Paradise

When times are dark and all hope seems lost,
The elements must unite;
For united the elements hold the power to defeat evil.
United,
But not one.

Evoke the power of past and future,
And the stars will answer:
Six comets will bring timeless heroes
To reclaim Paradise,
To quell shadow's Plague,
To issue evil its Purge.

Summon them here.
Summon them now.
Summon them to

Paradise


Chapter 1: Kopaka - (Post 6/18)


Author's note: This is a story I originally began shortly after joining the LMBs in November of 2014. If you dig, you can find the prologue of that version that I posted here a while back. I started re-writing the story back in November for NaNoWriMo.

The idea for this story began when I saw "The Legend," the video used to introduce us to G2. This is my interpretation of what would have happened from there. Comments and Critiques are appreciated!

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As for your actual question, yep - this is where I originally came with the idea of using air/plantlife instead of stone/air respectively.

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I never thought about it that way, but yeah.

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Chapter 1: Kopaka

Kopaka was being followed.

He had been alone in the snow for so long that he was surprised anyone else existed. The swirling white around him was all that there was to the world, as far as he could tell. He saw no sign of a sun, no sign of the ground, no sign of anything but the glittering white flakes that enveloped him like a blanket. Even his own armor was just another layer of white Especially now, after getting rid of the wierd golden armor he had woken up with.

How Kopaka knew he was being followed, the Toa didn’t know. He didn’t know a lot of things, honestly. He knew he disliked gold. He knew that he disliked evil. He knew that he disliked being followed. Time to do something about it, then.

The Toa stood still. The snow swirled closely around him. He waited. A minute passed. Two. A figure stumbled by Kopaka, passing so close to his elbow that a snowflake couldn’t have passed between the two. Then the stranger was in front of Kopaka, standing only as high as the Toa’s elbow.

Kopaka reached out, placing a hand on the phantom’s shoulder. A layer of ice instantly shrouded the other. Kopaka crouched behind them.

“You’ve been following me. Why.” It was less of a question than a demand. Time for some answers.

"You are a Master, right?" the stranger asked, confused. Kopaka blinked. What? He almost didn't notice the pale circle flying at him from his right. He dropped into the snow, and caught a glimpse of the disk, a shield ringed with blades, as it skimmed past his mask. Instead it shattered the ice covering the stranger. Kopaka reached out to grab the stranger again, but a bolt of cyan energy sailed from behind him and struck his hand. The gauntlet immediately became encased in ice. Kopaka opened his hand, intending to crack the ice. Instead, it smoothly melded into a ball on his palm. He took aim at the escaping stranger, and threw. Another cyan blast intercepted the ice-ball midair.

Kopaka whirled to find another stranger standing a few meters away, camoflauged by white and blue armor. They had a strange, bladed weapon aimed directly at him. Their weapon spat yet another cyan bolt at Kopaka. The Toa glared at it, and it reversed right back into his attacker's chest. It solidified into a chunk of ice as the stranger in white staggered. Kopaka focused on the chunk, spreading it until it encased the beligerent stranger’s body.

Kopaka didn't even need to turn to catch the shield that came spinning out of the snow towards him once more.

"Enough." Kopaka turned and refroze his original follower. One, he decided. "You. Talk."

"Why are you fighting us? Aren't you here to help?" Kopaka said nothing. "Do you even know where you are? Who you are?"

"I'm not asking questions I know the answers to. Talk."

"Kopaka." This came from the other stranger, the one who attacked him. Two. Kopaka waited for her to say something else. For ten seconds. Twenty.

"That is your name, right? Kopaka, Master of Ice?" One finally added.

"Toa of Ice."

"Then you're here to help us?” There was a pleading edge to One’s voice. “To fight the shadow that plagues us?" Something about the statement rang true with Kopaka. Was that why he was here? To fight evil? It seemed familiar. Like it was his life’s duty.

Even if that was true, maybe he was looking at the evil he needed to fight. How would he tell? Ask them?

"Well?" One pressed. "Why are you here?"

"Why are you here?" Kopaka retorted. He couldn't say he was happy with the answer he had been given.

