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Tale of the Toa Stones

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"In a time before time, the island of Mata Nui was a tropical paradise.

Then a shadow fell across the island - A shadow known as Makuta.

In the dark years that followed, the islanders put their faith in a legend...

...a legend that foresaw the arrival of six mighty heroes: the Toa.

For only the Toa will have the strength and courage to bring peace and light back to the world.

As Mata Nui awaits the arrival of the Toa, a lone islander unknowingly begins a quest...

...a quest that will change Mata Nui forever."

 

Welcome to Onu-Koro

Relaxing on the beach! This is the life. No more slaving over the forge, making tools for the lava farmers. No more standing in a dusty old storefront, peddling wares. I'm a free Matoran now. If I've been exiled from Ta-Koro, then that's fine. I don't think I've met a Ta-Koronan that can appreciate the simple things in life anyway.

I grab a pair of Bula berries from my makeshift pack, which I wear like a satchel. I look hungrily at the smooth orbs in my hand and greedily suck the energy out of them. Feeling refreshed, I drop the empty husks on the ground. In the distance, the gentle waves break, and I slowly pull myself up. As lovely as this is, it's time to move on. I need to make my way to Onu-Koro before nightfall - it's unsafe to be out alone, especially with the increasing ferocity of the rahi.

After trekking some distance, I finally enter the dark tunnel that leads to the underground village. Onu-Koro is full of hard workers, but one always welcoming to outsiders. It's the hub of Mata Nui, with tunnels leading to Ta-Koro and near Po-Koro, and villagers regularly make the journey to trade their local wares. Even Ga-Koronans frequently travel to the city, looking to sell cloth, rope, and fish. I know that I will be welcomed here - for a short while, at least.

But just outside the village, a guard stops me. "Halt! Who goes there?"

"My name is Takua," I say.

The guard shines his lightstone staff over, taking a good look at me. "A Ta-Koronan? Not as many of you coming in lately. Are you a member of the Ta-Koro Guard?"

I hope he drops the line of questioning soon. "I'm just a traveler seeking shelter."

"Just a traveler? Yet you've come all this way… why not come through the Ta-Koro highway? Anyway Takua, you should know that our Turaga has been kidnapped by a Vatuka Beast. Make sure you stay out of the way of the search party that's preparing to move out."

"I will - thank you!" I brush past the guard, and walk over a small bridge crossing a stream into the center of town, passing numerous mud huts. Lightstones are mounted all around the great chamber - atop posts, above doorways, and at every storefront, basking the chamber in a healthy, warm glow. As I pass the largest hut in the village, I notice a staff propped up against it. Strange, it almost looks like Vakama's Firestaff. I grab the knobbled staff, and the deep, orange jewel at its head sparks to life. This certainly is Vakama's! But what is it doing here?

"We're about to move out!" a commanding voice echoes. The owner of the voice is a Matoran with a bamboo disk strapped to his back - the preferred weapon of most Matoran.

I rush over, the staff still in my hand. Two guards are already mounted upon their Ussal Crabs. A third guard, tending to his crab, glances at me.

"You look like you're looking to join the search for Whenua, stranger," the commanding voice says. "I am Setchii, leader of this party. Will you join us?"

Without even thinking, I answer. "Of course I will!"

"Great to hear it. The only Ussal we have left is Kerii here - she's still young, but she's fast and well-trained." He climbs aboard his own crab. "Get on - we're heading out!"

Our group of four travels into the Great Mine, the sound of skittering Ussal feet breaking the eerie silence.

"Commander Onepu can't afford to give up any more guards on this search," explains Setchii. "It's down to us to find Whenua. The Vatuka was seen heading down these tunnels, so it is only a matter of time before we encounter it. Stay alert."

Our crabs travel deeper and deeper into the mines, systematically checking tunnel after tunnel. A few Fikou spiders jump out to strike us, but Damek, Koudo and Setchii skillfully and effortlessly take them out with their bamboo disks. The disks boomerang back into their hands once thrown. I have to get my hands on one!

