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BZPRPG - Ko-Wahi


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IC: Muir (Streets, Ko-Koro)

Muir took a too-long drag on his cigarette as he thought on what Vrill had said, trying in vain to wring some warmth from it. The only result was that he coughed slightly as he shook his head.

“No, I don’t think that’s wise. The longer we can delay the Kalta’s inevitable discovery of our investigation, the better, and a Po-Koronan lawyer showing up to the Sanctum to ask questions will raise some eyebrows.” Muir gave up on the cigarette, dropping it into the snow and stamping out any surviving embers with his heel for good measure. “You suggested Ko-Koro first. Say we leave a note and put off Toa Reordin until we can find him – where to next?”

OOC: @BULiK

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IC: Vrill [Ko-Koro, Streets]

"Glad we agree," Vrill stated after Fenn recited the laundry list of reasons to not get near the Sanctum. He was also considering the options, and there were few standouts.

"There is one... 'informant' in this town who might have a more recent picture of what's been happening - and he's probably expecting me to drop by, so I should at least keep up appearances."

The Wise Man's Archive was several blocks away, but Vrill knew the streets of his city by heart, and after many shortcuts and undoubtedly many more curses at the weather from under Fenn's breath, the duo had reached the library. It was much more hospitable than the slum-like ruins they had just toured near the Glacierpool. Vrill wasn't known for being sentimental, yet it greatly saddened him that a beacon of civilized society and knowledge was just a few minutes walk from what still looked like a warzone.

"You're my boss this time, again," the black-armored Cy-Toa said as the building was in sight. "He knows me as Syzygos, and he just hired me as a part time contract gig. He'll want me to do some work, but you might be able to find something useful in the meantime."

The two Toa strolled into the library, finally out of reach of the harsh Ko-Wahi winds. Underneath the layer of blackened crystal that formed the shape of an Arthron, Vrill's true Kanohi glowed for a brief moment as he took in the scene in slow motion. Vrill was surprised to see a caped Toa inside. The fact that Vrill didn't recognize this particular Ko-Toa was as much a good thing as it was bad. Nevertheless, it appeared that he and Priicu were mid conversation, so Vrill only gave the Ko-Matoran a silent nod. Very much a Ko-Koronan greeting.

OOC: @ARROW404 look who's baaaaack.

Edited by BULiK

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IC: Muir (Wise Man’s Archive)

Muir smiled warmly at the librarian – an easier feat now that he was finally out of the cold. Vrill leading a double-life as a library assistant was, Muir had to admit, not something he would have anticipated; however, like any good detective, he knew the value of research, and loved to be around such collections of knowledge as this.

OOC: RIP to the most peaceful place in Ko-Koro, @ARROW404

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 [Ihu-Koro, Snowcap Inn (Ranok)]

As the two companions entered the inn, it was to the last ringing bars of a song.

I got no money, but the change
That jangles in my pockets
Reminding me how little
I have

Spoiler

 

 


But as for time.
As for time.
It’s mine.

It’s mine.

He opened his eyes to a smattering of applause and one amused heckler.

“A little on the nose, don’t you think?  Are we not tipping you enough?”

The singer bowed his head, betraying the perfect mix of sheepishness and mischief in his expression.  He turned his startlingly bright eyes on Sigrus and Nichou.  His speaking voice was much softer, but it betrayed a hint of the power his song had wrung from the air.

“Perhaps the new customers would like to suggest something…”

OOC: @BULiK @Umbraline Yumiwa

Edited by Mel
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There's a dozen selves inside you, trying to be the one to run the dials

[BZPRPG Profiles]

Hatchi - Talli - Ranok - Lucira - FerellisMorie - Fanai - Akiyo - Yukie - Shuuan - Ilykaed - Pradhai - Ipsudir

And some aren't even on your side.

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IC: Sir Dahkapa (Wise Man's Archive)

When the Matoran came back and mentioned the library card, Dahkapa frowned, trying to remember where it was. He was certain he had one, at some point, but it was now probably gone after everything that had happened. At least he had widgets, but he wasn't planning to stay at the archive for long because he would soon need to go and meet Joskander at the gates of the Koro. So the only option was to get a new card.

"Hm, I think I may have... lost my library card. How can I get a new one?"

He heard other customers entering, but didn't pay any attention to them.

OOC: @ARROW404

Edited by Daniel the Finlander
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still alive somehow

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IC: Priicu - Wise Man's Archive, formerly the most peaceful place in Ko-Koro

"Right here," he answered Dahkapa, retrieving one of said cards. He looked up as someone entered, and the eyebrows on his Ruru shot up with surprise. "Syzygos," he said. He glanced around and snapped his fingers. One of his assistants looked over and he waved them close. "Please help this Toa register a library card, and help him find whatever he needs," he said quietly. He gave the purple-eyed Toa of Ice a respectful nod. "Apologies, I must speak with these Toa. Saat here will tend to your needs." He bowed lightly and walked toward the entrance, leaving him with a pure white Matoran wearing a Rau, who greeted him with a silent bow, taking the card from the establishment's owner.

