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Six Kingdoms: Rebirth - Gameplay


Unreliable Narrator
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IC: Druu and Amarth - The Wombat

Druu coughed as the flame suppressant spewed all over, cutting off his fiery breath. Of course the matoran would install fire suppression systems on their ships. Just barely seeing Poroka coming for him in time, Druu leapt back. Or well, he tried to, but winced as he found the shrapnel in his side twist in the wound, halting his dodge mid-way and allowing the titan's swords to cut across his chest before he could retreat out of reach. Those were three wounds he had now, the shrapnel embedded in his side, and the two large cuts into his chest by Poroka's blades. Druu grimaced, taking several steps back more, his brass knuckles now equipped and glowing red hot while strands of crimson poured down his copper chest to disappear among the rest of his maroon form.

Amarth, meanwhile, relied on Poroka's focus on her boss to slip past the titan, levelling her gun at the Vahki's processor and firing several well aimed shots, the metallic projectiles flying forth at lethal speeds. Immediately following this, the Vortixx retrieved one of her blades from its sheath, ready for either the Vahki to still be active, or the giant to turn around and try to attack her.

@Eyru

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IC [Zataka - Aboard the Tactical Panda]:

“Either.” the warrior replied. She paused and adjusted her stance a bit. This boat had not been built with people taller than Skakdi in mind and she had to duck and lean a bit to not constantly scrape against the passage ceiling.

“Anything technical, for that matter. But you seem to manage.”

 

OOC: @EmperorWhenua
 

 

 

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IC: Toa Sans, Long Ago in Long Forgotten Lands

******

Toa Sans' Voyage Across the Seas had been interesting, to say the least.  Thus far, he'd touched The Mountain of Xia, spat into the volcano in the center of the Southern Continent, passed on an offer from a mysterious Titan to visit the cursed land of Karzahni, accepted an invitation from a fabulous Matoran to visit the fabled land of Artahka only to get lost on the way before giving up, and witnessed the Nynrah Ghosts working on their projects on their island.  He'd seen so much, but Sans craved more.  He saw the best and the the civilized world; rich merchants on Xia obscuring the records on who they had working for them, decorated nobility of Stelt overseeing brutal battles in their gladiatorial pits, he dared not step foot on Zakaz but even offshore the smoke could be seen rising from some harsh work camps or possibly mines.  Sans never found ample reason to visit the City of Legends, but he did visit many other Matoran settlements.  All thus far were pleasant, and most were even comfy, but Sans supposed that's the success that came from being the Great Spirit's chosen.  Maybe someday, Sans would settle down into one of these villages and be its Toa defender, or maybe even a Turaga leader.  Such thoughts always made Sans chuckle to himself, "Huhuhuhuhu."  Retirement was a long ways away for Sans.  All of these travels had been to see what good he could do in the world, as well as some excuse for adventure for adventure's sake, but Sans wanted to do something more.  So Sans set off to the south in a one-man sloop.  He wanted to see for himself what mysterious and hidden places could be uncovered, what adventures could be had, what good could be done.

After several weeks, Sans had arrived at the southernmost tip of the southernmost island.  He had expected a boring nature scene.  He found a smoldering ruin of a city.

Toa Sans docked his sloop a kio down the way then walked back towards the city ruins.  There was still some smoke rising from a smoldering, collapsed house.  Ash covered the entirety of the village.  Never the most cautious Toa, Sans bellowed out, "Heelllllllooooooooooooooooooo?"  He expected no response, and was surprised to hear a whispered "psssst!"  He turned towards the next nearest house and saw a pair of crimson eyes peeping out from a cracked-open cellar door.  "A Toa? Here?  Come down quick!"  A black hand flung open the iron latch as the eyes disappeared below.  Confident he could handle any trap possibly within, Toa Sans ventured down into the cellar, closing the door behind him.

It was pitch black, save for the dozens of eyes and heartlights cramped inside this underground abode.  A cloth was removed from a lightstone lamp, illuminating a basement full of primarily black Matoran, with highlights of darker reds and blues and greys and even more blacks marking them.  "Shadow Matoran? Don't take offense, but I've never had the pleasure."

"Few have, but none have had our pleasure.  We've been alone in our home for all of time, except for now.  We prefer it that way, so if you make it out of Hunakra alive, then we'd appreciate it if you kept this place to yourself."  The Matoran speaking was all black, save for his red knees.  "Sure thing.  I'm Sans, by the way.  Would you mind telling me why we're all in this basement and the city above looks like such a dump?"

"The Kanohi Dragon.  One day it just appeared in our skies.  We used to have such a nice flock of Nivawk who made their home in the trees atop the cliffs blocking off the island interior from our village.  If you look there now, all you'll see is a flattened waste.  None of us have been up there, but we all heard the fight in the skies.  No Nivawk have been seen since, either, so it's not hard to imagine what that dragon has done to them.  That was just the first day," the red-kneed Kra-Matoran warned.  "The second day, the Dragon attacked our fishermen out off the coast.  I was the only one to make it back from that, I'm afraid."  The entire room grew silent for a moment as the Shadow Matoran bowed their heads.  "I'm Rikarr, by the way.  We have no leaders in our village, but I'm the best at story telling, heh."  The room's vibe was lifted some as a few laughs escaped the otherwise sorrowful mouths.  

"This Kanohi Dragon has been attacking us for months now.  We even tried offering it food, but it was never enough.  It seems to love destruction for destruction's sake.  As you saw above, we haven't been able to live freely in too long.  We all hide down here around this time, because the Kanohi Dragon usually appears around this time.  Suffice to say, we were all shocked to hear your voice, Toa Sans "  Rikarr moved towards Sans, holding blue hand in black hand.  "I don't know why you came here, Toa Sans, but perhaps it was the Great Spirit's will.  Would you help us, Toa Sans?  Please."

Toa Sans didn't need two seconds to think it over.  "Of course I'll help you.  Stay down here; I'll let you know when its safe to live outside once more."  Sans heroically climbed out of the cellar and strode throughout the village.  Ash covered everything, several buildings collapsed, some smoldering still; it was a sad sight, indeed.  Sans took some time to consider a course of action, but couldn't devise any plan better than defeating the beast in battle outside the city.  So Sans went a bit outside the village, and waited.  It wasn't long before he heard the cry of the Kanohi Dragon.

It soared through the horizon, darting to and fro as it slithered towards Hunakra.  "Not today, fell beast!"  Toa Sans equipped his protosteel staff then activated his Kanohi of Enlargement.  Rapidly, his muscles expanded and his frame grew.  Toa Sans lumbered 60 feet tall by the time he was done growing, and by the Kanohi Dragon's flight pattern, had clearly drawn its attention.  "Your days of destruction are over, dragon!  Today is the day you meet your maker!"  The Kanohi Dragon circled above, before roaring so loud the earth beneath Sans' feet shook.  Then it attacked.  The Kanohi Dragon spiraled downwards towards Toa Sans before veering off at the last instant before impact, unleashing a blast of fire from its maw as it turned away.  Sans used his free hand to create a wall of water which intercepted the attack.  Now, it was his turn.  Sans pointed his staff towards the flying Rahi and unleashed a spear of water from its tip.  It blasted the beast in the back, causing some amount of pain, evidenced by its shriek.  It must've made it angry, too, since it immediately whirled around and flew straight towards the Toa.  Sans dove into the dirt to avoid the attack.  Before he could rise, the Kanohi Dragon was on him again, flying above and breathing fire below.  Sans dropped his staff to use both hands to spray down the flames.  Through the stream, he could see the beast flying down towards him again, seemingly about to land on top of him! 

Toa Sans grabbed his staff again before rolling to the side a few rotations.  The Kanohi Dragon landed where Sans used to be, then whipped its tail around to slap Sans, which it did.  Sans couldn't rise fast enough, and was beat by the beast's decorated appendage, sending him back on his back once again.  The Kanohi Dragon lurched forward, yet Sans jumped up in time to dodge this attack.  Now standing firm, he gripped his staff with both hands and swung it with all his might, smacking the Kanohi Dragon in the face as it turned to blast him again.  The crack of the impact echoed through the sky, and a few teeth flew from the great Rahi's jaws.  It brought its head back towards Sans, but the Toa had dropped his staff and raced towards the beast.  As it started spewing flames once more, Sans wrapped his arms around its neck.  Then the thrashing began.  The Kanohi Dragon wriggled, and rumbled, and even tried to take off into the sky once more, but Toa Sans refused to let up.  He squeezed, and endured the struggling Rahi, until after a minute, the beats rolled onto its back, bringing Sans on top of it.  The dragon's claws began to dig at the Toa, and he knew his armor wouldn't protect him indefinitely.  He got... unconventional.. and yelled at the beast, except instead of screams, water gushed out of his lungs.  Sans spewed this water into the face of the Rahi, until the kicking gave way to spasms, and a different sort of struggling.  It took a few minutes, but between the choke-hold, and the drowning-on-land, the Kanohi Dragon finally stopped moving.  Sans allowed his hold to linger a minute more than probably necessary, but this was quite the encounter and he had no desire to fight the same dragon twice.  It was done, though: the Kanohi Dragon was dead.

Toa Sans returned to Hunakra before shrinking down to size.  Three knocks on the cellar door, before shouting out, "it's done!  The beast is dead!  I give you back your homes!"  When the Kra-Matoran emerged, they saw an ashy Ga-Toa a little worse for wear, but no Kanohi Dragon in the skies.  The villagers rejoiced, and for the next few days, helped repair Sans' armor and give him rest and supplies for his continued voyages.  

When Sans was ready to depart and sail the silver seas again, Rikarr walked him back to his ship.  "Thank you again, Toa Sans.  We will never forget all you did for us."

"'Twas my pleasure, huhuhuhuhu.  Until we meet again."  After a shared wave, Toa Sans took to sailing his sloop once again, looking for his next adventure in unknown places not found on any map.

******

IC: Sans, Metru-Koro

Turaga Sans' eyes twitched beneath his swollen eyelids.  His heartlight grew from nearly-faded to dimly-lit.

 

IC: Lrrthxx, Ruins of Air

"Then to the other rooms I shall go."  Lrrthxx abandoned his attempt to read the writing on the floor; he would come back once he learned what was in the other rooms.  An Aspect of Birth, though... Miserix?  Lrrthxx had not seen the head of their association for some time now.  He added "find Miserix" to his ever-growing list of things to do while he paced back down the hallway he came from, this time going down the left hallway, leaving the center way for last.  He needed to know the entirety of what he was dealing with inside this temple before he could accurately decide which next step needed his attention the most.

