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On 1/26/2022 at 3:07 AM, Razgriz said:

"But really, I'm a lot like you guys— grew up in the jungle. Matter of fact, first thing I remember is the shore."

IC: Hakari - The Charred Forest -

Hakari nodded in acknowledgement. "It was like that for me too. I woke up on the shore, not remembering anything besides my name. It was pretty scary honestly." It was lucky that members of the Gukko Force had found her then and brought her to Le-koro. That seemed like a life time ago now. 

"Though recently I've been...remembering." She paused as she wracked her brain, she wasn't sure if it was all back yet, but her memories of her life before Mata Nui were becoming stronger at every moment. "Seprilli...that's the island I'm originally from. It's the homeland of all Lesterin. I'm not sure why, but I remember it now." 

She hadn't told Lapu or Kanohi yet, but she'd been seriously thinking about how to get back home. There was that Pirate Captain Lohkar, he had been just as much of a scoundrel back on Seprilli as he was on Mata Nui. She'd never thought much about him before, but with her memories back she realized that she knew him, she'd crossed paths with him before. 

And it was completely his fault she ended up on Mata Nui! Considering that and the fact that he was probably her only ticket back to Seprilli, she was going to have to find him somehow. Though she had no idea how to locate him, Mata Nui was a much bigger place than Seprilli had ever been. 

She supposed that Ga-koro was a good place to start looking though. 

OOC: @capMARVELOUS @Geardirector @ARROW404 @Razgriz @Harvali

Edited by Snelly
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Skyra | Hakari | Oceanna | Taleen | Arisaka | Zanakra | Kaminari | Drakkar

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IC: Jolek Highwind

"Lucky for us that nobody here really minds the terrain," he breathed, making a mental note of a cross-shaped hatch on one of the smaller saplings, a bit of an earthward bend to its length. One of his favored snaring plants in the past couple months. Meant that they were definitively on the right track— again, layering his method. It built in options, even if they simply reinforced his intuition. "—makes this pretty much a straight shot. Just a little distance to walk, nothing crazy."

The words were wide of the continued conversation, but seemed to be a simple reminder that he was doing his job. Whether it was to them or to himself wasn't clear. Maybe it didn't need to be—

"Yep, pretty much." he agreed with Hakari, a sage nod drawing itself from his alert posture. "All I got was my name, how to speak, and how to fight."

There was background knowledge. The Sun, Moon, Stars, Water, what a Tree was, even abstract calculations to some level— remnants of a normal education, maybe. Basic schooling. That stuff seemed to go without saying. The body remembered much, the mind only what was general, accumulated learning. The soul... nothing. Like the driftwood he'd washed up aside, only he had the capacity to cough out the brine and knew to pound his chest to help move things along. It was nice knowing he was far from the only one, maybe, but even so...

"Though recently I've been...remembering." 

He felt himself stiffen, imperceptible within his already measured, prowler's gait.

"Seprilli...that's the island I'm originally from. It's the homeland of all Lesterin. I'm not sure why, but I remember it now." 

Like so many things, they too had passed him by as he'd dawdled.

There were Skakdi among the guard force who'd begun to say similar things in the past couple days. A place called "Zakaz" entering their minds like a bolt from the blue... or a clearing of that oppressive white fog that surrounded the island he called home. All of a sudden, their transparent pasts had become awash with color, vibrancy, an excitement upon them that seemed to all but re-awaken who they had been within who they had become.

Jolek had met his blood in the flesh, walked the halls of the house that he by all rights should know, and swapped stories with the two who held his memory as their dearest treasure and hope. By all rights, the months he'd spent with them should have done at least as much as... near as he could tell, nothing had in the Skakdi and Lesterin. 

Yet here he stood, looking back only upon the jungle, coastline, and the colorless, inscrutable gulf beyond. Same as it ever was.

"...That right?" the Fa-Toa asked after a moment. "Yours are coming back?"

His face remained hidden, behind the back of his head.

"Sounds like a direction, then. That's good."

His voice had shifted somewhat, if only just. It was hard to place how.

"Hope you find your way home."

He kept marching through the trees.

Edited by Razgriz
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helo frens

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  • 1 month later...

@Perp@Haman Karn: A Magical Girl@Razgriz

IC:

 

saeva sareta: forklift certified???

 

Keepin’ your distance is rude, Tor, you’re gonna hurt my feelings

 

Well there was only one thing for that. Tor wanted to keep her at arm’s leg’s length she’d just have to keep on movin’ in. Blocking and leaning kept her blows from her lankier pal but did nothing to keep her from continuing to invade the Vo-Toa’s personal space. That longer leg came up and around, connected with her ribs, drew an ‘oof’— and was immediately pinned to her side with Saeva’s own arm.

 

The Ta-Toa grinned toothily.

 

“Come on, Tor, don’t go anywhere!” Further in she went, looking almost like she intended to hit Torana’s midriff with her shoulder; and after a fashion she did, but only as a consequence of her new grip around her middle. A grip she used, laughing again, to hoist her up, up, up, until Torana realized she had passed parallel with the ground and was, in fact, heading further towards it.

 

And that Saeva’s feet had pushed off from the ground, intent on smacking her friend’s back down onto the ground and hers onto her friend.

 

ba-dum ba-dum

 

twaaaang

 

ba-dum ba-dum

 

Oh karz, she’s really strong.

 

Her leg trapped within Saeva’s iron-shackle grip brought a bead of sweat down her forehead and a slight tremor to her voice as Torana tried fruitlessly to wrest her appendage from its bondage. Despite the hits she’d taken, the Ta-Toa seemed to shrug everything off and just. Keep. Going. How in the hеll could she beat the smirk that wouldn’t quit?

 

Yeah, that smirk. She was running her mouth again.

 

Tor laughed nervously as Saeva brought herself closer in as Tor struggled to maintain her balance. “Hey, uh, how about-

 

A LITTLE LESS CONVERSATION

 

Oh, she was flying now. (she flies now??)

 

Or so it appeared, for only a moment as the Vo-Toa left the ground (she’s REALLY fuсking strong) before-

 

A LITTLE MORE ACTION, PLEASE

 

-impacting the cobblestones, flat on her back, with a THUD that knocked approximately ninety percent of the air from her lungs.

 

get up get up get up get UP

 

On autopilot/survival mode now, Tor pushed away from Saeva’s likewise-toppled form as quickly as she could, drew her knees into her chest, and snapped herself back up to an (admittedly wobbly) standing position, just barely having the wherewithal to reform her guard as she tried to keep her head from spinning.

 

E’d be rolling his eyes, for sure, but that was just too fun. Saeva laughed again, the sound turning breathless with a sharp ache reporting in from the sides that were trying to bust. Fun, but not really smart. Ah well, no one’d ever accused her of that. The slighter shorter Toa imitated Torana’s move and popped back to her feet, registering the ache again and bending her torso a little experimentally. Ouch, okay, so a little limited. Well, what can you do?

 

Tor wobbled, looking just a little punch drunk, and Saeva flashed her a winning grin.

 

“How about what, Tor?”

 

ALL THIS AGGRAVATION AIN’T SATISFACTIONIN’ ME

 

“I- uh. How… how about…”

 

Words. What were they? “How ‘bout you keep… keep running your mouth, hot stuff?”

 

She bounced on her heels once, twice, feeling the muscles in her legs tense and stretch as she paced left and then right again, the dots in her vision starting to clear up. Her next steps were forward, forward, drawing her guard in tighter and tighter, her eyes focusing in on her target as the cyclone that was whirling her grey matter around in her skull subsided.

 

“C’mon, Saeva. How about-”

 

Right cross. Dead center. That smirk.

 

“Yeah? How ‘bout wh-”


wait sh-

 

Saeva Sareta, Crucible Queen, was cocky and wide open. Grinning, bouncing on the balls of her feet, and arms— almost but not quite— relaxed at her sides she had drastically underestimated how quickly Tor’d recover. Quick and clean, straight into the smirk, and the Ta-Toa rocked back on her heels. Her right foot dropped back to recover, head starting to come back around, and through a groggy haze she almost wanted to laugh. 

 

Tor you sneaky—

 

Fortunately boxing, especially the dirty kind, was kind of her usual thing. Tor was quick, Tor was pretty good, and Tor could take a hit but Saeva’d spent her free time building up a resistance to bigger hits with little ones for ages now. Her brain— whole central nervous system, really— wasn’t with it yet, not completely, but her muscles knew this dance and they were playing her song. Her torso bent back in towards the other Toa, right rear foot stepping back in as she twisted to bring her right arm in and up to catch Tor’s following left hook with her forearm.

 

A movement that let her bring her left into position around her waist, almost like a gun primed and ready to fire. Which is about what happened when she stepped in again with her left and rammed it towards Tor’s middle.

 

All that precious air! She’d been building it back up in her lungs after Saeva took her to the Grand Slam and now it was all gone again! Dаmn her! All that sweet, sweet oxygen was expelled from her body in so violent a manner that her lowOOFwas cut off midway through the vocalization. She doubled over, her knees melting into butter, weakly pushing the Ta-Toa away with whatever strength she had.

 

Huh, she had no idea that the whole day had passed them by. Last she remembered, it was still morning, fairly close to noon. There were fireflies out now, swarming around her head, so she figured it must be evening-

 

Oh.

 

The Vo-Toa’s structural support failed at its weakest point (read: her knees) as she collapsed downward like a ragdoll, though still managing some semblance of grace in her haggard comportment by planting her аss on the city street, panting like a dog in an effort to stay conscious.

 

…A LITTLE LESS FIGHT AND A LITTLE MORE SPARK

 

Saeva’s foot shot out, aimed straight for Torana’s cheek—

 

And stopped a good six inches short before returning to the ground. The Ta-Toa laughed, grimacing despite it, and she casually spat out a gob of blood resulting from her split lip. 

 

“Call it there, Sparky?” She asked, her own declaration of truth, grinning and holding out a hand to help her up.

 

Tor couldn’t help but flinch as the foot approached her face, though she managed a relieved smile between ragged breaths as her friend held back. Her hands shot up in a gesture of surrender following Saeva’s proposition - though the sudden lack of structural bracing nearly made her fall over the rest of the way, and quickly redirected one of her hands to meet that of her friend.

 

“Alright… I concede…” she managed to gasp as the Ta-Toa hauled her up. Tor wrapped her arm around Saeva’s shoulder, as she didn’t quite trust her legs to support her full weight just yet. Her other hand formed a fist and parked itself out in front of their chests, awaiting the impact of its crimson compatriot. They stumbled back towards the other two members of their Quartet.