"I'm here because you're here." 'One' said this with great care, like explaining something to a small and mentally deficient child. "You're the Master-"

"Toa," Kopaka corrected once more. What was this nonsense about ‘Masters’?

"-'Toa' of Ice. You were summoned here by the Prophecy of Heroes. We need your help."

"Who exactly might ‘we’ be referring to?"

"Kopeke," the other one stated simply.

"Sorry about her," 'One' added. "She's not very talkative. What she was trying to tell you is that she's Kopeke, Protector of Ice. I'm Matoro. We're Agori of the ice tribe, and things are bad right now."

"You don't need to repeat yourself," Kopaka admonished. "You've made it very clear that you need my help. What you have not made clear is what you need help with."

"That's... a long story," Matoro sighed. "I can tell you what I remember as we head back to Kotero. That's where we live, by the way."

"I don't need a guide. You can tell me everything there."

"Yeah? Well I need someone to look after me on the way back. Also, to unfreeze me."

"What about...?" Kopaka didn't need to finish the thought as he whirled to look at Kopeke. He found no trace of the Protector. Interesting.

"Yeah, she does that a lot. Like I said, not the conversational type. Now, we should get going before we get caught in an avalanche... or something worse." Kopaka resisted the urge to sigh as he turned back to the Agori. Matoro’s coat of ice disintegrated into tiny shards, blowing away with the wind. Matoro shook himself a little and looked around; trying to get his bearings once more. He turned and crunched into the white. Kopaka followed easily, long strides having no trouble keeping up with the short-statured Agori.

Matoro seemed quite eager to fill in the gaps on Kopaka’s knowledge, beginning soon after they started moving. “We didn’t always live on Okoto. Long ago, in a time before time, we lived in cities and villages far across the sea. Life was pretty good, from what I hear. Still the basic struggle to survive, but no major problems. A pretty peaceful place. It didn’t stay that way, of course.”

The Agori paused his speach as they passed over a ridgeline. The wind suddenly came at the pair full-force, gales that overpowered all but the loudest shouting. They progressed slowly, the blizzard now seeming to push them back. Matoro stumbled in the snow. Kopaka grabbed the Agori’s shoulder and helped him regain his feet. Time bled together, each moment of swirling snow looking just like the last. The present became distilled down to putting one foot in front of the other, a monotonous trudge through a monotonous landscape.

After some time a cliff appeared in front of them, so suddenly that Kopaka thought it might have only just been created. Matoro lead him along the craggy black wall until they reached a gap wide enough for the two of them to enter side by side. The Agori vanished into the breach, Toa close behind. Once they were deep enough that the blizzard had faded to a dull roar, he stopped.

“We were out in the drifts,” he explained. “Just in case you were wondering. They take up the north of the island. Most landmarks have been buried by snow that hasn’t melted in centuries. It’s dangerous to wander the drifts in the best of weather. Trying to do it in a storm like that is just asking to spend the rest of eternity like that.”

“Yet you found your way out,” Kopaka pointed out. Matoro’s description of the drifts did not phase him, especially given how quickly they had escaped. He could have easily navigated the drifts on his own.

“We started pretty close to the divide. That’s the spine of rock here. It divides the drifts from the rest of Ko-Koto; as you could guess from the name. We were lucky, but it still took us well over an hour to get here. Given better conditions, I could do it in half that. I ended up hitting the divide farther to the west than I intended.” Perhaps the Agori had a point after all; assuming he wasn’t exaggerating.

“Anyways, this cleft is a shortcut through the divide. Once through here, the road to Kotero should be no problem. Unless you’re tired, I would like to get going. Impending doom of my people, and all.” Kopaka led the way down the tunnel. The winding stone corridor was jagged and uneven. Sometimes the route seemed downright cavernous, then it would narrow down to a space barely wide enough for the large Toa to sqeeze through. Kopaka got the impression that the shortcut had been discovered rather than made. At least, he hoped these Agori had the work ethic to do a better job than this.

The dim light from the drifts soon faded, trapped behind several abrupt twists and turns. Light filtered down from above for most of the tunnel. Some parts of the cleft must have stretched up to the top of the divide, allowing light and small amounts of snow down into the cleft in the rock. For a short while Matoro focused on not tripping in the dark, but it was not long before Matoro had resumed his narrative.