OOC: @Unreliable Narrator

Edited by Azibo
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In a world where heroes and villains battle for the fate of the universe‚ some people have normal lives and work normal jobs... Zimixes

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IC: Saybo - Toa of Water - Aurax

Location - The Coliseum (4, 9), 50th Floor Throne Room

With - (Great Being) Aurax, Pridak, Stannis, Skyra, Rose, Waveahk

 

Even as he crashed into his Great Being, still Saybo waited for Aurax to make his move. Yes, he had clipped his glorious leader, but still he waited. He let himself roll with the fall, minimizing the potential damage. He had spent a lot of time training for falls with a combat style like his. A quick assessment showed no major pain.

Saybo looked up, Aurax was doing a very cool and very tactical slide. Good, time to start.

Saybo didn’t bother to rise, instead just pulling his Miru from being pinned under his chest and donning it. The power and senses came to him, but so weakly he was momentarily distracted. Wearing his mask more than once in one day really wasn’t worth it.

Regardless, he activated his Kanohi and tugged on the water in his canisters, rising into the air. He began to start dodging around in mid air, assessing the current situation as it unfolded. Everyone seemed to be attacking from every angle, minimizing his options. He drew his pistol, but refrained from firing. Battles could be quite chaotic, and he didn’t want to risk hitting Aurax or one of his assets.

 

OOC: @EmperorWhenua @~Xemnas~ @Snelly @Toru Nui @Tarn @Vezok's Friend

 

IC: Cravious - Skakdi of Lightning - Zakazian

Location - The Rig outskirts (9, 8), the Cube

With - Gore Fury, (NPC) Voracious, (NPC) Preceptor, (NPC) Sagacious, (NPC) Asperity, (NPC) Clash

 

Cravious led Gore to his fridge, letting him have free reign of the kitchen area. He hesitated as Gore grabbed the few items he allowed himself to splurge on as luxuries, but his interest was piqued watching the other Skakdi work.

He studied Gore’s movements and his eyes, watching as Gore watched the food cook. This Skakdi, fool though he was, truly appeared to know how to cook. The taste would reveal the rest, but Cravious saw enough in the act to know the outcome had to be favourable.

Gore prepped the table and Cravious took a seat, watching as Gore spooned out a white sauce on top of the filet. Asperity gently floated from the ceiling, crouching on the back of her chair with apparent ease. She smiled gently yet coldly and climbed down into the chair, the act alone not creepy, but the way she did it was. She let go of her element and settled fully into the chair, cutting off a piece of fish even as Cravious did the same.

Cravious gingerly closed his large teeth around the fork, savoring the subtle flavoring. He chewed, swallowed, and had three more forkfuls, taking his time both to appreciate the complexity of the flavor and to gauge whether he even enjoyed the taste at all.

One thing he knew for certain, the cost of his food luxuries had been worth it. The way the taste swirled around his mouth filled him with contentedness. Something he almost never felt. This food was good. Like, really good.

Asperity quickly emptied her plate, taking many small bites. At the end she grinned oddly. Cravious realized it was because she was genuinely content. He hadn’t ever seen that before, even after all these years she had been employed by him.

Finishing his own plate, Cravious took a drink of water before addressing Gore, “Superb. Even with the sparse variety of ingredients, still it tasted good. No, not just good, magnificent. Skakdi would kill for this, which means security, but you have a bright future ahead of you if you can live through it.

Standing, Cravious paused to consider his options, “I’d be willing to invest half of your start up cost in exchange for-” Cravious paused, he wanted as much of the profits as possible, but he wasn’t sure how much this Gore Fury was wise to economics. He seemed like he knew nothing, but you could never tell for sure. Cravious decided to go with a figure higher than most would accept, but not so high as to raise the suspicions of the uninformed, “35% of your profits. And I’m willing to reinvest at whatever point you decide to upgrade your platform and means of distribution. I will also accept any and all requests within reason to be hired to create, repair, or acquire whatever you require.

 

OOC: @Sparticus147

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--------- “BRUH” -Makuta, probably ---------

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IC: Apex (Mornagad's Hut)

As Apex readied herself for whatever may walk through that hut, she was...not ready for what she saw. What Apex saw was...Something that she honestly didn't know if she had ever seen before. Apex, in her younger days, before her entrapment had made sure to familiarize herself with every single piece of flora and fauna upon the island, but this...She didn't know if that it was either that she genuinely never met a member of this race or her memory has been shrouded by shadows a whole lot more then she realized.

As Apex stared up, her wings began to withdraw themselves both out of sheer surprise and to cease the incessant droning that came from them. Attempting to hide her surprise, Apex simply and slightly threateningly said, "I do not assault this tree out of malice, simply to get your attention as you seemed to have missed me after nearly assaulting me with...pottery." At the last part, Apex looked down towards the mess of debris that sat next to her. "I have not been within the swamp for some time now, and there are certain, ancient, portions of it that I must find."

OOC: @Burnmad

IC: Sala (Escaping Metru-Koro)

Avoiding burning structures and pulse bursts, the duo made their way swiftly towards and out of the southern gate, escaping the doom that is Metru-Koro.

Sala...Was conflicted. Yes he had helped Sorilax accomplish one of his steps...But at the cost of another matoran's life. Yes, Juno was doomed to die, but...It still felt wrong. Sala didn't know if it was something with the ritual itself or simply just his own matoran sensibilities. But that wasn't the biggest point of contention within Sala, it conflict was with himself. He had left those people to there fates, he didn't even try to give Juno's last words to the matoran he told him about in person. Sala was too much of a coward to do that.

Silent, his eyes downcast, Sala continued to follow Sorilax. Unwilling and unable to say anything further to Sorilax or to himself.

OOC: @Kal the Guardian

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On 7/10/2020 at 2:57 PM, Vezok's Friend said:

IC [Coliseum]:

These two momentarily dealt with, I glanced towards Stannis, just as he rattled off his second verse and punctuated it by hurling his spear into one of my Vahki guards. It went down, but wasn’t out. The skewered enforcer collapsed to the floor, but as they lacked the ability to feel pain or go into shock, it responded right away, raising the alarm with its fellow Vahki and alerting the hive. With the alarm raised, these traitors would have to hurry to try and get rid of me, before the entire security force of the coliseum descended upon them. Then, the Vahki promptly opened fire upon the preachy, spear-less Stannis with its Kanoka disk and staves from its prone position. 

...

“I’m going to break you! And when I am done I’ll go to the ruins you called a village and plant my flag in the ashes!”

IC Stannis | Coliseum

Things quickly spiraled as soon as the Wanderer revealed himself to the warrior king, and the fear and anger that simmered within Pridak's blood frothed forward in a full boil. This was the man who made the Universe bend the knee, who conquered in the name of retribution for the scorns his kinds received across the millennia, who's righteous rage was matched only by his vainglory and blasphemy. It was always a striking thing to Stannis how someone who was so close to the truth could fly so far from it, and that Pridak's assumption of Mata Nui's death and consequential war would in some way provide his factions with the peace they desired. Their war was meant to grant them peace with nations carved away from the tyranny of a dead god, but in truth they had been stacking the bodies of fallen toa into funeral pyres, accidentally turning them into sacrifices for a god of death. How ironic it was that their very acts of rebellion had fueled the rebirth of their greatest foe. 

It was, regrettably, one of the many reasons Stannis had opposed the League. Life needed to be preserved, not simply out of an intrinsic value of itself but simply because every life saved was a possible stone lifted from the cosmic scales of destiny, and preventing the League from succeeding in their cause—however justified they were—was necessary. Stannis had failed, however, and life moved on. The cycle continued. The Wanderer would get another chance. This was simply the next one.

After the skewed Vahki's collapsed to the floor Stannis reached back and unslung his second polearm, then advanced on the downed enforcer. Whereas a mere two weeks before he would have considered the machine done and destroyed, his experiences with Unit BO-1337-P in the pursuit of Ehlek had educated the old man somewhat on the resiliency of Nuparu's creations. They were not to be trifled with, not when they had any sense of determination to follow through on their directives, and he doubted a single spear through their torso would entirely do them in. Sure enough, his suspicion was proven correct as the automaton fired at him with all its weapons. In response, Stannis pounded the floor with the pommel of his spear, conjuring a focused shield of stone that quickly slid towards the vahki, absorbing the staff blasts and consuming the robot an instant later as it struck it, and then fell like a domino upon it, ultimately smashing the robot to its parts and encasing them like fossils, his first spear along with it as an unfortunate side effect. The kanoka it had fired, however, was of a Ko-Metru variety and bounded around the obstacle Stannis presented; to counter it, the Wanderer tried to dive away from its path by rolling to the side. It only narrowly missed his body, bursting in a fit of energy as its Weakening effects seeped into the floor where he stood an instant before, but as he got back on his feet he noticed the hole in his great cloak from where the kanoka sliced through. 

"Ashes to ashes and dust to dust, replenish the soil and death will nurture new life." 

It was yet another verse from the Holy Scripts but poignantly relevant to Pridak. They were all pawns in a grand scheme none knew the rules of and gloated on victories as though the glory was theirs, as though the corpses of their enemies was anything but nutrients for the future. Stannis sung these verses not only because they were from the Scripts, but to rattle Pridak's mind. The Barraki was vain and superstitious, he loathed faith in a god because it stood antithesis to his machinations, and feared poor fortunes that could tarnish his existence. Stannis' presence was unnerving enough, but by constantly reciting the Scripts Stannis intended to incessantly remind Pridak of his ill-luck, taunting him, unraveling his focus. Nobody could claim a crown and not be afraid of losing it. Pridak was no fool and would surely realize what Stannis was doing—but in doing so, he would begin to truly doubt everything he knew.

Destiny often worked in mysterious ways.

The old toa weaved his polearm to and fro, creating barriers and boulders of various sizes across the threshold of the chamber with no immediate discernible pattern. A couple against the walls and behind him. Several by the windows. A few on the floor where nobody stood yet. The passage he came from was sealed. These structures of stone popped up as though pulled from thin air and with immediate realization, each one a trap and weapon to use later, the wizened Wanderer expending the focus then and there to prepare for their use a moment later. Whoever controlled the battlefield would control the battle—yet another principle Pridak would appreciate—and Stannis, ever the master of prediction, was intent to dominate in order to assist his allies of the moment in their assault. 

It was not in his character to directly challenge his greatest enemies but instead to support those who already possessed a determination beneficial to Stannis' aims. He was an enabler, inspiring others to win on his behalf, not a manipulator, per se, but a benefactor shrouded by mystery to be sure. Stannis studied Pridak's motions for the potential inevitability that he be lashed out against in a moment, however, and he drank in the visage of the Barraki to know how to counter him when they came to blows, and in the meantime he would stand guard against the vahki that were surely summoned and would arrive soon. Stannis would be ready when the time came, but for the moment he allowed the more martial of his allies to do their best worst against their mutual enemy. 