 

“Good… fight…”

 

“Ahhh, if it was to first blood you’d’ve got me. Caught me slackin’.” She bumped her friend’s fist with her own and wrapped her other arm around her back for an extra measure of support. Saeva winked and grinned again, a look marred just a little by the extra red on her teeth. “Feelin’ generous so we’ll call it a draw, yeah? Don’t wanna scare you off from goin’ again sometime, Sparky. Who do you think bet on who?”

 

The fireflies were dissipating one by one, so that was a good sign. “Aw, c’mon… you won that by… a country mio. Won’t scare me off if you… teach me a thing or two, y’know?”

 

Overexerting her lungs too quickly wracked her torso with a coughing fit, and would’ve knocked her back down to the cobbles had she not been holding onto Saeva. Her gaze refocused on the duo in front of them, one Onu-Toa in particular taking up some eighty percent of her cone of vision. Bets…

 

SA-TIS-FY ME, BABY…

 

“Who d’you think?

 

“Yeah, I guess that was kinda a dumb question.”

 

“Well, I mean, look at him… Guy’s grinning from ear to ear… I think…”

 

ba-dum ba-dum

 

twaaaang

 

ba-dum ba-dum..

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On this eve, the thirtieth anniversary of that first colony, many are left to wonder; is the world fast approaching a breaking point?

 

 

  Breaking Point: An OTC Mecha RPG

 

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IC: Chiaki - Ta-Wahi - The Charred Forest
The Lesterin's and the gray one's comments are enough to finally break the dam holding my questions back.  From the way they phrase it, it sounds like they both started from somewhere else, somewhere they forgot in their journey from there to here, somewhere that they've only remembered since being here.  "What could possibly be out there to make you forget something so important?" I ask, mostly to the Lesterin, but also to the gray one and whoever else in the group might also share the experience.  "And if you're remembering again here, is whatever made you forget not here?"  The idea puts a slight damper on my potential desire to sail off at some point- as bad as I've had it here sometimes, I don't want to forget where I came from.

I fumble around in my bag and pull out my notebook of odd magical snippets.  The comments, and whatever answers come with them, are too interesting to not jot down.

OOC:
@Razgriz @Geardirector @Harvali @Snelly @ARROW404 sorry about fallin off the wagon lads

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IC Kanohi - Ta-Wahi - the Charred Forest

Kanohi’s attention focused as Hakari spoke of her home. He had not been on Mata-Nui long, and most of his time had been sent imprisoned or living by himself in the jungles of Le-Wahi. Still, he knew that it seemed that everyone who awoke on the shores of Mata-Nui had lost their memories. Kanohi was certainly no different.

He … had mixed feelings on Hakari regaining her memory. He was happy for her, she seemed to like remembering her past, at least, he thought she did. But Kanohi himself dreaded the idea of regaining his memories. What if he had been evil, what if he served the Makuta. What if he had been someone almost alien to the Kanohi he knew. The idea that his memories could kill his mind, overwriting his personality, it was terrifying.

Still, he wanted to be supportive, so he scribbled something down. He held it to Hakari, a simple message saying, “Do you want to talk about your memories?

OOC: @capMARVELOUS @Geardirector @ARROW404 @Razgriz @Snelly so sorry for the delay.

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"Danger is the anvil on which trust is forged"-Jaller(Jala) :smilejala: 
"We're on our own here-like we've always been-and we'll stand or fall on our own"-Tanma
"He may seem slow and strange to you, but his simple words often carry a hidden wisdom"-Turaga Vakama on Kapura

9B586E38-224D-4703-8EE3-5A0AC1CB8344.png.4f8ec6246a5ad7273e1c0d55cb15537e.png
Kanohi: Stories of a Matoran Vigilante The Impact of a Rebirth: a Kanohi Fanfic The Willing Exiles: a Kanohi Fanfic SKA PC Profiles: Kanohi, Collector, Mahrika Kardaka BZPRPG Profiles Avatar by @Harvali 

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  • 3 weeks later...

IC: Hakari - The Charred Forest -

"Thanks...I do as well." Hakari said in response to Jolek, there was one way she knew that was possible, but it most likely involved hitching a ride with a certain pirate and his crew from her homeland, she wasn't too sure she liked that idea.

The Toa of air chimed in as well, he seemed dumbfounded about the whole memory thing, and she didn't blame him. "You got me, I have no idea why I'm remembering now, what caused it, or why it happened at all." The Lesterin wished she had the answers, but she just didn't. 

Hakari read the message that Kanohi scribbled down. "There's not much to talk about really, growing up on Seprilli was nice, but it wasn't exactly the most eventful thing, not like here on Mata Nui." The stuff that seemed to happen on the regular on Mata Nui was frankly, insane. 

"How I ended up on this island is a bit more interesting. Basically it's the pirate captain Lokhar's fault when you boil it down. I'm sure at least some of you have heard of him." She sighed. "And as much as I'd like to have nothing to do with him, he might be my only shot at getting home." 

OOC: @capMARVELOUS@Harvali@Razgriz@ARROW404@Geardirector

Edited by Snelly
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Skyra | Hakari | Oceanna | Taleen | Arisaka | Zanakra | Kaminari | Drakkar

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IC Kanohi - Ta-Wahi - the Charred Forest

Kanohi did not reply, and not solely because of his damaged vocal processor. He shifting in their trek to the back of the group, toggling obsessively at the telegraph switch that he wore as a bracelet.

He kind of knew their Odd Company would not stick together forever. “Lapu” probably would prefer to be back in the forest, and the trio had only come together to foil the plot of that cloaked green Lesterin. But he would still be on Mata-Nui, dwelling in Le-Wahi. Kanohi could bump into him from time to time.

But did Hakari want to leave the island for the peace of Seprilli? To join a pirate just to escape this chaotic land of the Makuta? Kanohi stimmed with uneasy, trying to calm down. It was the first time it really sank in that the trio would not stay together forever. That after they stopped the Lesterin, they would likely go their separate ways. He did have his vision of Knichou to follow. Nichou, his old friend’s name had been Nichou. Why did it look different in his mind?

Regardless, he … he had gotten used to Lapu and Hakari, they had been his allies not too long, but he had not know Nichou long either before Stannis dissolved the Companions. He … obviously staying with them too long could be dangerous, they might figure out who he was. But he … he didn’t want this group to split up so soon. He … he had been lonely in the jungle, he knew that now. And for Hakari to voyage away.

But more than all that, he knew it was her choice. It had been her home. He would not argue with her. And honestly, she and Lapu probably deserved better than him. She was the one who bravely fought the parasite, he had been useless against the infested Gukko. She was a hero, she likely had a great destiny ahead of her. And Kanohi, he was not worthy. Not for the Wanderer, and not for his tall companions.

He continued to tap his bracelet with vigor, clicking it with a growing unease at his own inadequacy. He could feel his guilt flaring up too, that he dared make this about him. She wanted to go home, return to her people, and he was getting stressed about being lonely and being useless. His fidgeting only got more and more frantic.

OOC: @capMARVELOUS @Geardirector @ARROW404 @Razgriz @Snelly when do we want to jump to Ga-Wahi?

"Danger is the anvil on which trust is forged"-Jaller(Jala) :smilejala: 
"We're on our own here-like we've always been-and we'll stand or fall on our own"-Tanma
"He may seem slow and strange to you, but his simple words often carry a hidden wisdom"-Turaga Vakama on Kapura

9B586E38-224D-4703-8EE3-5A0AC1CB8344.png.4f8ec6246a5ad7273e1c0d55cb15537e.png
Kanohi: Stories of a Matoran Vigilante The Impact of a Rebirth: a Kanohi Fanfic The Willing Exiles: a Kanohi Fanfic SKA PC Profiles: Kanohi, Collector, Mahrika Kardaka BZPRPG Profiles Avatar by @Harvali 

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7 hours ago, Harvali said:

IC Kanohi - Ta-Wahi - the Charred Forest

He continued to tap his bracelet with vigor, clicking it with a growing unease at his own inadequacy. He could feel his guilt flaring up too, that he dared make this about him. She wanted to go home, return to her people, and he was getting stressed about being lonely and being useless. His fidgeting only got more and more frantic.

OOC: @capMARVELOUS @Geardirector @ARROW404 @Razgriz @Snelly when do we want to jump to Ga-Wahi?

IC: Lapu - Charred Forest

Skittish Rahi made the recluse skittish. It seemed the same was true of Matoran as well. Something was eating his smaller companion- eating him alive. He expected not to care, but somehow he did. Maybe it was the incessant clicking, or his empathetic restlessness. Maybe not.

He thought about what would calm him down. Greenery would have been nice, for sure. But perhaps something more direct. His eyes glanced over Kanohi's... kanohi armor. The masks were worn. Maybe he could help there.

Reaching a long, mossy limb, he touched the mask on the Matoran's shoulder, and with a creak, the wood grew denser, the scuffs and cuts in its surface smoothing over in the process. Masterful manipulation of a difficult element, but Lapu had had nothing but time to hone his craft. He thought back to the battle of Kini-Nui, and how he had turned the grass red afterward. Maybe a change of color... He didn't know what color Kanohi would like though. He would stick to reinforcing his armor for now.

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IC: Jolek Highwind

That name Hakari mentioned stook out like a sore thumb as he quietly listened, taking in what chatter ears were privy to behind him— half his company squarely mute as they were. Lokhar... Pirate Captain Lokhar. That was an itch. One he wasn't scratching yet, but... he was close. Guard case? Someone he'd overheard investigators trying to tail, or people like him bring in?

...No. Not a chance. Jolek knew he wouldn't have remembered anything like that. Didn't pay enough attention.

So what do I pay attention to, if I'm remembering this name?

...

Talking about it in terms of people, if it was a name he'd overheard, it was from someone close to him. That pared down the margins significantly enough. No shot from Tarex. They'd not spoken much at all about his former life somewhere on the outskirts of the Wahi, nor had either of them even... really heard of Lesterin back when they'd last spoke. Angelus, for all his experience as the head honcho of Ta-Koro's defenses, hadn't mentioned such a man either.

A twig snapped underfoot, and he blinked, looking down. Plenty of debris like it nearby... Right. They were pretty close— this was a few hundred meters out from a bend further north than where he and Zelvin had entered. A lot of lumber was sourced from this bit of the woods. Close enough that it'd all be the same road to hit on their respective ways. A glance back told him that the aforementioned Toa of Crystals seemed to be handling the two prisoners in tow well, without much issues upon the terrain. Good... the walking tree and Matoran seemed to be busying themselves with a discussion of their own, conveyed in silent gestures and expression. Hakari... hm. A Lesterin, and someone from a faraway land. Seprilli, it was...

