi) Standing upright, Makua used his elemental energy as well as his trusty paddle to venture across the water at a surprisingly decent speed for a structure made purely of ice. Up ahead, the massive structure of the Fowadi continued to grow taller, almost consuming Makua’s entire front view. As he felt himself sink, Makua looked down at his paddleboard and applied more ice energy, repairing the parts that were already being consumed by the hungry saltwater. Finally, he heard the call from nearby. It did not take long for someone onboard the Fowadi to notice. “Ahoy there Toa!” the voice came from a Po-Matoran way up on the ship, "What is your business?” Makua craned his head slightly, be careful to not fall backwards off his still-melting paddleboard. Prompt service. I like it, Makua thought. His approval manifested in a polite nod to the crewman. “Ahoy there!” Makua responded, raising his voice so that the Po-Matoran could hear him from up there. “I heard you’re taking a tour around the island on your way to Ostia. How much for a passenger like myself? Like I told the Lesterin over there, I’ve got the coin if you’ll take it”
  11. IC: Ra’lhen the Sozzled Sentinel — Onu-Koro, the Mudpool Inn, A Pool™️ Resort Auughgghh kill me… Ra’lhen winced at the loud sound that roughly sounded like his name. His head rested on top of his arms as he rested on a table near the tavern wall. While the muted illumination that came with being underground helped a bit with the Vo-Toa’s sensitive vision, every single noise felt like a hammer to the head with no way of shielding himself. Instinctively, he looked up to see a tall figure stumbling towards him. “Stan?” Ra’lhen mumbled half-coherently. With all the effort he could muster, he raised his head and ever-so-slowly began to stand up. We never made it to rooms did we? Ra’lhen thought. Indeed, the answer was self-evident: the tavern was empty save for the two of them and some staff. He looked across from him to see Stannis sitting quite miserably at the very table that were in last night. He was slowly making his way over there when he heard some quick-paced footsteps. Outside the tavern, the clean-looking Ga-Toa who flirted with Ra’lhen last night was briskly leaving the inn. Possibly sensing the pair of eyes on her, she turned to look at Ra’lhen, her expression changing from neutral to shocked once she realized who she was looking at and his current state. Ra’lhen looked down at his chest armor to see he had also looked like he was dragged through the mud — with a respectable amount of vomit all things considered. The Ga-Toa sped up her pace, an embarrassed and understandably disgusted expression on her face. She nearly leapt onto the first Ussal that slowed down, barely breaking her stride and riding as fast towards the southern highway as the crab’s legs could take her. “Yeah… that’s understandable,” Ra’lhen murmured. He sighed. The Sentinel had generally been consigned to patrolling Ostia and given his spiky woeful reputation with his “fellow” guard mates, Ra’lhen rarely got to go out drinking. Even the Ostian bartenders would sometimes give him trouble if he wasn’t there on duty. His protection, they would accept. His friendship was always another story. He was woefully out of practice for having a night on the town, and this morning showed that. Listless and loopy, Ra’lhen ambled clumsily towards the bar, the Onu-Koronan attendant clearly dreading the approach. “Excuse me. Could me and my friend over there get a couple large waters and some breakfast menus?” * * * “You know,” Ra’lhen drawled as their food was being carried over. He was already on his third water. “At least the sun’s not making things worse down here. I’ll give this wild town credit for that”. His meal consisted of a double order of large Toa-serving waffles, Mahi sausage, and a heaping serving of Husi eggs over-hard, with bowl of fresh fruit supposedly grown from the one of the underground gardens in the Onu-Wahi caves. It was his go-to for situations like this. He wondered if Stannis also had a dependable meal for mornings like this. That’s when, randomly, the fraction of thought spliced into many colliding thoughts gave way to a question Ra’lhen decided to ask then and there. “Weren’t we supposed to meet someone?” By the Great Spirit, the Vo-Toa’s head was so poisoned from the night before that he had forgotten why they even came to Onu-Koro in the first place. OOC: @Umbraline Yumiwa
