Kini-Nui is situated at roughly the center of the island of Mata Nui. On the surface, this area is a jungle of tall trees and chattering wildlife. The main landmark is the Kini-Nui temple, an ancient structure that houses the Suva Kaita, one of the main routes into Makuta’s former lair, Mangaia. Most of the importance of the area is deep below the earth in the sinister halls where Makuta once dwelled. Despite the evil being’s absence, this region is still tense; not only has it been labeled a “no-man’s land” between the Koros, but it also bears a residual aura that still makes the back of necks tingle. Local landmarks include:
-The Kini-Nui Temple: a dome-like stone protrusion from the earth with four large spires extending into the heavens at each corner, the Kini-Nui temple is difficult to reach. It resides in a clearing in the jungle, and in the middle of its upper platform is the Suva Kaita. The Toa Maru closed the Suva Kaita after their defeat of Makuta.
-The Amaja-Nui: A circular sandpit that was once used by the wise Turaga of Mata Nui to retell legends. It resides between a large, ivy-covered bust of a Matoran head and the Kini-Nui temple.
Makuta’s former lair is a maze of dark passageways and huge chambers. It has several entrances: one below the Suva Kaita, one through the Suva Nui in Le-Koro, and six long Dark Walk tunnels branching straight from a central chamber in Mangaia to the doorsteps of each Koro are some to name. Even though the dark artifacts that used to inhabit the chambers of the caverns – many of which were unspeakable horrors – have all been long since destroyed or cast into the sea by the Toa Maru, a distinct air of danger still lingers down here. Lights carried by those either brave or stupid enough to descend into Mangaia seem to have less effect in its passageways than in other dark places, though there are some chambers illuminated by blood-red lightstones.
Makuta’s Rahkshi, no longer under his control, still tend to gravitate towards the dark places of the island, and there is nowhere darker than Mangaia. Several wild Rahkshi stake out their own caves and attack any who get too close, or who are unfortunate enough to pass them in the stony corridors. Some rooms are blocked behind thick doorways; whether such doors are viewed as invitations or as warnings varies on the explorer in question, but ominous sounds from behind them tend to drive most would-be enterers away. Sinister echoes seem to come quietly from everywhere.
The main attraction that compels surface dwellers to enter Mangaia is what is assumed to be Makuta’s Vault. It is a huge, impregnable doorway – with no hinges, seams, or keyhole – that is situated in the middle of the deepest level of Mangaia. Rough maps sketched of the tunnels around it leave a huge cavity empty; the Vault, common sense dictates, must fill this void. A riddle is carved into the Vault’s smooth door implies that it can be opened, though none have yet succeeded:
Across an endless ocean
Beyond where minds can see
My key likes in the open
Where you will never be
Beneath the brightest thunder
Stand towers of the day
The light may break asunder
If night skies choose obey
The red sign on black eyes
Will lead you to your prize
What exactly lies within the Vault is a total mystery, as so far nobody has managed to open it. However, it is assumed that objects of great power reside there, and how the Vault should be dealt with is a matter of great contention across the island.
Bok stared at the inscription on the vault, wondering what it could mean. It wasn't even triggering one of his infrequent flashbacks. "Now what do I do?"
OOC: Open for interaction and first non-Nuju post of BZPRPG 2013!
Months ago, this was where he had met them all. Merror.....Pirok.......it was here that - technically - his story had began to unfold. What was a shrine to Mata-Nui, now featured the caves of Makuta...but no matter how dark it got in there, it was still proof that Mata Nui's power was real.
And for that, he was grateful.
After all, the Toa Maru had defeated Makuta. Right?
Still, JL couldn't help but feel like something went wrong. After defeating oppression, people became oppression itself. It was....wrong. Those who once stood for the virtues that gave courage and hope in the hearts of the matoran, now stood for things even worse. Rather than courage it was aggression. Rather than unity...it was separation.
What do I do? JL though. After all, he had made it in his mind a promise to help others. Ever since.....the Toa of Fire, and the Rahkshi Battle at Ta-Koro, he'd made it his way of life to help people as much as he can. However, how could he help?
The world was threatened by how it worked, and JL - alone - couldn't fight the world. To help others, he needed power. He needed-
* * *
The sounds of footsteps echoing the dark hallways of that which was once Makuta's lair were at a pace higher than normal. Same goes for JL's heart rate; his entire body was vibrating from fear, and he could feel a gut feeling that whatever was in this massive system was wrong, changed by Makuta to ignore the light, to provide darkness.
And JL hated the fact that the one thing that came to light was the one thing that caused the temptation that ruined the world.