Seprillian? Seprillian Pira—

Infernavika.

"Lokhar, huh? Funny coincidence." he murmured finally, filling a lull as it came in the conversation. "My..."

He paused, as though the term were still unfamiliar on his tongue. 

"My dad mentioned him every now and again. Him and a guy named 'Raknar Seprillian'... served on their crew while they were sailing the island, at least for a while. Boat was called an 'Infernavika'."

Words heard secondhand, relayed by a man with no authority to back them. In truth, he probably wasn't the right person to ask in the slightest— more to the tune of "the best Hakari had to work with" than anything else. There were Lesterin and Skakdi alike populating his comrades in the force, odds were they'd be much more reliable when it came to recalling one of their own—

And yet.

"If it's a pirate or a ship you're looking for, North's definitely the direction you want." he remarked, picking out the road through the last column of brush ahead of them, the sheen of worn cobblestones poking through the blanket of gray ash. "I haven't been to Ga-Koro in ages, but the docks are always chock full of boats and sailors. If you don't find your man, you'll find someone who knows him for sure."

He felt something urging him to weigh in anyway. As though it were a stone that needed turning. He didn't know if it was in the spirit of helping out, or of holding onto the ties he was supposed to have, or... just a whim, appearing for its own sake. But it was there. It was something he could give. 

So why not?

She was on the path past forgetting. As someone in the same boat...

Guess it makes sense.

To that end, he hadn't missed that the Le-Toa's words had mean to hit his ears as well as hers. It was the same question he, in his many hours of monotony and isolation both in and out of the city walls alike, had pondered to no avail— not that his brain was particularly suited for it anyway. He punched good, kicked good, kneed and elbowed good. He didn't like being called stupid, but he couldn't deny the fact that, compared to a bookworm like Brontes (for instance) he was no high-minded cerebral Toa. Esoterism escaped him many times. Mysteries that didn't exist in the here and now... usually took a back seat to things that did.

But he had more than his own mind to rely on.

He beckoned the group forward.

"There are a bunch of Skakdi and Lesterin like Hakari in the Guard," he intoned, pointing with his other hand to a break in the brush, a gateway to the Ga-Ta roadway. "I dunno much about it, but there's rumors going around that it's got to do with something they sailed through— some kinda thick fog, maybe a storm cloud. It's shaky. A lot of them washed up like us. A lot of them're starting to remember old lives, like you."

He looked to Hakari, then to the Le-Toa, and then finally to the group as a whole as the Matoran, ever tapping upon his bracer, stepped into the clear behind him while bringing up the rear. With the main road running along on either side, it seemed this was the end of the line for their shared reminiscence.

You mean lack of one?

"You're in good company, so maybe they're onto something. It's all over my head." he cracked a wan smile, before folding corded arms in front of him with a puff of air through the nostrils, turning to the direction of far-off greenery.

"Anyway, for you guys headed off that way, this road's gonna be your best bet. It's a little longer than a straight shot, but it's travelled pretty well and Rahi know to keep away from it. Might find a few inns or something to catch some shuteye along the way. Other than that..."

He never really had gotten farewells figured out. No matter how much time his mother had made up for in a missed childhood's worth of scolding him on it, he was never too good at them. He'd already talked more now than he had in months, it felt like—

"If it helps you get on the ship you need, tell this Lokhar guy a Highwind sent you."

He offered her a shrug. Jolek was no Perkahn, and he wasn't the type to call in favors. Least of all ones he wasn't owed.

But, karz.

"If he thinks it's my Dad, he might bite on it."

He didn't have these kinds of ideas often enough. 

"We're headed the other way. Good luck out there."

Edited by Razgriz
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IC Kanohi - Ta-Wahi - the Charred Forest

Kanohi for a moment felt something crawling on him. He swallowed, was it another vision? They were still in Ta-Wahi, and the embers certainly triggered his strange power. Was he hallucinating? Was a vision coming on? He didn’t think Lapu had seen that yet—

The Fe-Matoran relaxed as he realized Lapu as touching his armor. His masks were growing back together, old scratches and cracks sealing up, the wood growing firm. The power of Jungle was astounding.

He paused, did Lapu realize Kanohi was stressed? He had been clicking. Kanohi had not known Lapu long, even less than he knew Hakari, but he did not want to worry him. Should he explain what was worrying him?

N-no, that would be wrong, acting like he was entitled to Lapu and Hakari’s companionship. But he, could not just let Lapu worry without explanation.

Kanohi turned over his tablet and pointed to a message carved into it. It was just a simple phrase “Thank you,” and had carved into the tablet and not scribbled on paper because odds are thanking someone would come up often. Saved paper.

Lapu got him this tablet. He owed him. They were companions.

Kanohi scribbled the circles of Matoran script into the paper, writing, “I am sorry for worrying you. It was only now I realized that once the corruptive Lesterin is dealt with, our trio will likely go our separate ways. It’s … been a while since I traveled with others. I will miss it. And I will miss the two of you.

He paused, and to try to assuage fears he added, “but I know you and Hakari have your own destinies. And I won’t forget that Le-Wahi is not endless. If Mata-Nui is kind, even if we part ways, I will run into you again.

And given the visions he has had of the Companions, there was a good chance Kanohi would still see Hakari and Lapu even long after the former sailed for this fabled land of Seprilli.

OOC: @capMARVELOUS @Geardirector @ARROW404 @Razgriz @Snelly 

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"We're on our own here-like we've always been-and we'll stand or fall on our own"-Tanma
"He may seem slow and strange to you, but his simple words often carry a hidden wisdom"-Turaga Vakama on Kapura

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  • 2 weeks later...

IC: Myhruk [???]

Fire.

Myhruk felt it in his lungs. The flame within his chest was snuffing itself out, choking on its own ash as the oxygen in his chest was all but consumed. The blue glow of his optics lit imperfections in the water floating around him. Soon the moon's glow would drift out of sight and that would be the only light to remain. The borders of his vision became darker as he sank deeper, and then darker still, as if the water was crushing all light.

When all hope was lost, after Myrhuk expelled the last of his breath in a reflexive crumpling of desperation, the Lesterin of plasma could still a light growing to meet him. At first he thought this was it. This must be a gateway to a heaven he couldn't quite remember the name of, but he soon realized the darkness remained - he felt the edge of death in his vision, promising to swallow his inner light whole. In a panic, Myrhuk flailed his arms upward at the light, and he could faintly see a splash and a silhouette before he heard the sharp fractal noise of glass shattering as the darkness swallowed him whole.

Optics shot wide open, Myrhuk shook his head and grabbed at his chest. He put a hand to his face to feel something strange, only to wipe off the residue of the puddle of drool he had made for himself during his slumber. He noticed a noodle shaped drool trail leading off the table and ending in half a bottle on the floor. His arm was wet - he wiped it off on the seat cushioning.

"Hey, you - you're finally awake?" A gruff voice said from across the room. Myrhuk knew it but he could hardly mumble a response. It looked like he wanted to but couldn't. "About time you head home, kid. This may be an inn but that's not a bed."

Myhruk gave a silent nod to the bartender before staggering through the swinging double doors and onto the streets of his home. He took a deep breath, and felt comforted by the warmth of Ta-Koro's hot, sulfur smelling air.

Edited by BULiK
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OOC: Surdo and Baszlin from Ga.

IC: Surdo - Ta-Koro

The overall trip on the ferry was uneventful. Surdo had spent most of it staring into the eyes of the Muaka head on his cane, deep in thought about the work ahead. Some times if he did it long enough, he could swear it was staring back in confusion, questioning his motives or why he would even agree to help Quoribay. But Surdo had his own plan. And if things went how Quoribay wanted to, and they reached this score, whatever it was, then—

—once they arrived, the Fe-Matoran kept a steady pace, optics locked ahead. From the dock, then onward to the village of fire, the next step was the cable car and avoiding the attention of the guard—if they would even be noticed. The warmth here was welcome, and made Surdo dread the upcoming chill of Ko-Koro more.

“Does Ta-Koro ring any bells for you, Baz? Bring anything to mind?” he asked his companion as they walked. “I’m sure you’ve been here before.”

OOC: @Perp

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IC: Hakari - The Charred Forest -

"Thanks, same to you." Hakari said to the Toa with a nod. After some quick goodbyes to their temporary companions, Hakari, Lapu, and Kanohi went down the fork in the road towards Ga-Wahi, the forest already starting to give way to a bit more pleasant fauna. 

OOC: @capMARVELOUS@Harvali@Razgriz@ARROW404@Geardirector Hakari, Lapu, and Kanohi to Ga-Wahi. 

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

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IC: Baszlin - Ta-Koro 

What a peculiar pair the two of them must’ve looked like, meandering through basalt-lined avenues in the City of Fire - a patchwork beastman whose shotgun sling dug deeply into his one good shoulder, and the (relatively) diminutive infirm at his side clutching the cane of a souteneur. Such a sight would not be uncommon in a place like Xa-Koro, once upon a time. Alas, Xa-Koro met with the wrong end of a suspiciously convenient pocket of natural gas.

Wrong end? What would be the right end?

Also, what is natural gas?

These questions haunted him, and would plague his sleeping hours this eve.

“I have been here before,” remarked Big, slowing his gait to keep pace with Small as they wound their way through the dim amber glow of the labyrinthine city. “I was almost dead when I woke up in a hospital somewhere in town. They put most of me back together. Probably ate the rest, I don’t really know what the culture here is like.”

The Skakdi deflected the hard stare of a couple of Toa with one of his own, as the dual pairs passed each other. Naturally, the Toa broke theirs first. Didn’t blame them - he wouldn’t want to look at him either.

OOC: @Tarn

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IC: Myhruk [Ta-Koro, Streets]

A Su-Lesterin walked the streets of his city. After every intersection his stagger straightened and there was more of a drive behind his steps. Something was different about him. He couldn't shake the feeling himself.

Not that anyone paid enough attention to him before to notice such subtleties now.

This Lesterin wasn't big on friends - he got the job done and lived his life, any while there was as much living memory and pain in this Lesterin as the next being, it was only lately that he had begun wondering what was next. Times were changing.

OOC: Myhruk, open for interaction.