  12. IC: Niici — Ko-Koro, Wise Man’s Archive (Back Room) Once again, Niici’s expression remained neutral. Cyrix was to the point, and his now solemn visage gave Niici the clue that whatever negative qualities the Toa had espoused about the mutagen, there was something personal tied with it. To Niici, however, nothing was personal in business. She heard the words “potent mutagen” and her mind began to race. After all, she herself was the victim of a birth mutation that required her to consume daily dosages of a rare herbal cocktail to stay alive. She herself funded various research projects concerning the elemental properties of Matoran and how mutations might affect those properties. Subtly, Niici hardened her jawline to avoid appearing too interested or interested in the wrong way. After a moment, she responded. “Sounds destructive. And of course the Piraka and Legacy saw fit to use this mutagen because it benefit them more than it hurt them. It sounds like this Antidermis is both a boon and a bane: a single substance that can heal your allies and hurt your enemies in one fell swoop” Niici leaned back, considering the implications of her words, “That would be… a game changer” She then looked to Cyrix, “I would love to get you whatever help you need with investigating that. I know some people at Nuju-Marion who can… reprioritize things, if that’s what it takes.” She assumed those people had survived the Ko-Koro occupation, but she would cross that bridge if she came to it. OOC: @ARROW404 @Goose @BULiK @Keeper of Kraata
  13. IC: Makua — Ga-Koro, Southern docks “Bet” The view of the massive Sentinel warship was unmistakable. Even when sitting amongst the newly arrived warships of Dasakan people, the style and flair that the Fowadi had was distinctive. This made it easy for Makua to focus his elemental energies. An icy pole extended bidirectionally from Makua’s right hand, while an icesheet that resembled a surfboard appeared to rise from beneath the warm salt waters of Ga-Koro. In a quick moment, the Lesterin Sentinel would notice that Makua was off of the docks and now in the water atop the icy paddleboard. Even better, his trusty paddle helped him venture across the water at a surprisingly decent speed for a structure made purely of ice.
  14. IC: Makua — Ga-Koro, Southern docks A trip `round the island? Makua had always considered such an adventure along the seas. Sure, he had visited every Wahi many times over with his various assignments, but that was always for work. Traveling to Ga-Koro for pleasure had been quiet an experience so far, what with returning dragons and crystal armored Matoran and Toa-like beings running around. Perhaps visiting the other villages in a similar context would be similarly interesting. Very unlikely, but it was worth a shot. At the very least, he could get some more leads for future assignments once his vacation ended. “That just sweetens the deal,” Makua said, “Sign me up once the quartermaster gets here — or better yet, I could go to them if they’re close by” Makua briefly appeared to look around at anyone else who looked like they were part of the Fowadi crew. “You might’ve noticed I don’t have the busiest of schedules today,” Makua added.
  15. IC: Niici — Ko-Koro, Wise Man’s Archive (Back Room) Niici’s eyes flitted but the Toa’s composure stayed as solid as ice. In fact, she was too still. After a breath, she relaxed her shoulders and her eyes softened. She appeared almost relieved, yet her facial expression mostly remained neutral. “I’m afraid I don’t know what that is,” Niici said finally, “Other than — I suppose — being some sort of weapon or tool used by the Legacy” Niici did genuinely feel more relaxed now that a foreign term came into play. If this was the direction the discussion was going then she could only gain from participating. Ignorance, every once in a while, could be a useful tool when granted. Whatever she learned today could prove to be useful to her or to one of her business partners. “This sounds like the start to an interesting story I'm about to hear. What is this 'Antidermis'?” the chairwoman asked expectantly. OOC: @Keeper of Kraata @Goose
  16. IC: Tailua — Ostia, Mid levels The clientele had definitely changed noticeably from the people on the highest and outermost levels of the pueblo-like structures. Tailua was still able to appreciate the sea-salt smell of the beachside, and the view of Leva Bay under the clear skies was rejuvenating. It was a rare sight to Tailua back when he lived out here with his fellow miscreants. They lived within the inner wards of the settlement, The Dancing Crab being a common get-together spot away from all but the most bullheaded Sentinel officers. The people hustling and bustling around him were not the ruffians that he was used to. No, on the mid-levels, the people were much like their positioning in the stacked homes: they were in the middle. They were not affluent enough to be on the outer edges of the settlement with clear views of Leva Bay and the white beach, but those people were not so concerned