BZPRPG: Kumu Islets

  • Posted 2012-11-13 08:23:56 UTC
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  • Ic: Stannis clung to the outcropping he eagerly reached for before in his haste, and now he was staring at what was around him. Leah and Lepidran did what they could to find another way at Oreius' insistence, a commendable move. But while the soldiers looked at the situation and saw rahi flailing tentacles that writhed the water to a simmer of teal light, dangers all around in the darkness of the cave, Stannis saw something... beautiful. The tactical orders of Reordin slowly faded into a soft murmur in the back of the Wanderer's head as he simply stared, almost absentmindedly, at the giant lightfish and the simple O on the opposite cave wall. Everything faded away and all Stannis could visualize was the life around him. The dreamy voice of his mentor faded into his thoughts then out: Feel, don't think; use your instincts. Feel.Don't think.Instincts. What was Stannis' instinct? Prophesy. What did the prophesy say? He recited the lines that had proven themselves seared into his mind, thanks to the death of Aurax. They were Chosen, but hey were still mortal. Danger still existed to them. It made sense the more he pondered into the matter.Enduring their strifeMortality's knife,The heroes will find what he took.The lightfish were doubtlessly deadly. Reordin rightfully assumed to take strategy into his own hands. His way would be the best way... But wait. Stannis broke his own rule. He thought about it. Don't think!The Wanderer's tread,Leads to what lies ahead,A place of shades and deceptions.To seek hidden lines,And follow the signs,Will make them the only exceptions.It dawned on him not as a eureka moment of reckoning but as a gentle reminder, a memory jogged without cause. It was instinct! Without considering it further Stannis released his hold and worked his way towards the water, all while remaining silent. A smile appeared on his face as the stone crumbled beneath his feet, small pebbles of dirt trickling to the lightfish below."Stannis!" someone called. Maybe Reordin, maybe Oreius; Stannis couldn't hear him. He simply moved towards the water, towards the light. "Stannis, what are you doing!?" Everything seemed to happen so slowly, though it was only a couple seconds.That smile did not fade at all as he came ever closer to stepping into the water. But he did not stop. He knew better. Shades and deceptions.The cave was dark, dreadfully so, and it had fooled the matoran. Fooled them as darkness always did. But from the darkness, light."Stannis, STAHP!"It was right, it had to be. Hidden lines had been sought -- the letter O -- and found. The signs -- the hot stone growing hotter -- beckoned for them. Follow them. Feel, don't think. They had to be the exceptions. Stannis had to be an exception. An exception to what? To everything. To nature. Mata Nui truly was wonderful, the island and the Great Spirit. Stannis believed it. He placed his faith in it, in what he could not know how to understand, to comprehend. Mata Nui sometimes worked in mysterious ways. What the other matoran feared and saw as a threat was in truth a blessing and a guide."They'll kill you, Stannis!!!"Stannis touched the water but the lightfish did not kill him. That smile he held grew ever wider as he felt the water, warm with light and life, grow still around him. The jellyfish parted as if the Wanderer radiated an aura of power that repelled him, but they remained beside him, their brilliant light gracefully flowing as their bodies flexed. The carved O still remained before him, a stoic shadow in the light. "Come down!" Stannis called back to his companions. "The creatures don't mean us any harm." Hearing the awestruck matoran scamper down, he said, "Sulov, I feel it would only be right if you took the honor of collecting this stone."

  • Edited on 2012-11-14 03:10:23 by EmperorWhenua
  • Posted 2012-11-13 19:00:07 UTC
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  • IC (Lohkar)Lohkar's poker face was flawless.


    "Aye," he said. "We're goin' ta Po-Koro, because I've 'eard rumours that the Turaga 'ave been kidnapped. Properly."Lohkar's tone reiterated his disapproval of the events of Raknar's captaincy."Now, you may think that sailin' straight into the Po-Wahi docks as a most-wanted ship is a bad idea. An' you're right. That's why I'll be moorin' us in a hidden anchorage, safe from the eyes an' ears o' the Guard. Then we'll go ta Po-Koro on foot."With a casual flick of his hand, Lohkar flipped his two cards over. A jack, and the Ace of Spades.He grinned.

  • Posted 2012-11-13 23:13:42 UTC
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  • IC: Stannis is okay with jellies. I'm cool w/ that. I don't move.Maybe they don't want to attack us. That's great. But I'm not needed to get the stone, and unlike the others, I can do my job from this stalagmite. No one in the group is gonna miss out in this position. Here I've got higher range of sight and vibration sense. This place is better for my duty.Health's also important. The jellies also got a chance of shocking at any time. In the water, that's probably more effective than up here. And them being here means other rahi are probably in the water that we didn't see--else, they couldn't eat. I don't like those odds. Most likely, even in the worst case, I'm gonna be totally okay. Best case, we're all good. So I just stay on the rock and watch.

  • Edited on 2012-11-14 00:39:23 by Hero Creation Kit
  • Posted 2012-11-14 02:54:46 UTC
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  • IC: "I...think I might try to check the symbol anyway." Lepidran said, "In case its a trigger-button."Truthfully he didn't quite want to take a plunge into the water. Stannis' body heat meant water was vaporised around him, providing a cushion of air and steam to insulate him from the light(ning)fish attacks. Lepidran had no such security, but he didn't want to hurt the Wanderer's feelings. Besides, the symbol might actually be a button

  • Posted 2012-11-14 04:16:56 UTC
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  • IC: Tellus"An' why, Cap'n, would we walk inta a Koro where we're wanted, especially when we're away from the ship?" Glumly, he flipped over his cards to reveal a two of clubs, a queen of diamonds, and a king of hearts.