Soon, we encounter a cave empty of the lightstones that chase away the darkness in the other tunnels. Fortunately, Koudo and Damek both carry torches of their own. Damek lifts his light staff to brighten the passage ahead, seeing nothing inside. Slowly, we urge our Ussal forward into the darkness.

Was that a movement to my left? A sound to my right? It must be my imagination. When I look, I see nothing but rocks and stones. Suddenly, an Ussal squeals and Koudo is thrown across the tunnel! Something rumbles in the darkness as Setchii hurls his disk. No matter how much I try, I can't make out the shapes of their targets in the pitch black.

Then I remember what I'm holding. The firestaff sparked when I first picked it up! I will the staff back to life, but only receive a brief, dim flash. Something falls to the ground nearby, and I hear Setchii grown in pain. I focus everything I have into the staff. Some ounce of the power of flame resides in all Ta-Koronans - even an exiled one.

Flame! I silently beg the staff to obey me. Fire! Heat! Nothing is working. I need some Light!

Wondrous flames burst from the jewel. The room lights up, and I can finally see the dozens of tiny creatures made of rock and stone that were attacking the group. The diminutive monsters shield their eyes from the intense flame I wield. Unfortunately, the flame seems to have had the same effect on my Onu-Koronan compatriots. I glance back toward the Commander.

An enormous rock creature, larger than the others combined, towers over the prone form of Setchii. The Vatuka Beast brings it's boulder fists over its head, preparing to crush the Onu-Koronan. I reach into my pack, desperate to find something to stop the creature. My hands grab onto something, and I hurl it.

A bula berry splatters against the chiseled chest of the Vatuka. I reach in again and lob another piece of fruit. The Vatuka loses interest in Setchii, and lumbers towards me. Heavy arms prepare to pound me into oblivion, certain to crush me with ease. I try the only thing it won't expect.

I urge Kerii onwards, skittering under the Vatuka's strike. I thrust the firestaff at it! The flame only succeeds in cooking the smeared fruit on its rocky chest. The Vatuka kicks out at us. I urge Kerii to move out of the way, but the rocky foot smashes against her, sending us both tumbling over. Kerii's squeal pierces the room, and she lands on her back, legs kicking out in uselessly in the air.

The Vatuka has no interest in her and prepares to strike out at me. I clamber to my feet, desperate to get out of the way of the crushing blow.

I hear an enormous crunch, and then the Vatuka's fist lands right in front of me. It turns around suddenly - and I catch a glance of my savior. Setchii catches his disk as it returns.

"Dim the flame!" he cries.

I will the firestaff to weaken it's flame, to the point that I can barely see. The Onu-Koronans are better off in the dim light. The sound of bamboo striking stone echoes through the chamber as the three villagers throw their disks. The Vatuka falls to the ground, crumbling into lifeless stones. The smaller creatures turn into regular pebbles.

"Thank you for saving me!" I gasp.

"You saved me first, so we're even," answers Setchii. "You're not bad in a pinch."

Koudo glances around the room. "Any sign of Whenua?"

A low, deep voice echoes in the darkness. "Here I am."

Damek shines his torch toward the source of the sound, until we can make out the outline of the squat Turaga tied up on the floor. Setchii rushes over and tries to break his bonds.

While he struggles with the Turaga, I notice a carved stone on the ground nearby.

"The Toa Stone!" exclaims the Turaga. "That is what the Vatuka was after."

The Vatuka was after this stone? I pick it up - and as I do, it glows in my hand. A deep purple light glows from the stone as I touch it.

"Amazing," exclaims Damek.

Setchii rips the last of the rope from Whenua, and helps him to his feet.

"You have all done well," Whenua says. "Thank you for rescuing me. Now, let us return to Onu-Koro."

We each mount our crabs, ready to return the way we came. Whenua asks to ride with me. Kerii's back is cramped with two riders atop, but we manage.

"It is a time of great danger, Takua," Whenua tells me. "Infected rahi are attacking in greater numbers. Our villages can barely hold them back. Each of the villages is in danger! I did not know what Makuta was after when he sent his beasts to attack, but I do now." He pulls out the Toa Stone I retrieved. "The Vatuka was not after me. Iwas captured because I held this stone."

