Secrets of the Mountain (Story Serial Continuation Project)

As most everyone knows, the Bionicle story serials ended on multiple cliffhangers, as Greg was not able to continue them. I don’t know of any fan project that has actually set out to finish the serials. So that is what I aim to do. Not just finish the stories – I aim to finish them as I feel Greg would’ve. So that means taking into account things Greg said he might have done, including building up to an eventual Great Being Civil War.

The next story in this project was supposed to be the Red Star plotline. However, writing that story is turning out to be hard. Like, I know where things are ultimately going, but figuring out how to get from point A to point B is giving me some issues. But I do have this story ready to go.

Previous Stories in this project


Chapter 1

My name is Lewa. I’m a member of the Toa Nuva. At one time, my team and I were destined to reawaken the Great Spirit, Mata Nui. And we did that. But then a big evil villain tricked us and took his place, taking control over our world, and my life has been chaos ever since.

Well, I guess it was always chaotic, but it was chaos with a purpose. I always knew what I was doing, what the end goal was. Now, half the time I have no clue what I’m doing. And never was that more true than when I got to Bota Magna.

Where should I start this story? Onua would say to start at the beginning, as far back as you can. Kopaka would only tell the most important parts of the story and skip all the details. Gali would turn the story into some kind of lesson, where you’re supposed to learn something.

But they’re not telling this story. I am. And I’m going to tell the part you really want to hear: the most daring, exciting, and fun part.


So there I was, trekking through the woods, surrounded by Agori.

If you’re wondering what Agori are, well so was I. When I first saw them, I thought they were Matoran, the people Toa are sworn to protect. But they’re not, though they’re a lot like Matoran: short, powerless, but not to be underestimated.

The Agori, in turn, were surrounded by these black-armored warriors called Skrall. Now, in my day, I’ve faced a lot of evil villains, so I like to think I know bad guys when I see them. These Skrall were evil, I was sure of it. They hadn’t actually attacked us, not yet, but I was not going to take my eyes off them.

We had been travelling through the forest when we ran into the Skrall, and now they were escorting us… somewhere. It’s not that they hadn’t said where we were going; rather, if they did, I couldn’t understand them. See, the Agori and the Skrall spoke a different language than I did. They couldn’t understand me, and I couldn’t understand them.

If only I had a Rau, a mask of translation. I normally wear a mask of levitation, but I have access to five other masks through my Suva, and can call them to me when I need them. Unfortunately, there was no mask of translation on my Suva.

But maybe there could be? It was then that I had a brilliant idea. You see, I hadn’t had access to my other masks when I first came to this jungle, but I did now. Certain barriers could block my connection to my Suva, but if I had that connection back, either the barrier was down, or the Suva had been moved. If the Suva had been moved, then perhaps someone was near it. And if someone was near it, maybe they could help me.

I took off my mask, and a feeling of weakness came over me (that happens if a Toa isn’t wearing a mask). Then, I got some mud on my finger, and wrote ‘Rau please’ on the forehead. I placed the mask back on, then focused and shifted to a different mask, the mask of shielding. Now my mask of levitation would be back on the Suva, and hopefully, someone would see the message and could get me a Rau.

As I waited for my request to be fulfilled, I studied the Skrall, my potential enemies. They were about the same height as Toa, but that was where the similarities ended. They actually had red skin, with thick black armor. They were slightly hunched, and had long limbs. Unlike the Agori, who wore various different unique types of armor, the Skrall all had uniform armor, making them look all the same. The only exception was the leader, who had more bulky, spiked armor.

They all carried weapons: swords, clubs, and spears. Many of them had some kind of launcher attached, though not one I recognized. They all had a shield with a razor saw edge, that looked like it could rip through armor or weapons. Although, my armor was made of Protosteel, so they wouldn’t be able to damage it so easily. That wouldn’t protect the Agori, though.

Speaking of my armor, I took a look at it. This cool forger guy named Artakha gave me and my team adaptive armor, which adapts to our surroundings and environment. My jungle armor had small cutting tools on the wrist for cutting through dense foliage (not that I needed them right now, since the Skrall were cutting a path for everyone). My mask had radar capabilities, although that only applied to my mask of levitation, and I wasn’t wearing that now. My weapon had turned into a pair of bladed tonfas, which could also double as wings to aid in flying, and my blaster had become the same type of launcher the Skrall held. Apparently, it launched some type of fruit with a spiked outer shell.

Yeah, I could probably take a Skrall in a fight. Unless, of course, they had powers I didn’t know about. Y’know, someone should make a mask that tells you what powers your enemy has. Why hasn’t anyone ever done that?

As we came out of the forest into a clearing, the Skrall stopped their march. Ahead of us, I could see a trail leading up into the mountains. The Skrall leader was saying something to the Agori leader, and she didn’t seem too happy about it.