“No one today really remembers why we left the mainland. It’s a bit unimportant, really, given our current state of affairs. Anyways, a group of Agori emmigrated from their home and wound up here. They established a capitol, Otero, high in the mountains at the island’s center. It was a beatiful city, back in the day. Stories say that every building was designed with the greatest care and creativity. They weren’t just arrangements of wood and stone, they were works of art. I’ve heard that every street was lined with vendors selling trinkets and delicious cuisine. Whatever had happened to their old home, our ancestors had done a remarkable job of moving on. Of course, that couldn’t last either.”

Matoro paused breifly, focusing on navigating through a sudden curtain of shadows. Once the dim light appeared again, he continued.

“It had something to do with Ekimu and Makuta. The two were brothers, and had lead us to Okoto. They weren’t Agori, at least it didn’t seem that way. Generations had passed from when the brothers lead settlers here, but anyone who saw them said they hadn’t aged a day.

“They lead us here in both senses of the phrase, but they are better known as the Mask Makers. They had somehow learned how to craft Masks of incredible power. Say you wanted to easily heal those nasty scrapes from gardening. Just ask Ekimu for a Mask. Dream of breathing underwater? Makuta could do that for ya.”

“Do you wear one of their masks?” Kopaka indicated to the mask on Matoro’s face. The Agori shook his head.

“This is an ornamental mask crafted in Tatero. That’s the city of the Fire Agori, if you wanted to know. What happened was that Masks grew very popular over the time the brothers made them. Problem was, they weren’t the easiest thing to get your hands on. A lot of time and effort went into each mask, and waiting lists were longer than a Ko-Koto snowstorm.

“Meanwhile, some genius came up with the idea of making powerless masks. I guess people just wanted to wear a mask just as much as have superpowers. Soon everybody had one. It seems like a trend that should have ended quickly, I guess the tradition stuck. Not many of the powered Masks are left today. The Protectors have some, along with a few others. I wouldn’t be surprised if you’re one of them.”

Kopaka took off his mask and looked at it thoughtfully. It was simplistic yet elegant, a circular shape made assymetrical by a trio of round eyepieces on the right. Instinctively he knew it contained power, but he couldn’t remember what. He didn’t think it had been made by Ekimu, though. “Perhaps,” he mused aloud, replacing the mask on his face. “You mentioned Protectors.”

“Oh yeah. When things went bad in Otero, the Agori split up into six groups on different parts of the island. You have Kotero up here in the north, Gatero down in the bay, Tatero on the Lake of Fire, Botero hidden somewhere in the jungle, Onu-Metru deep underground, and Letero out in the desert. In charge of each of them is a Protector.

“The Protectors lead the Agori of each city and make sure that they’re safe. Each Protector has a set of the best armor and weapons on Okoto, along with an Elemental Mask forged by Ekimu and Makuta. You met Kopeke already, she’s our protector. She has a Mask of Ice.”

“Strange that your Protector’s Mask can control ice,” Kopaka interjected suddenly.

“Not really. It might just be frozen water, but at least it’s distinct. Imagine having both stone and earth. I’m not quite sure where you would draw the line there. And besides, it can also manipulate cold energ-”

“Not what I meant,” Kopaka interrupted. He turned to look Matoro in the eye. “Do you believe that it’s coincidence that the Toa of Ice arrived in the Region of Ice, governed by the Protector of Ice?” Matoro stopped, dumbfounded.

“Well, when you say it that way, no. I’ve never thought about that. Maybe it’s a part of the prophecy?”

“We will have to find out.” Kopaka pushed his way around a narrow corner in the cleft, suddenly finding a dull white glow before him. The moan of the wind grew louder as the Toa emerged into the storm once more. Wind-blown snow whipped around him once more, swirling and dancing before rejoining with the white. Someone else might have called it beautiful. Kopaka simply labelled it another backdrop to life.

Matoro emerged from the cave to stand beside the white hero. “Storm hasn’t lost its edge yet,” he commented. “Not a good sign. We might be in for a rough night. We might be able to make it back to Kotero before then, if we hurry.”

“Let’s go, then,” Kopaka said. Matoro nodded in agreement.