"That's just the stone that you use to represent Toa Onua!" I exclaim. "It's only used for telling a story! Why would Makuta want it?"

As Whenua places the stone in my hand, it begins to glow a deep purple once again. "This stone does not only represent Onua - it also contains a portion of his power. I do not know how Makuta has come to learn of this - but this stone calls for your protection and the others are surely doing the same! You must travel to each village, gather the Toa Stones, and - "

"Surely someone else can do it!" I cry. "Spare one member of the Ussalry! I will go to Ga-Koro, I cannot return to Ta-Koro. No-one wants to see my face there anymore. Besides, the more of us searching for the stones there are, the faster we can gather them. United, we are stronger!" I choke on my objections, trying to think of another reason I should deny his request.

"Think, Takua! It must be you! You are most well-traveled among the Matoran - you will be able to move quickly, and hide from the many eyes of Makuta before he hears of our plan. The Ussalry is already spread too thin trying to protect both the village and the mining teams. I cannot spare a single member. Each village will gladly assist you, and you must help them in turn. That is the Unity you require." We ride in silence for a moment.

Presently, Onu-Koro comes into view. As we enter the city, Kerii crouches, and I help Whenua climb down.

"Take this carving," Whenua tells me. "See the workshop across the river? A Matoran named Nuparu works there - show him this, and he will give you something to help you."


I head to Nuparu's workshop and show him the stone tablet.

"What's this?" he asks, as he reads the tablet. "Ah, you have helped rescue Turaga Whenua. That is a relief. Oh! The Turaga asks me to repay you for him... to give you something that will help you on your travels. Well, I've got just the thing. Wait here a moment."

The inventor digs through his inventory. "A-ha! Here it is!" He retrieves an enormous device, almost as big as me. "My Volo Lutu launcher. This will amaze you - it's brand new! Look at this - you fire this orb, the Volo Lutu. It latches onto something." He fires at the wall, and the Volo Lutu sticks to it. "And when you flick this switch, the Volo Lutu pulls the launcher towards it." A moment later, his feet leave the ground and he hurtles toward the wall. He crashes, unable to control his direction, and falls to the ground once more. The launcher remains attached to the wall. Quickly, Nuparu shakes his head to recover.

"Ouch. Well, not quite like that. It takes a bit of practice. But you look athletic, you'll pick it up quickly." He points to the side of the device. "Once you've flicked the switch back, the orb will detach itself and return to the launcher." His finger skims the trigger, and the device becomes unstuck. He hands it over to me. "It's a marvel of engineering! And just you wait - there will be more like it - just as soon as I can find where the Volo Lutu comes from!"

 

Journey Around Mata Nui

And so, I set out on my journey to collect the other Toa Stones from each of the villages.

In Po-Wahi, I purchased a bamboo disk, which quickly became my most trusted weapon. Turaga Onewa advised me that I had to fight my way past an enormous Kofo-Jaga nesting in the desert, where it guarded the Toa Pohatu Stone.

In Ga-Wahi, a Makika Toad had captured Turaga Nokama. When I rescued her, she gladly handed me the Toa Gali Stone.

In Ko-Wahi, I helped recover the stolen Element of Melting, which the Ko-Koronans used to melt the frozen ice. As thanks, Turaga Nuju bestowed upon me the Toa Kopaka Stone.

And in Le-Koro - well, Turaga Matau played quite the practical joke on me, using the village's Kewa Birds. Afterwards, he gladly helped show me the tricky puzzle carved into the tree which kept the Toa Lewa Stone safe.

Each time, when I held a Toa Stone, it began to glow in my hand. And now, as I walk up the rocky mountains to Ta-Koro, I carry five of the stones in my satchel. Despite all that I have faced on the way here, I feel as though walking through those gates will be my most difficult task.

 

Return to Ta-Koro

I have been dreading coming back to Ta-Koro ever since Whenua asked me to collect the stones. I stand outside the gatehouse, contemplating. I could just turn back now. Pretend like none of this ever happened, and climb back to Ko-Koro. The Ko-Koronans probably wouldn't ask about the Toa Stones. They barely ask about anything at all.

