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Everything posted by Emzee

  1. 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
  2. That particular game and a bunch of others can be found in the link in this topic.
  3. 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
  4. 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”
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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
  10. 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.
  11. 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
  12. 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
  13. 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.
  14. 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
  15. 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
  16. 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
  17. 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
  18. Time to amuse/aggravate a whole new generation of RPers.
  19. 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.
  20. IC: Niici — Ko-Koro, Old Town The ride through the Old Town was a peaceful one, if not a bit nostalgic. It had been years since the Toa of Ice ventured through here, as she felt much more at home in the newer, richer expanses of the west side. The taxicrab slowed to a halt as it reached the entrance of the tranquil establishment. Niici became puzzled when she saw a throng of patrons leaving the library. To the Toa of Ice, the Wise Man’s Archive appeared to be closing down. Nonetheless, Niici paid and tipped the driver so that he could go on his merry way. What sort of shenanigans is going down over here? Niici thought with consternation. With her staff safely fastened to her back, she walked briskly up to the entrance of the library. Lightly brushing past the crowds of Matoran exiting the place, she frowned at the sign that read “Sorry, we’re closed”. “Must be Cyrix’s doing,” Niici presumed. She rapped on the door and listened closely for any movements within the library. OOC: Knock knock @ARROW404@Keeper of Kraata@BULiK@Goose
  21. IC: Makua — Ga-Koro, The Great Takea After the dragon identified himself as Aclaraung, the ruffled Toa of Ice took a deep breath, and after a moment, lowered his sword. Perhaps Makua had acted too rashly. But to be fair. There was a talking dragon in this establishment. If anything, Makua found himself more disturbed by the amount of patrons who appeared to be just… fine with it? “Nektann’s sack, chill, would ya?” the Skakdi bartender said sharply to Makua. In all fairness, the Toa’s sword was still unsheathed. In response, Makua slowly placed the sword back on his back and raised his hands in resignation. Well, what was this mercenary to do? This bar felt as chaotic as ever, but it wasn’t like chaos was new to the Toa. It’s just that this vibe was something that Makua was not used to at all. Everyone was extremely accepting, but this was a level of acceptance that made the mercenary a bit uncomfortable. He missed the old days when life was simpler, when there were just Matoran, Toa, and Turaga, plus Makuta’s Rahi. Vortixx and Skakdi discovered this island paradise shortly after the fall of the First Toa. And then other species appeared, like the Mystix who invaded Le-Koro that one time, or the Valkyr who have seemingly disappeared recently. And now, giant ships’ worth of crystal-wearing Toa and Matoran-like beings were swarming the water village, and it’s treated like just another day on the sleeping spirit’s island. Maybe I’m getting too old for this, Makua thought. He supposed, at the very least, he could answer the talking dragon’s inquiry about recent events. “So, Aclaraung, is it?” Makua said to the dragon, still forcing himself to believe that there’s a talking dragon before him. “Well, where should I start? Turaga got whacked, as you may have noticed, with the new Matoran leadership and all. Makuta got whacked by these so-called ‘chosen’ Toa. We can talk about that more later. Hmm… ah yes, Makuta’s followers got really salty about their dead evil god and stormed Ko-Koro — killed a bunch of people and took hostages. I was one of the hired hands supposed to drive them out, but y’know, I got a better offer somewhere else. Uh, a bunch of Skakdi thugs called ‘Piraka’ stormed Ta-Koro and destroyed the Lavapool Inn — my favorite spot in that volcanic village. Hardly any reason to visit Ta-Koro now. And finally, there’s a rumor that those so-called