Edited by BULiK
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IC: Chiaki - Ta-Wahi - The Charred Forest > Ta-Koro
It would seem that the time has come for the parting of ways.  A shame, really; even if it was a bit too eventful for my liking (as my leg can attest), the time we spent together was enjoyable.  I find that I'd rather like to continue traveling with this lot, perhaps help the Lesterin or the gray one uncover more of their missing memories.  But the gray one's duties, and the Lesterin's troupe's destinies, lie on a path that isn't my own.  Far be it from me to keep them from them.

"A pleasure while it lasted, friend," I say to the gray one as I shake his hand.  "Let's run into each other again sometime."  I turn to give similar, proper farewells to the other three, but they're already far down the road to Ga-Wahi.  All the questions I had for the tree man about his nature go with them.  I linger a few awkward moments more before I finally make my own way down the road, nothing more new on me than a hole in my hat and whatever scant goodies I picked up during the fight with the Skakdi.  (Thoughts of a mentioned reward for that fight flit through my brain for a second.  Whatever happened to that offer, I wonder?)

My time on the road proper is about as uneventful as my time wandering through the forest.  At least here, I don't have to keep climbing trees to check if I'm going the right way.  True to the gray one's words, it leads me straight to the Koro.  A wave of heat and a smell of burning stone greet me as I reach the borders.  Both things I could do without, but my pleasure at reaching proper civilization overrides my discomfort.  The thought of a proper meal and an actual bed to lay down in as I prepare for my next move fills my head-

Wait.  What next move?

I find that I've quite forgotten what it was I decided I was going to do once I got here.  I guess the goal of "just going forward" I've had over the past however long it's been superseded my grander goal a while ago.  I hope I can remember what it was before the time to leave comes again; as much as I've grown to like wandering, I don't think I can do it aimlessly for much longer.

OOC:
see ya guys.  open for interaction

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IC: Surdo - Ta-Koro

Ate the rest? Baz was a bit of an odd fellow, but he might have been less hinged than Surdo thought he was. That wasn’t a negative trait, however. Stable individuals would hold back too much, and stable individuals asked too many questions.

“Interesting,” Surdo said, not breaking his gaze away from the path ahead. “You’ve been through quite a lot, then. I sympathize.”

He noticed the brief staring contest out of the corner of his optic. “Remember, as far as anyone’s concerned we’re just passing through,” he said, limping along steadily down the street. “If anyone takes issue with that, we can take care of it.” He wasn’t really giving Baz free reign to commit violence if their trip through Ta-Koro was compromised, but it was a reminder that Surdo was not going to allow anything to get in between him and their goal. He wasn’t going to go down before he even learned what the score was.

Eventually, they reached the cable car station. As a form of transport, it felt more precarious to Surdo than anything else they could take. But, it was the best, if not the only to get them to the Outpost. It certainly beat traveling on foot through the breadth of the Wahi to get there.

He boarded, and the pair were on their way.

OOC: Surdo and Baszlin to Ko-Wahi. @Perp

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  • 2 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

IC: Jolek Highwind

His companions had scattered, leaves riding their own distant winds, after a sharing of brief farewells.

Hakari's trio off to the north, towards the distant greenery of the city upon the Ocean and her rediscovered past beyond. The Le-Toa and Zelvin to Ta-Koro, a sizzling metropolis of possibility for people like them, just as much as it was a cage. They had places to be, people to see, things to do. The group had come about spontaneously and, with the end of the moment that had birthed it, dissolved until it had pared down to one.

Upon the unmarked, obscure stretch of road, the young Fa-Toa stood, motion having left all but his eyes as they panned left, then right, then towards the ash that hung above him.

Almost at once, he was alone again. Before he'd even realized it, they'd left him behind— the noise had left. The color had left.

All that remained was gray against gray. Only one against only everything.

...

His eyes closed, the lids sliding over the two points of gold he could offer in their wake. He breathed in deep, letting the bitter smell of ash and metal in, long past the point of becoming familiar with Ta-Koro's stuffy, acrid air.

What a boring view.

And a puff of the same left his nostrils, his Pakari settled back into the dull frown he could feel hanging off his face. Back to the same, then? Was that it for the day? It couldn't be, something felt missing— something that even so felt routine as all he had done before that burst of excitement. He put his mind to work on it, brow only just beginning to narrow before his legs already began to move, pivoting on the heel and marching back into the shrubbery.

His stomach was empty— he'd been planning to follow up on his last night's traps before the offer to assist in felon retrieval. He'd already been a little peckish before the green fella who controlled gales showed up and drawn the Ash Lads to them. 

Man.

Had he been so absorbed?

Long time since he'd had the luxury of something to get the blood pumping, sure, but to forget his own basic urges until only now when just about every patrol beat had him craving fried plantains within an hour was...

His frown deepened as he shouldered past the same brush he'd lead the gang out of.

"Something to that."

He muttered the words to nobody, even as he encountered the first of the three snares. Empty.

Empty stomach, empty snare...

Empty Soul.

He began to disassemble the noose, pulling cord away from straining branch with scarce little thought. Another thing that had no need for it, no reliance on the guiding hand of the conscious mantra of steps. The muscles knew better than words could, than mind could. He barely even needed his eyes— and sure enough, felt himself to begin looking at nothing.

The soul. The seat of life, of identity, of Being. As it was once explained to him, the soul was the spark in the heartlight, that "You" within you. He knew it was something he must have had— to be born was to have one. If you had a mind and could speak it, you too must have a soul.

When his mind wasn't occupied by his hands, what did it ever do?

He stood, shuffling over towards the next as his gaze slid across the ashen ground, barely catching upon the differing sticks that peeked out from below the monochrome surface. To answer that question would be to speak another into the dead air. 

What was there to think about? All he had been doing was living— but even Angelus would probably just call it "surviving". Do his guard work. Return home. Eat. Do the same types of training he'd known for years now, sleep... And all the same the next day, the next week, and the next month. It was almost like the grid he walked every day, or the ash he was trudging atop now. Seeing it made you feel like not thinking. Letting each moment, same as the last, slip by until one rough, strange, and binding caught hold— and that hadn't happened till now. Once in the time since he was squaring off with those Skakdi in the alleyway near the bombed-out Inn.

The second snare had been snapped halfway up its length. Had he caught something and it freed itself while he was waiting? Judging from the fraying on the cord... no. more like something bigger, and more daring, had snatched the opportunity before him.

He'd felt this mood before, the way his blood seemed to recoil at his thoughts. It wasn't all that long ago.

Rebellion. When he'd put away his father's pride and joy, an weapon that had seen untold death and untold life in even measure, off to the side. The blade he wasn't enough to wield. He hadn't the right to it.

He'd realized it then as well.

No.

He'd realized it ages ago, and even just today.

But that was when he'd had the will to contemplate it. Confront it. It had pulled a decision out of him. A change.

The smallness of his story. The hollowness of his soul.

They were connected. They had to be. A soul was something that wanted. A story was how it got.

That he blended into the this dull gray haze was only appropriate, given those—

Motion pulled him away from his yammering, back into the world, as he finally ambled to the last snare, lava rat swaying gently in the line. For it to be still on a pendulum arc rather than having settled... this guy was fresh. All too fresh. Pressing a finger to its limp body revealed the last traces of its warmth against the tips of his digits. Couldn't have been more than half an hour dead. Half an hour ago would mean...

"No kidding..."

The fight had scared it out of a burrow and into his trap. Forget the widgets he was technically owed— if anything, Mama Clench had just earned him dinner. More than worth a scrape on the brow, let alone a little lost pocket change— seemed like it was the gift that kept on giving, even if the brawl itself ended in a flash.

He hooked the line and catch to his belt, opposite the guardsman's sword on the hip.

Funny how it worked— even inadvertently, he was doing better when he felt alive. When he was in a scrap, when he cared about it, when he was...

A click he felt, but did not feel.

When he was following a desire.

He wanted to win. He wanted to help an old comrade. He wanted out of the same rote "waiting on something" drudgery that had consumed him. It wasn't much. To compare it to the desires he had just seen in Hakari's compulsion to find her home, his had paled in comparison— to say nothing of the all-consuming wishes that had driven Perkahn Highwind's tale. It wasn't so thought out, so feverish, so invigorating to hear or speak of.

It was little more than a whim, speaking honestly.

But even a whim was something a soul gave you.

Even a whim could start a good story.

Whatever Ta-Koro had in store for him, he couldn't say he was too confident in anything close to "more of the same". Living on instincts was what he'd done for ages. The promise he'd made was to get stronger— so speaking, to exceed that. He thought he'd do so through duty... but duty had become a greater shackle than he could have even come close to realizing. To kill off a choice was to kill off the why behind it. Doing things because "I must" is no different from eating.

Everyone I met today was doing something they wanted to. Their actions were theirs.

Their goals were theirs.

I've just followed my nature beneath that duty.

That's why I'm out here, and they're moving forward.

A purpose to do something that I feel from my core...

That might be what I need, then.

Something my soul can chase.

...

It was getting dim. The fiery reds of the Lake were beginning to cast their red glow upon the haze.

Better get going.

He started forward, eyes peering upward and squinting as they, for only a moment, caught a glimpse of blue peeking through the grey as a southerly wind shook the dead trees, smelling of salt, and more faintly, sand.

Edited by Razgriz
ALT TRACK: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ES3RUqCq0wI
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  • 2 weeks later...

IC: Jolek Highwind

An hour passed, and the lone hunter returned to the village gates, his paltry catch in hand and none walking by his side.

A common sight for every guardsman and guardswoman on gatepost rotation.

An empty grin and wave of the free hand later, and they allowed their roaming comrade back into the cage upon the lake.

 

OOC: I'll be away for a few days, but the amnesiac punch guard is off duty and Open for Interaction.

helo frens

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OoC: Time I finally officially joined Ta-Koro!

IC: Balian the Mask Maker - Ta-Koro, "The Kanohi Dragon Forge"

Ting! Ting! Ting!

The Turaga lifted the mask with a pair of tongs and inspected it, the green lens of his Akaku widening as he focused, taking in the details of the metal in ways mere eyes could not. Surface irregularities imperceptible by the untrained were as clear as black and white to him. Or they would be, if there were any. And impurities under the surface could not escape the penetrating scope of his mask power. Again, there were none.

He smiled in satisfaction and dunked the mask into a cauldron of cool oil, which hissed violently as hot met cold. The process was not yet finished though, so once more he picked up his staff and held it over his anvil as he placed the mask in place once more. What remained of the elemental power he had once possessed, long ago, heated the metal to his precise expectations. The green lens clicked shut, and the small red one clicked on, irregularities in the heat displaying for him alone to see. When it was ready, he picked up his ball peen hammer and took to lightly tapping at the softened metal, coaxing it into the precise optimal shape he had made a hundred times before.