But if I turn around now, then all of this will have been for nothing. I take a deep breath, head through the gate, and look upon the enormous fortress that sits above the Lake of Fire. The lava below the bridge gives off a powerful heat. Before I left the village, I found it to be a comfortable warmth. But now that I've returned after spending so much time away, it has become a harsh, unforgiving heat.

As I walk into the village, a local blocks my path. His arms are folded, and he tries to look intimidating. "Back already, Takua? We've already told you to get lost once, and you and I both know you don't want to stick around. If you hate the heat here, why not go back to Ko-Koro?"

"Leave me alone, Sewitta," I respond. "I'm here for the Turaga - I have his firestaff."

"I wouldn't be surprised if you pried the staff out of the Turaga's hands yourself, you cross-wired freak!"

Another Matoran, his feet covered in ash, walks up. "Chill out, Sewitta. If he stole the firestaff, why would he bring it back?"

Sewitta stares off against the newcomer for a moment. "Fine. But don't you forget that there's plenty of us that wanted you out of here, slacker. We made you leave once, we can do it again." He reluctantly moves aside, letting me pass.

"Thanks, Maglya," I say, as we walk into the courtyard. "I was hoping I'd avoid him."

"I'm just glad you're back. Hey, you should come watch me in the lava surfing competition later!"

"That sounds great! I'll definitely be there. I need to speak to Vakama now, though."


Turaga Vakama stands alone outside one of the buildings. I am not eager to speak to him after so long, but I need help to find the last Toa Stone. As I cautiously approach, I notice he isn't wearing his usual Mask of Concealment. Instead, he has replaced it with a Kanohi Mahiki - the Mask of Illusion. He looks strange, almost like Turaga Matau.

"So, you have decided to come back. Did you think you would be welcomed back here?" Vakama takes another look at me. "And you have my firestaff. Am I to assume you are returning this to me?"

I nod and hand out the staff. He gently takes it, running a nostalgic hand over the polished contours.

"I thought I had left it behind in Onu-Koro. Thank you for bringing this back to me." Vakama looks over me, thinking deeply.

"Turaga, I have five of the Toa Stones. Whenua has asked me to gather the stones and -"

"I have heard about your quest, and how skilled you are - but I am not convinced. The Toa Tahu Stone is hidden in the lava caves of the Mangai. I do not believe you are up to the task of retrieving it alone." He turns to the firepit, basking in its warmth.

Forgetting that I had once taken any opportunity to shirk my task, I let my pride get the better of me. "I can do this, Turaga. You can count on me. Give me a chance!"

Though he does not look at me, I can hear a degree of approval in his voice. "Very well - I am willing to give you a chance. If you retrieve my Mask of Concealment, I can help you. It has been stolen by a herd of infected Mahi - they were last seen running through the Western pass. If you can retrieve my mask, I will give you the help you need to find the Toa Stone." As he perceives my thoughts, he answers my unspoken question, "I would send Jaller or one of the guards, but we're stretched so thin from the Rahi attacks. I can spare no one else." The Turaga turns back to me. "If you can retrieve my mask, I'll give you the help you need to find the Toa Stone."

"I will return with the lost mask, Turaga." I hurry away, back toward the gate.


I spend ages trying to find Vakama's stupid mask. He's got five more of them sitting on the Suva. Does he really need his Mask of Concealment? Surely he could achieve the same results with the Mask of Illusion that now sits upon his face. What has he ever done for me, anyway? Didn't stop me getting kicked out of Ta-Koro, that's for sure. He could have stepped in at any time.

Ah well. I made a promise to him, and I need his help to recover the last stone. After everything I've seen and done, tackling a few Mahi doesn't sound too difficult.

The view isn't half-bad from up here. You can almost see the entire island, from the snow-capped peaks of Mount Ihu! Ta-Koro looks so small, sitting above the lava lake. For all of its faults, Ta-Wahi has some beautiful sights. I could just sit down and relax for a while - there's plenty of time to continue searching for Vakama's mask. As I settle upon a stone to rest, I can hear the grunts of Vako, and the bleats of Mahi.