This would be a great time to be able to understand what they were saying. Time to see if my message worked. I focused on the power of translation… and a mask of translation appeared on my face.

I gave a silent thanks to whoever had helped me, and activated the mask. Suddenly, I could understand what the Skrall leader was saying.

“…that’s if he survives, of course. The Stronghold is supposed to be a treacherous place.” The Skrall looked at me, and I realized he was discussing whether I would survive this trip.

It was right then and there that I knew this would be a fun trip.


Author’s notes: if you feel like you’re missing a scene, you are… sorta. Originally, I had a scene in Forest of Doom where the Agori ran into the Skrall. However, most of the information introduced in that scene was just brought up again in this story. Basically, it was just “Agori walking through the jungle, recap of information that shows up in this chapter and the next, the Skrall are coming.”
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Sounds like a Lewa thing to do already. Although, I couldn’t help but notice the lack of treespeak.

3 Likes

Huh, this is in first person. That’s different. There are some fun Lewa bits in there, but I have to admit that the first person feels a bit dry to me. And the narration feels scattered, but that’s just Lewa. :stuck_out_tongue:

I like your description of the jungle armor - it wouldn’t happen to be based on the 2016 set, would it?

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Yeah, I empathize with Greg – writing treespeak is hard. I limited it to just the dialogue when Lewa speaks, with the occasional exception.

The use of tonfas is, yes.

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I guess they returned to make masks when they returned to Metru Nui, otherwise if Matau lent him his Noble Rau, Lewa would only be able to read, not to speak Agori

Firstly, nice to read those again! This beginning chapter is really great. And, just like in your first book with Metus, it actually feels like Lewa.

This is ingenious. I applause.

A little bit of mistake here, I believe: it should be either “weapons: swords, clubs and spears” or an another word. Also, the word “weapon” is in two sentences in a row. :slightly_smiling_face:
Additionally, hasn’t Mata Nui’s/Prototype Robot’s/Ignika’s sacrifice caused all to understand each other? Like everybody talked normally at the end of “Mata Nui saga”. And in yours “Shadows of The Fallen” Metus talked with Hagah. I believe I am just forgetting something, can you clarifiy a little, please?

A side question: I saved and edited slightly your previous books on my own computer, and I wanted to share them here, just in case anybody wants to download. Will it be okay, or you want to do it yourself?

I believe Lewa and the rest of his group (Artakha, Miseryx, Tuyet, etc.) were out of range when this took effect. If I recall correctly, this was stated by Greg in some way.

2 Likes

You’re half right – Lewa and co. were in the tower at the time of Mata Nui’s transmission that gave everyone the ability to speak Agori, and the tower was shielded from said transmission.

(side note: as someone who enjoys writing dialogue, there’s few things I like to write less than characters who can’t understand each other. I gave Lewa a Rau for plot reasons, but also my own sanity…)

You are correct, nice catch. I feel that the double use of “weapons” is far enough away from each other to not be too egregious, IMO

Fun fact: I actually have a Toa character in one of my other stories who has a Rau, and I like to imagine that’s where Lewa got it: said Toa lent his mask to Lewa. (that isn’t an official explanation, since I don’t know what said Toa would be doing at this point in the timeline, but if I wind up giving him a role later I might mention it)

I’m curious as to what you mean by slightly edited, but feel free!

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Chapter 2

“Hey, now, I’m all for treacherous places,” I said. “But I like to know what those treacherous places are, and why I’m going there.”

The Skrall and the Agori both looked at me as if I’d grown another head. I realized that they were shocked I could suddenly speak their language. “Oh yeah, new mask,” I said, pointing at my mask. “Lets me think-talk to you guys now. Isn’t that more convenient?”

The Skrall leader approached me. “So, creature of the Great Beings, what other powers do you possess?”

Huh, never been called that before. I decided it was time to show off a bit. “I am Lewa, Toa Nuva of Air!” I declared. “The winds are mine to control!” To emphasize my point, I raised my hand, unleashing a miniature tornado into the sky. The Skrall gasped, a few of them taking a step back. Their leader, however, didn’t even flinch.

“I also have a few other things I can do, like run ever-quick or be really strong,” I said, lowering my hand. “But I can’t show off those and think-talk to you guys.”

“I see,” the Skrall leader said, looking unimpressed. “Tell me, do you know of the Stronghold of Tanja?”

“Can’t say as I do,” I said. “Is it anywhere near Metru Nui?”

“It’s in the Northern Botana Mountains,” the Skrall said. “It was once a secret lab for your creators. Perhaps it is where they built you.”

“Oh, cool,” I said. “Sounds like a happy-cheer place. So where’s the danger come in?” I was actually interested, but I didn’t want to let the Skrall know that.

