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BZPRPG 2012 Wrap-up Topic

Nuju Metru

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IC: Kehuri

The young Toa gave Atox a grateful smile. Before Plagia left, he couldn't help but jab at her, "When do you plan on getting a boyfriend, Plagia?" He didn't listen to the answer, though. Taking the lead for once in his life, he wrapped his arms around his lover and pulled her onto the cot next to him. He looked deep into her eyes, looking for the same thing that he felt. Yeah, it was definitely there. He closed his eyes and locked lips with her again. There was little weight to be lifted from his shoulders, but his heart felt heavier as something unexpected filled the gaping hole that Onua had left so many years ago, and Whenua so recently.


The next year was going to be a good one, he knew. So many possibilities lay ahead, even with the Makuta dead. There were mysteries to solve, justice to be brought, criminals to be stopped, and lots and lots of running to do. And for the first time, he felt like he wouldn't be doing it alone. For the first time in his life, he felt like he really, truly belonged somewhere, with someone.


There was just one more thing left to be said. Something he had never said before and truly meant. Something his lips had been aching to utter long before he even knew it. He pulled away from the kiss and whispered, just loudly enough for her to hear, "I love you."


OOC: Okay, that's the last of Kehuri for this arc. No more interaction.

Edited by Draezeth

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IC: (Perkahn, Ta-Koro)

the (presumably, hopefully, utterly) final chapter.

Watching his long-lost wife embrace his long-lost son, Perkahn felt his heart stir within his chest. Warm blood coursed ever louder within his veins, a blood that had seen hundreds of years of life, hundreds of years of anguish, suffering, pain, hundreds of years of anger, disdain, hate. Hundreds of years of love, of dedication, of belief and of faith.


In the last twenty-something years, Perkahn often felt as if the world was repeatedly hammering him with some pretty horrible stuff he could not do anything to stop. First, Jolek disappeared, and Perkahn was helpless; and then Perkahn was exiled, for reasons he could not help either, because he didn't do anything! And then someone tried killing him in that jungle - he realized that he still didn't know who that was, but it didn't really matter right now. That jungle he left under the pretext of needing to find whoever wanted to kill him, but that wasn't really it, was it? No. He left that jungle because sitting in one place, complacent with the fate that this world had given him, had long grown to be a moot point entirely.


I live, he could now finally say. I finally live.


There was just one more loose end. Unfortunately, this one he couldn't do anything to fix, because this one end was dead.


"Perkahn Highwind, I sentence you to exile."

Vakama, you old... fool. And mentor. And protector. After Diarmuid's death, surrogate father. You lived with the deeply-held belief that Perkahn had gone over to the dark.


Why? Not once in his lifetime was Perkahn ever tempted to join the forces of the Makuta. Everything he loved, everything he believed in, was in the Light.


Maybe Vakama foresaw Perkahn's life? Maybe Perkahn needed to be exiled so he could come back as he did, bringing twenty years of frontline experience fighting in various strategic backgrounds he would've not experienced if he had stayed in the city guard? Bringing back twenty years of bottled up emotion so acidic it could just melt the Rahkshi entirely?


Twenty years of undoing a curse the past had given him. Twenty years of bloody struggle. Twenty years that end with victory. Twenty years of not being home have seen him back home.


"I knew I'd see you again," Arianna whispered to her son and released him, turning towards Perkahn. She gave him a single smile of equal parts exertion and happiness.


"You," she took a step closer towards him, her finger stretched out towards him in an accusing manner, but a smile not leaving her face, "You bloody moron. Are you crazy? What got into your mind to get exiled to the middle of nowhere and not come back for twenty years? Karz, I want to know what insanity got into me for me to initially have refused to come with you, because, for the love of Mata Nui, do you have any idea how hard it is to live without you?"


She pushed him against the wall with that accusing finger of hers, and now that there was nowhere for him to run, she hugged him, and he held her, feeling her heart beat beside his. "I'm more or less certain it's not that bad. Without you, however, life has been horrible."


"I can imagine. Shut up and kiss me."


Perkahn, for the first time in twenty years, felt, stirring within his gut, something that he remembered very well as the emotion - the queen of all emotions, without whom the world entirely is a moot place - called love as he kissed his lovely wife for the first time in twenty years.


"I love you," he whispered to her as she placed her head upon his shoulder.


"******, Perkahn, I wanted to say that first," she replied, tears of joy in her eyes. And then she dragged herself out of his embrace and glanced at Jolek. "Still, I can assume that we're embarrassing our son quite a bit by making him the sole observer of our reunion. So I'm not going to subject him to more of this - we'll have more time to continue this later anyway - and instead ask you two something else. Are you hungry?"


For the first time in twenty years, Perkahn actually felt hungry. Not the generic need for some sustenance, because you know that if you don't get it you'll die, but an actual civilized, cultural wish to eat food, and preferably good food, too. And Arianna's cooking definitely fit that bill.





and with that, radies and gentermen, Perkahn's story for this year (probably) finally concludes.


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Blood In The Sand, Fire In The Sky

You are a poisoner of minds,A speaker deep inside my mind,I find me waking up at night,Trying to find,What you are doing in my mind.




From his three-point stance on the ground, Kuhrin spied Ferron approaching, and threw himself forward into a roll, coming up directly in front of his opponent, where he rose and caught the hammer by its shaft. At first he was stunned by its weight, but quickly retained his cool and lashed out with a fist towards Ferron's face.


Ferron had his internal metal detector on high alert, as it was a much better method of detecting his foe than his vision, constantly blinded by the churning sand.

He sensed Kuhrin moving toward him, and caught sight of the De-Toa sending a fist flying at him, slightly slowed by the weight of Ferron's hammer.

Ferron let go of the hammer with his good hand, and caught Kuhrin's punch. Triggering his Pakari, Ferron squeezed...

Kuhrin winced and gritted his teeth, furiously resisting the temptation to scream in pain as his hand crunched and fractured under Ferron's iron grip. There was no time for pain - in moments, his hand could be left a pulped, sifted mass of bone and muscle and metal. He needed to act.

With his opponents temporary deafness, sound-based attacks were no longer of any use. An idea quickly formed in his mind, and with nothing better, he put it into practice. Launching his lower body out from below him, Kuhrin used Ferron's torso as a platform to run up while their arms were grappling. Reaching the top, kuhrin pushed off, knocking back the Toa of iron and flipping his legs over his head. As he came back down to his feet, his hand was pried loose of the crushing grip of his foe, and he let go of the hammer.

Free at last, and silently thanking Makuta that he was ambidextrous, Kuhrin clasped the handle of sword and drew it from its sheath, simultaneously drawing his shield from his back (with a little more care than usual due to the state of his hand).

"Stand down, Toa," he hissed, his voice like poison in Ferron's ear. It was the first time he had spoken directly to someone other than Krell since the Battle for Pala-Koro.

The sand before me was suddenly whipped into the air, the grains blurring in my field of view. I realized what it was not a second too early. There wasn't a break in my headlong charge towards the murderer, only a slight alteration of it's direction. My armored boot slammed into the rolling sands beneath me, pushing my body off into the air. Time seemed to flow in slow motion as I flipped over the wave of energy shooting through the ground. I saw the world around me in perfect clarity.


I hit the ground running, elemental energy condensing in my outstretched arms. My gaze was still fixed on the rust-armored Toa a head of me.


With a yell, twin spheres of black flames shot from my palms, slicing through the sound-wave laden air towards Kuhrin.

Ferron's hearing was gradually returning, but it esacped his notice as he focused on regaining balance after Kuhrin's stunt. The De-Toa was saying something, but he couldn't be bothered to decipher it.

Instead, Ferron grabbed his own shield, and shortened the handle on his hammer, so it was more manageable in one hand.

Ferron threw a few quick glances around to get a view of the situation, and an idea flashed into his head.

Ferron charged forward toward Kuhrin, hammer raised. As he did so, he angled his shield so that the scorching sunlight reflected off of it, flashing at Kuhrin.


A yell sounded from behind Kuhrin; he whirled around to see Krell charging in his direction, following a pair of blackfire balls - the real threats. Kuhrin barely had time to duck and raise his shield as one of them skimmed his shoulder. This was closely followed by the second, which slammed directly into his shield, knocking him back onto his sword hand.


He was given no time to recuperate as a flash of reflected sunlight glared into his eyes, and he looked down at the ground, raising his sword quickly in the direction of Ferron's rapidly descending hammer hand, the blade's razor edge rushing straight up to the equally quickly downward-moving wrist of his opponent. As he did this he began to move forward slightly to avoid the sunlight's glare and the otherwise imminent impact of the hammer. In other words, there was a good chance Ferron was about to lose a hand.


Luckily for Ferron, the hand that got lobbed off was his left one, the one made of metal. He had no feeling in that hand, and as such, didn't feel much anguish as the hand, and the hammer it was still grasping, thunked into the ground.


Ferron locked eyes with Kuhrin, and couldn't help but smirk as his enemy quickly realized the futility of his attack.


His shield flew forward and slammed Kuhrin in the gut with appropriate force.


"Krell, now" Ferron shouted.


With agonizing slowness did the world shoot by as I sprinted towards a murderous friend. There was no speed fast enough that I could bring Kuhrin down. My footfalls kicked up sand as I came closer towards the rust-armored figure. I brought my hands together, gripping my dagger's hilt in both. Elemental energy poured into the blade, causing the metal to glow with an inky black aura. And suddenly, my dagger was a sword.


A sword who's blade was comprised of flames darker than night, flames that screamed through the air as I brought the fiery weapon above my head. I pushed off the ground, giving me some height as I brought my sword of flame downwards onto the traitor laying in the sand before me.


Or would have. If it wasn't for an explosion of sound that slammed into me mid-swing and blasted me out of the sky, Kuhrin would have been dead. If it wasn't for the fact that my head was ringing from the explosion, I would have gotten right back to end the Toa of Sonics.


But as it was, the only thing I could do was lay in the sand, waiting for the world to stop spinning.


The spinning walls of the arena began to increase in speed as Kuhrin began to stride calmly towards Krell. Ferron saw an opportunity and made to attack, but part of the wall detached and spiraled inwards to come between the Toa of iron and his prey. The outer wall then slowly dissapated, and Ferron found himself trapped outside of the now-much smaller ring of repelling, nigh-solid sound and cutting grains of sand.


Kuhrin didn't pay any attention to the change, being too focused on Krell lying before him. It was just the two of them inside now, unless Ferron was willing to brave the walls to get back in, which Kuhrin doubted. It was time to end this.


He knelt down by Krell as the Toa of blackfire tried to stabilise and get to his feet, only to be punched in the side of the head, sending him back to square one in his efforts to regain concentration. Kuhrin smiled to himself. Pitiful. He grabbed the man who was once like his brother by the collar and hauled him to his knees. To his own level.


"Can you hear it, Krell?" He asked, his voice only just audible in the furious roar around them. "Can you hear the drumming?"


Krell's eyes widened as Kuhrin put his forehead to his own, and a sound rang out in both their minds, drowning out everything outside. A steady rhythm. The same rhythm Krell had heard twice before in his life. Once, many years ago, when Zuriana had knocked at the door of his hut. The second was a more disturbing occasion.


* * *


"You sure about this?"


The Ta-Matoran's eyes flicked from his under his reddish bronze Kakama, glancing from the note to the other Matoran beside him. It was, in a way, hard to believe. And for once, Krell was serious.


Kuhrin sat up straight, closing his eyes and trying his best to keep calm and collected. It would be awfully embarrassing if he burst into tears all of a sudden, which he was very close to doing. Before him was a stone tablet, and on it was written a letter addressed to Noka. It had been the hardest letter he had ever written, and gave him more pain in his heart than he knew he was capable of.


Both him and Krell were disturbed, of course - both of them were normally such relaxed people, and to be in such a serious situation just felt... Wrong.


"Please, Krell," he croaked. "Don't ask me that. You'll make me doubt myself. That's the last thing that needs to happen when Noka's involved. But... Yeah, I think I'm sure." Eyes still closed, he bit his lip in anxiety.


"Alright," Was the only reply that the bronze-armored Matoran gave. Krell really didn't do serious that well. But he was trying, painfully so at some points, for Kuhrin's sake. His gaze settling on the other Matoran once again, Krell placed a hand on his friend's shoulder, and nodded in support.


Kuhrin placed his own hand on his shoulder, over Krell's. After a few seconds of tranquil contemplation, he turned and smiled meekly up at his friend. "When this is all over," he mused, "I'll come back here. Me and you, in a few years time, when the Makuta's been given a kick up the backside, we'll be farming lava again, living the great life. That's what we'll do, Krell, won't we? And me and Noka will be back together and everyone will be happy. Yeah. It's all going to be alright."


He knew, though, underneath, that it wouldn't be. He knew the war would still be going on in a few years time, and if it wasn't, they would have lost. It was thoughts like this that plagued him on his way to post the letter. In the distance, he could hear the faint sounds of heavy drumming. A steady rhythm. It seemed as if the war drums were calling him. After they left the post office, he looked up at the stone walls caging the village in.


"Funny," said he. "When were kids, all these military walls and towers made me feel so safe. Now I'm just frightened." He sighed. "But, no time for regrets now, eh? KBO and all."


The Ta-Matoran smiled, though it was a forced smile. Kuhrin didn't need to know that, though. "Can't stop now," Krell said, throwing his arm around his friend's shoulder as the drums beat in the distance, their slow tempo like a heart. The heart of the village. "Just gotta keep going."


"Someday, though, we'll get together, everyone. Throw a party, huh?"


Kuhrin smiled sadly. "Yeah. Someday."


Gently, he removed his brother's arm from around him and clasped his hand in both of his own. "I would have gone with you to the end. But I suppose, now, I may be going alone. It'll be alright though. It'll work out. Everything always does." As Kuhrin drew away, Krell found that left in his hands was a coin. On both sides was a Great Kanohi Hau, but one side was scorched and blackened and somewhat rusty. "Sorry about that side, I dropped it in a bit of lava on the day you were off sick. I tried my best to clean it up."


Without waiting for a response, he went on. "I guess this is goodbye, for now. I'll miss you, man. Sayonara." With a mock salute and a final embrace, he turned away. The drums continued to sound, speeding up slightly, as if in tandem with his heartbeat. This was the end of his world, and the start of another.


At last, a single salty tear escaped beneath his mask.


The Ta-Matoran watched his friend leave, an expression alien to him making it's way across his face underneath his bronze Kanohi. There were no more words to be said. The coin was turned over once in his hand, before being enveloped in a fist held close to Krell's chest. There was much he wanted to say, but not enough words to do so.


* * *


"Yes..." Kuhrin hissed, eyes closed. "It stayed with me, after all these years... It was his seed, Krell. He used it to open my mind to his comforting darkness. This mask isn't infected. I only wish it was so my mind wouldn't wander. I wear it as a badge of honour. But you, you were much less willing. That's why I destroyed your infected mask. That's why I had it sent in a box to you, to let you know I had set you free... So I could punish you for it. You can't be allowed to live. We were brothers once, but you lost that right when you resisted Makuta's lure. You lost the right to call me brother when we were forced to put an infected mask on your face to keep you under control. I knew better, though. I still do. And that's why I'm going to kill you."


By now Krell was beginning to regain his composure, and Kuhrin's concentration on his words had weakened the barrier slightly. The Toa of sonics grabbed his nemesis by the back of his head, behind the mask, and pushed it sharply towards the spinning whirlwind of screaming and torment. It wouldn't be enough to kill him, but it would be enough to make him suffer first.


Ferron tumbled around in the sand, his vision blurring and his whole body shaken from the sensation of being literally tossed out of the arena that Kuhrin still kept up.


He threw out an arm to steady himself, coming into contact with the cliff wall.


Ferron looked up, and saw Krell, seemingly on the verge of collapsing as Kuhrin was shoving his head towards the sonic field.


Ferron looked around in quick alarm, trying to find a way to help the kid.


"Maybe... it's worth a shot" Ferron called upon his powers again, and summed in his hand a large orb, simply a large sphere of metal.


Ferron took a few steps back, weighing the ball in his remaining hand.


He then triggered his Pakari, and threw the sphere into the sky with all the strength he could muster.


Higher, higher, even higher it flew. And Ferron was using his powers to guide it as best as he could.


The ball began to drop: down, down, down, and all Ferron could do was hope he was a good enough shot to land the thing right in Kuhrin's head.


His eyes narrowed as he guided the sphere in its fall.


I didn't scream.


Not quite.


Only from the knowledge that it would make it worse.


If you've never had a piece of sandpaper shoot across your face at blinding speeds, then you don't know what pain is like. Sand ripped across my Kanohi, the smallest particle tearing gashes in the metal. It shot into the smallest cracks, slicing the side of my face underneath. I was just glad it was my blind side.


My body went numb from pain.


My mind began to shut down.


In a desperate attempt to stop it, my elbow shot back. I felt it connect with something hard, but I don't know what. The pressure was lifted off the back of my neck, just momentarily. But it was enough for me to get out.


I tore my head from the wall of sand and sound. I couldn't focus enough to bring my element to bare. I could barely move. But I managed to get a grip on Kuhrin's body, holding him tightly as if in a hug, before pushing us both into his whirlwind.


It was the least I could do to keep myself from passing out.


Thinking quickly, Kuhrin began to alter the shape of the wall as they fell, but he wasn't fast enough. Even as the wall moved away, they collided with it, giving a second of agonising pain as their heads scraped the barrier, before they landed on the sand, disorientated and in barely a fit state to walk, let alone fight. But even so, Kuhrin had the upper hand - he could, just about, think straight.


Before he could make a move, however, he rolled to the side as a huge iron ball slammed into the spot where he had been moments before. The orb rose into the air and came down again, this time just narrowly missing his crotch and hitting with a thump the sand between his legs. As it rose again, Kuhrin pointed, and its structural integrity failed, the ball vibrating uncontrollably then crumbling like eroding stone, the fragments of broken metal raining down around him.


This act reminded him of what was still to be done, and so he crawled to Krell, drawing his dagger in his left hand as he did so. Furiously resisting the dizziness that was beginning to overcome him, Kuhrin planted his knee in the center of Krell's body to hold him down, then rose the dagger up into the air slowly...


Once again burning pain shot through my body. Though this time instead of numbing my body from all sensations, it cut through the haze covering my mind. Like an electric shock, it brought me painfully to my senses, snapping the world into alignment around me. Blood was seeping down the ruined side of my face, mixing with the sand, though I barely felt that. Something heavy suddenly pressed against my chest, forcing what dusty air I had managed to breath in out in a wheezing cough, and further bringing my senses back to the here and now.


My gaze burned as my eye focused on the form of Kuhrin looming over me. His arm was raising into the air, and it didn't take a prophet to understand what was coming next. I couldn't move fast enough. I wouldn't be able to move fast enough. But I wasn't defenseless.


With a yell, the air between out bodies suddenly combusted with a flash of darkness as black flames burst into existence. The air expanded in a dark shockwave of heat and flame. The explosion threw Kuhrin off and into the sand, his armor scorched from the flames. I didn't need to look to see that my own armor was in a similar condition, even if my natural resistance to heat protect me somewhat.


Now I certainly wasn't standing up anytime soon.


Ferron was positive that after that massive blast, the sonic barrier had dissipated. And sure enough, he was able to run across the sand no problem


Ferron located his lost hand, still grasping around the hammer he'd spawned. Ferron chucked his wrist socket into the lifeless metal hand, and used his power to revitalize it. He picked up the hammer and strapped the shield onto his back as he quickly ran over to Krell.


"C'mon kid" Ferron said as he helped Krell up into sitting position "You can't give up now. I won't let you"


The light-absorbing flames danced and blazed, burning away flesh and rusty metal. Half of Kuhrin's face was considerably more burned than the other as a result of his reflexes. The tornado around them split and began to loop through the air like a fleeing snake, but it remained very much still intact, as Kuhrin ensured with his remaining strength.


Forcing himself up, he pushed himself all the way over the edge, his muscles tensing and his fingers forming a shaking cup as he willed the snake of brown to continue its existence. Letting out a mighty cry, Kuhrin finished an empty glass, his energy reserves finally being utterly depleted as the snake coiled around in the air and descended directly towards Krell's prone form, a colossal column of white noise, diluted only by razor-sharp grains of sound. The entire snake pummeled into him, crumbling as it struck, until it was all gone.


The sand around them began to subside. Ferron and Zuriana were again visible; Krell was buried beneath a mound of sound. There was no sound but silence.


With his good hand, Kuhrin dragged himself through the sand, much of his armour still aflame, burning in the sun. But he had to know. He had to know whether Krell was finished at last.


Reaching the body, Kuhrin reached out and grabbed the nearest visible part of his body - he thought it was a knee, but he wasn't certain.


Ferron was pushed away from Krell's body when a column of sonic energy pummeled the Toa from above. The Toa of Blackfire was enveloped in sand and noise as Kuhrin launched his final attack.


When the attack subsided, Ferron looked up from where he lay, face down in the sand, to see Kuhrin crawl toward the mound of sand that Krell was barely visible under.


"Come on, now," he spoke in a hoarse, venomous tongue. "Tell me you aren't done yet... Prove me wrong... Tell me you aren't a weakling..."




Sand was my world.


Sand that blocked out any hint of sunlight that might reach my broken form.


Sand that burned like acid against my wounds.


Sand that snuffed out any source of air, suffocating me with razor-sharp grains that scraped against my throat.


It pressed up against my body on all side, preventing me from moving. It seeped into my joints, grating against the potodermic metal. It's darkness was comforting, soft almost. Though it made little difference, my functioning eye began to close slowly. A red haze started to fill my mind... I could feel myself drifting away. Slowly... ever so slowly...




I just managed to pull myself back to reality. I felt something, vaguely, grip my elbow. A voice sounded nearby, though it was distant with the ringing that filled my head and muffled by the sand surrounding my body. I couldn't fully understand them, though they filled me with rage none the less. Burning rage. Rage that turned into a blistering heat radiating outward from my body in waves, only to be absorbed by the sand around.


Though it didn't stop.


I continued to pour what will I had into the act, more and more heat going into the sand. Flame was far beyond my ability, though heat. I'd lived around heat my entire life. I knew heat. Within seconds, the mount of sand was glowing, though not with light. An inky glow that darkened the area around.


And then it stopped.


And I brought my arm, burned from my explosion, closer to my body. I had to focus, unless I wanted to spend my last moments roasted alive inside a glass dome. And with that, the glowing dome shattered around me. Light returned to the area. And I was left laying on a circular platform of glass. In my hand was a dagger that glowed with a ghostly light.


If that took the last of my willpower, then rolling over and pushing myself back onto my knees took the rest of my lifeforce.


I wasn't going to die yet you backstabbing Brakas spawn.


"Don't you touch him"


Ferron roared as he darted up from his crouching position in the sand, and charged toward Kuhrin. The De-Toa was evidently very weak, all his energy drained by the battle. Ferron was also pretty wiped, but not nearly as much as Kuhrin.