  • Posted 2012-11-14 04:51:17 UTC
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  • IC: "Sulov, I feel it would only be right if you took the honor of collecting this stone."Quick thinking. Route Draft #1: Time of contact with water is estimated 15-30 secs, leaps in range. Tiny likelihood of shock. Yeah.I pull out my prosthetic from the stalagmite I stuck it in. Then I tighten my stance and kick off. I grab my prosthetic right before it punches into the next stalagmite. Wrap body around it. Then repeat three times.Now's last jump. I draw Takua's pickax and leap from the rock into the water before the 'O' with one foot back. A step and I'll add force to the pick's blow.Swing's ready. I give the rock the once-over to make sure I should hit it. Don't wanna hit a button triggering some sorta ancient trap system w/out prep.

  • Edited on 2012-11-14 04:57:00 by Hero Creation Kit
  • Posted 2012-11-14 07:23:22 UTC
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  • Ic: The location was a tall lighthouse who's brilliance had long since fizzed into ash. It was remote, jutting out at the end of a curving landspit. Previously it signaled the presence of a series of treacherous rocks that posed threat to mechantships and slaver boats, but now it was a relic of a past civilization, the last redoubt of one of the many cities that sand sunk into the muck of the island, here prolonged by its stony foundation. Nighttime had fallen and the luminescence of Xa-Koro could be seen over a hill, the light pollution painting colors on the murky sky as clouds quickly passed by under the moonlight. Torches suddenly fluttered to life at the base of the structure and ascended the narrow stairs within after clearing room after room, the guards holding them high quickly securing the lighthouse. A single man clothed in a black overcoat strode after them and went up. "Secure the base of the peninsula and leave me be," he ordered and the dozen men at his service did as they were commanded, leaving Ambages to his solitude at the top of the tower. The man gazed out at the faintly lit sea and listened to the whisper of surf hitting the beach. He observed as a boat came in spewing smoke and steam from vents. It released a dinghy and their captain arrived alone. The man was a matoran like Ambages, only he carried a cane. "Is she coming in her boat?" he asked. It was the doctor."The woman said that she had another means of arriving," Ambages replied. No names were exchanged yet, one of their safeguards.The striking of tough heels on cobblestone caught their attention as Aurelia came up. When she appeared on the roof with them she looked nothing like someone who had explored caves and played in earth, instead she looked as ravishing and spotless as the aristocrat she was. In comparison it was the more austere and simply clad Ambages who's hems were stained and collar soiled. Ambages always felt a little inadequate when he was with the woman; she understood class better than the other two ever would. "A woman said she'll be here and a woman finds her way," she said with a little grin, but it faded when she felt something missing. Still, she remained silent about it for a moment longer.At Ambages' sign, the three Peers placed their hands in their cloaks and gripped their silver daggers. "To each their own..." Ambages started."... To each their might..." Aurelia said."... But only as one..." the doctor said.The three looked at the vacant place in their assembly and though to themselves ... We see the light. The scholar among them was not there. "What the ###### is the meaning of this?" Aurelia finally exploded. The doctor was equally unsettled. Their fellow had never missed a meeting since the group's inceptions many decades prior and his absence was noted with outrage.Ambages said with what little sorrow he could have without losing composure, "As we know, Huascar was in charge of the operations in Pala-Koro. I'm sorry to say that Huascar won't be joining us this time or ever again." The other two were clearly shocked. Despite their differences, they valued the input of the wizened scholar who graced their presence with sage and quotes from old texts and could be as devious as any other. His absence was a serious loss. "Then there are three of us, then. We have lost more than half of our number," Aurelia sadly stated. The Peers were created as a team of seven; with three remaining the majority of the original members were gone. It was a grim reminder that while the Peers were powerful, they were still as weak as any other when confronted with the true challenge of death. "I hope the move on Pala-Koro was successful, though," the doctor said. "We invested heavily in that project.""Madrihk was a fool," Ambages said. "He bought it all, hook, line and sinker, and everything worked as expected. The walls were shattered, the morale decimated, the headquarters smashed, and the technology secure. Everything except the loss of our brother was done according to plan.""How did he die?""I don't know for certain but I hope to find out soon. But before we get too far into this sad news: Did you meet with Echelon?" he asked of the doctor."I did," the man confirmed. "Echelon gave us the information we need. As he put it, the information is extremely sensitive and he wasn't privy of all the details, but the Cultured Gentry and the Makuta have an agreement. The dark one works with the Gentry through his leftenants to gift the Gentry their positions of prosperity while they in turn use their influence to assist the Makuta's power base in society. Commensialism at its finest, though one could even call it mutual parasitism.""Perfect," Ambages said to himself. While he had hunches all along, this word from Echelon gave him the evidence he needed, but not the proof. His last worry vanished when the doctor continued:"Echelon also guaranteed us his services as a double agent... and as an officer in the army to come. He owes us a lot, you see.""Perfect," the architect repeated. This was getting better and better every time. "Aurelia, please regal us with your exploits here.""Yes, please," the doctor said with a smirkish grin to the electress. "Regal me with your tales of glory." His face was one of lust for the noblewoman's possessions, personal and bodily. His desire was met with a stone curtain."And after that why don't you tell us about your travels on that boat of yours? All those doldrums should have allowed you to think of some fantastical novels." The doctor's face turned to one of shame; he just couldn't keep up with his crush. She steamrolled over him as she gave her report. "The digging machined have been in use for a week now. My engineers seem to think that the cave network is about 40% complete. The rest of it should be done in one more week, which would match up with the timeline for the ship construction in Ga-Koro.""What about Brykon and Bad Company?" Ambages asked.Aurelia's lips curved into a broad smile. "Now that is a story you're both going to want to sit down for..."

