This article was written by CaptainLandr0ver. Please do not add to it without the writer's permission.
|The Feral Plains:|
|Release date||June 16-July 1, 2016 (Lego.com Gallery), April 8, 2017 (CBW)|
|Previous||The Feral Plains: Volume I|
|Next||The Feral Plains: Volume III|
The Feral Plains: Volume II is the second part of The Feral Plains. It was first written in three episodes (one with two parts) 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 describes several uncanny events on the island of Powai Nui, most eluding to an evil presence plaguing the island and it's inhabitants.
Keelo dashed through the field away from the market. When he arrived at the pile of boulders before the Desolation River, he didn't hesitate one bit and rapidly slid down, being sure to land in the right place as not to sprain his ankle. The two angry Matoran chasing after him, Tura and Jeko, stopped, giving Keelo time to escape and hide.
Behind him he heard Tura slip on a smooth boulder face and yell.
Keelo sprinted across the Desolation River and into the condensed overgrowth of creepers on the other side. He tried his best to keep quiet, but his breathing was still very heavy. Toa Vandir had told him numerous times that thievery was a very bad crime, and that the only reason he hadn't exiled him from his colony was because he was a skilled night-time guard. But Keelo was still doing it, and now was the perfect chance to steal a hardy mushroom and a couple of fruits, since Vandir was gone. He was about to inhale his mushroom when he noticed a long piece of dilapidated black Protodermis. His first though was that he'd just found a vein of Protodermis that had risen to the surface, but then he realized that it was a Kanohi mask... a very eerie looking one.
He stuffed the mushroom into his mouth and inspected the mask. There were a bunch of incomprehensible markings on it. Keelo removed his own mask and put this peculiar one on, and continued chomping down on his mushroom.
Before he could adjust the new mask onto his face so that it fit comfortably, a surge of extreme power flooded his body. Everything he saw began changing colors, turning gray and briefly vanishing. All of this lasted for a split second before something even more bizarre occurred.
Keelo saw a vision. He'd never seen one before. It didn't feel like a dream, or a nightmare, or even an illusion. It felt like something was simultaneously toying with his emotions and showing him something that was doomed to occur.
A large Toa-like figure was standing in the midst of rubble. There was broken earth, raging fire, snowy ashes, and the air was blacker than a Makuta's heart. He felt trembling, lots of heat, and a large gust of wind.
He awoke and realized that the shaking and the wind were really happening. He felt the earth underneath him begin to sink, and the Pashak creepers around him began to wither and burn away, the leaves catching fire.
He quickly tore the mask off his face and stomped the fires out. His heart was pounding and he felt cold. The earth was still growling and the wind had picked up considerably. He could hear the other Matoran outside screaming to take cover.
At that same moment, standing in the small floodplain further up the river, were Maroona, Navahko, Corduk, Omakah, and Arvos. The two Matoran were unable to stand up because of the wind's ferocity, and Maroona had to thrust her wizened staff into the sand to keep balance. Even Navahko and Corduk were swaying from the ravenous, forceful wind that followed the earthquake.
Navahko began to speak, "Corduk, was that tremor caused-"
"No," said Corduk immediately.
"Then what was that?" said Navahko. “I think it was just nature acting up.”
"That was nothing natural," spoke Maroona. "much like what has been happening lately. I know I've stated this many times before, but I fear what lies in the future."
Toa Vandir did not expect to have come back to his camp at such a late time. The fight with the natives was short, but following that he discovered that his right ankle had been injured somehow. He had been too caught up in the heat of battle to care.
Merdana, of course, had almost no training in the medical field to help him with aside from "we need a splint", so Vandir has forced to slowly trod his way back to the camp, struggling to survive the scathing heat and blinding sunlight.
But the sun had been the least of his problems, as it at one point it became hugely overshadowed by a huge storm and a minor earthquake. He knew how close he was to the Matoran camps when he began to hear screams of terror and panic, trying to get down to the camp as fast as he could to protect them. Even for a being like him the wind had proved too much, being blown over several times in all directions. It was iff the weather itself was as feral as the rest of the island.
Upon arriving at the camp, the last of the disastrous natural behavior had begun, a massive storm which covered the sun completely and spawned a few raging cyclones in the distance. There was no sunset that evening.
Unusually, Ga-Matoran medic Yedrin was the first Matoran to greet Vandir and Merdana. Immediately, she took him to the infirmary and began assisting him with his injury. She then began blabbering about the weather, in a way that she didn't acknowledge that Vandir had experienced it himself. It took her a while of describing it to tell him what damage had been done to the camp, which had torn several tents and thrown some into bushes in trees, and had put a large crack through the main pathway.
As Vandir began to shut out Yedrin's voice he began to think about how the next few days were going to be torturous. However, he had seen a strange grey figure whose help he might be able to get.
