Secrets of the Mountain (Story Serial Continuation Project)

I love how you introduced Oris, Tera and Likus!

Also, at the rate the canon contests are going, it looks like Marendar might not get a canon contest until something like 2022. I was thinking if you end up getting to the point where Marendar absolutely has to be brought into the story, you could make story serials for various characters who are MIA, like Keetongu. The last thing we know about him is that he was teleported to the Southern Islands. I bet there could be engaging adventures to write about for that.

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So, full disclosure: this chapter went through numerous edits and rewrites as I figured out what I wanted to do with it. Most chapters do get edited, but usually it’s stuff like ‘I like this wording better’, or correcting a small mistake I made. This one went through several big changes that required changing multiple parts, and it seems two mistakes slipped through the cracks:

Originally, the characters were just stuck in the net, and he was able to float up to free them. I changed it to him rescuing them from a quick end, and intended it that he used the Miru as a sort of jump boost. This room isn’t as big as the Bahrag cave.

Originally, the machine got activated a different way, and I guess I forgot to put in the explanation of the Matoran writing.

Yes, the Core War. And as for how he’s survived… that will be explained (or at least hinted at) later on in this story.

I see it as the treespeak is a part of whatever language he’s speaking. For example, ‘seek-find’ is just a mesh of the words ‘seek’ and ‘find’, so when he’s using the Rau to speak Agori, it turns it into the Agori words for seek and find.

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Chapter 7

For a moment, all of us went silent. All of us, that is, except Oris, who took a step back.

“T-Tanja?” he stuttered. “H-how did you… how are you… I thought you…” I turned to look at him; his face was whiter than Kopaka’s mask.

“Oris?” the Great Being, Tanja, said. “How surprising. I heard you got killed by a Baterra attack, near the end of the war.” Her eyes narrowed. “And it seems that you’re just as surprised to see me here.”

“We… we thought you died,” said Coveh. “Killed during an experiment, years ago.”

“In a sense, that was true,” Tanja said. “Of course, there’s a bit more to it than that, but I think Oris here should tell you about that.”

All eyes were on Oris, who by now had taken several steps away. He looked among us, and then suddenly raised his blaster and fired at Tanja.

In that moment, chaos erupted. Oris’s blast knocked Tanja off her feet, and Oris moved in for the kill. Likus tried to intercept, but Oris batted her blade aside and ducked past her. Tera tried to stop him, but he ducked under Tera’s attack, raising his blade to strike the fallen Great Being.

But as fast as Oris was, I was quicker. A gust of wind sent him flying off his feet. By the time he got back up, Likus, Tera and I stood between him and the Great Being.

“Oris, what are you doing?” Likus asked.

“What I was ordered to do,” Oris said. “Protecting a secret. Tanja knows something she’s not supposed to, and for that, she needs to be killed.”
“Well, you’ll have to go through us to do it,” I said. “Do you think you can beat all three of us?”

Oris grinned. “I don’t need to,” he said. “I have this.” He raised a small mechanical device, pointed it at me, and pressed a button.

Something slammed into the back of my head, knocking me off my feet. I got up quickly, looking for where the attack had come from, and saw a hole had opened in the wall behind me, from which a spear had emerged.

“So that’s where my control box went,” Tanja said.

“This little thing right here, it controls the Stronghold,” Oris said. “All the traps, all the defenses, everything. One press of a button, and I can kill all of you. So I suggest you stay back.”

“What is the meaning of this?!” Repirr growled.

“His master has something hidden in here,” Tanja said. “Something he didn’t want anyone to find. And when I found it, he sicced his little friend on me.”

Oris said something in response. Not that I heard what it was, though. Y’know something I’ve learned? Bad guys love to talk. And when they talk, they tend to be easily distracted. Oris never noticed me switching over to the mask of speed. By the time he noticed me quick-snatching the device from his hand, it was too late.

And then… I made the same mistake. I switched back to the mask of Translation, so I could taunt him. “Oh, sorry, I couldn’t understand you without the Rau. You were saying something about killing all of us with this?”

“What – how?” Oris looked at his empty hand, and then back at me. “What manner of being are you?”