He would be at the task for the rest of the day yet, but already the distinct shape of a Miru could be discerned. One of the trickier shapes, but always a popular one. His smile persisted through his labor, happy as could be with the role he filled in Ta-Koro. One would be hard-pressed to find a Matoran, Toa, or Turaga more in their element than he was.

OoC: Balian the Mask Maker is now open for business, and for interaction! Note, he doesn't usually sell the masks he makes, aside for commissions. His usual fare is sold by mask salesmen (some of which are happy) elsewhere.

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IC: Jolek

"Even though their Ways are not ours, if you know the Way broadly, not one of them will be misunderstood... Touch upon all the arts."—Miyamoto Musashi

Ting! Ting! Ting!

The ringing bells of consistent forgework were long considered a constant backdrop to the bustle of the Ta-Koro streets. You could time your bula juice and plantain chip orders to them in a quick shop. Some guards had learned to use the rapport between rival shops as both metronome for their marches and audible reminders upon which district they were standing in. Street performing bards, carrying their lutes made from Kikanalo horn and gut string, used the rhythm for songs sung off the top of their masks. It was a welcome sound for many— for many, it was one of the signs of home, long before ghosts had floated up from the southern jungle and walked among their ranks.

A rapping knock sounded through the Kanohi Dragon Forge's space, on the beats between the Purveyor's steady cadence of his craft. The owner of the gunmetal knuckles that had tapped the doorframe had always cultivated a good sense for rhythm in the Art he himself, after all. Matching and filling the space would catch the old man's attention, probably.

Jolek had long written these sounds off before as something part of the low roar he now lived in. It certainly wasn't new to hear this shop— more than likely, the Turaga within was here far longer than he'd ever been. He wasn't sure what had changed things today— maybe just everything that had come before. Maybe he just figured the dry heat of a forge would dessicate his fresher-than-expected catch a little faster.

Regardless, he couldn't recall ever dropping in on one of these shops of his own volition. If he sought something outside the routine toil... it'd be an easy start.

"Yo," he said, youthful voice thrumming out from the lungs a little louder than normal to carry into the bright spot of the forge. "You mind if I watch for a bit?"

The Turaga seemed a friendly sort, if the smile he wore was any indication. The gold of his Akaku shone with the heat of his craft, seeming to drink in the flames.

The Toa of Magnetism, by contrast, could likely have been mistaken for an iron and gray Pakari display, had he stood still enough within the shop. As he glanced through the walls of the front, he saw relatively few works compared to what he'd expected, and no prices for any— weird. Maybe he did it for the process, in his later years?

An afterthought struck.

"Pardon the intrusion."

 

OOC: I took a few liberties here with the layout, let me know if anything needs editing, @ARROW404

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6 hours ago, Razgriz said:

OOC: I took a few liberties here with the layout, let me know if anything needs editing, @ARROW404

OoC: Not at all, in hindsight, I ought to have come up with the details of the shop myself, but alas, I was never one for purple prose. I didn't include it, because it didn't make much of a difference for me, after all!

IC: Balian the Mask Maker, Kanohi Dragon Forge, Ta-Koro

The boots at his door announced the knock before it came, and the well-practiced smith's strikes did not falter, though curiosity did cause his eyes for flick to the door momentarily at the timing of the knock. An observant fellow, whomever it was. "Cammon in," he called, loud enough to be heard clearly, but just under what would be considered a yell. His accent was quaint, and what some would consider 'lower class', and others would call 'neighborly'.

He held his torch-staff to the mask as he observed the Toa who entered, maintaining the heat. Green-scoped, and natural silver eyes examined the details of the individual. A number of elemental possibilities sprang to mind at the muted color scheme- Iron, Magnetism, maybe even Earth or Gravity. Sonics was out of the question though- no earmuffs. He might've seen the boy about in the past. Rather, he was certain he had, but couldn't place where. They certainly had never spoken though. A face in the street, likely.

"Yo," the customer said, youthful voice thrumming out from the lungs a little louder than normal to carry into the bright spot of the forge.

"'Ello," Balian greeted back with a nod, before turning his face down to the mask again to resume hammering the unique aquiline features of the Miru. "Wa' can I do for ya?"

"You mind if I watch for a bit?"

The mask maker paused on his next strike, leaning back a little, his portly frame settling on the leg farther from the Toa whom apparently was in fact not a customer, brow furrowed lightly as he discerned whether he was serious or not.

"Pardon the intrusion."

The old codger's brow rose, and he nodded with a shrug, then held his hammer out as if pointing at the visitor. "No harm in it, as long as you're ready ta cough up some widgets. Show ain't free, ya know." He grinned, clearly jesting. "Nahhh, have a seat 'n take a load off, lad. Ma name's Balien if ye didn't already know that. Wass yours?" As he spoke, he turned back down to the mask, setting the hammer down to give it another little burst of heat.

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Posted (edited)

IC: Jolek

"Oh."

The glance back at the Fa-Toa, meant to carry a grin of jest and reassurance, nonetheless revealed to the old craftsman— no, Balian— an innocently nonplussed hand halfway out of a pocket and gripping the tied end of a jingling cloth sack. The expression matched the picture his hands painted, a high brows above golden eyes that clearly had been taking him seriously.

I'm really gonna need to get better at this.

"Thanks," he continued, letting the widgets slide back down with a shrug. He hadn't often kept many on his person to begin with— the weight had always shifted a little weirdly on his belt. The less transactions in the day, the better. Ambling up to the forge, he spoke again as his eyes, meaning to search for a chair and take the Turaga up on his offer, instead were drawn to the heated orange glow of the...

"Jolek. It's a pleasure, sir."

He squinted.

...Of the Miru. He had comrades with Mirus on the force. They usually got wall duty. Had that Fe-Matoran from earlier had a few Mirus among his many wooden masks? Truthfully, they'd all kind of blended together once the initial confusion at his attire wore off. In his line of work, and in his experience, the only ones that mattered were the ones on the face.

The silence hung between them as the Turaga resumed his work, tapping away at spots Jolek's eyes told him were already in the right shape. If it looked right, it was right... right?

He pondered his own craft. The details. Turning over the knuckles so the wrist and forearm supported the strike. Rising up onto the ball of the standing leg on a head kick, so the hips could fully rotate through and push power into the leg. Pointing the foot on a knee strike, much like the one he'd concussed that Skakdi with. He'd trained with all types of people with new wave of recruits after the Lavapool— few even noticed those when he did them, only how they seemed to make all the difference.

"My first time stopping in, but I feel like I always pass you by on my patrol." he spoke without much preamble. The statement simply was. "How long you been making masks, Balian?"

They were called Martial Arts because of those details— where form meant function, efficacy met artistry. An old man like Balian had probably shaped the faces of his fellows longer than Jolek had even known of a "Ta-Koro"— so if he was hammering, there had to be something there.

Edited by Razgriz
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IC: Balian - Kanohi Dragon Forge @Razgriz

A little snicker slipped by the mask maker's lips at the Toa's expense. Not recognizing a joke? This one must not get out much.

"Jolek. It's a pleasure, sir."

"Pleasure's all mine," he returned with a wave of his hand after setting his staff back, then reached for his hammer and resumed his work on the details. Aerodynamics were the key for any Miru, although it was a matter of principle for the most part. Toa didn't order Miru anymore, they got Kadin instead. The Miru was loved for its shape more than anything, and that meant the orders- this one included- tended to be for powerless Matoran Kahoni.

"My first time stopping in, but I feel like I always pass you by on my patrol."

"Mmm..." Balian hummed in recognition. That's where he had seen him before, he was a guard then. Yes, that did seem to jog his memory a bit. He looked up again from his work and have the Toa a second once-over, matching it to a memory.

"How long you been making masks, Balian?"

He examined the curve of the face plates through his scopes again, determining it was done, before dunking it into the oil once more. "Oh, longer 'n I ken remember. Last clear thing I can remember is wakin' oop on the beach in frun'a a jungle. Wan'ered aroun', findin' my way, until I ended up hea, in Ta-Koro. Picked up a Franz," he said, waggling his hammer, "And pre'y quickly figga'd out I was made f'r it." He appreciated the question, honestly. He wasn't one of those old crotchety masters so devoted to their craft that to even breathe in their presence was disrespectful. He set down the ball-peen hammer and picked up a chisel, then, noticing Jolek was still standing, pointed out a stool tucked away in a corner. Then he set to etching the forehead into the two sections Miru always had.

"Y'know how it is, us off-islanders, can't remember who we were before 'n all that. Sometimes I'll have dreams though. Vague things, but somewhere in there I'm always in my forge. A different forge though, one from before. Maybe as far back as when I was a Matoran. So, I ain't got a straight answer, but iss been a looooong time. I knew it from the moment I started here in Ta." He tapped his temple, looking up at Jolek once again. "Memories migh've left the loaf, but me ol' brasses never forget," he said with a confident grin, giving his knuckles a crack.

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IC: Jolek

"Funny how it works like that."

A smirk flickered across the Toa's Pakari this time, taking his eyes off the mask-in-progress to finally pull the corner-dwelling stool to the fore, the metal legs floating quickly into his hand before he set them back to the floor. Seemed he was running into kindred spirits and shared circumstances all over the place. Sometimes, it felt like he might've been the weird one for feeling like the weird one in such sense.

"Some days it feels like I'm lucky I knew my name when I hit the shore, but getting in dustups just... ran deeper. Never doubted it."

And yet this man was another who didn't share the turbulence, a small, quiet part of him noted.

"It's good to find a calling that quick, though. Happy for you." the rest of him relentlessly continued beneath the somewhat awkward, but friendly air of a lad not so used to small talk he was making. He was following a whim that didn't strike often— but for whatever unsurety that brought, worrying would make whatever problem might arise worse.

As he sat, the young guard shifted the carcass to face the forge, letting the dry, hot air that billowed out from the glow brush over the flesh as Balian carved. He was now working past the shaping of the metal into the right frame, instead chipping out details— these on the brows. Thinking back on those aforementioned colleagues wearing the same Kanohi... Yeah, it was split into those two bits, wasn't it? Even on the different stylings.

He felt his free hand reach up and brush along the smoother Pakari covering the same region. Then, down to the scar on it's cheek.

If there was anywhere detailing mattered...

"What's it like, seeing someone wear one of your masks?" he asked further on, taking a moment to glance back over his shoulder and towards the displays before returning his gaze to the craftsman. "Kinda like looking at a face you made?"

