A few months ago, I hinted at a Makuta by the name of Dybbuk but provided no further details except that he was killed by Toa Zaria in the prime timeline. Today, I’m finally ready to share his story.
Kanohi: Rewera, Great Mask of Anger
Shortly after the Makuta evolved from true biomechanical beings into gaseous energy-like states, the Brotherhood’s leader Teridax called an emergency convocation. Suddenly, beings with powers such as Iron or Magnetism, particularly Toa, posed much more of a threat to the Plan than initially anticipated and would need to be dealt with. A number of Makuta suggested ideas that sounded decent on paper but would be very problematic to actually execute, but most did not speak at all. The tone of the meeting changed when one in obsidian and gold armor, Dybbuk, stepped forward. Dybbuk proposed the idea of discretely eliminating all Toa of Iron and Magnetism from the universe and subsequently keeping all other Matoran from those types under much stricter supervision. Although Lord Teridax was weary about drawing attention from other Toa, Dybbuk was able to assure him that he knew how he could keep the operation under wraps. Satisfied with Dybbuk’s confidence, Teridax assigned him to be the top commander in the operation that would later become known as The Iron Genocide.
For the better part of three centuries, his plan was a roaring success. His latest target saw him traveling to the island just south of Daxia, where a Toa of Iron named Zaria resided. Initially, Dybbuk simply unleashed a troop of Rahkshi on the young Toa as he had with previous targets, but he took the sight of the destroyed soldiers to be a challenge and confronted the young Toa face-to-face. He knew this was risky (this was a Toa of Iron and a Makuta’s essence was now nothing but a cloud; should Dybbuk’s armor be destroyed and there is nothing to occupy, he would surely die), but was also confident that the Toa’s dedication to that goody-two-shoes Toa Code would cause him to be hesitant and result in his undoing. Sure enough, Dybbuk was correct. After an admittedly more intense fight than he would have expected from a Toa of his age, he beat Zaria to the ground and rushed in to deliver the final blow. In a moment of panic and desperation but too weak to move, Zaria reached for his sword and let his instincts do the rest.
To this day, no one can be more sure if Zaria or Dybbuk was more surprised to see the former’s sword impaling the latter’s torso, the Makuta’s antidermis essence leaking out at an increasingly fast rate. The Toa was horrified, trying everything he could to deny reality: that he had just taken another person’s life. A Makuta’s, sure, and one that was attacking him, but surely there could’ve been a nonlethal way to end the fight. Zaria could’ve, should’ve been better. But as much as Zaria cursed himself, nothing haunted him more than Dybbuk’s reaction. Rather than use his last moments to curse the Toa or beg for his mercy and his aid in order to be healed, he congratulated Zaria on a job well done, calling him “the greatest Toa [he] had ever known.”
Following Dybbuk’s death, Zaria went into a self-imposed exile, finding himself unable to deny the rumors about him murdering his enemies. Other Iron Genocide survivors are few and far between, in no small part due to Dybbuk’s contributions to the operations. His death was not particularly mourned by the Brotherhood, but a not insignificant portion of their number expressed a greater deal of respect for him following his passing. Perhaps the most surprising of these is Lord Teridax himself. He has never admitted it to anyone, but the Makuta’s evolution was a wild card he did not see coming and one that could’ve drastically affected the Plan. Without Dybbuk, it’s entirely possible the Plan may never have succeeded at all.
Species: Shadow Matoran(?)
Kanohi: Kerus, Mask of Poison (powerless)
Even before being assigned to the Iron Genocide, Dybbuk understood that there was a very real possibility of dying or being killed in the line of duty before he considered his scientific work complete. As such, one of his experiments was to see if there was a way to inject a part of his essence into another without sacrificing his own individuality.
He identified an Av-Matoran who would serve as the vessel for this experiment and began his trials. After many months of trial and error, and Dybbuk on the verge of writing off the experiment a failure, the Matoran woke up and began to speak. The Matoran had many surprises in store for Dybbuk, the first of which being her voice; he wasn’t sure how a part of himself manifested a female personality, but believes the Av-Matoran probably identified as such before being taken in. Whatever the case may be, this Matoran had no knowledge of her new surroundings, or anything at all besides her native language, including her name. In a rare moment of compassion, Dybbuk chose to let the Matoran name herself. A particular word rang in the back of her mind; she couldn’t figure out what this word meant or why it was important to her, but she couldn’t deny its presence in her mind. She chose this word, Acheri, as her name, and Dybbuk would take Acheri in as an assistant.