Ferron grabbed Kuhrin by the shoulders, lifted him up and slammed him into the cliff wall like a ragdoll. There he held the De-Toa, staring into the pits he had in lieu of eyes. If Kuhrin looked back, he would see a cold force hum in Ferron's orange glowing eyes. An force that was solid, reliable, and unyelding, like the metal of Iron itself.


A bright light lit up behind him, and Ferron couldn't help but turn to see the magnificence of the glass dome as Krell rose up once more. He didn't let go of Kuhrin, though.


Kuhrin took a moment to look over Ferron's shoulder into the distance. Po-Koro was just about visible and so was a legion of spiny dots emerging from a black abyss. Even from this distance, Kuhrin knew a Rahkshi when he saw one. Slowly, the Rahkshi surrounded the village, preparing for a siege, and the Toa of sonics thought it good.


"Look, Toa. It's over. You know that no matter what defenses the village puts up, it can never withstand a full-on assault from the Rahkshi. Makuta has already won." This thought, now spoken, filled Kuhrin with passion and hope, and it gave him the strength to spread his lips into a smile of pure evil. "Give in. Be the better man."


I wasn't able to turn my head to see what Kuhrin was referring to. I heard a word, "Rahkshi", and it took a moment for me to register what it meant. And it didn't take me long to come up with an answer, even though I was unable to speak. The villages could burn in Karz for all I cared.


"This," I managed, my voice hoarse, "Is between you... and me, you Brakas."


With that, I force myself up. Though how, I had no idea. My head turned to gaze at the Toa of Iron nearby, thankfully the side of my face that was still intact. "Go, take her back," Was all I managed, before fixing my gaze on the being before me. My blade of flame burned to life once again.


For a moment, Ferron wanted to protest. But the determination in Krell's eyes were more than enough to sway him. Ferron nodded solemnly as he turned away, walking quietly over to the still limp body of Zuriana. He lifted the small matoran out of the halway ditch she'd been buried in thanks to all the churning sand.


The sand drizzled of Zuria in cascades as the massive Fe-Toa cradled the small woman in his arms, and turned for a second to see Krell and Kuhrin stand face to face, a ghastly glow emanating from Krell's dagger.


Ferron would never forget that as long as he lived.


"Goodbye, brother" Ferron said, before he slowly turned and began walking away with Zuria in his arms.


Kuhrin fell down onto shaky legs, barely keeping his balance under his weak form, as Ferron reluctantly left to take care of Zuriana. Kuhrin's eyes bore into Krell's as the two stood opposite each other in the sand.


"Then let us stand, on this earth, together, as it burns." Kuhrin growled, once again drawing his own dagger, the air around it rippling with sonic energy. The two began to circle each other, gathering their strength, waiting for the right moment. The tension boiled the very blood in their veins, seeming to heat the clearing up to unbearable temperatures. One way or another, as far as Kuhrin was concerned, this was Krell's doing. Another crime to add to his list.


At last, silence was broken as Kuhrin lunged forth as best he could in his condition, and stabbed sharply in Krell's direction.


I gathered what little strength, willpower, and energy that was left in my broken form, mustering it, condensing it into a small pit of power within me. I should have been dead. But I wasn't. I had unfinished business. Half my face was... gone. Covering it was only jagged spikes of sand-blasted metal, all that remained of that side of my mask. The whole front of my armor was scorched beyond recognition, while every inch of my body was dented or bruised in some way. My organics burned while my protodermic components ached.


My brother before me was not in any better shape. My burning red eye burned into him, a reddish haze surrounding my vision, though the Toa of Sonics was still in stark clarity.


He rushed forward, or moved with about as much grace as his body would allow. His dagger was vibrating with sonic energy. There was no yell as I ran to meet my brother, no insults or curses. Nothing. All was silent around us, save the sound of our boots impacting against the sand.


I brought my arms up with the same amount of fluidity as a Po-Koroan rockslide, though I still managed to knock away Kuhrin's weapon with my own. The sound of clashing elements and metal echoed around us. Without wasting a moment, I brought my own weapon down in a continuation of my block.


As Krell did this, Kuhrin's own blade came up to meet it, and the two met with another echoing clash of metal and fire. This time, the edges were caught in a serrated tooth, and thus the blades locked, both Toa grappling to break the lock and strike a hit on their opponent.


With his right hand out of action, Kuhrin could only use his wrist to stabilise and support his blade - the pain in his hand was bad enough without trying to grip the handle of a dagger. All he could smell or taste was blood; all he could feel with each gust of wind was the burning, searing pain, born anew with each grain of sand that blew into him; all he could hear was silence, a quiet ringing... And the drums. They never stopped.


But they would. When Krell was gone. Then they would stop.


He glared at his foe, gritting his teeth and furiously resisting the urge to give in to the burns and scars. With great effort, he began to try and wrestle the blades to one side - if he couldn't break the lock and land a hit, he could at least break the lock and try something else.


If my arms felt like fire, then by body was slowly ionizing. The pain was past the point of unbearability, far past that point. I felt it, yes, but it was a distant pain. I was tired beyond belief, though I kept moving for reasons unknown to me. For all intents and purposes, I should have been dead. But I wasn't. I felt distant from my body, like an observer watching, analyzing, evaluating. I was present, but I wasn't.


Our blades were locked together, the clash of sonic and blackfire energies giving off waves of heat and sound. A thrumming beat that I felt throughout my entire broken body. Kuhrin wretched his blade from side to side in a desperate attempt to free them. I was too tired to resist. Our blades came apart with a sonic boom accompanied by a flash of darkness as the elemental energies built up suddenly released.


The blast shoved us back slightly, separating our battered forms for the briefest of seconds, before once again out blades locked together with the hum of sound and the inky sparks of fire. We stood there, deadlocked and unmoving. Our breaths were ragged and parched, while blood mixed with the sand at out feet. Our eyes were locked together, the flames burning within mirror images of each other. We stood there, the suns beating down on us.


Neither of us could win the standoff.


I didn't need to win.


I don't know where I found it in me, nor do I know where it came from. Some things are poorly understood, and they may never be understood. With what must have been the last of my very being, my essence, what made me me, I forced Kuhrin's weapon away from my own, before lunging forward, our bodies pressed together.


My dagger, no longer burning, had sunk deep. The hilt was all that was visible, the handle sticking out of my brother's stomach. My hands went limp. My arms fell to my sides. I stumbled back on legs that wouldn't move any further. My head fell limply to my chest, my one good eye gazing downwards. Something was pressing into me. I felt it, sucking whatever remained inside out.


My vision was hazy, though I could make something out. It was a hilt.


A hilt buried deep within the cavity where my heartlight should have glowed.


A hilt that I had seen before.


A hilt that had been clutched tightly in the grasp of my brother not a few moments before.




I fell to me knees, before collapsing backwards onto the blood-soaked sand. Shadows crept from the edges of my vision, ever so slowly coming closer. The suns were going dark, the land beneath me ceased to have any feeling.


What could be called a smile crossing my ruined features.


Darkness surrounded me in it's velvety grasp.


And it ended.


You are the shadow that I fear,Cause you are always very near,You are returning with the rain,And it's raining again,And I embrace it,

As a friend.



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OOC: And here's to my first BZPRPG character. I'm not done with him yet, but he deserves a sendoff of his own


IC: Ferron (Po-Wahi)


Anger. Rage. Pure Unadulterated Fury. this singular emotion coursed through Ferron's body as he screamed at the top of his lungs.




The being in question lay dead in the grass before him, the Toa of Plasma's body mutilated and ripped apart by the ferocious Nui-Kopen swarm that had descended upon the team. Carrying out the fiendish will of what could only be the Master of Shadows himself.


Ferron himself wasn't exactly in top form, he was bleeding profusedly from the place where his left hand had been earlier. And he was only standing thanks to the metal crutch he'd rapidly fashioned for himself. His right leg had also been a casualty of the battle, and only a thin sliver of meat, bone and metal connected it to his foot.


The young Fe-Toa threw a final glance around the battlefield: five bodies, all equally ravaged and torn, and none of them alive.


Ferron looked back at Deccon's body, and on pure impulse spat at the ground before it.


"Coward" he grumbled.


Had it not been for Deccon's one moment of cowardice, that one second of hesitation, the others might still be alive. But they were dead. Marinna, Brutop, Barok, even Tarika.


Ferron collapsed against a tree, and slid down slowly, groaning in agony as his wounds made their presence known again. A tear formed in his eye as he lost consciousness...


Ferron's trip down memory lane was interrupted by a final flare of energy emanating from where he knew Krell and Kuhrin were settling their score once and for all. As Ferron realized that both had ended the other, he felt surprisingly comfortable with that fact.


Ferron had lost so many friends once, and now he'd lost another. What was different was that this time it hadn't been out of his control, he'd fought beside Krell, and Kuhrin had ended up with a broken hand for the trouble. Krell had chosen his end, and Ferron had allowed it. He hadn't been helpless.


"Goodbye Krell, you were a great friend" he said, before he turned and walked slowly towards Po-Koro, still with the unconscious Zuriana carefully cradled in his arms.


A small smile crept across Ferron's face as he shed a lonely tear...

Edited by Geardirector

BZPRPG Profiles


Akiri Nuparu Posts:

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OOC: Recommended listening: What Shall We Die For (Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End Sountrack)


IC [Ga-Wahi]


On the deck of the Infernavika, the ship's crew were gathered solemnly around their fallen captain. For all of them, the victory over Makuta's legion now left a bitter taste in the mouth.


Everyone was forgetting something.


Tellus, doing his duty as carpenter, laid vines on Lohkar's blue armour to measure him up for the six-foot box of wood; a final vessel for the captain of the 'Vika.


Something that was really quite important.


Gunner broke down nearby, his bowed head in his hands.


You see, Lohkar was a Lesterin, and one of the more interesting aspects of Lesterin biology is their highly developed digestive and metabolic system.


Verak raised a last toast, and Hahkes joined him in it.


A system that grants them a degree of resistance to toxins and poisons, and a system that is most pronounced in the Water members of the species.


Floria cried for a man she barely knew.


Even in Ga-Lesterin, though, this resistance would be of little use against a Lerahk's deadly venom.


Lasinia, returning from the battle in the village, was unusually solemn in her choice of words.


Unless, of course, the Lesterin in question strengthened said resistance by exposing himself to a nasty mix of toxins on a regular basis. Rum, for example.


Yasurek stood up from Lohkar's side, and saluted in a show of honour, whispering a tribute to the man who had made him proud to be Midshipman.


In that case...well, it would still be close. The body would shut down. The heart-rate would plummet, or even stop. But maybe, just maybe...if the person in question were very, very lucky...


Zmija, her mechanical mind giving way to a rare surge of emotion, let a single tear drop fall onto Lohkar's face. It splashed gently on the Lesterin's peaceful cheek, spreading a film of water across it.




A glimmer of light from Lohkar's chest. Heads shot up from dejected hunches. Eyes searched for the source. Was it just the golden sun, glinting off their captain's chest?


Or was that the faintest of beats on his heartlight?


A blue hand twitched. A yellow heartlight flashed. A pair of eyelids fluttered and slid upwards, revealing a pair of brilliant blue eyes.



"Why is my face wet?"




Never say we die.

Edited by Ghosthands





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IC: Zuriana (Po-Wahi)


It was a glorious day in the village of stone. Matoran ran about in the Koli fields beneath an azure blue sky; the bazaar was filled to the brims with people milling about, making purchases; the sun was beaming its love upon it all. For the first time in who-knew-how-long, Po-Koro was not at risk from impending doom and destruction, and it knew it. A massive weight had been lifted off the shoulders of every inhabitant of not just the village, but the island, too. All the world was at peace.


Zuria, however, found her own mind was still uneasy.


It had been a day or so, maybe more, since the gateway back to her peaceful life in Onu-Koro had been cemented over with the death of Krell. She was glad that she hadn't been suffering from survivor's guilt or been driven insane or anything like that. She was steely like that. But despite how short her time spent travelling with Krell had been, and despite how frightened she might have been at the time, in hindsight it had been the most exciting thing she had ever done. To think such a fantastic Toa was now gone from the world was heartbreaking, not to mention the gap it left in her own heart. She had loved him, really. Not in a romantic sense, but in a more honest, raw form. Almost like family. Now he was gone, and Zuria wasn't sure it had really sunk in that he wasn't coming back. She half-expected him to come striding round the corner, dragging some snake-like Matoran by the scruff of his neck.


She was finding it hard to enjoy the peaceful world when her own world had been turned upside-down. Ferron was in the village as well, but she hadn't seen him since breakfast. She could do with some company.


As if on cue, a young Po-Matoran with a Kakama flopped onto the bench next to her, dropping down three canvas paintings by her side. A sweet smell wafted over to Zuriana's grateful nose as the Matoran sighed, staring into space glumly. Zuriana spent a few seconds staring at her before she noticed, and looked rather stunned. "Hello," she muttered sheepishly.


Zuria smiled warmly. "Hi. You're looking very sad on such a beautiful day. I suppose you Po-Koronans take it for granted?"


The Matoran shook her head. "No, I love the sun. Leaving this place is the last thing I'd ever want to do. I've just had a bad day, that's all. It's these freakin' paintings," she groaned, gesturing to the artworks beside her. "Nobody wants to buy them. Nobody even wants to want to buy them - they just walk right past without even looking. I guess because I can't afford a fancy sign or whatever."


"That's odd," Zuriana replied. "They're fantastic paintings."


"You think?" the Matoran asked hopefully. The expression on her face would be hilarious if Zuria didn't have so much sympathy for her. "Do you want to buy them?"


Smiling sadly, Zuria shook her head. "No can do, I'm afraid. I'd love to, but I left all my money back home, and even then, all of it multiplied by three wouldn't be enough to match their worth."

"You're sweet, but you don't need to pay with money. I only want to be friends."


Zuria was dumbfounded, and her face showed it: mouth wide open, eyes wide. Such a level of kindness she didn't think existed anymore. Paying with friendship. It was what she had been thinking about earlier: love in its purest form. The shadow truly had passed. At last, she mumbled, "I'll take them all."


The Matoran was ecstatic, and grinned a huge, white-toothed grin as she grabbed the paintings and pressed them into Zuria's hands.


After a final exchange of compliments and goodbyes the two of them got up from the bench to go their separate ways. Zuriana watched as the Matoran prepared to leave, then-


"Wait!" She turned to look, confused. "I didn't catch your name."


"Noka," she smiled.


"I'm Zuriana."


Noka grinned her mad, beautiful grin once more. "It was a pleasure meeting you." And with that, she turned and dashed off with a spring in her step.


Zuria stared after her for at least two minutes before what had just happened finally registered in her mind. "You have no idea," she whispered under her breath, before turning herself to go and find Ferron. She had a fantastic tale to tell. The tale of how in Krell's wake, a world full of happiness and love had begun to fruit,


The tale of how it had been a happy ending after all.

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For the first time since her arrival on the island of Mata Nui, Rhow felt a sense of familiarity she had not experienced in a very, very long time. So long, in fact, that she had a hard time putting a name on the feeling, making her think about what it was. But it would not come to her. The Skakdi made a fist with her good arm and propped her head up on the knuckles, completely occupied by her own thoughts, sitting like carved statue made out of azure marble. Her other arm was clutched to her chest and held in place by a makeshift-sling she had fashioned from strong seaweed. Her foot began to move absent-mindedly as she pondered the new feeling and the claws brushed against something metallic. Casually, Rhow looked down and studied the object beneath her foot. The way the plates were formed, elegant but brutal in their design. The dead holes that once held fierce eyes but now only seeped with a dark, purple ooze. Once it had been a son of the Makuta, the one that was responsible for the Skakdi's predicament in the first place.


And now Makuta was gone. That's what the Toa of water had said when she arrived, from the same place the Rahkshi had. Which was almost too good to be true. But the Toa had looked like she'd been through Karzhani and well...Rhow believed her. The Rahkshi turning on one another was pretty good proof. Without a will directing them, they became feral, attacking each other and were easier to pick off. It had saved their lives this day...though the same could not be said for the village. From what she could see, a quarter of the village was just smoldering ruins and the rest was damaged in one way or another as well. Huts were burned out, shattered, blasted to pieces, disintegrated or dissolved by acid. The one she was currently in had collapsed when a Panrahk had shattered the support-beams and walls holding the thing upright.


The same Panrahk that had broken her arm, showered her in shrapnel and now served as her footrest. Rhow looked around herself at the field of rubble and let out a low growl, equal parts sigh and pain as she shifted her position. It was a sight all too familiar to her. Matoran were walking among the destruction, either looking for loved ones or trying to recover their possessions...or just wandering, their eyes staring into the distance, as if trying to look to the far side of the island. A disaster had been narrowly avoided today, by heroes whose names she didn't even know. And it was the very situation that reminded her of her younger days.


It felt just like home.


Something warm and sticky ran into her eye and Rhow blinked, wiping away the crimson liquid and flicking it off her finger. Bending forward, her free hand grabbed onto one of the Panrahk's spines and, wiggling it around, she yanked it out forcefully. When she looked up again, again the mist and smoke, she saw the figure of iraanus moving through the rubble. Rhow grinned, and leaned back into the cushions of the only thing that had been left standing in this particular hut after the battle: a beach-chair. With the Rahkshi's spine, she started to pick her teeth, to get out bits and pieces of Kraata still stuck between them.


"You know, Iraanus," she said, as the other Skakdi came into earshot and spotted the bleeding leader of the horde with her feet propped up on her trophy, "I kinda like this place. How about you? Think we can settle down here?"




"...twenty-one...twenty-two...hm, twenty-five in total!" Kehua said, looking rather pleased with himself as he glanced at Rewera. "Has to be my new record."


Rewera looked up at him, but continuing to wash her hands in the water visible through a hole in the floor of the villages first floating pad. Or what was left of it.


"And it beats your old record by...?" she asked.


Kehua grinned, blood running down the side of his head. "One."


She rolled her eyes. "Without counting assists from me. And ship artillery-support."


"Oh, in that case...twenty-five."


"Darn straight." she stated and harrumphed. "Count yourself lucky you got a hand on them at all. Not to mention that, you know - we actually survived." She stood up, shaking her hands dry.


"True." Kehua agreed, his smile dropping, though he still appeared quite content. Unsurprisingly. The two Aitua had literally been the first line of defense, closest to the horde of Rahkshi when they attacked. Rewera had been mentally preparing herself for a last stand, an eventuality she and the team had discussed long ago and decided if it should come to that, they would stand. And they did, for a moment. Until two things happened: First, two privateer ships that had pulled up behind the village had opened up on the incoming horde with full broadsides, scattering them and forcing the attacking Rahkshi to spread out.


That took some of the pressure off of them, but nowhere near enough to make it an even fight. And Rewera found herself slipping into a mental state of calm fury. Faced with her own annihilation, the two Toa put the concern for their personal safety to the back of their minds. It was not about survival for them, it became about survival for the others, the villagers. And that meant one thing: Causing as much damage as possible before being done in. and damage was something they new a thing or two about, though it did come with a toll. As Rewera stood back up, she moved carefully. A portion of her armor from the chest and side of her torso was missing, eaten away by acid. A follow-up hit by a staff had cut deep into the muscle and cracked three ribs. The rest of her was equally bruised and cut, but that had been the worst of it and only a jump into the water had saved her from the worst effects of the acid.


Rewera had not counted on making it back to dry land again. Drifting down into the blue, she had resigned herself to her fate...which didn't come. The acid was washed away, no other Rahkshi-powers were tearing into her from the surface, no spears piercing through her. And then she began to feel it...the shadows, the darkness infesting the island, started to drain away. Since they had arrived on the island, it had always been present, from the fallen leaves to the corals and the very rock the island rested on. But not anymore. Before Rewera could think further about what was going on, she felt herself get pulled upwards, back to the surface, and fast.


The next moment she was lying on her back, watching Kehua tear the head of a straggling Rahkshi with bare hands. He was in even worse shape than her, covered in gore, bruises, scrapes and cuts from head to toe, visibly limping and the staff of the Rahkshi dying in his grip protruding from his thigh. She freed herself from his weapon's chain and tossed it back to him, whincing as she realized her injuries. Looking around, she saw the Rahkshi were no longer rushing into the village and had turned on each other. Something big had happened, she could feel it. And the sons of Makuta were definitely affected too, fighting each other instead of the defenders. From there on out, it had been little trouble to bring down a dozen more of then on their way out of the village.


"So what happens next?" Kehua asked. Rewera looked from him to Ravage nearby, then back at her brother.


"We're getting medical treatment."


Kehua nodded. "I mean afterwards."


"That Toa said the Makuta is gone."


"So we are done here? We can get Taipo and go home?"


She shook her head. "No, definitely not...we got Rahkshi stragglers, Matoran conspiracies and of course our missing brother...we're not going anywhere."


"We're getting - "






" - back to work." Mariko told Draeverian. He was smiling at the blind Toa, which he couldn't see of course, but the Toa couldn't help himself. He was trying to maintain a positive attitude, which was kind of hard to do right now. But the chain in his hand and the ten Rahkshi-heads dangling from it were evidence that he'd done his fair share of work today. And the presence of the Toa of sound was oddly comforting as well. It was one thing to travel from far place to far place with a team that had been sworn to hunt down darkness wherever it might dwell. It was a depressing existence and they had become quiet and introvert as a result. It was a whole other thing to have somebody nearby that he could call a friend. The first he had made in a century. And so he did try his best not to let him hear that his breath was starting to rattle or that there was a constant stream of blood coming out of a gaping wound in his abdomen.


Perhaps if it had not been for the handicap, things would have gone differently, perhaps if Drae had seen what they were doing he would have left him behind weeks ago. But he hadn't, despite their questionable actions and so the two had eventually found their way into the village of earth, just in time to fight side by side to defend the underground village against attacking Rahkshi. And they had. Drae's control over sound and Mariko's ability to drain the consciousness of organic beings had proven effective enough. But the tight quarters and the sheer number of beings present had been too great. Somewhere in the chaos, he had lost sight of the other Toa and, in a split-second reaction, thrown himself between a Matoran and a Vorahk. He'd saved the Matoran, but the Rahkshi's staff had found a new target.


The Toa gulped as he raised his hand, watching the crimson liquid sitcking to his skin reflect in the light of torches as Matoran passed them by. They had bigger worries than injured Toa. His fingers became blurry as he watched them and somehow Mariko registered the back of his head hitting the stone-wall behind him with a soft thud.



His eyes fell shut and started to drift into a warm blackness that reached out for him, welcoming him. Somewhere in the distance, he thought he could hear the voice of Taipo. He had been gone so long, that he wondered if they'd ever see each other again. But there he was, inviting him back home. Taipo grinned at him. The other's are waiting for you.


So, Aparangi and Tupua had made it here too? Not surprising, the other villages had probably been in the same trouble as this one. His brother padded him on the shoulder. You should get some sleep while you can.



No sleep...just a bit of rest...



