This article was written by CaptainLandr0ver. Please do not add to it without the writer's permission.
|The Feral Plains:|
The Feral Plains/Volume I
|Release date||May 28-June 2, 2016 (Lego.com), April 8, 2017 (CBW)|
|Next||The Feral Plains: Volume II|
The Feral Plains: Volume I is the first part of The Feral Plains. It was first written in five episodes by CaptainLandr0ver on the Lego.com Gallery, with Cap working under the name "tomatopaste101", and was later proofread, edited and combined into a volume to be released here.
This Volume follows Arvos, Turaga Maroona, and Omakah as they react to a strange event on their home island of Powai Nui.
Arvos skittered up the sand and clumsily sifted through the greatgrass. While his bright red armor was revealing, his stature made him nearly invisible from a distance. With all of the large plants, it was impossible to see anyone from more than 10 feet away. Nevertheless, he'd seen something... something that was definitely a sentient upright being, a Matoran... standing just on the edge of the bank of the Desolation River (which was dried up, of course).He couldn't even remember exactly what color it was- blue, maybe? Light blue? It was sort of more of an azure... and some white, he couldn't forget that. But he didn't know what it's intentions were. Was it hostile? Where did it come from? What is it here for, in this desolate land? How come he'd never seen such a thing before?
If it was a Matoran, it certainly wasn't a native one. The odds of finding another Matoran became very slim after The Scattering. No attacks, no casualties, just fear, which tore a community of harmony into an island of nomads.
If Arvos had learned anything from those events, it was that fear was a powerful weapon. The Makuta hadn't used any weapons of any sort, but had simply boasted them to the inhabitants of the island.
He could just barely see his two allies standing atop the jagged shrine of rocks and grass. He was thinking of what to say to them, what he had saw, what his assumptions were. As far as he knew, Turaga Maroona would probably know the most about what he was going to tell them about. Even then, Arvos wasn't sure if she would know much about a strange Matoran-shaped being. As always, Omakah would probably tell him some conspiracy that involves invaders from beyond the stars or the Dark Hunters. That got Arvos thinking that the strange Matoran could be an invader. From another island, or possibly from another planet...
He finally arrived to his friends. "Where in the name of Makuta have you been?" scolded Turaga Maroona in her piercing voice. She was quite old, that was for sure, but also wise. And as wise as she wise, she was equally "not there anymore."
"Well, I didn't think you'd care..." Arvos said in between his gasps for the cold, stinging air. "I mean, you didn't come looking for me, so-"
Omakah spoke up. He said, "Are you kidding me?! Turaga Maroona here can barely walk a mile without needing to rest for days on end, and we had no idea how far out you'd gone!"
"Well," Arvos said, "I saw something. A Matoran, I-I think..."
"We haven't seen any other Matoran for years, Arvos You must be seeing mirages," said Maroona.
"It's not hot enough for mirages," replied Arvos.
"Could be an explorer from one of the groups that left," said Omakah. "Although that's unlikely. Possible, but unlikely. Like Maroona said, they haven't come back in years."
"I still don't believe you, Arvos," said Maroona.
"You said to always have faith, right?" Arvos argued. "If I wasn't completely sure, I wouldn't have ran all this way to tell you."
"Well, alright," said a reluctant Maroona.
All three of them crouched down in the depression near the dried riverbank. They squinted hard, but couldn't see anything- aside from Arvos.
"Look, there it is!" he exclaimed a bit too loudly, and Maroona shushed him. Quieter, he said, "Standing in the same spot."
And sure enough, there it was. A white Matoran-like being, standing with an unidentifiable tool in his hand. There was blue on him, too... but it wasn't opaque like most armor, they could see sunlight refract through it.
Speaking of his armor, it was unlike anything seen on Powai Nui before. It was very smooth, with almost no blemishes apart from the sand and dirt. It seemed to glint in the sun, and as the figure slowly walked around a circle of crystalline reflections of the sunlight danced around it like a target to the sky.
Arvos asked Maroona what she thought, and she was speechless. She kept squinting, trying to comprehend the sight before her. For somebody who knew the island as well as she did this was undoubtedly shocking.