about that. From Tailua’s previous observations of them, the folks who lived out here feared being cast down into the deepest levels of Ostia, crammed in the inner caves. There, only destitution and desperation roamed — often in the form of roving gangs and drunk beggars. Down there, Tailua and his friends ruled — or at least, they ruled their one corner block. Tailua’s team comprised of impalpable thieves and bruisers who would avenge those thieves if one was ever compromised. It was fantastic work with people who were loyal and capable. Makua could never stand to be around such low-class people, despite actually having few differences from them. As such, the ruffians were largely Tailua’s friends. Before entering the middle levels of the port settlement, Tailua had smartly moved his coinpurse to his front. The people at the bottom had nothing to steal, so the thieves largely depended on people in the mid levels to give them the scraps that they needed. It did not matter that such people only needed to lose a coinpurse or two worth of riches to end up forever in the same depths as these thieves; the mid level dwellers were affluent compared to the desperate beggars below, and few pickpockets were brave enough to take from the people on the highest levels. Tailua continued placing fliers for the Po-Koro Tech Emporium on the walls and he was now heading deeper into the clefts of the settlement. The view of the beachside that had given Tailua energy was now obscured by stone building and cave walls. The fliers that Tailua was distributing featured the newest products that they had to offer at prices that he knew the people living here could afford. Sure, the models accessible to them would have less bells and whistles, but these dwellers could afford them. After completing about 3/4s of his planned route, Tailua got that all-too-known feeling of being watched. He was now deep within what he called the “backside” of Ostia. This was where it was darkest and the town blocks felt more like the caves of Onu-Koro. His coinpurse was still at his front and perfectly safe. Now that he was in the inner caves of Ostia, some bandits could be more emboldened to see if they could bring home a hefty prize. Tailua turned a corner and stopped, leaning back against the rocky wall of a meat market. His subconscious had detected footsteps behind him as well as shadows that remained in his peripheral vision longer than what was normal. But such distinct sounds of metal shoe on cobblestone street ceased only a few seconds after Tailua stopped walking. He turned his head to his right and concentrated while he put his bundle of fliers away in his backpack. On instinct, he looked directly upwards, checking for any crevices above where someone could get the drop on him. As a former bruiser to a band of thieves, Tailua knew all the tricks. However, Tailua saw nothing but light pouring out of a pair of square windows above him. The would-be robbers would have to quickly break into this meat market, run up the stairs to the second floor (where the owner’s family almost certainly lived) and bust through these windows right about now. That would draw many eyes though, and Tailua would’ve heard commotion. No, it was clear his possible-followers — if they were following him — needed to not be seen. Tailua gave a huff and continued walking deeper into the cavern-like alley, joining the crowds of people trying to get to where they were going. Behind him, two hooded figures turned a corner and trailed him. They both had eyes trained on the porky red Toa, but were now benefiting from the crowds of Matoran, Skakdi, Vortixx, and Lesterin giving them ample concealment. ??? — Ostia, Mid level alleyway On the opposite end of the alley, towards the bright light and views of the water, the lithesome, hooded figure strode forward. Far ahead, through the throngs of traders and herders, was where her target ambled. At the rate this waif was going, they would meet head on. If the routing of her teammates was correct, the other two cloaked figures would be trailing behind the Toa of Fire. Not here, the Waif thought. She knew that her companions knew this too. They were not down deep enough, and they all knew that Tailua would not pass up an opportunity to meet with his old friends down at the lowest levels of Ostia. Their target was almost done with this route, and they needed to trail him until he reached the lowest levels. There, the Waif knew there would be less commotion over a slaying. The people here were more-or-less middle class. Such executions didn’t really happen up here. With that being the case, the Waif stepped aside, and into a tiny trinket shop. She would wait there until Tailua walked by, and then she would trail him again.