"60 widgets for a card, 10 widgets for a day," he said quietly.

Priicu, meanwhile, approached the Cy-Toa and the Akaku-bearing friend with him. "I did not expect you back so soon," he said not as amiably as he wished he could be. "There was a Toa here looking for you. Cyrix of the Kalta," he told him.

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IC: Nichou [Ihu-Koro, Snowcap Inn]

The Onu-Matoran looked up from his stew, thought for a moment, then answered.

"Know any songs about Makuta's fall?"

It was only after he ended his sentence that Nichou realized that it felt like a strange request to hear out loud, because had heard such a tale in rhyme once before... but it was not sung, nor was it history yet, at the time.

IC: Vrill [Ko-Koro, Wise Man's Archive]

Vrill didn't need Muirtagh's help to know that Priicu wasn't lying. He didn't even need his own skills at reading people, or his Kanohi's enhancement of those tells. The Cy-Toa could have been blind and known that the librarian was telling him the truth, because no one could make up something that absurd. A coincidence like that did not just happen. Something was wrong, and while Vrill didn't show it, the agent was immediately on high alert.

The black operative turned his head towards his partner for a momentary glance. In a rare reprieve from his secretive nature, the Cy-Toa's golden optics spoke volumes.

He turned back to Priicu, body language showing confusion, but a different kind to the alert, on-edge confusion that Fenn knew he was actually experiencing internally.

"What?"

Edited by BULiK

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IC: Muir (Wise Man’s Archive)

Muir allowed only a hint of curiosity to penetrate his stoic expression. This… well, it wasn’t good, but it was certainly informative – few people with nothing to hide would have the kinds of contingencies needed to immediately look into any investigation targeting them. Combine that with Skorm’s dubious past, and his picture of the Kalta was becoming more and more troublesome.

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 [Ihu-Koro, Snowcap Inn (Ranok)]

Ranok had a very expressive face, only muted when he truly desired not to be seen, which was not very often.  Thus, the two matoran were able to clearly catch the consternation that flashed across his face—and how quickly excitement followed it.

He began picking his banjo, sending a muted minor arpeggio drifting through the in, as he started to speak.

“I hope you don’t want the official version…I mean, I know it’s the words of the dead and all but there’s so much direct rhyme — it sounds like ‘there once was a man from Ko-koro.’  Do you think Mata Nui does workshopping sessions?”

Faint chuckles came from some of the patrons—this was Ihu-koro, after all, a village that wrenched victory from destiny’s hand, and there were many here who had little reverence for prophesy.

“Anyway…here’s The Ballad of the Wander’s Company.”

I was there on the day that the first toa fell
I saw the great darkness close in
I wandered long o’er the steps of the road
Yet never would I choose to be chosen

And still I have heard of those that were touched
By Destiny’s hand, a task that means much
For all of us here, yet they were not born

With strength and power o’er their shoulders

Before, before let us tell of before
Those lonely and small drawn together
Balanced on the edge
of Mortality’s knife
Each others’ hands clasped tight
Yet they fall
Yet they fall again…

The song continued, thoughtful and mournful, chronicling the journey of the Wanderer’s Company—focusing on the both the people and lives they had lost.   It was impressive, how much the matoran had put together from rumors and stories—he even managed to mention the correct location of Aurax’s tomb.  The closer it came to the battle of Makuta the more obscured and metaphorical the song became, and even as the Maru triumphed remaining mournfully contemplative.

The chorus returned several times, questioning the value of all those lost, yet never were the words quite accusatory, but instead desperate and searching.

Tell me what is Destiny
What does it mean?
Is only the plans of the Gods?

When I must soldier forward
Is the path true?

Tell me why does it all go wrong

When the singer finished the last chorus, it was to stark silence, and he wordlessly put his instrument away, gently cleaning the drum and relaxing the strings before placing it back in its case.

As the bar crowd returned to their muted conversations, Ranok slid next to Nichou and ordered a dumpling soup and warm drink.

“I suppose I should thank you—I’ve been wanting to try that one out for a while.   I’ve also been wanting dinner, and I know nothing that gets me a break so surely as killing the mood—Ranok Selli by the way.”  He extended a hand to the other matoran.

“To whom do I owe the pleasure?”
OOC:  @BULiK @Umbraline Yumiwa I apologize for the lack of Wanderwall...

Edited by Mel
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There's a dozen selves inside you, trying to be the one to run the dials

[BZPRPG Profiles]

Hatchi - Talli - Ranok - Lucira - FerellisMorie - Fanai - Akiyo - Yukie - Shuuan - Ilykaed - Pradhai - Ipsudir

And some aren't even on your side.

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IC: Nichou [Ihu-Koro, Snowcap Inn]

"Nichou," the impressed carpenter answered as he shook the musician's hand. "A pleasure meeting you as well, Ranok."

"You really did your research, didn't you?"