Whatever the result would be, the battle was sure to not last long.

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IC: Morangad - Fau Swamp

The Tiokaha's brow furrowed. "I apologize if my rubbish nearly struck you. I have had a... difficult week." He paused for a second, taking in the curious biology of the Aspect vessel before him. "What is it that you seek? I have resided here for a very long time, and may be able to aid you." He huffed a single chuckle as an idea occurred to him.

"I may ask for something in return, though. I'm sure you are no stranger to such bargains."

OOC: @Sparticus147

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Avatar by Brickeens

 

 

 

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IC: Parnassus | Nightmare Pits

"Do you know how many reckonings this one's had today?" Parnassus snarled, gesturing with their chin towards Barius. The Aspect tried to hide the quiver in their throat, the waver in their hand -- these two interlopers were a fine distraction for Miserix, and enough of a distraction to keep Parnassus from a blinding terror that seemed posed to swallow them. The Aspect allowed shadows to wriggle up from the ground and the corners of the cavern and flock around their legs, like stray cats mewling for food.

"And you think, what?" Parnassus continued. "That the two of you are going to be the final blow?"

OOC: @Nato the Traveler @Burnmad @Sparticus147 @Unreliable Narrator @Keeper of Kraata

IC: Irna | The Tranquility Bridge

Irna watched Kei and Kat leap from the falling ship and realized that she neither fully understood how these lev-chutes worked, nor had time to figure it out. There was a cord on one side that, when she gently tugged on it, seemed be taut -- it reminded her of the hunting blinds her family used to use, tightly coiled bundles of canvas that, when you pulled on the rope coil--

She didn't have time to think about it.

She just jumped.

-Void

 
 
[ BZPRPG ]

 

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IC: Marrow - The Nightmare Pits

"In truth, I didn't wake up this morning with final blows in mind. But now that I'm here..." despite the implicit threat in his words, Marrow took a few measured steps away from the injured Ko-Skakdi. Aspects weren't known for their altruism, so if this one was coming to the skakdi's defence, it likely meant they had a pact, perhaps even a desecration. To challenge one was to challenge both. "I can understand you wanting to protect your investment. Take it, and leave." 

As he waited for the Aspect's answer, Marrow breathed in through his nose, inhaling the miasma of scents that clung to the cavern. The familiar reek of fresh blood and desperate perspiration hung heavy in the air, adding to the lingering reek of putrefaction and evil that seemed to permeate the entire place. Being in the heart of the mountain, Marrow realised it wasn't enough to kill a few warskaks. He was one man, and he couldn't wipe them all out himself. But if he destroyed the site of their wretched rituals, robbed them of their power to raise more abominations, that was a blow that would shatter their faith and ruin their resolve. 

@Conway

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LkqTlCk.jpg

BZPRPG Mercenary Organisation - Description - History - Base

BZPRPG Characters - Minnorak, Kain, T'harrak, Savis, Vazaria, Lash

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IC: Miserix and Boss | Nightmare Pits

She didn’t know this newcomer, but she saw into his mind as quickly and as painlessly as the man she possessed so completely, body and soul. Miserix spent many long years preparing her physical vessel, offering sweet gifts and in return making more of her children. The furs and armor covering his body did little to shield his thoughts, and Miserix predicted his course of action without error.

But she did not move away from the blow of the maul. She let it fall. She let the wracking pain of gravity crush Boss deep into the ledge. He failed her, and deserved the punishment. Not death, but the aching pain of a miserable reminder scarred on his honor to bear in the long years to come where, in the dark hours of his suffering, he would continue to whisper her name in the hopes of salvation.

She did not feel the pain, though her children squirmed with fear. At a moment’s notice she could retreat to safety, but for now she wanted this newcomer to feel confident and self assured in his meddling. He showed himself to the assembled as a newcomer who disrespected traditions, and placed no value on the honor of others. As the pulling force of gravity lurched through Boss’s frame, she considered the man above her. 

The new skakdi rose imposing over Miserix, an example of how big skakdi got when able to enjoy a solid meal. Miserix spoke with the shadows in his armor, learned of his strength in a moment, and determined him worthy, but too late: she invested enough of her children in one host already. Perhaps another time. Yes. She could find him and crawl through his heart until it was hers completely once her current became utterly spent. How she longed to learn the secret rituals tattooed in purple ink across his darkform, and read of the battles he brought into the world. Later.

She controlled Boss through both her own possession and through the physical connection of her children. She knew skakdi would have power in his eyes, and she met his gaze and sent his vision into a dark blindness. Bitil, her yellow spawn, wriggled and worked the powers of molecular disruption upon the maul. Bits of metal began to float away in the acrid air. Two of her other children worked to keep Boss alive, unbroken, and in pain.

 

Boss loved the smell of the sea. Salt and warm desert air mixed and cooled as the breath pulled to the back of the mouth, rolled over the tongue, and made his heartlight glow. He didn’t know what color his heartlight glowed, but he could feel it softly pulse in the calm. Warm, sunbaked sand slipped between his wiggling toes. He felt weighed down, pushed on his back, like when gunning the accelerator of the E Street Wagon across the open desert.

He smelled the leather of the driver’s seat baking in the hot sun. He liked that smell. The warmth lingered around him, bonding with the sweat in his armor, and caking into a single sensation he could breath for hours. He felt safe when enveloped in the scent of leather and oil. He felt calm when he smelled and tasted the flavor of premium smokes. The smell of plants, the smell of green, and the smell of watery blue saltwater filled him with joy. Someday, all of the desert would smell like flowers. He would make it green and lush with verdant life.

Scent represented his safety blanket, his dreams, and his comforts. He struggled, maybe not as hard as those who started with less, but he carved something of a life for himself in the pursuit of those scents. The warskaks smelled like home, and the fortress they left behind when they went to raid his personal prison.

And the smell of death, and rot, and the festering blister of his life made him angry. He smelled blood. He heard screams. He lost the scent of the sea, replaced with acrid, cloying choking gunk of volcanic smoke. He felt pushed back against the hard rock, his body crushed and tortured under the pressure of gravity as he felt himself drawn to the earth and the earth drawn to him. Pain reminded him of his purpose.

The smell of blood made him remember. He remembered the fighting, the brutal pain in his left hip, and the corrupting temptation of the being possessing his flesh. Miserix tempted him again with the smell of the sea, but he fought back. She tempted him with memories, but he fought back. She thought she won, but then suddenly found she couldn’t control two skakdi at once.

The hot blood dripping around his wrist from Barius’ open wound brought the consciousness of Boss back to reality, stuttering and struggling at first, then fiercely with a primal roar. Like breaking through the surface of the water after swimming so long in the deep. Two inhabited his body, but for a brief moment he found himself in control again.

“How dare you,” roared Boss, but not at the skakdi pinning him to the ground. Aided by the squirming kraata of accuracy on his back, Boss’s hand grasped the head of the maul pressed against his chest. As one skakdi wielded the power of gravity through the head of the weapon, so too did Boss with his powers of water. A geyser of sea spray burst from the weapon, staggering Drukarus’ back and buying time for Boss to roll over, curse his wounded hip, and stagger upright. He wiped a hand across his bloodied lips and spat. Miserix’s containment sphere rolled away from him, bumping against Drukarus’s foot. Boss didn’t notice. Only rage consumed him.

Rage at himself for being caught off guard.

Rage at the newcomer for interrupting.

Rage at Barius for still being alive.

“Barius! How dare you hire others to interrupt,” Boss shrieked. “I’ll kill you all, starting with you first.”

With a burst of ferocity, Boss rushed forward, arms outstretched. Blood poured from the wound in his hip, gears churned and broke, and the joint gave out as he collided with his opponent. Screaming in rage he thrashed against the younger skakdi, dragging him to the edge of the precipice. They teetered on the edge, and then...

OOC: @Burnmad, take it away!

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Happy chat.

 

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IC: Barius - Nightmare Pits

Barius was about to growl a response to the Mesi, when Boss rose from the ground. For the moment, everything else disappeared; Miserix and interlopers alike had been pushed back, and now all that was left was for two conflicting personalities to collide with each other unimpeded.

As the meaty Mt. Everest that was Boss collided with the K2 that was Barius, his momentum carried the two mountainous Skakdi toward the edge. The ice in his gut cracked like a glacier, and the torrent of blood resumed again. It made sense; this had to end, now, before the other forces clamoring for power could re-converge upon the pair and work their machinations. In a way, the rush was an expression of the perverse sort of respect that Boss had for Barius. In the white Skak's mind, it meant that Boss had chosen the risk of losing to him over the safety of falling back on Miserix's aid. It meant that he would rather cede power and his own life to Barius, than to live on as a puppet to the demon he'd thought was his pet. And that was in large part due to pride; but it also spoke to some level of respect for his younger counterpart. The words Boss said - the accusation of him hiring thugs to ensure his victory - did not register on Barius' mind at all. It was just noise. But the blood and bone and pulsing muscle of their duel-- that was the truest expression of Boss' thoughts, and that was what elevated him to the level of an equal.

But he didn't want to just be an equal; he wanted to be superior. Pounding fist and stabbing steel into Boss' back and sides, his mind raced as he considered how he could best his opponent. The knife in his hand - Boss' own, and the key to the E Street Wagon - plunged in and jerked out of Boss, but it alone could not stop their slow, slipping advance towards the edge of the platform. Boss was still slightly bigger and stronger than him, and so it was inevitable that they would plummet; what Barius needed was a way to stop himself from falling. He buried his head into Boss' shoulder, as it is not unusual for one to do when grappling, and activated his X-ray vision for the second time in this fight, turning his recently-restored sight to the edge of the ledge behind them. The wall of the volcanic crater was a sheer drop of solid rock, but its surface was adorned with dangling chains, tethered firmly to the rock face; whether they were the remnants of torturous ritual of ages long past, or merely an aesthetic choice made to please the shadowy beast Irnakk, Barius did not know. But he could see into their cores, gaze at the integrity of the rock where they were bound: He knew at a glance which would be most likely to hold his weight, and instead of fighting Boss, he began to push them in that direction.