  17. IC: Makua — Ga-Koro, Southern docks The calm bobbing of the boats and skiffs did as much to calm the sellsword’s nerves as his extra-strong drink from the Great Takea. He always appreciated a Skakdi who could make a mean beverage that stuck with you. The din of drunk sailors and bewildered refugees began to fade behind him as he entered the southern docks. He looked around for the sign of someone waiting around — or at the very least, a literal sign. Matoran traders and tourists alike were bustling around him, and the small of fresh fish and other wares began to give Makua hunger pains. I wonder well-stocked the kitchen is on the Fowadi, thought the Toa of Ice as he continued to walk along the docks. As soon as he thought the word Fowadi, a Toa entered Makua’s field of vision. He had guessed this was a lady Toa of possibly stone, but the purple colors and the translucent Rau kept the Toa guessing. At any rate, this Toa’s posture suggested to Makua that perhaps she was the one he should talk to. When Makua got within several feet of the Toa, she had noticed him, and they both had made eye contact. “You’re with the Fowadi crew right?” Makua said to the woman, “I read your sign posts. Sounds great, but I got another offer” Makua was well aware of what the sign posts had said, and he knew that the Fowadi wasn’t exactly known for being a taxi service. But spending his trip cleaning the deck or polishing cannons wasn’t really Makua’s idea of a vacation. Though such activities weren’t dull and could even be fun with the right crewmates. Still, it was better to start with what he wanted — see if this Toa had any give to her. Makua stood tall, his charm switching on like those switch-powered Onu-Koro mining machines. He then made his proposal, “How much for passage to Ostia, if you’re headed there? I got the coin to compensate for your troubles — if that’ll suit you” OOC: @sunflower
  18. IC: Niici — Ko-Koro, The Wise Man’s Archive “Oh, familiar enough, as most of the poor souls who remained here along with me will tell you,” Niici said. Before she continued, the Toa of Ice steeled herself and made an effort to gather her thoughts. Her time during the Ko-Koro takeover was… complicated. “Sure, people could leave if they wanted after the town fell to Makuta’s Legacy, but as a Toa, it was my duty to protect my people here. Sadly, it wasn’t enough to save all of our members of the Gentry. We lost a few,” Niici explained, “I’ve seen what Makuta’s Legacy has done… from a distance.” She then straightened up in her chair, after a cold shiver appeared to move through her spine. Her face looked like a cocktail mix of fearful and mournful. “So what’s this about?” Vidar — Ko-Koro, Niici’s Home Pictures danced around in front of the Toa’s eyes and he stared aimlessly at the lights above him. His room was in the basement of his captor’s home. Its corners were dark but the center of the room hosted a cluster of lightstones from the ceiling. Nearby was a small bed, a table, and a shelf full of linens. Vidar did not track time the same way most did, and so he could not be certain how many times a day the Matoran appeared to bring him food and organize his room. At any rate, the luminosity of the lights above provided enough stimulus to Vidar’s aching mind to give him ideas to entertainment himself with. For the longest time, the deadly warrior prodded his own wrecked brain to figure out what the bright lights reminded him of. It had become an object of fixation for him, one of many he’s had over the years since his final battle with the Warrior of Light who was too cruel to even kill him. Vidar looked up and focused on the shapes on the walls — shadows cast by the light fixture above him. Suddenly, an image appeared in his mind to give him pause. It was the shape of a Toa, wearing a mask of Psychometry. Vidar was restrained, and on a cold, metal table. Other Matoran were there too, carving notes into their tablets. In the grungy, shadowy corner of the rusty metal room, there was a black and light gray Toa wearing a Great Akaku. He stood intently, appearing to take in the scene. Then, sharp pains tore through his back like Nui Jaga stingers. Needles poked at the tender area on his back where his Parakuka companion once lived. Each prick sending shockwaves of agony straight to Vidar’s brain. But Vidar was strong, he clenched his teeth and grunted through each prod, refusing to surrender any more of his mind than he already had. Finally, the Toa of Air had had enough. The people inside began to gasp and choke, some of them grabbing their necks. The difference in air pressure made the only doors leading out stuck in their places. All of the air in the room was now within Vidar and it gave him immense energy. The bonds that kept him snapped, and now, it was Vidar who was choking the life out of one of the Matoran who had prodded his aching back. He could see and smell the fear within the Matoran’s eyes. Truly, it was like old times. No… that smell was different. The Matoran smelled more like a crab soup. Like the ones they made in Ko-Koro… It had been nearly half an hour before Vidar was freed from his vision. The steaming bowl of soup resting on the table on the opposite side of the basement room. His hunger overpowered whatever dreams pulled him from reality, and within moments, he was at his desk, furiously drinking down the massive serving of soup. OOC: @Goose @BULiK @Keeper of Kraata @ARROW404