Decades had passed since Powai Nui had made contact with any outsiders. She'd heard rumors that the other
"If history has taught us anything," Maroona finally said, "at least the history of this island, is that with new arrivals comes new challenges. The Visorak, the Dark Hunters, the Makuta... we've never had friendly visitors. I think it's best to assume the worst and risk bad first impressions than to assume better and underestimate whatever lurks in the future."
"But, Maroona," said Omakah, "you always said that first impressions were key when contacting others for the first time. Whether this is from another island or our own, it should be best that we try and make peace with them. I mean, just look at it, if it turned around you'd probably see a face that's pretty easy to relate to-"
Just as he said that, the figure quickly turned to look in the direction of where they crouched. It had not noticed them, but the three got down lower anyway. It revealed it's mask, which was unrecognizable. The eye-holes were carved into a devilish stare, below it an imitation of a nasty under-bite and a set of jagged teeth. On the top of the mask was something absurd and strange, the metal seemed to fade into some sort of blue crystal material, forming a serrated crest. If anything, it looked more like a beast than a Matoran.
As it was looking into the distance, something startled it. A voracious growl emanated from the tall grass to the left of the three natives. The white figure panicked for several seconds until he found out where the noise was coming from. With the figure's attention diverted, Omakah, Arvos and Maroona stood up more to get a better view of what was going on.
They watched as a large Rahi predator slowly emerged from the greatgrass. It had it's front legs crouched, and it's hind ones ready to spring to life as it crept toward the figure, who was standing fearfully as he lifted his tool. The last part of the creature to emerge was the tail, which split into three smaller tails halfway, curling back and forth in all directions. On the end of each tail section was a vicious-looking claw, a feature which the white figure couldn't keep his eyes off of. Omakah identified the tool in his shaking hands to be a firearm of some sort.
All was still for around only five seconds, but they seemed to be the longest five seconds anyone had ever had to sit through. It seemed as if time itself had stopped, sat down and was now waiting for the chaos to unfold.
Suddenly, all at once, everything burst to life once again. The creature lunged, and the figure rapidly aligned his firearm with it and fired three or four times. Each pull of the trigger was accompanied by an awful cracking sound, each echoing off of the hills and mountains hundreds of times. Yellow-trailing projectiles rocketed toward the belly of the creature and out of the other side undiminished in speed and power, leaving nothing but smoking holes in the creature's lower torso. It writhed in agony as it began to bleed out into the sand, scratching through the dirt and into the rock below while it's triple-ended tail flailed around in distress.
The white figure watched this play for several seconds before delivering a final shot into the creature's skull, singeing it's mangled fur. At this time, Arvos stepped forward to try and get an even better view, and ended up stepping on a branch. It snapped loudly, startling the white figure once again.
The figure aimed up swiftly and fired several shots. After two whizzed over the head of Maroona, she and her assistants ducked as more were blasted into the hillside, kicking dirt up tens of feet into the air. As roaring noises of gunfire echoed once more, and as the dirt began to form a veil between them and the figure, the three of them began retreating back to the thicker greatgrass.
As they all hid behind a mound of dirt the white figure waited for the dust to settle. When it did, and when he saw no signs of life, he lowered his firearm and continued walking down the River.
When he was sure the figure was not in earshot, Arvos said, "Well, so much for first impressions!" Omakah punched his shoulder.
"Because we seem to have have many things to prepare for," Maroona said, "we will have many things to do in our preparation."
Maroona, Omakah and Arvos all stood around the East side of some sort of shrewd three-legged machine, in the middle of the Desolation River. The sun had begun rising over the innumerable mountains. The once cold early morning air was already being heated by it's orange rays.
"Here it is," said Turaga Maroona, "The, uh..." she struggled to think of a name that it may or may not have had. "The Shrine of Salvation."
"Salvation, huh?" said Arvos. "We don't need any saving, we can do it ourselves."
Maroona chuckled and replied, "I think that what we are about to face is bigger than ourselves. I learned that the last time I had to deal with the Mask Maker's Tool." Arvos and Omakah seemed confused at the notion of this thing, but Maroona continued, having no time to explain her references to history they did not know of. "If I speak the words correctly, this Shrine will work it's magic as I've been told."
"Magic, huh?" Omakah said. "I think we have other things to put our faith in than magic."
