The Cavern of Deception
“Why are we looking for this mask again…?” Lewa sighed, trailing behind the other three.
“Because we need to make sure Makuta does not get his hands on it.” Kopaka replied, rolling his eyes.
“Right right.” Lewa nodded. “But why do we need to do that?”
“Lewa, shut it.” Pohatu sighed, looking back at the master of jungle.
“Fine fine, but I’d still like to know why.” The emerald armored Toa smirked, shrugging his shoulders.
“Shush.” Ekimu said as he stopped in his tracks, raising a hand for them to wait.
“What is it, wise one…?” Kopaka whispered, slowly kneeling beside the mask maker.
“Listen…” Ekimu mumbled, his eyes darting side to side from under his mask.
“Right…” Kopaka nodded, looking up and around, the four of them were surrounded by trees, bushes, and other various forms of plant life, the leaves were still beside a soft breeze blowing past them.
“I don’t hear anything…” Lewa whispered.
“Because you aren’t listening…” Ekimu sighed.
“Wait…I hear it…” Pohatu said, slightly alarmed.
“As do I.” Kopaka nodded, pulling his ice spear from his back.
“I still don’t…Oh…” Lewa said as a faint noise became clear to him, what sounded like an unintelligible whisper echoed from all around them, the sound growing louder and louder before fading instantly. Moments later the noise returned, but this time the direction of origin was clear.
Ekimu pushed through the brush. “Follow the sound.” He said as the Toa watched him disappear into the forest, one by one, they trailed in his direction. The Toa all lost one another in the jungle, though moments before they were in a line when they entered. Each kept to their directions, not wanting to be lost in the forest.
Eventually they came to a clearing in the trees, each Toa emerging from the edge of the woodland in a line just as they had entered, though they had not seen each other in between then and now. As they nodded to one another, slightly confused, they focused on the figure before them. Ekimu stood at the mouth of a massive cave, a glimpse inside revealed nothing but pure darkness, as if the cave was flooded with evil itself.
“We’re here.” Ekimu sighed, Lewa tilting his head.
“Where is here?” He questioned.
“The cavern of deception…” Ekimu replied, turning around to face them.
“Well then, let’s get moving.” Kopaka said, walking past Ekimu and starting into the darkness, Pohatu following behind him.
“Ugh, do we have to…?” Lewa sighed, heading into the black abyss as Ekimu watched his companions depart.
“No patience it would seem.” The mask maker sighed, following them into the darkness.
The companions delved deeper and deeper through the long winding tunnels of the cavern, until they came upon a flat stone wall, illuminated by light with no clear source of origin. The wall was cutting off the cavern perfectly. in the center of the wall sat two large stone doors, above them was an elaborate carving of a strange mask, with three spikes protruding on the sides and the top, the chin of the mask being rather squared and flat.
“Now then…” Pohatu mumbled.
“I’d assume this is the true entrance…?” Kopaka said in awe of the massive wall blocking off the wide cavern.
“And is that the mask we seek?” Lewa said, extending his arm out forwards and pointing at the carving.
“Yes, and yes.” Ekimu confirmed, his voice echoing throughout the cave.
“Well let’s be off then. This mask isn’t going to find itself.” Pohatu sighed, walking over to the wall and running his fingers down the grit of the doors.
“Right.” Kopaka nodded. “I have a feeling this isn’t going to be so easy to open as simply push on it.”
“Now now frost brain, you’re thinking too hard.” Lewa smirked, Kopaka glaring at him as he walked to Pohatu’s side. “Can you bust it down like you did in the ancient city?”
“Not without risking the collapse of this whole cavern.” Pohatu replied.
“Look at this…” Ekimu mumbled, kneeling down. He dug his fingers into the gravel, pulling up an object and brushing it off, then blowing on it to further remove the dirt.
“What is it?” Kopaka asked as Ekimu studied the object. It gave off a dim reflection, whilst it was fairly flat and short, it was also a decent bit wide and tapered down to a point.
“It is some sort of arrow or spear head…” Ekimu said in a puzzled tone.
“What…? How is that possible?” Kopaka questioned.
“Is your head so frozen over that you can’t tell the obvious?” Lewa said, rolling his eyes as he hopped over to the mask maker, snatching the object from his hand. “Clearly this means that someone knew about this place and came here to get the mask. They must have gotten into a fight with something and this broke off of one of their weapons during the fight.”
“Agreed.” Pohatu nodded, his gaze still fixed on the stone doors.
“This may be true, but if so, where are they?” Kopaka asked, crossing his arms.