Of course....it isn't as if JL didn't like what was behind the vault. If Makuta really did have such power, then if a righteous person wielded it....wouldn't they be able to make each of the villages understand again that unity is required?
Or did what many people feared back in the day - that without a figure of evil there would be no unity - be the only possible thing to happen?
As the Toa of Lightning lit up the area with blue-white light from channeling his element in his sword, he turned a corner. By now, he had almost memorized the route around the area, yet each time he entered something surprised him. Today, it was Bok, who stood alone, facing the vault, the magnificent doorway that even the mightiest Toa couldn't open. All that was left on it was a taunt by Makuta, and it was something JL knew would be cracked soon. Like how the chronicler's company had given their riddles and each be cracked and dedicated to helping the world, this riddle would someday be cracked.
The only problem was how would it help the world.
JL walked over to Bok. Despite their locale and his feelings, he still tried to put up a cheerful attitude. "So! What brings you to the vault today?"
OOC: The vault. Sounds like something from Borderlands.
OOC: Thank you for interacting!
Bok suppressed the urge to scream "MAKUTA!" when he heard a voice. After realizing it was just a Toa, he replied, "Just looking at the riddle. Contemplating what's happened since Makuta supposedly died. Trying to trigger a flashback because I'm amnesiac. So, just normal everyday stuff." Bok forced a chuckle, trying to seem at ease.
JL nodded, stretching as he looked around, electrical light shining upon the vault and the riddle upon it. "The things that has happened since Makuta disappeared from the island........for better or worse, it's a change we desperately needed. People were dying. Yet....now, those who have died seem to have gone to a better place than before."
He shook his head, and looked at Bok straight in the eye. "....I was there at Turaga Vakama's funeral. Now I wonder, has Aliki Jaller truly ignored what his elder wanted.....?
He stared at the wall, and read the riddle.
'Across an endless ocean
Beyond where minds can see
My key likes in the open
Where you will never be
Beneath the brightest thunder
Stand towers of the day
The light may break asunder
If night skies choose obey
The red sign on black eyes
Will lead you to your prize'
'What does it mean?' JL muttered, 'What lies behind? These secrets....we're going to have to solve it, because I can tell that the current society isn't gonna work. They're all focused on being able to open this vault, and they're gonna succeed. It's at these times that I wonder what the heck the Toa Maru have been doing....'
His hand reached out to touch the vault wall. 'And why was it left here? Makuta...wouldn't leave riddles on his own doors when he was the only one here, right? But if he intended for us to read this.....then does he expect us to be able to open it, or does he know that without him, our society will crumble, and this is left as a final curse? And.....about the endless ocean. It makes me think about the Dasaka. They came from the ocean, right? And from a place where we can't see?'
Consequently, he felt that fear in his heart again. He didn't want to fight. He didn't have the power. Yet it was the right thing to do......
No, JL thought, I'll leave the future for the future and for now, lets focus on the present.
'So!' JL said, changing the subject, 'You said something about a flashback. What about it? Who are you?' Even as he said it, though, he had turned to leave, and it was obvious that he expected Bok to follow.
Bok got up and followed, happy to leave the creepy place. "Well, I'm Bok and I'm a Toa of Iron. That's about all I can remember about myself. One day I woke up face first in the sand with amnesia. Sometimes when I see something, it triggers a flashback. I was wondering if anything here would. It didn't really work. So who are you?"
'I'm JL. I woke up on a beach with no memory. Luckily, I managed to forge new ones, some great...others not that great.' He looked around. 'I've been on some kind of vacation for the past week or so, and I've been spending my time trying to look for one of the great memories I had. I have some...issues....I'm dealing with, and I don't know how I can solve it.'
"What's JL stand for? And if you don't mind my asking, what's your element and why does your mask look like that?"
IC: JLNonchalantly, he shrugged, answering, 'JL stands for me. If you can't tell me element despite the scent of ozone and the fact that I had my sword glowing blue-white seconds ago, that's fine. It's electricity. And as for my mask, it just is. I dunno. Why is your foot shaped like that? It just is.'
"What was that?" asked Bok as he pulled out his warhammer.
'If I'm correct, that's a sore loser, and it's trying to hunt us. It's probably alone, but it could still do quite a lot of damage. You said you were a Toa of Iron, correct?'
As he said it, he slowly started to head in the direction of the dark walk entrances, half his mind focused on retracing his steps, the other half using the Arthron to try and map out the darkness, sense the enemy.
Ching! Echoed the sound of staves whacking the ground.
'I've got a plan, but I need your help.'
OOC: What happened to the forums?