  • Edited on 2012-11-14 07:53:13 by EmperorWhenua
  • Posted 2012-11-15 09:44:07 UTC
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  • IC: Floria"Sounds fun!"IC: WuelpWuelp found that Ketru was simply taking too long. Bored as he was, hyperactivity caused him to catch sight of a boat beside what was an abandoned lighthouse.Using a pair of binoculars, he took a look. What he saw was...... Enough to provoke him to start walking in that direction.A misstep caused him to drop the ropedart in his hands onto the floor, leaving it for Ketru.OOC: EW, this is the char I asked about using to join your plot.

  • Edited on 2012-11-15 09:55:35 by Jl1223 X
  • Posted 2012-11-15 12:25:17 UTC
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  • IC KetruThe shopkeeper left and dropped his rope dart. I picked it up and started following him. Who ditched their shops in the middle of the day? He must have something really important to do.

  • Posted 2012-11-15 18:16:38 UTC
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  • IC (Lohkar)"Ah yes, that reminds me," Lohkar said. "There's just one thing I need ta know. Exactly which o' you was actually seen in the Turaga kidnappin'?"

  • Posted 2012-11-15 19:32:31 UTC
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  • IC Yasurek- Infernavika:"I wasn't actually aboard the ship at the time, so not me," Yasurek said, revealing a 2 of clubs, 3 of diamonds, 4 of spades, 5 of hearts, and a 3 of spades. "Regardless, I don't actually have a criminal record yet, so I'm not really wanted anywhere for anything."

  • Posted 2012-11-15 20:49:59 UTC
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  • IC: [Gunner] - InfernavikaI briefly snarled in frustration at my hand, which consisted of queen of spades, a three of clubs and a ten of spades, before tossing them onto the crude table in disgust."Technically speaking, captain, I was spotted in the kidnapping," I said, lowering myself down into a seating position on the deck, "However, given my record with the Guard, I don't think that'll be the only reason someone would try to arrest me."-Void

  • Posted 2012-11-15 21:07:50 UTC
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  • IC: Lasinia"I was stuck watching the ship. So I wasn't seen."

  • Posted 2012-11-15 21:19:25 UTC
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  • IC (Lohkar)Lohkar nodded."Right," he said. "That's two of ya who can go ta Po-Koro without bein' arrested on sight. As for me...well, I imagine the news o' my 'death''s got around enough that a simple disguise should work."He winked at Yasurek."Nice five-card trick, mate," he said. "But Blackjack takes all."His own perfect hand lay on the 'table'."Right, here's what we do. Those of us who can't be connected with the kidnappin' will make up the shore party. Gunner, you'll be in charge o' the ship 'til I get back. All we're goin' ta do is look around a bit, ask around as to 'ow...annoyed, shall we say, the Guard are about Raknar's antics. Then we head back ta the 'Vika an' set sail. Like I said - high time we did some honest piratin'!"

  • Posted 2012-11-15 21:31:03 UTC
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  • IC Yasurek- Infernavika:"Will our shore excursion also include dropping off excess cargo?" Yasurek asked, making a subtle gesture towards Floria. He glanced at the various blackjack hands. Once again, I do a lot of work and somebody else comes in and easily renders it useless, he thought to himself. Glad to see you're still treating me the same as usual, universe.