Edited by BULiK
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 [Ihu-Koro, Snowcap Inn (Ranok)]

Ranok let go of Nichou’s hand and picked up his drink.   “In my line of work, I don’t really have much to but the research,” he replied.  “Every fresh bard knows five songs about how the Toa Maru kicked the rakshi’s arses.  I’m more concerned with the cost of it.”  He took a drink.   “That’s what really effects how the rest of us live, anyway.”

OOC:  @BULiK @Umbraline Yumiwa

Edited by Mel
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There's a dozen selves inside you, trying to be the one to run the dials

[BZPRPG Profiles]

Hatchi - Talli - Ranok - Lucira - FerellisMorie - Fanai - Akiyo - Yukie - Shuuan - Ilykaed - Pradhai - Ipsudir

And some aren't even on your side.

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IC: Nichou [Ihu-Koro, Snowcap Inn]

"The costs, indeed..." Nichou said, staring into his own glass for a few moments. "I'm... surprised that you wove Aurax into that... he isn't in the other songs I've heard..."

"He was a good Matoran. He would have liked to be remembered in that way. He and Lepidran didn't become Toa, but Makuta's defeat is their victory as much as it is the Maru's; everyone played their part."

The weary traveler took a contemplative sip of his beverage.

"Maybe there's your answer, what Destiny means," Nichou mused.

Yeah. The meaning of life. That will raise the mood from talking about dead friends.

Edited by BULiK

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[Ihu-Koro, Snowcap Inn (Ranok)]
Ranok put his drink down, a lifelong curiosity and the sense that acting to excited would be beyond tone deaf warring in his head.

“You knew Aurax?  I…I am sorry.   I’m glad I was able to honor his memory.”

Edited by Mel
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There's a dozen selves inside you, trying to be the one to run the dials

[BZPRPG Profiles]

Hatchi - Talli - Ranok - Lucira - FerellisMorie - Fanai - Akiyo - Yukie - Shuuan - Ilykaed - Pradhai - Ipsudir

And some aren't even on your side.

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IC Sigrus Winedark | Snowcap Inn

The monk was sitting at the edge of the bench. An emptied bowl of stew was pushed forward and his hand was loosely gripped around gourd of wine. His eyes were shut and a contented look was plastered on his face as he gently bobbed his head a little bit while he seemed for all the world like he was having the time of his life simply existing in the moment and the conversations were some far-off mirage, but as Nichou and Ranok spoke Sigrus stopped nodding and tilted his head slightly. 

"The concept of Destiny," he said in his sagacious drawl, "is only as important as the other two virtues. There is no destiny without unity and duty as well. Everyone played an important part, even the ones who didn't complete the trip, yes, and the costs are shared just the same."

Edited by Umbraline Yumiwa
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IC: Nichou [Ihu-Koro, Snowcap Inn]

"Indeed," Nichou agreed with Sigrus. "Destiny is the final virtue, but its importance is often overstated."

The Onu-Matoran turned back to Ranok, following up on his earlier statement so as to not sadden the storyteller expectantly.

"Being remembered at all is more than anyone could ask for."

He paused for a drink.

"May his life be a lesson in all of the three virtues to us all, but trust me, it's not worth dwelling on. What happened happened. We can only change the future."

Edited by BULiK

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IC: Cyrix - Ko-Koro

The Le-Toa pulled his scarf back up as he left the Sanctum. Without much haste, he made his way to Aelied's Memorial Garden. He'd leave a message in the usual place for the Kalta's leader. The garden itself was a breath of fresh air, of a sort; when Cyrix pushed through the interior doors, he was greeted by warm humidity. A far cry from the cold, dry Ko-Wahi air; only downside was that the lack of breeze, but greenhouses could only go so far. Exotic ferns, flowering bushes, and small, fruit-bearing trees made up most of the grounds, and if Aelied didn't regularly make the paths clear, it would almost have been mazelike. The central plaza of the garden had several stone benches currently being enjoyed by several de-matoran; Cyrix mused that it was deafening effect beyond even the snow outside, while inside lacked even usual hum of activity from rahi. While ko-matoran locals generally never tarried long in the Memorial Garden, they still welcomed the donations of garden-grown food and herbs.

Walking through the garden, Cyrix took in the life. Aelied cycled the plants every so often, so there were flowers he had never seen dotting the greenery along the aisles. One tree would always remain, a relatively large specimen with drooping branches and wide, thin leaves; he could never remember what Aelied had called it. To the former guard, it was the message tree. Making sure that he was hidden from sight, Cyrix plucked a leaf off the tree and used his stylus to scribe a quick message on it, pressing the script into the soft leaf. Then, he slipped the leaf, written side down, under one of the message tree's exposed roots. When he was done, he made his way out, only slightly faster than his meander in.

Again, the Le-Toa considered his options. Leaving a bulletin for the gate guards wasn't an option; he didn't want to compromise the search by letting it get back to whoever had been meeting the Cy-Toa at the Sanctum. He could head straight to Onu-Koro, but besides the Cy-Toa himself, he would be even more out of his element... and, technically, his target would be more in his. He frowned, thinking back to the news archive scrolls he had peered through. During his reading, he remembered that there was a consortium of sorts dealing with merchants all over Mata Nui; they were headquartered in Ko-Koro, and had recently chosen a new chairman.