Bleats of Mahi?

I jump up and rush up the mountain toward the source of the bleats. As the sounds become louder, I peer over a ledge, and there I see them. Four Mahi, one of them carrying a silver mask in its mouth. Between myself and them, a huge ravine. Falling in that would mean landing in the Lake of Fire below. I grab the Volo Lutu Launcher clipped to my waist. This is going to be tricky. I steadily aim the launcher at the Mahi holding the mask. It hops over behind another of the beasts. Damn it. I wait.

And wait.

Finally, the Mahi hops back into view. I carefully aim at its hindquarters. Hopefully, I'll be able to land on its back, grab the mask, and flee without having to fight. I pull the trigger. The Volo Lutu latches onto the wild beast's horns. Close enough, I think, as I flick the switch.

As I'm pulled toward the Volo Lutu, the Mahi turns around. No way I'll be able to land on its back now. I release the switch, kick my leg out, and the Mahi's horn crunches against my foot. I fall to the ground, breaking my landing with my arms.

My leg hurts, my arms ache. I'm relieved I didn't knock my mask off. The Mahi I kicked has dropped the mask - It has landed right beside me! I grab the mask eagerly, claiming my prize.

The sound of angry bleating pulls me back to the reality I find myself in. Three more Mahi rear their horns at me, preparing to charge.

I grab the bamboo disk from my back, and let it fly! It strikes one on the head - but not hard enough. The Mahi's horns ram into me, knocking me into a rocky slope. My disk comes flying back to me, and I just manage to catch it out of the air before the Mahi strikes again. I stumble backward, just managing to stay upright. I hold the wooden disk in front of me like a shield, trying to protect myself from their continued attacks. Another Mahi strikes, but I manage to push the beast back this time. I should have just taken them out from a distance with my disk, not charged in blindly. There's only one thing left for me to try.

I run.

The Mahi leap after me, horns primed to attack. I let my disk fly behind me, but it does no good. We climb, higher and higher up the mountain. I don't think these Mahi will tire before I do. But I keep running, even as my legs burn and I can barely keep my breath. As I run past yet another boulder, an idea comes to me.

I grab my Volo Lutu launcher, and hastily fire at the boulder. The Mahi keep charging, moments away from striking me to the ground. The Volo Lutu latches onto the boulder. I flick the switch, and fly over the heads of the Mahi! Great! That's brought me a few more seconds. Now I can head back to Ta-Koro.

Once I land, that is.

The dirt crumbles beneath me as I hit the ground. I pull myself to my knees, scrambling forward. Sprinting downhill, I can still hear the Mahi behind me. Finally, I make it back to the ravine before. I fire the Volo Lutu launcher at a tree, and I'm soon hurtling back to the other side.

Finally, I can catch my breath. I'm tired, I'm sore, I'm covered in dirt. But I have Vakama's Mask. I look back to the other side of the ravine, where the Mahi charge back and forth, trying to find a way across. I catch my breath, before starting the long trek back to Ta-Koro.


Six guards rush past me as I enter the gatehouse, but none stop me.

Vakama stands alone by the Suva, now with only four masks in its slots. As I approach, I pull out his missing mask.

"Thank you, Takua," says Vakama, as he takes the mask. He gently places it back on his face, suddenly looking like his familiar, old self. "If Whenua believes it is time to gather the stones, then he may be right. The Toa Tahu Stone is hidden in the lava caves beneath the Mangai Volcano. Cross the Trem Krom Break, and you will find the entrance to the caves."

"Thank you, Turaga. I'll retrieve the stone at once, and then be on my way." I turn to leave.

"Wait," Vakama says. "I have something you will need." He walks toward his hut across the courtyard, and I follow closely behind him.

As I enter the room, Vakama grabs a streamlined slab propped up against the stone wall. A lavaboard, reinforced with heat-resistant protodermis for resisting the million-degree heat of the Mangai Volcano. "This is my thanks to you, for finding my mask. You will need this to cross the break - and for the lava caves. Be careful, Takua." He sighs deeply. "The Toa Tahu Stone is well guarded. It is housed in a crater of fire, where only the most daring and cunning can retrieve it - to keep it out of the hands of Makuta's forces. But the Rahi are growing more ferocious, and I fear we will not be able to hold them back much longer."