As they teetered over the edge of the platform, Barius pushed with all his might, straining his entire body to extricate himself from Boss' grip. The hand which held Boss' own knife stabbed it into the blue Skak's gripping arms, while his right hand stretched out to grab the length of chain that he had chosen. There was a horrid jerk-- his shoulder popped from its socket, only adding to his immense pain, as he was torn between the colossal weight of Boss' and his own bodies, and his own determined grip on the chain. But he held on, while Boss slipped by, falling away into the choking volcanic smoke below. His x-ray vision deactivated, and he met Boss' eyes with his own, cementing the sight of Boss' doom in his mind until the day he died, whether that was near or distant. In spite of the precariousness of his position and his many injuries, he couldn't help but stare until long after the smoke had closed around Boss' falling form.

OOC: @Unreliable Narrator @Sparticus147 @Nato the Traveler @Keeper of Kraata @Conway

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IC: Corrivalis - Nightmare Pits

And just like that, it was settled. Boss was gone, and Barius - though bloodied and broken - still drew breath. 

His weapon shifting into spear form, Corrivalis warily stepped forward, ready to defend the new leader of the warband. 

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BZPRPG Mercenary Organisation - Description - History - Base

BZPRPG Characters - Minnorak, Kain, T'harrak, Savis, Vazaria, Lash

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IC: Drukarus (The Nightmare Pit)

Drukarus was moments from bellowing down towards the demon that had taken possession of the skakdi that was prone before him, till the mad cries of Marrow and a sudden onset of lack of sight distracted him, long enough for Boss to escape his pin. Regaining his sight, Drukarus was left to witness the events that unfolded before him. Boss's outcry from his intervention, the collision between him and Barius, them stumbling towards the ledge, and the pair of them tumbling over.

Upon seeing the pair collapse over the edge, Drukarus almost rushed over to the edge, not out of altruism but to simply to witness which one of them had perished. But something called to him, as he looked down towards his feet, he bore witness to a small black orb, a spiraling electrical energy surging within. For some unknown reason except to perhaps one, Drukarus reached down, and took the orb, placing it within his back pocket.

OOC: @Burnmad @Unreliable Narrator @Keeper of Kraata @Nato the Traveler

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13 hours ago, Vezok's Friend said:

IC [Zataka - Aboard the Tactical Panda]:

“Either,” the warrior replied. She paused and adjusted her stance a bit. This boat had not been built with people taller than Skakdi in mind and she had to duck and lean a bit to not constantly scrape against the passage ceiling.

“Anything technical, for that matter. But you seem to manage.”

IC Yumiwak | Tactical Panda II 

"Thank-ssss," I seethed, barely keeping the rage in check. The insult, whether meant or not, hurt. I clasped my hands together in fists so tight they could crush billiard cues, but I still walked without skipping in my pace. 

We did not simply "manage"—I did not simply "manage." Nothing I did was done because it was just fine. I was the daughter of my great grandmother's ancestors, a crown upon my head and a fire inside my heart, and I was not here to merely subsist on the relics and traditions of the past but to forge forward to a shining future because I was meant for greatness. I was better prepared than any of my forbearers with more knowledge and information at my disposal than any of them ever had dreamed and I was not going to allow myself to be bogged down by settling for things lesser than what was right and good.

I wanted to kill Zataka for the slight then and there. It was in my nature to do so—remember that informant dude on The Rig?—but I held my violence in check. At least, to her. At her? I dunno. I would not kill her... yet. Perhaps some other time, but for now she would remain my prize. My quarry. My beefcake. Cake. Cake?

"You'll fit better if you sit," I suggested coldly, though I finished it with a smile in an attempt to subdue my anger with some offering of politesse and hospitality, thinly veiled as it were. We were in my dining room then, a lavishly-appointed space by modern Zakata standards with elegant ironwood and crystal furniture and even a centerpiece on the table and glowing sconces on the walls. Colorful tapestries from a gilded age hung in carved frames and flatware of shiny red gold lay neatly set on the lightly-frayed-but-still-neat purple linens. This, I was hoping, would serve as an indication of my status to this Zataka and rebuke her remark from earlier. We were not savages here, least of all us. We were civilized, honorable, and not to be taken for less. 

"Fetch us honey lemon crumblecakes," I said to the Panda's steward, who also doubled as the cook and co-quartermaster. "Korio, Ysocla, would you care to join us? If you haven't got other duties to return to immediately... of course.

@Vezok's Friend @pokemonlover360 @Tarn

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IC: Oreius | The Coliseum

Oreius cleared the jagged edges of the window by inches, and his stomach leaped into his chest as his jump turned into a fall. The broken city of Metru Nui spread out before him like a constellation, its little lights twinkling in the darkness. The wind whistled in his ears.

Time to see if his plan would work. He raised the disk of levitation, them brought it down upon the Vahki staff with all his strength. A flash of light signalled the release of the disk's power, and the staff became suddenly less than weightless, almost wrenching itself out of his grip. He bit back a curse and held on with his fingertips, his arm blazing with pain, then dropped the disk to hold on to the weapon with both hands. The staff pulled him effortlessly up through the air, past the window he had leapt through and towards the wide-windowed throne room. 

His ascent slowed as the disk's effect began to wear off, but he was going to make it. He could see the target window only a few floors above. He boosted his speed with a jet of fire from his feet, and prepared to throw a blast through the window--

The old toa weaved his polearm to and fro, creating barriers and boulders of various sizes across the threshold of the chamber with no immediate discernible pattern. A couple against the walls and behind him. Several by the windows. A few on the floor where nobody stood yet. The passage he came from was sealed. These structures of stone popped up as though pulled from thin air...

--the window suddenly burst from within. Oreius covered his face with an arm and felt shards of glass bounce off his armor, then looked up to see a slab of stone sticking out through the window frame.

A second jet of fire carried him the remaining distance. He let go of the staff (which continued to lazily ascend like a wayward balloon) and landed lightly on the finger of rock. It stood firm beneath his feet, as if it had been summoned for the sole purpose of catching him.

He had made it to his journey's end. Drawing his sword, Oreius jogged down the slab and leapt to the floor, entering Pridak's throne room at last. 

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IC: Apex (Morangad's Hut)

Apex, staring up towards Morangad, began to crane and extend her neck upwards, to limit the disadvantage she had to speaking up to the being. "If the bargain you speak of is the one that I believe it is, then I merely require an offering. As for what I desire, there are ancient ruins within this swamp, hailing from a bygone age, what I seek lies within them and I need assistance finding them. Will you offer this for me?"

OOC: @Burnmad

IC: Gore Fury (THE CUBE)

I’d be willing to invest half of your start up cost in exchange for...35% of your profits. And I’m willing to reinvest at whatever point you decide to upgrade your platform and means of distribution. I will also accept any and all requests within reason to be hired to create, repair, or acquire whatever you require.

Gore was...More than surprised at the sudden turn of events. What was meant to be a simply tune up on the Grillmeister became an outright business proposal. And just the kind words this skakdi said for his cooking, even if Gore could understand whether or not Cravious had said that to flatter him and to make the potentially bogus deal even more one-sided, he either didn't know or simply didn't care.

With a wide grin across his face, Gore held out his hand towards the seated Cravious. "You got a deal my friend."

OOC: @Kal the Guardian

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IC: Yaushe - The Taku

Yaushe completed her u-turn and set about dodging stray fire with surprising skill. It felt natural, as if she had flown before... not as natural as the van, but...

Her reverie was interrupted by the sight of one of the ships, the only one not crashing (let them have parachutes, or something...), firing on the village.

They'd evacuated, hadn't they? Surely they had... but... she still had to try and stop the carnage.

Power crackled under the Taku's mighty metallic skin as Yaushe tensed, feeling the stormclouds that had been gathering, and reached out with her power, calling for their aid. The heavens answered, in a voice that boomed loud enough to rattle windows on the ground:

9QcyVGJNWdkZhbuE.gif.12ed1152f04981d78c662ed5eabd9f44.gif

The Taku, under Yaushe's influence, shared in her natural resistance to electricity. Other ships, however, would find some of their systems facing electrical interference. Airships really shouldn't fly in storms, after all.

 

IC: Mega - The Taku, Yaushe's Van

Mega, who had turned to reply to Triage, instead nearly fell out of the van from the sound. "Gah!"

Memoirs of the Dead entry: The Unknown Turaga, a tale from the late Chronicler Kodan's journal.


Strakk's Best Friend, the story of a confusing yet somehow canon friendship.


Terrible Comics, a collection of comics that are terrible.

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On 6/12/2020 at 12:24 PM, Unreliable Narrator said:

IC: Reliable Narrator | Ruins of Ice

“They left behind what they learned, or gathered the hidden teachings they needed to perform  things taboo to those who follow the Krom. They had many ways of hiding their secrets among the teachings of the faith. Not that I would disclose such secrets. They are against the Krom."

Korruhn continued to inspect the lantern, holding it aloft and moving it from side to side. He felt called not to the lantern itself, but the shadows banished by its light in the room where they solved the puzzle.

OOC: @Crimson Jester, @Nato the Traveler, @EmperorWhenua

IC: Korruhn, Ruin of Ice

The light from the lantern swung to and fro, casting brief, sharp shadows throughout the room. As the shadow and light danced their dance of chase and avoidance, Korruhn began to feel the pulse, the steady flow of the shadow quickly imbuing with his vascular systems. His grip tightened around the lantern's handle as he felt the physicality of the darkness travel from the jagged tips of his fingers, winding up his arm and straight into his heartlight. With each breath he took, his lungs seemed to fill with the blackest of voids, and he drunk it in with great lust.

A low, almost unegisterable deranged cackle came from the depths of his mask, and his icy eyes narrowed to the new focus in his brain. Korruhn set the lamp back in it's place, and proceeded to remove his cloak. As he placed it onto the lantern, the room suddenly turned to a murky void of shadow.

OOC: @Unreliable Narrator

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IC: Parnassus | Nightmare Pits

It all happened faster than Parnassus could process -- as though, in one moment, Boss and Barius had simply vanished into the ashy smoke of the pit itself. Corrivalis was already drawing his weapon, ready to fight the interlopers. But Parnassus simply shrugged past him, the shadows around them twisting and writhing, the Aspect's hold over them slack and unfocused as they hurried to the lip of the smoking hole in the ground. They would have felt it if Barius had fallen, after all, they were certain of it -- but they were also a young Aspect, and their knowledge of the world was more horizon than anything else, to their great chagrin. They knelt by the pit, peering out over the edge."

And there, that massive S.O.B. of a warskak hung, clinging to a heavy chain bolted to the smooth wall of the hole. Bloody. Battered. But breathing, if barely.

Despite themself, Parnassus grinned.

"Well, let's not hang around, then," they said, and shadows coiled down from the Aspect's hand, wrapping around Barius' waist. Parnassus stood up and stepped back, the tendrils of darkness hoisting the warskak up and out of the pit.