“The Stronghold is protected by various deadly traps,” the Skrall leader said. “No Skrall has been able to get in. But there is a legend that a creation of the Great Beings can get in.”

So the Skrall wanted me to get in, so I could help them get to the secrets of the lab. Somehow, I felt that that knowledge would be dangerous in the Skrall’s hands. But I also felt pretty sure telling the Skrall ‘no’ was a bad idea.

“Wow, how did you know?” I said. “I’ve been waiting all day for someone to ask me to enter a fear-dread fortress filled with deadly traps.”

“Let me put it this way,” the Skrall said. “Your Agori friends are trespassing on our land. By all rights, we should treat them as potentially hostile invaders. But, if you are willing to help us in this matter, we will be willing to allow them access to our lands, even protect them from the creatures they say drove them here.”

Wow, not-so-subtly threatening innocent people to get what they want? Told you the Skrall were evil.

“Lewa, you don’t have to do this,” the Agori leader said. “We can find a way to survive. We always have.”

“Yeah!” another one said. “You don’t have to die on our account.” Gee, great to know they had such faith in my ability to survive this Stronghold.

I wasn’t sure what to do. If I refused the Skrall, they would treat the Agori as invaders of their lands and might just attack them. If I agreed to their deal, the Agori would be under the Skrall’s ‘protection’, but who’s to say they wouldn’t be captives?

And yet… if this Stronghold did hold powerful secrets, the Skrall would find a way in eventually. Maybe I could ensure they didn’t get their hands on anything too dangerous.

It was a dangerous gamble, with all kinds of risks. It was the kind of plan Kopaka or Tahu would never even consider. That meant it was perfect for me.

“All right,” I said. “If you promise not to hurt the Agori, I’ll get into the Stronghold for you.” Of course I didn’t doubt that their promise meant little, but it didn’t hurt to get one anyway.

“Wait!” One of the Agori said. “You can’t go in there alone. If you’re going to do this, let us help you. If you’re going to risk your life on our behalf, then we are obligated to help you.”

Looking at the Agori, so eager to rush into danger, I was reminded of the Av-Matoran in Karda Nui who had flown with us, and helped us fight against the Makuta, and free their friends. Like I said, Matoran and Agori are not to be underestimated. What they lack in power, they can make up for in bravery… or recklessness, depending on how you looked at it.

“We will be sending a few Skrall with you,” the Skrall leader said. “But you can take a villager with you, if you so wish.”

“Tolk, are you sure about this?” the Agori leader said, looking at the Agori who had volunteered to follow me. He nodded, all dark-serious, and then both Agori turned to look at me.

Kopaka or Tahu would’ve said no. Or would they? Kopaka did let the Av-Matoran fly with us in Karda Nui. And… well, if I was going to be keeping dangerous secrets out of the Skrall’s hands, I might need someone watching my back.

“All right,” I said. “But only you. I’m not going to put any more Agori in danger.” As I said that, I realized that I was still putting them in danger by tricking the Skrall. But if I let the Skrall get whatever lie inside the Stronghold, they might… no.

I couldn’t think that way. Enough of the dark-thoughts. I am Lewa Nuva, and so long as I am here, no Agori will be hurt. I’ll make sure of it.

“All right,” I said. “Let’s go to this Stronghold of death, and see what else it holds besides death.”


Author’s notes: the Agori of this tribe have one-syllable names: Hal, Tolk, etc. No real significance to this, just something I thought would be interesting.
I’m going to try to keep the treespeak consistent in Lewa’s speech. The narration might be less consistent.
4 Likes

I feel like I speak to Lewa himself whem I read this… Am I right in assuming that Skrall leader looks like Stronius?

To others:
If you don’t want to do all the copying of those books yourself, I already have done that
You can download them here. But they might look weird until you actually download them because something’s wrong with Google Drive.
I’ll do that same thing with the “Secrets of The Mountain” when it’s finished.

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Well, he is an elite forces Skrall. His armor and helmet might differ slightly, but other than that he looks the same as Stronius.

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A bit later than usual, but better late than never, right?

Chapter 3

When I heard this place was a stronghold, I was expecting a huge-big fortress with towering walls. Instead, the Skrall led me, along with Tolk, to a large iron door, leading into the side of the mountain. Apparently, this was an underground stronghold. And as I learned from the island of Mata Nui, nothing bad ever happens when you go underground.

One of the Skrall grabbed a ring on the door and pulled it open. Inside, there was a long hallway, lit by the occasional torch. Torches? Hadn’t these guys heard of Lightstones?

The Skrall leader gestured to two other Skrall, and they stepped forward. “These two Skrall shall accompany you.”

Two Skrall to escort one Toa? C’mon, that wasn’t fair. They should’ve sent at least four. “So, what are your names?” I asked.

“We don’t have names,” one of the Skrall answered.