“Good job, creature of the Great Beings. Now hand it over.”

I turned to look at the Skrall, and saw a surprising sight. Repirr had grabbed Tolk, holding him by the shoulder. His other hand held the edge of his saw shield at the Agori’s neck.

“What are you doing?” Likus cried.

“What we came here to do,” Repirr said. “We came to steal the secrets of the Stronghold. If that little box holds the power to control this place, then it must be ours. So hand it over. Any fancy tricks, any mask switching, and I kill him.”

Suddenly, another blade appeared at his neck. “I don’t think so,” Coveh growled.

“What are you doing?!” Repirr demanded.

“Stopping you from doing something wrong,” Coveh replied. “We came here to loot the secrets of a dead woman. Well, that woman is very much alive. And I’m not going to let you kill another innocent. Not this time.”


Things happened so fast, it’s hard to explain.

One moment, Coveh was attempting to push Repirr’s arm and shield away from Tolk. Then Repirr suddenly whirled and slammed his elbow against Coveh’s stomach, causing him to drop his sword. Tolk jerked free of Repirr’s grasp and tried to run toward me. Repirr whirled, grabbing his Thornax launcher and firing at me. Before I could react, Oris was there, blocking the projectile, which exploded as it struck his blade. Then, he fired his blaster at me, knocking the control device from my hand, and it skittered away… right to Tolk’s feet. The Agori reached down and picked it up.

Then, Repirr was there, moving in for the kill. But a Thornax exploded against his face, sending the Skrall flying. The device was picked up… by Coveh.

“That’s enough,” he said. “This place rightfully belongs to Tanja. And I believe this does as well.” He held the control device out to the Great Being.

“Thank you, Skrall,” Tanja said, taking it. “A Skrall of honor, I see.”

“Honor has been long forgotten by so many of the Skrall,” Coveh said, going to check on Repirr. A moment later, he shook his head. “Dead,” he said.

“Yikes,” Tanja said. “Your leader isn’t going to be happy about that.”

“I’ll probably be executed for killing another Skrall,” Coveh said. He stood. “But I’m glad I did it. Or rather, I’m glad I stopped him from killing the villager. If death is the price I must pay for that, then so be it.”

There was a momentary silence, and then I spoke up. “No.”

Coveh looked at me. “Excuse me?”

“Back at the surface, I made a heart-promise: no Agori would be harmed while I’m here,” I said. “You kept that heart-promise, so it now extends to you. If anyone asks, Repirr’s death is on me. And if that Skrall leader wants to punish you for it, he’ll have to go through me first.”

“I say we blame this Skrall guy’s death on Oris,” Likus said. We all turned to look at her. “What?” She said. “If someone’s going to take the fall for this, why not let it be the traitor?”

“It doesn’t matter,” Oris said. “My master will come back for what he has left. And when he does, he will find you. He’ll hunt you all down.”

Tanja gave a wicked grin. “Not if we hunt him down first,” she said. “Right, that reminds me of why I wanted Lewa here in the first place. I need your help, Toa of Air. But first… I think I owe you an explanation.”


Author’s notes: Lesnichiy called it with Repirr’s death, and Coveh being a good guy. It was so hard not to say anything, with how well he predicted it.
These last few chapters have gone through so many rewrites, it’s insane. I might just share some parts of the original when I’m done, but that’s not even counting the several alternate scenes I wrote and then rewrote. I’m glad, though, that I’m content with the final product.
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Very excited to see what this explanation is!

Also, not sure if you’ve seen this topic, Sentrakh Broke The Red Star (Theory), but it has some very reasonable and compelling points about the Red Star’s malfunction and since your next story serial will take place there, it might be good to take a look at.

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I have indeed.
And honestly, I’m torn. I do quite like that explanation. I also have my own explanation I came up with, before that topic was posted, that I quite like. Which one I go with will really depend on which one can get the story where I want it to go.

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I see. That’s quite a dilemma. Which one do you think is a better explanation?

Well I’m hooked, I always love to read Bionicle story’s, wish I had the juts to write my own (maybe some day :stuck_out_tongue:). This is a really good story can’t wait to see where it goes

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Well, there’s four ways of looking at it:

From a scientific perspective, they’re both equally valid – one involves a crossing of some wires, the other a jamming of the system.

