Some time ago, I began a Bionicle fanfiction project; an anthology of stories designed to support not only each other, but the Bionicle canon as well. I’ve since put this project on the shelf and reignited my personal story project, but I did put quite a bit of work into this and felt like sharing.
Some of this straight up sucks, some of it’s decent, much of it is just my own exposition on story ideas and what inspired them. Maybe you’ll like what you read, maybe you’ll just view the whole thing as a cautionary tale on how to write poorly. It’s up to you! Isn’t that fun? In any case, I’ll do my best to give you the fullest possible view of what this was intended to be, and you’ll even get to hear me simultaneously deride and praise myself along the way. Alrighty, here we go.
This book was going to be called Valor, Wisdom, Truth, and was to be comprised of 20+ short stories. Some would be about main events and characters, others about new people and stories I made up. All would play into or along with the larger narrative, and for the most part I tried to keep it canon-compliant. Here’s a brief rundown:
Table of Contents
Prologue: First Light - A figure of ancient legend parts ways with a dear friend.
Valor, Wisdom, Truth, Pt. 1 - The Toa Cordak protect a fledgling City of Legends.
Charms: The Legend of Motara - An old tale recounting a fallen Toa of Stone.
Better Left Alone - Not every Bohrok makes it home before the final hour.
Valor, Wisdom, Truth, Pt. 2 - Toa Dume protects his home from many threats, some unseen.
Charms: Tale of the Spirit’s Journey - A story recounted of the Mt. Iden legend.
Madness, Here - Lesovikk attempts to help those burdened with the horrors of their past.
Valor, Wisdom, Truth, Pt. 3 - The Toa Aki defend Destral from several threats at once.
Charms: The Seven Heralds of Mata Nui - An ancient legend reveals the works of those who preceded the Great Spirit.
Just Beyond The Sun - Norik and Varian discover that some stones are best left unturned.
A Shield Unto Itself - An alternate history in Metru Nui grants the city more protectors than even the Makuta could bargain for.
Valor, Wisdom, Truth, Pt. 4 - Tiro and Pala lend a hand in the Toa - Dark Hunter War on Metru Nui.
Honest Liars - Kanae fakes his death to protect Metru Nui from the shadows.
Power Lines - A young girl wonders over what lies beyond her home.
The Road Ahead, Pt. 1 - Vakama, Harvali and Raanu guide their people from a life of conflict to one of peace.
A Life Beyond These Walls - The Mata Nui robot is evacuated, including the unexplored regions.
The Road Ahead, Pt. 2 - Tahu, Ackar, and others work together to stave off disaster.
Waking Dreams - On Spherus Magna, not every legend is just a tall tale.
The Road Ahead, Pt. 3 - Pridak contemplates his future in this new world.
Epilogue - As history moves forward, lies abound. Can a new team of heroes lead the world to truth?
You’ll notice some sub-categories present. Valor, Wisdom, Truth was a four-part series of independent stories with a shared focus, and The Road Ahead imitated that format. Charms were intended to be amaja circle-esque legends that might be shared by Turaga or other characters in similar roles. There were even going to be a few alternate universe stories throughout - one remains. (The other two were called As It Was and Time and Again. The first is already posted to these boards, and linked. The second was reworked and expanded to become a companion novel of its own, something I will likely review in this topic later on.)
I chose to isolate the chapters as largely independent stories because I love world-building lore. Primary lore is great, sub-lore is fun, but the universe that is slowly forged in the background of all the separate tales? That’s my jam, and you just can’t tell it any other way. You have to tell a hundred stories just to tell the one you want to share. My original plan for my personal story project, a book called A History In Moments, has been laid out the same way for over a decade now. Even that got expanded into a 21-book series (you see why I felt it necessary to set this project down? Ain’t gettin any younger).
I’m telling you this not just to give you insight into what I was trying to do, but also as a fair warning. There’s no reason to expect a given narrative to pick up in the next chapter. Valor, Wisdom, Truth was going to be, for all intents and purposes, a BIONICLE-themed History In Moments. That’s how the world works, in my eyes, anyway. Moments come, lay the groundwork for some future, and then leave. You don’t get to stretch them out. They’re over before you know it, and you may want to see how it plays out - you often don’t get to. You just have to move on, to your next moment. But maybe, if you pay close enough attention, you’ll see the payoff in another moment, somewhere down the line. Sometimes it’s in your face, sometimes it’s in the background. That’s what makes it so fun - you never really know what comes next.