"Okay, from that sound, I'm guessing it's a Rahkshi. So, what's the plan?"
OOC: It broke.
Screech! The sound came again, and this time it sounded much closer. Using his Arthron, he looked around with the sonar, and saw a staff raised and pointed.
"Plan A would be RUN LIKE HECK!" He shouted, then took of dashing as a ring of energy emerged from the shadows and encircled the spot he had been standing in seconds ago. In the dark light he caught the sight of a red Rahkshi, but he knew from the attack it was only red out of the reflected light off it's white armor.
"Don't get hit! You're probably gonna end up attacking me. Just run towards the tunnels and try not to wake anyone!"
Even still, he could tell that the Kurahk was gaining on them. Rahkshi were said to be multiple times as strong as Toa, and it's powerful legs, coupled with it being in it's natural home, gave it an advantage that JL knew had a high chance of killing both him and Bok.
"Listen, I've got a mask of speed. I'll be fine. I'll hold it off, you go." said Bok. He unlimbered his hammer and prepared to charge.
"I don't need your help. I'm fine, thanks. Don't die, because I need a Toa of Iron for my plan."
"I appreciate the sentiment." said Bok sarcastically. "So where are we headed?" asked Bok as anger blast that he never noticed missed his back by inches.
'A Kurahk utilizes anger. The direct opposite is the Ko-Koroan principle of peace.' JL was well versed in the principles of the matoran now, having spent his time travelling in order to learn more. 'Lets get into the Ko-Koro Dark Walk. We can set up an electro-magnetic field, and before he attacks us, you use your power to rip his armor into pieces.'
His eye flashed.
'I want the Kraata-Cu. And it works, hmm?'
The Rahkshi behind them raised it's staff, and fired again, a ring of white energy approaching JL's back.
"Look out!" yelled Bok. He threw his hammer, hoping it might deflect the blast.
JL realized what was happening, and simply dropped to the ground, sliding for a few feet before coming to a standstill. 'NOW!' he shouted to Bok, even as the Rahkshi, in pure anger, just ran right past him. He got up as the Rahkshi realized what was going on, but by the time it could slow down, JL already had it in an electric cage, the magnetic field emitting from it preventing the Rahkshi from moving it's full range of motion.
'Quick!' he shouted, knowing that in seconds the Rahkshi could blast him with a blast, and if he moved, the slight change in power would be utilized by the big Rahk.
Bok summoned his elemental power and tore apart the Rahkshi...mostly. It lost one arm, all but one point of it's spine, most of it's staff, one leg and both feet. "Is that still threat?" asked Bok as he picked up his hammer, carefully eyeing the Rahkshi pocked full of holes to see if it would get back up.
IC (Karemo and Kitano): "Definitely" Karemo remarked as the Rahkshi parts flew back onto its body and reattached. The still-loyal follower of Makuta stepped out of the deepest shadows, warhammer held high to strike down the others. Behind him stood another toa, whose black armour was strewn with tiny points of white, like stars brought underground. Makuta was gone from this place, yes, but his influence and followers still lingered.
"The children of the Makuta are yet sacred, though their father has left them" the toa of iron said coldly, steel in his voice. "They are not to be attacked lightly, not while any yet remain loyal to our Lord of the Shadows. We will see him return, though you who desecrate his home will not".
With that, the pair of toa attacked. Kitano's sword pointed toward the two explorers of Mangaia, and the toa of crystal summoned forth a cloud of powerdered lightstone. The dark tunnel was suddenly radiant as the shining dust flew at Bok and JL. Such a sudden brilliance would surely be disorientating to them, and leave them open to attack. Karemo was also temporarily blinded by the light, but he was already prepared to take action. His hammer swung at the place where he had last seen JL's body, and expected it to be still after being taken unawares.
The Rahkshi wasn't idle after its salvation either. It leapt towards Bok, swinging its staff at the toa's neck.
OOC: Because Anxilia just got re-approved.....
The Kraata had tried to escape the body when it came back, all a new. He sighed as he turned to the two apparent followers of Makuta, and waited for the inherent speech that dictated some stuff about how their master was great, how their master was coming back, etc. etc. Things that he'd gotten tired of spouting on their side....
But obviously, it was a biased view.
The one with the black diamonds in his armor raised his sword, and a form of glowing dust appeared, flying towards Bok and himself. He could guess that it was a disorientation tactic, and that the diamond guy was a Toa of Crystal. But still, all he could really see was a lot of light, and while he wasn't necessarily blinded, he didn't really know where to go without smashing his face in a wall.
But I do!
Reyna! What's going on?