Just a bit of


Edited by Vezok's Friend




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IC Yasurek- Ga-koro- Infernavika:


"Why is my face wet?", asked the surprisingly not dead Lohkar.

His question was met with a solid punch to the face from Yasurek.


In hindsight, I should probably not have gone with my first judgement, he thought, looking at the prone form of his captain. Welp, better try to regain some professionalism.


"Good to have you back with us Captain Lohkar Sir," he began, speaking to the likely dazed captain. "The reason your face is wet is because you were stabbed by a Lerahk and poisoned, leading us to think that you were dead. The specific cause for the wetness is Zmija, in case you were wondering. Now that you're alive, it would be best to get you medical care so that we can be on our way. Also, sorry about punching you in the face just now. That's just my way of saying 'don't ever do that again'. Now then, let's get to work."

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

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

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IC: Tellus


Tellus froze, shocked. Within seconds, however, the shock was replaced by sheer joy. A grin shot across his face; in an instant, he'd donned his hat. The vines sailed over the side. Tellus spun around, ignoring the pain that shot up his injured arm.


And, as Tellus opened his mouth to shout CAP'N!!, Yasurek punched the miraculously revived Lesterin. Tellus paused for a moment to try and figure that why on Mata Nui the Ko-Matoran had done that, during which Yasurek answered the Cap'n's question.


"Why the Karz did ye do that?! Never mind, ye're right. We need ta get him to a doctor." Tellus winced. "An' I should probably see one, too."

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(Somewhere)IC: "So you're sure this is the right way to Ta." The bandana-clad Toa of Plasma asked, for the fifth time in as many minutes. Scrutinizing the map, he squinted. Charred Forest, Mount Valamai..."I've headed there a thousand times. I'm pretty sure." the other replied flatly, hefting a fair-sized round shield of crystal and a longsword of the same material, gleaming in the evening sun. He'd been exposed to a few new things in his travels. Things his friend would be quite surprised at."If you say so..." the other mumbled, heading South at a swift jog. He didn't even know why he was headed there any more, he mused. Just that he had a reason."Oh well," Cipher grunted, dashing through trees. "Better to have something than nothing for a goal."Some things just never changed.



He looked on, shaking his head with a chuckle. "He'll get there eventually." he predicted, turning to the scarlet-tinted sky.He had his own journey to walk."So." He said, speaking across leagues to his old friend. "Wonder how you've grown?"Tarex stepped forward. Better find out for himself.

Edited by Joseph Joestar

helo frens

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IC: [united We Stand] - Mata Nui


IC: Onu-Koro


Someone was screaming. They wouldn't stop screaming, either. Their cries were incessant, unending, eternal. It was a tortured howl of someone who was trapped between the comforting status quo of life and the sweet bliss of death. It was aggravating and pitiable sound.


I think I may have been the one screaming.


I'm not sure.


There's blood everywhere; the world has devolved into a miasma of flickering lights, flashing iron and broken death -- all set to a background of pure black. Onu-Koro on a Friday night or something... I think I heard someone mention that before. It was a nice person; grey armour overtop grim smiles and furious yellow eyes. I liked that person. Who was that person?


There are people everywhere; they're surrounding me for some reason, shouting muffled cries and yanking me up into the air. Daggers of ice enter my spine, twisting deeper into my soul so as to keep themselves rooted. My mouth is open, and I try to ask them what they're doing. But that opening is clogged with something else, and my words can't get past it.


Somewhere, someone is screaming.


I wish that they would stop.


IC: The Infernavika


There's a guy sitting where I'm sitting with a wicked awesome name; Dreadheart. He's had a lot of titles through the years, too; kid, karz-head, lancer, fugitive, quartermaster, first mate. This guy's always wanted to combine his name with one of his titles -- unfortunately, none of the combinations quite fit. "First Mate Dreadheart" felt too pedestrian, and "Kid Dreadheart" was just ridiculous.


But Captain Dreadheart... now there was a name.


This guy, Dreadheart, hadn't been called that before. He wasn't going to be called that today.


And hopefully, he wouldn't be called that for a very long time.


"Captain Lohkar," I said shakily, a tired smile on my face, "If you ever try that again, I will personally send you to Karz myself.


"Thank god you're alive," I continued, doing my best to act non-chalant again. "I mean, uh, I couldn't stand the thought of writing your eulogy. I mean, um, er, seriously, can you imagine me saying nice things about you?"


IC: Onu-Koro


I'm lying on a gurney, with a scarred Toa of Ice on side, a four-armed Po-Toa on the other and a lovely-looking Toa of Water, holding a piece of delectable piece of fruit, in front of me. Then I blink, and they were suddenly replaced by a scalpel-wielding Vortixx, a grimacing Ta-Toa and that nice Onu-Matoran girl who talked about Onu-Koro on a Friday night.


"--severe damage--"








I open my mouth, straining to say something, anything.




"Are you sure about this?"


"Yes. But don't tell him about this. It would destroy him."


"Bad choice of words, but I understand."


The nice Onu-Matoran looks at me, and the sad light in her eyes breaks my heart. Of course, I'm not sure if I can still feel it or not.




There's a destroyed smile on her face, which simultaneously lifts me up and crashes me into the ground.




IC: Le-Koro


"Soon as I find a boy whose just as freakin' awesome as I am, that's when."


I'm grinning like a madman at the brief sense of normalcy that snarking with Kehuri gives off -- unfortunately, those never last. Le-Koro is still broken -- there's no other way to say that. The Rahkshi tore it to ground, and then smashed those pieces into oblivion. The Matoran of the village have seen more grief, death and bloodshed than anyone ever should have to.


But they'll endure. Everyone on the island will, but here, in the village of air, in particular. Already, I can see the hardiest citizens rounding up teams to begin the process of rebuilding. I smile at that -- I can't wait to see how far they'll come once the sadness and rage has subsided. Karz, even before that, I think they'll go far.


How do I know that?


I have Faith.


IC: Onu-Koro


I'm alive. The pain is gone. My thoughts are clear again. My body is being rebuilt.


She's dead. The wonderful Onu-Matoran who made jokes about her own village, argued with doctors and gave me sad smiles. The pain is gone for her too. So are her thoughts. Her body is six feet below the ground. It won't leave her home again. No more adventures for her.


Why is she dead? You there, Mata Nui? Can you hear me? If so; why is she dead?


Why is she dead, and I'm alive?


Why am I adventuring, and she'll never move again?


There's a sword on the right side of my bed, and there's a Vortixx snoozing peacefully on the cot to my left. I smile lightly, the names of my friends echoing numbly in my mind. Hakilve, the joy and laughter; Readra, the lessons and practices; Zaveno, the sword's cutting edge; Solia, the light and love.


Delta, the other half.


The other half is gone now, I guess.


Now, I have to be the whole.


OOC: Alright guys, this is (technically) my last post for the 2012 BZPRPG arc. If you really need interaction from one of my characters after this, PM me, and we can work something out.


See you folks for round two! :D



Edited by Dreadheart


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IC: (Tarotrix/Lavapool Inn/Ta-Koro)


With a smile, Tarotrix cut himself off a decently sized piece of cake, and began to dig in.


IC: (Aryll/Ko-Koro Sanctum/Ko-Koro)


Aryll looked up. Two Rahkshi, one of Chain Lightning, one of Shapeshifting, had chased him into a house. He was away from the ILF, his closest allies, and the Matoran guards supporting them. He was alone. The beasts hissed and spat at him, and raised their jagged staff blades toward him. But Aryll wasn't scared. Not one bit. He had dealt with far more foul things in his long life..


The Rahkshi of Shapeshifting hit first. It charged Aryll, and stabbed at him. The blade cut at his robe, and left a small gash along his left leg. Warm, red streams began to come down his leg. But he didn't notice. He was fighting a battle, a battle between foes more ingenious and poweful than he. But not as skilled. His left hand, clad in its Protosteel gauntlet, began to buzz. The Rahkshi's staff, to the beast's horror, became attracted to it. The staff was now magnetically glued to Aryll's hand. He ripped it out of the Rahkshi's hand. With a smile, he placed a hand upon its Kraata cage.


In three seconds, he had sent volt upon volt of electricity into it. Foul smelling smoke rose to the ceiling. Aryll turned to the other son of Makuta. It fired a bolt towards him, at blistering speed. The general chuckled. Raising a hand, he absorbed the energy, let it fill him up. It was a good feeling. The Rahkshi, however, would soon lose any feeling at all. It thrusted its blade at Aryll. Cloaking an arm in an electric shield, it bounced off with a buzzing noise. He then jumped backwards, and began to focus. A subtle aura of electricity began to surround the his opponent.


Three lightning bolts appeared out of nowhere, and his the Rahkshi's legs and staff. The staff was blasted into the wall, and the Rahkshi collapsed to the ground. Aryll moved in for the kill. The beast clawed at him, but he very much ignored it. Maneuvering his hand near the chamber, he repeated his earlier death blow, sending lightning down into it. Another cloud of smoke rose, and another Rahkshi was dead. Aryll, now realizing he was bleeding quite profusely, walked on out to see the battle's end.


Aryll exhaled.


The putrid smell of tobacco filled the nearby air. And he watched as the medic tended to his wounds. Normally, he would be out like the rest of them, celebrating and drinking. But he doubted he'd enjoy himself with a massive gash in his leg. Still, it was nice to relax.


He lamented that it was very much amusing to see the Matoran come to him. Hug him, give him bottles of spirits, and scream "Thank you". It was good, too good in fact. After this battle, a part of him forcibly told him to continue his original quest. The quest to dominate this little southern island, to make himself King.


About a decade on, the most powerful position he'd had was being a mid-level member of a dead resistance group. He had tried, oh how he tried. Manipulation had, as of now, gotten him next to nowhere. And an armed struggle to conquer Mata Nui would be out of the question. It seemed like he had no choice but to continue the first option. In politics, probably. The question of why he hadn't walked that path in the first place hit him hard.


But one side of him came to thinking what to him was a surreal thought: Since he was considered a hero by the Matoran, he could embrace the heroic facade he had maintained since he came to the island. He could live as a hero, eventually becoming a legend, a defender of the Matoran. He could live the Toa-hero's life, and retire as a respected Turaga. In other words, the aspiration of almost every other do-gooder Toa.


So much the thought bugged him. He could claw his way to become the overlord of an island of savages, and live the life of power and decadence he'd dreamed of. Or he could embrace the native ideal of a Toa, and become a hero of heroes, a legend instead of a monster.


The question was certainly food for thought.

I occasionally return to BZP for a nostalgic trip back. Hit me up on discord if you need anything. 
BZPRPG Characters that I will possibly revive, Mons-Shajs-Tarotrix-Aryll Vudigg-Jorruk Yokin-Senavysh Angavur






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IC: LoJak (Ko-Koro)


The Toa of Fire had rushed to save the Matoran that had been caught in the bank collapse, using his elemenal powers to melt as much snow as possible without causing further destruction. Between himself, the other members of the newly created Toa team and the regiment of Sanctum guards that had joined, they had been able to rescue most of the Matoran fairly quickly.


Mata-Nui seemed to have blessed them, because there were relatively few injuries, and most of those had been relatively minor. Still, LoJak could not help but feel fear of the terrible noises coming from outside the city gates. He hid his emotions and smiled at the bank victims, hoping to give them the savior they desperately sought.


Once they had finished their duty, LoJak and the others hurried to the edge of Ko-Koro towards the sources of pounding footsteps, the hisses and growls. With each step he took LoJak felt a growing pit in his stomach as he grew more and more certain what was the cause for the commotion. He tried to tell himself otherwise. It's probably just a herd of Infected Rahi. Maybe some Muaka? Perhaps they've even got a Parakuka or two....


When they finally reached the outskirts and saw the army before them LoJak stated aloud the threat ahead, as much a statement as an affirmation of disbelief.




The Toa team was quickly joined by the rest of the Sanctum guard, Matoran and Toa that would protect Ko-Koro to the end. To face Makuta's army, Mata-Nui would need every sword to fight.


Not that there was much of a plan. Despite the swelling ranks of Ko-Koro's defence, the village's army was largely unorganized. The Sanctum guards filed rank, but everyone else stood side by side with weapons drawn, nothing more than a wall of defenders against the oncoming army of Rahkshi. The two sides regarded each other, each with disgust in their eyes, waiting for the fighting to start.


"Valria, stay behind our lines. When this is over, Sur and the other healers will need all the help they can get" LoJak told the scarred Toa of Gravity. He smiled weakly at her, hoping to give her a little more confidence to counteract the fear the Rahkshi seemed to inspire. Truthfully, he didn't want her to get caught in the fighting. She wasn't ready to be taking on Infected Toa let alone Rahkshi, and she had barely began to control her element. LoJak didn't want to say so, but Valria would be more of a liability in the upcoming battle than an asset, and now was not the time to pretend otherwise.


Also, LoJak didn't want to see Valria die. Especially not her. Not now. His mind turned back to a memory from earlier that morning, in the pub's bedroom. He and Valria, they had been about to talk, he remembered the look in her eyes.... Then Iulius had come and everything had happened so quickly.


LoJak unsheathed his swords. He was about to speak to the others when all began running off. Kaiapo headed towards the frontline, Iulius somewhere else. LoJak couldn't see Quada or Sur anymore. Standing on his toes LoJak spied Valria making her way back towards the inside of Ko-Koro. He prayed she stayed there.


He turned to face the Rahkshi. He remembered that time in the tunnels, mere months ago. His squad had been ambushed by these creatures' brothers, killed by the same staffs and ripped apart by the same hands. LoJak would not let the same happen to his new family. He wouldn't.


"COME AND GET IT!!!" he roared.


Then all ###### broke loose.


Both sides broke into a run at each other. LoJak couldn't be sure what was happening or who around him. His entire focus was on those things he would be killing in just a few more moments....


He lit himself a flame. The soldiers around him jumped a few steps away in surprise, but they regained their composure and resumed dashing onwards in just a moment. LoJak brandished his sword upwards, a beacon for the others. Then, the first Rahkshi appeared in front of him. He swung at it but the vile creature dodged it easily, leaping to the side and counterattacking with a stab of its staff. LoJak blocked and charged forwards faster than he had ever before, bringing his sword back a bit and then quickly stabbing the Rahkshi in the chest.


His heart leaped. That wasn't so hard. Maybe these things aren't so hard after all.


After a few more minutes, he changed his mind. The first one seemed to have been a fluke. It had fallen easily, but it's brothers were less inclined to do the same. They were faster, stronger and more agile than any Toa LoJak had ever faced. He blocked, parried and attacked where possible, but the Rahkshi had the upper hand. Where he scored one hit, the Rahkshi scored two.


LoJak fed the fire that envelopped him, willing it grow bigger and hotter. It did, forcing the attacking Rahkshi to pause and take a step back. LoJak took his chance and rushed to swing his sword at the creature's head. It would be his second kill.


It would have been, but the Rahkshi managed to raise it's staff and stop the attack. LoJak pressed his sword harder against the length of the staff, and the Rahkshi pushed back. It snarled at him, and slowly but surely LoJak's sword was being forced backwards. The Rahkshi laughed - at least LoJak thought thats what it was doing - when LoJak decided enough was enough.


He poured more power in his fire, feeling the energies spread from him into the fire, into heat which entered the sword he wielded. Then the blade began to more forward again. It was melting through the Rakshi's staff, and then it cut through the Rakshi's head.


"Who's laughing now?" LoJak asked.


Just then LoJak was propelled to the side as yet another Rahkshi appeared, lashing out with its' staff and hitting LoJak hard in the stomach, winding him. LoJak landed heavily, trying not to let the pain stop him. He got up to one knee and took a quick look at the newest opponent. The staff it wielded was more of a trident than anything else. It held it aloft easily, waiting for LoJak to approach so it could use the weapon again. LoJak would not let it. He chanced another moment to look at the creature. The Rahkshi had a red spine and matching glowing eyes. A Rahkshi of Fear.


"I do not fear you!" LoJak said, rising up fully and charging the Rahkshi. LoJak threw his sword at the Rahkshi's head. The Turahk raised his arms and swatted the black sword to the side with staff. Then, LoJak gave it one of the biggest hugs he had ever given anything.


The Rahkshi screamed in pain, a high pitched and squirming sound. The flames around LoJak's body burned the Rahkshi's carapace, turning the red skin black. It clawed at LoJak trying to push him off, scraping the skin off LoJak's arm. The Rahkshi moved back and forth, but could do nothing to remove the fiery Toa.


LoJak gave the fire everything he had. His eyes began to water - acrid smoke were filling them. All around, Rahkshi began to cry in discomfort as LoJak's heat reached them as well. LoJak tightened his grip on the Turahk he held, trying to support himself. He pressed on and on, feeding the fire more and more energy.


Suddenly something pierced his lower back. Another Rahkshi's staff, LoJak thought. It slid threw him and into the Rahkshi he hugged, skewering them and locking them into a blazing embrace. The Rahkshi had stopped moving. It was dead now. Another staff flew at him, tearing at his left leg before flying past. LoJak ignored the pain, he didn't care. Not even with the blood slowly creeping out of him only to be vaporized, or with his life slowly beginning to fade.


LoJak surrendered himself entirely to the fire. It was taking everything he had. In all the chaos and igneous fire, LoJak remembered an old.


A candle that burns twice as bright lasts half as long.


Well, I'm burning much brigher than that.


And he would burn even hotter, if it mean't protecting everything he loved. Everyone he loved.


Suddenly everything stopped. The screaming, the pounding, the barrage of elemental attacks. It all stopped. It took LoJak a while to realize what had happened, but when he did, he finally let the fire die down. The Rahkshi he had been hugging had been reduced to a smoldering husk. The spear that had skewered the two of them had completely burned, leaving LoJak with a gaping hole through his back and stomach.


He struggled to stand. Then he wasn't. He fell to his knees. He watched as the Rahkshi army retreated. He looked around and saw Kaiapo's corpse not too far off. LoJak could only imagine what size the Toa of Earth had grown to so as to bare more strength than ever both. He grinned at thought of how many Rahkshi Kaiapo must have stopped. In another direction was Quada, although LoJak couldn't quite see the Toa's face.


He didn't see Valria anywhere. He prayed that it mean't she was ok, that she had escaped the ravages of this battle and stayed in the Koro.


LoJak felt the blood drain out of his body, his limbs growing weaker and vision fuzzier.


Come to think of it, I wouldn't mind if she was out here right now. Maybe she could bring a healer.


He swayed, taking another look at the wound in his abdomen. That's a biiigggg hole.


LoJak fell backwards onto his legs.


Where's my angel?


He closed his eyes, and the world went dark.


ooc: He's not gone just yet.

Edited by Toa Fanixe

Quiz by TheQuizzery.com



You are strong and kinda smart, but not too much

Which Barraki are you?

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IC: Baranx (Ta-Koro)


Baranx regained consciousness in the middle of a bunch of splintered wood, wire and metal. He rubbed his head as he tried to remember what had happened: something about Rahkshi and poor balance skills.


As the Po-Matoran stumbled clumsily out of the wrecked ballista, he got an overview of the aftermath of the Rahkshi battle. Wrecked Rahkshi armor and dead warriors and Kraata littered Ta-Koro. Baranx could tell the battle had been fierce even after he lost consciousness. But they had survived. Not won, but survived. This was every bit a pyrrhic victory.


All that aside, though, Baranx was just glad they'd won. From his position on the wall, he looked out over the horizon, to see the sun finally setting, laying the world to rest after its greatest ordeal.


Baranx smiled, and went to rejoin the other renouncers. Tomorrow it was back to work, as usual.

Edited by Geardirector

BZPRPG Profiles


Akiri Nuparu Posts:

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IC (Riro, Pehu, Ruaho, Naki and Piha, Ta-koro): "They are coming" Naki said, looking through the heavy gate with his akaku. Around him, the other members of the guard tensed up and raised their weapons. Then the sons of Makuta came like a storm, breaking through the gate and sewing chaos and death through the guard's ranks.



The defenders fought bravely, but they couldn't hold back the Rahkshi for long. Pehu was flung away by a Rahkshi of cyclone. Piha's speed wasn't enough to compete with a Rahkshi of slowness, and it left large rents in her armour before more guardsmen rallied to drive it back. Naki was overwhelmed by a heard of hikaki summoned by the power of rahi control. The dragon lizards had removed his mask and broken his bident and his leg by the time he had subdued them. It didn't get any better, however, as a Vorahk appeared to finish the job. The creature stood over him, hissing as it raised its staff to remove the toa's head.



Riro, at the eleventh hour, came to his comrade's aid. He threw his shield over his former student, and while the staff did puncture the thick protodermis, it absorbed enough of the force that Naki wasn't impaled. Going even further, the Matoran leapt upwards at the monster, a madu cabolo in hand. So tenacious was his attack that he was able to grab a hold of the Rahkshi's body before the creature could shake him off. He planted the explosive fruit right under the Rahkshi's neck joint and dropped back to the ground, landing beside Naki. With a loud bang, the suit of armour was split into two large pieces, and the head flew high into the air.



The creature's kraata, disorientated by the sudden demise of its metal body, slowly oozed its way out of one fragment, which had landed next to Riro. The Matoran was getting up slowly, as he had also felt the effects of the explosion. With a malicious glee in its eyes, the stage five slug latched itself onto the senior guardsman's ankle and sucked at his strength. Riro stumbled and fell back to the ground, which was all the kraata needed. Revitalised, it quickly slithered onto his mask and, in a burst of voracious hunger, drained everything the Matoran had. Naki watched helplessly as his friend lost the energy to keep his heartlight beating. One last breath escaped from his mouth as the kraata finished feeding and slithered away.



***Some time later***



Ruaho was the only one of his squad to survive the battle relatively unscathed, but even then there was a mountain of work for the guard to do. The time for celebration and relaxation would come eventually, but it wasn't here yet. He spent much of the rest of that day bringing wounded fighters into to the makeshift medical centres that had been set up and seeing that their needs were met. He cleared away the scattered metal fragments that the Rahkshi had left behind, as well as the smears that were the remains of their kraata. There were several collapsed buildings, some of them still with beings trapped inside. The portion of the Ta-koro guard that could still stand were there to dig them out of the rubble.



One aspect of the aftermath that Ruaho steered well clear of was the morgue, and those who had the grizzly task of filling it. After the fighting broke out, he had been separated from the rest of his squad, the closest friends he had in the village. While others whispered around the village of the Makuta and the possibility of his defeat, Ruaho couldn't bear to hope that much. He hadn't seen any other members of the third heavy infantry squadron during his labours, which meant that, for him, the world had just got a lot darker (or may have). He desperately wanted to know if they were all right, but if he went to find out, he might discover that they weren't. So he put off the revelation and kept working.



Until, at last, when he was delivering a load of wooden splints to one of the medical centres, he spotted, through the crowd, a light blue leg with a jagged crest running down it, shaped like a bolt of lightning.