Not literally, of course. Even he, bad with faces, knew that much.

But you couldn't ignore the link between the face you wore and the person you were.

A Kanohi was surely part of it. So in a sense, men like Balian played a part in people that way too.

Right?

Edited by Razgriz
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On 5/29/2022 at 8:43 AM, Razgriz said:

IC: Jolek

"Funny how it works like that."

A smirk flickered across the Toa's Pakari this time, taking his eyes off the mask-in-progress to finally pull the corner-dwelling stool to the fore, the metal legs floating quickly into his hand before he set them back to the floor. Seemed he was running into kindred spirits and shared circumstances all over the place. Sometimes, it felt like he might've been the weird one for feeling like the weird one in such sense.

"Some days it feels like I'm lucky I knew my name when I hit the shore, but getting in dustups just... ran deeper. Never doubted it."

And yet this man was another who didn't share the turbulence, a small, quiet part of him noted.

"It's good to find a calling that quick, though. Happy for you." the rest of him relentlessly continued beneath the somewhat awkward, but friendly air of a lad not so used to small talk he was making. He was following a whim that didn't strike often— but for whatever unsurety that brought, worrying would make whatever problem might arise worse.

As he sat, the young guard shifted the carcass to face the forge, letting the dry, hot air that billowed out from the glow brush over the flesh as Balian carved. He was now working past the shaping of the metal into the right frame, instead chipping out details— these on the brows. Thinking back on those aforementioned colleagues wearing the same Kanohi... Yeah, it was split into those two bits, wasn't it? Even on the different stylings.

He felt his free hand reach up and brush along the smoother Pakari covering the same region. Then, down to the scar on it's cheek.

If there was anywhere detailing mattered...

"What's it like, seeing someone wear one of your masks?" he asked further on, taking a moment to glance back over his shoulder and towards the displays before returning his gaze to the craftsman. "Kinda like looking at a face you made?"

Not literally, of course. Even he, bad with faces, knew that much.

But you couldn't ignore the link between the face you wore and the person you were.

A Kanohi was surely part of it. So in a sense, men like Balian played a part in people that way too.

Right?

IC: Balian - Ta-Koro

"Funny how it works like that."

The Mask Maker spared a glance at Jolek, making a brief attempt to figure out which aspect of who he was had stuck with him from before... well, before. Guard duty? Protecting others? Or maybe just scooting stools around using elemental energies, he thought humorously with a smirk. He still wasn't totally sure which the Toa was- silver was such a ubiquitous color. Magnetism or Iron were probably the best bet- Magnetism being the best match for his color.

"Some days it feels like I'm lucky I knew my name when I hit the shore, but getting in dustups just... ran deeper. Never doubted it."

Ahh, so it was fighting. He smirked, turning back to his trade, just slightly indenting the metal in the shape of the two sort of half-circle patterns. "Don't know I've rightly met a Toa who weren't made fer gettin' in scraps. Not all of 'em really take to it though. Can't say I can imagine meself doin' much of it before. Bu' who knows, eh?"

"It's good to find a calling that quick, though. Happy for you."

Balian offered the guard an appreciative smirk and a nod. That kind of heartfelt well-wishing didn't come easily to him, nor to anyone else he knew that well, really, so he didn't rightly know how to react. He did appreciate the sentiment though, even if he didn't say so out loud.

Jolek then settled into a pensive silence, and Balian let his mind wander to questions he might carry the conversation on with, while his hands followed their practiced motions, finishing the outline of one half and beginning the other. Before he settled on a particular question though, Jolek spoke up again. "What's it like, seeing someone wear one of your masks?" he asked further on, taking a moment to glance back over his shoulder and towards the displays before returning his gaze to the craftsman. "Kinda like looking at a face you made?"

The old smith examined his chisel for a moment while he pondered the question, then set back to work once more. "I 'spect I've come ta see masks differenly 'an most folk do. Vey ain't so much of a par'a someone as most fink. They're art, sure 'nough, but armor an' tools as well. So when I sees someone wearin' my work, mostly wha' I feel is pride. Pride knowin' I'm the one gave 'em the power an' good looks 'ey're wearin'. Ye'd fink a' first i''d be weird seein' yer 'andywork movin' an' lookin' about wiv minces- eyes, sorry- 'n a mouf 'n all, but nah. I 'spect it did feel weird the first time. But I don' rememba the first time!" he shrugged with a mirthful grin.

He removed the mask from the clamp holding it in place, then set it aside, the two sections well and neatly outlined, but still at the same level as the rest. Instead of continuing, he set the mask aside entirely, and instead brought out a roughly triangular sheet of metal and set to heating it through with his staff. "Still though, there's that par'a me wha' gets all giddy inside, when I sees my work, ou' in the street. Makes me wan'a grab the nearest bloke 'n tell'im that's me work, 'n pass out cigars," he barked a laugh.

The metal heated, he picked a wider hammer up and started to curve the metal plate around the curved side of the anvil. "My turn for a question, mm?" he asked, grinning up toward Jolek. "Wo'd it take ye to findja spo' in the guard? Wen' on an advencha first? Ran inta a patrol and got talked into it?"

OoC: I hope the Cockney rhyming slang isn't too hard to follow when it slips in. I can stop using it if it's too much. Or else Jolek can act as confused as you feel, and get a little culture clash moment organically!

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Posted (edited)

IC: Jolek

"Me?"

He had remained quiet for the Turaga's answer, nodding along as the old man had spoken of the pride he took in seeing his creations brought to life upon people's faces, rather than seeing them as becoming them. He supposed it made sense from that viewpoint too— when he could pierce the seemingly-thickening dialect. At times it took a moment's focus, usually while the older man paused to take a breath. All the while, his eyes never seemed to leave the work being done. He narrowed his brow as he rolled the question over internally, watching the master tradesman nick away at imperfections to find the form he saw beneath.

To some end, even if it wasn't all that tied to an identity in the wearer, that detailing held one in itself. Was that supposed to just be the craftsman's self-expression, then? Or did it take upon a distinction of its own?

How could you say it's different from another Miru he's made?

Maybe it's not for anyone but the maker to know.

"I signed on after the bombing, like a lot of people," he answered as he finally met the eyes of his impromptu acquaintance, gold presenting a strangely dulled sharpness to green. "I'd known Captain Angelus for a while before that, and always had taken up a bit of a vigilante streak to keep busy. Had ventured out towards Ga a little bit before that, but honestly hadn't ended up doing much on my own. Came home in time for the siege. During the bombing, I'd kind of just..."

He shrugged, as there was really not much to work with here. He had really just heard the commotion.

"Wandered into the alleyway facing the East side, a little after the explosion. Bunch of other people all lined up out there trying to smoke a couple of them holed up in there out, so I fell in with them— eventually they ran right into us. I owe the blue one a dent in the back of the head."

For a moment, the spark of something raw appeared in the depths of his gaze, cutting through the dull, almost apathetic recitation of everything beforehand.

"If I'd just been able to see the brakas..."

The point of light soon faded beneath the reflection of the forge, however, and he continued on.

"Well. After that, I figured that if I was gonna post up in a house around here and liked fighting anyway, I'd better join up officially. Be on call for when my buddy needs me. Help out since it's basically what I've got for a home, now that I'm outta the jungle."

The Fa-Toa folded his arms and let out a puff of air through his nostrils, a frustrated grimace playing over his face.

"Except that kinda day hasn't really come. I'm just out on patrol trying to fill the time, because every shift's been feeling the ****** same. So do the roads."

He glanced down at the drying Lava Rat. Dinner.

"Bet the food would too, if I didn't go and catch it on my off time. Guess I've been doing some second-guessing."

Edited by Razgriz
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10 hours ago, Razgriz said:

IC: Jolek

"Me?"

He had remained quiet for the Turaga's answer, nodding along as the old man had spoken of the pride he took in seeing his creations brought to life upon people's faces, rather than seeing them as becoming them. He supposed it made sense from that viewpoint too— when he could pierce the seemingly-thickening dialect. At times it took a moment's focus, usually while the older man paused to take a breath. All the while, his eyes never seemed to leave the work being done. He narrowed his brow as he rolled the question over internally, watching the master tradesman nick away at imperfections to find the form he saw beneath.

To some end, even if it wasn't all that tied to an identity in the wearer, that detailing held one in itself. Was that supposed to just be the craftsman's self-expression, then? Or did it take upon a distinction of its own?

How could you say it's different from another Miru he's made?

Maybe it's not for anyone but the maker to know.

"I signed on after the bombing, like a lot of people," he answered as he finally met the eyes of his impromptu acquaintance, gold presenting a strangely dulled sharpness to green. "I'd known Captain Angelus for a while before that, and always had taken up a bit of a vigilante streak to keep busy. Had ventured out towards Ga a little bit before that, but honestly hadn't ended up doing much on my own. Came home in time for the siege. During the bombing, I'd kind of just..."

He shrugged, as there was really not much to work with here. He had really just heard the commotion.

"Wandered into the alleyway facing the East side, a little after the explosion. Bunch of other people all lined up out there trying to smoke a couple of them holed up in there out, so I fell in with them— eventually they ran right into us. I owe the blue one a dent in the back of the head."

For a moment, the spark of something raw appeared in the depths of his gaze, cutting through the dull, almost apathetic recitation of everything beforehand.

"If I'd just been able to see the brakas..."

The point of light soon faded beneath the reflection of the forge, however, and he continued on.

"Well. After that, I figured that if I was gonna post up in a house around here and liked fighting anyway, I'd better join up officially. Be on call for when my buddy needs me. Help out since it's basically what I've got for a home, now that I'm outta the jungle."

The Fa-Toa folded his arms and let out a puff of air through his nostrils, a frustrated grimace playing over his face.

"Except that kinda day hasn't really come. I'm just out on patrol trying to fill the time, because every shift's been feeling the ****** same. So do the roads."

He glanced down at the drying Lava Rat. Dinner.

"Bet the food would too, if I didn't go and catch it on my off time. Guess I've been doing some second-guessing."

IC: Balian, Ta-Koro

"I signed on after the bombing, like a lot of people,"

"Mmmm..." the Turaga rumbled in recognition, nodded, mismatched white and green eyes meeting Jolek's. That had been a rough day for lots of people. The sort of event that defined a place, made a mark on its history.

"I'd known Captain Angelus for a while before that, and always had taken up a bit of a vigilante streak to keep busy. Had ventured out towards Ga a little bit before that, but honestly hadn't ended up doing much on my own. Came home in time for the siege."