  19. IC: Tailua — Ostia, Main Square The red porky Toa stuck the next flier off of his stack with considerable strength, making sure the adhesive held long enough to stick. Tailua had is clocked to about 15 seconds. He was currently down the main street on the highest tier of the port town, one of the cleanest parts of the ratty area. The gruff Toa knew that he’d soon have to venture into the darker yet more familiar parts of his town. He wondered for a moment what his old buddies would think of these ads for the Tech Emporium’s newest wares. The Toa wasn’t really thinking of much else. As he looked down the massive avenue filled with merchants, tourists, and sailors, his eyes shifted around and calculated the most optimal distribution of fliers. These kind of puzzles were fun, and something that his friend Makua had trouble appreciating. He was more about the more shallow but more social side of things. He only read as much as he needed to if it impressed the right girl. Once he had a route in mind, Tailua kept walking. ??? — Ostia, Main Square Several feet behind around, around the corner of a chum shop, three shadows stood so still that no one noticed them. Their uncanny immobility then slowly morphed into a slinking motion as they scuttled to the next building in front of them. Their identities were obscured by tan robes that further camouflaged them, but under their cowls, eyes peered forward at the red Toa ahead of them. After a long moment, the three figures moved again. Weaving effortlessly through the crowd and remaining unnoticeable to any normal observer. All the while, they kept Tailua’s position in their sights and in their mind. Eventually, the trio split off; two taller figures went to the left, deeper into the cleft of the cliff they hosted Ostia. Meanwhile, the shorter, sylphlike figure went to the right, remaining in the sunlight and heading down the main avenue. After more slinking, the sylphlike figure leapt onto the railing to her right. On the other side of the railing was the end of the cliff and a long way down, but the figure had impeccable balance. This was effortless. The figure perched on the railing and continued their watch of their target as he continued to place fliers upon posts in a systematic fashion. The figure knew that Tailua would eventually have to venture into the less visible parts of Ostia — the uglier parts. There, and only there, would hold their best shot at making a strike. While the shorter figure couldn’t see the other two of her comrades, training and experience meant she’d know where they would end up. The sylphlike figure just needed to make sure she where she needed to be so they would see each other. Slowly, the lithesome, hooded figure moved forward.
  20. IC: Makua — Ga-Koro, the Great Takea The sellsword calmly rested his now empty glass on the bar, feeling quite great. This was precisely the sort of edge-softening that Makua needed after days’ worth of travel through the jungle, mountains, and snow. Still, it did feel odd doing all of this without his friend Tailua. Ever since the incident, those two had stuck together. They became traveling mercenaries and fought alongside all sorts of traveling groups. It wasn’t always clean work from a legal perspective; in fact, hardly any of the jobs Makua took up were legal. Given the Three Virtues and the strong adherence to the Toa Code among Makua’s kind, the ice Toa often was able to make a great deal of cash from taking up jobs most Toa lacked the spine to take. His successes earned him shining golden pauldrons and an intimidating-looking ebon armor. To the ladies, such armor and strength was irresistible. While Makua knew this vacation time would be the most ideal for his escapades, he did have the slight sinking fear that none would measure up to his encounter with Niici just the night before. That was new, and the icy queen of the Cultured Gentry knew it. Which meant he had to prove her wrong. Eventually. Right now, he need to get some air and walk off this buzz. Makua looked to the counter to see the glass already removed. “That’ll be it for me, my friend. It was effective,” Makua said, reaching for his coinpurse and bringing up the cost of the drink in widgets, plus quite a high tip for the barkeep. “This is a more interesting day for you than usual, I’m sure,” Makua said with a slight drawl, “Here’s hoping a little extra helps with that. Thank ya” As he put away his bag of coins, Makua frowned at the realization that he had lost a bet with one of his old mercenary mates about the existence of dragons. Makua had never bought into such silly tales, but now he’d have to buy that man a drink. Eventually. Makua turned on his heel and left The Great Takea. One serving of that particular drink was enough for him, and on days like this, he was a fan of efficiency. Unfortunately, the fresh air Makua hoped for was being served with an extra helping of rain. He observed the locals walk and work like it was just another sunny day, and the Toa’s pride pushed him to do the same — ignoring the inconvenience of the downpour. The Toa decided that his next stop would