  • Posted 2012-11-15 21:49:13 UTC
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  • Ic: Ambages and the doctor declined to sit and merely strolled to the railing around the top of the lighthouse and reclined. Aurelia began explaining what had been occurring. "Brykon is an old soldier, and while I don't doubt his abilities in the ring I don't know how well suited he is to lead the team of rabble, let alone an army. His ideas are slow and stoic, his strategies based on mind games... Even his violence is lethargic. He's past his prime. Dorian, on the other hand, is new and quick and has no problems with obliterating something in his way. He's ambitious and willing to even seduce the most unwilling traitor to iron out what needs to be done." Ambages seemed to consider this before motioning for the electress to continue."The team dynamic seems to be rusty as always. Brykon keeps the team together loosely by way of his status, which is strange." (Little did she know or see what was occurring underground.) "But the team is reunited with Dorian, Sev, Grokk, Illicia and a new face: Jin. Most of them owe fealty to Dorian instead of Brykon, so if Brykon wants to impress me and his wards he's going to have to impress them big time fast."The team seems to be ready to partake in the plan, however. Recruiters are going through the village finding people who seem suited for conscription, pretending to be contractors seeking the best and strongest workers. Within a week, we'll have an army numbering about one-hundred men at arms with weapons produced from tools made locally and transported in ships imported from Ga-Koro. The plan is to have the army leave in ten days, and by then the methane will have time to spread evenly through the catacombs. And then we'll blow this city up and away.""Brother, what do you project will happen in detail?" Ambages asked of the doctor who doubled as a scientist.He moved his head side to side as if in thought before answering. "The gas will at first expand as it explodes, lifting Xa-Koro and other islets up as if it's on the top of a rising volcano, then it will cease to expand as the fuel is consumed. That's when the real destruction will occur as the village crashes back down. The foundations will be decimated and the weight of the village will collapse through the caves and caverns of the Kumu Islets and bring it down below sea level. It will then flood, making these islets nothing more than atolls. Only perhaps this solid redoubt will remain, but the city of Xa-Koro will be buried with the rest in the mud of the civilizations it sits on. The projected death toll will be in the hundreds. Anyone who remains in the village will be either crushed by the weight of the city or drowned in the swallow of the sea that will wash in."This image of destruction flickered in the minds of the three Peers. But they all understood that it was just the beginning. "The army will be ready to do battle, I know," Ambages said. "But one hundred is not enough. Recruit more, two more ships worth.""But why?" Aurelia asked."Because some will have to die if the army is to succeed. The hundreds in the village do not count. We will attack Le-Koro and threaten to burn it down with a portion of the army.""That attack won't succeed. Le-Koro has one of the finest armies in the land. More men means a lesser trained army.""Exactly," Ambages said. "While the lesser force attacks Le-Koro the rest will move to the northeast. We will move to Ko-Wahi and take shelter there. We will not reveal ourselves until the time is right.""I don't understand," the doctor said, mirroring Aurelia's curiously confused face. Both of the other Peers expected the army to wage war with haste; to them, the time for it was now. "Why hide when we could fight?""Because there's a winter coming, brother," Ambages said. "There are still things to be done. An army can do much in battle, but we have to have a castle. We can't hold the line until we have watchers on the wall. Trust me in this, my friends. Mata Nui's hold on this island is shaking. It will not be long before we truly will shatter his suvas and obliterate his heroes, but for now we must wait.""Then why attack Xa-Koro? It would raise suspicions, wouldn't it?""It would. It would be an unknown, it would bewilder Mata Nui's militaries. It would create a distraction that will allow us to move to Ko-Wahi quietly. The shattering of Xa-Koro coupled with an attack of Xa-Koronan men on mainland soil would create xenophobia and would stir suspicion to those who remain faithful to the Great Spirit.""But we can't expect that to just happen, can we?" the doctor asked."No, we can't. But I can promise that I will see to it through the Cultured Gentry. Echelon has guaranteed this to us.""Then it is settled," Aurelia mused."Indeed it is. When we meet again we will be in Ko-Koro with an army and half a dozen champions behind us, and the aristocrats of Mata Nui by my side. And then, only then... will Mata Nui... fall."

  • Edited on 2012-11-21 04:24:09 by EmperorWhenua
  • Posted 2012-11-15 22:35:18 UTC
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  • IC: [Gunner] - InfernavikaI nodded in agreement at Lohkar's plan, with a small smirk edging its way onto my face, "Three, captain, if Hakhes can be counted in."-Void

  • Posted 2012-11-16 03:05:14 UTC
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  • IC: Tellus"Four, Cap'n. As ye no doubt recall, I was back on Xa-Koro, keepin' the Black Spot from goin' broke." Tellus grinned.

  • Edited on 2012-11-16 04:58:41 by Cadias
  • Posted 2012-11-16 07:05:46 UTC
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  • IC:Sulov seemed to find the cave wall safe to hit. He struck the rock wall inside the "O" with the pickaxe - no success, for the rock cracked, and there was no revelation. Sulov tried another spot, this one slightly to the right of his first strike, and the cracks widened; however, there was still no stone, and no sign that the rock would give. Sulov stepped back to examine the wall, and in the process almost tripped over something sticking out of the ground underwater.The Onu-Matoran bent down, still careful of the lightfish, and felt the protrusion. Disguised and covered by both the blue glow of the massive jellyfish all around and the murkiness of the water, the dark green luminescence of a rock in the earth had been hidden from the view of the Wanderer's Company until they literally stumbled upon it. Sulov pulled the stone out of the water, remarking on its deceptive heaviness. It was an angled shard of quartz, about the same size as Tahu's Essence Stone, but it felt about twice as heavy as it looked. Something inside the stone made it glow green, pulse with a similar heartbeat to Tahu's stone. The quartz shard was clearly Onua's Essence Stone.Oreius, who had clambered down from his perch in wonder and waded carefully through the jellyfish, approached Sulov with a dazed look on his face. He walked with the first Essence Stone extended in both arms. As the two stones grew closer and closer together, Oreius felt his grow almost unbearably hot, even for him as a Ta-Matoran, and even Sulov struggled to hold up the exponentially growing weight of Onua's stone. The lights grew brighter and brighter as onyx approached quartz. Then, the stones touched.Immediately, Oreius felt the heated sensation in his rock leave, the pulse within it fade. Sulov, who had braced himself against the massive weight of the quartz, almost fell over backwards as its heaviness vanished, its light faded. In a split-second, both stones had reverted to seemingly-natural states; no light, no pulse, no odd sensations. The lightfish around the shins of the company, once again, became their main source of light in the cave.

  • Posted 2012-11-16 23:25:13 UTC
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  • IC:Leah had followed Sulov's every move as he had approached the large O on the rockwall; when he had stumbled over the stone and when he and Oreius had united the two of them. And she still continued to watch, eyes wide, not quite believing what she had just witnessed. But the moment passed and she started processing what had just occured. On the one hand, she felt relief. Incredible relief that they had made it here, that they now had the second stone in their hands for safekeeping. But at the same time, she couldn't deny the anxiousness that had been her sole feeling all the way to this moment was not leaving.From what Reording and Stannis had told her back in her hut, these stones were of such importance that the Makuta was Karzhani-bent on denying them access to them. It had cost Aurax his life as well as that of Takua for all they knew. But this...Compared to Rahkshi or the Island itself turning against them, this had been easy.Hesitantly, Leah slid down the stalagmite she had been hanging onto and dropped into the water before carefully wading over to where Sulov and Oreius were standing. She exchanged quick looks with the others."I do not wish to keep you from your well-deserved feeling of elation, but we should not linger here. A cave is good place to hide something away. It is an even better place to bury somebody forever. We should get moving."