IC (Dekuna, Le-koro): "Makuta is gone". Dekuna had heard an awful lot of that since the Rahkshi's defeat. With his hearing, he had heard almost everything that was said in the treetop village, most of it on that subject. With all the talk, music and celebrating that was going on, all the different sounds were nearly overwhelming to him, but he decided to endure them. The village's joy was something he wanted to experience in full.



"Makuta is gone". It took the mysterious toa of air emerging from the ground, however, to finally convince Dekuna that the words were true. A hundred whispered rumours were one thing, but hearing those words from a true hero of legend finally put any doubt to rest.



So that was it then. Hope had won through, light had triumphed, and the shadow was no more. It had taken an awful lot, and longer than almost anyone had expected, but it had happened. It turned out that there was still strength in the virtues, that darkness was not a fact of life, and that real heroes that saved islands did exist. Dekuna had never been so happy to be proven wrong.



It had been a gradual process, beginning, he now saw, one evening in a Ko-koro tavern, when he got talking with two other toa over drinks. One of them, a toa of fire, was concerned for a friend of his, who was getting much too excited about standing up to the Makuta and embarking on some foolish quest to overthrow him. Someone needed to find this toa and talk some sense into him before his idealistic head was removed from his shoulders. Dekuna had wholeheartedly agreed with this, and agreed to help with the venture. After all, the Makuta had been invincible. The real heroes had tried to defeat him, and it hadn't made the slightest difference. Others had tried to take their place, and been crushed like flies. If one more toa could be spared the same fate, he was all for it. Challenging the Makuta had been a senseless waste of life.



And so, cynicism riding high, they had set out, gathering more companions along the way. Dekuna and Havon met Miha and Mimira, Eamerzon, Snelly, Zealokan and Payiges. Slowly but relentlessly, the company's focus had changed. They found a missing uncle and solved a crime. Attacked a pirate ship to rescue a prisoner. Organised a search-and-rescue after a friend who had gone missing, combing the shores of Naho Bay from dawn til dusk until she was found. By the time they found their original quarry, all the advice they gave him amounted to “watch yourself, mate”. Somehow, the adventures they had had had changed their outlook.



And then, somehow, these toa who had set out to stop Snelly from throwing his life away by challenging the Makuta got together and formed the Hau Karda: a group which aimed to do just that. At the time, Dekuna still hadn’t believed it was possible, but he joined anyway, for other reasons.



And so the newly formed team travelled the island, again gathering more members as they went, and again the people they met and the adventures they had slowly caused Dekuna to alter his views. The stubborn perseverance and the good-natured optimism of his teammates showed him that hope was possible, even when things looked bleak. They had had their successes and their failures (and their play – dear Mata Nui, that play!) along the way, but together, they’d got through them.



Then they split the team. In retrospect, Dekuna saw that that wasn’t the great decision they had thought it to be. From then on, the team fragmented and disintegrated with more and more members going their own ways, always intending to rejoin but never actually getting the chance. Others got lost, while yet others were taken. It continued until only Zealokan remained with Dekuna, burnt out and stranded in Ga-koro.



Then Dekuna himself had quit. He had no team, no clue for what to do next, and no widgets. In fact, he was in debt to the Skakdi who had helped him out in Le-koro, and not long before that, they had sent a debt collector after him. Normally, that would have been easily solved, but after his house and been burgled, half knocked down and his life-savings stolen, he had no way to pay up, and his time had run out.



And so, he quit. It turned out that being a hero wasn't so great after all, so he turned back to his old occupation, from before he had met Havon: bodyguard. At least, that's what he'd always called it, to sound just a little bit respectable. Really, it hadn't all been all that much about protection. Defending the sort of beings who hired bodyguards often involved a bit more than just standing near them in case of danger. No, these beings represented the less-than-honourable side of Mata Nui society, those who were involved in very dark dealings and who didn't like being asked questions. Protecting these sorts of beings had often involved actively seeking out those who meant them ill and putting them out of commission, as it were. Which, when it came down to it, had made him a sword for hire.



This time, he was hired by a Vortixx pirate as a member of his crew. Two weeks on the ship would earn him enough to pay off his debt, and get the Vortixx to repair his broken lightstone rifle. That was it, he promised himself. Two weeks of doing whatever his captain wanted, then he'd be out of debt, off the ship, and he'd be able to do whatever he wanted once the time was up. Unexpectedly, Dekuna found himself hating those two weeks. He wasn't doing anything he hadn't done before, and he had always been able to stomach it back then, and worse. The pay was good, even if the company wasn't too interesting. The work wasn't difficult, and the pirates threw a generous amount of drink into the bargain. By all his old standards, Dekuna should have been satisfied.



He soon came to a conclusion about why: those cursed teammates of his had forced him to grow a conscience. He'd been hanging around heroes for too long, people who believed in doing good and helping others, even if they themselves weren't perfect and didn't have it all together. Slowly and subtly, they had convinced him that, sometimes, their way was better. Going back to how he had been before just wasn't as satisfying anymore.



So, after seeing his contract to its end, he shook hands with the Vortixx, took his pay and then gave up his mercenary job by breaking the ship's rudder. That left him with only two things left to do: Go to Le-koro and square his debt so that the Skakdi could get their money and Ning would have her special stones returned to her, and then find what remained of the Hau Karda and reunite with them, this time wholeheartedly behind their cause.



After all, the Makuta was gone. If there was ever a time for hope and high spirits, it had to be now.


And so, that afternoon found the toa of sonics celebrating along with the rest of the Le-matoran, and then retiring afterwards to the local inn, where he sat and talked for a long time with Zealokan and Miha. They swapped stories of the times since they had been separated, reminisced about their past adventures and generally enjoyed each other's company. Even though they hadn't had much to do with it, the Hau Karda's mission had been achieved. The Makuta was gone.



OOC: So, that should wrap up most of the loose ends around Dekuna, sum up his character development, and explain what he was doing during the time I wasn't RPing him. Clockwork Kineticist, Biobeast, please let me know if you don't want your characters present in the last scene or want some of it altered. The bunnying's pretty minor though, and I strongly suspect that's what they would have been doing anyway. I just had them do it with Dekuna around.





IC (Matan and Natan, Le-koro): Both Skakdi survived the battle in one piece, though not without injuries. Their shop, too, had suffered damage, being torn through by a Rahkshi of weather control and a thunderstorm it had summoned. More important than the damage, however, was the opportunity. Le-koro would need to rebuild after the attack, this time as a stronger, more resilient village since they would now have a reprieve from the constant raids by infected rahi and other servants of Makuta. For a pair of crafters, now members of the Cultured Gentry, that meant that a lot of business would soon be coming their way.



Another unexpected surprise came as Ning returned to them, bearing the sum they had been owed by the toa of sonics, Dekuna. She swapped the cash for the ore they had held as bond, just as promised. The extra cashflow would be very useful in the coming weeks.



In the end, though, they spent it all quite quickly on what could turn out to be the best investment they had made in a long time. 75 dead Rahkshi had left an awful lot of armour fragments scattered around the village which needed to be cleared away. Rahkshi armour was renowned for its strength and resilience, and so could be of great worth if incorporated into machines, weapons, vehicles and armour. It took most of what Dekuna had paid them to employ labourers, but before the day was out they had most of the recoverable dead shells gathered up and collected in a storehouse they had constructed adjacent to their home and workshop.



Now, while others celebrated, the two Skakdi got down to work.



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There rhythmic pattern wouldn't let up, no matter how much he would have liked to stay asleep for a little while longer. But the soft rain-drops hitting him didn't allow it. Nor did the poking in his back. Sisk lazily opened one eye, then both and blinked, confused. Everything was wrong, inverted and somehow moving back and forth. And the trees were growing from the sky. That was definitely not right. He briefly thought some great being was playing a trick on him, but the growing discomfort he felt told him that this was not some illusion or dream. He was definitely awake, as the poking confirmed. His feeling of disorientation was not helped by the fact that his head felt strangely swollen, either, like somebody was holding him by the temples and applying pressure. He slowly moved his head, feeling an onslaught of dizziness and looked up. To his surprise, he found his hands dangling in his field of view and beyond them, in the twilight breaking through the treetops, he spotted the forest floor. Which meant the trees were not growing from the sky all of a sudden...the world was still facing the normal way.


Okay, so he was upside down...that made sense. Though it left the question how he had gotten here - and what in Karzhani was continuing to poke him, causing him to swing back and forth like some oversized fruit. Intent to find out, he started to looked back down, or rather, up, to where his feet were. But as soon as he started to move more than just his head, trying to bend his body as well, a sharp pain shot down the length of his back. Sisk was instantly away, gasping from the intensity. The pain had come from his right leg. He bent his head far enough that the chin touched his chest and, glancing down, he saw the cause of the injury. His leg had been caught in a vine and tangled up and now his foot was pointing in a direction it shouldn't, the ankle and shin weirdly twisted - and definitely broken.


The sight made him remember. He had been on the way back from Kini-Nui, having dropped off his fifth or so bunch of refugees and informing the Toa somehow already present at the great temple about the immediate threat to the villages. The Toa had immediately moved out and Sisk had flown back on Skyscratcher to get more of the villagers to safety. Something had hit him as he had made it back to the village in time to see the Rahkshi turn on each other, some form of blast. He didn't know what it was and what happened next was just a blur of images, but he had suddenly felt like ice was gripping his chest. He'd started to hyperventilate, letting go of the Kahu's reigns and been thrown off of the bird in the process, feeling terrifies like never before. But the vines had stopped him from falling to his death...and broken his leg in two or three places in the process.


He was poked again and annoyed, Sisk looked to his left and almost cried out before he realized the thing staring at him was not a Rahkshi, just Skyscratcher wearing the Rahkshi-helmet he had made for the bird himself. The Rahi-bird looked at him with a tilted head, as if asking what they were going to do.


"I don't know, flying-friend." Sisk said, sighing, trying not to move his body. "I'll soon-think of something, don't worry." he said. In response, the Kahu poked him again.


"Stop that."


But Skyscratcher just poked him again.


"Hey, what are you doooooOOOOOaaahhhh..." Sisk started to say, but slipped into a elongated yell as the vine suddenly gave way and he started to drop. Twigs scratched him and leaves hit his face as he fell and then suddenly, he landed on something soft. His leg sent another jolt of pain through him, but the shock of falling almost made him forget about it. He could still feel the rush of wind though, and looking up, he saw Skyscratcher's belly. The bird had shaken him loose, only to dive below him and catch him in his claws.


Together, they headed back to the village of air and Sisk, with nothing better to do while suspended like this, used the time to think. Many things had happened today, many terrible, many good. But what it meant was change. For better or for worse remained to be seen. But Sisk was determined to be prepared. He'd get his leg fixed and then help the village again, that much was certain. Le-Koro would rebuild.


As it always did.




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IC: Le-Koro


Naona staggered through the door of the abandoned hut, breath frantic as she hurriedly searched through all the drawers, ransacking every compartment she could find in the small building. Nothing. Everything inside was completely useless to her. She choked back a crazed sob as she collapsed against a wall, pulling her hand away from her side to see the blood staining it. Even in the darkness of the hut, the red liquid was still very distinct.


A quiet chuckle.


She wasn't going to make it.


"Bleeding to death after breaking in entering," said the Stone Toa with a wince. "I never expected things to go this way."


She had been stupid. Instead of staying near the centre of the village, where she would have been able to get medical assistance with ease, Naona had ran away, hiding her wounds and believing that she would be able to fix up herself. It had been a terrible idea; she had even admitted it at the time. But she didn't want to dampen the cheer that surrounded her friends by revealing her injuries. They deserved a moment of time alone with each other.


"Congratulations commanders," she choked, trying not to laugh. "No ... congratulations Tillian, Skyra ... hopefully you two can be happy again ... too bad I won't be there to see it ..."


Her eyes clamped shut. The pain was worsening, and her mind was already starting to feel cloudy. Cursing herself for refusing to listen to her common sense, she leaned her head back against the wall, opening her eyes and staring up at the ceiling. Maybe she hadn't run away to give her friends some peace ... dying would definitely hurt them immensely. Maybe she had simply wanted it all to end; maybe all the trauma had gotten to her ...


Maybe I'm hysterical and everything's getting fuzzier and ...


Everything was starting to blur together and for a second she thought there was a flash of green nearby but that was definitely her imagination and Skyra was probably busy trying to piece together the fact that he (or she now?) had just kissed Tillian and ...


I think I'm going into shock and Mata Nui, I'm going to die ...


"Hari ... Krayn ... Dehkaz ... I ..."


A hand gently pulled her arm away from her bleeding side. Naona barely took note of it. Her mind was too cloudy to think and ... was somebody bandaging her? Did her friends notice she had disappeared and decided to look for her? No ... who would ...?


"It is not your time to die."


The voice was familiar. Hauntingly so. She moved her head, attempting to focus as possible on who was helping her. Even with her blurry vision, the face was unmistakable. Purple eyes. Emerald Iden.




There was no reply from the person who was definitely her former mentor, but soon a feeling of weightlessness overcame her, along with the presence of arms cradling her. It was ironic ... she was going to be saved by the man who had nearly killed her once before.


"Incredibly reckless. I taught you better."


Darylhii's guttural voice was a surprising comfort despite her knowing what type of person he had become. No matter how hard she had tried to run away from her past, it had still caught up. Naona would smile if she could; it seemed like accepting her past was the only way to be free ...


The lighting had changed. Someone gasped and began to talk quickly. She knew that voice ... or at least she thought she did ... was it that nurse she had befriended all those years ago ...? She wasn't sure; everything seemed so distant.


"We are in the hospital," said her former mentor, his voice cutting through the cloudiness. "You will live."


She felt herself being lowered onto canvas ... probably a stretcher. Naona tried to protest as she felt her former mentor's arms move away ... she did not want to him to leave yet!


"Ar ... rest ... y-y-ou ..." she coughed.


"You will get your chance," was the reply. "I promise."


She tried to focus harder on the jade Toa's face, but her vision continued to blur as the distance between them grew. The stretcher was moving rather quickly ... maybe her situation was worse than she thought? Darkness started to surround her ... she struggled to stay awake ... she wasn't going to let him get away ...


Too late.


But she would live, and as she fought a losing battle against sleep, she realised that she would live to see another day ... she would live to see her friends again ...


She wasn't going to die.


"I ... am ... definitely going to cash in on that promise."

Edited by ZHX
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OOC: I think its time to wrap up a last couple of characters.


IC: (Haitol Kytorikk/Durzan/Nheras/Near Onu-Ko Highway/Onu Wahi)


It seemed to Haitol that he and Durzan had brought down upon them the wrath of Onu-Koro. All, by several glaring mistakes. Joining the Rahkshi in attacking the village, helping to lead the charge, and expecting to be made Onu-Wahi's warlord. All had lead to him and Durzan being villified by the Matoran, and being chased down the tunnels in an insane attempt to escape.


He was now running out of strength. Disks, rocks, and every other manner of projectile was hurled at him. He was cut and bruised everywhere, and his favorite suit was positively ruined. Despite the overwealming odds, he maintained the illusion that he'd get out of this alive. Then, his foot caught on a rock. There was a snap and a shot of pain. He'd broken his ankle. Great.


"Durzan! You idiotic Piraka! Help! Help!"


Durzan, the idiotic hulk of muscle he was, ran on over to his master. But by then, the first Matoran had arrived. A blacksmith and a traveling lumberjack, by the look of it. They cursed at him, and ran in to kill Haitol. Durzan laughed. Raising his Zweihander, he swung at the two with all his might. Two headless bodies hit the ground with a dull thump. The former servant of the Dark Lord grabbed one head by the mask, and hurled it into the crowd.


"Come and get it!" he yelled in a barely inteligible voice.


That was when he heard the gunshots.


Ten bullets, 303. caliber, and tipped in Protosteel, flew towards the Makuta-serving traitors. The larger one was hit in the leg. Three bullets hit him in the thigh, blood was splattered everywhere, and he felled to the ground. Nheras pulled out his Kukri, and went in for the death blow. But Durzan was faster.


The servant swung his greatsword, Nheras' arm was cleaved off. He fell to the ground in obvious pain. One more blow to the neck, and the Vortixx was dead.


Durzan was blinded by one feeling and one feeling only: gluttonous hunger. He knew he would die from blood loss, but Durzan was determined to have one last meal. He decended upon Nheras' body, and began to consume it.


His death blow came from an Ussalmatoran's lance.


Haitol would not be captured. Getting up, he winced as his broken ankle hit him with pain. He could hear the sound of Ussal crabs, the bloodlust in the villager's screams, and the sound of his own sobbing. Quickly, he increased his pace. Within a minute or two, he realized he was crossing a naturally made stone bridge, one that loomed over a running underground river.


That was when the matoran found him.


Two Matoran noticed te river below them, and came up with a cruel idea Makuta would have approved of. With clubs, they broke his arms and legs. While Haitol may have cried and sobbed, he did not once scream. Twenty minutes after the ordeal, a guardsman came by, and said to him his crimes and punishment. All in a barely calm voice.


"Haitol Kytorikk, you are guilty of murder, conspiring with the Makuta, and commiting high treason against the citizens of Mata Nui. For this you are condemned to death by drowning."


He finished with, "And may Mata Nui have mercy upon your soul."


And that was the last thing he heard before the cold, dark waters of the river enclosed him.

I occasionally return to BZP for a nostalgic trip back. Hit me up on discord if you need anything. 
BZPRPG Characters that I will possibly revive, Mons-Shajs-Tarotrix-Aryll Vudigg-Jorruk Yokin-Senavysh Angavur






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IC: Arias


So much.

It was collecting around Arias, caused by a large number of cuts across his body. Arias lurched his way back from the battlefield, looking for a doctor before he collapsed.


-A few Days later-

Arias was searching around for more bits of salvageable Rahkshi armor, to bring back to the village. Arias found the corpse of two Toa. One was a Toa of Magnitisem, and one was a Toa of Sonics. "I found two more!" Arias shouted, and a group of men came over to bring the bodies to the cemetary. Arias briefly considered taking the Zatth, but decided not to out of prinicple. Arias retured to the village, brining with him some salvaged Rahkshi armor. What can I say, I'm a material man.

"Go beyond the impossible, and kick reason to the curb! That's how Team Gurren rolls!"



Exo-Force RPG Profiles

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OOC: No color for nowIC (Le-Koro) She sat in another bar, across from a girl named Liacada. There it was that she had sat with him. She could still remember his voice. His smell. His aura. She frowned, her emotions quickly dropping to depression even as Liacada recounted her own tale."...that's the only reason I'm even alive. Veira? Veira...? Are you alright, chick?"Sobs began to emit from the Toa of gravity. Slow tears turned to an uncontrolled stream. She placed her head in her hands."I gave this thing all I had. I left it all behind for this. Every #### emotion, it's all gone! I have nothing left in me to carry on. I cry because I'm completely void of anything else." Liacada sat back."Screw this 'life' thing, right?" She chuckled softly, but had no joy. She stood up, laying down the money for the drinks. "Nice to meet you, Vee. Maybe we'll meet again. I don't know." With that, she was gone.Veira might have sat there for hours after that. She couldn't remember later on. All she knew was that a man had taken that seat, and she hated him. Somehow she knew she was going to hate him and everything about him. But she was going to live and then die following him.

Edited by Bane of No Isles

BZPRPG Profiles


"It comes with the job," Halfimus explained, "I'm not paid enough to give anything outside quick flavour descriptions."

So pay me more AuRon.