Behind his scarf, he smiled as he nodded slightly to himself. There was a non-zero chance these people were involved in this case, if their resources were as they were rumored. Aelied had wanted the team to meet and greet with them on a formal level anyway. Parting the biting wind around him, Cyrix made his way out of the more austere quarters and into the well-restored financial district. The money Tarkahn spent was on full display; Cyrix wondered if the area was even cleaner than it had been before the Legacy had occupied the Koro. The building itself was more subdued than Cyrix had initially expected, but the care taken in the smooth architecture was subtle. Savoring one last breath of chill air, Cyrix opened the door and entered the Cultured Gentry Headquarters.

The interior was comfortably heated by modest heatstone lamps; cool enough to not bother ko-matoran, but warm enough to not freeze over. The matoran doorman asked Cyrix to check his weapon; Cyrix obliged, sliding his crossbow off his shoulder by its strap and handing it to the doorman.

The ko-matoran secretary swiveled in her chair as the Le-Toa approached. "Can I help you, sir?"

"I'm Cyrix of the Toa Kalta. I would like to speak with Chairwoman Niici, if she's in."

OOC: @Emzee

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The times, they are a-changing...

 

 

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[Ihu-Koro, Snowcap Inn (Ranok)]
“Believe me, I know,” Ranok said, picking his drink back up.  “Songwriting isn’t about dwelling on the past—at least for me—it’s about releasing the past into a place where it can be free.”

A sharp, painful look passed over his face, and then it was gone.

He leaned over to get a better look at Sigrus. “Sorry—I didn’t catch your name…?”

OOC:  @BULiK @Umbraline Yumiwa

Edited by Mel
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There's a dozen selves inside you, trying to be the one to run the dials

[BZPRPG Profiles]

Hatchi - Talli - Ranok - Lucira - FerellisMorie - Fanai - Akiyo - Yukie - Shuuan - Ilykaed - Pradhai - Ipsudir

And some aren't even on your side.

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IC: Savrehn - Ko-Wahi - Abyss

Savrehn tensed up. Despite the Toa’s attempt at comfort, he still didn’t feel comfortable at all. The air felt colder here at the threshold of this hideout. He wanted away from it.

“That…would be appreciated,” he replied. There was a weight on his heartlight, and in the back of his mind a phrase kept repeating: “Do not trust them.” But what was the alternative? How would they get out of this? The Ko-Matoran had never felt like he had less choices before in his life.

“It’s very kind of you,” he continued, being more careful than usual with what he chose to say. “But we wouldn’t want to trouble you any longer than we already have. If you could pass us the bandages, we would be on our way. We still have most of our supplies we started with, we just…”

He found himself having trouble deciding what to say next.

“…we just would really like to get home.”

OOC: @BULiK@~Xemnas~@Goose@Ghosthands

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IC: Aerus (Echelon's Lair)

“No, please. You really ought to come in.” There was a genuine sense of guilt in Aerus’ tone – he sounded earnest, as if he was truly apologetic. Any sinister undertones had melted away, replaced instead by the image of a sickly Matoran, prickly and distrusting, but not without sympathy.

“The storm won’t pass for some time now, and your friend is losing blood. I understand you might distrust us, much as I was inclined to distrust you, but you will surely die if you venture out into that blizzard. You’re far from your intended path, with no visibility and a wounded party – not to mention that, once the adrenaline has passed and the pain sets in, you will likely discover other injuries.” Aerus paused, and gestured to his cane. “We’re no hospital, but my condition means we’re slightly better prepared for medical emergencies than most.”

OOC: @Tarn @BULiK @Xemnas @Ghosthands

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IC: Kreigero [Ko-Wahi, Echelon's Lair]

"He's rrright," Kreigero blurted. She looked over her shoulder, taking Savrehn's hand into her own and lifting it off of her shoulder. Her deadlocked optics blazed with an azure flame as she squeezed tightly as if her very ability to stand depended on his balance. "I-I-I-I... need rrrrest. Can't. Ccclimb."

Kreigero's other hand shakily reached underneath her cloak to unsheathe a Matoran sized dagger. She swiped at the rope around her waist with vigor, slicing the protective measure away. The strand of rope connecting her to Atamai unceremoniously dropped to the ground.

"He needs to get back in time for the ccccontract. I'll only slow you down. I'll catch uppp with you once I've h-h-healed."

Reyal continued to stand firm and still in front of his owner as he had from the start.

Edited by BULiK

Visit www.BZPRPG.com to view my project of archiving BZPower's RPGs, and also access the BZPower Roleplaying Wiki

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3 hours ago, Mel said:

He leaned over to get a better look at Sigrus. “Sorry—I didn’t catch your name…?”