Dybbuk and Acheri would go on to have a relationship comparable to a very twisted father-daughter bond. Later Makuta would look at Acheri and believe she was designed to be a prototype for what would be the Shadow Matoran used by the Brotherhood at the Battle of Karda Nui. Whatever Dybbuk had intended to create when designing her, the idea died with him. Acheri, genuinely mourning her master, escaped the Brotherhood’s custody and is currently on the run. She has become something of an infamous figure in Matoran folklore known as Acheri the Lost; those who encounter her note that she is incredibly devious, but notably not malicious.
Species: Matoran Spirit
Kanohi: Unknown, if any
Once upon a time, Dybbuk found himself incredibly fascinated by a rumor he had heard. Supposedly, the Dark Hunters have managed to create a being that pierced the veil between life and death, and a completely obedient one at that. The Dark Hunters apparently stopped doing this because the drawbacks of that procedure outweighed any potential benefits of doing so again, but this did not stop the Makuta from wanting to see if he could perform a similar feat himself.
Despite the fact that this experiment was considered quite a horrifying and immoral concept even by Makuta standards, he began by identifying and capturing another Matoran, this time a Ga-Matoran, to be his test subject. After a number of trials that witnesses have described as “too excruciating to detail,” Dybbuk was ultimately successful in his goal: he managed to rip the Matoran’s spirit out of her body and manifested her as a physical apparition, leaving her in a sort of shadow state between life and death. Even better, she was able to affect or harm living beings while being completely immune to damage herself (with the curious exception of most Kraata powers, a trait Dybbuk didn’t plan but nevertheless appreciated, and a secret he kept from most others). Dybbuk named his new monstrosity Gelin and had every trace of her former identity, up to and including her body, destroyed.
Unlike Acheri, who was rather content with her life under Dybbuk, Gelin found her new existence to be nothing but torture. Though she could touch Dybbuk, he knew how to hurt her right back and in much worse ways than she ever could. With little hope of release, she resigned herself to a live of servitude in Dybbuk’s tight leash. Even news of his death brought her no joy, for he was the only one who knew how to harm her, the only one who could possibly kill her. Gelin now wanders the universe, desperately crying out for anyone who can end her suffering, anyone who can finally let her truly die.
Kanohi: Zanzan, Great Mask of Clairvoyance (shapeshifted)
In many ways, Minyak was just as much of a rival to Dybbuk as he was a partner in crime. Prior to the Iron Genocide, Minyak and Dybbuk shared many assignments and performed many experiments both cooperatively and competitively–essentially, what if Chirox and Mutran actually got along. That being said, Dybbuk was primarily the scientist of the dastardly duo, performing the work at home while Minyak was primarily the one getting his hands dirty outside. He would most often hide in plain sight by shapeshifting himself into his alter ego, “Toa” Fallere.
Species: Makuta (disguised as Toa of Earth)
Kanohi: Zanzan, Great Mask of Clairvoyance (shapeshifted, disguised as Pakari)
After Dybbuk was assigned to oversee the Iron Genocide, Minyak joined that division, believing his experience conducting other operations completely undetected has given more than enough expertise to silently wipe out a number of Toa of Iron. Unfortunately for him, during a mission that saw him and Dybbuk on the field together, his arrogance and desire to one-up Dybbuk got the better of him and found himself mortally wounded by the Toa. Whether the Toa felt justified in his actions or would’ve crumbled beneath the weight of the sin of betraying the Toa Code is unknown, as Dybbuk quickly killed the Toa before the consequences of his actions could set in. Though disgusted by his comrade’s stupidity, Dybbuk did Minyak a favor by putting him out of his misery, and continued carrying out the Genocide from there.
- All of these MOCs are designed to be purist with the exception of Dybbuk’s and Minyak’s masks.
- I have Dybbuk built in real life and am considering saving up to build some of the others.
- With the exception of Fallere, Minyak’s alter ego, all of these characters are named after different spirits or demons from various mythologies and folklores. I leave where these names come from as a homework exercise for the reader.
- Acheri’s MOC was entirely inspired by the #4 CCBS armor shells in spring green, which were released in 41183 The Goblin King’s Evil Dragon, and my desire to use as much of that color as reasonably possible.
- Dybbuk’s render is fairly old, circa November 2021, and as such doesn’t feature any vibrant shade of gold from a color pack. I actually think default pearl gold looks fine–at least better than default flat silver or pearl light grey–so I’m not all that inclined to make a new render yet. I have no idea why the Inika armor is clipping though.
- The mask used on Minyak’s model is Galva’s Mask of Power Scream. I quite like this design, but think the prospect of using your mask to scream at someone is more than a little silly, hence why I’m appropriating this design as a shapeshifted form of another mask.
- In August 2022, I wrote a song about Dybbuk proposing the Iron Genocide to the rest of the Brotherhood of Makuta, sort of like a Bionicle answer to The Lion King’s “Be Prepared.” Yes, really.