  • Posted 2012-11-16 23:37:41 UTC
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  • Ic: "The Kumu Islets are no place for us, either," Stannis said with reason. "Even without our mission I would not want to remain in this pit of despair and heathens. We should return to Le-Wahi at once. Our boat should still be moored."

  • Posted 2012-11-17 02:08:51 UTC
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  • IC: Holy.I stagger a little at the quick lightness. Balance. Stop before I hit the jellies. My hand moves to keep the crystal safe.It's clear quartz. Beats, glows dark green, and gets heavier when the other stone gets near it. It's stopped, but probably gonna weigh my pack as soon as we get near the next. I'll pad it.I open my backpack and place it where the iStone was. Then I sheath the pickaxe.Something's tugging at the back of my mind. An emotion, a little like the one trying to get my attention at the last stone. I ignore it. The others need nourishment and safety. I'll make sure needs now are met and take care of feelings later. They're ready to go. Good. There's day time left for more travel. I get in the back, on a stalagmite, and wait. My watch is up.

  • Edited on 2012-11-17 16:29:15 by Norman Efiks
  • Posted 2012-11-17 05:51:11 UTC
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  • Ic: "Now for the last portion of business," Ambages said. "It is right; we are more than half what we were, and the more we lose our number the more we lose our influence. We should,'t have less than four members or we will risk extinction, of us and our plan. We should -- and I hate to say it -- recruit a new member."The faces of the others were lit up with disdain and surprise. The Peers had never recruited save that one time many years before when they first started. Still, after their initial expressions of dislike faded, they nodded. Ambages had a point: Fewer Peers meant fewer resources to build from and a greater risk of being killed off. The threshold of endangerment had been passed with the demise of Huascar and the Peers had to be repopulated. Their period of hiding would provide an ideal period to find and bring in new members, but the news had to be put out there first. The others conceded to the point. "The new member should be like ourselves: Smart, proficient, connected. Great wealth comes secondary, what we need is someone good at something important. The members of the Cultured Gentry may be wealthy, but most are small-time marketers and mediocre critical thinkers. We need someone better than that. At our next meeting we should be four once more. Any discussion?"The others had none, signifying the end of their meeting. The doctor was selected to close the conclave. “With each their sow...”“... With each their sight...” Ambages said.“... It is only as one...” Aurelia said.... We feed the night, they all thought. The doctor's body faded into the darkness of the winding staircase that descended into the belly of the lighthouse, followed by Aurelia's footsteps. As they arrived, the doctor took his ship to sea and Aurelia fled through the tunnels she created. Ambages' captain of the guard came to him for orders, but the architect didn't need protection anymore and dismissed them. His last bodyguard would provide ample security. The dozen matoran collected their torches and left, their formation like a dozen glowing dots of an ellipse moving away down the peninsula of the spit. Ambages watched them fade away, their dots growing smaller, dimmer, until they were gone. It seemed as if the architect was alone at last.He held out a lightstone and went down the narrow stairs with slow method, and when his feet hit the hard stone floor at the bottom he instinctively inspected his surroundings. Something wasn't right to him, but as he looked around he could not tell what it was that made him feel insecure. He opened his mouth to call for his toa bodyguard but stopped short of uttering a syllable and instead slipped his earmuffs off his temples and extended his only sense keener than his eyes. He listened to everything around him: A rat scampering in the stone walls; the dashing of waves on the stones and beach; the caw of albatross in the nighttime sky; the unnatural thump of digging machines below the ground; the grind of a stoneworm wriggling through the crust; the soft sound of breathing, femenine and delicate..."Come out, Aurelia," he said finally, softly and kind.The electress stepped out from a dark corner, a grin on her face. "I thought we weren't supposed to say each other's names outside of our meetings," she cooed. "Someone's being a bad boy.""Here we can say it's just a formality. Nobody can hear us here. Nobody will care."She laughed. "Then nobody will care if we talk among ourselves, just you and I," she said. "Most people think that I like confines, but this dank place is hardly the place for pleasure.""My thoughts exactly. To the roof?" Ambages asked with a wry smirk on his face."I thought you wouldn't think of it," she said with a face of mirrored mischief.

  • Posted 2012-11-17 06:21:53 UTC
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  • IC: Wraith - Kumu Islets -They were nearing the border to Ga-Wahi, but they still had a bit of a way to go, Wraith silently lead the way. Who knew what he could possibly be thinking? Most likely his rather logical mind was thinking about the next fifty things he'd most likely have to do, and trying to figure out the most efficient way of doing so.

  • Posted 2012-11-17 07:31:31 UTC
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  • IC: [The Seventh]"You've been pretty quiet lately."

  • Posted 2012-11-17 07:37:59 UTC
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  • IC: WuelpWuelp was semi-aware of Ketru following from behind him. However, he found the boat that now seemed to be leaving...a bit more interesting.As he edged closer to the abandoned lighthouse, he managed to catch glimpses of what looked like shadows moving. He assumed them to be guards, using the guise of the night.