"It’s not magic," Maroona said, "it was an expression." She gestured for them to stand back. "Un karia ana furu hiru, leton o ujuru!" she chanted. When her helpers asked, she claimed that she had said, “By the power of the Three Virtues, bring us a salvation!”
The shrine burst to life. It's three arms split into six, each one now with a glowing ball of light on the end. Clockwise, they went Green, Orange, Yellow, Red, White, Blue.
The White one, which pointed directly East, glowed while the others faded out, and a large sphere of radiant white energy emerged. Sparks and odd noises spat out of it.
After several seconds, the sphere disappeared and in its wake was a tall and lanky, yet intimidating Toa of white, blue, and gold. He had a great white spear with a gold pointed head and an odd-looking mask.
"It still works," said Maroona. Arvos and Omakah were staring in awe, oblivious to Maroona’s babblings. "I know who this one is-" she paused to search her vast mind- "This is, um... Oh, I forget.... I know his name starts with an ‘N’..."
"Navahko," spoke the character in a smooth, flawless voice. "My name is Navahko, and I suppose it's been too long for you to remember."
"Y-yes, Navahko!" exclaimed Maroona. "Mata Nui, I haven't seen you in years!"
Arvos and Omakah still were speechless, and the former had fallen to the ground from surprise. It took them a while to see that he was a Toa of Ice. They'd heard of him, but had never seen him in person. One of the Toa who had helped defend the island in the past.
"There are, er, visitors behind you," Navahko spoke again, "They look like Matoran, sort of, but... more alien looking..." Everybody turned to face the hill behind them.
"It's him! The one I saw yesterday!" cried Arvos excitedly. Indeed, the white-and-azure figure was standing, aiming the same firearm at them, along with a yellow female ally who was doing the same. The yellow one had some sort of machine on her back with a metal pole that pointed upward, which looked like it could communicate over long distances.
They were definitely hostile, no doubt. All of them froze there, waiting to see when the two strangers would use their weapons. They were scared; they did not know their capabilities, much less anything about them. They only had an inkling of whether they were Matoran.
The three of them felt an icy wind behind them, and Arvos looked back with wide eyes to see that Navahko was gone.
A blur of white and gold came rocketing down right in front of the two hostiles. As it landed, a burst of chilling air was sent out.
It was obviously Navahko, now kneeling down with his spear pressing the hostiles against the dirt hill, their weapons out of their hands.
The Toa of Ice had jumped up scores of meters into the air and come down right in front of the attackers to trap them. Maroona, Arvos and Omakah were utterly stunned. Maroona looked at them. They'd never seen a Toa do that before.
Immediately, Turaga Maroona sent Arvos and Omakah over to aid Navahko. They had their tools out; Omakah with a sturdy hook and Arvos with a sword that was likely a bit too big for him.
But the yellow invader was not going to lose without a real fight. She scanned her surroundings, where Navahko's limbs were positioned, and devised a plan of escape.
And this plan she set into action, flinging her leg up to the Toa's chest and pushing against the hill to pry his spear away from her chest. Her foot jabbed the Toa's abdomen and he jolted, giving her the chance to further push him away from her.
With a knee to the stomach and a flawless kick at the jaw, Navahko was sent tumbling back, and in the blink of an eye the yellow one had her foot on his chest.
The white one quickly got up and grabbed his weapon and held it ready to aim and fire at Arvos and Omakah.
The two Matoran were frightened at what had just happened. Never before had they seen a Matoran (or at least someone like a Matoran) overpower a Toa with such ease and in such little time. They still stood in a defensive position, but were also cowering behind their weapons.
Navahko was trying to catch his breath, which was hard since the attacker was standing on his chest. He was dizzy, unable to grab his spear, as it was too far away to reach. He was not fatigued, but simply could not get up. With each attempt to get up the invader's foot found a new pressure point to prod and cause him pain.
The white invader had grabbed the yellow invader's weapon for her, and both were now aiming at Omakah and Arvos. Navahko worried that if he got up that they would use their weapons.
The once warm sun rays were now very hot, and everyone was panting and squinting their eyes. Arvos felt very lightheaded and briefly lost his defensive stance. The sudden movement made the invaders inch closer and into a more fearsome position. Their eyes were locked onto the Matoran like a cougar's onto a stiffened deer.
