Yay! This topic was mentioned! Thanks Cast! That makes me want to write another.
I’ve already written this legend, but I’ve decided to start again, with some ideas taken from @odnanref101993 This time, I’m not writing in a rush, it will be more detailed, and will not have a moral. However, I’m keeping the real life part, just making changes. Also, this takes place before the Toa take the Kanohi.
Legend of the Skull Grinder:
The woods of Tiro were obviously living, but felt dead. At least, that’s what Tevorus noted as he traveled. He trekked over fallen branches and stones, clutching the tiny mailbag he had brought along with him. He was supposed to make a delivery to some hermit who strangely lived out in the woods. He pulled out the map he was given by the master mailman (I don’t know, just go along with it) to mark his destination. As Tevorus traveled, he noticed the darkness roll across the sky. How long was it going to be before he could return home? He heard the steady trickle of water. A river must be nearby. He glanced down at his map. Was the Pakari Stream? Or Whenua River? He heard he heard someone grunt. Looking up from his map, he glanced around.
“Hello?” Tevorus called. “I’m lost! I need help!” He spun around. No one.
Tevorus began panicking. Could no one be out here? Would he never find his way out? “Please! Help me!” A deep laugh rang behind him. As he turned, he saw a shadowy figure.
“Where am I? How do I get out?” Tevorus asked.
“To be immortal, one must not live…” the figure spoke in a hollow voice.
“I don’t want trouble, I just need to find a house! Are there any near here?”
“To not be a coward, one must not feel fear, but become it…” the figure said again.
Tevorus swallowed his fear and pleaded one last time. “Do you have any masks of illumination I could borrow? It’s getting dark.”
The figure perked up. Something Tevorus said the figure took notice of. The figure reached out a fist. Confused, Tevourus stood still. The Matoran watched as the fist glowed red, and the figure’s limbs and torso began to light up with the same crimson color. Tevorus stared in horror as he noticed the innards were visible, the metallic bone-like structure and the gears that held the creature together were shown.
“You dare ask I, the mighty Skull Grinder, if I have a Kanohi? You pitiful beings, you mortals are, cowering behind your pitiful masks! Pitiful!” The monster obviously had not the best vocabulary.
Tevorus again gulped down as much fear as he could and said, “I’m sorry, can you point me the way to-”
“No one enters Skull Grinders’ territory with a Kanohi! You will pay, mortal!” Skull Grinder yelled in his deep, hollow voice. He reached with one glowing hand and ripped off Tevorus’ Kaukau, crushed it in one hand. He turned to the petrified Matoran and roared an inmatoran sound.
Eyes flickered in the distance as more figures closed in on Tevorus’ location. The Tiroan sprinted in the opposite direction. He dashed across the stones and branches, nearly tripping over every other obstacle.
“Aaagh!” the Matoran cried. Tevorus dared not to look behind him. He saw the light of a village in front of him. He must have had the mask of fortune! He charged through the last stretch of woods before running out of the forest.
Tevorus glanced behind him when he realized he had lost his pursuers. “Ha!” the Matoran laughed to himself when he saw the multicolored eyes of the creatures who had chased him peeking from the woods. The territory of Skull Grinder must end there! Looking at them more closely, Tevorus noticed that they were Matoran. They wore no Kanohi and their faces were… scarred. Deep slashed buried into their foreheads and marks of a saw scraped over the entirety of their heads. Their plating was shredded off, giving them the skeletal appearance, and they had awkward movements and spasms, as if they were malfunctioning. Tevorus looked down and noticed he had lost his bag. No matter, at least he was alive. And what a story he’d have to tell! That is, if anyone would ever believe him.
No one ever did trust in Tevorus, not even after he had gotten a new mask and was an old Matoran. His story was passed on for ages and ages for the enjoyment of children across the island. Tevorus died happy, never having ventured into those woods again, but what he never found out was who lived in that dreadful place anyways?
(I hope this is better than my last version, I took longer on it. Feedback is greatly appreciated!)
Kulta’s Backstory: Kulta was once a famous Mangaian who was known for his strong power in the battlefields and his deep involvment in politics. Kulta, a radical at the time, believed mask powers corrupted the Matoran and made Mangaia’s military weak, having to depend on Kanohi. He protested his beliefs in the streets, ignored by the king until the protests started becoming violent. Kulta and his followers began ripping Kanohi off bystanders and broke them underneath their feet. The king sent his police force to scare them away, but the crowd did not move. The king was then forced to threaten Kulta with taking his rank from him. To Kulta, his rank meant everything to him, so he stood down. Unfortunately, the crowd did not. The king then sent the army soldiers that weren’t part of the protest, and pushed the crowd away. Kulta was treated like an outcast to everyone, for wanting to take masks away, and for abandoning the protesters. A dreadful disease started in Mangaia, and it claimed the general’s parents and siblings. Kulta then became terrified of death, and he felt as if the disease was constantly chasing him, and he could only run away from his fate. After hearing a rumor of a strange being living deep in the forest of Tiro, the general ventured out, hoping to find not only the secret to be free from mortality, but also to regain his popularity. There is no further evidence that claimed he ever returned, but legends had been made of the grand general, telling that he “grinded” the faces of his servants, and that his fear of death caused him to be less than alive to keep ahead of it. No one did believe Tevorus, but he became quite the story teller, and his stories were told across the island at campfires and sleepovers to scare young children. Every time, the story became a little different, though one thing stayed the same: the Skull Grinder was still in Tiro.