“You don’t have names?” I repeated, incredulous.

“Skrall have to earn their names,” the leader explained. “I am Palladus, and these two are just Skrall.”

“That’s silly,” I said. I probably shouldn’t insult the Skrall’s traditions, but not having a name is just ridiculous. How are people supposed to address you?

"I can’t just call you ‘Skrall one’ and ‘Skrall two’, I said. “That would get thought-confusing.” I looked at the first Skrall, and noticed he had an ever-ugly gash over his right eye. “You shall be Repirr,” I declared. Looking at the other, I realized his helmet was a bit different from the rest – the back part was missing, a jagged edge indicating it had been broken off. “And you shall be Coveh.”

The Skrall wouldn’t recognize the terms, since they didn’t speak Matoran, but “Repirr” was based on the Matoran word for scar, and “Coveh” was a Le-Matoran insult that loosely translated to “Bucket-head”.

“You may call us what you wish,” Repirr said. “But we shall not have true names unless we earn them.”

“Both of these Skrall have tried to enter the Stronghold before, and while they did not make it all the way to the lab, they lived to tell the tale,” Palladus said. “They know of at least some of the traps. This is why they are accompanying you.”

“I see,” I said. “Well then, let’s hope your happy-luck holds and extends to me, right?”

The Skrall didn’t react. Now I was sure they were bad guys. Only villains and Ko-Matoran lacked a sense of humor.

I glanced at the Agori who had chosen to accompany me. “Last chance to quick-change your mind,” I said.

Tolk shook his head. “Try and stop me,” he boldly declared.

“All right, team,” I said. I tried to adopt my best Tahu impression. “Today, we shall proud-stand against death, and we shall conquer it with the power of Unity. Let’s go!” Yeah, that sounds like something Tahu would say. With that, I took the first step into the Stronghold.


I’m not sure how to explain what happened next.

When I stepped into the Stronghold, it’s like I lost all sense of time and space. I was no longer about to step into a dark hallway at twilight, but I was in another place, another time.

There was someone else there, too. It wasn’t a Skrall, nor was it an Agori. I don’t know how I knew this – I couldn’t exactly see this person, I just knew they were there. Wherever “there” was.

“Lewa, Toa of Air,” the mystery person said. I wanted to object that I was a Toa Nuva, not just a normal Toa, but I couldn’t speak. “After all this time, one of ours has found his way here.”

The voice chuckled slightly, as if it found this amusing. “Well, I’m afraid I can’t just let you walk in. It won’t be that easy. The Stronghold will try to keep you out. But for one such as you… that shouldn’t be a problem, right? No, I’m sure you will get in here. And then… you will find me.”


Abruptly, I was back at the entrance to the Stronghold. My foot had just crossed the threshold. I stood still for a moment, shocked by what had just happened.

“Are you okay?” Tolk asked.

“Having second thoughts?” Palladus taunted.

I shook my head. “No, no. Just… feels like a momentous thing, going in here.” I didn’t think I should tell the Skrall about what I’d just seen.

What had I just seen? Who was that? A part of me knew. I couldn’t explain how I knew, any more than I could have explained the vision itself, but I was certain: somewhere in that Stronghold was a Great Being. And she was waiting for me.


Author’s notes: regarding these names, I actually put a bit of thought into each of them. Firstly, Coveh: I can’t take credit for this one, credit must go to KanohiReqi in this post. Repirr followed a similar idea, a modification of the Albanian word rrëpirë. And Palladus… well, I’ve previously observed that Stronius and Telluris seemed to be named after Strontium and Tellurium, two elements on the Periodic Table, so I picked an element roughly in the middle between the two, Palladium, and got Palladus.
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Chapter 4

I’d met a Great Being before. At least, the guy imprisoned in the Tower claimed to be a Great Being; he was clearly mad, though, and he seemed more like a regular madman and nothing like the great creators of a world. I was quite underwhelmed by him.

This, though… this felt like a Great Being. This felt like someone who held the secrets of a world in the palm of her hand. Someone who could create a world… or destroy one.

I wasn’t about to tell the Skrall that there was a Great Being in there. Let that be a surprise.

After a moment of hesitation, I took another step. I half expected another vision to come when I took a second step, but nothing happened. Well, I wasn’t going to get anywhere by pausing after every step.

I turned to my companions, still standing outside the door. “You coming?” I said.

First the Skrall entered, then the Agori. I watched their faces as they entered, looking for some sign that they saw something like I did, but the Skrall had the same unreadable expression they always did, and Tolk looked awed and wary or the Stronghold, but showed no sign of any visions.

I turned back to face the hallway. It looked like just a normal hallway, with another door at the far end, but apparently it was full of traps.