Balian nodded again, remembering that terrifying moment. He'd considered slipping on a Kualsi and making a run for it at the time. Not his noblest moment, but what else was a Turaga to do? Give a Rahkshi's head a couple of whacks with the tip of his staff? During the explanation, he'd finished curving the sheet, and taken up his staff once again. using it to channel his flames into a narrow stream, essentially a plasma cutter, which he used to slice off two sections with practiced ease, in the precise shape of the indents on the mask.

"During the bombing, I'd kind of just... Wandered into the alleyway facing the East side, a little after the explosion. Bunch of other people all lined up out there trying to smoke a couple of them holed up in there out, so I fell in with them— eventually they ran right into us. I owe the blue one a dent in the back of the head."

He glanced up and caught the moment of emotion in the Toa's eyes, pausing for a moment, before continuing.

"If I'd just been able to see the brakas..."

"The buggers ya can't see 're always the hardest ta deal with," he commiserated, shaking his head. The one person you couldn't see with an Akaku was the one standing behind you. As the two slices of metal came off one at a time, he let them thud onto a wooden workbench, leaving behind the outer area that now was clearly the forehead region of the Miru, with the thin line running from front to back.

"Well. After that, I figured that if I was gonna post up in a house around here and liked fighting anyway, I'd better join up officially. Be on call for when my buddy needs me. Help out since it's basically what I've got for a home, now that I'm outta the jungle."

He glanced up at the mention of the jungle. Seems both of them must have spent a little while in Le-Wahi. The Toa huffed then, and Balian recognized the dissatisfaction there that he'd seen in Matoran and some other Toa at the pub, when they talked about how much greater they could be, somewhere else. Balian couldn't say he could relate, but he recognized it. He clamped the metal plate onto the side of his workbench, and picked up a box of rivets, and the base mask.

"Except that kinda day hasn't really come. I'm just out on patrol trying to fill the time, because every shift's been feeling the ****** same. So do the roads... Bet the food would too, if I didn't go and catch it on my off time. Guess I've been doing some second-guessing."

The mask maker clamped the mask and plate together at three points, where a contrast between the metals became evident. Where the base mask was the clear dull silver of a mask waiting to be put on by an elemental being, the plate was darker with a more polished sheen. With his staff, he flame-cut a series of holes through both layers with even spacing, and dropped a lighter silver rivet in each, waiting for the next step.

"Second-guessin's normal," Balian said as he worked. "Folk like to pretend it ain't, but it is. Eeeeeeveryone has at least one moment where they feel ou'a place. Most 've several. They just tend not to talk abou' i'." He finished laying one side's rivets and switched to the other. "Way aye sees it, wai'in' for th'danger ta show up is exactly wot we got the bobbies for. Ya might feel wasted 'n all, bu' tha's 'cause it's workin, i'nit?" He looked up, cocking his head. "I know it ain't crackin' heads, bu' yeh doin' the same good as if ya were. Stoppin' the baddies, bu' before they gets up te no good." The rivets laid, he moved to the inside of the mask, carefully melting and shaping the base of said rivets to the insides of the mask, ensuring they were solidly attached. "Pu' another way: ya say "that kinda day hasn't really come", an' aye can't say for sure i' has, but I s'spect i' did. Or rather, i' would'a happened, if you an' the guard hadn't been there ta discourage i'. No doubt, Ta'd be Rahkshi food by now if ye weren't mannin' the walls."

His accent had been getting progressively thicker. It was a habit. He started off more proper and intelligible, but the more comfortable he got with someone, the more his accent slipped in.

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Posted (edited)

IC: Jolek

"Yeah, that's what I've been telling myself..."

He was... pretty sure, at any rate. That way of speaking sure as karz wasn't getting any easier to parse, certainly— but the majority of the words, however accented, were there, lining up with his old reassurances from peers and himself alike. The thoughts weren't without merit, and probably weren't even necessarily untrue, either... but something still seemed to ring hollow to the Fa-Toa's ears. Moreso coming from his own mouth, rather than Balian's. As far as the maskmaker was concerned, he was a man who'd found a calling in honing his art, walking his Way, in a path that lead from home to forge and back again.

There were plenty in the Guard who could say the same, too. Jol knew they had their roots in this city, their callings to defend it that came from well-thought reasons and senses of duty to their home. They said as much, often as they liked, in training facilities and on patrol.

About half of the people that walked the street day in and day out were reserve forces, to boot (according to Angelus, at any rate). Ta-Koro had the valiant defenders the smith was speaking so glowingly of on call and in spades, men and women who lived and breathed the Volcano's ashes and tasted Home.

Those with ties binding them here.

...

Friends locked behind the doors and shackled by that same duty. A lion in a cage of high black stone and paperwork.

Family, those that accepted him as such, gone into the mists, off on one last adventure. People he'd only just learned to Know, and be Known by, as wraithlike as he.

Foes still lurking in the shadows, quietly biding time as the Koro's marshaled forces settled into this new time of their lives. Always the ones you can't see coming, always the ones you just sit and wait for.

"Well, if nothin' else," he drawled, rising to his feet and fumbling around his beltline in search of the widgets he'd previously proven his own naivete with. "Patrolling these days gives me nothing but time to keep holding out for it, right?"

He located the pouch, slipping his fingers inside and plucking free a loose fistful of the coins with a pensive expression— not quite a grimace, not quite a grin. Maybe he did feel a little awkward after all. Eventually, it settled into something that felt friendly, if nothing else— looking at a mask being made most have made him more conscious of his own face than usual.

He placed them on the stool, warm from his weight and the heat of the craft he was observing. It was a haphazard pile, totalling about a meal's worth in widgets.

"For the trouble."

 

Edited by Razgriz
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2 hours ago, Razgriz said:

IC: Jolek

"Yeah, that's what I've been telling myself..."

He was... pretty sure, at any rate. That way of speaking sure as karz wasn't getting any easier to parse, certainly— but the majority of the words, however accented, were there, lining up with his old reassurances from peers and himself alike. The thoughts weren't without merit, and probably weren't even necessarily untrue, either... but something still seemed to ring hollow to the Fa-Toa's ears. Moreso coming from his own mouth, rather than Balian's. As far as the maskmaker was concerned, he was a man who'd found a calling in honing his art, walking his Way, in a path that lead from home to forge and back again.

There were plenty in the Guard who could say the same, too. Jol knew they had their roots in this city, their callings to defend it that came from well-thought reasons and senses of duty to their home. They said as much, often as they liked, in training facilities and on patrol.

About half of the people that walked the street day in and day out were reserve forces, to boot (according to Angelus, at any rate). Ta-Koro had the valiant defenders the smith was speaking so glowingly of on call and in spades, men and women who lived and breathed the Volcano's ashes and tasted Home.

Those with ties binding them here.

...

Friends locked behind the doors and shackled by that same duty. A lion in a cage of high black stone and paperwork.

Family, those that accepted him as such, gone into the mists, off on one last adventure. People he'd only just learned to Know, and be Known by, as wraithlike as he.

Foes still lurking in the shadows, quietly biding time as the Koro's marshaled forces settled into this new time of their lives. Always the ones you can't see coming, always the ones you just sit and wait for.

"Well, if nothin' else," he drawled, rising to his feet and fumbling around his beltline in search of the widgets he'd previously proven his own naivete with. "Patrolling these days gives me nothing but time to keep holding out for it, right?"

He located the pouch, slipping his fingers inside and plucking free a loose fistful of the coins with a pensive expression— not quite a grimace, not quite a grin. Maybe he did feel a little awkward after all. Eventually, it settled into something that felt friendly, if nothing else— looking at a mask being made most have made him more conscious of his own face than usual.

He placed them on the stool, warm from his weight and the heat of the craft he was observing. It was a haphazard pile, totalling about a meal's worth in widgets.

"For the trouble."

 

IC: Balian - Ta-Koro, Kanohi Dragon Forge

"Yeah, that's what I've been telling myself..."

The mask maker observed the Toa out of the corner of his eye as he finished the riveting process only a Ta or Pa being could do. The Toa wasn't convinced, and Balian could understand that, even if he felt differently himself. He fetched two long, roughly triangular pieces of metal and clamped them onto the 'jaw' portion of the mask now, setting to cut the same holes and set the same rivets as the decorative forehead plate. He was about to comment when Jolek rose and counted out some widgets. The Turaga sat for a moment in puzzled silence, wondering what those were for, until the guard offered them to him.

"For the trouble."

Balian barked a friendly laugh, "It's no trouble a' all, Jolek. Way I sees it, we'e chums now. How about instead a payin' me like I'm ye landlord, ye buy me a pint some time instead, eh?" He set a rivet and melted it into place, adding more softly. "You don't sound convinced by wha' I said, an' I ain't surprised. Iss noffin ta be ashamed of. Ye made a decision based on wha' was goin' on around ye, and it turns out, long term, it weren't what ye were meant for. Happens all the time. If ye sure you're meant ta be elsewhere, then ya should go look for it. Tha'ss me take."

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IC: Jolek

Perhaps before realizing it had slipped free, the Fa-Toa shared the chuckle, scooping the widgets off the stool and making as many notes as he could to remember he owed Balian a drink in his head should their paths cross again. Guess there wasn't much to hide from a man that studies faces and masks— even if you didn't realize you were wearing 'em.

"Read me like a book."

Clinking, jangling sounds of metal on metal joined the concert, the high and bright beats over the top of the subtle hiss and gloop of the melting metal of the mask as the Toa offered not a handshake, but the fist that had always felt more natural. Compact, and hard as stone, and with pronounced knuckles, it too was the signifier of his craft, just as the forge was his new friend's.

"Hold me to that, yeah? I can forget things pretty easy, but I owe you that much."

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17 hours ago, Razgriz said:

IC: Jolek

Perhaps before realizing it had slipped free, the Fa-Toa shared the chuckle, scooping the widgets off the stool and making as many notes as he could to remember he owed Balian a drink in his head should their paths cross again. Guess there wasn't much to hide from a man that studies faces and masks— even if you didn't realize you were wearing 'em.

"Read me like a book."

Clinking, jangling sounds of metal on metal joined the concert, the high and bright beats over the top of the subtle hiss and gloop of the melting metal of the mask as the Toa offered not a handshake, but the fist that had always felt more natural. Compact, and hard as stone, and with pronounced knuckles, it too was the signifier of his craft, just as the forge was his new friend's.

"Hold me to that, yeah? I can forget things pretty easy, but I owe you that much."