be the Ga-Koro docks. There were always entertaining characters walking or living along those piers, and with the refugee situation, such characters would likely be more entertaining than usual. Ga-Koro Docks Makua was not disappointed. The drunks were there as usual, and now they were chasing the already-rattled Dasakans around, much to their annoyance and/or terror. Nearby, there were more Dasakans sitting on the docks, but these seemed to be enjoying some of the vices that the locals usually kept close to them. Drunk crystal-armored sauntered along past Makua, grateful to have the edge taken off their stress. They’re gonna feel all that tomorrow morning, Makua thought, trying and failing to hide a cruel grin. Makua continued to walk down the worn wooden planks that made up the old docks. Massive ships completely filled the harbor, blocking most of the water views and especially blocking out the horizon — not that that was too much of an issue this time of day. As the sun started to make its way down, it would eventually make its departure behind the Ga-Wahi cliffs — the same ones that hosted the island-famous carving of First Toa Gali and the waterfall that spewed from her mouth like a poor soul who drank too much rum. Makua always thought that was rather gross, but he long learned his lesson and would not bring that up with any local ever again. Finally, the ice Toa’s eye caught a parchment nailed to a nearby post. It was among many parchments that had advertisements, recruitment notices and manifestos written on them, but Makua could tell this one was fresh. With no particular destination in mind, Makua ambled towards the parchment for a closer look. Crew wanted for the Fowadi? Makua thought. The Fowadi was a name Makua knew quite well. Tailua talked nonstop about her and her crew — despite having never been on the ship and having never met any of the crew in person. It’s said that they had strong ties to Po-Koro’s forces, along with the various guard forces in the other villages. What fun would be it to rub shoulders with these guys while Tailua is doing Mata Nui-knows-what in Ostia? Makua thought. He chuckled softly. It was a humorous proposition, but the mercenary was supposed to be vacationing. This parchment clearly says crew. Perhaps there’s an amount of coins the captain would accept in exchange for passage to Ta-Koro, Le-Koro, or maybe even Ostia if the Fowadi is headed there. Makua figured there was only one way to find out. He knew from experience where the southern dockside was, and he was actually going in the right direction already. Just a couple turns here and there and he’d be there. To the south… It was no less busy in this area of the docks, but there were considerably less drunks milling around. Makua put on his best charm and began to seek out the recruiter. OOC: @Vezok's Friend @sunflower
  21. IC: Niici — Ko-Koro, The Wise Man’s Archive Yeah get in line. Niici’s gaze moved to the lawyer in response. As a force of habit, she looked him up and down. Based on the price tag of his clothing, Niici deduced that he was likely one of those “truth-hunting” lawyers. In spite of the dig from said lawyer, the Toa’s smile grew. “Pleasure meeting a lawyer in the wild, Mr Fenn,” Niici said, her voice sounding even softer and almost flirty. The frank, business-like tone she initially took on was momentarily dropped, “We have many lawyers of our own on staff who remind us — repeatedly — that creating a friendly environment for our most generous and successful merchants is and will remain unassailable in court. In fact, I could introduce you to some of them after this. They all love to share knowledge and meet others in the craft.” Her mask glowed as she reached behind her with her right hand. One of the unoccupied chairs responded to her beckon and moved up behind her — as if some invisible butler had followed her inside and was seating her. She gracefully sat down and then moved her gaze from Muir to Cyrix and then finally to the one gazing at her: the man known as "Syzygos" "Is he your lawyer, my friend?" she asked Syzygos point blank. Her tone was now more neutral, but still sounded more friendly than when she initially walked in. OOC: @Goose @BULiK @ARROW404 @Keeper of Kraata
  22. IC: Niici — Ko-Koro, The Wise Man’s Archive “You’re too kind” Niici smiled again and walked past the Matoran attendant. In an instant, Niici was welcomed by the warmth of heatstones by the entrance. She didn’t need directions in order to find which back room Cyrix was in. The entire library was so quiet, one could hear a pin drop. However, what perturbed her was the fact that she heard more than one voice, and they sounded rather calm. The Toa of Ice paced forward, crystal staff safely strapped to her back. She made a direct line towards the backroom and found herself in a room among old books, manuscripts, and papers. To say nothing of the three armed Toa sitting in the center of the room, with one of the Toa matching Cyrix’s verbal description of Syzygos pretty closely. “I see we have company,” Niici said, that businessman-like smile reappearing on her face. She then placed a hand on her heartlight after giving Cyrix a quick sideways glance. “Niici,” the Toa said, doing a quick bow. She then rested her hand on her side. “I’m here to meet with Cyrix on… something. I wasn't expecting the whole place to be closed.” Her gaze naturally flitted between Syzygos and the unknown Akaku-wearing Toa for a split second when she said ‘something’. She then looked to the Toa Kalta of Air. “Did you find what you needed?” she asked Cyrix. OOC: @BULiK@Goose@Keeper of Kraata
