I figured that I'd post this one, too, since it's another story I've been focusing on. Basically, it's a first in the series about the current storyline that I've been writing. It's about the Protectors heading to the Temple of Time in order for them to summon the Toa, but we see a little more going on.
Without further ado, here is Preparation of Rites.
Along time ago on the mythical island of Okoto, all lived in harmony. It was a place of wonders and beautiful landscapes.
From the island's elemental forces, two brothers, known as the Mask Makers, created masks of power. Each brother had a special mask: Makuta owned the Mask of Control, and Ekimu the Mask of Creation. The brothers provided the islanders with many masks, but Ekimu's were the most treasured. His brother became envious, and forged an evil plan.
It was a sacred law that a mask could not contain the power of more than one element, otherwise it could become too strong and dangerous. But Makuta wanted to create the strongest mask of all time: The Mask of Ultimate Power.
When Makuta put it on, it took control over him, and the island began to shake and crumble. Realizing what his brother had done, Ekimu managed to knock the mask off of Makuta's face. A shockwave rolled across the land, and sent both brothers into an endless sleep. The masks were scattered all over the island, waiting for a time when someone would come looking for them...
The Lord of the Skull Spiders gave a bunch of squeals and shrieks to the Skull Spiders while holding the Golden Mask of Skull Spiders. The Skull Spiders bowed to their lord in civil obedience, and squealed back to their leader. The Lord of Skull Spiders raised the sparkling, menacing, and grim mask further up, and gave a screech. The Skull Spiders screeched back. The Protector of Fire, Narmoto, watched all of this happening as he hid behind some bushes and steep rocks, hoping on going unseen.
He took some mental notes on the scene. The skull spiders obey the Lord of Skull Spiders while he used the mask only meant that he used the mask to control them. But why? asked the Narmoto. The Spider was supposed to be the guardian of the ancient city. Why has he turned to this evil scheme?
There was something evil going on; he knew it. But right now was not the time to figure that out exactly. Right now, he knew he should try to retrieve the golden Skull Spider Mask, and possibly try to control the horde. He watched the Lord of Skull Spiders put the mask on a pedestal, and then left the rocky mountainside he was on with the rest of the skull spiders. Now was the Narmoto's chance.
He got up from his hiding spot, looking around to see if the coast was clear. Then he sprinted as quietly as he could to the pedestal, skidding a bit to stop when getting to the pedestal, forming dust clouds. He looked at the grim structure of the Golden Skull Spider mask. It was a bit frightening, looking just as detailed and organic as a real Skull Spider. His arms reached for the mask, but soon jerked back from it, as he felt a dark essence around it.
This couldn't be the work of Makuta, could it? Could Makuta try to make such a mask in order to cause chaos to the villagers and take over the island? He did almost cause the destruction of the island with the Mask of Ultimate Power. But was he really trying to hurt his own people like this by constructing such a mask? And if he was, was it his own sins that caused him to make such plans, or was it the evil from the Mask of Ultimate Power that made him do this?
He reached for the mask again. The closer his arms got to the mask, the more he heard a sinister laugh from it. It was like the golden Toa masks Ekimu made that he heard from the prophecy, except this one wasn't made by Ekimu. Nor was it as clean cut or smooth as Ekimu's fine works. Truly, The Protector didn't know who made this mask. All he knew was that something evil was behind it. And he was going to try and make sure he could find the truth in the darkness.
However, as The Protector of Fire was about to grab the mask, he heard a loud screech in the background. The protector quickly turned to see what it was. It was Lord of the Skull Spiders; he had returned for the mask. The great spider leaped from the top of the cliff, and landed a few yards away from the protector. The spider started drooling as it growled at the protector. The protector put the mask back on the pedestal as soon as he saw the Lord of the Skull Spiders, but that didn't make the spider any less angry.
The Lord of the Skull Spiders was not a pretty sight. With six thick legs, glowing crimson eyes, orange splotched on it's black body, the spider showed it's dominance as it slowly crawled forward. It gnashed it's mighty jowls at the protector during the former act. The spikes across the front half of his body wiggled like little hairs.
Narmoto took out his flame swords, and waving them in front of himself, to keep the spider back. He slowly advanced further as the spider stepped back. But as soon as the spider knew he was bluffing, it tackled him, knocking the protector to the ground. The protector bled on the back of his head and on parts of his ribs, but he didn't care. Quickly, he ignited the flame swords again, and hit the Lord of Skull Spiders with it. The spider squealed as it retracted it's burnt leg. The protector tried to scurry off, but it was no use. The spider shot a long web to the Protector's foot, and pulled him back.