IC Sigrus Winedark | Snowcap Inn

At once, the monk's eyes opened and he adjusted his eyes to give the bard the fullest attention of his warm aquamarine eyes. "No, the apologies are mine to give, Ranok Selli." He amicably stretched his fist out for a polite bump. "I am Sigrus the Winedark, and it is a pleasure to meet you, yes."

Edited by Umbraline Yumiwa
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 [Ihu-Koro, Snowcap Inn (Ranok)]

Ranok gracefully returned the fist bump before turning back to his meal.  “The Winedark, eh?  Now that’s a title—you have to tell me how you earned that one.

OOC: @Umbraline Yumiwa @BULiK

Edited by Mel

There's a dozen selves inside you, trying to be the one to run the dials

[BZPRPG Profiles]

Hatchi - Talli - Ranok - Lucira - FerellisMorie - Fanai - Akiyo - Yukie - Shuuan - Ilykaed - Pradhai - Ipsudir

And some aren't even on your side.

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IC Sigrus | Snowcap Inn

"I got it the same way Stannis was called the Wanderer—people just started calling me that. My name is objectively cooler, mmhm There's probably several reasons and I'm sure you'll find out all of them over time, yes.

He looked around the inn at the milling patrons. "Are you of Ihu-Koro or a sojourner like us?"

@Mel

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IC (Syrik) [Echelon's Lair]

Something flickered in Syrik's eyes as Aerus spoke, and then again as Kreigero cut the rope around her waist. Something like frustration, or anger. But his expression remained studiously sympathetic.

"In time for your contract?" the Toa echoed with jocular incredulity. "I'd have thought any boss would accept a dragon, a blizzard and a fall down a crevasse as extenuating circumstances. Surely there's no need for you to hurry on that account."

He smiled.

"But I can understand that after everything you've been through, you'd want to get home as soon as possible. And let's not be overdramatic — the wound doesn't look so bad to me. It just needs proper dressing, and a little rest and warmth, and I'm sure you'll be fine. Take my advice: it's better that you all stick together out here. There's safety in numbers, and I shouldn't have to tell you that Ko-Wahi can be a dangerous place. So..."

He turned back to Aerus for a moment, and this time there was a hardness, a warning, in the look he gave his new partner before turning back to the travellers.

"...just give us a moment to fetch those bandages for you, and you can be on your way."

OOC: @Goose @BULiK @Tarn @~Xemnas~

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IC: Aerus (Echelon's Lair)

Aerus returned the hardness in Syrik’s eyes, but said nothing. Fine, then. Lead the way.

OOC: @Ghosthands @BULiK @Tarn @~Xemnas~

Edited by Goose

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 [Ihu-Koro, Snowcap Inn (Ranok)]
Cryptic replies—alright, Ranok would bite.   Sigrus seemed nice enough, for someone who clearly spent most of their time on philosophy.

Sojourner—good word, although it feels a little glamorous for what I do.   A bard needs to move if they want to eat.   I was actually planning on moving on from here soon.   The lack of humidity is hard on my instruments, and it’s so dam quiet everywhere.”
OOC:  @Umbraline Yumiwa @BULiK

There's a dozen selves inside you, trying to be the one to run the dials

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IC: Sir Dahkapa (Wise Man's Archive)

When Priicu mentioned the Toa, Dahkapa turned around to glance at them. They did not appear familiar and seemed to be just regular customers, so he decided to ignore them for now. He nodded in response to the bowing Matoran assistant.

Sixty widgets wasn't exactly a small sum, though he knew it was worth it to get a replacement card. After all, he had frequently used his old one back in the day, before the... Conversion. So why couldn't he just go back to his old habits now that peace had returned to his home?

Yet as he dug up the required sum, he wondered if that was really the case. Was he really the same person he had been before? Could he really return to reading the misguided philosophies of those he now knew were ultimately heretics? He didn't feel confident enough to answer those questions. But in the end, he'd probably still need a card if he wanted to get the books he was looking for. Assuming, of course, that the card being offered would still be valid in the Sanctum.

After he finally had sixty widgets on his palm, he handed them over to the Matoran. "There you go. May I borrow something right away?"

OOC: @ARROW404

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IC: Savrehn - Ko-Wahi - Abyss

He swallowed hard. He recognized what Kreigero was trying to do for them—for him. Run away, live to brave the wastes another day. Savrehn couldn’t do that.

He gave the other Ko-Matoran an apologetic look. Running would just delay the inevitable. He hoped she would understand.

“Alright,” the mountaineer said to Syrik. “Lead the way, then.”

OOC: @BULiK@~Xemnas~@Goose@Ghosthands

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IC: Nichou [Ihu-Koro, Snowcap Inn]

"We're headed downriver to Ga-Koro soon. I doubt we'll have this much peace and quiet down there, with the new fleet and all."

The Onu-Matoran unceremoniously finished his drink.

"Leaving Ko-Wahi will be good for a change. We've been sitting still for too long - the whole plan was to go where the island took us, like back in the old days, but Ko-Koro's repairs preoccupied me."