chosen Toa didn’t actually whack the Makuta, and he’s still alive and strutting his stuff. Which, y’know, I could’ve told ya that would happen. Whatever desperate delusion made the villagers believe some random losers from around the island could kill that god when my highly-trained team couldn’t do it — well, I’m just glad I wasn’t wrapped up in that BS. And now, as you see. We’re being swarmed by these weird — no offense y’all — crystal-wearing beings that look a lot like us but aren’t us” He looked at the dragon and wondered if his unstructured exposition dump made any sense to him. It was half-explanation and half-rant, as the bitter memories of the failed Toa Kodin team soured his experience of Mata Nui’s history. “And that’s the history of Mata Nui according to me: Makua, a traveling mercenary who is on vacation right now” OOC: @Vezok's Friend@otter + anyone else who wants to join in
  22. IC: Niici — Ko-Koro, Cultured Gentry HQ The ice Toa watched the interaction between the Matoran and the Toa of Air — at first with curiosity. Niici’s demeanor changed when Cyrix turned back to Niici. ”Huh. It appears that our man is back at the Wise Man’s Archive,” the Toa of Air said before turning back to the Matoran. “You can tell Priicu I’ll be back right away; I just need to make a stop somewhere first.” And with that, Cyrix was gone. Things had moved a lot more quickly than Niici had anticipated. She wondered how long the so-called copyist had been there. Maybe he was hiding from the Toa Kalta before. At any rate, she was still going to lend her hand and help Cyrix investigate at the Wise Man’s Archive. Though this could be a task best delegated, Cyrix was clear that this would be a personal favor to him. Such personal ties would be useful. An ironclad (and likely clandestine, given the Gentry’s negative reputation among the lower classes) alliance between the Cultured Gentry and the Toa Kalta would be invaluable. Niici grew more optimistic the more she thought about the pending meeting with Aelied. But first, Cyrix needed her help. She briefly glanced behind her, back into her office, where her crystal-mounted staff rested against the corner behind her desk. She had little reason to believe there’d be conflict, but one thing she wouldn’t do is leave her personal safety in the hands of another Toa. For this alliance to work, Cyrix and the other Toa needed to see she was just as capable as a Toa — worthy of being called “Protector”. After all, it’s part of why the board of directors gave her back this job after the takeover of Ko-Koro. Her Matatu glowed slightly as the crystal-mounted staff wiggled, and then rose into the air. An instant later, it glided through the air and Niici caught it in her left hand with grace before twirling it and slinging it across her back. Then, she briskly walked down the hallway and up to her secretary’s desk. “Aelrie, I have some action items for you,” Niici said with the smile. The Matoran quickly reached for her tablet and chisel in anticipation. “What will it be, Madam Chairwoman?” asked the secretary. “Another feeler,” Niici replied, “Syzygos. He’s a Toa of Crystal wearing a Great Arthron. Lean build, black crystal armor, looks a little like the Toa of Air you talked to earlier. May have been a mercenary at some point. Forward this info to our best guys. You know who” “Sure do,” Aelrie gave a wry smile. Operations like this were hardly new to the wealthy organization. “Anything else?” “Yes, please draft a letter to begin setting up a meeting with Aelied of the Toa Kalta. Cyrix told me he was interested in meeting me, so I want to get that snowball rolling, if we can” “Absolutely” replied Aelrie. Just then, the main hall erupted in what sounded like applause and cheering. With one eyebrow raised, Niici turned around to see many finely dressed Matoran handing out glasses filled with what Niici immediately recognized as their best wine. In an instant, Niici’s left hand was holding the bottom of the bowl of a wine glass. The aroma let Niici’s sensors know immediately that this was a well-aged, and very strong wine. “We just closed a deal with the East Le-Wahi Trading Company!” cried out Pecaroe, a bubbly Miru-wearing Ga-Matoran who was also holding a nearly-empty bottle of red wine. In her other hand was a filled glass of that very wine. While she was a newcomer, she both very ambitious and very skilled at forming alliances between the Gentry and other wealthy companies. Apparently, not even the