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IC - Kini Nui


Verak’s body felt like jelly. Limp, unmovable, and useless. He sat propped up against one of the temple’s huge pillars, and noted sadly that he was bored again. He saw Dalia slumped against another pillar, and Angelus against a third. Powerful-Makuta-servant-turned-peace loving-monk was standing and gazing peacefully at the rising sun.
Not too long ago he was having the adrenaline rush of his life, fighting off Rahi and doing pretty well at it. It was frustrating how quickly his joy had changed to boredom.
Nothing upset Verak more than sitting around, doing nothing. Noting was more aggravating. He gravitated towards action. That pull was always there, begging him to run and entertain himself. It was just so frustrating to recline here, in a place where he could almost feel the exhaustion and inaction of the Toa around him. He had to find something to do. It wasn’t just a desire, it was a need, a physical itch.
Verak pulled himself to his feet with his staff, but immediately collapsed, falling hard on the unforgiving stone. He leaned back with a frustrated groan. He truly was exhausted, pushed beyond his limits. Burnt out. Verak had done everything he could, and now his body was just a physical wreck. He needed the rest, even if he hated it. He settled down with a resigned sigh. Nothing he could do.
The toa of sand gazed up at the rising sun and decided things weren’t so bad. Before he knew it, he’d be held up high and all but worshiped, if that wild Toa of Plantlife’s memorials were anything to go by. Verak couldn’t wait to go with the new heroes back to civilization. Ha. Let the guard try and arrest him now.
As he squinted into the blazing ball of fire in the sky, he realized that The Chosen Heroes were going to win. Not a doubt lingered- that knowledge had been emblazoned into his mind when he first saw them. The only question, really, had been those Rahi. And even then, with Joske’s help and seeing the Toa of Light’s awesome powers in action, Verak hadn’t been too concerned.
This was the day when everything changed. The darkness would go away, and people would be blinded by the light of freedom. A weight would lift from their shoulders that they didn’t even realize was there. The confusion, the joy, the naïve happiness that would proliferate the island… Verak smiled. At the very least, he’d make some money.
He closed his eyes, and blanketed by the heat of the sun and the expectations for tomorrow, he fell asleep.
Just like before, it was his dreams that betrayed him.
In my dreams, I am happy. Happier than anything you can imagine. Joy fills me. It’s a warm glow, radiating from my belly, heating me, embracing me. The sun does so too. It blankets me, covering me in blazing comforting heat. I pump water from the well and turn around. There’s my wife, standing in the doorway. God, she’s beautiful. She’s a Po-Matoran too, and the sun gleams off her perfectly proportioned armor. She smiles, and I have to return the unbelievably charismatic grin. Another feeling of warmth fills me.
My kid peers around the doorway, and then my smile explodes even further. He’s so great. Seeing him so full of joy and happiness is one of the best things ever. I can’t wait to show him the world.
My wife picks him up and carries him back inside, and I smile at them one last time before turning back to the stone well. I crank the winch, about to bring the bucket up, my face still frozen in that smile.
My world is simple, free from evil. There is nothing out here in the desert but me and my amazing family. Nothing to fear, nothing to hurt. You should be envious. You’ll never be this happy.
Then the Tarakava bursts forth from the sand, roaring and bellowing.
Everything is over.
Sunlight gleams off of it's brown and tan armor, and sand spills from it like streams of golden dust.
My body fills with fear. With mortal, freezing terror. Nothing has terrified me more in my life, not even close. The smooth, strong steel on its body, its muscles and the strength that stands out strong in its limbs and chest.
And its roar. It's powerful animalistic roar.
Then I am nothing but Fear.
I am almost paralyzed with it. I shake - no quiver - with terror. My mind seems to fade away and morph into a different thing.
No longer am I Verak, humble Po-Matoran nomad, living contentedly in the desert. No longer was I more happy than words could describe.
None of that matters to me now. Now I am a machine. My fear is my fuel. It drives me. Drives me to protect.
To Protect.
To do anything to save my family.
I hold my hands out and roar at the animalistic terror, meeting it in ferocity. It’s bestiality has brought something like it out in me too. I meet it’s angry expression with my own. My paralyzing fear has become ferocity.
But I am not a Tarakava, the very expression of terrifying nature. I’m just a Matoran.
The beast slaps me with it’s arm and I soar into the air, fling backwards toward my hut. My desperation grows to match the ache I have in my chest where my armor is dented, and seems to increase the odd weightless feeling I have.
I smash through my hut’s roof, hit something soft, and fall onto the sand floor. What that a living being? Did I just hit my wife or son? Oh, god, let them be okay. Please, Mata-Nui, I’d give anything. If I was ever responsible for hurting one of them, I would be stuck in a state of horror the rest of my life.
Then the Tarakava plows me over.
Then I am nothing but Pain.
My senses explode with it. It washes away any information about the world around me, and oh god it’s terrible. I’d do anything to escape it. But there’s nothing I can do. I’m only a helpless Matoran.
The pain fades and I can finally try to understand what has happened. I’m ground into the sand, and the roof has collapsed, falling heavily on my now broken body. I feel my armor twisted in incorrect positions, I feel it push in on my chest and I feel sticky warmth seeping out from my wounds, mixing with the sand that coats my body. My body is still nothing but pain, but I don’t mind it. But what about my family, my overwhelming happiness? Are they still alive? Is my life still worth living?
‘Help me, Mata-Nui. I need to save them. Make me strong.’ I pray, somehow, through the pain. ‘I’d give anything.’
Somehow in a rush of desperation I push off the chunk of roof pushing down on me and stand up.
I sway for a second as my vision adjusts.
Then I am nothing but Horror.
They’re gone. Those are their bodies. Oh, god. They’re mangled bodies, crushed by our house, crushed by my fall, crushed by that wild animal I couldn’t protect them from. My son was so young. Never able to experience the world, his life cut short by this unfair thing that came from nowhere.
I think I was the one that fell on one of them. I think my body crushed a loved one.
I can’t breathe. This can’t be happening. No no no no. Please, Mata Nui. Didn’t you hear my prayer?
I howl in suffering, an unearthly wail that echoes across the desert. How can I live, what is there to do with my life? I’ll never be that happy again, so why try? It’s all gone now. I feel the hole in my soul, a gaping cold pit where there once was comforting warmth. I need to get away from this life, from this realization. I should have gone with them. Why am I still alive?
But my anger turns to rage. I know why. Something killed them. Some monster. It deserved no better then them.
It killed my family. It killed me. I am going to kill it.
Something has to pay for this.
Now I am nothing but Anger.
I am broken, bleeding, battered, my armor sticking out at frightening angles, blood coating me. I stumble through the desert, following a trail I cannot see through my broken vision. I cannot find the beast.
But I continue, leaving a red trail of blood as I walk. My footsteps waver back and forth, not even resembling a straight path. I hack up blood, but for some reason I don’t care. The beast needs to die. It’s all I can do.
I fall to my knees and crawl.
No. I won’t die yet.
I have to kill it.
I have to avenge them.
I stand up, then my knees give out, and I fall.
I look up, and through my pain fogged vision I see it. It’s a stone, oval. I reach for it, without thinking.
The next thing I know, I’m a Toa, sprinting through the sands after my prey. Suddenly, I know where it is, as if I am now unstoppable. Anger drives my now powerful form.
It springs out at me as I near it, hissing and roaring and spewing sand everywhere. I wants me dead too.
I swing my hand upwards, and a stream, a snake of sand soars upwards, through the thing’s jaw, it’s brain, and out the top of it’s skull.
We both crumple to the sand at the same time, one of us more alive than the other.
* * *
It was a Mahi herder called Golyo who saved me, fed me, brought me back to consciousness. I had turned into a Toa, but somehow burnt up what little energy I had left killing the Tarakava. I spent a couple days with him in his hut in the desert.
His hut was small and bare, I think, but I didn’t pay much attention. I was too wrapped up in my suffering, too encompassed by my sadness.
Did I mention? My family was dead.
I was hollow. I was useless. I had already died. Now I did nothing but waste air.
There was nothing left to do but die.
One day, Golyo knelt down beside me and asked, “What’s your strategy, Verak?”
I was leaning against a wall of the hut, breathing slowly. “When I recover, I am going to throw myself of the biggest cliff I can find.” I said calmly, staring at the far wall.
Golyo paused, a bit shocked, but then his expression became one of puzzlement. “You could have already done that. There are plenty of ways to kill yourself in this hut. You could have even made it to those cliffs now. Deep down, you want to live.”
“Deep down, I want to die. I’ve lost everything. I’ll never be happy again. Why don’t I just go join my family?”
Golyo knelt down beside me and looked straight into my eyes in that uncomfortably intimate manner. “Hmm. You are a funny one. Come with me.”
I managed to limp to my feet and follow the Mahi Herder out of the hut. Why not?
We stood there, looking out at the endless desert and watching the sand drift across the dunes.
“I am going to teach you about sand,” the hermit said.
I remained silent, internally scorning the silly fool. What change could this sunburned Mahi herder have on me? I was going to die, and that was that.
“I know you don’t care, but you have to listen to me. This is important. Life or death. Do you hear me? I am trying to save you.”
I didn’t want to be saved.
Golyo sighed. “See, the sand is unique. It, technically, is just bits of rock or crystal. Once it was like those cliffs over there. But now it is sand, flowing like water. It does not resist the elements. It glides freely with the wind, flowing smoothly wherever the air wishes to take it. Sand doesn’t care about anything, see? It doesn’t resist. It lets things take it. Those cliffs over there are foolish. See how they stand strong and proud, resisting the wind? They are stiff and inflexible, never budging, infallible. They seem bastions, though. Their stubbornness makes them strong in appearance. But, eventually, they will crumble. One day the wind will whittle the cliffs down to nothing. Eventually, inevitably, those proud rocks become sand. One day there will be no more stones. One day Mount Ihu and the Mangai will have been dissolved by the wind, and there will be nothing on this island but sand. The desert is expanding every day. Don’t you see, Verak? Sand is the state everything is destined to become. Everything belongs like that- shifting and free. It is the destiny of Stone. You are a Toa of Stone now, but one day you will become sand. How that happens is up to you- by choice, or your resistance could kill you, and then when you have rotted away you will become sand. Don’t you understand? You have to let yourself become sand! Don’t you see?”
I really didn’t see, and with every sentence the Matoran spoke his message became less clear and my belief in his sanity began to dissolve like that weird metaphor about the cliffs. Did he want me to turn myself to sand? Honestly, I was thinking the decomposing path might be easier.
“Verak, listen to me! Sand is free, with no worries. You are Stone now, angry at the death of your happiness and unwilling to change. You must become sand. You must let your feelings go and let the fates take you where you will. You need to shift and flow like the desert, Verak! Don’t you see?!”
And then I turned and walked up to the cliffs.
It was a long journey. Scrambling over the scree and boulders in my exhausted condition was not the easiest thing, but I managed. It was only the last thing I was every going to do anyway. I didn’t care about the falls or the scrapes or the bruises I gathered as I clambered up the rocks to the sheer cliffs that dropped hundreds of bio to the desert below.
Eventually, I stood on the cliffs and looked down. I could see almost forever. The sea shimmered in the far distance, and the faded forms of the Ko-Wahi mountains were clearly visible on the horizon. Between those landmarks and my cliffs lay a sea of brown sand, where similar bastions of rock protruded from the sea like shipwrecks, small islets in the ocean. I took a breath. Goodbye.
My pain was going to end. There was nothing to live for. No happiness left in the world.
I threw myself off the cliff.
I could feel sand particles hit me as I fell, and suddenly a rush of adrenaline filled me. My excitement grew as I fell faster and faster, the wind roaring through my mask. It was crazy. Despite myself, I had to laugh. There was so much energy inside me, I couldn’t prevent the grin from reaching me. I couldn’t prevent the rush of excited happiness that pounded in my body.
The cold aching feeling faded, replaced by the warm rushing of my blood.
I was… having fun. I was happy.
And then I realized I didn’t want to die.
I wanted to experience this again. I had something to live for.
My mind reached down to the desert below me and a geyser of sand spewed up, pounding my body but slowing my fall. I gently glided through the eruption of sediment, and touched the ground like an angel landing.
I let the geyser fall, and stepped forwards quickly to dodge the pile of sand that had previously been tearing at my body.
Then the memories came back, and I frowned. The sadness began to fill my body again, like some disease which had only just been pushed out. A tide that would always return. I could feel it seep into me, corrupt me, down to the bones.
The memories of that lost happiness, of my loved one’s broken bodies…
I took a shuddering breath and almost went back up. Maybe falling would give me a good enough adrenaline rush to push away the thoughts again…
No, there had to be a better way. A way to make the memory stay away.
The Mahi tender’s voice came back to me: “Become the sand, Verak. Don’t you see?”
I looked up, and there he was. Golyo, looking at me. His hand was outstretched, gesturing for me to take it.
“Let me teach you to become the sand.”
I took his hand, and began to learn.
* * *
On the first day, we went outside, and the Mahi Herder told me to control the sands. I thought it had been easy, but try as I might, I couldn’t do it anymore. I strained and pushed and gritted my teeth, but nothing I did affected it. I could not control it like I had before.
So I turned to The Mahi Herder and said, “Master, why can I not control the sands?”
“You cannot control them, Verak, because you are Air. The wind blows and throws itself at everything it can find, doing everything it can to change things. It gives its all, but when the gust of air dies out, little has changed. The wind can only change things over time, Verak, and you must do so faster. Let us go back, and try tomorrow.”
So we went back into the hut, and I thought about what The Mahi Herder had said.
On the second day, we went outside, and The Mahi Herder told me to control the sand. I took a deep breath, and tried to remember how I had controlled it before. When I was falling and happy, and angry, trying to kill the thing that had killed my family. I grimaced and the memory, and growled, and strained to use my anger at the universe to move the sands. But my anger had no affect.
So I turned to The Mahi Herder and said, “Master, why can I not control the sands?”
“You cannot control them, Verak, because you are Fire. Fire rages and burns and is very powerful, able to burn and destroy so much. It grows with the fuel you use, and it can affect a lot- burn down forests or towns or give warmth to the cold. But the fire eventually burns out, leaving nothing behind by a husk, a burnt out memory. The Fire kills what it touches, Verak, and do not let it kill you. Let us go back, and try tomorrow.
So we went back to the hut, and I thought about what The Mahi Herder had said.
On the third day, we went outside, and The Mahi Herder told me to control the sand. I sat still, calmly, and tried to be at peace. To become the sand. To feel it. I closed my eyes and thought, and I strained my mind to understand it, but the feeling did not come. I was not straining like I had before.
So I turned to The Mahi Herder and said, “Master, why can I not control the sands?”
“You cannot control them, Verak, because you are the Water. The water sits calm and still and appears to be at peace. It seems beautiful and pristine. But water is more unpredictable and dangerous than fire. The water can at any moment rage into a hurricane or a tidal wave. The water is always hiding secrets underneath it’s surface, ready at any moment to rise up and show it’s anger. Water is just Fire hiding behind a façade, Verak, and you know you must not be Fire. Let us go back, and try again tomorrow.”
So we went back to the hut, and I thought about what the Mahi Herder had said.
On the fourth day we went outside, and the Mahi Herder told me to control the sands.
I stared at the sand, and tried to let everything go. All my emotions drained out of me, as did the thought of my family. I put all my memories in a little box, and locked it away. I wiped my mind clean and looked at everything cleanly. No more anger or pain. I thought I had done it. When I tried to move the sands, it did nothing to respond to me.
So I turned to the Mahi Herder and said, “Master, why can I not control the sands?”
“You cannot control them, Verak, because you are Ice. Ice seems strong and powerful, almost as strong as stone. But it is freezing cold and saps away life, and, worse, it will always melt when exposed to life-giving heat. Eventually, ice becomes water, and you know you must not be Water. Let us go back, and try again tomorrow.”
So we went back to the hut, and I thought about what the Mahi Herder had said.
On the fifth day we went outside, and the Mahu Herder told me to control the sands.
This time I saw something. I realized controlling sand was not a mental state, a ritual to go through. No, he had been trying to tell me the answer all along. I wanted to become sand, and every time I was a different element, a wrong one. Every time I was something else. I didn’t act similar to it, I became it. And now I needed to become shifting sliding sand. I tried, but, still, the sand did not move.
So I turned to the Mahi Herder and said, “Maste,r why can I not control the sands?”
“You cannot control them, Verak, because you are the Earth. The Earth is almost sand, almost shifting and moving and becoming free, but Earth has too much bogging it down. Earth has minerals and organic matter making it wet and sticky and unsuitable for becoming sand. The Earth has too much in it, Verak, and you must let that all go. Let us go back, and try again tomorrow.”
So we went back to the hut, and I thought about what the Mahi Herder had said.
On the sixth day we went outside, and the Mahi Herder told me to control the sands.
And so I closed my eyes, and I breathed out, letting my emotions slide away and dissipate, taking my memories of love and true happiness with them, leaving me clear and empty like a recently cleaned pipe. The mahi herder faded away. So did the hut, and the desert, and my body. I reached out, gave everything up, and became the sand.
From that moment on, I was free. As long as I moved, and shifted, and changed with the wind, I remained ignorant of that terrible scarring memory. I had purged it from my mind, and now I could control sand. I forgot Golyo too, and the lessons he taught me, for that was too intertwined with that memory. I am free now, free to slide through the world at the whims of fate and destiny seeking excitement that would give me joy and running, always running, running from that terrible memory that is always hot on my heels.
When I wake up, I will not remember this dream, because I am the sand, and I let things float and shift away. When I wake up, I will not remember who I am or why I do what I do, or what makes up my soul. I will have forgotten everything I leaned from Golyo, and that I relearn every night in my dreams. I am ignorant, because ignorance is bliss.
I will smile and joke and flirt and laugh and run and be happy and seek unnecessary risks and pull off unbelievable acrobatic feats. Most of all, I will struggle to introduce myself. I will try to grasp my essence by calling myself an adventurer or a swashbuckler or a rogue and throw as many adjectives in as I can find, but always fail. Introductions always leave me with a vague sense of disappointment.
What I am always trying to say is this:
My name is Verak, and I am the sand.

--------------   Tarrok | Korzaa | Verak | Kirik   --------------

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OOC: ladies and gents, one final jam of the season to end two character's remarkable chapter.




[Mid-morning; Kini-Nui jungle]


With a single kiss infamous Toa of Shadow was undone.


Before our very eyes Heuani dissolved into a black mist, melting docilely into the mottled gloom of the jungle. I sensed the two of us tense simultaneously, expecting the underhanded Toa of Shadow to emerge again behind us, his eerie sword raised in a final desperate attempt to take us down with him. My fears however were unfounded; he did not. In fact, I did not feel his presence anywhere nearby.


I appeared as though he was gone for good.

Reka (I still could not believe that had been at one time Gali) had watched Heuani fade with the two of us, and as she stood up impassively she looked carelessly down at the spot where he’d reclined, fully formed, mere seconds before. Slaying him seemed not to have perturbed her in the slightest; instead, she seemed more interested in Heuani’s sword, which strangely had not melted with him. The ripple-bladed clear weapon was still there, resting on a patch of moss, and under the green glow of the canopy it seemed even more alien. As she started to reach for the weapon my voice halted her progress.

“What did you do?” I spoke as authoritatively as he could muster, but it was still lacking. She turned and hit me with a stare that shut me up faster than a gukko diving for a berry before answering.

“Revenge,” Reka smiled coyly. She turned to walk away – I couldn’t help following her with my eyes, much to Cael’s annoyance – and, sensing my glance on her, Reka peered over her shoulder and raised her eyebrows tantalizingly at me, speaking huskily. “It tastes sweet. Try some.”

“He doesn’t want any,” Cael assured her, speaking quickly in my defense. Sleaze.”

“Oh my, insulting me already?” Reka cooed lightly, her eyes overtly tracing my lines. “We don’t even know each other yet, darling… But I get the feeling we could get to know each other very well, if we felt so inclined-”

“Leave,” I ordered, looking deliberately away from Reka in an attempt to save face; literally. Despite my best efforts this siren was still managing to get the best of me, already I could feel my face growing warm... and it showed.

“You’re adorable when you blush; suit yourself,” Reka purred, still looking at me. “I’ll be in touch sooner or later.” Out of the corner of my eye I saw her give me a last wink and then saunter off; the sunlight exemplifying her tantalizing body as she strutted lithely away. I could help but watch, my eyes following her every movement as if pulled by a string... that is, until Cael hit me on the arm. Thankfully that's all it took for me to regain my focus and snap back to reality; unfortunately I was still blushing a bit, this time more out of shame than anything. Reka, meanwhile, disappeared into blackness and was gone.

“Look what was left,” Cael said, gesturing to the flamberge on the ground. Inwardly I was grateful she was willing to forgive this little incident and change the subject.I wonder why it didn’t leave with him.” I looked at the weapon pensively, feeling myself return more to normal... albeit as normal as an exhausted toa without a mask can be.


“Maybe… maybe it’s not his anymore.”


I took a few steps over to the sword and bent beside it. It really was an odd thing, certainly unlike any other weapon on the island; but it was also beautiful, lying on the moss and bending some of the light from above into dazzling patterns. Kinda reminded me of my former light powers. On a whim I picked it up, and to my complete surprise I found it was weighted perfectly to my arm, as though it had been crafted just for me. Flamberge in hand, I stood again and swung the sword in a few practice strokes. Amazing. I had almost no experience with swords, yet I could wield it with relative ease, practically as if I was proficient with it. It was effortless. It was perfect.

It was the sword of a servant of the mighty Mata Nui.


Taking a deep breath I closed my eyes, feeling the weight (or should I say lack thereof) in my hand, getting used to the feel. After a full minute and opened them slowly and with a single fluid motion slid the sword between my belt and my hip. I'll get a sword ring later. I glanced up at Cael, who was gazing thoughtfully at me. Our eyes held for a moment, then she smiled at me.


I could not help but smile back.


* * *

"So now what?"


Good question.


We had just started our walk back when she asked the question, and I honestly didn't have an answer. This was the kind of moment when you realize that you have the whole world in front of you, a completely blank canvas in which to paint a new scene. We had been to karzahni and back, in more ways than one, weathered the storm, and now had nearly an unlimited number of choices before us. We could go anywhere. Do anything. While yes we did still have lives and careers to go back to, they seemed like the old us, like a past life that was no longer relevant... if not boring.


I mean it's kind of hard to top what we just pulled off.


"I... don't know. What do YOU want to do?"


What did she want to do? That was a good question. But, for the first time in her life, Cael didn't really have an answer.So much had changed over these last months. Meeting Joske, getting swept up in a whirlwind adventure across the island, giving herself to Heuani... and then being miraculously raised to life. Some of these things were amazing; others were extraordinary. And none of them had left her unaffected: she wasn't the same Toa she had once been.The subdued healer was still there, but there was so much more to her now. She'd seen and done things she hadn't thought she would ever do, even in her wildest dreams. Her perspective had shifted. Now, with the whole world stretched out in front of her, Cael realized that she didn't necessarily want to return to Ga-Koro and her old life.Not that she hadn't loved what she did - healing was her passion, after all. But, even looking back those few months, she struggled to find where she would fit now. She didn't find the prospect of a quiet life attractive anymore. Maybe she never had; maybe she'd only gone along with it because she couldn't imagine how it could change.Maybe now was that opportunity.“I.. don't know,” she replied, laughing softly. “I'd never thought... how much could change in so little time. I feel like a different person.”That honestly felt like the truth, even though it was difficult to comprehend. She immediately felt better after she'd said it, as though she'd voiced something she almost hadn't wanted to accept.“I want to go back to Ga-Koro, and see my people,” she continued. “Pay my respects to Turaga Nokama. But, after that... I don't know, and I think, as long as I'm with you, I really couldn't care less.”

There was a quiet moment of reflection between us; her words echoed my sentiments exactly. It was only here did I notice we holding hands, all four of them clasped between us. Every moment or so a finger would move, caressing the opposing color, but that was about it. We were too lost and absorbed in our thoughts to do much else. Slowly I lifted my head to look her in the eye, feeling determined despite my exhaustion, her wording ringing in my ears.


As long as I'm with you, I really couldn't care less.


Now or never buddy.

"In that case... you want to make this official? I mean we'll have our own lives and such but, um... yeah... "


I saw myself metaphorically fall painfully flat on my face after such a promising start. Darn it, I was blushing again; so much for that so-called "determination". As nimble and suave as I had been when playing with the ladies, when it came to some real feelings I was a comedic, clumsy oaf. Somewhere in the back of my mind I heard the word "endearing" to describe the situation, but that didn't exactly help. Eventually I snorted slightly, taking in a breath to calm the overwhelming amount of butterflies that had invaded my stomach. "Let's... let's try that again: Cael, will be mine? Be my better half? Forever and ever... amen?"Karz, I could just slap myself; that was the best I could do though. The overwhelming burning sensation on my face didn't help either.

The healer's eyes shone. She smiled, looking almost as though she couldn't quite believe Joske had actually said what he'd just said.They'd gone through a lot together in the past months. Cael hadn't started out thinking that she would fall in love with a hotheaded Toa of Fire, but here she was, a quest, a resurrection, and too many healings to count later, and she couldn't think of a single thing she wanted more in the whole world.“Forever and ever,” she whispered, then laughed aloud. “Amen.”She dropped his hands and hugged him tightly. “I wouldn't have it any other way.”

"That makes two of us." I replied, breathing heavily out.As simple as that moment was, it was also profound as a waterfall of emotion cascaded over me. It was as if a huge burden had been lifted off me, a burden I didn't even know I had until that moment. This was not to say everything was better, or perfect; I knew better than that. We both had our scars; some physical, others a little more deep, but we wouldn't have to heal them on our own. We wouldn't have to face the new challenges by ourselves - we had each other. As I squeezed her tight I finally figured out what Unity really meant, and how even a well-oiled and practiced Kohlii team paled in comparison to this. As we released she found something in her hand: a small vial.


As she pulled away, Joske pressed something into the healer's hand. Surprised, she lifted it up to examine. It was a vial, carved of pure, transparent crystal with a suggestion of blue. Elaborate designs and delicate images were engraved on its surface, etchings of ocean waves and sea creatures and strange symbols that Cael had never seen and couldn't hope to understand.She looked up at Joske. “What is this?”


"Something that was meant for you."The arced eyebrow was enough indication that further explanation was in order, so I cleared my throat and recounted my adventure in the underwater temple... the one and only she was not present for. I spared no detail, giving her the full account of my harrowing ordeal under the water, as well as what I had been told what this small object could do. As I finished my tale I studied her face carefully, feeling my lips form a half-smile. "Sadly you didn't get the wish I was hoping you would get; by that time you were already dead. As much as I appreciate what the apparition gave me, I think you should have it instead; I'm convinced it was meant for you. Besides, I'm positive you can come up with far better uses for it than I ever could. Consider it a... pairing gift."