Edited by BULiK

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IC: Niici — Niici’s Home

Footsteps echoed through the kitchen as Niici moved with haste to prepare her herbal medicine. Made of out of a mixture of rare natural plants around Mata Nui, Niici depended on this concoction to prevent what some doctors called “elemental ambiguity”: a debilitating condition that would leave the Toa of Ice (and Fire) bedridden if not properly treated with a dosage every other day. Fortunately, Niici’s habitual diligence yielded her a lot of pre-prepared vials of medicine, for busy mornings such as this.

After grabbing one such vial from the temperature-controlled pantry, Niici briskly walked into her sunroom where her copper sundial rested. 

She would arrive to work on time, but only if she left right now.

Niici stuffed the vial into her lavender purse and made her way towards the door. As was the case every morning, her punctual and fastidious butler Seba was by the entrance, primed to open the door for her without her even needing to slow her pace. 

“Best wishes, see you in the evening,” Niici said, fur coat wrapped tightly around her as she walked into the icy outdoors. 

“Best of luck on your first day back,” Seba said warmly, before gently shutting the door behind the Toa of Ice. 

- - -

Cultured Gentry HQ

Niici sternly brushed past the gaggle of Matoran bustling about the office. Apparently, everyone had much to do that needed to be done weeks ago. Ko-Koro was nearly finished with his full restoration, and with that came more contacts from merchants, marketing professionals, and other people from around the island that now wanted to re-establish connections with the organization primarily known for its wealth. It did not help matters that this was Niici’s first official day as CEO of the Cultured Gentry. After she was fired years ago, Niici was shut out of most of the organization’s dealings. This meant that Niici still needed to be briefed on any reformations and reorgs that may have happened. And to top it all off, the office workers had only barely managed to clear out the late Ambages’ office. Much of his paperwork was still there.

However, Niici preferred to see this more like a silver lining. She hoped that she would have some time to read over the former CEO’s notes. She needed to get a handle on what all he had done. 

There were a lot of members who had needs and expectations from Gentry leadership, and Niici knew that she would need to deliver if she wanted any of her grand plans to be considered. 

“Madam chairwoman?” a feminine voice addressed Niici. The Ko-Toa straightened up and immediately applied the same well-practiced welcoming face that she had used for decades. She turned around to see the Ko-Matoran secretary’s head poking meekly through the door of her office. 

“Yes, Aelrie?”

“There’s a Toa of Air who’d like to see you,” the Ko-Matoran explained, “Cyrix of the Toa Kalta. Are you have to see him now?”

“Gladly!” Niici replied jovially. This was also practiced so well that, at this point in Niici’s life, it really did feel natural, “Tell him to come on in”

With unimpeachable aplomb, Niici strolled over to her desk and measuredly took a seat in the new Toa-sized chair that the Gentry had ordered for her. The piece of furniture fit the look of the organization perfectly: dark wood with light soft cushions on the backrest and seat. The office was still rather cluttered: Ambages’ portrait was still on the wall, sculptures, paintings, and artifacts were in strange parts of the room from the floor to on bookshelves, and sealed boxes full of paperwork rested along the walls of the office. Despite all of this, Niici would lean on her assertive and self-confident presence to draw the visitor’s attention exclusively towards her. Centering herself and taking the spotlight was a skill she particularly liked to train for.

By the time she was seated, Cyrix had walked through the doorway. Aelrie’s arm remained outstretched towards Niici until the Ko-Toa nodded, granting her leave.

“Hello, Cyrix,” Niici greeted the Toa of Air. She couldn’t help but notice the aura of sober professionalism that surrounded his tall, lean figure. She got the feeling that this visitor already had a firm idea of what he was here for; gauche, time-wasting babble seemed unlikely.

“Please pardon our progress. The Cultured Gentry is still rebuilding, much like the rest of Ko-Koro,” Niici said. “How may I help you?"

OOC: @Keeper of Kraata

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IC: Kreigero [Ko-Wahi, Echelon's Lair]

Kreigero stood, ironically irritated by Savrehn trying to play the hero. Perhaps he just wasn't as smart as she had been beginning to think. Maybe he had an undiagnosed head injury. Was there something she wasn't seeing?

The trapper silently turned to look back at the strangers.

Edited by BULiK

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On 1/25/2022 at 1:14 PM, BULiK said:

IC: Vrill [Ko-Koro, Wise Man's Archive

He turned back to Priicu, body language showing confusion, but a different kind to the alert, on-edge confusion that Fenn knew he was actually experiencing internally.

"What?"

IC: Priicu - Wise Man's Archive

The workaholic, for his part, wasn't sure how to take his associate's reaction. It could go many ways. So as per usual, he went with the truth. Lies and secrets usually had a way of coming back around on you- as he had learned from the Archive's former owner.

"As I said. One of the Toa Kalta was here looking for... well, he didn't know you specifically. He did not ask for you by name. He attempted to bribe me," he said, trying not to sound too derogatory of the Koro's official protector. "I figured it was some sort of mistake, so I gave him what answers I had. I showed him the section of the archive you looked in, but nothing specific." He tapped his folded arm, "I did leave out the documents in the back room too. And I left out our business proposal. He doesn't know I expected you to return here in the future." He delivered this information in a hushed tone, stepping away from the entrance, expecting them to follow as he walked to an empty section. Not hidden, just out of earshot.