  • Posted 2012-11-17 08:09:20 UTC
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  • Rhow listened to Viloz' tale with much interest. So the scum of the Island had reared their ugly heads and actually attacked this ILS-group? That didn't exactly speak for the ILS, but it also meant it was time to really get in on the action. She stepped closer to her fellow Skakdi."How many of the followers of Makuta were present during the attack?" she asked. "Lots." was the reply. "No Rahkshi though..." Viloz replied.Rhow nodded, thinking for a moment. "Alright then." She looked at the other Skakdi around. "It seems Makuta's pets have decided to ransack a rather neat village. I say, we should return the favour, while they are out, burning down huts and whatnot. As the friendly man behind the counter tells me, there's a place in town the Matoran avoid like the plague. Sounds like a good place to start looking."She crossed her arms, looking confident. "So, drink up me hearties and let's make a visit."
    IC: Taoki - Kumu-Islets - Xa-Koro BarTaoki tapped his new hat up a little to see Rhow, "Where to boss?" the runt asked, his voice muffled by his still sucking his fingers.IC: Utu - Kumu-Islets - DocksUtu stepped off the boat, planting his feet on the solid docks of Xa-Koro, having already payed the Matoran manning the boat, he gave him a nod and looked around the docks. Heauni said his targets were last seen in Xa-Koro. Knowing Xa-Koro, it wouldn't be like them to give any information on the group if in the small chance they were spotted at all. This was going to take a while.He could look for their boat, providing it was at the docks.There seemed be a lot of "providing"s in the mission so far. This worried Utu. Heauni didn't seem like the kind of Toa one would want to disappoint. Especially after such an entrance to Makuta's circle. Heauni said so himself, there was no turning back. He devoted himself to the Master of Shadows, a vow that betraying would result in his death.That isn't to say he was considering it in the first place. Utu wasn't lying when he told Heauni that Makuta's forces was where Utu belonged. He knew what he was getting into when he walked into Makuta's realm, arms spread wide, and exclaimed his allegiance. That was the kind of thing a man had to be confident about before doing. Makuta being the most powerful force in existence and all.He turned to watch the ferryman turn his boat out of his position on the docks, carefully guiding the vessel from the islet of thievery. One had to be able to fit in pretty well, or appear to fit in pretty well as not to get stabbed or all your things stolen. Alright, that might be a little extreme; getting noticed. Hopefully, this would get the six Matoran he hunted on the radar somehow. Utu checked his possessions quickly, tightening his belt. His size should protect him from thieves, but if anything it was a precaution.The new agent of Makuta stepped into the dock complex, and started asking around the sailors and travelers, paying special attention to empty boats.This was going to take a while.OOC:Yes, I am aware that the WC's boat is not at the docks.

  • Edited on 2012-11-17 08:41:45 by We Are Legion
  • Posted 2012-11-17 18:20:00 UTC
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  • IC: Gunner - Infernavika/Upper DecksI raised an eyebrow at Tellus' remark, slowly remembering that it was I (in conjunction with Raknar and Grochi) who left him here, stranded, "Yeah, that was very unfortunate."-Void

  • Posted 2012-11-17 19:13:54 UTC
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  • IC (Lohkar)Lohkar smiled wryly, raising an eyebrow."Anyway, gents, I don't need much of a shore party. Just four of us'll do. Yasurek, you look trustworthy, so you'll be comin'. Help divert any suspicion. Lasinia an' Floria, you're comin' too. The rest of ya can mind the ship."He sniffed."As for Hahkes, I believe 'e's down in the galley, cookin' up some vittles for lunch."Lohkar jumped up the steps to the aftcastle. Taking the wheel, just out of sight of the cards-players, Lohkar tugged a small flat object out of the sleeve of his armour. He chuckled. Six identical Aces of Spades...he pushed them back beneath his armour and set his eyes to the horizon."An' just in time, lads. We're movin' into Po-Wahi waters..."OOC: Infernavika and crew to Po-Wahi.

  • Posted 2012-11-17 19:38:25 UTC
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  • IC: Reordin (Underground, Kumu Islets)"Well, then, let's go," Reordin said. "Sulov, I'll take point. You have a Stone now. Your protection is essential."IC: Dorian (Underground, Xa-Koro)"I--""You what, Dorian?" Brykon roared, still coming down from the high of his anger, now allowed to roam freely around his Markless lieutenant. "You want to try and tell me you aren't a cocky, impulsive, half-crazed psychopath with a pretty grin? You want to tell me this is all part of your master plan? Alright, then, explain to me this: why do you do this to yourself?"While I was on the ground, Brykon darted out his foot, too quickly for me to anticipate it; it caught me square in the center of the face, and I felt a membrane bust in my nose instantly. Blood squirted from my nostrils down my face, dotting my chest, as I stood and put myself into a defensive stance. I threw a punch, knocking him off his balance for just a second, but as I reached in to bring him down, he caught my arm and then slammed his own upwards, sending every bone in my body rattling. Distracted, I was no match for the brute in front of me as he shoved me back; I hit the ground twelve feet away and cursed, spitting out globules of blood intertwined with the obscenity."Why do you keep coming back, for more and more, even when you and I both know you don't want to have to keep going through it?" Brykon roared, reaching a fever pitch as he began to make his point once again. "Why do you convince yourself that this is the right way for you to spend your life, when you're so sure that I'm making you waste it? Why--?""Because you're all I've got left!" I screamed back, throat raw and shaky from the beating I'd just taken, the yelling I'd done, and the threat of tears suddenly carrying underneath it. Blood dripped from my nose, hitting the hard ground once and creating a drop! sound that echoed through the cavern. "And I would honestly prefer death to not being here because if I'm not here, I'm alone, and at least when you spend all eternity roasting in h*** there's people to keep you company!"Brykon's gaze was unreadable as I tried to pull myself to my knees and failed, starting to sob, tears mixing with blood and congealing into a heartbreaking cocktail of despair and a hopeless want for death, or at least companionship, those two feelings that so often went hand in hand."I just don't wanna be alone anymore..."All was silent.-Tyler