And that’s where I like to write. So without further ado, I’ll let this moment end and show you the next.
For your consideration,
Prologue: First Light
In the time before time…
“It seems as though it goes on forever, doesn’t it?”
Artakha turned away from the shore, toward the sound of familiar voice and tread. He smiled and turned back toward the wall of darkness before him.
“It is a daunting sight, brother. But I know someday the light will prevail.”
“Perhaps it will.” Karzahni took a position next to his brother, wet sand curling around the edges of his feet just before the tide washed it away. “The Matoran seem to work well enough in darkness and ignorance alike. Perhaps it need not change at all.”
“Ah, and how much better would it be for them if they could see, and know?” Artakha put his arm around Karzahni’s shoulders. “For all they have done, they deserve the security of certainty, wouldn’t you say?”
Karzahni paused for a moment. “Perhaps they do,” he conceded.
In the distance, a soft flicker of light chased a scattered path across the sky. Instinct told Karzahni it was heat lightning, but as the flickering ceased and the light stabilized, the brothers realized it was, in fact, a distant sun awakening for the first time.
“There we are,” whispered Artakha, a weary smile on his face. He turned to catch his brother’s reaction, and was a little disappointed to see none. His eyes fell to the ground, then back up to the newfound light in the distance. The crafter opened his mouth to speak, but Karzahni’s voice kept him silent.
“I’m told my realm is very nearly complete,” he said softly. “I’ll be heading east soon.”
Artakha frowned and turned to him again. “If I didn’t know you as I do, I might have missed the eagerness in your voice. Why are you so hurried to escape me?”
Karzahni shook his head. “It’s nothing to do with escape. You won the mask. We were each of us given our roles to play. Of what use am I to the Matoran if I remain here?”
Artakha’s frown deepened. “I can scarcely see what the mask has to do with it. But I take your point, brother. I am saddened to see you go so soon is all. We’ve had so little time together.”
“We will see each other again, when the work is done,” Karzahni assured him. Something in his voice made Artakha pull his arm away, some dark string woven through that unraveled the pleasantry of his tone.
Another flashing of light, this one much closer, quietly ignited another sun. The flow of light instantly washed over the area below it, piercing the previously unseen clouds and touching the ocean beneath. Where once Artakha saw nothing but blackness, he could now see the collective shimmer of a thousand lapping waves, each pressing the one before it into infinity. This time, he did not smile.
“They are lighting the way for you, my brother.” His voice was softer now, a heavy dose of resignation, and perhaps a hint of hope. If Karzahni noticed either, he didn’t seem to care. Artakha spoke again, a final invitation to his quiet friend.
“Perhaps, when you have made your home, you will find time to visit again,” he offered, turning again to find something in his brothers eyes. Karzahni never once looked at him.
“Perhaps I will.” A distant reply; Artakha simply nodded, trapped within his uncertain mind.
Karzahni stayed a moment longer before turning away silently, making a quick pace back to the fortress. It was the last time Artakha would see him.
Over the next few months, more brothers and sisters would enter the old crafter’s life, and most would leave as well. Each would play the role the Great Beings gave them, and each would depart on the kinder terms that Artakha had hoped for. Those that stayed with him on his island after the Great Spirit’s rise knew him to speak fondly of Ekimu, Hura Mafa, and the others, but most fondly did he mention his first brother Karzahni.
The darkness broke in time, as Artakha predicted. But the troubled mind of an old architect was laced with a bitter sorrow, and primed with a goodbye he had yet to give. Many would watch him from a distance, and some would speculate this way or that, whether he would call out across the universe to his brother, or keep his voice within his own mind. Nobody knew but him.
Altogether pretty satisfied with the beginning. A little moment to show how two people could begin moving from brothers to moral opposites, while showcasing the bond that can transcend even a stark moral contrast. I’ve lost people I love to shifting moral codes, and others have lost me just the same. It hurts, but the love never leaves; not really.
A couple name drops in there, too. Just because this was designed to plug cleanly into canon doesn’t mean you can anticipate everything coming. Shoot, now I kinda wanna finish this too…
Anyway, I’ll drop this here for now, and add more stuff later. Stay tuned, if you like.