 

On 1/27/2022 at 1:32 AM, Daniel the Finlander said:

IC: Sir Dahkapa (Wise Man's Archive)

After he finally had sixty widgets on his palm, he handed them over to the Matoran. "There you go. May I borrow something right away?"

NPC: Saat the librarian

"Yes, sir," the Matoran answered in stereotypical Ko-Koronan bluntness. He shifted through the widgets quickly to double-check then sum, then opened up the money drawer and filed it away.

OoC: Sorry for the wait. Been distracted by other interests.

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IC: Vrill [Ko-Koro, Wise Man's Archive]

"Cyrix, huh?" Vrill repeated under his breath as he followed Priicu to a less populated portion of the library. He looked at the books lining the shelves around him.

"Something is wrong about all of this, you were right to be cautious. Let's check his file," Vrill ordered as he scanned the documents around him for one that would contain information on the this Toa. "I want to know everything I can about who's looking for... us."

The Cy-Toa paused, realizing that he forgot something. He stood still for a moment, as if struggling to recall the right words, having to dust them off of his own internal bookshelves. The black-armored Toa turned to the librarian and gave a nod.

"Thank you for your discretion, Priicu."

Another pause. Ah yes, names. Reward the Ko-Matoran for his unexpected compliance. Build on the shaky foundations of trust to ensure there would be no leaks. Perhaps the librarian would be a useful long term asset... not that Vrill trusted anyone.

"This is my business partner," Vrill said with a glance to Fenn, letting the Fa-Toa introduce himself.

Edited by BULiK

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IC: Muir (Wise Man’s Archive)

"Muir," the Fa-Toa said, reaching into an inside pocket of his coat. "That was a noble thing you did, Priicu. Trusting your own judgment in the face of authority. Should you ever find yourself in need of legal help, feel free to contact me."

The item he withdrew from his coat pocket was revealed, a minimalistic off-white business card that he now offered to Priicu. It read:

Muirtagh Fenn

Legal Advice & Representation

On the opposite side was the address of the Fenn Legal Clinic in Po-Koro.

OOC: @ARROW404 @BULiK

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IC: Cyrix - Cultured Gentry Headquarters, Ko-Koro

As the Le-Toa entered the lavish (yet very empty) office, he forced the expression on his mask to remain neutral. Cyrix watched people; Niici talked to people. He was in her court, and it was up to him to make an effective case. "I'd say the reconstruction is going smoothly, at least." He pulled out one of the chairs opposite the chairwoman's desk and sat, pausing to gather his thoughts.

"Madam Niici, I've come to you because I'm investigating some suspicious activity in Ko-Koro that may align with your sphere of interest. I have reasons to believe that some of the new trade policies that Akiri Tarkahn enacted when he took office are under investigation by another Koro. Nothing strange, but the person of interest was seen leaving the Sanctum, and there was no record of his entry in the Archives visitor logs. I suspect he's working with someone inside the Sanctum. I approached you to see if your organization was aware of any such investigation."

OOC: @Emzee

Edited by Keeper of Kraata

The times, they are a-changing...

 

 

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IC: Sir Dahkapa (Wise Man's Archive)

Dahkapa noted how the Matoran was sure to put the money away first before giving him a library card, but didn't let that bother him too much. "I asked for the librarian to recommend books to me, but he asked about the card first and now he is busy. Can you suggest any good books on the topic of philosophy and ethics?" Perhaps it was impolite to try and have a lengthier conversation with someone who adhered more strongly to the typical stereotype about Ko-Koroans, but he did genuinely want to find something satisfying to read. It had been too long since he had sat down and read something of high quality, let alone read anything at all.

OOC: @ARROW404

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IC: Niici - Her Office, Cultured Gentry HQ, Ko-Koro

The Ko-Toa nodded at the mention of the trade policies that Cyrix had mentioned. Her board members were very interested in the resolutions that the bills had outlined. Lobbyists within her circle were doing what they were paid top widget to do: make them as favorable as possible to the merchants and members that dutifully paid their dues. It reminded Niici that yet another item that the board beseeched her to do: meet the Akiri and re-establish that inviolable alliance between Tarkahn and the Gentry — just like had been done with Matoro before. 

“My fellow executives are aware of many things that happen within this city’s walls and may well know of such an investigation,” Niici began, “But I definitely do not.”

It seemed odd to Niici that Cyrix would come to her of all people with such a query. Such an investigation would only be relevant to her organization if it involved any of the actual group members. If such a thing was happening, it definitely would have been brought up in the on-boarding documents she received. However, an investigation like this might lead to policy changes that pose a risk to any capital investments or revenue streams from the group members. And then it would be Niici's problem.

While she was skeptical that it was actually happening, if she could at least appear helpful to Cyrix, then this could potentially be a fruitful meeting for both of them. 