IC: Balian - Kanohi Dragon Forge

Truth be told, he was a little disappointed the Toa was heading out. Granted, he would finish the mask quicker this way, but the chat had been pleasant. Rain check, then. Setting down his staff, he stepped up to return the bump with one of his own. He couldn't remember every having done one before, but the gesture felt familiar. Nostalgic, even. Another little relic of his past, he imagined.

"Will do, lad. What ye say we plan ahead? Me mates an' I gather at Pumice Pord's Pub most evenin's. Name a day that works for ye and we'll see each other then."

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 4/23/2022 at 12:30 AM, BULiK said:

IC: Myhruk [Ta-Koro, Streets]

A Su-Lesterin walked the streets of his city. After every intersection his stagger straightened and there was more of a drive behind his steps. Something was different about him. He couldn't shake the feeling himself.

Not that anyone paid enough attention to him before to notice such subtleties now.

This Lesterin wasn't big on friends - he got the job done and lived his life, any while there was as much living memory and pain in this Lesterin as the next being, it was only lately that he had begun wondering what was next. Times were changing.

OOC: Myhruk, open for interaction.

IC: Myhruk [Ta-Koro, Alley]

A different rhythm joined the omnipresent melody of hammer blows in Ta-Koro's forging district. Its synchronized notes did not carry the metallic ring of hammers on protodermis, but the dull crunch of brass against brick.

The ashy grey Lesterin was angry, his swirling orange birthmarks and burnt orange head almost a cartoonish embodiment of his fuming passion, while the more restrained streaks of white along his chestplate betrayed a radiant inner focus. That focus constrained the anger he couldn't explain into a tool he could justify. His preferred outlet of frustration? Slowly imprinting the igneous brick walls of a familiar winding alley with countless dents from his brass knuckles until he could do so no longer.

Early on, the Su-Lesterin's constraint was of his body, but discipline and repetition had purged such an excuse from his system. Lately, the only thing that stopped his reprieve from the dire responsibility of thought was the timing of guard patrols. Luckily, the last one should have passed through and been well out of earshot minutes ago, and the next time one would swing nearby was almost an hour from now. The local workers and customers were either too busy or not nosy enough to intervene. At least, not so far.

In this sanctum of circumstance, he trained himself the only way he knew how - raw effort. It gave him something to focus on without the constraints of work or the freedom to let his mind wander too far. He let himself simulate the rigors of the hunt, batter himself harder than his foes would, so he could overcome and adapt to whatever they threw his way.

The plasma elemental continuously fought his city with the numbing crunch of every swing, so that when he fought for his city, there would be nothing it could hit him with that was tougher than his own conditioning.

OOC: Open for interaction.

Edited by BULiK
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IC: Jolek

"Hm. That's tough, planning..." he scratched the back of his head, brow of his Pakari furrowing in open annoyance. "I mean, with the job, you just never really know— Something pops up, we get called in or need to work extra."

He folded his arms now, crossing them over a lightly rumbling stomach that was broken up by sounds of masonwork drifting in from afar. Truth be told, he'd not changed much in regard to his taste for alcohol since the last time that sort of offer was extended to him... But if he remembered right, Pumice at least had some decent food to fill the void. At the very least, he'd gotten the impression from overheard dinner plans.

Were it not for this obstacle, he wouldn't mind giving things a shot and making good on a promise, but...

"Ah, whatever!" Things inside came to a head, popped, and released all at once as he decided he was overthinking— to karz with locking himself into a day he couldn't speak for properly. Regimentation, scheduling— it'd sort out on its own anyway. Balian'd more than likely be there, the Turaga'd said so himself.  "I'll drop in when I can, we oughta catch each other after a couple days at most. If not tomorrow, the day after. One of the two's gotta work."

It wasn't like he'd break out of the larger-scale holding pattern, anyway. A night would line up. Could be tomorrow, could be in three days— but it'd be there.

He turned for the door after double-checking his belt, opening it before standing in the frame for a moment.

He never really had gotten farewells figured out.

Well, the whole point of things is that this wasn't supposed to really be one, right?

The wiry young man looked over his shoulder, and smirked.

"'Till then, Balian." 

And at the Turaga's response and not a moment later, he vanished into the street, a ghost on the wind.

Time to head home, settle his stomach (That Lava Rat was well and dried by now), and think some things over.

——————

Two hours passed before he hit the streets again, gut full of a light stew that served to take the edge off of the pit that had been steadily growing since the end of his rounds. Given that he usually kept active even in his lounge time, he liked not to gorge these days— if he wasn't in the jungle, making things last over the span of weeks at a time between hunts, he needed to keep everything from weighing him down too much. That kind of thing. 

So saying, he found himself milling the network of pathways through the village, waiting for just a few minutes more for his stomach to fully settle before he hit the woods again— this time for his own reasons.

If he needed to mull anything over, or at least shake off a day that was bugging him, Jolek had found his own ritual.

Crunch.

Crunch.

Crunch.

What the Karz is That? Stonework?

He couldn't help it, having time to kill— as he drew close to the source of the noise, stemming from a winding alleyway along the outskirts of the manufacturing district. He'd thought it was the stonework he'd heard earlier at the Dragon Forge... but down this alleyway? Really? That ain't right.

Curiosity overtaking him, and stomach abiding, he ducked down the winding path of cobblestone footways and carved obsidian walls at a light jog, each bounding step chewing through the distance until he came across a dented stretch of wall, and...

As previously stated, he had his rituals for clearing a clouded mind, letting work wash away thought until understanding seemed to bless him. With the day's events, he had been about to pursue that one in earnest, just as the man before him, albeit—

"Sheesh. I stick to trees." he murmured, eyes flickering curiously as he noticed the rings of brass 'round the Lesterin's phalanges. That was weird. Limited the conditioning to just the bone stacking, rather than absorbing the brunt of the impact on the knuckles— one's technique would slag. Bareknuckle was smart to reinforce proper placement every now and again... at the very least, hitting with the flat of the fist first would give you bad habits. Ones you'd break away from quickly.

—With a few differentiating factors.

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helo frens

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IC: Myhruk [Ta-Koro, Alley]

The jabs didn't let up.

"Why punch trees?" he said in between sharp breaths and grunts of exertion. "No ####ing trees here."

After finishing that particular kata, he paused to get a better look at the stranger. ####, this dude looked like he had punched more than his fair share of trees.

"'Sides; what did trees ever do to you, lumberjack?"

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IC: Jolek

The Fa-Toa blinked, almost nonplussed, then felt his brows begin to draw close, just so. Guy wasn't a talker per se, but...

Well, his tongue was acrid enough. Testy fella.

"I grew up in Le-Wahi." he replied, offering little more than a shrug as he folded his arms. "They were there. Charred Forest isn't too much of a hike for me, so I keep the habit."

Folding in his next answer to the grunted questioning, he pointed back towards the wall of carved slate, pockmarked with scuffs and scrapes from the impact of the metallic rings upon its formerly uniform surface.

"And being honest, part of it's the rounded surface and material of the wood having enough give to go bareknuckle on and make sure my form's correct—"

Wryly, the corner of his mouth quirked upward.

"Another part's that I'm pretty sure that's the back room of a tapestry place you're knocking on. I'd get complaints."

Edited by Razgriz

helo frens

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IC: Myhruk [Ta-Koro, Alley]

The Lesterin hadn't figured out what was going on. He was still too surprised that someone decided to not only approach the angry young man, but strike up a conversation on... form?

Who was this guy?

"You a boxer?" he riposted after a few moments of thought, doing everything to ignore satisfying "magnet man"'s sly grin with the acknowledgement of the potential risks of disturbing a weaver's peace. His stare gave the impression of someone with crossed arms, despite them both dangling bored by his sides.

Edited by BULiK
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IC: Jolek

"Guard's the job." he answered pointedly, making a distinction he saw that the wall-puncher hadn't deigned to speak on. Maybe there wasn't one for him. Who the karz did conditioning on a solid, flat stone that thick? "As for the Art, I'd call myself more a generalist. I take it you are?"

Not untrue, but hands were in his top three. He couldn't help liking kicks and knees.

Edited by Razgriz
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helo frens

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IC: Myhruk [Ta-Koro, Alley]

The Lesterin's posture loosened. He didn't have disdain for The Law™, but the knowledge that the tree-puncher was an enforcer of it certainly added new flavor to the earlier suggestions. Had he just utterly failed at picking up on the implications? That actually stung.

As he responded, he did at least slide the brass knuckles off his digits, stowing them in a pouch on his belt in a confident, yet slow motion. He wasn't entirely tone deaf, he thought.

Instead of wasting his breath in an apology to the officer, the self-taught brawler answered the question with a straight face and a barely perceptible shrug.

"A dabbler."

Hobbyist would have sounded too childish. This guy was talking about "The Art" and everything. Best to not make any claims he couldn't back up. Underpromise, overdeliver. Like anyone who spends his off hours punching walls would know - most of the battle was psychological*. Principles guided the Matoran civilization; poets said that Ta-Koro's strength was granted by its deep principle of courage, which only fear could undermine. Like his home city, time and time again, the Lesterin would not be afraid.

Well, aside from being afraid of how "martial art hobbyist" would sound.

*The soreness came later.

Edited by BULiK
skill issue
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IC: Jolek

He nodded along, watching the hand protection slide into a previously unclocked pouch on the belt passively. For all the fella's tension moments ago, he seemed comfortable enough to humor the conversation— his earlier jabs (verbal and physical [snappy enough to take note of either way]) hadn't been the precursor to a back-alley brawl after all. Not a surprise, not really— things were never really escalating— but nonetheless a small relief. Secluded area in the middle of a worker's district meant everything was a little more rough-and-tumble, just by nature of where they were.

Honestly, that was why he'd liked it. Kept him honest.

"Dabbler's not a bad thing to be." he said simply, lifting his right arm to the wall behind him, opposite Myhruk's canvas. Slowly, calmly, he wrapped his hand into a firm, compact fist once his fingertips brushed the slate, before pressing his knuckles (first two, always) into the stone, as though testing the idea himself. "Everything's got ideas. Better a deep bag of tricks than a shallow one."

His tone wasn't quite reassuring. More like elaborating, concurring.

Whatever character judgement the Su-Lesterin feared, it wasn't coming from him.

Rather, the only evaluation that mattered was technique.

Having discovered the source of the noise, his initial curiosities were already satisfied— At this point, the off-duty enforcer was happily talking shop.

Edited by Razgriz
there's a musashi quote for that but i cba
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helo frens

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