Now Yedrin was talking about how some Rahi beast had been entering the camp and stealing resources such as food and water. Vandir continued to relax and ignore her until she mentioned that it tried to attack a Matoran the following night.
"Wait, what?" Vandir erupted as he quickly rose from the wooden stretcher, causing it's legs to creak. This sudden burst of energy startled Yedrin and caused her to stumble back.
"A Rahi of some sort!" Yedrin repeated. "It's a nocturnal one, and it's been entering our camp when we're asleep!"
"And," Vandir said, "you mentioned that it was eating our food and it tried to catch a Matoran?"
"Yes," Yedrin said. "You need to come and see!" She began pushing Vandir into an upright position, and the Toa groggily stumbled onto his two feet. Yedrin began pulling on his arm to guide him somewhere and he reluctantly followed her to the field of boulders.
"It's up there!" said Yedrin, and she nodded to a boulder which Vandir then reluctantly climbed onto.
"Well, I guess you were right." said Vandir as he studied the jagged white lines one the boulder. "What kind of Rahi do you suppose it is?"
"Most likely a predator," replied Vandir. "But I wouldn't know which exact one. You better get to sleep, Yedrin. If I hear anything strange out here, I'll look out for this thing."
Yedrin nodded and nervously retreated to her sleeping quarters. Vandir grabbed his cot from his tent and sat it down near the scratch marks, telling himself that he wouldn't fall asleep. Best case scenario, the creature
In the very early morning, Vandir did in fact hear something strange. He woke to the feeling of chills creeping down his spine as he began to shudder from what he had heard. He looked around in a panicked state, trying to determine where the sound had come from, until he came across an eerie sight to fit the noise.
Waiting mere meters away from him was a deep blue, four-legged, slender creature with it's chest low to the ground and it's hips raised above its head like a jaguar. It's limbs and torso were thin and emaciated, and it looked like the blue-tinted skeletal structure of another type of Rahi. Every second or so, it's head would move just enough so that the moonlight would glint in it's blood red eyes.
Vandir knew just by his primal instinct that it saw him as prey.
It shot forward, swiping at Vandir. It struck him, and sent him tumbling into the gravel. The beast jumped on top of him, and was about to bite down on his throat when he sent a fierce burst of wind into it's chest. He pushed with his feet and flipped the creature onto it's back.
With some struggle, it managed to wriggle itself right-side-up like a spider and shake the dirt off of itself. It started clawing at the gravel and dust, obscuring Vandir's view of it even more. Now, the only indication of where it was were it's devilish eyes.
Staring at Vandir with a predatory hunger in it's eyes, it produced a raspy growl. It was quiet for a beast of it's size, but still sounded ghastly and creepily piercing. It made Vandir want to retreat.
Vandir didn't retreat. He couldn't. He was going to bring down this beast; he had to, for the sake of the Matoran. Not only was this beast gradually consuming and destroying their resources, but it also posed a direct threat to the Matoran themselves. Vandir shuddered at the thought of what grotesque horrors would occur if this creature found it's way into the Matoran sleeping quarters again.
Vandir startled the creature, causing it to growl and circle him. He couldn't scare it away, so it seemed like fighting was his only option, and he had a bad feeling about fighting it.
He lunged, and so did the beast, both of them slamming into each other. The beast clawed at him several times, adding scratches to his armor. The two pushed against each other until Vandir managed to get under it's belly and flip it over his back. He realized that for it's size, the creature was surprisingly lightweight.
Seizing the opportunity, Vandir rushed over to the beast and begin hitting it in the head repeatedly. It didn't matter to him if it died or not, only that it learned to stay away from the Matoran.
With a longer delay and a more precise jab at it's head, the beast became dizzy, it's limbs twitching as it continually failed to roll itself upright.
In this state, Vandir began to observe it further. The blue color and overall unnatural appearance seemed familiar to Vandir. He felt like he knew the creature.
He then realized that it was some misshapen form of Yedrin herself.
Fading Part One
Turaga Maroona had sent Corduk and Arvos to travel down the Desolation River to the colonist camp to see what had happened yesterday.
"I wonder what that was anyway." said Arvos.
"I doubt it was anything delightful." said Corduk. "From what I felt in the ground, it's pretty powerful. I've never heard of anything that can move the earth and anger the wind like that aside from Mata Nui himself."
"Maybe Turaga Maroona should've sent Navahko instead of me with you." said Arvos. "Based on our attempts to negotiate with them, right?"
There was no answer.
"Corduk?" he said again, turning around. Corduk was not there. He hadn't run and hid, as his footprints ended right there and led nowhere else.
"Mata Nui, where’d he go?!" thought Arvos. He ran back to the washout, where Navahko, Maroona and Omakah were.
"What is it?" said Maroona. "Where is Corduk?"
"Precisely," said Arvos, "I don't know where he is. He was walking beside me and then he vanished."