“Have you asked the gentleman who runs the Archive about this person of interest? Maybe he can help” Niici said with genuine politeness, “I can certainly ask my associates, but I suspect they would have briefed me if such an investigation was happening."

Niici leaned forward slightly, as if trying to focus on whatever was in the Le-Toa mind.

"What makes you so sure that another Koro is investigating the Akiri's plans?" she asked earnestly. 

OOC: @Keeper of Kraata

Edited by Emzee
clarifying niici's thought process
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18 hours ago, BULiK said:

IC: Vrill [Ko-Koro, Wise Man's Archive]

"Cyrix, huh?" Vrill repeated under his breath as he followed Priicu to a less populated portion of the library. He looked at the books lining the shelves around him.

"Something is wrong about all of this, you were right to be cautious. Let's check his file," Vrill ordered as he scanned the documents around him for one that would contain information on the this Toa. "I want to know everything I can about who's looking for... us."

The Cy-Toa paused, realizing that he forgot something. He stood still for a moment, as if struggling to recall the right words, having to dust them off of his own internal bookshelves. The black-armored Toa turned to the librarian and gave a nod.

"Thank you for your discretion, Priicu."

Another pause. Ah yes, names. Reward the Ko-Matoran for his unexpected compliance. Build on the shaky foundations of trust to ensure there would be no leaks. Perhaps the librarian would be a useful long term asset... not that Vrill trusted anyone.

"This is my business partner," Vrill said with a glance to Fenn, letting the Fa-Toa introduce himself.

 

16 hours ago, Goose said:

IC: Muir (Wise Man’s Archive)

"Muir," the Fa-Toa said, reaching into an inside pocket of his coat. "That was a noble thing you did, Priicu. Trusting your own judgment in the face of authority. Should you ever find yourself in need of legal help, feel free to contact me."

The item he withdrew from his coat pocket was revealed, a minimalistic off-white business card that he now offered to Priicu. It read:

 

Muirtagh Fenn

Legal Advice & Representation

 

On the opposite side was the address of the Fenn Legal Clinic in Po-Koro.

IC: Priicu - Wise Man's Archive

He studied the business card with mixed interest and distraction. He still had so little idea of what to make of what was going on. At least he agreed with Syzygos that something was wrong about this. Someone in the legal profession being involved made some sense... If the Ko government was in legal trouble, sending someone to sleuth the matter out did make sense... He thumbed at the edge pensively, then slipped it into his... oh, his satchel was at the front desk. He just held it then, for the time being. "Truth be told, I don't know what my judgment is telling me," he said. "I simply figured that telling the truth would be the the least messy choice. And I still don't know what is going on. I still do not want to be found in conspiracy against the government, unless there is a very good reason to do so." He folded his hands behind his back. "If you don't think the reason would convince me, it may be best to leave things as they are. Use the library as a customer, keep me in the dark, and... regrettably, terminate your employment." He would have to find another Toa of Crystal, if that was the path he chose. "Or else, let me in on the matter, and I will be more tight-lipped with the authorities."

There was a small part of his brain that was on alert. These two Toa didn't seem like bad people, but they were, as far as he knew, in trouble with the law, and faced with a weak little Matoran who might know things they didn't want getting out. On the other hand, sparse as this section was, there were witnesses. He didn't like being put in this situation...

14 hours ago, Daniel the Finlander said:

IC: Sir Dahkapa (Wise Man's Archive)

Dahkapa noted how the Matoran was sure to put the money away first before giving him a library card, but didn't let that bother him too much. "I asked for the librarian to recommend books to me, but he asked about the card first and now he is busy. Can you suggest any good books on the topic of philosophy and ethics?" Perhaps it was impolite to try and have a lengthier conversation with someone who adhered more strongly to the typical stereotype about Ko-Koroans, but he did genuinely want to find something satisfying to read. It had been too long since he had sat down and read something of high quality, let alone read anything at all.

NPC: Saat

As a fellow ice-aligned individual, Dahkapa would notice the muted glimmer of interest in the Ko-Matoran's eye at the question. He nodded, "Of course, sir. This way." The philosophy section of the library was quite robust in fact. What Ko-Koronans did not say (which was quite a lot), they wrote down instead. And so instead of debates, Ko-Koro had amassed a strong history of written polemics. Essays, anthologies, published dialogs, treatises, and more lined the shelves of the well-stocked aisle. As he approached, the Ko-Matoran slipped a telescoping wand from his pocket and extended it. "I recommend..." he said, as the entered, and tapped a book on the left-hand side, "This..." then one lower, still on the left, "this..." And on he went in a similar manner. As he approached the end of the aisle, he paused in his step, hesitating, then tapped one more. "And... this." It was a decently thick book, with an unadorned spine. It was his thesis. "Fundamental Similitude: Introspection as the key to understanding and being understood." Having finished recommending books, he collapsed his wand back down and stowed it away.

His tasted showed in his choice of recommendations. Most were on analyzing people's thought processes, with some attention given to skepticism and self-criticism.

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