An idea struck me: if there were traps hidden in the walls, I had a way of seeing them. I switched to the mask of X-ray Vision, and activated it. At first, I thought it wasn’t working; no, I could see through the torches, but not the walls.

Kopaka had described something like this. When we were in Karda Nui, he mentioned that the walls of Karda Nui blocked his vision. Perhaps the walls of the Stronghold were made of the same thing? Of course they were. Why would the Great Beings make this easy?

I heard one of the Skrall say something behind me, but without the Mask of Translation, I couldn’t understand them. I switched back to the Rau, and asked, “sorry, what was that?”

“I was asking what you were doing,” Coveh repeated.

“Trying to look-see through the walls,” I said. “Didn’t work. Guess we’ll just have to keep a sharp-look out for traps.”

“How many mask powers do you have?” Tolk asked.

“Six,” I said. “Well, seven, if you count think-talking to you guys.” Wait a second. We weren’t able to access our other masks in Karda Nui, either. Why was I able to switch masks, but not see through the walls? Wait, now I remember; the mists blocked his vision. The walls kept us from switching masks. Gah, this is complicated.

Abruptly, I remembered I had something else that might be useful: my Adaptive mask, which still had a radar. It wasn’t as useful as a mask of X-Ray vision, but it might allow me to sense traps before they hit us.

I started walking. Behind me, I could ‘see’ my companions following. Suddenly, I realized I had an easier way of learning about the traps here, one I should’ve thought of before.

I turned back to the Skrall. “Hey, you guys have been in here before. What’s the first traps we’re going to run into?”

The Skrall gave me a confused look, and I realized that I had forgotten to switch back to the mask of Translation. Darn it, this was going to be inconvenient, if I couldn’t use my powers and talk to my companions. Switching to the Rau again, I repeated my question.

“It varies,” Coveh explained. “There’s different traps each time. There’s nothing in this first section of hallway, though.”

No sooner had the words left his mouth than the entrance door abruptly slammed shut, and the lights dimmed. “So, this isn’t a trap?” I said, hopefully.

“This… is new,” Coveh said. “Nothing like this has ever–”

His words were cut off as the floor suddenly shifted to the side, dropping us into another tunnel. This one wasn’t dark – it was brightly lit by the lava at the bottom.

By instinct, I switched to my mask of levitation and activated it, sharing the power with my companions. We started gradually floating instead of falling. This gave me an opportunity to think, and I scanned the tunnel we had been dumped into. There! I saw a small platform at one end of the tunnel, with the shape of a door next to it. A quick gust of wind guided us safely onto the platform.

Then the platform started sinking.

Quickly, I went for the door, but there was no way to open it, no visible handle or opening mechanism, and pushing it did nothing.

Then I remembered the last time I needed to defeat a door. I turned to Repirr, who held a large club as his weapon. “Smash-dash the door!” I said, pointing at the door.

Since I wasn’t wearing the Rau, he couldn’t understand my words, but he got the gist. He raised his club and slammed it against the door; cracks spiderwebbed from where he’d hit it. The platform sunk to the level of the lava, and the orange liquid started flowing onto the top of it. The Skrall struck again, and the cracks grew bigger, pieces falling off of the door. The lava grew closer to our feet. The Skrall struck once more… and the door shattered.

Repirr immediately leapt into the doorway. I grabbed Tolk and jumped into the doorway myself. I didn’t stop to look what was behind the door; it had to be better than staying in the lava tunnel.

Beyond the doorway, there was a short passage leading to yet another door. Warily, I led the way down the passage, but no traps sprung out at us in this short tunnel. As I reached the door, I started to grab the handle. This time, it was Coveh who stopped me. “Wait!”

I jerked my hand back. Coveh approached. “I’ve seen this type of door before,” he said. He reached out with his sword, and poked the handle. Abruptly, several saw blades swung down from the ceiling, spinning angrily. Had he been standing there, it would’ve cleaved through his head. Unless he was standing particularly close, in which case…

I gestured toward the broken-off section of his helmet. “Is that what happened to your helmet?”

He nodded. “One of my companions pushed me out of the way,” he explained. “That’s why I survived. He wasn’t so lucky.”

Was that… sadness I detected in his voice? Perhaps… perhaps I’d misjudged these Skrall? Perhaps they weren’t so bad after all?

I turned to Repirr. “Did such hard-luck with this Stronghold take your eye, too?”

Repirr didn’t answer, but Coveh did. “No. That was from a fire Agori he caught roaming our lands. She may have taken his eye, but he took both of her hands.”

Never mind. I had not misjudged the Skrall at all. I reminded myself that these guys had threatened the Agori to get me to do what they wanted.

Repirr raised his launcher, and fired at the door. When the spiked fruit struck the door, it exploded, easily shattering the wooden door. “There,” he said. “Let’s go.”

I remembered that I had the same type of launcher that the Skrall carried. The fact that the fruit exploded was very useful information.