From an engineering perspective, mine involves something the Great Beings should have foreseen (an engineering mistake), while the Sentrakh theory involves something totally unpredictable.

From a story perspective, they both rely on pre-established story details. Mine does require one new character, though, that I would have to introduce in a flashback, since he/she wouldn’t be on the Red Star.

From a resolution perspective… I don’t know yet.

Having considered all of this, I’m leaning toward the Sentrakh theory. I’ll see where it goes, though; right now, I’ve yet to get to the point where the characters find out what broke the Star.

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Yeah, I would go with the Sentrakh theory, considering there’s a slim possibility that it could become canon and the last any of us want is for your story continuations to contradict canon.

Chapter 8

Tanja looked at me, and frowned. “You look different, Toa Lewa.”

“You… know me?” I said. Like, of course she knew of the Toa – she was a Great Being, she made the Toa – but knowing me by name was a bit unexpected.

“I helped make you and your team, of course,” she answered. “Well, to be specific, Artakha made you, but I showed him how. And I had hoped it would be one of you who would find me.”

“Should… should I bow, or something?” I said. “Sorry, I’ve never met a Great Being – well, unless you count the one that’s mad-crazy – I’m not really sure–”

“There’s no need for that,” she said. “Wait – crazy? Have you met Axato?”

“Is Axato the guy that brings everything around him to life?” I asked.

Tanja nodded. “You didn’t release him, did you?”

“Well, I didn’t,” I said. “But I know some people who might loose-free him.”

“That could be a problem,” she said. “As if we don’t have enough of those. Anyway, do you know what this is?” She held up the golden mask I’d seen when we first got here.

I took a closer look at it. I’d seen a few Golden masks in my day – my team and I had once all worn golden masks, in fact – but I was pretty sure I’d never seen this one before. Still, I couldn’t shake the feeling that something was familiar about its shape…

Then it hit me. This mask appeared to only cover the upper half of the wearer’s face. And there was a certain mask I’d seen once, long ago, that only really covered the lower half of one’s face. This mask looked like it would fit perfectly on top of that one. “Is that… part of the mask of time?”

“So the Vahi was forged,” she said. “In a way, yes. This is… I guess you could call it the Vahi’s ‘other half’. At some point, I hope to combine them.”

“Where did you get that?” I asked.

“I made it, of course,” she replied. “And then, when I found out that someone was trying to kill me, I used it to take myself out of the timeline. I literally didn’t exist… until you brought me back, just now.”

I whistled. “Sounds like an ever-powerful mask.”

“It is,” she said. “But using it is… difficult. I had to set up a complex array of machinery to use it to step out of time. I’d like you to help me use it, and hopefully, we can take a look through time.”

“Possibly?” I said. I remembered how much trouble Tahu once had, controlling the Vahi we had; could I control this one? And then there was another problem. “Unfortunately, I can’t use it and think-talk to you. Only this mask lets me understand you.”

“I do speak Matoran, you know,” Tanja said. It took me a moment to realize that the mask hadn’t translated that; she had said it in the Matoran language.

“What do you need me to do?” I asked.

“Somewhere in this Stronghold, my brother’s body is in stasis,” Tanja said. “But his mind… that, he has hidden in one of the people from your world. Do you understand? Someone – maybe a Matoran, Toa or Turaga, maybe someone you’ve met – is a Great Being in disguise. I need you to help me find out who he has taken.”

I was shocked. It could’ve been one of the Matoran I’d daring-saved. It could even be Turaga Matau, for all I knew.

“But first, we need to see to the people in this room,” she said. “The Agori, for starters. Where is the rest of your tribe?”

“They’re outside, with the Skrall,” Tolk said. “The Skrall are holding them captive, to get Lewa to get in here for them.”

“Well, we’ve seen how that went,” Tanja said. “But perhaps the Skrall will leave us be, if they know I’m back. I’ll see to it that they let the Agori go. After all, Lewa did hold to his end of the bargain, did he not?”