But they did not see what was happening in the background, or hear it, as a new figure stood behind Arvos and Omakah. He was definitely stronger-looking and taller than Navahko.
By the time the two invaders noticed him, it was too late. He lunged forward and brought his broad battle axe down onto the ground, where it sank in and caused a mighty roar from the bowels of the earth. The ground ahead of it erupted into chaos, splitting and rising and grinding its way toward the two invaders. When it reached them, the ground beneath them shattered. The ground blasted from the ground and pelted them like a tsunami of sand and buried them under loads of sediment and gravel. Their weapons had been shaken out of their hands, and they were caked in sand and dirt.
The dust that had been stirred up settled back down, and they were able to get a good look at this new bing. He was a Toa, that was for sure. His armor was colored silver, black and bright red, and his frame was nothing but robust and powerful. He looked like the kind of being who could cause the earth to act like it just did.
"Meet Corduk, Toa of Earth." said Turaga Maroona from behind.
Now the two Matoran came into view. Toa of Air Vandir could see them clearly. On the left was Ko-Matoran Jeko and on the right was Po-Matoran Merdana.
Both were heavily covered in dirt and dust. Whatever had happened up there, it hadn't gone in their favor. They looked more like wounded soldiers retreating from a lost battle than two scouts ready to share their collected information.
"What happened?" asked Vandir loudly. His voice was lofty, but fierce. There was no response until the Matoran came down to meet him.
When they arrived, they sat down on a rock. Jeko had been hurt quite a bit, and he was cradling his arm and wouldn’t let anybody touch it. Merdana called him a weakling under her breath, in between her panting.
"So?" Vandir asked again. "What happened? Rahi? Savages? Rockslide?"
"Toa," answered Merdana. Vandir put on a face of disbelief.
"Toa?" The Toa of Air said. "How many?"
"Two Toa, two Matoran and a Turaga," said Merdana. "We got frightened and we held up our weapons. We didn't know if they were hostile or not, but it turns out they were. The first Toa trapped us against a hillside, and when I escaped past him the second one used his elemental powers to trap us in a pile of earth."
"Huh," said Vandir. "We better go up there and give them some sort of proper greeting."
"That's not all, though." said Merdana. "The Turaga, she used her mask power... she had the Mask of Psychometry, I think. She just touched my blaster, and now she knows what we’re here for I assume. Any secrets we have had she might know." Her voice deepened and she said, "They likely know that we're here to colonize the island."
"Well, I think we should get to know them better," said Vandir in a logical tone of voice, "maybe apologize. Sounds like this was all a misunderstanding."
Merdana didn't look very pleased at this proposal.
A Ga-Matoran who had been waiting there to say something spoke up behind Vandir. "Should I get Jeko cleaned up and healed?"
"That'd be very helpful of you." said Vandir. "I'll go with Merdana to try and communicate with these beings. You can tell the rest of the camp what Merdana told me, too."
While the Matoran helped Jeko back to the camp, Merdana and Vandir began their walk up the dried river. They passed the colony's border fence.
"I need to know more about these Toa," said Vandir. "What element was the first one?"
"Ice," said Merdana. "His name was Navahko and the Toa of Earth's name was Corduk."
"I've never heard such names before." replied Vandir. “You're sure that they were Toa?" Merdana nodded.
After hours of walking, they saw a group of figures standing at the edge of a patch of greatgrass. They appeared to fit Merdana's descriptions. Vandir looked at the Turaga and the Matoran and guessed their elements, although he was doubting his assumptions of the Toa’s elements.
He thought of what to say, and also of what they would say. Did they even speak the same language? Would they be forgiving for the way Merdana and Jeko had acted, or were they savages?
He didn't like the fact that they had two Toa. Even with Merdana's combat training, they were still outnumbered in terms of power.
Vandir told Merdana to stay behind. He walked up to the Toa of Ice.
"Um... Greetings," he said. There was anxiety in his voice, along with a sense of skepticism, left over from his action of covering his extreme distrust for the figure who stood before him.
"Hello," said Navahko. "Do you need any help?"
Vandir was relieved. They definitely weren't savages, although they looked like ones.
"Well, uh..." continued Vandir, "I just came here to give you a proper greeting. I am Vandir, Toa Leskya of Air. Behind me is Merdana; she is the lead scout for our camp, uh... Camp Vandir."