  23. IC: Niici — Ko-Koro, The Wise Man’s Archive (Outside) The Toa stood tall in her immaculate armor and worked to remain pleasant and cordial to the Matoran attendant. “If it’s the Toa Kalta of Air you’re referring to, I believe he is expecting me,” Niici said, a sharp but calm smile decorating her face. “We are supposed to meet for important business. I’m sure he’s waiting for me” Niici was impatient to get whatever investigations done so that she could get back to work with the massive Kane-Ra dump that was the papers and documents and lists that were left behind by the former chairman and his staff. Niici was busy, and she wanted to be efficient with her time. On the other hand, Niici also realized that building a strong relationship with the Kalta would be one of her best chances at further establishing the Gentry as a staple of Ko-Koro. Public opinion often quivered from time to time because of the profusion of wealth often talked about by the tabloids and reporters. In order to combat excessive sentiment of elitism, the Cultured Gentry would also put on events and charities open to the public to remind the people that they were for the people. Unfortunately, it had been awhile since the organization had done anything like that, and negative sentiment began to spread again once people noticed Niici’s community getting rebuilt much faster than most of the other districts in Ko-Koro. As a result, Niici quickly reminded herself that she needed to be kind. More than usual. Matoran had excellent memories, and their perceptions would last for decades. Niici needed to make sure that this attendant remembered her positively. As a result, her smile became warmer and more welcoming. “That’s not to say you’re doing anything wrong, of course,” Niici said, “If you can see if the Toa Kalta of Air is still expecting me, I would be much obliged” OOC: @BULiK@Goose@Keeper of Kraata
  24. Time to amuse/aggravate a whole new generation of RPers.
  25. OOC: "Guess who? Did you miss me?" IC: Tairax — Western Shore of Kvere;Ivi The sandy shore glowed with illumination as the rising sun crept further and further from the mountains on the far east side of the island. Lights danced along the eerily placid waters of Kvere;Ivi. The sand beneath the Skakdi’s feet shivered as the begrudging cold of night struggled and lost its daily battle with the hotting orb as it climbed the morning sky, hoisting hues of orange and violet around it. After a moment, the Skakdi let out a breath of satisfaction. And for the last time until the sun fell again, his breath misted in the air. The tranquility of the morning was eventually interrupted by the noticeably more haggard, emaciated wheeze of a figure below and to the right of him. The Skakdi, now revealed to have a flat-topped, short-rimmed hat, a purple spine, and a purple face by the rising sun, raised an eyebrow and looked down at the source of the pitiful sound of desperation. The bounty, a frail Onu-Lesterin with many broken joints and a bloated belly, was stirring from his forced sedation via blunt force. “Oh good,” the Skakdi cooed. However, it wasn’t just the rousing captive he was responding to. Off in the distance behind the Skakdi, he could the soft sands giving way to armored feet. The timing could not have been more perfect. The sun now revealed gray and white armor under the Skakdi’s purple spine, confirming to the newcomer that he had come to the right place to meet the right man. The purple Skakdi loved an audience, even if it was just an audience of one or two. He was an entertainer at heart — a die-hard creative, willing to do anything to achieve what other Skakdi lacked the artisanship or ingenuity to do. Finally, the footsteps stopped, and the Skakdi could almost feel the Kaiakan’s hot breath beating down on him. The purple-spined being, appearing to be hunched over, did not turn his full body around. Instead, he simply turned his head to his right, his right eye looking back at the massive newcomer expectantly. “So… you did it,” the Kaiakan said in a low, gruff voice, glancing down at the fallen merchant who had now moved to audible moans of anguish. The Lesterin’s moans were piteous — sounds befitting a descendant of the fallen merchant-princes of old. The Skakdi knew his history as well as anyone — possibly more so. How such a lowly being ever achieved dominion over the likes of his ancestors still baffled the Skakdi. Finally, the Skakdi opted to respond to the Kaiakan’s surprised expression. “I told ya,” the Skakdi muttered, his accent was low and more nasally than most Skakdi, giving him a more sinister sounding voice. “I’m a man of my word!” “Indeed,” the Kaiakan knelt down by the fallen Onu-Lesterin and grabbed the being’s jaw, turning the Lesterin over to get a better look at him under the rising sun. His stomach was unnaturally bloated, but the Kaiakan paid no mind to that. And although the Lesterin moaned in protestation, the Kaiakan