shrewd trading company to the south could resist Pecaroe’s genial demeanor and well-spoken diction. This was a big deal. They often had the biggest ships on Mata Nui, and while that made them prime targets for pirates, their top-notch security and sharp tactics allowed them to either avoid or repel attacks, especially in the last several months. “A toast to a job well done, and to many more deals to come!” Pecaroe said before she and everyone else in the lobby down their glasses. “Anything you’d like to say, madam chairwoman?” Aelrie asked the Ice Toa who had not drank from her glass. Niici was hesitant to down her wine so quickly, given how strong it was. But she could at least say something. “Congratulations, Pecaroe, and to the entire Outreach Team. Ambition and communication like this will help bring the Cultured Gentry back into the good graces of everyone on Mata Nui. With a partner like the ELTC, I expect it will be even easier to convince other merchants to become members of our group” Niici hesitated for a bit, looking down at the dark red liquid in her crystalline glass, before looking back up to her employees. “Next time, we need something a little lighter,” Niici said gently, still wearing her congratulatory smile, “We’re professionals and one of Ko-Koro’s sworn protectors was just here. We have to look good in front of the new Akiri and protectors. It’s very important we stay sharp — especially if they’re around” Niici then raised her glass and looked right at Pecaroe, “But again, congratulations on a job well done” With that, Niici downed the wine. It was as smooth and sweet as Niici expected. Pecaroe certainly did not skimp. But this was also a wine that would be felt for a while. Front steps of Cultured Gentry HQ, Ko-Koro Niici walked outside, the coldness barely affecting the Ice Toa. A transport Ussal crab was nearby and the Toa waved it down. A lot of those taxi cabs were around the HQ, given the demographics of both employees and visitors. There was often a lot of money to be made for them around here. “Where to, madam?” the driver said, gingerly taking Niici’s staff and fastening it into the back compartment. “Wise Man’s Archive, please” “You got it!” And with that, the taxicrab pulled off and into the snowy fields of Ko-Koro.
  23. IC: Niici— Ko-Koro, Cultured Gentry HQ The ritzy-looking Toa smiled as she rose from her chair. She reached out and took the Le-Toa’s hand, shaking it with enthusiasm. “That would be most excellent,” Niici said, “My staff can arrange for a meeting — anytime that’s convenient for Toa Aelied” Niici began making her way to the door. When she opened it, she saw her secretary at the end of the hallway talking with another Ko-Matoran that she did not recognize. Naturally, she assumed this visitor was also here to see Niici. “Looks like I have a busy day ahead of me,” Niici said to Cyrix nodding towards the two Matoran. OOC: @Keeper of Kraata@ARROW404
  24. IC: Makua — Ga-Koro, The Great Takea The Toa of Ice, normally calm and cool, found himself staring rudely at the scaly newcomer. Worse yet, his hand had subconsciously been moved to the hilt of his sword. “I thought the whole dragon thing was a bloody spoof!” Makua protested. His eyes then darted around to the non-Mata Nuiians. Was this thing with the refugees? “Aye!” Makua called to Daijuno. The Ko-Toa was so wrapped up in his own shock that he had not noticed the crystal-wearing Matoran’s equal level of shock. “Is this one with you lot?” Makua asked. OOC: @Mel@otter@Vezok's Friendetc @Void Emissary
  25. IC: Ra’lhen — Onu-Koro, Mudpool Inn... hours later “No no no, I’m talking to absolutely no one tonight,” Ra’lhen said to this regal-looking Ga-Toa, his tongue tripping over itself in embrassing fashion. “People are crazy out there and I’ve had enough bad experiences since Makuta’s defeat,” Ra’lhen drawled on. “‘has nothing to do with you, I’m sure you’re great.” The heavy weight of a glass mug made his right arm feel like an old Proto-Knuckle was attached to it. The thought made him briefly uncomfortable. The half full mug was eagerly raised to the Toa’s lips. Perhaps relieving the mug of its contents would make it feel less like a weapon used to bash in dissidents’ skulls. “So yeah, don’t take it personal-” Ra’lhen blinked a few times and realized the Ga-Toa had vanished. As if shaken from spell, Ra’lhen began to look around him. Where’d Stannis go? OOC: @Umbraline Yumiwa
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