"Toa Leskya, huh?" said Corduk. "So, you're from Leskya Nui?"
"Indeed." said Vandir. "Our home has been destroyed by the forces of the Makuta, and we have come here to rebuild a new home for us."
"As in, colonize?" asked Navahko. He couldn't help but notice that he was taller than Vandir.
"Well, sort of, but not really," said Vandir. "To colonize means to gain political control over. We only seek a home, not the creation of a government."
"Well that's okay, because we don't have a government-" piped Arvos. Turaga Maroona shushed him.
Vandir began to look fatigued, and Navahko saw distress in his eyes.
"Are you alright?" asked Navahko.
"Um, yeah I'm- I'm fine," stuttered Vandir. "Though I feel a bit dehydrated."
Corduk's mask began to glow, indicating it being used. It was the Kanohi Bongah, the Mask of Perception. He could detect something lurking in the depths of Vandir's soul... something devilish.
"I think we have medical supplies, if that would help-" said Navahko. He looked back and Maroona mouthed "What are you talking about?" Navahko shrugged.
"I'm fine!" said Vandir, his voice rising. "It's just... I,"
Corduk felt the urge not to speak of what he saw in the Toa’s soul.
"Look," Navahko said, "I don't think you're doing that well... you're acting irritated."
"Because I am irritated!" Vandir exploded, and Navahko took a step backwards. "You attacked Merdana and Jeko! You buried them under earth for no good reason!"
They all paused and stared at each other.
"So yes, I am a bit irritated!" yelled Vandir. “I mean, you would be pretty agitated if some random beings just attacked your beloved Matoran, wouldn’t you?! Look, we just got here, and our home is a heaping mess of ash and corpses, thanks to the Brotherhood, so just let us be, okay??”
In a flash of rage, Vandir flung his weapon toward Navahko, who blocked just in time.
Navahko began overpowering Vandir, pushing him back. The Air Toa's feet dug up the soft dirt. But Vandir was angry, not in a civilized way, but more like a beast. He had a notch at the end of his weapon, and had Navahko's spear trapped inside of it.
Vandir lunged again, this time rapidly twisting his blade, disarming Navahko and sending him falling onto the sediment below. His next target was Corduk, who just barely was able to block Vandir's attack.
Vandir unleashed a bombardment of swipes onto Corduk, all of which Corduk barely blocked.
Navahko got back up and reached for his spear, but Vandir lashed out at hand, swiping at his hand and striking Corduk again in the blink of an eye. Dust hovered over the ground like an eerie fog.
The next twenty seconds were full of Vandir and Corduk vigorously swiping at each other. Corduk's axe made it hard for him to attack quickly, thus Vandir was able to jab him in the stomach more than a couple of times. At one instance, Corduk struck Vandir's blade with such force that the resulting noise caused a flock of birds to scatter in the distance, and the greatgrass was blown down to the ground.
Vandir stopped, and without hesitation darted to Merdana, picked her up, and launched himself down the hill with his elemental Air powers. Navahko and Corduk were left scratched, bruised and shocked at what had just happened.
"I guess they're not too nice, are they?" Omakah said.
"He said something about the Brotherhood," Corduk said, "and how because of them his island is a 'heaping pile of ash'."
"It sounds like whatever happened on their island, it sounded scarring," Maroona said. "Like he said, we should probably leave them alone for a bit... whoever he is referring to."
"I disagree," Corduk said. "I think that after the absurd things that have already happened, it's not too late to try and make some decent first impressions."
"Maybe," Maroona said. "I'll have to think about it; both option has its risks. On top of that, we do not know enough about them to make a good decision. Maybe it would be better if we let fate decided."
"You... you do remember how fate likes to treat our island," Corduk replied, "don't you?"
- Most of the chapters happen directly after the previous chapter, if not only hours after the previous. This changes after a while, as following volumes had more loosely-connected chapters and events.
- Originally, Chapter 2 was two chapters, the first called Salvation and the second called Tremor. Since both were shorter compared to others, and since they all took place within the same short time period, Cap combined them.
- Originally, the Archaic Matoran words which Maroona spoke resembled a fusion between Nordic languages and Latin.