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Ayy, Bobo! Good to see ya! (It's sonic)

Well, here I am!

Nice story! I'm Idris, by the way.

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Hello jayzor, I am here now! I look forward to continuing the Gen 3 project and perhaps continuing my writing here.

Good to see you! You'll be invited to the G3 topic in a few seconds.

....

heh

heheheheh

AHAHAHAHA

yeah, no, mate

mods do exist here.

you just haven't seen em yet.

I meant that we don't have to wait for posts to get through moderation like we did on the LMBs, which is where we're all from.

If you read my entire post, I actually did say there are mods. Or is this incorrect?

Oh, while you're here, have anything to say about the story?

oh, nah, i just have a backlog of posts to read up on, and that post caught my eye.

Anything else, or are we good?

BTW, do you think the G3 applicants should delete their posts afterwards so they don't clog up the story?

BOOM! All done, at least for me.

That would be nice, thanks!

“The road is this way.” He turned and led Kopaka along the divide once more. The looming black rock protected the duo from the worst of the storm. Kopaka noticed that the rock seemed to be igneous, implying that the island had formed from a volcano. What could cause volcanic rock to jut up like this was beyond him, though.

After only a few minutes, Matoro pointed out the first trail marker: a pile of stones, partially buried in the snow. He called it a cairn.

“We use them to show where trails are. No matter where you are on Okoto, Agori use these. A sort of universal language. So if you get lost, look for a cairn.”

“You think I’ll be getting lost?”

“Not necessarily. Just a suggestion.” Matoro paused for an awkward moment. “Anyways, most of the cairns are built near landmarks. That way if they get covered in snow, you can still use the landmarks to get a rough estimate of where you are.” Matoro began digging up the snow around the cairn. “Usually you can see each cairn from the next,” he explained, widening his hole. “But sometimes you get stuck out in blizzards like this.” He focused his excavation, revealing an oddly shaped stone. “That’s what these are for. They point you in the direction of the next cairn. So we need to go,” Matoro turned around, pointing away from the cairn, “that way.” He turned back to find Kopaka gone.

“If I’m boring you, you couldn’ve just said something,” he grumbled. Standing up, he walked off after the aloof Toa.

Matoro found the Toa of Ice next to a conspicuous pillar of rock. No cairn was to be seen, yet Matoro’s comment made it likely that the spire was a part of the trail. He crouched a few feet away, and began churning up snow. After a few seconds of random digging, his fingers brushed across rock. He swept the snow away, finding stones strewn about like dropped marbles.

“What does this tell you, Kopaka?” He glanced up at the Toa to find an icy glare.

“That you play too many games.”

“Well sorry. You just walked away in the middle of my explanation, so I thought-”

“Get to the point,” Kopaka interrupted.

“Fine. Something knocked down the cairn. Not unusual. What is unusual is how deliberate it is.”

“The cairn was completely disassembled.” Matoro nodded in agreement.

“Exactly. A rahi accidentally stumbling into the cairn wouldn’t have torn it up this much. Unless a Kane-Ra was having a really bad day. More likely that something destroyed the cairn on purpose.”

“An evil of this island?”

“Sort of. Nasty critters called skull spiders. They can latch onto the heads of any creature and take over. Anther reason to wear masks: they can’t get you if you have your mask on. If you get attacked by a swarm, protect your mask first.”

“Noted. What do you think did this?” Matoro paused, eyes narrowed in thought.

“Well, it could be almost anything. However, this makes me think we picked the short straw.” Matoro held up a rock for Kopaka to see. The Toa noticed multiple scratches on the rock. “I am ninety-nine percent confident that those were made by a Muaka. If they were, we’re in trouble. A Kane-Ra may be stronger and more aggressive, but Muaka are the perfect balance of powerful and cunning to be an absolute nightmare. We’ve had problems with them ever since... well, forever. They tend to avoid groups of people, pick on weak and solitary travellers. Not many roam this close to Kotero.”

“Given the fact that the skull spider is in control, I doubt we can rely on the Muaka’s natural instincts,” Kopaka pointed out.

“True. If we run across it, our first priority will be to take out the skull spider. Actually, our first priority would be to run like our masks are on fire and hope it looses us in the storm. If we have no choice but to fight it, then go for the skull spider. That’s what’s making it attack you. It’ll be somwhere on the head, likely the forehead.”