Behind the door, there was a spiral staircase, going down. Lining the walls were numerous small holes, the kind that was just the right size for small, sharp objects to emerge from.

“Oh, happy-cheer,” I muttered. “This Stronghold is starting to get fun.”


Author’s notes: lots of technical details about how the Stronghold works in this chapter, but also some important character moments for the Skrall. As for why Repirr has a club and not a sword, I think he earned it in some way. You don’t have to be an elite forces Skrall to have a unique weapon, it’s just that usually the Elite Skrall usually take all the cool weapons and the other Skrall get what’s left.
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Chapter 5

If the staircase was a puzzle, I think I failed.

I know how these things work. I was probably supposed to figure out what triggered the blades, like certain sections of the stairway, and avoid them. That’s what Kopaka or Gali would’ve done. Or use my powers in some creative way to disable the trap – that’s probably what Onua would’ve done. Pohatu would’ve just used his mask of speed and sped past it. As for Tahu… okay, he might’ve done what I did: use my mask of shielding to protect myself and my companions, and just walk down the stairway, letting the blades bounce off harmlessly.

Thinking about it now, I probably cheated. Perhaps that’s why the Stronghold tried to kill me.

It was so rapid-quick. We had just reached the bottom of the staircase, and found ourselves in another hallway. I switched off the mask of shielding, going back to the Rau. I should’ve gone to my default mask, with the built-in radar, but I wasn’t expecting any traps to spring right after the staircase.

I had only taken two steps into the hallway when something slammed into me from behind, knocking me off my feet. With a Toa’s reflexes, I quickly turned and leapt back to my feet, thinking perhaps one of the Skrall had tried to attack me.

Instead, I saw the Agori Tolk, falling, having been struck by a saw blade from the ceiling. Right where I’d been standing.

“No!” I cried, rushing to catch him. It wasn’t as terrible-bad as I thought, though; the blade had just skimmed past the top of his helmet. It left a large gash on his helmet, but he was otherwise unharmed. Mostly just kinda stunned and a bit shaken.

“Sorry… about that,” he said. “You were… in the way of that blade.”

Wait, why was he apologizing? He got hurt trying to save me! That’s not right! I’m supposed to be the one to daring-save him.

“This is why bringing a jungle tribesman in here was a bad idea,” Coveh muttered.

Okay, I’m not usually one to lose my temper, but listening to this Skrall mock a villager who nearly died trying to save me, that pushed me off the edge.

“Oh, don’t act like you care,” I said. “I’m only here because you threatened the Agori, because you crave-need a way-finder. I’m only alive because this Agori came along. And I can guarantee, if I had died, you would never make it into the Stronghold.”

Perhaps that might seem a bit cocky, but I was pretty sure that the Great Being from my vision had control of this Stronghold, and wanted to keep the Skrall out. But for some reason, he wanted me to make it in, even if he had a funny way of showing it.

“Lewa, it’s all right,” Tolk said. “I’m fine.”

Coveh actually seemed a bit taken aback by my words, and he took a bit to respond. “Maybe I don’t care,” he said at last, “but I know you do. And if you truly wish to protect these Agori from all harm, you can’t do that and bring them in here.”

I stared at him. There was something off about what he had said, and it took me a moment to figure out what: he actually did care. He cared that this Agori got hurt. Trust me, I’ve seen enough villains who don’t care who gets hurt to know the difference. His words weren’t cold, and my accusation that he didn’t care had actually hurt him.

Tolk abruptly broke the silence. “Also, I’m a Water Tribe Agori.”

I glanced at him, more confused by his sudden shift of topic than his statement. “What?”

“He called me a jungle tribesman, but I’m actually originally from the water tribe,” Tolk said. “Just thought I’d point that out.” I got it. He was trying to peace-make, to change the topic from my argument with the Skrall. Gali would be proud.

For the first time, it occurred to me that, while he had the same green and brown wood-life armor that covered all the Jagan tribe Agori, his actual metal armor was entirely blue.

“Why did you join the jungle group, then?” I asked.

Tolk looked away, apparently a bit uncomfortable. “My village was wiped out during the War,” he said. “A group of Glatorian were staying there, and a Sand Tribe army attacked them. They ravaged the village in the process. I was one of the few survivors. Hal took me in after that.”

I wasn’t sure what to say. Before I could find the words for a response, Repirr broke in. “This is all very interesting, but it gets us nowhere closer to the heart of the Stronghold.”

Ah, yes. I’d nearly ever-forgotten about the dangerous mission I was in the middle of. I wondered if the saw that had nearly hit me was another test, and if I’d passed or failed. I really wasn’t doing a great job of impressing this Great Being and his fear-dread Stronghold, was I?