Cael was silent as she gazed at the delicate vial, turning it over in her fingers. The little bottle was beautiful, perfectly crafted in every way. It caught the sunlight as she turned it, throwing rainbows on the ground, and lighting up the liquid inside.Liquid that, according to Joske, was the purest of liquid protodermis, and would never run dry.The healer decided to test it. She reached for the stopper and twisted it out, then turned the bottle over. The sparkling water spilled out, catching the light as it fell. It poured and poured, but the vial's contents never ran out. When the Toa of Water stoppered it again, the crystal vial was as full as it had been before.She half-smiled in wonder, and clutched the gift tightly. “Thank you, Joske. It's... wonderful. I wish I had something to give you too.”


No sooner had she said that did I feel an odd sensation. No, not odd... old.


And familiar.


A feeling, a thought, a state of mind that I had not experienced in a good long while. It was the old me, the rambunctious playboy sports-star rising up from the ashes, the teasing, flirting, if not annoying womanizer that was once the terror of the land. But of course I didn't show it. Oh no, it wouldn't dare show is face, at least not yet; the old devil would get in as close as it could before making the killing blow. Indeed, even as this this hidden, smoldering psyche rapidly flared up within me it was well hidden under the guise of a well-meaning, gentle, starstruck lover that I had slowly become over the last few weeks. Wrapping my arms around her I leaned in close, breathing in her scent before exhaling a long, slow, contented breath. Reaching my hand behind her head I kissed her gently."Love, you already gave me the most perfect gift: you."And this is when I struck, doing something absolutely scandalous, something only the old Joske would do.Needless to say I took off like a bolt.

The moment, which had been -up until now- poignant and picturesque, shattered into gales of laughter as Joske leaped away, with Cael in hot pursuit.“You rascal!” the Toa of Water laughed as she chased after the Toa of Fire. “That's not how you treat a lady!”


"Lady? What lady? All I see is a boring and utterly dry Toa of Water!"Even those few words come out in a wheeze as my body instantly tired. Despite my initial head-start the lead evaporated as I heard the thundering steps of a spirited Cael bearing down on me, my exhaustion pervasive and complete; there was no way I could even think of outrunning her in my condition, let alone the fact that I was maskless and therefore even more weak than usual. Yet I ran anyway, grinning like a giddy schoolboy who peeked into the girls bathroom, knowing fully well this would end quickly and harshly. Not more than a dozen steps later did the end come, and lo and behold for the first - and probably last - time in my life I was outrun by someone else as I was tackled from behind, the distinct sound of metal-on-metal-on-wood echoing across the forest floor as I was pummeled head-long into a rather stout tree. Even as stars exploded across my eyes there was only one thing I could think of:So worth it.


* * *


It was a beautiful morning. The sun was bright and warm, the air was breezy and cool, the birds sang a wonderful melody, and two young toa walked under the canopy hand-in-hand, seemingly without a care in the world. Hope had a funny way of making everything seem better than it actually was, or in some cases able to see things for what they actually were; at times it was hard to distinguish the two however. Even as they walked they were not immune to the powers that be and the other events of the island around and below them, so it came as a mild surprise to Joske when he felt Heuani’s sword shudder suddenly against his hip. Its transparent blade, attractive as always in the sun, flared as though illuminated suddenly by an inner radiance – though it could have been a trick of the light, he thought. I mean, after all, it had been a very long day… he took Cael by the waist, and they walked back towards civilization together, Cael resting her head in the nook of his neck. As they strode over roots and shrubs, Joske looked again at the sword to be sure he’d only imagined what he had seen. The flamberge looked as it always had. Joske told himself he needed to sleep... lots of sleep. He was going to sleep for a week he determined inwardly and NOTHING was going to wake him up. Even as Cael pressed up against him he glanced skyward through the leafy canopy, seeing the sunlight filter through the greenery, patches of warm light occasionally dancing across his face.


Yes, there was such a thing as a happy ending.

Edited by Friar Tuck

Living large... like clown-shoe size large. Complete with nose, rainbow-colored hair, and a bottle of seltzer water.


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IC (Echelon)


Unmistakeable. Echelon was almost sent reeling by the mental impact. It was like a shockwave swept through his brain - not one of information, as he'd felt before, but a lack of it. In that moment, he knew perfectly clearly what it was.


Makuta was gone.


"He's gone..." muttered the Necromancer in shock. "He's...gone..."


He looked sharply up to Aurum.


"I felt it," he said, eyes wide and brow furrowed. "The connection, the last remnants of the Infection. It vanished. Nothing, emptiness. Makuta is gone."


Echelon looked around him, his eyes seeming to pierce the walls around and see an island empty of the Master of Shadows.


"All these years, everything we strove for...undone...I truly never thought this day would come..."


The Dark Toa paused, his eyes dropping down to the desk he now leaned over. When they rose again, a curious light had entered them.


"But think for moment," he said, "who now remains? Makuta himself is gone. So are Vidar and Ronkshou. And if I understand the link between him and his master, so is Heuani."


"Which leaves..." said Aurum, beginning to understand.


A thin smile crept onto Echelon's mask.


"Me," he said. "I am the last of the inner circle. The highest...echelon."


Magnetism pulled the three-tined staff into his outstretched hand. The Dark Toa straightened up, the new mask glinting like obsidian on his face. All those years, Echelon had swum beside the shark. Now the shark was dead - but feeding beside it, the pilot-fish had grown strong. And there was a power vacuum to be filled.


"Our people are scattered across the island," he said. "Some will despair, or be 'redeemed'. But those that remain will need purpose. We will gather them, Aurum - for Makuta may be gone, but he has left a legacy. Darkness may be halted, but it is never truly destroyed. There will be a new Shadow on this island, a new poison in the hearts of the Matoran. Makuta's heir."


He strode for the door of the study and along the glacial corridor, and with every step his staff struck the metal floor like an echo of drums. The drums of war to come.





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IC: Ko-Koro


Iegasa paused. Something was different. He did not know what happened exactly, but there was no doubt that there had been a radical, even revolutionary, change to the power balance of the island. Whatever it was though, he knew that it would have some rather alarming effects. Things were going to be chaotic in the coming days, and it would be rather difficult to keep his distance from the trouble.


"Noira, Aurel," he uttered, setting down the cup and rising to his feet. "If you two wish to leave now, you may."


If he was going to be at the forefront of the events sweeping across the island, then he would be glad for the assistance of his ... servants? No, he respected them too much. Friends? Yes, friends; that was it. It had been a long time since he had truly shared a friendship, but he remembered the feelings clearly still. The two women were his friends, and even though having their help would be useful, he did not want to bring them into the troubles if they did not want to. After all, he was the worshipper, not them.


"I am also rescinding the contract between us, Noira," continued the Plasma Toa, nodding to his longest-serving companion. "You are no longer bound to me permanently. You are free."


He was truly living up to his name as the white sheep of his family. Doing good deeds with no need for compensation? His parents were probably rolling in their graves. Well, they would have if they still possessed corpses. Completely incinerating them had been an accident, no matter what his siblings thought. True, killing them was his intent, but they had always wanted to be buried instead of cremated.


Oh well, that was the past. Right now he needed to prepare.


"If you would excuse me," said Iegasa, the hints of a smile present behind his mask as began to walk to the back of the shrine. "I may need to get ready for a few things."


After all, if he wanted to jump back into the action, he would need to do it in the customary fashion of his family.


Cheesy, reckless and stupid?


"Of course not," he whispered quietly to himself. "Dignified, more like it."

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As history has proven many times over, it is never safe to say how people will react when they are faced with something that does not fit into their view of the world. Faced with something they don't understand, the reaction may be any number of things. The wise, the curious or the patient ones would mostly suggest to observe the new thing, whatever it may be; examine it, study it - just to learn and begin to understand. And then, after this understanding was gained, would they decide such a thing would be for good or for ill.


But when it came down to it, when put together in a group, like water, the path of the least resistance would be taken. Moving from day to day, narrowing one's viewpoint, just to get by from day to day, it was so much easier, so much more comfortable, to merely deny what conflicted with their view, rather than to accept something new into it, that might alter one's understanding of how the universe worked. Unless, of course, you had overwhelming factual, measurable proof on your side.


The intelligence condition, Tupua called it. We've been given the amazing ability to learn, make complex connections and therefor adapt to the unknown...and then use it to not do it.


He lifted his head and looked at the Matoran staring down at him. I can see it in your eyes. You've got brains. You know what you saw. You came up with your own explanantion and you're rolling with it, because - hey, you know how everything works.


By the great beings, isn't your model of the universe just **** egocentric. You got it all figured out. Heliocentrism? What's that, right?


On the outside however, his calm, frozen demeanor betrayed nothing of the anger the dark Toa felt right now, as he mused about the deep roots that caused their current less-than-optimal situation. There was little else he could do, with his hands tied behind his back and forced to kneel on the ice. Quite uncomfortable, especially after the Sanctum-Guard had hit the back of his knee with the blunt end of a spear, forcing him down.


He looked to his left, where Aparangi was in the exactly same position. His brother was angry as well, but unlike Tupua, his was rather obvious. Aparangi could mask it if he needed to, but his old temper often got the better of him, especially in situations like this. As soon as the Rahkshi had been driven beyond the villages perimeter, the two Toa had been swarmed by a small group of Sanctum-Guards and put under arrest. And now they were here, sitting between dead Rahkshi, Matoran and Toa, waiting to be questioned.


"Your names." the one in charge of the Matoran demanded.


"Stahn. And Lau-Rel." Aparagni replied.


"Funny." the Matoran replied, unimpressed. "Your real names."


"What are the charges?" Aparangi demanded to know, through gritted teeth.


"Still joking?" the Matoran replied. "You and your pal here defiled our dead. People that we knew, people that were our friends."


"We fought the Rahkshi. Just like everybody else who was helping." Tupua cut in, no hint of emotion in his words


The Matoran stared at him. "You reanimated more than seven Sanctum-Guards to use as cannon fodder against the Rahkshi while their friends and families watched. How exactly does that constitue helping? You know your mask is breaking the laws, don't you?" he snarled.


"If you are worried about how many times we've stepped over the law, his mask is the least of your problems." Aparangi snapped.


Not helping our case, brother. Tupua thought. The Matoran sergeant seemed to agreed. "Take them away!" he ordered.


Roughly, three Matoran each seized the two Toa, then pulled them up, until they could stand on their own again. But before they could move, another voice echoed across the battlefield:


"Belay that!"


The voice spoke with authority and the insignia on his shoulder showed him to be a sergeant. The ensigns around them stiffened. "Let them go."


"Who are you?" the Matoran that had questioned them asked. "Sergeant Likau. Release them." The other Matoran held up a hand, signaling his men to wait. "I've never heard your name, sergeant."


Likau stepped a little closer, towering over the ensign now. "When did you join the guard?" he demanded to know. The ensign gulped. "After the Turaga's death."


The sergeant nodded. "So, rookie...could it be that you don't know my name because I've been manning the eastern outpost for the last twenty years?" The other Matoran just nodded, feeling a foot smaller than he had just ten seconds ago. Likau looked at the other guards. "Didn't you hear me the first time? Release them. And then go and find something more useful to do."


"But sir!" the Ensign protested. "They used our own dead to fight for them! A whole squad, torn to pieces after they were already gone, that's not right!" he almost shouted.


"And perhaps that squad saved a hundred others!" the sergeant snapped back. "If you want to arrest every Toa that has stepped over the laws we made for Matoran in the first place, then you might as well take in half of the Toa that helped us fight here. Besides, how many other sanctum guards do you know that fought on beyond death. I'm sure they'd be happy that they could help after being gone. Now go, you've got your own problems to worry about."


The Matoran nodded relucantly, then slouched off after the other guards. Free of their bonds, Aparangi was rubbing his wrists, while Tupua bowed his head respectfully at Likau, and said: "Thank you."


"I didn't do it for you." the sergeant replied. "Look around. Do you think we have the time or resources to arrest people over a minor issue like this."




"Compared to a legion of Rahkshi. Yes. Not that I approve of your methods...it's sick. But it saved lives. So you're off the hook. Get out of here."


Aparangi shrugged, turned around and left. Tupua waited for a moment longer, looking Likau in the eyes. But he found nothing and followed after his brother. They still had a job to do. Makuta was gone, perhaps, but there was still darkness on the island. Rahkshi that had gotten away. other servants of the late master of shadows, now roaming without a goal...and then there was the peers. More than enough to do for the Toa Aitua.


The Ko-Matoran sergeant watched the two black figures disappear into the business of the village of ice, before turning back to his own duties.


A small smile crossed his face as he walked off...




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IC: (Aurel, Noira, Velan)


Aurel quickly glanced at Noira, unsure of what had happened. She was obviously confused, if the look on her face was anything to go by.


"Uhm... We should probably finish this up then..." She said, looking at her guests, not entirely sure of what to do next.


Noira was the first to stand, straightening her dress. She then headed to where she kept her things, reappearing a few seconds later. She forgot she never kept anything. So she just started out the front door. Noira didn't even bother to say anything to Aurel or her guests.


She just left.


"Hey Kaehri, forget the plan," Velan whispered, "We should probably just go now..."

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IC(Kaerhi): "Agreed. I am not going to try to steal from tea-lady and company." Kaerhi whispered back. He then stood up and announced, "Due to, uh, unforeseen circumstances, we must be going now. Thank you for the tea and housing."


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IC: (Elianne, Somewhere in Po-Wahi)




It was the only thing she could remember. Not even the emotion, gods no, that emotion was long gone. That one word resounding in her head, however, remained. Every breath she took was taken whilst mentally repeating the word, "hope".


Hope. Hope. Hope.


She wasn't sure why she was doing this anymore. She wasn't quite sure where she was, why was she there or who she was. Every second of life seemed pointless, grim, and dark, mainly because she wasn't quite sure that a life where her consciousness had no effect and no relation to her mind was an actual life.


Every breath she took was pointless, grim, and dark, and her mind, devoid of all memory and consciousness by now, remained in command of just one word in the entire Matoran vocabulary.


Hope. Hope. Hope.


Her breathing wasn't exactly normal either. She couldn't remember what normal was, but it definitely wasn't this. Her breathing was automatized, forced into action by the machine that kept her alive to be used as a guinea pig for some experiment she wasn't sure of neither the goal nor the reason for.


Hope. Hope. Hope---


and it shattered, the veil that was cloaked across her consciousness, separating her from all the functions of her body. She wasn't sure what happened, at all, but something powerful, something overwhelming seemed to resonate through the entire universe. This last breath, she felt, and she felt the single word escape her now moving lips.




Barely believing her own eyes, she saw her fist clench, despite the resistance the liquid in the vat was giving her. Suddenly, she realized. She knew, once again, who she was. She was Elianne of the Toa Astha, and she was alive. She felt her eyes open, and her skin suddenly felt cold, and she suddenly was very aware of her nakedness. Her fists were clenched, clenched so strongly that they hurt, and she suddenly realized she could, right now, bend this situation to her will and break free.


Her fists launched forward, shattering the vat that she was kept in, and she felt herself flying through the air, amidst a million shards of glass. Screaming like a wildcat, she landed flatly atop the computer screen she now remembered was responsible for maintaining her being locked within that vat, and extended her fist out to the face of the guy sitting right in front of said screen, knocking him straight out cold. Descending with a small jump back to the floor of this underground facility, she observed, calmly, the guards gather in the chamber, surrounding the fat little Piraka of an Onu-Matoran responsible for this whole operation, still dressed in a white lab coat.


"Impossible!" the guy hissed, his voice trembling with what Elianne rather correctly read as fear. "This is... impossible!"


"Impossible? Oh, no," the Toa of Iron replied, taking a single dagger from the limp body of the man she had just disabled, as well as a threatening step forwards that had the Matoran's three mercenary guards scrambling into a defensive position, their swords drawn and shields ready. "You know what's really impossible? It's impossible that I would find myself, stark naked, put in a vat and hibernated by some fat Matoran pervert. Yet it seems that's what has happened."


One more step, and one of the mercenary guards rushes to block her advance, lunging with his sword. Silly little moron - all Elianne needed to do was dance away from the strike, extend her fingers outward, channeling her Electricity powers out through the guy's sword. Up the blade. And up the hilt into the merc's hand.


"And now..."


The next merc stood up to greet her. Seeing what she had done to his currently electrocuted colleague, he opted for a simpler choice - put his shield in front, stab with blade. Once again, Elianne danced away, this time dancing right over his head: The Toa of Lightning sent a small lightningbolt towards his face, distracting him long enough for her to jump back, use the computer panel as leverage, and push herself through the sky in a most impressive somersault to the other side, where she promptly backstabbed the second merc with her dagger, only to swing a full 180 degrees and stab the last merc in the throat just as he was raising a sword.


He gargled briefly and then quickly and without much delay slumped to the ground. Elianne, with a few quick steps, found herself grabbing the fat little Piraka by the throat, raising all of his sheer mass into the air, and slamming him, hard, into the nearest wall. "... and now I'm going to leave this place. You, filthy, little... you know, I killed because of you. I just killed three men who did nothing wrong and were just trying to earn a living doing what they did best. Because of you, you little filthy Piraka. I am sure as Karz making sure you die with them."


Elianne dragged him to the next room. This wasn't a small facility - she couldn't remember it that well, but she soon found that the next room, to her great enjoyment, had a fuel tank - and an elevator out of there. The fuel tank was a large one. Easily enough to blow that whole facility to bits.


Using a bit of rope she found in a side room, she tied this little son of a fat Piraka to the fuel tank, rather casually, for an escapee from a containment vat in their workplace, pointing a dagger at the group of scientists that was gathered in said side room - which looked rather like a cafeteria - indicating for all of them to get out. Elianne kindly waited for them to use the elevator - in the meantime, she could look for her equipment. Found it stashed in a locker in another side room. Putting her armor back on after so much time felt somewhat nice.


Once the elevator returned, Elianne had just finished using some gunpowder to make a trail on the floor from the fuel tank to the elevator. This base was packed with stuff that was a hazard, really. It was even so convenient as to provide her matches.


It was now that the little Piraka reached his high point of begging for mercy. "Please! I'll do anything you say! Just let me live, I beg you!"


For a moment before hitting the elevator button, Elianne seemed genuinely curious. "Anything I say?"




"Good. I say you should die."


The elevator started rising. It was not a stable thing - wooden, very basic, and there was a wide crack in the floor. For Elianne, however, that was very convienient, as she could drop the burning little match down to the trail of gunpowder.


Minutes later, Po-Wahi felt another tremor, not quite like the doom of Makuta, which was, if a tremor at all, then a mental one. This tremor was physical. Aspiring seismologists in Po-Koro later claimed that it was a small magnitude earthquake. No one could say for sure, because no one was in that particular heartland bit of Po-Wahi's desert at the time. However, if they had been, what they would've seen was a Toa of Lightning covered from feet to forehead in ash emerge by way of flight, alongside an explosion of fire and granite, from somewhere deep underground.


Landing cleanly and more or less painlessly due to being snuggled by the sands of Po-Wahi, Elianne smiled as the sun, once again, shone on her face. Panting heavily, it was not for another fifteen minutes that she stood up.

Edited by Eduard Bernstein
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IC: (Aurel, Noira)


"Feel free to go then," Aurel said, waving her hand, starting to talk to herself, "I guess I need to plan where to go now... I should probably go find Zacax now that this is all over..."


Noira trudged through the cold, heading south. Or at least, she thought she was. It was impossible to tell where she was going. She didn't know where she was, but she knew where she wanted to go. Le-Koro. Where Iegasa took her one time.


She wondered what it would be like when she got there.



Dalia had gone off to find a hotel, feeling high-spirited and happy for the first time in months.


But she left something behind. Something that a pair of matoran coveted.


"Are you sure it's one of the seven?"


"If it's not, then we've wasted weeks of travel."


"... Try it."


The Po-Matoran reached down, picking up the seal and placing it down on a table. Then, he withdrew the knife. A knife made of crystal. The Matoran held the knife so that the tip of the blade faced down, and so that it was right above the seal.


Then the knife dropped. The seal shattered, one of it pieces flying off and hitting the Po-Matoran's heartlight. It was just large enough, and moving at the right speed to shatter the heartlight upon contact. The Po-Matoran crumpled over, while his red companion looked in awe as the guard arrived and arrested him.


It was in a part of Ta-Wahi. Just far enough so that it was commonly looked over by sailors and the common matoran, but close enough to Ta-Koro so that one may make a trip there in a day's time. There, a canister lay. Unopened. Undisturbed. And inscribed upon the canister's sides was a symbol. The symbol was made of a Bow and a Crown.


Upon the seal's destruction, what could be called the ultimate timing, the canister's ancient gears started to turn as it began to start again. The canister began the months-long process of reviving it's occupant from the state of hibernation she had entered when the canister was first set into the endless ocean. At the end of the old age, and the start of the new, it was time.


For the first time since being sealed inside the canister, Conquest's sleep was disturbed by the growing hums of the canister.

Edited by Varren Rehn
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OOC: Most likely the last Kaerhi post for this season. Will be bringing him back though, probably.IC(Kaerhi): "Huh." Kaerhi was standing outside the shrine and looking off towards Ko-Koro. Smoke wafted over the snow dunes and mountains, a sign that the earthquake, or whatever it was, did some damage. He popped his neck and turned to Velan. "So. Wanna go and make me fill my promise? The island stands before you. Or lies. Whatever."


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IC: Xylak (Ko-Wahi Drifts)


Xylak lay, broken and cold, in the snow. The effects of his Mahiki had worn off, and his beauty seemed to have been taken away from, mangled just like the Toa's broken back. He was fighting to remain conscious, but he had already lost all feeling in his legs, and he knew it wouldn't be long before the same became of his arms. But he had to live. He had to stop Crux.

He couldn't see Huaki anywhere nearby, which meant that the Matoran was probably alive. Good. He hadn't warned her of what she was getting into, and while he knew his death might come to him it was unjust that she would face the same fate without prior knowledge. Or perhaps it would have been better. Only Mata Nui knew.


The white world was growing dark as Xylak's eyes began to close, and he felt the tiredness trying to consume him, but still he fought. A dark shape, not too far from him, gave him sudden hope, and he opened his mouth to speak, but found himself unable to make the sound. Cursing silently, he remained still, his eyes wide open, hoping that whoever else was there would notice him, either to help him or speed him in his death.


"It appears that you had quite an accident." Spoke the dark shape as it walked towards Xylak. "I suppose we'll have to do something about that, won't we? As much as you may wish to reach an end to your miserable life, you will not be permitted to die here today." Bending down beside the broken form, he reached down and lifted Xylak with unnatural ease, as if the weight meant nothing to him. He stood there looking down with a slight grin at the being he held, like a predator having found itself injured prey. "Now, I think we need to have a small talk."