OOC: @Burnmad @Nato the Traveler @Sparticus147

-Void

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IC: Skyra Daring - Pridak's Crib -

Skyra raised her arms up instinctively as the Cordak rockets exploded prematurely. The shockwave send Skyra flying backwards, though with the help of her Calix she managed to correct her fall and land on her feet. She quickly looked herself over, her armor was a bit singed and burnt in a few places, but it was no worse than some nights with Rose. 

Skyra looked at Pridak and couldn't help but grin a little, this fight was going to be even more fun than the one against Carapar. 

Waveahk had managed to actually wound Pridak in the back, for all his complaining and insults he liked to regularly throw at her and Rose, at least he was pretty handy in a fight, Skyra could respect that much. 

Skyra started to hover in the air with the help of her element and jetpack, flying around Pridak in a large circle till she had a good view of that wound Waveahk had inflicted upon the warlord. Skyra put holstered her guns for the moment in favor of a lower tech solution. Skyra pulled out a throwing knife from her belt before throwing it at Pridak, aiming for the wound. She then chucked two more knives at him, aiming for the same spot. Her aim was pretty solid, but throwing a few increased the odds of at least one of them successfully hitting the target location.

@Vezok's Friend@~Xemnas~@EmperorWhenua@Kal the Guardian@Tarn @Toru Nui

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Skyra | Hakari | Oceanna | Taleen | Arisaka | Zanakra | Kaminari | Drakkar

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IC: Barius - Nightmare Pits

The victorious Skak couldn't help but grunt in discomfort as Parnassus' inky tendrils wrapped around him, aggravating his wounds slightly. Glancing into the abyss one final time, it occurred to him that a good quantity of his own watered-down blood had poured into the volcano, alongside Boss. He wondered whether Irnakk had tasted him, then. He hoped the nightmare beast enjoyed it; it was all he'd be getting of Barius today.

He alone crested the edge of the ledge where two had so recently vanished. Parnassus placed him on his feet, where he stood shaky, but under his own power. Clenching his fists and gritting his teeth, he renewed the ice that sealed his wound, fusing together the cracked pieces.

Barius stared once more at the newcomers, his gaze daring them to get in the way.

OOC: @Unreliable Narrator @Sparticus147 @Nato the Traveler @Keeper of Kraata @Conway

IC: Ollem - Desert Suva

Ollem shrugged. "They do wear out after a while. But they can last some time before that happens-- this one's probably got plenty of throws left in it. He bent forward, examining the disk.

"The digits tell you what kind of kanoka it is. The first one is where it was made; the different Metru have-- well, had different techniques. This one's from Ga-Metru, which means it can change direction in mid-air, based on the thrower's thoughts. I'm told it takes some practice to get good at it, though.

"The second number is what power it's got. You already know that this one is a freeze kanoka, of course. And the third digit is the power level, which varies greatly. 3 is alright."

OOC: @Harvali

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IC: Nale Vella - Outside Metru-Koro

She frowned. It wasn't a language she spoke, but she recognized it as the one Mantax had and, now that they were on the ground and not on a crashing airship, she could see that the maskless Ostrox was the same species. He was still complying, at least from what the Toa of Magnetism could tell, so she simply sighed and pulled out her retracted spear--just in case. Nale didn't expect him to try anything, and in the back of her mind she knew that the Leaguer would probably expect more aggressiveness from a Metru Nui survivor and use that against them, so the Fa-Toa acted neutral towards Ostrox as she watched the skies for her allies, taking note of a storm brewing above.

Kat and Kei landed near them, the latter visibly exhausted, but Irna and Skorm remained unaccounted for. Before Nale could greet the two Toa, or ask about the whereabouts of the other two boarders, a volley of shots flew over their heads from the Wombat towards Metru-Koro. For the first time since the boarding, the Fa-Toa could really see the damage being done to the village, and she realized this didn't feel like a victory at all. More like barely surviving, if the village were to survive at all. "I'm...glad you two made it," Nale said, turning her attention back to Kat and Kei. "Where's--"

A thunderclap rang out, the storm appearing to worsen, drawing Nale's optics to the skies again. "Was the weather like that before...?"

@Conway@Keeper of Kraata@TL01 NUVA@The UltimoScorp@Toru Nui

IC: Korio Karasha - Tactical Panda II

Korio had been standing to the side, leaning against the wall like an cool dude to pretend Zataka's presence onboard the Panda didn't bring him...discomfort. He had assumed the mark would be dead by now, or at least treated more like a prisoner, but with the way she carried herself and stole attention away from him and others, Yumiwak was treating the warrior more like...

"Ah, of course, Miss Yumi," the Vo-Skakdi replied, his demeanor suddenly shifting as he bowed slightly, the sneer on his face he'd had since returning to the ship reshaping into his signature Skak-grin. "It's been a day, yeah? Always good to unwind."

@EmperorWhenua@pokemonlover360@Vezok's Friend

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[BZPRPG]
(shout out to max)

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IC Kathrine of the Flame - Wasteland:

With the weight of Keitara in her arms, the dull fire of exertion in her muscles, and the shifting sands beneath her feet, Kat's progress to the others was slower than she'd have liked. Above her, behind her, the rage of battle continued. He spirit burned within her. Aching to take part in the clamor of battle, despite her body's disagreement.  But they were too distant, and she was too small.

But a flash of light and a resounding, thunderous noise that engulfed the land and shook her entire body with it's power stopped her in her tracks. And with it, inspiration struck. A fleeting memory of Lhii speaking to her about an old Master of Elements. A reclusive and powerful being that had according to some legends, granted the First Toa their powers, so many millenia ago.

Kat had never put much stock into such things, but then, she had never known much outside her own island and this new world was vast and strange. If she could hold the power of two elements... maybe she could have stopped the ship properly. Maybe she could have been fast enough to save Farah on her own, and Reson wouldn't have had to go with those skakdi. She frowned. A dark thought crossed her mind that Reson... might not have made it after he'd left with them.

She started walking again.

Tears came to her eyes, hot and unbidden, and she angrily blinked them away. What use was all her unlocked power if she couldn't keep the people who relied on it safe?

Was it her own failings? Was she simply not worthy of the abilities she'd been graced with? As the echoes of thunder began to die, she felt a resonating pull in her spirit. No... in a strange world such as this, she had to adapt and change her thinking. If there was a way to gain the power that she was looking for... she would find it. As She finally drew close to the Others, her own heat had dried her tears.

Edited by The UltimoScorp

 

                                                                                                                                                       

                                                                                           The Unofficial Guide to TBRPG Combat!

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IC: Drukarus (The Nightmare Pit)

Looking back up towards the edge where the skakdi combatants had taken their tumble, Drukarus was greeted by the sight of one of the onlookers helping up the skakdi he had thrown, the one he had assumed was not Boss. Being pulled out of the gaping pit, the newly victorious skakdi planted their gaze on him and Marrow. Recoginizing the unspoken challenge, Drukarus planted his maul, balancing its weight upon the head of it, and began a slow, methodical clap. "Congratulations on your newly won warskak. I will say, I can only imagine on the struggle that had occurred here." Although Drukarus said this with the intention of sounding sincere, Drukarus's normal, plaintative manner of speaking could come across as sarcastic to perhaps the wrong crowd.

OOC: @Burnmad @Conway @Nato the Traveler @Unreliable Narrator @Keeper of Kraata

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IC: Irna | Open Air

Thunder crashed, lightning flashed, and Irna fell from the sky.

She tumbled, end over end, the icy wind whipping at her body, until she could scarcely tell what was up and what was down, what was sky and what was ground. All she could glimpse was the way that the night sky seemed to bleed light, flashes and flames and lanterns on falling airships. She thought she saw Kei fall past her, but couldn't be sure. She couldn't even be sure if Keitara and Skorm had made it to the ground -- yet. It was hard enough to tell if she, herself, would make it to land in one piece. She was moving too fast, too wildly. She tried to remember something, something that might help--

"Do you see that, Irna?" her mother said, pointing up to the sky.

It was another hunting trip -- just the two of them, mother and daughter. Food was growing scarce the further their village had been pushed into the mountains, leaving their people no alternative but to climb to the dark summits and clifftops to hunt the Infernavika and Mahi that made their homes there. But it was a perilous path to trek, and their hunting parties had needed to shrink to navigate the steep crevasses and the winding valleys. Sometimes, Perror of the Northern Continent travelled alone. But not this time.

"Do you see how the 'vika glides through the air, Irna?" her mother said, kneeling down in the sand, her fingers notching an arrow without even looking down. "Its wings are so vast that it doesn't even need to flap them sometimes. They are so large and so flat that the wind pushes against the wings and keeps the bird aloft, so that the bird does not need to work as hard."

Her mother drew back the bowstring, but she didn't fire. She waited, and waited, and waited.

Then, the bird raised its wings and flapped, going up, when--

The arrow flew true. The bird fell from the sky.

"The bird doesn't need to work so hard," Perror of the Northern Continent said, "it is more perceptive, then. Wait until it begins flapping, and its attention is elsewhere, Irna. Now, go fetch it for me."

Her mother was probably dead by now, killed along with Mata-Nui. But Irna still remembered what she had taught her all those years ago, and so she flung out her arms and legs. It was terrifying, like letting herself go in the middle of the ocean -- but she felt herself slow. She felt the world no longer spin around her wildly, and begin to steady into a long horizon, a sky full of lightning and cannon fire. And a desert that was getting closer, and closer, and closer.

Irna reached for the cord on her lev-chute. She didn't know, for sure, if this would work, if this what this device was designed to do. But it was too late to second-guess now. And besides, she needed to do something before she hit the dirt, or she was shot down by one of those ships. Like an arrow piercing a bird.

She pulled the cord.

***

It took more walking than she had expected, but Irna finally managed to find Keitara and the others gathering in the darkened desert. She raised a weary, shaking hand -- she had been shaking ever since she had landed with little more than a few scrapes and bruises -- and slowly made her way over to them. She laid her hand on Kei's shoulder, and surprised herself by leaning on the maskbearer, the exhaustion in her bones only now revealing itself.

"Did everyone make it?" she asked, looking around. "Where's Skorm?"

OOC: @TL01 NUVA @Tarn @Toru Nui @The UltimoScorp

-Void

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IC: Gaius, Fau Swamp

Normally, the trek through the boggy jungle mess was a pain.  But it rained for a bit during the middle leg of the journey, which turned the ordeal into REAL pain.  The ground was squishier than normal, and with all his extra weight being carried, his progress was extremely slow.  He had expected to reach the spot on the map by twilight, instead, the moon was already high in the sky by the time he reached the shoreline of Zakaz.