And because of my failure, an innocent villager nearly got hurt. Earlier, I’d said that no Agori would get hurt while I was here. I wasn’t doing a very good job of that, either.

Enough playing around. Time for the dark-serious Lewa.

I switched to the mask of X-Ray vision. As I expected, the walls still blocked the mask’s sight, but the mask had another feature I had ever-forgotten: a telescopic lens that complemented its power. With that, I scanned the walls, looking for any signs of holes that things might pop out of, or sections of floor that might trigger traps by being stepped on.

Once I was done with that, I switched to my adaptive mask. To my surprise, the radar was gone, replaced by a pair of night vision goggles. I guess the mask had adapted to an underground form.

Finally, I fired a wind-storm down the tunnel. When it didn’t trigger anything, I switched back to the Rau, satisfied that the way was clear for now.

No traps sprung as I approached the door at the end of the tunnel. I tapped the door handle with one of my blades; nothing happened. Then, I fired my launcher, smashing the door, just in case.

Moments after the door smashed, a bolt of energy flew out from the doorway. I was ready, having already switched to my mask of shielding, and blocked it. But it wasn’t a trap that had attacked me.

Standing on the other side of the doorway were a trio of warriors, not Toa, but not Skrall either. The lead warrior, a green-armored fellow, held a strange blaster, different from the ones the Skrall and I held, and a blade. I switched to my Rau just in time to catch what he said.

“About time the rescue party showed up.”


Author’s notes: an Agori that was born in one tribe but adopted another element is something I’ve always wanted to do.
5 Likes

Pohatu would’ve “I have a Kakama - Ka-boom”, because, while I do not want to hurt Pohatu’s feelings, he is not a Toa I would’ve called creative.
This is also really interesting how much Lewa thinks about “What other Toa would’ve done?”. Oh, And he chages masks sooo often. It makes me dizzy.
Also, cool ideas with Skarll names. And, you know, I actually liked Coveh before we had known he is good guy :stuck_out_tongue:, or is he? #Lavertus
I have a bad feeling that Repirr won’t make it to the end of the story…:cold_sweat: :confounded:

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That’s… actually a good point, now that you mention it. I figured Pohatu and Onua could use their elemental powers to block the trap, but yeah, Pohatu’s often demonstrated a tendency to speed past things when he can (this even plays a part in my next story)

I should note that this is all after the fact. When he’s thinking about it now, he realizes what he maybe should’ve done. In the moment, he just came up with the mask of shielding solution and went with it.

2 Likes

Is that the Red Star I hear coming up?

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Yup!

It was originally supposed to be the third story in this series, instead of Secrets of the Mountain, but then I got some severe writer’s block on it, so I went forward with SotM instead. But now I’ve figured out what I’m doing with the red star story, so it should be ready soon-ish.

So long as I’m here, might as well post the chapter for today.


Chapter 6

Repirr stepped forward, weapons raised. “Who are you?” he growled. “What’s your business here?”

“Name’s Oris,” the warrior responded. “These two are Tera and Likus. Our business is escaping this place. Though, if you’d like a fight, I’d be happy to oblige.”

“Woah woah woah, hold on,” I said. “Much as I enjoy a good fight, let’s think-talk before trying to kill each other.”

“Think-talk?” Oris said. “Nah. I prefer ‘shoot first, ask questions later’.”

Not too long ago, I would’ve agreed with him. By now, though, I’ve learned not to make the mistake of confusing enemies and friends.

“We’re not here to fight,” I said. “We seek the heart of the Stronghold. Do you know how to get in?”

“Get in?” Oris said, chuckling slightly. “Friend, I’m only interested in trying to get out. This place is a maze, and a deadly maze at that.”

“I’ve been through deadly mazes that change before,” I said. “So, you know the traps this place holds?”

“A few, maybe,” Oris replied.

“Perhaps you can help us seek-find the heart of this Stronghold, then,” I said. “And in return, we can help you get back out. Sound like a fair-trade?”

“Seek-find?” Oris said. “What, do you have a stutter?”

I must admit, I was taken aback by the question. Most everyone I’ve ever met knows about the way that those of the Air talk. Even the Skrall hadn’t asked about it (although, to be fair, they barely spoke at all.)

The white-armored warrior spoke up. “I say we travel with them,” she said. “If nothing else, safety in numbers, right?”

“Likus has a point,” her brown-armored companion agreed. So if she was Likus, he must be Tera.

Oris just shrugged. “Sure, I guess,” he said. “I take no responsibility if you die horribly, though. So, what’s with the Rock Tribe escort?”

“We seek a common goal,” I said. I wondered if I could count on Oris and his friends to help me, if I had to fight these Skrall. “They bad-need – need a way in, and they believe I can give them that.” Great, now I’m correcting myself, just thanks to this one guy.