The other one, the Toa of Iron, he's coming towards you with a hammer and he's about to smash you.
JL closed his eyes, trusting Reyna's judgement and his own instinct as he moved to the right a bit, singing a wide arc with his sword. All he could do was assume that Karemo couldn't see either.
IC (Karemo and Kitano): It was true that Karemo couldn't exactly see to well with the bright flash of light moving past him and at the other toa. He wasn't without his other senses though. His elemental power let him sense all the metals around him, so in his mind's eye, he saw the toa falter in front of him, and then somehow evade the blow.
The wildly inacurate, blind sword swing did little to deter Karemo as he changed the direction of his blow, turning it into a low-swinging strike at his abdomen rather than the crushing, overhead blow to the chest that it had originally been intended as
OOC: iPad post, so I'm just gonna add MY color.IC: JLFeeling nothing from his sword's arc, he realized that his attacker was probably still swinging that hammer at him somehow. Quickly, he created an outburst of electricity around him, hoping to either force back the attacker or zap him somehow.I need to get rid of this glowdust. Where's the other Toa?
"How many hammer-weilding Toa of Iron are there, for crying out loud? You're the third one I've met in three months!" said Bok with exasperation. The Rahkshi charged towards Bok.
A Rahkshi of electricity charged at Bok it's staff tips electrified. Bok was holding a sword. Bok absorbed the sword and used the energy to create a shield, blocking the Rahkshi's blow.
Bok absorbed his hammer and created the shield from his flashback deflecting the blow. .
IC (Karemo and Kitano): The lightning barrage intercepted Karemo's hammer, and ran back up it, jolting him and forcing him to abandon the blow. He withdrew for a moment, muttering something foul in response to the pain in his arms.
The Rahkshi's quick slash bounced off Bok's sheild, and the creature was pushed back for a moment. Hissing with its own rage, it leapt forward at Bok a second time and drove one point of its staff straight at his new shield, relying on the legendary strength of rahkshi and the unnatural toughness of their weapons to punch through.
OOC: Discrepancy fixed. Feel free to post again.
The Rahkshi's staff slammed into Bok's shield with enough force to knock him over. Bok rolled to dodge the Rahkshi's next blow and then got up and swung his hammer at the Kurahk's head.
IC (Karemo and Kitano, Bunnying the NPC Rahkshi): Bok's hammer blow connected now with the Rahkshi's head, but with its shoulder - that thing was quick, and it was already preparing for a followup strike. The hammer spread a mat of cracks across the thick plate, and caused part of it to cave inwards. Suddenly, the Rahkshi couldn't move its arm well enough to carry through with its blow, and it ended up dropping its staff.
Kitano, meanwhile, stayed back from the melee for now, and took more direct control over the lightstone dust. He partitioned the luminescent fog into two denser clouds, which he sent flying towards the faces of the two toa. Any distraction or annoyance he could cause with glowing sand getting into their eyes, mounths and ears would help out his allies and hopefully give them an edge.
JL quickly suffered from the density of the lightstone clouds, and he closed his mouth and eyes. Still, it didn't help that it glowed, and the brightness still got through his eyelids. Meanwhile, the dust raged in his ears, annoying like how it would be if 10 people decided to blow in your ear.
Talk to me, Reyna.
The guy who's manipulating the light is to your front, and a bit to the right. About a 1 o'clock angle. The one with the hammer-
Right. He's close enough. We can worry about hammer-man later.
Pointing his sword towards his 1 o'clock position and keeping it level, he blasted a high powered beam of lightning, set to be a bit wide to compensate for not being able to know the exact position. It tired him out quite a bit more than the average elemental blast, lighting up the whole cavern if it weren't already by the glowing dust. Still, it didn't matter whether or not he hit his mark, as the moment he fired, he tried move forwards with the assumption that - like all the other ranged strikers he'd faced - they suck at stopping a punch.
IC (Karemo and Kitano): Once JL pointed his sword at Kitano, the toa of crystal realised he was about to come under attack. Since the area around the toa of lighting was brightly lit up his his lightstone dust, he activated his mask and teleported there, to a place right behind where JL was standing. During the manoeuvre, he lost control of the lightstones surrounding JL and Bok, so they started to slowly drift towards the ground, but it didn't matter: the lightning bolt had gone through empty air, and now he was in a good position to attack.
The blinded toa was moving forwards, which gave Kitano a bit of space to work with. He brought his shield up and swung its edge towards the back of JL's head, intending to stun the toa and knock him to the ground.
During the exchange, Karemo had recovred a little from his electrical jolt and also moved to attack JL. The toa of iron swung his hammer in a powerful, horizontal arc aimed at his abdomen.