I feel the smooth, polished carvings of the lavaboard. It is not what you would call an intricate design, but it has clearly been carefully cast and polished. "Thank you, Turaga Vakama. I promise, I will return with the Toa Stone!"


It doesn't take me long to head past the Trem Krom Break, and I soon find myself at the entrance to the lava caves. I peer carefully into the winding passageways inside. The cave glows with the light of the lava flow. I could probably make it across with just my Volo Lutu launcher, but this will be a good time to get familiar with the board Vakama has given me.

I walk up to the lava, recoiling at the heat. Most Ta-Koronans are used to the warmth of lava, but it's always been just a little bit too much for me. Not to worry - I'll be out of here shortly. I kneel down on my board, kicking off the hard earth.

Whoever thought that lava surfing was a good idea is an idiot.

My kind of idiot. It's a great board, and the lava surfing lessons come back to me quickly. I lean my weight to turn the board into the stream, letting the flows carry me through the cave. I try not to think about how a single wrong move would spell my doom. Soon, I reach the other side, landing on the solid ground.

That wasn't too bad. What could Vakama have been worrying about?

I find out when I look into the next cave. The ledge in front of me drops off suddenly. Lava falls down the other side of the cave, pooling into the chamber below. And in the middle of the torrent of lava, propped up on a rocky outcropping, sits the Toa Tahu Stone.

Maybe it's not too late. I could head back, grab Malgya, and ask for the experienced surfer's help. I turn to head back. A series of bright eyes peer back at me from the mouth of the cave. The eyes come closer, and I can make out the forms of a flock of Husi approaching. Husi are huge, flightless birds known for their speed and aggression. There's no way I can get past all of them in one piece - but the only other way out is down in the chamber of lava.

I'm out of options. The Husi will charge any moment. I throw my board down and leap upon it, hurtling down the molten rapids. Leaning my weight, I try and direct the board toward the Toa Stone. I'm so close now! I lean just a little more - and almost lose my balance. Damn. The stone rushes up toward me, and I grab it, shoving it into my pack. I glance over my shoulder. The Husi are chasing me at full speed now!

The lava flows are pulling me along. But the Husi behind me are running as well, and they're a lot faster. If one pecks me, and I fall - well, I'll be done for. I unclip the launcher from my waist and veer sharply to the left. Two of the birds overtake me, banking around to try and cut me off. I aim my launcher at the closest one, and fire! The Volo Lutu sticks to the bird. I flick the switch, kick up my board, and hurtle toward the Husi. The Husi prepares to strike at me, as I release the switch and hurtle past, narrowly evading the bird's strike. As I pass, I feel myself falling into the lava - I hold my arms out to regain my balance. Somehow, I manage to remain upright.

That little trick with the Volo Lutu gained me quite a bit of speed, and I'm soon hurtling down the flows. I narrowly weave past stalactites and outcroppings. Before I know it, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel! Passing through the mouth of the cave, I begin to casually surf down the Trem Krom break.

A glance behind me ensures that there are no Husi following. I'm not going to take chances though, and I climb back aboard solid ground, dashing back to the safety of the village.


"Thank you, Turaga," I say. "With your guidance, I have been able to find the last of the Toa Stones."

"I suppose you did," answers Vakama. His eyes light up, as he smiles for a moment. "Not bad for an amateur! I trust my lavaboard was helpful to you, as well. That is a special gift - please take good care of it."

I feel a grin come across my face, and I feel glad to have been of help. My trip to Ta-Koro has not been as bad as I thought it might have been.

"Now Takua, take those stones to the Kini-Nui, and place them in the Amaja-Nui."


I prepare to leave the city, but I still have one problem - my board. Vakama wants me to take care of it, but it's much too large to carry with me to Kini-Nui. I mount my disk on my back, and the Volo Lutu launcher to my hip. Then, I head into the fortress to search for Maglya.