  • Edited on 2012-11-17 19:52:07 by Tyler Durden
  • Posted 2012-11-17 20:18:34 UTC
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  • IC: I nod. He's right. The pack's gotta be guarded. I guess I can't guard the back anymore. Now I'll be something the others need to think about on the trip.I'll be a problem for them to keep solved. I don't like that. I don't want to be a burden, is all. But someone's gotta do it and I might as well make Stannis happy at it.I move into new place next to Stannis. Then I let my watch readjust and keep it up.

  • Posted 2012-11-17 22:05:33 UTC
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  • IC: Utu - Kumu-Islets - Xa-Koro DocksUtu signaled to a group of sailors sitting on the docks while others worked around them. One smoked a cigarette, the other sat with his arms crossed. One nodded to him and stood up, the second stayed seated."Gentlemen," he started with a smile, a wide toothy one with no twitch like his usual smile, "I was wondering if a group I know has had their ship placed at these docks."The cigarette smoker stood up, with his arms crossed, his smoke lazily hanging onto his lips, "Yeah, we might've seen them. Description of ship or the crew?""Exactly six Matoran."The smoker looked to his friend, "Can't say they've been here. Not on these sides of the docks at least. Feel free to check some of the vacant boats here."Utu nodded with a smile which was returned. He knew the Toa didn't have the authority to make that call. But this was Xa-Koro. Utu was starting to see more parallels between his own village and this one. In the corner of his eye, he watched a pickpocket steal something from somebody bigger than him. The Vortixx turned around to see her wallet being snatched. She quickly brandished a knife. The pair started running through the docks, the thief sprinting for his life.Yeah, this was a lot like his old home.Utu stopped at the first boat, favoring the smaller ships over others as they would be more likely to house the group. Matoran crews of small numbers weren't known for manning large boats. And considering the stand these Matoran had taken against Makuta, who's people were known for anything that might include piracy of some sort, made it unlikely they were hanging around a full crew.Boat after boat, Utu checked out, making sure to ask about a group of six Matoran. He started to get doubtful.This went on for quite a while until he realized something.Why would a group of good natured Matoran, dock in the worst village on Mata-Nui?He turned, walking away from the docks. He'd be checking with villagers on his way.

  • Posted 2012-11-17 22:34:53 UTC
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  • IC (Oreius)Oreius took up right point again, the Stone safely back in his pack, appearing once more to be nothing more than an ordinary, if well-carved, rock. The Company assembled once more, and began to make their way back out of the cavern. Before long, they had left the blue light of the jellyfish, and were once more navigating the sour-smelling tunnels by the light of their lanterns.They climbed the rope that led out of the sewers, and Sulov wrapped it up and placed it in his pack. There was no evidence they had been here, no trail anyone could follow. Perhaps that cave would remain undisturbed for the rest of time.It took longer to get out than it had to get in, as the Company was making their way up the passage instead of down. Despite being in good shape, most of the Matoran were breathing heavily by the time they reached the entrance. As they exited the tunnel, Oreius closed his eyes and took a deep draught of air. The fresh breeze and the sun on his face had never felt so good, so alive.The beings who had scorned them on their way in had no way of knowing the Company had found what they were seeking, so the six Matoran were the target of some derision on their way out of the outskirts of the city. None of the travelers paid them any mind: their calling was higher than any of the Xa-Koran villagers could possibly know; they were not mere treasure hunters.At last, the Company found their way through the jungle, back to the beach where they had moored their boat. The vessel was still there, bobbing gently on the waves, as though it had been waiting for them. The six Matoran climbed aboard, eager for an opportunity to sit down and rest their weary feet.The sun was low in the sky now, lighting up the horizon in pale hues of pink and orange. The light reflected on the water, creating an almost unearthly scene of peace and beauty. The companions forgot their troubles for a time, and allowed themselves to rest after their harrowing experience in the catacombs.The boat's engines started up on the first try, purring pleasantly. Oreius directed Sulov and Reordin to pull in the anchor, and then slowly steered the boat away from the shore, towards the main island. The watercraft slid through the water smoothly and quietly; there were no waves. The sea was smooth as glass.Breaking the long silence, Oreius raised his voice over the hum of the motor.“Where to next?”OOC: I'm thinking we should head for the Papa Nihu Reef, to get out of the way all the Stones that require a boat to get to.

  • Posted 2012-11-18 02:12:05 UTC
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  • IC: Reordin (Kumu Islets)Reordin sat on the railing of the boat once again, examining the map with the sharp eyes of a hawk, flying low, scanning a field for a quick mouse to pick up and carry away. He chewed on the inside of one lip carefully as he examined the locations of the remaining Essence Stones, calculating different routes in his head rapidly. Every now and then, Lepidran or Stannis would approach him, only to be rebuffed by Leah or Sulov, who were more intimately familiar with Reordin's style of management and preparation. Finally, he looked up at Oreius and shrugged."Originally, the plan was to snag the thing in Le-Wahi," he reminded the Ta-Matoran. "But I was listening while we moved through the city, and word from the streets is that an army of Makuta followers attacked Pala-Koro, in the jungle, not too far from where the thing was. I figure that, for now, it wouldn't be safe for us to go back there. We'll circle around the island clockwise, picking up the things as we go starting at the Papa Nihu Reef, since we already have a boat and supplies enough to last us the trip. From there, we can hit the others, circle around, get the last thing in Le-Wahi, and we'll be at the center of the island once we do."He turned and looked at Sulov, who nodded his approval of the strategy once: if the word of the Ko-Matoran tactician hadn't been enough for Stannis, the concurrence of the Onu-Matoran survivalist would be enough to sway him. With that in mind, Oreius began heading towards the Reef, and by association, the third Stone. They were close, now, so close.Reordin could taste the excitement.OOC: Wanderer's Company to Onu-Wahi.-Tyler

