it is said that Okoto shall be shattered worse than before the
banishment. Broken worse than ever before. Choices will be made,
choices which will shake the future like a quake from the hand of Onua.
And when I learned this, I asked the Creator-Light where the hope did
Where was the hope for the People of Okoto? Where was the hope
for the People of the Drake? Where was the hope for the People of the
And he did not reply.
Before the Breaking
1211 Years After the Shadow-Banishing; 190 Years Ago
New Capital City, the Coast of Po-Koto
They lowered his body into the rock-laden boat, and shut the coffin's lid.
With a push and shove, the Protector of Ice and of Fire forced it into
the sea water. On one side of the boat, barely ankle-deep in the
water, the Protector of Stone stood, averted to the liquid's presence.
On the other, nearly submerged, was the Protector of Water.
looked out, squinting at the darkness of the sea, searching for a
small, flaming buoy, below which lay the rectangular opening which had
been the site of every Protector Grave since the Star-Time, when the Toa
had walked the earth and banished Makuta into the Darkness for all
time. Korgot had carved it out, it had been said, and even though nigh
on a hundred and fifty bodies had been buried there, its breadth
stretched out far beneath Okoto in all directions, and its
multi-levelled stomach was far from full.
of Earth, looked out as the two Protectors waded, and then swam, pulling
the boat towards the buoy. Oh, people he had known had died before,
and their deaths had been sad, but now, it seemed almost unbelievable
that he had, in his life, known the body within that boat.
______He was able to extend his life for so long, all those mad gadgets. And it worked for so long. But he had to die sometime.
with much of the rest of the island's population, he watched for
several minutes until it had reached the buoy. Using his mask to form
stone, the Protector of that element allowed the boat to sink down. His
task done, he began to swim back to shore. As the boat slowly sank,
the Protector of Water drifted down with it. When it reached the pit,
by her guiding, she would lead it into its final resting place, and then
______But as soon as he was gone, Talaq's mind—and the thoughts of the other Protectors—were reading the same, dark page.
trusted him too well, leaned on him to heavily. We assumed that he'd
always be there, always stand by us. We worshipped him, even though he
was a mere mortal like us, a mere creation of the Great Light. And now
that he is gone, we have no leadership. Already there are those who are
crying for his rebirth, who cling to him, already those who believe
that he fell because of them, and who wish to prove that he can return.
the other Protectors, as well as I, know it is not so. He sleeps for
all eternity now. There are, of course, those Protectors that believe
the Unsere'A can remain without his support, but I am not so
confident. The earth cannot be deceived. The island will fall into
chaos and anarchy. No one will know what to do now that Master Ekimu is
Preface by the author: Word of the Broken
It is hard to encompass such a grand event in so short a sentence, but
there is, I have found, no achievable median between a sprawling tale
lasting hours and that simple sentence. So many political decisions,
opinions, the unseen choices of the smallest individuals. In addition,
the Historians were long since killed by whatever tribal faction they
fell into the path of.
______Okotans were once an honourable
people; that is the legacy of my Great-Great-Father, Talaq, those simple
words. I think he was mistaken. Honourable without, perhaps, but
within? No. We are as dark-souled as Makuta. Any one of use could
make a decision as he did, given the power and reason.
as he might have been about that, though, Talaq was right about one
thing: the Protectors disappeared. Do not misunderstand you, if it hap
that you're a hope-starved man who comes across this tale of my
existence. They are dead, slain. Their weapons ground to bits, their
masks shattered. Terror reigns, the children are brought up in war
while their parents watch them fight and die, defending two bricks
stacked together. I wonder if there is another like me, just one Okotan
without a barbarous heart.
______If you read this now, you
doubtless have questions, and about far more than what caused everything
that you are about to read. Why does this sit in a cave, stone-bound,
in a container which can only be made with a Mask of Earth? Why is this
in the cave where the Masks of Power used to be hidden? Why is it in a
cave at all, rather than in some long-forgotten sub-ocean tunnel? I beg
you to have patience. You shall know everything in time.
______But before I continue, you must know a few things. You must know the context of what happens here.
begin with, all of the Protectors of that time were slain for failing
to give up their tools and masks, except for Talaq, who surrendered his.
Second, I no less wear a Mask of Earth. I am the only one on this
planet bearing an elemental Mask. I regret that Talaq stole it from the
grave of Korgot, but I pray that some day, I shall be able to return it
to its rightful owner.
______Next (as you should well know),
Okoto has no system of government, its cities lie in worse ruins than
they did after Capital City was destroyed before the Star-Time. Only
tribal families, dashing their breadth against other families in an
attempt at destruction and conquest. None have ever before tried to
rise up and start a new empire. I fear that before chaos falls, anarchy
will reign for many more years.
______Lastly, this is the tale
of my attempt to fight a rising tide, and to raise purity and order to
the darkness of this wasted landscape. Here now, from the beginning to
the end, what became of it.