There was a pause as the unknown being began walking through the arctic winds and falling snow. For a few moments, he remained silent. "I have heard of your brother's demise, a tragic occurrence to be sure." There was another long pause, as if the unknown person was lost in thought, thinking about his next words very clearly. "Tell me, if you can, have you heard of the organization that goes by the name of... NEX?"


Xylak recognised the voice of the person speaking to him, somewhere in the back of his mind, but his sight was affected by his state, the being's face a blur to him. But his words were still clear, and Xylak found the pressure on his throat eased, his voice returning to him, although quiet and hoarse. "An assassin's guild, killing beings and placing its name at the site of their deaths. As I recall, the Turaga who claimed leadership died some time ago. What of it?"


At the weak words barely echoed out over the cold winds, the unknown being slowed his gait to a halt. The dangerous grin across his face grew larger. This was going to be easier than he thought, he likely would not need to go into an explanation if this much was already known. "My, you have been well informed, haven't you? I assume that your are intelligent enough to know what a figurehead is?" He slowly began to pick up speed once more, heading towards locations unknown. "I imagine that you already can guess why I am here."


He doesn't know.

Based on his comment on information, Xylak knew that whoever this was didn't know his connections with the League, but did know the one with his brother. That was good. That kind of information narrowed down the suspects to a massive degree. And along with the information on NEX, and his familiarity... yes, Xylak had a feeling he knew exactly who he was addressing.

"You're the man behind the curtain, and you need someone new to stand in front of it. Someone cunning, someone loyal... and someone not strong enough to fight back if they had a change of heart."

Xylak had realised a short while ago that his legs were not immobile as a result of the cold. It was as though they weren't there -- he could see their blurred outlines, but they were wooden lumps, immovable and unfeeling, a threat to his body's integrity. Xylak had been paralyzed.

"It appears you are smarter than your sibling ever could have hoped to be. That is why I have decided that your pitiful life is worth saving. You are intelligent enough to know what is expected of you, and I am sure you know that failing to meet such will result in more pain than a living mind could ever fathom." The being responded, a coldness growing into his voice. Was it a threat, or a promise that the words contained?

"You shall stand before the world as the new face of this great enterprise, They will see you, and they will fear you, because they do not know that the fear should be directed higher. You shall be the target of all the rage and hatred that is projected upon us, you shall stand as though no power holds control over you, you must never hint that I exist, let not even the most trustworthy know, for it is they who shall bring about your end."

"You may wonder what this offer includes for you, as you shall be taking the greatest risks. You shall have access to my resources, and those who stand as NEX will follow your commands when they are not following mine. What I command comes above all else, but from there you are able to use them as you please."

"Welcome to NEX, Xylak."

The offer was perfect. Revenge was within his grasp. He could save the world.

"Glad to be on board," Xylak grinned.


Nikarra - Kaelynn - Ronan - Muir - Donal Aerus - Montague - Kira - KouraLearu - Alteora - Fuacht - Caana Nessen - Merrill

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Lenat Ga-koro


IC: As they walked through the streets, the Vortixx looked at the ruin that was starting to fall upon the village. Several areas were smoking from the plasma barriers, while other areas had large holes ripped in them from different groups calling on the sea to help them. And then the was the massive army outside. It was massive in the shear amount of power and skill that it could bring to bear if not in size.


The situation looked just about hopeless, but somehow the mechanic did not look at it that way though. It was not so much that he was complacent about it, he just did not feel like he was about to die.It was odd, to say the least.


Before his small group was able to find any other Marines, the rahkshi screamed. it rose above the village, signifying without a doubt, that the battle was about to begin. In a rush of activity, people either finished up what they were doing quickly and ran to the gates, or just dropped it. Others ran to take cover in hut and sturdy buildings, some of them probably had hiding places that the occupants hopped would see them through safely.


In the rush, Lenat was somehow separated from his companion, how that was done when he towered over most of the crowd was something to wonder about another time though, what with the minions of Makuta trying to crush the village and all. After several minutes of searching and being unable to find Voutok and the Marine, he gave up for the moment and decided to go help with the defense. People tended to like you when you helped save a village after all.


Making his way back to the tall building he had been next to before, the Vortixx climbed to the top and settled in, readying his Rhotuka launcher and setting the charge to "Half Full" . In that mode t would fire half the energy from the battery with each shot. It would only give him two shots before he needed to reload, but any less and he could not be sure that it would penetrate the armored carapace of the rahkshi.


For the first half of the battle, Lenat was unable to do much, the range making aiming impossible and the way the rahkshi spread out ofter the offshore ship added in their armaments made sure that random shots never hit anything. after it moved into the village however, Lenat was able to aim carefully enough to hit a few. They were mostly nicks or glancing shots though, even if he did manage to take out an already damaged rahkshi.


All in all, being a more support type person, Lenat was unable to do a whole lot. More then some, sure, but it certainly proved that his role was not in combat. For the next few days after the battle, he helped to rebuild the village. People of his profession were always welcomed after a battle even if they were not much help during one. Building something had always exited something and rebuilding a good deal of an entire village was something he had never done before. Not in his current memory at least.


Deciding that it was tie for a change anyway, the mechanic decided to move his business from Ta-koro to Ga-koro. The news of Makuta's defeat certainly put a damper on his weapons business, but somebody of his skills always had other ways to make money. It also helped that he was making custom weapons for a good deal of the Marines, both the surviving ones and the new recruits. Always wanting to improve his skills, Lenat had gathered a fair amount of rahkshi pieces and spent his spare time trying to figure out how they worked. Or at least what else they could be made into.

Edited by Silvan Haven

"I serve the weak. I serve the helpless. I am their sword and their shield. If you want to strike at them, you must go through me, and I am not so easily moved."



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Weep for yourself, my man,You'll never be what is in your heartWeep little lion man,You're not as brave as you were at the startRate yourself and rake yourself,Take all the courage you have leftWasted on fixing all the problems That you made in your own head



IC (Jin) (Ko-Koro)


So. That was what the poet had sent me here for.


Ambages' secret passage had been tight, but I'd hardly noticed how cramped I was. My mind was revolving around the prize I'd been sent to retrieve: Onewa's mask. That meant this architect was in on the mission Bad Company'd been assigned. How many people knew?


Aurelia'd given us the mission. The poet in Onu-Koro had known, or at least he knew Ambages had Onewa's mask, and it wasn't hard to connect the dots from there. Same with at architect.


How far did Aurelia's little scheme go?


Not that I needed to know; as long as I got paid, I didn't need to waste time on the details. Who cares who knew? At some point, the island was going to figure out who'd murdered Vakama.


(in case you haven't been keeping track, it was me.)


It was inevitable, I guess. No secret stays safe forever. But I'd been hoping I'd have a bit more time to get stuff done, you know, set my things in order.


When I was a kid, I played a game called “cops and robbers.” The game was simple: you were either a cop or a robber; if you were a cop, you were trying to get the robbers in jail, and if you were a robber you were trying to stay out of jail.


That was a about as complex as it got. We never got into the details, like why some of us were “robbers” when we'd never stolen anything, and how the cops magically knew who the robbers were, even if they'd pulled off the perfect crime. I'd thought it was fun and exciting, but I'd never dreamed that I'd grow up to play the same game, only with higher stakes.


If you got caught in this game, you died. Sure, there was the possibility of jail time, but I'd crossed a line when I'd killed a Turaga and murdered helpless civilians (don't think about that don't don't don't). Over half the island would gladly kill me if they knew what I'd done; is this what you got when you sold your soul to be a robber?


I'd thought there was glory in being a robber - turns out all you do is run, and if you're fast enough, you live to run a little longer. Some reward.


Shut up. Just do the job.


I brushed aside my thoughts as best I could, and slipped through the cold streets, following Ambages' directions to find the bank. At the other end of the village, I could hear screams and shouts and the sounds of battle. I swore under my breath – the Rahkshi had attacked. If -more like when- they got through, I needed to be out of here with the mask safe in my hands.


The bank wasn't in too good of shape. At first I thought I had the wrong place, but the widget sign in front confirmed it. The bank was just a huge pile of snow now.


Karz. I've gotta dig it out?


I looked closer; half the job seemed to be done for me already. Someone -or a bunch of someones- had been hard at work shovelling the ruins out of the way when the Rahkshi distracted them. Lucky for me: I didn't need people breathing down my neck on this job. If someone caught a look at the mask I was looking for, it was bound to draw questions.


I don't like questions.


The screeching got louder; chills shot down my spine (not like I wasn't cold enough already), reminding me of how little time I had. So I started digging, grabbing armfuls of snow and throwing them aside.


It wasn't just snow: there were huge chunks of rock-hard ice, obviously part of the high-security walls that had once protected whatever was inside. I pushed these aside where I could, and left them where I couldn't.


The first thing I came across was a mess of widgets, spilling out of a ripped burlap bag and mixed in with the snow. I ignored them: there wasn't time to steal petty cash. Same with a cracked vase, an old sword, and a pile of gold. No time for junior crime.


Then I saw it: I'd just grabbed another armful of freezing snow (I could hardly feel my hands) when something brown peeked out of the white powder. I dropped my load and knelt down, scuffing the cold stuff aside to reveal a mask the colour of sand. Onewa's.


I pulled the mask out of the snow. It was cold and old-looking, with tiny cracks on the edges and a weathered surface, like it'd been through a sandstorm or two. Somehow, I didn't find that so difficult to believe.


This mask – it had a story to it. If it could talk (that would be creepy, I get it, but it's metaphorical), it could remember hundreds of years. It had seen the rise of Makuta, and all one thousand years of this crazy war that the natives were fighting against the “Darkness.”


Now its story was over, or at least Onewa's was.


I didn't really care, to be honest. I hadn't known the guy. But thinking of the dead old man made me think of another Turaga: Vakama. The man I'd tried my best not to think about ever since I left him.


Why? Why did I hate his name so much? Was it because I'd shown him what a coward I was? Because I, Jin, had cried in front of him? Or was it because he was the first person in a long time to show me any kind of something remotely resembling love, and I'd had to kill him?


His slug's death cry still echoed in my head; I could still see his eyes as if they'd just closed a second ago. As hard as I tried, I couldn't forget that peace that I'd seen on his face. He didn't die kicking and screaming like Aurelia must've hoped he would. He'd died with dignity; he'd chosen his death before I even got there.


For the thousandth time, I cursed Dorian Shaddix. It was his fault that I'd been there; it was his fault that I'd been the one who had to dig my blade into Vakama's back and carve the slug from his flesh. It was supposed to be his job, not mine!


It was his fault that now I was stuck with ghosts I couldn't get rid of. Their faces flickered in front of me: the young couple I'd disfigured; the family I'd destroyed; the children I'd murdered. And Vakama was at the front of the pack, his sad eyes looking at me with that ###### know-it-all look like he understood exactly who I was and what I needed and what was best for me even though didn't know me! He never knew me!


I swore under my breath and turned away from the ruined building, clutching the mask so tightly I was almost surprised it didn't snap in two. The cold wind carried the screams of Rahkshi from the gates, but I didn't care. If they broke through and I died, who would give a care? I wouldn't; I didn't deserve to live.


My eyes stung; the wind was making them water. I wasn't crying. I'd shed tears for Vakama; I wasn't planning on crying ever again.


Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Jin: Vortixx extraordinaire, the greatest mercenary in the world. She doesn't have a heart, and nobody cares. Her, least of all.



Tremble for yourself, my man,You know that you have seen this all beforeTremble little lion man,You'll never settle any of your scoresYour grace is wasted in your face,Your boldness stands alone among the wreckNow learn from your mother or else Spend your days biting your own neck

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IC: Tohi, Ga-Koro

It was like if she were a spectator. She was left alone again. The bad guys ignored her. The good guys ignored her. Karz, even the rahkshi ignored her when they attacked. And that was when she realized she didn't belong. She never will, because the problem wasn't that she didn't belong here. She didn't belong now.

With a massive sigh, she made a decision. Walking back to the forge, she continued to observe how no one spared her even a glance. It was like she wasn't even there. When a marine bumped into her on the corner and then just continued on his way, she forced down a sob and picked up the pace. When she reached the forge, she returned the staff she borrowed and quickly scribbled a goodbye note next to it. After that she picked up her blade and left the Koro, heading into the wild.


BZPRPG profiles
-Chronicles of Tara-

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IC: Riversong (in Ko-Koro)


Ducking out of the hospital - which was still crowded with all manner of wounded beings - Riversong sat down near the building's entrance. Excitement seemed to buzz through her body; the Makuta was dead, according to the strange Toa of Ice, and it felt as though a great fear had left her mind. Was everything perfect? No. But it was good enough for the Toa of Water.


Something about all of this brought a memory to the forefront of her mind, a memory of another time on another island. It wasn't often that she thought about her more distant past, having found that it only caused unwanted feelings of suffering and loneliness. But today, Riversong decided, she would make an exception.


She didn't remember how she had arrived on Mata Nui, only that she and one other had set out from their war-torn island in search of more peaceful shores. There was something that had happened on the way, Riversong knew that much. But what it had been, she couldn't say...


Riversong looked to the horizon, a slight smile on her face. Another thought had crossed her mind, one that she usually didn't dwell on for fear of generating false hope.


You're out there somewhere. And someday, you and I will meet again.

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OOC: It’s been a fantastic reboot! I look forward to what comes next. Also, this post is the wrap-up for all my characters. Buckle up, and hang on for the ride, because I’m taking a high dive into the grand finale!

See you next season,


“By water? BAH!”

Ishi yelled his exclamations of adamant disappointment at the swelling sea for the hundredth time that morning. He slammed his good fist against the bars of the prison that held him in plain sight of the crew, a yelp escaping as small jolts of electricity penetrated his carapace, his coat turning into an abstract painting. A few marines who saw the comedy howled at his misfortune and turned back to their seafaring. Shrewdly, Ishi placed his pulsating fist against his lap and ground his teeth. Biding his time was all he could do now.

Ishi remembered being woken with a sharp blast of water earlier that morning, the fluid sailing in a perfect arc from the pail in his jailor’s hands. The great, grand, glamorous, and every other narcissistic word starting with a ‘g,’ Captain Iraira (may she burn forever) had come to release him to his travels. At first Ishi was ecstatic. The rouse had worked! Labelle was nowhere to be seen when they marched him back to the lobby of the Head Quarters (good riddance to water-boarding rubbish), but at the doorway the marines stopped performing as expected.

They turned north.

He was marched through the village away from the coastline and ever farther out into the bay, each lily pad crossed shaving away at his chances of success. The marines were supposed to take me to the South, to the beach, Ishi calculated while thinking back on his blunder. From there, I was going to be traveling overland on ussal. That left two choices: go through Le-wahi and the Onu-Koro highway; or take the faster route and stop over in Ta-Koro to replenish supplies. Obviously they’d take the faster route despite the heat. I could get away in Ta-Koro easily enough, and there are plenty of healers there for my arm. To his dismay, Ishi was led to the newly built Nokama Docks and stuffed into the electric birdcage he now sat cross-legged within. Some dumb luck I’ve had, Ishi thought when looking back on the obvious flaw in his logic.

Marines travel by water.

A large wave brought Ishi back to the present as the boat keeled and pitched violently, sending the po-matoran reeling into the side of his charged cage. Between the motion sickness and electrocutions, Ishi was most certainly not having a positive experience. Ishi looked through haggard eyes at the marines enjoying the morning spray of ocean-water as it sprinkled the deck like brilliant diamonds in the sunlight. The motion of the vessel made the morning’s gruel crawl up his throat like a caged beast. The boat rolled again, fans on the starboard side kicking into high gear to maintain balance. Ishi slid slightly to the left, his vision slowly blurring as nausea riddled his frame. Panting, Ishi fought to control himself. He breathed deeply, feeling his food sink like a stone into the bottom of his belly. Trying a common tip, he looked out to the horizon. His thoughts immediately went dark. Oh look -- waves. And even better: more waves. Ishi exhaled in a single stream of cold wind. His guts sank lower, as if becoming a slingshot.

A marine walking by took a second look at Ishi’s face. With a sailor’s chuckle, she swore and said; “Up n’ out, buddy boy. Up ‘n out.”


Civilians panicked with cries of despair as their dreams were trodden underfoot. The Nokama Docks were covered in the epilogue of the Daedra’s brutal self-destruction. A fine trail of silver stained the dark, burnished teak platform, some dribbled like a child’s finger painting across the village backdrop. The smell of burning plant matter, damp and sulfurous, escaped from wreckage like an airborne plague in sinful grey furls of smoke. Captain Iraira strode through the shredded materials once resembling shops and houses snorting fire from her hau. The Daedra were going to pay for this, and not just with widgets. It took all her control to not rush to the far end of the docks and bring her axe down upon the heads of the dissolving coalition. She saw everything clearly once the velvet curtain had been torn to a million fragments and lit aflame. The Daedra’s sudden rise to power and glory was a shooting star too bright to sustain.

“So this is what stars looks like when they fall,” She said bitterly as another corpse passed her field of vision. The captain bent down to check a pulse, wondering what duty was left for the marines beyond janitorial in the wake of such a turbulent incident. Iraira nodded at the team of matoran rushing by with a laden stretcher. “If this is all us marines can do, we’ll do it proudly. Am I wrong?”

The matoran guard standing beside her nodded his head as his captain spoke. His sword was sheathed, having arrived too late for any use, and his eyes burned with vengeance. “No, it is the privilege of the Guard to maintain and uphold order,” He replied; “But still. This is too much.” His teeth ground together in fury, hands balling into whitened fists.

“I agree.” The toa of crystal rose to her full height with a small sigh at the confirmation of yet another dead bystander, her fingers closing the eyes of the departed to rest in peace. “I don’t think Ga-Koro could handle something else like this.” The two warriors looked about, feeling the weight of the damage crushing their heart-lights with emotion. Ga-Koro was like a small child tossed into a cold-water bath: shocked, frozen with fear, and bawling.

Momentarily a messenger pulled alongside the docks and hopped out from her small kayak without so much as stopping the boat. The tiny vessel floated away forgotten. Iraira blinked to check her vision. What now? She thought as the familiar face came closer.

“Captain,” the marine called as she strode on her smaller legs across the wood with dull stomps. A hand raised up in salute, and Iraira quickly responded in turn. The formal greetings finished, Iraira’s eyebrows furrowed.

“I bring news Captain Iraira,” the messenger started.

“That’s obvious Lipa; just tell me what’s happening. My patience is worn too thin.” Iraira snapped at her squad-member. Lipa nodded stiffly and began her report, words snapping from her mouth like they had been factory furbished and punched out on an assembly line.

“An army of Makuta’s Sons have amassed not a mile away from Ga-Koro’s main gate about an hour ago. Chain of command has determined you and your squad will be deployed to evacuate civilians offshore for safety in the harbor. That is all.” Lipa clicked her heels together and inflated her chest as the report finished. Captain Iraira saw the fear scraping at the back of the Ga-matoran’s eyes. It was a wild creature, fangs tearing against the battle-calm of even a veteran warrior. Fear flashed through her own green orbs as a host of disembodied screams curdled Iraira’s lifeblood. Looking down, she could see her hand twitching. It was uncontrollable. Glancing at her subordinates, Iraira looked back at her shaking sapphire fingers.

“It’s just battle-shakes,” Iraira told them, attempting to mask her fear. “I’m excited. That’s all. You know how warriors are: we can’t stop the blood lust when the code allows killing. My body is just ready to go kill everything...”

“H-how many Rahkshi,” Captain Iraira asked, voice shaking despite all the control and discipline her training had offered. Iraira suddenly regretted her early behavior toward her subordinate and placed a hand of compassion on the matoran’s shoulder. Lipa’s face sagged, her eyes looking at the wooden platform.

“One hundred, at least. A messenger from Main Squad got a rough headcount. The rahkshi are lined up in ranks, all sorts of staffs are --”

“Stop talking,” Iraira said while shaking her head. “Any more information will bog me down. I just need to evacuate the civilians to the harbor, right?”

Lipa blinked, then nodded. Taking her twitching hand off Lipa’s shoulder, Iraira glanced at the sword bearing guard. “You heard the message. Let’s move. I want you scouring every house -- spread the word that all civilians are to come to the eastern part of the docks for evacuation.”

“What about the Daedra?” He asked, fists loosening with the finality of an objective at hand. “Surely they will cause a problem to that plan.”

“That’s a good point. We’ll think about it when the time comes. At the moment, the remaining shadow-spawn seem content to kill each other on the western tip.” She glanced towards the direction where noble Ketan, no Wrath, Iraira reminded herself, was swinging his scythe in a gale of gore against his former allies. She imagined the faint sounds of clashing metal as weapons collided, sparks glittering from the distance. “Now go! Get the word spread. Lipa, I want you to do the same.”

“What about the boats to ferry them?” Lipa asked, her expression hardening into a face of military action. Captain Iraira felt a wry smile creep onto her face as duty began to raise from the nightmarish massacre around her. She grabbed hold of the ascending virtue, felt her fear cast away to be replaced by a profound strength. Iraira could do this, would do this. Her body was beginning to calm down, her spasming hands becoming relaxed and in control.

“I’ll find a way. A marine protects Ga-Koro’s inhabitants -- no matter the cost.”

“Aye,” the two matoran said together. Then they were off, sprinting among the houses while bellowing their message, satchels and equipment jangling with their gaits. Alone with the dead, Captain Iraira unsheathed her boarding axe and gave it a single swing, feeling the head’s weight as it pulled through the air. Concentrating fully on this one motion, she tightened her grip and the axe stopped perfectly, no waiver visible save the smoke, which seemed rent in two by the stroke. Her wry smile grew into a malicious grin, shadows casting themselves about her eyes. “I guess it’s time to show what a toa can do”


Rain and blood ran in rivulets down the length of the black blade, Samsara; the acrid taste of bile curdling his tongue as Kughii spit the last remaining chunks of vomit to the ground. His heart was pounding, pounding, pounding so hard Kughii wondered if it wouldn’t jump straight out of his chest. The rain fell in sheets, fogging the lenses so much that his mask now hung disregarded about his neck like a piece of tribal jewelry. The rahkshi invasion had begun several rain-soaked hours ago. Kughii had given up counting the number dead.

“That hurt like...” He stammered while kneeling, air refusing to fill his lungs after the punishing blow to his stomach. Stars flashed in his vision, and the green landscape before his eyes swayed in and out of focus, a black tunnel slowly limiting sight. Kughii raised his face with Herculean effort; seconds felt timeless as their eyes locked.


“Just fall you piece of metallic trash,” Kughii cursed with a sick grimace. Punching his fist on the buoyant lime-green lily pad, Kughii forced himself to stand tall. The best he could manage was a ragged, hunched forward posture, gears and bio-muscle screaming in his heels from the strain of remaining upright. Kughii’s chest heaved, sucking in great drafts of air through his open mouth, a rough dryness coating the surface of his tongue.

