Ever since I read Bionicle: Revenge of the Skull Spiders, I've wanted to see someone make the ancient Protectors that Ekimu mentioned at the end of the book (oops... spoilers?). When no representation came, I decided to make my own interpretations of these characters paired with a tale told by Ekimu himself!
Today, I woke up after a 1,000 year long slumber to see the six heroes from my vision: the Toa. While they still have much to learn about who they are and what they must do, I am confident that they will be ready for what is to come.
Shortly after reclaiming the City of the Mask Makers, I met the island’s current Protectors. At first I mistook them for the Protectors that came before them; I must admit, I am surprised that they still pass down the same mask with each generation. I assume that in mine and Makuta’s absence there have not been many attempts to forge new masks for the villagers, or the Protectors for that matter.
The Protectors of my time wore the same masks as the Protectors do now, but I can still remember what they were like. After the festivities, I took the time to tell them of the six heroic forces I once knew. I called the story:
The Protectors of Old
I began with their leader: Udapo, the Protector of Ice. He was a true warrior, and held honor in a very high regard, but never higher than his teammates. His tools of choice were a shield and a greatsword. Some told stories of the sword having magical powers, or that he used the sword to cast magic, for he always won a battle while using the blade. He was a close friend of mine, and we often consulted on the future.
MOC notes: Udapo is cool. I love the way his "covered in fur" look came out, and I really liked using that giant paw w/claws for his right arm.
Next, I focused on Owa, the Protector of Water. A champion of the game Hammer Flush, Owa retired to take on the title of Protector. He was revered by many as one the greatest Hammer Flush players who ever lived, as he conquered many feats to even be alive in those days. He was a good sportsman, but had the heart of a warrior. He used his Champion’s Hammer adorned with his tribal carvings and stylizations, as well as fins to increase his speed in the water.
MOC notes: Owa was a tricky experiment, as I had to rework the gearbox to allow not only the main function, but also the fins and storage for the hammer. The orange really works with the different blues (thanks Gali!) and the fins on the feet can be taken off and attached to the hammer's open blue pegs.
I then told of Epolim, the Protector of Earth, who is to this day the biggest Okotan villager I have ever seen. She was a miner who took on the title of Protector when a cave in killed the Protector who came before her. She was in the same cave in and tried to help the Protector, but failed to do so in time. When he died, Epolim made a mission of her life to become stronger.
This included a lot of bulking up, and Makuta and I would constantly have to make new and larger armor for her whenever she got bigger.
She used the same drill she used in her mining days, as well as two shoulder-mounted rapid shooters given to her by one of her teammates, but I will cover more on that later.
MOC notes: Epolim is HUGE! She is by far the most complex MOC I have ever built, working in many small Technic connections to make the shaping work and to provide stability. This project was a learning experience, and Epolim is where I learned the most. I employed connections that I had never even thought of before using parts that I had never used in the ways I used them here. Epolim is probably my favorite of these Protectors; she was such a joy to construct. I also included her previous forms and a comparison between them.
I just realized that I forgot to take pictures of the back. The back is covered by the Technic plates from Onua 2016's new drill hammer, leaving only the knob for the gear function in her left arm exposed.
Then there was Kerato, the Protector of Stone. He, too, was a champion of Hammer Flush, and chose to retire for a life as a carver. With his tribal Champion’s Hammer and saw shield, I saw him create works of art and ward of the greatest of foes. He was a skilled warrior, as well, and I do wonder what became of him when the shockwave my brother created shook the island so many years ago…
MOC notes: Kerato is yet another retired Hammer Flush champion. I really like how his left arm came out with the Skrall armor leading into the rock detailing.
Agarak, the Protector of Jungle, was always a bit of a wild card. His intentions for being a Protector were never entirely clear. While he did have a desire to protect his people, he always wanted to be rewarded and praised for his deeds. He and Udapo were always at each others’ throats over his need for praise, especially for the fact that he was a younger retiree of Hammer Flush than Owa and Kerato. As such, he wielded a tribal Champion’s Hammer and an arm-mounted crossbow with extra bolts on a belt around his torso. I remember seeing him in the arena, using the crossbow to stun his opponents and using the time to sprint to the goal. Whether it was allowed or truly foul play, in the end he used his skills acquired from the arena to be a great Protector.
MOC notes: Agarak was another challenge like Owa: messing with the gearbox. I wanted to add the tail from day one, and I managed to do so while also keeping the gear function intact. I also really like the arm-mounted stud-shooting crossbow, as well as the chain used as an ammo belt.
Last but certainly not least, I told of Mamuk, the Protector of Fire. Forgive me if I have too much to say about her, but I must confess that I saw much of myself in her. She was a young inventor, even creating the prototypes of the modern day elemental shooter. This is where Epolim got her twin rapid shooters. She was only a youth when her father, the former Protector of Fire, passed away, passing his mask on to his daughter. Udapo, Epolim, and I took it upon ourselves to train her to become a fierce warrior, and she indeed became a fierce warrior.
I watched Mamuk mature to become a powerful woman, both as a warrior and an inventor. She never stopped trying new things, not even after she put one of those elemental shooters on her chest. She was also a great leader, a trait that I am sure helped her and the people of Okoto in the days following the shockwave.
After telling the story of her to the current group of Protectors, Narmoto told me that Udapo had given Mamuk his greatsword when he was killed in a battle with the Skull Spiders, and that the sword has been passed down through the generations. Ever since I had met her, I knew she would make a great leader, as I stated before.
Of the six I listed here, I believe I will miss her the most. She would have made a great Mask Maker.
MOC notes: Mamuk is probably my second favorite of these Protectors. The two body types she has (younger and older) are very expressive. I learned a lot about body types with this character and how they can be used to show emotion, especially with how Wonder Woman-esque the final form is.
I loved working on these. They were a lot of fun to create, allowed me to learn more about MOC potential with parts I never even thought of using in a Binnacle character, and made me appreciate the CCBS more than I ever did before.
I'd also like to see the different generations of Protectors in the 1,000 years between the battle of the mask makers and the arrival of the Toa. If, you know, anyone wants to start a community project...
Which one is your favorite? Criticism is appreciated. Thanks for viewing!