Gaius had been south, and west a bit.  Here, the jungle crept so close to the ocean's edge there was hardly a strip of sand between the two biomes.  Also bordering the jungle trees and the ocean were various rocks, carved by the ocean into smooth surfaces and sharp points.  It was in these tide pools that Gaius would find his next ore; the mark on the map was labelled "Enlarge."  The map didn't include any explanation for why such an ore was needed, but Gaius didn't need to know.  He had a job, and was gonna get it done.

Setting up camp sucked, plain and simple.  The Swamp Toa decided to pitch his tent close to the canopy's edge in a somewhat clear spot.  A mild application of his acid powers to the stump of the one tree corroded its base to the point of pushing it over.  Gaius hauled the tree towards the edge of his camp before further melting away the remainder of the stump, clearing a space large enough for his tent, at last.  After an hour, his tent was up, a rough outline of sticks jutted around the tent, and Gaius was asleep on the floor under his rough-yet-cozy blankets.

Gaius rose with the sun, and strode along the beach to inspect the rocks to be mined.  One thing about living in the jungle: it doesn't prepare you for an aquatic lifestyle.  Gaius only barely understood the tides, and ocean currents, and aquatic Rahi.  As he waded his ankles into the water, he felt out of his element, and lost.  He knew he was looking for the milky streaks of protodermis inside the stones, but thus far, the water covered most of the stone.  After an hour or so of walking back and forth, Gaius stubbornly walked back towards the beech and sat in the sand.  "It must be high tide," he reasoned.  "I'll give it some time." 

Gaius waited until about noon to wade into the water again, this time with much more success.  Little pools of water were trapped in tiny, concave spots atop the rocks along with small sea creatures.  It was hardly ten minutes before he spied that elusive ore vein.  A ravine carved between two larger stones revealed the ore underneath.  Gaius retrieved his pickax, then alternated swinging it with mild application of his powers to weaken the rocks between strikes.

Gaius worked like this for a few hours.  He hauled his latest load of stones onto the beach, placing them inside his knapsack.  It looked fairly full and certainly heavy.  Gaius pondered calling it quits here; it's not like he couldn't ever come back.  Gaius dropped his pickax and strode towards the water's edge.  The ocean was rising again, and the water level was necessitating a break anyways.  Gaius sat in the wet sand, allowing the waves to softly crash around his feet and legs.  

Gaius never really took time off anymore.  There was a time when he could slouch in his duties and rely on his brothers to pick up the slack, but that time had been a lifetime ago.  Watching the clouds and the distant Rahi in the skies, listening to the crash of waves on the shore, and feeling the sand and the surf beneath him made the Mar-Toa feel more relaxed than he had been in some time.  Ever since that pearl-armored Titan had died in his village, Gaius had been on edge.  A giant head crashed into his world, and with it had come untold masses of newcomers.  Clearly, some were good, or at least intelligent enough to unite against a shared threat.  But they couldn't all be, realistically.  Zakaz was full of evil as is; the island had no need for further wrongdoers.  Gaius thought of his village- his friends and family- which was all he had left tying him to the world.  If not for them, he would've fallen on his sword and followed his brothers-in-arms into that dark, new world.  Yet he had cause to remain, and would continue to live and fight as long as a single Matoran remained in his care.  

As fearful thoughts of what may happen to the Matoran without him intruded into his consciousness, Gaius shook his head and rose back to his feet.  Such thoughts wouldn't do any good, so Gaius got back to work.  He went back to his knapsack full of rubble and retrieved his pickax, then walked back towards the water.  He carefully made his way across the slippery rock surfaces before arrived back at the now large gash in the stones.  He was more just inspecting the job site to see if any more ore could be easily extracted- which didn't seem to be the case.  So Gaius turned and walked back towards the shore.

That's when the Tarakava struck.

Gaius felt a strong punch to his back that sent him flying face-first into the surf.  He landed hard on a rock, and tried to stand when he slipped, falling again.  Gaius rolled around instead, turning to look up as a mighty blue punching-lizard towered over him.  Another punch descended, yet Gaius activated his Kanohi Hau, blocking the attack.  The beast backed a step, and Gaius turned to rise again.  He deactivated his Kanohi and sprinted towards the beach.  By the time he reached his knapsack, he turned to see the Tarakava half-submerged in the tide pools, staring back at the shore.  Gaius was in no mood for a pointless fight with an animal before having to lug all of his stuff back to Mar-Koro, so he just stared back, allowing time for the Rahi to slink off somewhere.

Gaius gathered his ores, and decided to sleep early and without supper.  He'd rest without disturbance, and wake before the sun began to rise.  Through the morning twilight, Gaius disassembled his camp, and as the sun rose in the sky once more, the pink-and-yellow Toa strode into the familiar, swampy jungle once again.  Traveling back was about as slow as traveling down in the first place; the added weight of the ores made progress as slow as it was during the downpour. 

By the end of the day, he had returned to the familiar faces within Mar-Koro, many of them even greeting him.  This time, Gaius knocked on Ollodor's door and waited to drop the ores off inside, rather than just drop and go as previously.  Gaius would've liked to, but he felt like he needed some sort of update to keep his own morale up.

"It's going well," Ollodor assured him.  "We've got a regeneration disk ready to go, and two-thirds of a mind control disk.  As I said before, we'll need a freeze disk to complete that one, but I'll get to that in a second.  Moving on, the spirit disk.  As I warned before, I'm only making an educated guess as to the steps needed to even craft such a disk..."  Gaius' face was unchanging as the Fe-Matoran described his concerns.  "These enlarge ores you've brought me should allow me to forge what I believe to be one of the three needed components: a disk of translation.  The other two parts, in theory, are disks of flight and illusion.  We actually have most of what we need for those, but... well, we're gonna need a few disks of teleportation and reconstitute at random for the flight disk.  You see, to make a disk of flight, we actually need two disks that we combine, those being levitation and speed, so we need to first craft those disks which are actually pretty similar-"

"The point, Ollodor, get to the point."

"Right, sorry.  In short, we need a freeze disk, and a few disks of both teleportation and reconstitute at random.  Assuming I've even got the correct formula for this disk of spirit, or even this disk of reanimation.  The catch: I have no idea where to find the right ores for the teleportation or reconstitute at random disks.  I can't recall ever even handling such disks or talking to anyone who had.  Well, actually, I can vaguely remember those De-Matoran who used to live way out on the seas on that floating village using teleportation disks to make noisy Rahi go away, but I haven't seen or heard from those people in literal centuries."

"So you're saying, we have to give up?"  Gaius tried bringing the Iron blacksmith back to the present.

"No, I wouldn't say that.  Look, we'll have to get creative for the other two, but a freeze disk, well, think about it.  Where would get something like that? Well, up in the frozen wastes, of course!  All you gotta do is wonder about in the snow for a bit, and I'm sure you'll find something."

"Well, I thought the beach was a little uncomfortable, but a pleasant change of scenery.  Maybe the snows will feel the same."  Gaius knew in his heart this would not be the case.  "Thanks again, Ollodor.  I'll head out tomorrow and try and be back as soon as possible."

The two said goodbye, and Gaius returned home.  Hungry from skipping so many quality meals, he indulged in some of his decent cooking.  While he ate, he stared at the five masks on the wall, and thought back on the meals the six of them shared together. 

Those thoughts of the past followed him into bed.

 

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In a world where heroes and villains battle for the fate of the universe‚ some people have normal lives and work normal jobs... Zimixes

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IC: Barius - Nightmare Pits

Barius considered the purplish Skakdi before him. His slow, ambling manner of speaking was not like any of the Warskaks, nor like any Rigger he had met. It was difficult to tell if he was sincere.

"Well, you don't have to," Barius rumbled, grin returning in spite of the pain of his injuries. "You saw the most important part."

The statement was punctuated by a thunk as he popped his shoulder back into its socket. His grin faltered for only a moment. "I'd love to hear all about your reason for coming here - or kill you, if that's what you're looking for - but I'm afraid it'll have to wait until after I'm stitched up. You're welcome to meet the warband while you wait." Fyura hadn't given him any indication yet, but the rest of his Warskaks seemed to be recognizing their new leader right quick. If the newcomer and his Mesi friend tried to stop him from leaving, they'd be outnumbered two to one. Maybe three to one. He was having difficulty counting how many people were in the cave, on account of the swimming vision and lightheadedness.

As his body was beginning to come down from the adrenaline high of mortal combat, he started to realize the sheer extent to which every inch of him ached. His first kraata, especially, throbbed like it'd been hit with a hammer. He supposed it had been quite overexerted, this past day. He 'sheathed' Boss' knife - well, now it was his knife - in the waist of his clothes. The knuckle duster he left on. He liked the feeling of being able to use his element whenever he desired; it was freeing. In a way, it was the perfect weapon for a leader of Skaks; it marked him as uniquely superior. He didn't need another Skakdi to use his element; he could do it on his own. He reckoned he liked the image of it. He understood why Boss had kept so many secrets, but he wasn't inclined to conceal this particular advantage.

OOC: @Unreliable Narrator @Sparticus147 @Nato the Traveler @Keeper of Kraata @Conway

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IC: Marrow - Nightmare Pits

Weighing up his options, Marrow slowly backed towards Drukarus. The advantage of surprise had well and truly been lost, in large part due to the larger skakdi's insistence on wanting to wrest control over the warband rather than slaughtering them on sight.

More worryingly, the apparent new leader had succeeded in casting the former into the pits. Given that the pair had ventured all the way to the mountaintop before having their duel, and the Aspects and other beings had watched on without interfering, Marrow strongly suspected that the duel had been part of some ritual, a ritual that had more than likely been completed. The fact that they weren't rushing to put Marrow's blood to use only served to further confirm that the group had already accomplished what they'd come to do. 

"Choose your battles," he hissed to Drukarus, "Let them leave." 

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BZPRPG Mercenary Organisation - Description - History - Base

BZPRPG Characters - Minnorak, Kain, T'harrak, Savis, Vazaria, Lash

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IC: Drukarus (The Nightmare Pit)

Drukarus's gaze was broken from Barius when the words of Marrow protruded into his mind, turning and staring down towards the Mesi. Although Drukarus was momentarily crossed by the psuedo-skaks declaration of reckoning, Drukarus's sudden interference would have looked like an assault to an outside observer, granting the mesi an excusable offense as Drukarus coolly spoke to Marrow.

"Actually...I think I intend to join them..." Drukarus thought long before continuing, longer than he normally does when he spoke, "...Are you to remain Marrow?"