would have none of it. “Oh, quiet, you miserable insect,” the Kaiakan muttered threateningly. The hunched Skakdi tipped his hat approvingly at the show of force. A moment later, the burly Kaiakan turned towards the Skakdi, warhammer now in both hands. “I suppose you’re gonna try and off us both,” the Kaiakan growled, “and make off with all of my money, huh?” “No… no… you have all wrong,” the Skakdi replied in an eerily sing-song tone. “I… am a man of honor. Don’t tell me you believe the lies that the Lesterin have spread about me” The Skakdi began to back away slowly from the Kaiakan, circling him to his right. “The Seprillians claim you are treacherous. That you give affordable prices for jobs and then kill and rob your own clients,” the Kaiakan growled accusingly. “Well! I, Tairax, take exception!” the Skakdi said, pounding his chest so hard that his short-rimmed hat shook a little. “You call me a scoundrel, a petty swindler and murder. But what I actually am is an entertainer. I create experiences, and I do performances.” Tairax side-stepped to his left, and the Kaiakan also side-stepped, keeping the Skakdi within striking range. Pretty soon, the Kaiakan was perfectly situated between Tairax and the now-shaking Lesterin who was sitting upright. “And your Skakdi brothers call you a freak for it”, the Kaiakan replied slowing spinning his warhammer between his fingers, “Your kind claim to fight for honor, using brawn and grit to get what you need. But not you. You seek to kill me before I can pay you the agreed bounty. What is this? This isn’t a stage play!” “Isn’t it?” Tairax murmured in his trademark nasally voice, “Weeee’re almost at the climax!” On cue, the Lesterin bolted up and retched onto the back of the towering hammer-wielding foe. The aroma the followed was unmistakably of the flammable oil that was often traded around Zakaz. The Kaiakan whirled around in shock and rage, though all that did was expose his front to the same soak-down of ingested oil from a second retching. In a flash, Tairax lunged forward with a long, curved cane in his right hand, hitting the massive Kaiakan square in the back with its end. The air vibrated around the impact zone, carrying a sonic wave that would normally shock bystanders. Tairax, of course, was all too used to this effect. The impact cane propelled enough force to knock over the Kaiakan, sending his massive torso right on top of the Lesterin who still expelling flammable oil from his stomach. “What’s a show without some fireworks?” With a quick flick, Tairax dispatched one final surprise. One of his throwing daggers had its tip dipped in a thick sap from the trees way up north. And stuck to that sap was a thick coating of Najin dust. He flung the dagger with surprising dexterity and force — easily enough to pierce the dying Lesterin’s bloated stomach. The fireball was as bright as it was impactful. Limbs went in all directions, and the Kaiakan found himself engulfed in flames. Worse still, the Kaiakan’s two legs that should’ve carried him to the lake a mere few feet away were… a mere few feet away from him. “Make noooo mistake my friend,” Tairax uttered before licking his lips. “I’m a Showman” It was very uncommon to hear a Kaiakan scream. They were tall, imposing, and utterly fearless as well as ferocious. Battle cries were one thing, but this was a horrifying scream that would terrify most other beings for nights to come. It was high-pitched and unnatural-sounding. And as the seconds flew by, the scream became weaker and weaker as the formerly imposing being’s flesh burned to a crisp. By this point, Tairax had turned on his heel is walked away, cackling in a measured way that, while nothing short of frightening, a more fastidious observer could likely tell it was more for performance than genuine glee at the cacophony of pain and anguish. “I love a good roast! Don’t you?” Tairax said, looking back at the now still flaming carcasses. Eventually, the fire died down to embers, the victims so thoroughly immolated that there was little chance they’d be recognized by physical features alone. Fortunately for Tairax, coin was a resource so necessitated by the citizens of Zakaz and Seprilli that it could often withstand even the most damaging of flames. And with its purse burned to ashes, they caught the rising sun’s light much better. “Oooh this guy was loaded,” Tairax muttered rapidly as he poured the coins into his own satchel. It was a pile of golden thin circles next to the blackened skeleton, and Tairax grabbed it all in roughly four easy scoops. The warhammer couldn’t possibly be moved by the hunched Skakdi, but it seemed to remain in good condition — unmarred by the flames. Finally, Tairax bent down and swiped back his throwing dagger. It had some burn marks for sure, it would live to stab another day. And all the while, Tairax could not help but cogitate the real joke of all this: all the Kaiakan had to do was pay him. Indeed, Tairax had never robbed anyway out of the blue. Someone spread a nasty rumor about the Showman — and it turned into a self-fulfilling prophecy. By the time the sun had fully shown itself above the far-away mountains, the purple Skakdi was long gone. Another show was wrapped up. Roll credits.
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