“What if the Muaka still decides to attack us?”

“It’s possible. If nothing else, regaining control should disorient it. Maybe we can use that time to escape.”

“You don’t seem very sure about this.”

“Kopeke is the only person who knows anything about this,” Matoro admitted. “No one else has had play time with a Muaka and lived to tell the tale.”

“You’ve never seen a Toa before,” Kopaka countered.

“That’s what I’m counting on,” Matoro agreed. “We should go. Maybe we can make it back to Kotero without being bothered.” Kopaka could tell that he didn’t really believe what he said. Regardless, the Agori turned and charged off into the snow. Kopaka followed at a brisk walk.

Matoro no longer wasted time on words or checking directions. No sooner had the duo reached a cairn or landmark than the local had changed directions, following a path he knew by heart. All the while his fear was all but tangible. While Kopaka pitied the Muaka that tried to attack him, he got the impression that it would not be an easy fight. It was possible the Rahi may even be smart enough to pick off Matoro before Kopaka could react. Kopaka quickened his stride to stay beside his Agori guide, and stretched his senses into the white.

“There it is!” Matoro cried. Kopaka peered ahead to find a gate flickering in and out of view through the fog. Kopaka must have lost track of where they were going. He was lucky the Muaka hadn’t struck while he was zoned out. “Looks like the kitty gave up after all!” Matoro began sprinting for the gate. Then he was gone.

Kopaka’s first thought was that the Agori had gotten too far ahead and vanished in the snow. Then he heard the growl. The Toa reached for his spear. Too slow. Kopaka felt like he had been hit by an avalanche. He was dimly aware of no longer being on the ground. Within an instant he was buried in a snowbank.

Every single fiber of his body ached. He groggily picked himself up from the ground. A pair of Matoro danced in front of Kopaka’s eyes. He must have gotten a concussion. Slowly, Matoro settled back to normal. Kopaka unsteadily approached his guide, glancing every which way.

Matoro vanished once more with impossible speed. Kopaka could quickly glimpse a feline head striking the ice villager before vanishing again. He dropped to his knees and rolled to the left. A glancing blow sent him sprawling backwards. That thing is fast. I’ll just have to be faster. The Toa awkwardly converted his backwards sprawl into a summersault. He landed in a kneeling position, spear in hand. Already the Muaka had lashed out again. Kopaka sprang sideways, tagging the cat’s nose with his spear. The beast hissed. The Toa waited.

“Kopaka?” Kopaka wanted to facepalm. He had forgotten about Matoro! The Toa sprinted towards the voice. He did not expect to literally run into the Agori. Matoro flew out of the snow and rammed into Kopaka. The two fell in a mess of limbs. Kopaka quickly directed his spear upwards. It was immediately pushed back down. A hiss of pain emenated from somewhere in the snow. The Toa managed to place Matoro in the snow. He rose to his feet, standing protectively over the Agori.

The first blow hit him in the back. Kopaka staggered. It hadn’t as hard as the others. The Toa whirled and lunged. His spear found nothing. He turned, trying to anticipate the next blow. He couldn’t. This time it hit his shoulder. He whipped his spear around, but the Muaka was already gone. Kopaka narrowed his eyes in frustration. I can’t fight what I can’t see! Kopaka twirled his spear. The falling snow reacted, evacuating a dome around the hero. I think I can do better.

Kopaka raised his spear skyward. The dome rapidly expanded, an explosive shell of snow billowing outward. Within moments not a cloud hung over Okoto. That’s better. The Muaka crouched not too far in front of him, snarling in suprirse. Kopaka levelled his spear and charged.

As he moved, his mind split off. In his mind's eye, he could see himself charging the Muaka. It would lure him in, apparently prepared to attack him when he reached it. Instead, the beast would jump over him. It would force him back onto defense, maybe even attack Matoro. But who said he would meet the cat head on?

Kopaka fired a blast of elemental energy. The Muaka's shock was apparent as the white energy exploded around its nose. Kopaka used that shock, jabbing the Muaka's nose as it tried to understand what just hit it. The Toa caught a half-hearted swipe on his shield and pressed his advantage, hitting its face with elemental energy another time. It shook the ice off of its nose.