"Did you follow his footsteps?" said Omakah.
"No. They ended right there."
"Strange." said Maroona. "Sometimes I wake up in the middle of night and I notice that Corduk is missing. I always assume that he just needs some alone time, but now I think otherwise."
Finally Corduk landed on real ground. He didn't know where he was or why he was there. He felt sick, as if he had been tossed around in the air.
It was very bright outside. He was sprawled on some sort of large pile of rubble. Inside the rubble it was dark, damp and hot. In the gap nearest to him, he heard something moving...
Where the air wasn't humid, it was dusty. He could hear bits and pieces of stone still falling down, sheets of gravel and ground-up rock shivering down the smooth faces of the much larger chunks of of the same material. Occasionally the whole collection would jolt as one of the slabs at the bottom would crunch into a different position.
On top of that, there was dry dirt that had most likely been turned up during whatever caused this cataclysm.
After a minute he found the strength to stand up. He was still shaken from his oddly erratic trip. The loose dirt made it hard for him to stand or walk.
Using his mask power, he heard something else near him that was trying it's best to keep still and quiet. And then he saw it.
It was Wreshi, Toa of Stone. He was lean, and looked like he could outrun anyone. He had quite a few fins that hinted at great speed.
"Wreshi, how are you awake?" asked Corduk. Wreshi looked very focused on him for some reason. Corduk used his mask power a bit and identified some sort of foreign animosity in him. He wasn't sure if this was the same Wreshi, but it seemed similar to whatever had influenced Vandir, just... intensified.
Corduk suddenly zipped back to the Shrine of Salvation. Everyone else was there, babbling and making predictions about where he went.
"Corduk!" exclaimed Maroona. "Where have you been?"
"I- I don't know." said Corduk. "The same place I always go when..."
"When what?" she asked.
"Sometimes I go there. On accident, I don't know why at all. Listen, Wreshi's been awoken, and something's definitely not right about him. He’s acting… strangely… and I mean stranger than he normally is. He stares at me for minutes at a time, not making a move, and it scares me."
"Tell me more," said Maroona. "And then we must fix this quickly."
Fading Part Two
After Corduk told Maroona everything he knew and could understand, the Turaga got right to explaining.
"I don't know why Wreshi is acting that way. I fear that he may have been possessed by some sort of evil force... But, I do know that there could be someone hijacking the Shrine and causing you to transport into it." she said. "Possibly this same force of evil."
Arvos and Omakah looked confused.
"Oh, I don't believe you know the Shrine's true purpose." she said to them. "The Shrine is really a low-power transporter to a small pocket dimension -essentially, a room-sized dimension that acts as a rest stop- and from there you can access other locations. There can only be six beings occupying it at one time, and thus when we forgot how to use it for it's true purpose we used it to store things. You remember the air raids? When that came when we needed to hide our Toa team, and so we hid them in the Shrine's dimension."
Omakah was catching on, but Arvos seemed lost.
"Inside the Shrine, they are put into hibernation and performing a “ritual”... which is really just utilizing the machine’s voice command... will transport one of them out." Maroona finished. "Corduk, see if you can get in there and collect some more information."
Corduk nodded. Arvos, Omakah and Navahko stepped back while Maroona activated the Shrine and Corduk disappeared into the red ball of light.
Much time passed. They didn't know exactly how long they had waited, but their shadows had become noticeably longer.
After this time, Navahko broke the silence. "Something's not right."
"You want me to get you in?" asked Maroona?
"Yes," said Navahko, and Maroona got him inside.
Navahko passed through the main pocket dimension and into another opening. He went through this and found himself kneeling atop a chunk of rock. Wreshi and Corduk were below him, with the Toa of Stone pinning Corduk against the stone by pressing his Recoiling Pickaxe into his throat. He was sure that Corduk couldn't breathe.
"Wreshi!" yelled Navahko. He was appalled. Wreshi's head whipped back to view the Toa of Ice.
Before Navahko could speak again, Wreshi careened up the rock face, performed a flip by planting his pickaxe in the rock, and threw a planter kick at Navahko. Navahko blocked and threw Wreshi to the side.
Wreshi got back up quickly, bouncing off the wall and surprising Navahko, who was struck in the chest. He fell onto his back and grabbed the edge just in time.
Wreshi walked to the edge. He was charging up his mask power. He had the Kanohi Vorpin, Mask of Touch, which allowed him to touch an object and manipulate it with mighty power.
He grabbed Navahko's hand and Navahko was launched into the side. He yelled in pain.
Corduk got Wreshi in a headlock, and Navahko used his mask power to launch them all to the highest point.
Navahko pushed Wreshi against the wall as hard as he could.
"That's not Wreshi!" Corduk said. "He's ill with something!"
"How will he recover?" said Navahko asked. Wreshi lashed out at him, and he narrowly dodged it.