I find his quarters - at least, I think they're his quarters - and call out to him. "Maglya!" For a moment, I stand in silence, hoping I haven't got the wrong home.

The red-armored Matoran peers out of the doorway. "Takua! Hey, nice lavaboard! You want to head down to the break and catch some waves?"

"Actually, I can't," I admit sheepishly. "I have to leave again. But this board is a bit big for me to carry with me. I wanted to know - would you take care of it? I should be back in a day or two."

"Not a problem, Takua. Though, I guess this means you won't make it to see me in the lava surfing competition."

I hand Maglya the lavaboard. "Guess not. You can use my board if you want. Just keep it in one piece!"

"Wow, really? Thanks, Takua. Take care out there."

 

The Amaja-Nui

It has taken me quite some time to walk all the way to the other side of Mount Ihu. But now, I'm walking through the jungle of Le-Wahi, trying to stick to the overgrown path that leads to the Kini-Nui. Few dare to venture down this path nowadays - even the Turaga rarely dare leave their villages. It is said that infected Rahi prowl the land surrounding the temple - I've even heard rumors that the Makuta's infection spreads from here.

It's hard to imagine what will happen once I reunite the stones here. It's hard to imagine that anything will happen at all. Carefully, I brush aside a curtain of leaves, to be met with the sight of the The Great Temple, the most sacred place on the island. Finally! I feel as though I've been walking for days. I glance left and right, ensuring that no beasts are lurking nearby, ready to snatch an over-eager Matoran. But when I see no beast, and hear nothing but the chirps of a Kahu bird, I decide it is time to approach.

I climb up the steps to the Temple, eager to place the stones in their place, as Vakama said I must. I wonder whether he has seen anything in the Sacred Fire that will tell him what will happen here. Maybe it will be nothing, but at least I will be able to return to Turaga Whenua and let him know that I have tried. That should earn me a few days rest, I think.

I've never actually been this close to the Kini-Nui before. I step onto the Amaja Nui, the Great Story Circle. Nearby, an enormous bust of the head of a Toa is carved into rock. Across a carefully lain bridge lies the Temple proper, marked by four spires jutting out of the ground. I start to tremble - I swear I can feel the power coming from beneath the Temple. I take off my pack, carefully placing it down next to the circle. I gently pull out one of the Toa Stones - it glows a bright green in my hand. The Toa Lewa Stone. Carefully, I place it on the edge of the circle, and it glows even brighter. Maybe Whenua was right. Maybe something will happen. I grab the other stones, placing them evenly around the carved circle. Each time I place a stone down, the others all shine brighter. Green, white, orange, blue, purple, and finally, red.

Now that all the stones are in place, their luster grows ever more intense. For a moment, I watch in awe at the beauty of the light. But the glow of the stones continues to increase in intensity, and the glare soon becomes too much. I try to leap off the stone circle, but the power emanating from the stones has charged too quickly. I feel myself pulled into the air by some unseen force. As I twist and turn, I catch a glimpse of the Amaja Nui. The circle has burst into a beam of light, emanating into the sky like an enormous beacon, and I'm being pulled along with it.

Higher and higher I rise, and the wind gets colder and colder. When I look down, I can see right over the Mangai Volcano, and over to the ocean. It should be terrifying, but I feel a sense of warmth come over me. A soothing feeling washes over me, as if the beacon of light is saying that I can relax, that everything will be alright now. I am nudged away from the beacon, over toward the beach. The Amaja Nui wants me to meet someone there.

I fly across the island, hurtling faster and faster toward the beach. As I descend upon the sandy shores of Ta-Wahi, my body begins to glow - a gift from the Toa Stones. I'm going to crash into the sands, but the light surrounds me as I prepare to meet the sands of the beach, and I know I am safe.

 

Awakening


Waves. The sound of waves.

I pull myself up, and shake the sand out of my mask. I'm on a beach. Sandy dunes, soothing waves. A stone wall to my left, a strange face carved into it. A rocky trail to my right. And nearby, something has washed ashore. A giant… canister?

Where am I?

Who am I?