“I suppose that is true,” Coveh agreed.

Then she turned to Likus and Tera. “As for you two… I’d like you to help me lock up Oris where he can’t try to kill me again. And then… perhaps you’d be up for a fight? My brother might send someone else after me. Or I might soon go hunting after him.”

“I don’t get it,” Likus said. “Why does your brother want to kill you so badly?”

“Honestly, I have no idea,” she said. “Nor do I know why he put himself into one of our creations. But considering that he tried to have me killed when I found out what he’d done, he can’t be up to anything good. I intend to find out what his plans are, and put a stop to them.”

“Well, I’m down,” Likus said. “Sounds like an exciting and dangerous adventure, and adventure is just what we sought when we came in here. Right Tera?”

Tera just grunted in response. “He doesn’t talk too much,” Likus said. “That’s all right, though, I talk enough for both of us.”

“All right then,” Tanja said. “Let’s go pay the Skrall a visit. The Stronghold won’t try to kill us, now that I’m in control. And then…” she grinned, showing her teeth, “Let’s go hunt for my brother.”


Far to the south…

Voporak, mighty hunter for the Dark Hunters, was troubled.

Long ago, Voporak had been given a unique ability: the ability to sense fluctuations in time. He had this ability for one purpose: to find the Mask of Time. And he’d done that. He held the great Vahi in his hand right now, and was trying to track down the leader of the Dark Hunters.

And yet… he’d felt another fluctuation in time now, from up north. It was far away, but it was powerful, the kind only the Vahi would give off.

He checked his hand, just to be sure. The Vahi was still there. He could feel that this was the genuine article. Could there be two Vahi? Was that even possible?

Well… even if this wasn’t a Vahi, it was clearly a source of great power. Voporak’s master would want to know about it. Voporak turned and started walking north, heading toward the mountains. Toward the power of time.

To be continued…


Author’s notes: Yep, that’s the G2 Vahi. Well, sort of. It doesn’t look exactly like the G2 Vahi, but it’s the same basic concept, similar abilities. I’m envisioning something like this artwork.
Speaking of the new Vahi’s abilities, it allows one to see into the past, and possibly the future. I’m not going to do ‘changing the past’ time travel, unless maaaaaybe the combined Vahi allows it; and even if that happens, there’s gonna be some kind of limitation.
I had a lot of difficulty deciding where/how to end this story. I ultimately decided to end it here; this is the conclusion of the adventure in the Stronghold story arc. Next time we see Lewa (and that may be a little while) we’ll get to see him take a look through time, where he may or may not eventually find out that the rogue GB is hiding in Velika. But then Voporak’s gonna come knocking…

For now, though, the Red Star is definitely next. I’m looking forward to that one; there’s a lot of interesting things I can do there.

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STOP USING G2!!! Fhew, now I am okay.
I think that concept with the other half of Mask of Time is neat in G2, and I like it here. Voporak, old buddy :slightly_smiling_face:. That chapter actually explains much, which is always good. I like it. :+1:
Why Axato was a Skull Raider and now he is a Great Being? Why Lewa blindly trusted Tanya? Like she wants to kill another GB, whom is also Matoran, and there is no any confusion?
To the Previous chapter:

Deadly 6th sense of mine. :nerd_face:
Sorry for almost-spoiling Oh, no that’s tree-speak. But actually I think that it is kinda good when we can determine the traitor before he is revealed (I mean Repirr, though technically Coveh betrayed the Skrall in that case). It seems really logical when the betrayal actually happens then, and readers can get fun of making right guesses.
So this story is a great one. Too much new characters for my taste, but you killed one and is locking up another. You wrote it all from Lewa’s point of view, and have done it perfectly. And ending is nice.
Also, I still don’t understand who/what is Oris, and how he survived :stuck_out_tongue:. Will Likus and Tera join Orde, Chiara, Zaria and Gelu? It would be 3 Toa 3 Glatorian then.
One last question: will you write a story about all the MU inhabitants moving on Spherus Magna? Because, well, I want to know how they dismatled a universe in a week.
Looking forward to your next book.
Link to download offline versions of “Secrets of The Mountain” and other Bionicle books by Willes12.