OOC: @Burnmad @Unreliable Narrator @Keeper of Kraata @Conway @Nato the Traveler

Edited by Sparticus147
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IC: Marrow - Nightmare Pits

"No. Their warriors would kill me on sight, just as I came to do to them," his words came out in a snarl. Given Drukarus' earlier talk of wanting to seize control of the warband for himself, Marrow suspected the skakdi's words now were just for show. He was tempted to call Drukarus out on his lie, but doing so would rob him of the only ally he had left to him, so he kept his silence. 

Given that a gravity elemental such as Drukarus could fairly effortlessly fling all of those in the cavern into the pits and claim victory for himself, Marrow wasn't entirely sure what he was playing at, but it was clear their brief partnership was at an end. "Best of luck to you. I'm sure we'll encounter one another again." 

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BZPRPG Mercenary Organisation - Description - History - Base

BZPRPG Characters - Minnorak, Kain, T'harrak, Savis, Vazaria, Lash

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IC: Drukarus (The Nightmare Pit)

Drukarus only nodded, he remembered what Marrow told him earlier and understood the mesi's reasoning, he just simply hoped that they met on good terms once again. Turning back towards Barius, who was now being attended to his new subordinates, Drukarus approached, picking up his maul and resting it over his shoulder.

"I am Drukarus, who are you...And what should I refer to you as?" Drukarus knew that this was equal parts an opportunity, and a risk. With explanation, then perhaps this newly made ruler would appreciate Drukarus for his interference, enough to give him some form of boon. But perhaps, simply with context from Marrow's earlier statement, this skakdi would realize Drukarus's purpose and not even give him a chance, at which point...He would be most regretful for Marrow's leave.

OOC: @Burnmad @Nato the Traveler @Unreliable Narrator @Keeper of Kraata @Conway

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IC: Barius - Nightmare Pits

"Barius, and... Barius," Barius replied. "You from that head, Drukarus?" Wasn't a bad name. Sounded exotic.

OOC: @Unreliable Narrator @Sparticus147 @Nato the Traveler @Keeper of Kraata @Conway

IC: Morangad - His Home, Fau Swamp

"I will guide you, Aspect," Morangad boomed. He walked over to the rope ladder and kicked it down, where it rapidly unfurled until it swung several feet over the water level of the swamp. He clambered down with surprising speed for a being of his age. By time he reached the bottom, the Aspect would have had time to take in his up-close appearance. He was clad in skins and wore heavy knee-high boots, which seemed almost waxy, as if they'd been covered with something. The lower half of his face was tightly bound with cloth, which minimized his inhalation of Corodi spores. As he set boots in the murky swamp water, he continued to speak. "On one condition! You must swear to me that whatever you seek within the ruins will not harm this swamp, nor the life within it."

He deliberately did not mention the Aspect's implicit offer of a Kraata. It had not been his intent when he had proposed a bargain, but his recent experiences made him look far more favorably on the idea than he normally would have. He would have to mull it over while they walked.

OOC: @Sparticus147 again

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IC: Drukarus (The Nightmare Pit)

"Barius...I will remember that...And yes I suppose...I once dwelled upon an island known as Zakaz...It resided within the rest of the...Giant." Drukarus needs to be careful of what he says, to let slip the extant of his histories would surely trigger something with this Barius as to Drukarus's full goals.

OOC: @Burnmad @Unreliable Narrator @Conway @Keeper of Kraata @Nato the Traveler

IC: Apex (Morangad's Hut)

"On one condition! You must swear to me that whatever you seek within the ruins will not harm this swamp, nor the life within it."

As Morangad said that last statement, Apex let out a baying laugh and a harsh chuckle at the beings statement before turning her deep-socketed gaze towards the Morangad. "Oh, I assure you, everything I do is for this Swamp. In fact, my wish is to restore this island as a whole. Does this satisfy you?"

OOC: @Burnmad

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IC Stannis | Coliseum

The former team leader, finished with the conjuration and mobilization of his boulders and walls, nudged one of them through a carefully chosen window. Nothing the old man was without reason, for despite his seemingly nonchalance he knew there were no coincidences, and all things were part of a grander play. Everything happened for a reason, and sometimes... he was the reason. 

A sharp creak of glass giving way to pressure followed by the crash of shattering shards heralded the howl of wind that burst from the destroyed pane (the very same which had been destroyed just over a week prior) and filled the office chamber with piercing gusts. Perhaps Skyra could make some use of these, Stannis considered wryly, though that was not the purpose of the play.

21 hours ago, Eyru said:

—the window suddenly burst from within. Oreius covered his face with an arm and felt shards of glass bounce off his armor, then looked up to see a slab of stone sticking out through the window frame.

A second jet of fire carried him the remaining distance. He let go of the staff (which continued to lazily ascend like a wayward balloon) and landed lightly on the finger of rock. It stood firm beneath his feet, as if it had been summoned for the sole purpose of catching him.

He had made it to his journey's end. Drawing his sword, Oreius jogged down the slab and leapt to the floor, entering Pridak's throne room at last. 

It has been thousands of years since the two extant heroes of Maru Nui stood near each other, even longer still than Aurax's betrayal and seizing of a legacy that was not for him, and when they last parted ways it had not been as friends. Never before had Stannis and Oreious understood each other more clearly than on that fateful day they walked apart from each other, but that knowledge, as all things, carried a price, and some costs were too high to regain no matter how long one slaved away. 

Stannis barely paid any notice of the Ta-Toa's entrance. He'd been awaiting it, preparing for it, expecting it for longer than anyone imagined, and when Oreius' heels hit the floor of the chamber it registered as barely even noteworthy for the Wanderer, in fact it was quite sublimely routine and punctual. The slab from which Oreius came from pulled itself back from the outside and slid to where it was parked an instant before. He didn't even turn away from his study of Pridak, though he did flourish his staff once, and regarded his old friend from afar.

"I'll say this just once," he said as though time had not passed at all. "We are not doing 'get help.'"

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IC: Skorm (Metru-Koro Airspace)

As the last of the others jumped, Skorm tucked away the weapons and mask he had confiscated. He flinched as lightning brightened the sky; a shadow jump might be dangerous right now, but it looked as if he hadn't left himself much of a choice. Skorm stepped off the ship, dissipating into shadow.

Once more the world was thrown into a near-silent contrast of negatives. The flash of weaponsfire lit the landscape as Skorm drifted to the ground. Like a cloud he hit the ground close to where the others were landing, his form swirling as it reformed. Skorm's body reformed from the shadow.

"I'm right here, Irna, I'm fine."

OOC: @TL01 NUVA @Tarn @Toru Nui @The UltimoScorp @Conway

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The times, they are a-changing...

 

 

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IC Ysocla - Tactical Panda II:

The mission to apprehend the outsider had gone a fair bit differently than Ysocla had expected. Much to her personal disappointment there had not been a duel between Zai and the newcomer known as Zataka. Instead, a conversation that was only half-verbalized and half-mental was had. Zataka had responded to Lady Yumiwak’s forceful personality with flippant dismissals, leading to a war with words more resembling two massive egos passive-aggressively nudging each other. It wasn’t really to Ysocla’s taste; the subtle machinations to preserve one’s reception amongst one’s peers wasn’t her main priority. Actions spoke much louder than words after all.

Nonetheless, Zataka was now in their custody and what happened to her now wasn’t Ysocla’s decision to make. She had seen to restarting the flight engine upon returning to the ship as instructed and was now leaning on her cane observing the captive. She was certainly impressive in stature and was able to use kanohi. Tales of those who lived on Zakaz before described beings who could summon their elemental powers without a partner or channeling weapon as skakdi did. The engineer wondered if Zataka possessed such abilities or something more. There was overwhelming evidence of her martial prowess, but what other powers was she hiding?

"Korio, Ysocla, would you care to join us? If you haven't got other duties to return to immediately... of course."

Her musings were interrupted by Lady Yumiwak’s offer. Such requests to dine with their leader did not come up often and Ysocla had no desire to snub her leader on such things. Besides, there would be more opportunities to learn about the newcomers by participating.

Thank you for your kind offer, Lady Yumiwak. I’ll gladly take you up on it,” she replied.

So saying, she began searching for the right seat to take. Making note of Korio’s presence and Lady Yumiwak’s likely seat, she picked a chair that left an open seat near their leader. There was no need to antagonize her compatriot after all. Sitting down was a bit of a challenge with one leg encased in a cast, but she eventually managed to find a comfortable position that didn’t look incredibly awkward. Seeing as the others had not sat down yet, Ysocla took this time to get a good look at the newcomer. She was definitely not in optimal condition, but she wondered if there anything deeper than the surface level injuries. Activating her x-ray vision, the engineer gave the captive a once over to check for weaknesses. There was always a chance they’d have to fight later after all, and if it turned out this newcomer had entirely different biology than the skakdi that was also useful information.

I must say, your height is quite impressive,” she observed. “Are other beings from your world similar in stature or are you a notable exception?” It was a question from both a desire to cover her examination and also a place of genuine curiosity. A hypothetical world of really tall people would be quite the sight to behold.

OOC: @EmperorWhenua@Tarn@Vezok's Friend

I am pokemonlover360, master of hardly ever posting. You might know me from the many posts that I haven't made.
I'm around. If you really need me and I haven't responded quickly, send me a pm.

BZPRPG 2021 Profiles Six Kingdoms Profiles: Kilo-M9 NUVA, Ysocla Naenoic

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IC: Irna | Desert

Irna turned her head, breathing a sigh of relief as Skorm seemed to appear out of thin air -- and might as well have, for all that she understood of his abilities -- as she continued to slump against Keitara.

"Well," Irna said, managing a tired smile. "Let's not do that again for a while."

OOC: @Keeper of Kraata @TL01 NUVA @The UltimoScorp @Tarn @Toru Nui

-Void

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IC [Zataka - Aboard the Tactical Panda]:

Touchy. The change in tone from Yumiwak was hard to miss, but that could have been an act. The physical response however - stiff posture, tight shoulders and clenched fists - all that was much harder to act out. The warlord made a mental note of the effect her simple observational remark had had. It might come in useful at some point. Her observation was interrupted however, by being observed herself by one of the Skakdi leader’s crew. Ysocla, if she’d observed right.

“There are a few people that reach similar heights, but not many.” she answered the Skakdi’s question, with a hint of a shrug. “The majority is somewhere between here and here - “ she added, indicating the average height of a Matoran and then raising it up to Vortixx levels. 

Meanwhile Ysocla’s x-ray vision revealed nothing too out of the ordinary. Of course there was the size difference and strong protodermic bones and muscle mass that came with it. Then she spotted something of note in the warrior’s anatomy: there were two vestigial bones just below the shoulder blades, that looked like miniature versions of the same. Though there was no outward evidence of their presence. Did her kind have extra arms at some long distant evolutionary stage? She was still pondering the possibility, when she noticed a slight darkening of the tissue on the left side of Zataka’s torso. This was a poor angle to see the cause, but some injury was healing there, as the darkening was evidence of bruising.