“I see,” he said. “Say, what’s with the glowing mask, anyway?” It took me a moment to realize he was referring to my mask, which I was using to talk to him, and everyone else.

Before I could answer, Coveh cut in. “How did you three get in here?” he asked. “Our armies have been guarding the entrance for years.”

“Must not be the only entrance, then, because there was no one at the entrance Tera and I came in,” Likus said. “Not that we saw, at least. Nothing but a door in the side of the rock.”

“How long have you been here?” Coveh asked.

“Tera and I, only a few days,” Likus said. “Him, though, he’s been here a lot longer.” She gestured toward Oris.

“A lot is an understatement,” Oris said. “I came in here during the war, mistook it for an enemy base. The Stronghold’s defenses activated and imprisoned me for millennia. Only recently managed to escape.”

“We kinda just wandered in out of curiosity,” Likus said. “Managed to run into Oris. Then we went to leave, only the way we came in just… wasn’t there anymore. Now we’re stuck here.”

“At first, I thought that these two just got lost,” Oris said. “But no. The Stronghold changes itself; passages change direction, or disappear. It’s like it wants to keep us in.”

“And you haven’t been to the core?” Coveh asked.

Oris shook his head. “Nope. But I might know a way to get to it…”


Oris certainly knew his traps. On the way to what he called ‘the machines’, we encountered several traps; he spotted and disabled them all with ease. “You spend enough time here, you learn all this place’s tricks,” he explained.

Finally, he led us to a large, circular room, another door on the far side. There was a bank of machinery of some sort along the wall of this room; the Skrall immediately started to approach the machinery.

“This is the only machinery I’ve ever seen in this place that wasn’t a trap,” Oris said. “Can’t figure out how to get it to work, though. Think it might be broken.”

I watched the Skrall flip levers, push buttons, all to no effect. Meanwhile, my companions took a look around the room.

“Look out!”

Oris’s cry came too late. Suddenly, ropes sprung up around Likus and Tera, and a net hoisted them into the air. Blades appeared on the ceiling, which the two were about to be smash-dashed against.

I was quicker. With a boost from the Mask of Levitation, I jumped up to their height. My blades easily cut through the ropes of the net, and my mask power allowed them to glide safely to the ground.

“Woah, you’re really powerful,” Likus said once we’d landed. “Are you a Great Being?”

I have to say: no one has ever asked me that before. “No,” I said. “I’m a Toa-Hero.”

“What’s a Toa-Hero?” Likus asked.

“Hey Lewa?” Tolk called. “You should have a look at this.”

I went to see what he was talking about. He pointed at one of the machines. “Isn’t that the same writing you used earlier?”

Now that he mentioned it, it was. There was Matoran writing underneath some of the controls; stuff like ‘door F2E’, or ‘main lights’; I realized they must indicate what each button did. One of the switches had a ‘down’ and ‘up’ next to it. I reached out to touch it, and just as my hand brushed against it, the control panel lit up, and with a whir of power, the machinery came to life.

“What did you do?” Coveh demanded.

“Nothing, I swear!” I said.

Slabs of stone slid into place over both doors. Then, the entire room started to descend, taking us all down deeper into the mountain.

“Are you sure you’re not a Great Being?” Likus said. “Because this is pretty… great.”

Before I could answer, the room stopped descending. Then, one of the walls lifted. Behind it was another, much more massive room, filled with machinery of all different kinds. This was it. This was the lab. It had to be.

Right in the entrance was a pedestal, with a golden mask sitting upon it. It looked vaguely familiar, though I couldn’t place it. I knew, though, that golden masks were usually important. Without thinking too much about what I was doing, I reached out and touched it.

The moment I did do, there was a flash of light, and I jerked my hand back. When the light faded, there was a woman standing there, holding the mask, clad in dark red robes. She felt familiar somehow, though I was sure I’d never seen anyone like her. But then she spoke, and I knew exactly who she was.

“Welcome to the Stronghold, everyone,” the Great Being said.


Figuring out a role for Oris, Tera, and Likus to play was hard. So, now the Great Being has been revealed, but there’s still more to come…
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Yeah, forgot about it. That actually just like Turaga spoke to Matoran at Amaya Circle - and that is super nice.
Oh, so many characters. The chapter is cool, but

I feel that the whole scene was 1-3 seconds (or how much time do blades need to move) and as I recall Miru lifts user pretty slowly. Lewa could’ve boosted himself with air powers, though.
Two questions (if any answer would be a spoiler, don’t answer of course :slightly_smiling_face:):
What was written on the controls?
Does Oris is saying about the Core War? If so, how he survived without food, how he hasn’t became mad?

So Rau don’t traslate treespeak.

That right, when the Toa Mata transformed in Toa Nuva, they combined the powers of the Kakama and Miru to quickly scape. Now, Lewa need no mask to quickly jump good