The Muaka lunged, jaws gaping. They closed on empty air as Kopaka rolled to his side. He smacked the cat's head with his shield, trying to keep it off-balance. Instead the creature swiped its claw inside his guard, knocking the Toa back into the snow. Immediately he rolled to the side, but he could still feel the jaws of the the Muaka closing where he just was.

Kopaka launched another blast of elemental energy, but this time the Muaka was expecting it. It leapt over Kopaka, and the energy hit somewhere up the slope. The Muaka leaped at Kopaka again, and even after returning to his feet it was all he could do to parry the onslaught of teeth and claws. He needed something new, a way to throw it off balance. But what?

Then Kopaka moved his shield to block an attack that didn't come. The Muaka had stopped, and backed away. After one last snarl, it turned and bounded off. Kopaka did not have long to wonder why. He could feel the ground beginning to shake, trembling in fear at what was coming. The Toa sprinted for Matoro.

"Avalanche!" the Agori shouted, pointing up the slope at the growing mass of white. While anything could have triggered the sliding snow, Kopaka got the feeling that his errant blast of elemental energy had unbalanced the snow. Regardless, they needed to leave. Now.

Kopaka tried to grab the Agori, but Matoro brushed the hand from his shoulder. "We need to move," Kopaka said as he tried again. Matoro wriggled out of reach.

"That avalanche is going to hit Kotero," he whispered in shock. "The City of Ice, covered in snow." The Agori didn't need to tell Kopaka the rest of the details. Most of the inhabitants lost to the snow, the rest without homes and open to whatever evil might seek them out. Any information Kopaka had hoped to find lost. He could easily travel to another village and learn of the prophecy. The fall of Kotero wouldn't keep him from his destiny.

His duty was another matter.

Prophecy or no, Kopaka was here to protect these Agori. So protect them he would.

"Tell everyone to evacuate," he ordered Matoro.

"There's not enough time!" Matoro objected. "By the time they knew enough to panic, it would be over. We need another way." Kopaka nodded in agreement. Then he turned and walked towards the avalanche.

"What are you doing?" Matoro called after him.

"Finding another way."

Kopaka didn't draw his spear and shield. He couldn't fight the avalanche with jabs and parries, after all. This battle would have to be fought with his mind and his supposed control over ice. Other Toa might have wasted time doubting their abilities, or reflecting on how unprepared they were. Kopaka didn't have time for that. He would do what was necessary. There was no other choice.

The Toa raised his hand towards the advancing avalanche, which had already covered most of the slope above him. Within seconds this ordeal would be over, one way or another. In his mind, Kopaka reached out to the wall of white. He could feel it in a way that went beyond the way it made the ground shake or filled the air with noise. He sense the ice, and he could control it. So he told the avalanche to stop.

The reaction was instantaneous. It was as if someone had put the world on pause for a moment. The cascade of deadly powder was frozen exactly as it had been the moment before, a cloud of snow still hanging in impending doom. Later Matoro would describe it as if nature had sculpted a painting out of the elements, and placed it above Kotero. The idea that so much snow could simply stop moving was one the Agori would have dismissed earlier that day. It would be a sight the Agori would never forget.

Kopaka swung his arm downwards, and the snow obeyed, slamming back into the slope with a low boom that resounded across the island. It was a message that was heard across Okoto, by good and evil. The Toa had arrived. What they lacked in knowledge, they more than made up for in skill and persistence. If whatever threatened Okoto wanted to give up now, no one would blame it. Too bad evil doesn't scare easily.

Kopaka paused a moment. The snow didn't move. Finally, he turned back to Matoro. "Let's hear this prophecy of yours."

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Hello. It has been a long time since I've been here.

You might know me as LordBio123? YJF?

Hello! I think you switched to LordBio right after I came to know who you are. I would recommend posting on the introduce yourself topic, if you haven't done that and are planning on hanging around here. If you just want to ask questions I'll PM you.

Alrighty! I will go find it

Where would it be?

I can't find it :stuck_out_tongue:

Edited for posting twice in a row. Please don't double post.
-Chronicler