Zataka finally followed Yumiwak’s suggestion however, if only to get out of the uncomfortable standing position, and sat down in a surprisingly graceful and fluid way, considering the tight space. She very much doubted she’d fit in anywhere on this island. Speaking of…

“You’ve told me your name, Yumiwak, but you’ve yet to tell me what it is that you do. Aside from picking up foreign wanderers.”

 

OOC: @EmperorWhenua@Tarn@pokemonlover360
 

 

 

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IC: Sorilax - Aspect of Shadow and Silence - Aspects of Makuta

Location - The foothills of (7, 10)

With - Sala

 

The two chroniclers walked away from the destruction and gloom in the covering darkness of night. Sorilax neither saw nor felt the presence of the Tiokaha from earlier and hoped he had gotten to safety before the attack had started.

As with their previous journeys, the pair didn’t talk much as they focused on surviving their traversing, and so Sorilax employed his power of silence to keep their passage secret from all Rahi who might seek a meal. Sorilax had a suspicion that Sala was remaining quiet for a wholly different reason, but he couldn’t be certain. Sorilax was not used to having to deal with others, their emotions, or consoling them and so he decided silence might be the best course of action for the moment.

They made their way up into the foothills that made up the mountain range. Irnakk’s Tooth made up the centerpiece like a crown atop a head, splendorous and signifying power. The air was chill and clear here, far away from the fires consuming Metru-Koro. The sky was clear and the stars shown bright in a sky full of blacks, blues, and deep purples. The constellations shimmered, offering their wisdom, but their interpretations were lost on Sorilax. He did appreciate seeing the Red Star and kept glancing at it as they walked. Hopefully Sala was right, and the Great Beings were taking care of Juno there.

After several hours of the oddly-soothing drudgery of hiking, Sorilax found them a place to rest. He lowered his aura of silence and watched Metru-Koro in the distance.

What ended up happening? Were all the attackers defeated? Sorilax certainly hoped so. Le-Metru Koro would need trade routes to survive and defend itself. He would need to return one day to talk once more with Turaga Sans and officially set things up. Hopefully both villages would survive that long. Le-Metru Nuva had its secrecy, but Metru-Koro did not. Sorilax wished them the best, hoping against hope that the Skakdi and Aspects of this island would leave them be.

Sala never started up a conversation and so Sorilax remained silent, giving him space. He wasn’t used to beings hesitating at his offer of a Kraata, though he had learned through the millennia that that was what indicated a good moral leaning. His Taboo practices were not inherently evil, though he wrestled with this concept many a day and night as he contemplated the meaning of things. He viewed them as a system underlying the world that could be used and changed to remove the darker aspects of them. He had just proved that they could be changed earlier and he looked forward to changing them even more.

Sorilax didn’t know, but he sure hoped he hadn’t trapped Juno’s soul or spirit in the Kraata he had formed. If he ever found out he had, he wasn’t sure what he would do with the information. No, better to think he hadn’t, and seek the truth and make his judgments when it was discovered. Although now that Sala had been Desecrated, he would need to speak with the beings of Le-Metru Nuva and explain things to them lest they ostracize Sala.

Speaking of Sala, Sorilax looked down at him. Sala seemed to be asleep, or if he wasn’t, he was faking it well enough for Sorilax not to notice. The Aspect sat at watch, scanning the horizon. Every so often he would jot down notes on the Desecration Rite he had done, how he had changed it, and how he had felt it working. Eventually he came to the decision that he hadn’t been meditating as much as he was meaning to. He always was so busy that he worked throughout the nights more often than not. In fact he spent most of his life not meditating, even though he had seen the most growth in his Shadow powers when he had. He remembered that fondly. Studying his own powers had been fun.

He let go of his body, his gaseous form free floating in the armor. He let himself see how he had seen for most of his life before he had paid to have working optics. He saw with shadows. The sensation was weird now, which slightly concerned him. In fact his range didn’t go that far before he began to become confused by all the information. He knew things had changed slightly over time, but he couldn’t believe he had regressed so much in his sensing of shadows.

But it wasn’t something one could train so much as you had to become accustomed to the experience and slowly expand your mind to be able to sense more than what it was used to perceiving. And so Sorilax sat throughout the night, trying to quiet his thoughts and simply experience the world through its shadows. He didn’t make much progress, but he was aware enough to still keep watch over his companion. Though he didn’t need to sleep, it felt good to center himself in his beliefs and experience the night like few others could.

In the morning, Sala took out some provisions for breakfast and started to eat. Sorilax paused in his watch and came over to him, “How are you doing, my friend? I hope you don’t regret what you’ve done, nor that you are scarred from what we saw and experienced in that garrison.

Sala hadn’t slept well last night, the constant movements of the Kraata leaving him with an uncomfortable feeling that he knew he would have to eventually get used to. So, when the next morning came, Sala wasn’t much for eating and was generally spaced out. That was why Sala nearly jumped and dropped what he was eating when Sorilax spoke to him. “I’m...Doing alright. I..I um..I think it would be wrong for me to regret what happened..But to say it didn’t affect me. Well, I mean more than just...This.” Sala said, pointing towards the Kraata on his neck. “What happened was...Harrowing, and although it wasn’t my first battle I’ve had but..It never gets easier.

Sorilax nodded. His species’ business was dealing in death, but he had never cared before like he did now. He realized that there was a difference between choosing to care and actually having the feelings of caring. “Well, should you require anything, I am here to assist you as you have been assisting me.

Sala nodded in affirmation, though he didn’t say more. Sorilax wrote some more in his notes while he waited for the Matoran to finish eating. Once Sala was done, the two stood to continue on.

Sorilax led the pair once more, taking a path similar to the one they had traveled before. The hills became rocky outcroppings before becoming hills once more as they retreated from the foothills. The sun shone harshly throughout the day and the rock underfoot grew hot. Rahi birds could be seen and heard occasionally as they drifted above and many lizard Rahi were out sunning themselves, scurrying away if the pair got too close. The air was still, but not stagnant, and the distance shimmered as the sun tried pulling out its tricks.

At the end of the day, they made camp once more. This time they were within a half hour walk of the marshes. No need to court danger by camping out any closer. Sorilax took watch once more, eventually taking to meditating again. This time he tried to focus on his feelings, trying to seek out his truest intentions as he watched the world through shadows in the background.

Once he had to scare away a Nui-Jaga, but otherwise the night was still, the noise of the marshes quiet in the distance. He ended the night somewhat unsatisfied. He wished he could change himself, not just reflect upon how he had been created. Why did he have to fight his very thoughts and nature as an Aspect to do the right thing?

The sun lazily rose, dispelling the mists that so often congregated around the marshes. Sorilax shook his head in remembrance. Once there had been a time when it had been raining acid so consistently in the swamp, that it bled out into the marshes and the mists themselves had become acidic. That wasn’t a fun time to study Swamp Stalkers, that was for sure. His scrolls had been ruined, setting him back decades and causing him to make sure to write down his work in stone every year.

Sala stirred beside him and Sorilax retreated from his thoughts and meditations to greet the new day and the trek ahead.
 

OOC: @Sparticus147

Sala part provided by Sparticus.

 

On 7/12/2020 at 8:28 AM, Sparticus147 said:

IC: Gore Fury (THE CUBE)

With a wide grin across his face, Gore held out his hand towards the seated Cravious. "You got a deal my friend."

 

IC: Cravious - Skakdi of Lightning - Zakazian

Location - The Rig outskirts (9, 8), the Cube

With - Gore Fury, (NPC) Voracious, (NPC) Preceptor, (NPC) Sagacious, (NPC) Asperity, (NPC) Clash

 

Cravious grinned widely as he shook Gore’s hand. This Skak here was going to make him a lot of widgets, he was sure of it. He hadn’t seen the likes of such good cooking anywhere else on this island to date.

Sagacious walked from the sleeping quarters, rubbing the organic protodermis around her optics. She grumbled, “Why do I sense a business deal being made without me?

Cravious retreated his hand and laughed, short and sharp, but very genuine, “Because I just made us thousands. 50% of all start up costs covered and in exchange we get a continual 35%!

Sagacious frowned at this. 50% down was ridiculous. Depending on the type of business, this could cost them more than the thousands Cravious claimed were coming their way.

Cravious pointed at her in the dim light of the kitchen, “Now I know that look, but this Skak here’s a cook, and an extremely good one at that. Skakdi from all around Zakaz will be lining up to raid his food. Now I know how that sounds, but you’re amazing at hiring security, so we’ll have no problems there.

Sagacious sighed, “I’ll go draw up the paperwork.” She grumbled to herself as she walked away, “This is what I get for deciding to sleep tonight. Couldn’t have waited until tomorrow, oh no. It had to be tonight.She went out of hearing distance and Cravious turned back to Gore. He offhandedly noted that Asperity had decided to stay with them at the table instead of slinking off again. This Gore Fury was really getting to them. He wasn’t sure how he liked it. But widgets were widgets.

Now there’s no law here on this island, so any paperwork will only be between us and whatever detectives think they’re hot enough stuff to try to pursue us if either one of us brakes our side of the deal. Mostly I use paperwork as an excuse when I have to rough up one of Nektann’s guys. Boss would have killed me a hundred times over if it weren’t for a few thin papers. Thank Irnakk he honors them (mostly, kinda); it causes the majority of other war parties and members of the Rig to think twice about crossing me.

Cravious leaned back in his chair, hands behind his head, “We can get into the gory details later, for now, I have a truck I need to get back to. You can go ahead and drive your vehicle up inside beside the truck. I’ll check it over and have it ready to go before tomorrow morning. You can stay if you’d like.

Cravious froze at the last part. He had just offered Gore to do what?! Stay the night? Either he was losing it or this Gore Fury was something special.

Asperity finally got up and floated over to the door for the garage portion of the Cube, pulling down a lever that caused the door to lower into a ramp. The smell of cool sea air displaced all other odors, giving off a scent that made Cravious think back to the few and intermittent nights where he hadn’t been working or sleeping as he lay on the beach, watching the stars drift past and dreaming up inventions. It made him think of the joy of interacting complex systems and how simple they could seem on the surface.

Then he caught a particularly nasty smell from the Rig and his reverie was killed faster than an ACR with no elemental dampeners.

 

OOC: @Sparticus147

Edited by Kal the Guardian
Forgot to give credit for Sparticus' part in the Sorilax portion.

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--------- “BRUH” -Makuta, probably ---------

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