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Wow, that took a lot of turns. First I was chuckling that you named the mad Great Being “Axato”, then you turned around and revealed the other half of the Mask of Time which they’re going to use to try and discover Velika, and now Voparak is in the picture? Things are starting to come together, I love it. Not to mention that the Red Star is next, which I am very excited for.

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MN smile

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I have you to thank for that one. Voporak wasn’t part of the plan originally, but then when you asked about him, I realized “oh hey, if this is a new Vahi, he’s going to sense its usage. He has to enter this story.”

That was something I was torn about, but in G2, Axato and the Skull Raiders were their own group of villains, not working for Makuta, just there to cause problems. Here, Velika’s going to wind up being the main villain eventually, and the good guys will be against him, but then you’ll have Axato who’s the leader a third side, and not really with either group.

Oh, trust me: right now, Lewa is still in a bit of fanboy mode, having met the person who (indirectly) created him, and the first GB he’s met who isn’t crazy except Velika, but he doesn’t know that. He hasn’t realized yet that she might plan to kill Velika/Not-Velika, though her grin at the end is the first clue. But as he works with Tanja, he’ll come to realize she might not be fully ‘good’ either…

I had hoped it would be clear enough from what I wrote, but I do also have the benefit of knowing my own story, so here’s the full explanation.

  • Oris is basically another agent of Velika.
  • when Velika was planning to plant himself in a Matoran, he needed someone to guard his body. He got Oris for the job, and told the other GB’s Oris was killed by a Baterra (apparently Oris was someone well-known enough that he felt he needed an explanation for his disappearance)
  • Eventually, Tanja found Velika’s body, and took it to the Stronghold. Oris contacted Velika, who by that point already had his big evil plan, so he ordered Oris to kill her. But then she disappeared.
  • Oris just left Velika’s body in the Stronghold, now that Tanja was gone. Having stolen Tanja’s controller, he was able to move freely through the Stronghold.
  • then, Likus and Tera almost discover Velika’s body. Oris manages to convince them that there’s nothing to see here, move along. He planned to lead them out of the Stronghold, but then Lewa showed up, and Oris had to improvise.
  • Finally, Lewa reactivates the elevator, and things stop going according to Oris’ plan entirely.

Some of this might be clarified in the next story that Lewa and Tanja feature in.

That’s an interesting idea. Can’t say for certain, but I won’t rule it out.

Probably not a dedicated story, per se, but it will almost certainly be shown in flashbacks in other stories. For example, I do want to figure out what happened to Varian – right now her fate is way too ambiguous. There’s also the fate of other societies in the MU – the Skakdi, the Nynrah Ghosts, the Dark Hunters, etc., as everyone is evacuating the old world. Might be a bit hectic.


Side note, I might seriously need to give Not-Velika an actual name at some point. Calling him by the name of the Matoran he’s possessing is getting a little confusing. I kinda regret not having Tanja just say his real name… Not that I plan to edit it in now.

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Alright, time for an added bonus: like I said, this story went through a lot of major rewrites. Many of them just got deleted and rewritten, but here’s a few of the things that were in a previous draft I still have. I guess you could compare them to deleted scenes from a movie or something.

  1. originally, there were two Agori with Lewa: Tolk, and a female named Wist. Wist did basically nothing other than say a few lines that could just as easily have come from Tolk, and in the interest of not having too many new characters, I cut her out. There was one scene that I liked that got removed, though.

I glanced at the two Agori who had chosen to accompany me. “Last chance to change your minds,” I said.
.
They both shook their heads. “Try and stop us,” the male said.
.
“All right, then. Well, I have a very important question for you… Which of you is Tolk, and which one’s Wist?”
.
The two Agori glanced at each other, then both started chuckling. “I’m Tolk, and he’s Wist,” the female said.
.
“Hey!” the male responded. “Don’t listen to her. I’m Tolk.”
.
Well, good to know someone here had a sense of humor. I learned later that ‘Wist’ is a very feminine name in Agori society, hence why they found my question funny. See, I’m funny even when I’m not trying!