Before him loomed his crimson enemy, the wicked barbs of its weapon glinted with a silver liquid. Kughii’s hand gripped tighter against his side as a fresh pang of fear flowed from the grazing wound like poison. Despite the vortixx’s usual height difference, the machine of malice was equal in stature. Sensing its power’s effect, the rahkshi staggered forward, sparks from its wounded leg starting small, fizzling fires in the pelting rain. Its feet splashed through the puddles without care. To Kughii’s horror the Tahrak’s face split open in three parts to reveal an otherworldly worm.


Kughii’s ears rang; his legs shook; his balance faltered. The usual excitement of battle, however gruesome, faded into a dull silence beneath his monotonous heartbeats. He was afraid. Kughii tightened his grip on Samsara, preparing his mind for the last few moments.

“Let’s get this over with,” He taunted, then brought samsara across his chest to point at his foe, both hands gripped around the rough takea skin hilt, feet sliding into a wider posture.


The squish of footsteps in the soft ground tramped by the blind toa and his companion, other fighters no doubt engaged in the suicidal battle raging throughout the tunnel system of Onu-Koro. Their torches hissed and cracked, the dripping sap from burning wood spitting in Draeverian’s face. Unlike them, Draeverian Joskiir was fine in the dark. He’d been imprisoned from the light long enough to have finally caved in and excepted his fate. The mud he couldn’t see splattered up past his thighs, mixed with the sweet smell of blood. He could fight no longer, the deep rent in his shoulder forced his breath to come in sharp gasps, his left leg refusing to hold his weight. Through the reverberating underworld of battle, Draeverian’s fine hearing could still make out the steady drip of blood.

That’s not you blood, Drae. It’s -- Rivet warned urgently.

I know who’s it is. But what can we do? We’re too far away to get a healer. Draeverian countered his soul companion with rationale he’d only recently gained. Another reason why he could only bare to spent the last precious seconds that were flowing away with Him. Rivet sounded exhausted from the toil of the fight. Draeverian couldn’t blame her. Chips scored the length of her blades, his grip spasming from the hours spent tightly holding her. His forehead lay against a rough stone wall, the cold easing the pounding headache of battle.

“Oi,” Draeverian muttered. His voice failed at first, cracking with the metallic taste of blood against his throat. He spat, imagining a dark glob of caked blood hitting the wall like a dropped egg. Allowing himself to slide down his solid support, Draeverian tried again. “Oi, Mariko.”

“Hm,” Mariko muttered, his body shifting towards Draeverian as the earth turned slightly under his dwindling power.

“Rahkslayer Mariko racks ten skulls on the go. DJ bags three, but only by riding on the shoulders of a King.” Draeverian shook his own chain of skulls to emphasize his point. A long length of empty rings rattled for more. Mariko chuckled and let out a sigh of content. Draeverian turned his face briefly, attempting to mask his emotions.

“I’ve had practice,” He replied, voice straining to sound jovial. “My brothers and sister and I, we’ve been around I guess you could say. His hand lifted and closed into a fist, crunching the blood-soaked soil between his fingers. “If you want more skulls, I just guess it’s time we get back to work.”

Draeverian shifted his face back towards where Mariko lay propped alongside him. They were butting shoulders, the toa of sound’s wound roaring in protest. Fighting the inevitable, Draeverian forced his lips into a beaming smile. “Then let’s get back to work... Brother?”

There was a rattling breath, then silence.

Drae, Rivet whispered in the back of his mind. A calm whisper of misfortune. Drae...

Please Rivet, Draeverian replied. Let me have this moment. He could feel her consciousness fading, returning to the sword she had once imprisoned herself within. The feminine presence vanished.

“Remember when we first met?” Draeverian asked. Mariko didn’t stir, and Draeverian continued. His words were whispers, barely audible even to himself. No matter how hard he tried, the tightness in his chest corroded any attempts to rap or rhyme, forcing him to speak in plainer prose. “I had just seen Turaga Nuju kidnapped. I almost jumped in, jumped right into that chasm and followed the Turaga. I had the courage, yet I lacked the power. I was ready to give up, to let myself become little more then a memory in the history of failures I’d left behind. Then I heard about you.

“I was following rumors of Onua’s return. Silly, huh? Me chasing after rumors of the Mata like some welp looking for a hero to come and sweep all the evil and dark things under a rug. To make Makuta disappear and bring peace back to this ravaged island. When I walked in, you were sitting in the bar talking with that toa of sonics -- Atvin. Kinda’ makes me wonder what happened to that guy after Pala-Koro. Did you see him in the fight with those Makuta cultists?”

Draeverian paused, waiting with bated breath for a miracle. None came in the dark tunnel. The sounds of battle were beginning to fade, and interspersed among the shrieks of aberrant horrors came the cheers of victorious soldiers and miners, toa and skakdi, matoran and vortixx. The sound brought a fresh dampness to the leather headband pulled across Draeverian’s empty eye sockets. Draeverian forced himself to keep talking despite the rolling sobs that began to wrack his frame, as if reciting some magic incantation to bring back the dead.

“Didn’t you say I shoulda’ seen that skakdi’s face when I kept winning at dice in Pala-Koro? I used my hearing to tell the difference between an even or an odd roll. Each side makes a different sound when it hits the table. I just had to remember what was on the other side of the die. Okay, so I cheated, but come on -- priceless you said. Priceless....”

The dam broke, and tears spilled down his calix as his arms wrapped around his dearest friend. Mariko had begun to grow cold in the darkness, one more award for Draeverian’s wall of shame. As the toa of sound continued to cry, his words falling loosely from a shaking jaw, his right hand crawled slowly across Mariko’s pakari, feeling the contours and ridges of his fallen comrade’s visage. It was like a book: pages of information rolled across Draeverian’s thumb, paragraphs of untold life stories he had wanted to hear.

“The truth is, the truth is we’ve only known each other for two months,” Draeverian cried as his tears pattered like soft rain against his brother’s armor. “But in those two months Mariko, we’ve been through so much. I never thought life would be like... Like this. From Kohra to cultists and The Peers, we’ve ranged across the mysteries of this place without any compass to guide us, but what’s the point of a compass pointing North if it leads you into a bog? You’ve had your brothers and sister, a team to rely on. I’ve only had you and Rivet. The truth is... I don’t care about priceless reactions to cheap gambling tricks. The truth is, the only face I wanted to see was yours, my dear brother.”


Riaril’s nostrils flared as she breathed deeply, feeling the power of her kanohi as a tingling sensation rushing down the length of her arm, pooling around her middle finger until the digit glowed with an azure light. Rahkshi fought with special powers, in this case venom. Venom was a liquid, and at some level made of water. Riaril brought the glowing finger down towards the finished bandage, hesitating only a moment before placing it on the surface.

“This is going to hurt. A lot.”

His eyes bugged out of their sockets as the energy from Riaril’s kanohi penetrated the poisoned flesh. Like a fishhook, the energy ensnared the Lehrak’s powerful venom and in one long screaming strand Riaril ripped it wriggling from the toa’s body. It dangled in the air above the now unconscious toa, attached to Riaril’s finger as if magnetized. The matoran standing behind her couldn’t help but imagine it to be a sickly green tapeworm as it fluttered in the rain.

“KA!” Riaril shouted, letting the poison splatter harmlessly into the ocean. “Hand me the ointment in the blue jar!”

Riaril kept the pressure on the toa of plantlife’s neck, a crimson cloth already soaked from where the spear had left its mark. Her golden eye flashed across the rest of the body, watching intently at the minute twitches that marked the early stages of poison faded. “Hurry!” She shouted, a blood-dyed hand reaching behind her like a sprinter waiting for the baton. Feeling the weight of her request placed on her palm, Riaril closed her fingers and brought the bottle to bear. Carelessness could not be accepted. One false move and this toa might as well become a bull frog to practice croaking. Years of field experience rushed through her internal processors as Riaril analyzed the next move.

“I’m going to remove the bandage,” She said aloud; “Then apply the ointment to seal up the external damage. Afterwards, I need you to wrap his neck in fresh gauze while I use my mask to stop internal bleeding. Understand me?”

The matoran behind her nodded frantically. Why did I agree to educate this welp, Riaril thought bitterly. She had had no choice. When war broke out you had to deal with inferior healers and equipment. Going by skill in emergency trauma situations, Riaril counted this matoran among equipment. Continuing to regulate her breathing, Riaril pulled off the cloth and applied the ointment with a raw finger. Her face remained impassive, her scars accenting the brutality of her technique under the unfortunate circumstances. Despite the screams of her patient Riaril continued with the process.

“Do it,” She said, sliding to the right and letting her temporary apprentice step in to begin covering the open flesh beneath the carapace. Again, she tapped into the power of her kanohi, letting the light flow across Froggy’s body until it formed a bubble around him. Riaril stayed kneeling for several minutes, her mask receiving thousands of complaints and responding to each in turn. Finally, she was finished.

“Alright. On to the next deadbeat.”


Kughii forced himself to wait. The Tahrahk’s spear thrusted forward, a barb of death tearing a rent in the fabric of sanity. The closer the spear came, the harder Kughii had to force himself to stay calm. Even breathing was an act of immense control. Three thrusts flashed past the vortixx; Kughii sidestepping at the last possible moment to avoid the afterlife by a hair’s breadth. Each time the rahskhi screamed, exasperated by the infuriating dodges. Kughii gave himself over completely to the fight, his mind clear of any ulterior thoughts, his eyes halfway closed, as if meditating. He didn’t bother to raise Samsara, only his upper body moved in the next flurry of stabs and swipes sent his direction.

Sensing the moment, Kughii stepped forwards and off to the right side as the Tahrak let forth another stab towards his gut. Reaching out, his hand wrapped tightly around the staff of fear. He froze, body and mind mercilessly barraged with nightmares for all six senses. His body became helpless as his mind was laid siege by the powers of fear. The Tahrak shrieked excitedly at the suicidal tactic, then let out a second heart-stopping cry as Samsara slashed an uppercut. A second rain, a rain of organics components, doused Kughii as his enemy blew into two halves, the upper portion flying yards away before crashing into the wet surface of another lily pad, intact arm scratching at the bobbing ground in the torrential current.


Leaping forwards with a feral scream, Kughii gripped the housing along the spine of the destroyed creature. In a feat of sheer mental fortitude his fingers bent the protodermic shell, shredding open a portal to the true monster within. The Kraata shrieked and wailed as it was pulled into the evening light and pelting rain. There was no mask to infect, and so the kraata’s powers of control were useless. Kughii’s face was beading with perspiration, gore, and tears from the roaring sky. His breathing was heavy, unreliable. The Kraata squealed, attempting to bite or wriggle out of the crushing grasp. It’s color was dark, testament to the centuries it had lived in shadow.

“You know, I didn’t really believe in reincarnation when I was your age,” the swordman said, an evil smile crawling across his face; “But it all works out in the end. Come back as a matoran.”

Kughii laughed as he pulled the creature apart.


Consciousness flitted in a timeless manner, toying with Draeverian’s patience. He didn’t know how long they sat there slumped in the dark. Honestly, Draeverian didn’t care. The strange feeling of friendship firmly harnessed about his shoulders kept Draeverian rooted to Mariko’s side. All he knew was that wry laugh Draeverian had become so accustomed to was gone. The strong convictions for justice Mariko had brandished in the face of Kohra even as Draeverian had resorted to rage were now crumbled; a proud wall of earth undermined by a wave of blood. Draeverian and Rivet sat alone and silent. For once, the toa of sound was glad he couldn’t see the light. His handicap fit the circumstance.

It was the sound of scuttling legs that caught his attention. Ussals, Draeverian thought as the party of crustaceans and their riders pulled alongside the two figures in the dark tunnel. There was a squelch as two pairs of feet fell to the mud, followed by the sound of suction as they strode towards him. There was a light tap on his forehead. Someone had flicked him. Draeverian rolled his neck, feeling a gear pop into place after his time becoming one with the stone and mud and blood around him.

“Speak your names, toa.” The voice was militaristic, conveying every amount of power and muscle the ussalry guard possessed. Then in a softer tone; “We are here to assess you injuries. A healer will be along shortly depending on the urgency; there are many gravely wounded and those with training in the arts of health are few.”

Draeverian shook his head wearily, not bothering to hide the crust of tears undoubtedly turning to powder on his kanohi. “I am Draeverian Joskiir, toa of sound. This is Mariko; my brother.

“He won’t be answering.”


The rain subsided to tears. Weeping beings kneeled beside their fallen friends, forever parted. Riaril gave a small grunt as she slid the backpack into place, part of the frame poking her in the ribs until properly adjusted. The stormy clouds were floating away, utterly spent from their siege on the village. She wondered if other Koros had faired the same fate in the past few hours. Far down the coastline, straggling rahkshi could be seen turning one another into shrapnel. I wonder if he’s alive; or where he is, She thought with a strange fluttering in her heart light. Her bandaged arm twitched softly, her only wound during the raging conflict. Nerves needed growing. Only time would heal them for now. Exhausted as she was, her kanohi was little more than a jewel to look upon.

“I’m leaving now.” Riaril looked at the matoran who had helped her throughout the battle. Her scarred face softened as she beheld the purple eyes of her temporary apprentice. “I don’t really know where I’m going, but I can’t stay here.”

“Toa Gabel,” The matoran said quickly. Riaril shook her head, golden eye closed as deep feelings welled to the surface of her mind.

“I travel light. I’m weary of this world’s fighting and conflict -- I need a place of retreat. Ga-Koro was going to be that place, but I guess war follows in my trail. Perhaps I will hide away in the temples on the mountain top? Somewhere quiet, without too much excitement. Maybe living so close to the clouds will bring me closer in turn to the Great Spirit.

“In any case, I cannot take you on. You deserve a teacher greater than this--” Riaril waved a hand across her face -- “scarred and hopeless doctor.”

With a final smile and a pat on the head, Riaril turned and left Ga-Koro. Riaril felt a strange gloom lift from her as the main gate was placed behind. Her footsteps left a dark trail in the sand, a trail that with high tide would disappear like so many other things. Impermanence, Riaril thought to herself with a sad expression. The sands gave way to rocky paths along the jungle floor. Strange calls from rahi of the air and earth flitted past as she traveled ever westward. The swaying of plants in the wind. Twice, Riaril thought she caught a glimpse of a matoran following her path. There came the first crunch of snow beneath her feet, followed by the bone-chilling wind rushing down the mountain.

Shrugging her backpack into a more comfortable position, she strode onwards toward Mt. Ihu and her future.




“And a half.”

Kughii held up the broken rahkshi staff he had cleaved. The sunlight glittered along the wet surface of the wooden shaft, creating a dazzling pattern that brought a smile to the vortixx’s face. Tossing it aside with a chuckle, the vortixx finished tying the knot on his bundle of trophies. Fifteen staffs. More than enough to sell at market, and extra to spare for himself.

“Then again, with a hundred or so rahkshi, the value of being a rahkslayer or even the value of selling these staves will probably drop considerably,” Kughii kvetched. His mind worked hard attempting to figure out what he might make for each staff. Was a Poison staff more expensive than one of Hunger? Could he use a fear staff to rack up the widgets of another? He tapped a finger absently against his lower lip, then gave up.

“Anyways, I guess it’s time to get going,” He said to himself. Kughii lugged the bundle across his shoulders and began to stride across the wreckage of conflict, picking his way between wholesome lily pads to avoid the possibility of falling in the ocean. Matoran and marines scurried around with construction tools and stretchers, wounded being carted past in great numbers. Why is it the powerless suffer the most, He thought; What part of existence says that is a definite truth? Why do we all suffer?

Birds flew through the sky, calling for fish from the empty stalls along the docks. Deeper in, toa called for friends among the dead. As he continued to walk, a small fear began to nag at the back of his mind. It tugged mercilessly until he gave himself over fully and began his own search, eyes scanning the roads and roofless homes for any sign of her dark shape. Liikyra...

Minutes passed. Kughii pondered why he even cared, but he kept searching.

His slow amble became a jog, which turned into a sprint, the rahkshi spears clacking madly on his back. “Liikyra!” He shouted. “L-LOVE!” His breath was becoming haggard; Kughii’s body was too strained to continue. Facing the inevitable he collapsed to his knees, coughing and gasping for air. As he caught his breath on all fours, Kughii heard the sound of feet splashing through puddles as they walked steadily towards him. A shadow.

He slowly raised his head, the black armor barely visible as the sun flared behind.

“Found ya.”




Captain Iraira laughed as her fellow marines sang in her honor, thrusting her onto the dining table to seal off escape from their antics. Laughter and merriment ensued as bula-berry wine splashed lively in everyone’s clanking tankards. A moment of precious silence overcame the crowd as they downed their drinks. Then the raucous partying of guards resumed in earnest. Dice clattered in the corners, dancing knotted around the pillars of the headquarters as women chatted and jumped in choreographed lines, military prowess showing in their perfect unison movements.

“SPEACH!” Roared the guards keeping Iraira captive on the table. “SPEACH!”

“Okay, OKAY!” Iraira shouted back, her eyes taking in subordinates, superiors, and peers with a sweep of the jubilant room. “I’ll give a speech!” Great cheers erupted, and it took several minutes for the marines to finally quiet down.

“Tonight marks the first night we’ve had a true toa for leader of this village. Toa Leah of the Maru!” Iraira began with great exuberance. A swell of happy shouts rolled through the room like a wave. “However, please let me continue! However, after the incident with The Daedra, us marines cannot simply hand over the reign of this village, the protection and security of our people, to an unknown toa that emerged out of a Rahkshi hole. Yes, yes, my friends. I believe that Toa Leah Maru spoke true about The Makuta, and I believe that we should give her the keys to Nokama’s Hut and the inner sanctum of Ga-Suva. I do not, however, believe she should have any judicial or military powers like the Daedra. It’s time we recreate a new system of government.”

There was an icy chill in the room as all action stopped. Iraira licked her lips, feeling the ozone crackle through the air as everyone waited for her next words. She didn’t disappoint. “I believe the Marines should hold judicial power in the stead of our great toa leader. We have kept the village safe from rahi and marauding criminals for a hundred years while Nokama guided us, may she rest in peace. Now, with Leah’s leadership, I nominate our humble division to keep the peace as we once did. Who’s with me?”

The sound of crickets could be heard from the garden in the courtyard outside. Suddenly a lone matoran stood from the wall he’d been leaning on. His hand went to his sword, but he did not draw it. “I am a marine,” He said loud enough for everyone to hear; “And as a marine, I say Captain Iraira’s words ring true. Our village needs us. Let us help them.”

A great roar of approval floated far into the night air, causing several revelers’ heads to turn in question of the sound. The marines pounded on the walls, floor, and tables laughing and shouting their approvals. Relieved at the reception, Iraira laughed away her anxiety and shouted out; “Minstrels, play a song! The night is young -- AND WE ARE FREE!”


I sat on the front steps to my apartment building. The main reason I rented a flat in this place was the front steps. They were sandstone, and the footprints of each guest and tenet had carved them into shallow troughs over the years. There was something holistic and spiritual about that I thought. My apartment wasn’t much; just a room you could spit out the far window of when standing in the door frame to the stairwell. Guests were always complaining about the shared amenities down the hall, or the fact they had to climb three floors to reach my room, or that the only pieces of furniture were my bed and a half-dead music stand, both littered with countless sheets of half-scribbled on staff paper.

“Mita, get a proper apartment so we can all come over without our legs turning to fire,” My friends who weren’t musicians would say. Whatever, they never had to haul their equipment to a gig, so I went easy on them. The place had amazing acoustics, and all the candlelight jam sessions in the little room proved its worth. Tonight, however, I couldn’t bare to be alone in that small, cramped stone apartment. I needed to see people, and my front steps also had a great view of the desert -- which meant I had a million widget view of the fireworks.

My steel-framed guitar lay across my lap. I had a bamboo pick in my fingers, the beautiful warbling of the first few strums lazily floating down the road. My instrument was in tune, now for a song. My neighbors loved it when I played, unless I was seriously rocking out with Fraxn to a heavy beat and screeching melodies, at which point the old couple two doors down would call the guard for noise pollution. Or composing drum-steps, come to think of it.

“Heh,” I laughed softly, my voice was like a silver bell twinkling in the fading dusk. Tonight, I was looking at a sky unblemished by the clouds of Makuta. Tonight, I could see the stars all alight, a brilliant trail running like a silver stitch in a navy blue cloth. Maybe that’s what the sky was: the inside of Mata-Nui’s breast pocket. During the day, he’d take us out and let the sun shine. At night, he’d keep us safe next to his heart.

I cleared my mind and throat, letting a long sigh as I held the G-chord with my elemental power, sustaining and bending the note until it sounded like a rare bird from Le-wahi. Smiling, I released my control over the guitar’s timbre, letting it become acoustic and soft once more. Shifting to a soft pluck of melodious majors and dominant seventh chords interspersed for flavor -- as if a lullaby -- I began.

On a night like this what more is bliss?

The sounds of life and love resound,

And the cool chill air from the desert there,

Comes whistling up the lane.

Times were dark with an empty lantern,

Now the candle’s lit aflame,

For all those simple minded dreamers,

Who laughed and thought it all a game...


Fireworks flashed bombastically in riots of color. The black of night was pierced with a million golden raindrops, rent with a hundred emerald and azure arrows, illuminated with glowing orbs of purple and crimson suns. Ishi sat peacefully enjoying the rockets passing through the corner of the night sky visible in the prison window of his cell. A cool desert wind whistled across the bars, but he was content nonetheless to sit on the stone slab of a bed and watch the show. In his heart he knew the cause: a great shadow had lifted. Guards partied in the stories below, the prisons carved into a rocky cliff of granite. The words “Stannis” and “Maru” could be heard on the lips of every passing being, carried on the cool updraft of air. From the streets below rose the sounds of singing. Straining his auditory receptors, words slowly teased themselves from the whistling wind.

“Someone has good tone,” Ishi commented, then let himself savor the lyrics, forgetting his life and worries for a few precious moments to enjoy the night of freedom.


In golden stone wrought flesh and bone,

Toa Stannis the prophet roams,

Protector of these desert plains,

On Mata-Nui our Island Home.

Jumping through the forestry,

Korero Fikou Foot swings with ease,

Protector of these jungle stead,

On Mata-Nui our Island Home.

Splashing through the ocean free,

Leah Queen of the watery seas,

Protector of these sandy shores,

On Mata-Nui our Island Home.

Cold and quiet in the mines,

Sulov -- really I should have a better rhyme,

Protector of the earth beneath,

On Mata-Nui our Island Home.

Suave with every flashing jab,

Reordin is an Icy King,

Protector of these white capped teeth,

On Mata-Nui our Island Home.

Despite his hunch and malady,

Oreius burns bright with holy fire,

Protector of these ashen fields,

On Mata-Nui our Island Home.

The Maru have released us from our plight,

So tonight let us play ‘til morning light,

And for every day that we hold so dear,

Remember the fallen who lay here:

On Mata-Nui our Island Home.

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