“Through these doors…” Pohatu answered. “I can tell that these doors had been disturbed recently before we arrived.”
“If that is the case then we must reach the mask as quickly as possible.” Ekimu said, pointing at Pohatu. “Get that door open, now.” He commanded, the Toa of stone smirking as he clenched his fist, winding his arm back and shooting it forward, his knuckles slamming into the stone, causing the doors to shatter, broken sections blasting into the labyrinth behind the wall.
“Let’s move.” Pohatu said, climbing through the hole.
Honor is Key
“Finally…” Sighed the voice of a weary, blue armored Toa, as she stepped through the southern gates of the primary water village of Okoto’s water region.
“Ahh, Toa Gali, you have returned!” Exclaimed the voice of the protector of water as he made his way towards the Toa.
“Yes Kivoda, my mission has been completed.” Gali sighed, looking past the protector to a gathering of villagers.
“Oh? So you have woken Ekimu, the mask maker?” Kivoda questioned, tilting his head.
“Yes, Ekimu is awake and the mask of creation belongs to him once more.” Gali answered, the surrounding villagers clapping and cheering as Kivoda smiled under his mask.
“Thank you, Toa Gali, we are in your debt, with the skull grinder and the Lord of skull spiders defeated, we should be safe once more.” The protector said, patting Gali’s shoulder. “But your duties are not complete, Makuta still lurks in the shadows and we fear that his future threats will be far more deadly than the skull spiders.”
“You are right Kivoda, what should I do next?” Gali asked, standing straight.
“Well, you can begin by training a new hero of our tribe.” Kivoda replied, turning to the crowd.
“But Kivoda, I fear none of these villagers would be capable of becoming a true hero…” Gali whispered as Kivoda shook his head.
“No, not just any villager” He said, clapping his hands. “Mizu, come forth and greet Toa Gali.” Kivoda shouted, the crowd splitting down the middle, creating a path, a large figure sitting at the end of it. The figure stood, standing at about Tahu’s height, his body was covered in dark blue armor, with large, silver metallic armor plating over that, his mask was smooth and round going from dark blue on the bottom, to silver along the top. He began walking through the crowd, stopping before Kivoda and Gali.
“It is an honor to meet you, Toa Gali.” Mizu said quietly, dropping to one knee and bowing his head.
“The honor is all mine.” Gali smiled, glancing to the protector.
“Now now, enough of the formalities Mizu.” Kivoda smirked, Mizu nodding and standing back up.
“So, you would like for me to train, him?” Gali asked.
“Yes, though he may seem powerful, Mizu is still young, and his body was so suddenly altered by the mask he wears. He is not quite ready to face Makuta’s evil. So, will you train him?” Kivoda responded, looking up at the Toa.
“I suppose…” Gali sighed. “Come, Mizu, show me your abilities.” She said as she motioned for him to follow her, turning around and walking back out of the village.
“Yes Toa.” Mizu nodded, trailing behind her.
The ground shook with immense force as massive boulders flung through the cavern, slamming into the walls and ground, sending shards of rock and crystal flying. A thin figure did his best to dodge the incoming attacks, slicing through the smaller boulders with his saw shield.
“Not half bad.” Onua smirked, impressed that Strider had made it this far. In the moment that Onua stopped to speak, Strider launched towards him, his shovel claw digging through the ground as he sped forward. In seconds, he was inches from the Toa of earth, he swiped his saw shield at the Toa’s mask, a wall of crystal rising from the ground and blocking the attack. “You’ll need to be faster than that if you want to hit me.” Onua said, sliding one foot back and thrusting his hands forward, the wall of crystal moving in the same direction, wrapping around Strider and forming a sphere, trapping him.
Strider’s mind raced, his anger overflowing as he struggled to move. “This was fun.” Onua said, forming a staff out of the strongest rocks he could summon. At the top of the staff, crystals began to form a massive, purple mace head. Onua observed the sphere floating above him, bracing himself as he gripped the shaft of the mace as he winded back, using his elemental abilities, he made the sphere shoot at him, swinging the mace at it as fast and hard as he could, launching the crystal orb across the cavern. The ball soon smashed against the ceiling, shattering on impact, letting Strider drop down to the ground with a thud.
Takeru’s eyes were wide, in absolute shock at what he had just witnessed, he had just seen his “rival” Strider, hold his own against Toa Onua and his earth shattering power. Granted, Onua was surrounded by his natural element, so Strider couldn’t have chosen a worse place for this fight. Korgot stood, smirking a bit as she clapped her hands. “Thank you Toa Onua, it is about time that boy learned his place.”