The protector tried to burn away the webbing, but it was like a thick rope; it took a little longer for the web to burn away. It was too late, anyways. The Lord of Skull Spiders wrapped it's humongous legs around the protector's body, and squeezed with all of it's might. The protector began to suffocate. Eventually, he blacked out.
The Protector of Fire woke up noticing he was in a carcass made by the Lord of Skull Spiders. He tried to break free as soon as he noticed, but the webbing was too strong. Quickly, he called out to the Lord of Skull Spiders.
“Untie me, guardian. You made a promise to Ekimu. You were to protect the city, and now you’ve left it unprotected. Besides, you promised to leave us alone.”
The spider's red eyes darkened as it squinted at the protector. He said nothing, going back to work with it's webs. It caught some pretty large bugs around the area, and began to dine on them. The protector quickly figured out he was one of the main courses for the spider's meal.
Narmoto then resorted to using his own powers to get out, since the Lord of Skull Spiders obviously wasn’t going to listen. The protector focused on the nearest flow of lava he could. That wasn't too far away, since he was closer to the Region of Fire than anywhere. Then, using the teraforming abilities of the mask, he made the lava come up to the web where he was, to burn away the webbing. It was risky, yes, but he had no other choice. Besides, perhaps he could bring down the Lord of Skull Spiders with it, too.
The lava did a miraculous performance by flowing uphill. The lava came directly under the web where the Protector was. Quickly, the Protector began feeling the heat. After about 30 seconds, the web caught aflame. The bindings of the Protector went on fire, and burned him a bit, but that didn't matter. His bindings burned off, and he slipped through the holes. It was pure luck that made him have a web attached to his toe. He quickly used his mask again to let the lava leave, while he tried to untangle himself from the web.
All this commotion caught the attention of the Lord of Skull Spiders. His spikes twitched a bit as he heard the sound of his web snapping. His first reaction was the go over and fix the web. But when he saw all the lava underneath the web, he felt it would be better to abandon it because he was afraid to fall over. So it scurried off the web, stepping on the other side of the rock crevice in which it built the web over and letting the web fall.
The Protector of Fire finally came loose, falling to the ground on his back. It hurt a bit, but the relief of escaping the web overcame the pain immediately. The protector slowly rose back up and saw the Lord of Skull Spiders on the top of the rock crevice. The Skull Spider leader wasn't happy, but he had no other choice. It turned around and went back the direction to where the Golden Mask was.
The Protector quickly made it down the crevice and further down the rocky slopes, where he came toward the Temple of Time. He sighed with relief. With the stuff he went through, the Protector knew for sure that he needed a "Toa" like the one Ekimu had foretold of. Surely a Toa could fix the the problems that a mere Protector could not.
The Protector of Fire took from his bag he carried his sacred robe, and put it on. He stepped inside the building to find the Protector of Jungle already there, clinging to one of the walls as exercise.
"Oh, now you show up," said the Protector of Jungle, Vizuna, "I would have thought you'd been here first, since you made the call. Obviously you were not."
"I had a little dilemma on the way here," said Narmoto.
"Lemme guess, Skull Spiders?"
"Worse," said the Protector of Fire, "The guardian of the ancient city is the Lord of the Skull Spiders. He has left his position at the gate to the Ancient City and now is extending the reaches of the Skull Spiders beyond the villages."
"How do you know he's controlling the horde?" asked Vizuna.
"He's using a golden Skull Spider mask, one that could have only been forged by a Mask-Maker."
"Well, duh. Question is, which one? Ekimu doesn't make masks that control hordes of skull spiders to terrorize our villages. The only one I could imagine doing that is Makuta."
"That's what I was afraid of," said the Protector of Fire, lowering his head and eyes.
"Don't worry about it. We'll be fine once the Toa arrive. Besides, Ekimu had all this planned out just in case a situation like this came. Remember the golden masks he made for the Toa?"
"Yes, yes. I remember them. Hopefully we can keep the Toa on our side. They probably won't know a thing once they come. And the dark force who's doing all this is stronger than we. We must keep our eye out on everything."
"You're a bit cautious, friend. But I guess there's a reason to be. As for myself, I don't worry. I figure things out when they come. Perhaps that's not common for some people, but at least I don't have to live in worry."
The Protector of Jungle got down from another high area of the temple she climbed up to while talking. Coming down, he grabbed his robe and put it on. "Now then, I guess we'll have to wait for the other protectors to come here. Now, how did that summoning chant go again?"
"I'll run through it with you again," replied the Protector of Fire, with a smile on his face. Hope was finally coming.
Any thoughts/comments so far, guys?