  1. Oris wasn’t originally supposed to be a bad guy. He, Likus, and Tera were just kinda there. Eventually, I noticed they added basically nothing to the story, and then had the idea for Oris. In the original, Oris actually kinda aided Lewa at one point:

“That’s right,” I said, stepping to the Great Being’s side. “You want to take her secrets, you’ll have to go through me.”
.
“And me,” Oris said, stepping to my side. I gave him a surprised look. “It’s like I told you, I’m always up for a fight.”
.
“You seem to have forgotten something,” Repirr said. And then, before I could react, he grabbed Tolk, pulled him up close, and put the saw edge of his shield to the Agori’s neck. “You will share your secrets with us, or I will kill him,” Repirr growled.
.
[rest of the scene plays out similar to the final version]

  1. There was a scene that had a puzzle regarding the Morbuzakh. I cut it when I realized the Stronghold should have no way of knowing about the Morbuzakh.

I glanced at the two passageways before us. One looking brand new, the other covered in vines. Then I noticed the words carved into the wall between the two tunnels. It was written in a language I didn’t recognize, but my mask automatically translated it: “nightmare from the great furnace.”
.
Wait… the great furnace… vines… Metru Nui? My mind put all the pieces together. “Morbuzakh?” I said, referencing the plant creature from the Great Furnace that had nearly destroyed Metru Nui years ago.
.
As soon as I said the name, the vines parted, exposing another hallway. Torches lit the way to another door at the far end.
.
At the same time, torches sprung to life in the other tunnel as well. There was a loud grounding noise as innumerable spears spring from the walls from every direction, filling the tunnel with deadly points. If we had gone down that tunnel, we would’ve been skewered.
.
This was a test, I realized. A test the Skrall would never have been able to solve; they wouldn’t even know the name ‘Morbuzakh’. The Agori wouldn’t have gotten through, either. I remembered the woman I had seen when I first came in here. She knew I was coming. This test was meant specifically for me… and I passed, I thought with glee.

  1. As you can see from the last paragraph here, originally Lewa knew the GB was female from the very beginning. The only reason I changed that was that it felt a bit more ‘mysterious’ if he only knew it was a GB. Also, at that point, Tanja was supposed to be in control of the Stonghold the whole time; then I realized that raised way too many questions, like how Oris and co got stuck there, why she was sending traps at Lewa if she needed his help, etc.
  2. Back when Oris was just a guy who was stuck in the Stronghold since the Core War (and before I realized him surviving that long made no sense), we had this exchange.

“Wait a second,” Oris said. “Have you been keeping me here, this whole time?” He sounded quite upset.
.
“Not exactly,” Tanja said. “I wasn’t exactly… here, until Lewa freed me just now. The Stronghold was keeping you here; I suspect you must have accidentally triggered its containment function.”
.
“Then you’ll let us leave?” Oris asked, a sliver of hope in your voice.
.
“If that is your wish,” Tanja said. “But I have a request for you, if you’re willing to help.”
.
[then Coveh cuts in]

  1. Originally, when asked about the Vahi, Tanja said something that I later realized went against the nature of the GB’s, being too curious for their own good.

“So… what would happen if you combined the two?” I asked.
.
“I’m not entirely sure,” she said. “Though I hope I never have to find out.”

I figured I’d share these to give you an idea of how much this story changed as I wrote it, and figured out what made sense, what I wanted to do. This is the main reason why I don’t post the first chapter of a story until I’ve at least written the last chapter – and even then, edits do happen even as I post.

This has been a brief glimpse into my writing process.

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Chapter 3:

I don’t want to ruin anything, but Lewa actually knows that GB is female from the start…
All those scenes are neat, but I really like what we have now more - much more intrigue, and characters really make sense. :+1:

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First I want to say I’m having a blast reading your histories. They really seems like a continuation for BIONICLE.

But I felt it was inecesary the introduction of Oris, Tera and Likus as new characters. They didn’t aported much to the history and it felt kinda odd that they were in the stronghold.

I think in this case it would have been better just get ride off them or use some existing characters (especially in the case of Oris). A good replacement would be Perditus, as a Velika agent.

Now I don’t know were are you going to move the history but that are my two cents.