Bok picked up the Kurahk's staff. He then ran towards the Rahkshi screaming a battle cry of "Deja Vu!" which probably confused everyone. He swiped at the Rahkshi's leg with the staff, trying to cut it off.
Slowly, JL felt the lightstone particles to seemingly fall, as if there wasn't an influence on it any more. Sure enough, when he opened his eyes, he could practically see clearly (There were still blurry stuff; and he still needed to clean his glowing ears), and noticed that the dust was either drifting down to the ground slowly or already had.
Did I hit him?
No, I think he teleported. Get prone!
Quickly, JL realized what was happening, but not fast enough. He slowly dropped down, but the shield still hit his head, albeit at an angle different to the intended attack. The strike knocked JL off his forward trajectory, and the hammer very nearly broke his ribs; as it were, it grazed the edges of his armor.
'Ugh,' he agonized in fake pain (granted, it was real, but he was doing it on purpose) as he started to grip on whatever was in his hands - lightstone dust.
IC (Karemo and Kitano, Bunnying Kurahk): The Kurahk nimbly leapt out of the way of Bok's swing, demonstrating its astonishing speed (OOC: BS01 notes Kurahk as being the fastest and strongest of the rahkshi breeds that attacked in Mask of Light). The kraata peeked out of the head for a moment and screeched, attacking the toa's emotions with waves of anger.
Their enemy was sprawled on the ground, so both Karemo and Kitano rushed to press their advantage. Karemo, after completing the followthrough of his hammerstroke, dropped into a quick crouch and went to place his large, strong hands on top of JL's elbows, pinning him where he lay. He put in a bit on control with his iron power too, in order to keep JL from moving his metal parts too much.
Meanwhile, from behind the fallen toa, Kitano reached for one of his makika balls. Gripping it firmly, he used his elemental power to weaken the structure of the crystal casing to that it would easily shatter into sharp fragments on impact, then dropped to one knee and thrust the container of corrosive venom into the toa of lightning's lower back.
Bok reached over to the Rahkshi and tried to pull out its purple Kraata. The Kraata then did something that shocked Bok, causing him to let go of it. It spoke: "You cannot defeat me. For I am nothing." Bok did not know whether it simply learned to imitate its former master, or whether it was something more.
IC (Kurahk): Seeing how shocked the toa was, reeling from both its emotional barrage and its suprising speech, the Kurahk took the opportunity to make a grab for its staff, which was still in the toa's hands. It got two sets of clawed fingers around the pole and gave it a good shove, trying to knock the toa back.
Bok used his iron powers to absorb the Kurahk's staff. He then used the material to recreate the shield. He now had a hammer and a shield at the same time. He aimed a kick at the Rahkshi's sorry excuse for a stomach.
Oops. Didn't see that one coming. But still, I ain't a Toa of Electricity for nothing.
Careful. I think the crystal man just took out a weapon of some sort.
He focused, and sent volts of electricity up Karemo's arm, the contact helping immensely. With the grip loosened and the focus of metal released, JL quickly twisted, and pushed Karemo, trying to use him as a meatshield.
OOC: Eh heh, no. Electric shocks through someone's palms while they are gripping an opbject forces them to grip it harder as their muscles clench, not release it. This is why you should always test a possibly electrified object such as an electric fence wire with the back of your hand, not the palm. This way you don't end up gripping the wire even harder and getting shocked more.
In this case, Kareno had placed his hands down onto JL to hold him, so electric shocks will actually strengthen his grip, not weaken it. I won't deny though, that it would hurt.
IC (Karemo and Kitano, bunnying Kurahk): The electricity rushing up through Karemo's arms caused him to grit his teeth in pain as he tried not to cry out. He bore it, however, since he should only need to for a little longer. His hands were locked around JL's arms by the electricity interfering with his muscles, and with the bulky toa of iron's weight on top of him, his pushing and twisting was ineffective. Still holding the sphere of corrosive poison, Kitano's hand stayed on course to be=reak the container of corrosive poison against the toa of lightning's back.
Bok's punch made contact the with Rahkshi's metallic abdomen, and, now weaponless, it responded by trying to grab his arm with its clawed fingers.
Bok allowed the Rahkshi to grab his arm and then grabbed its arm and pulled back hard, hoping to break off the Rahkshi's remaining arm.
A fight was happening. That was exciting. Two Toa and a Rahkshi fighting another two Toa. The Lestering fumbled in his bag, and pulled out his Calix. He donned the mask, and started to run towards the fight.
He unclipped his axes from his belt and started to wield them. He charged at the Rahkshi.