  • Edited on 2012-11-18 02:29:22 by Tyler Durden
  • Posted 2012-11-18 07:36:12 UTC
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  • IC: Utu - Kumu-IsletsUtu continued on through the streets, trying to keep closer to the coastline side of the village. Every little while, he would ask a person outside a home or at a shop about his targets. It wasn't the best way to track somebody, as it made your presence known. But, Utu's size did that fairly well for him. He stayed under his cloak, his arm under wraps. A lower profile was necessary. At least compared to the life he lived with the other Bearers. As an agent of Makuta, he must be more careful with his identity.He sighed inwardly, frustrated already with the lack of results before realizing it was normal. Karz, he wasn't going to kill the Matoran this time around, unlike the previous time he had to do something like this. At least last time he knew many of his enemies. Knew where they might go. This group, whoever they were probably always on the move if Makuta was after him. He couldn't wait in their home or track them from their place of work.This job was gonna be a little bit of cat and mouse Utu could tell already.He came to a wall in the village, checked once more with a Matoran inside the walls, "A group of six Matoran. Have you seen them?"The Matoran nodded, "Yeah buddy, treasure 'unters they were," Utu turned on him, previously planning to simply pass the Matoran by to a hole in the crumbling walls expecting the same answer he'd had all day."What? How long ago? Where did they go?" Utu quickly pushed the words out.The Matoran put down his large vase, "What's the rush pal?""Tell me!" Utu interrjected. He had no time for this. Simple minutes could make the difference between a catch and a failure."Fine, yeez. A couple hours ago, they 'eaded inland. Didn't say much, just asked fer directions to the catacombs," Utu had already started through the hole, "But an hour ago they headed back to the coast." Utu considered his options. If the Matoran were still there, on the coastline, he might be able to catch them. A thirty minute walk through the forest to the water would be cut in half if he ran. Utu found himself wishing he had access to a Kakama, or a Kualsi.If the group of "treasure 'unters" were still there, he might be able to confront them. Although it would be unlikely to be a success in capturing them, he might be able to get information on where they were going. Still pretty unlikely. In the proccess of that, he would have to reveal himself, getting the group wise to a tracker if they weren't already, and finding out who was tracking them. Utu found himself wishing he hired help for the job, or Heuani had sent him with some.He stepped through the hole hastily, and back again, shaking his head, his heart racing he'd have to make a decision right away.No, the group was more likely to have left, and if they hadn't, he could cut them off.Utu turned around the way he came and started running, his powerful legs pushing off the ground as efficiently as he could, while still pacing himself. The run to the docks would be longer than the run to the waters; maybe twenty or twenty-five minues, but if he was right about the waters, taking that route would put him behind far too much. He could get to the docks, find a fast ship, rent it's use and maybe a small crew if it had one, and get on with his chase.He continued running back to the docks, the sun setting overhead.

  • Edited on 2012-11-18 07:36:53 by We Are Legion
  • Posted 2012-11-18 21:38:38 UTC
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  • IC: Wraith - Kumu Islets -"What do you mean?" Wraith asked as they approached the Ga-Wahi border. OOC: Wraith and Seven to Ga-Wahi

  • Posted 2012-11-18 23:51:55 UTC
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  • IC: Vilor roared in impatience. "I am tired with the recruit quality in Xa-koro! We're going inland-and finding someone who knows how to fight!"OOC:Black Inferno to Le-Wahi.

  • Posted 2012-11-19 02:28:30 UTC
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  • OOC: Moving from Le-Wahi region…IC: Vidar and Ronkshou remained stoic and focused as the ship bobbed towards the islet that Xa-Koro was on. After several minutes, Ronkshou slowed the small vessel, and stopped about two meters from the shore. All this time, the two ignored the features around them: the stunning cliffs, the sparkling sea under the moonlight. All Vidar and Ronkshou cared about right now was the task at hand.Ronkshou threw an anchor over the edge of the boat like a Matoran casually tosses a bamboo disk. The water did not react so calmly, splashing loudly and slightly spraying the Infected Toa with water.Vidar had already jumped off the boat and trudged through the water, moving slowly to avoid being too loud. Ronkshou casually moved behind him, his armored feet splashing about until they both reached t he sandy beach.“This is Xa-Koro,” Ronkshou’s said, “They will yield to us when no one else will,”“Indeed,” Vidar hissed in response. They were not as concerned about these people knowing that high-ranking Makuta servants were prowling the land -- if the villagers knew better, they'd pray and hope that the two weren't looking for them.Wasting no time, they made their way towards the city proper – while the Kumu Islets were small specs of land, Xa-Koro had a deep and vast underground landscape. Common sense suggested that a stone would be hidden there. Only problem was, they would have to check the underground tunnels for each of the islets in the Kumu island chain.This could potentially be a long search.

  • Edited on 2012-11-19 02:29:37 by Emzee