"I don't know, just hold onto my hand!" yelled Corduk. "I'm about to transport back to the Shrine!" Wreshi was sending all of the rocks towards the two other Toa. His mask was charging, and had grabbed Navahko's spear. He yelled, and all of the rocks began flying towards Navahko at high speed.
Corduk began to feel as if he were falling again. He also felt something else, a feeling of control. Whatever had messed up the machine was gone now, it seemed, and it was somehow left under his power.
There was a burst of light, and all three had been spat out of the Shrine. Wreshi was about to attack when Navahko hit him hard in the head. Wreshi's body shook for a bit, as if something was being purged from his body, before he maintained an unconscious posture.
I awoke in the dirt. Covered in it. I looked around, and I saw tall grass, hills and clouds, all things absent from the Pocket Dimension. I realized that I was home.
I should be relieved, but I wasn't. I should've awoken in the stony area where I fell into stasis. Something happened and it seemed I had to be pulled out.
I saw Corduk standing over me, drawing my attention to how I was splayed in the dirt. I sat up and noticed a pain throbbing in my head.
"Good morning," I said, my throat croaky from not using it in years. It seemed like something silly I would say on any normal day, but it was more caused by my half-awake state. "How- how did I get out here?"
"Are you okay now?" Corduk asked. He said it way less sincerely than most do, adding to the list of things that were confusing me right now.
"I," I began, maybe? I'm out here and I don't know why..."
"Do you have any murderous tendencies?" Corduk asked.
"What?" I asked, trying to comprehend if he was being serious or not, something which I should've already known the answer to. Corduk had always been the fun killer of the team.
"Like," he began to explain, "do you have any desire to destroy everything in sight?"
"What kind of question is that? I just woke up, dude, I can't think straight..."
"That means that I can't trust you." Corduk said. At this point I realized that both of us were in the Desolation River, which was dry as always. Nobody else was around but us.
"You're not making any sense, brother," I said. "'Murderous tendencies'? When have I ever had murderous tendencies? What do you think I am, a monster?"
"No," Corduk said, "but you acted like one. I think you were being controlled by one."
"Okay, well, that's some fun evening news."
"You're not very amusing."
"'You're not very amusing'." I mocked, standing up to stretch. "Boy, stasis can do a number on your muscles, can't it?"
"I need you to be serious, brother!" Corduk said, raising his voice.
"Okay, okay, fine, but I just woke up, like I've said for the third time, so don't expect perfect answers."
"Do you remember attacking me?"
Something changed in my mind. I started to see images of me stalking Corduk.
"I... I think so."
Suddenly, the dirt below became very shaky, and I sank into it up to the middle of my shins.
"Corduk, I think you're the one who's crazy here! What, do I look like a Makuta or something?"
"I'll tell you what happened. I got into the Pocket Dimension, and everything was destroyed, all the rock broken. Apart from me, you were the only one awake, and you were acting incredibly hostile towards both me and Navahko."
So, Corduk and Navahko had already been summoned from the Dimension. I could only wonder why.
"I don't remember being angry at you," I said. I wanted to add "until now" after it.
"But you remember attacking me."
"I guess remembering and having images in your mind are different things. Whatever happened, it doesn't sound like I was myself."
"Good," Corduk said, and the dirt trapping my legs was forced aside. "Then you can be trusted."
"What do you mean, 'then I can be trusted'?"
"I just told you what I mean. Use that brain of yours."
"Yes, but I'm not acting hostile towards you anymore, so, yeah."
"You need to work on making coherent sentences, Wreshi. You're not making any sense."
"I didn't see you try to make sense of that."
- Chapter 5 is one of the only chapters of the story not to appear on the Lego.com Gallery. It was added after Volume II was put on the Custom Bionicle Wiki, since CaptainLandr0ver thought the shortness of the other chapters made the Volume itself short.
- The chapter is the only one to be told from the first person. This was an idea CaptainLandr0ver had for a long time, before he started working on the CBW.
- Fading Part One and Two were the result of CaptainLandr0ver's brainstorming for an interesting event. He wanted some sort of complication to occur involving the Shrine of Salvation, one idea involving Lewok being awoken fused together with a Makuta. Corduk's traumatic experience with Wreshi ended up being the best choice, as it would spark an underlying story arc of Corduk's distrust for the Toa of Stone.
- The description of Yedrin's voice was inspired by voice actress Jenny Slate's performance as Assistant Mayor Bellweather in Zootopia.
- CaptainLand0ver does not like this Volume as much as others, mostly because all of the chapters seem disjointed and incredibly action-based, with little plot progression compared to other Volumes.
- Nightprowler was also the first episode/chapter to take place in the dark, in order to heavily contrast the rest of the story's visual theme, which normally involves warm colors. The idea of a chapter taking place during the night was used again in Chapter 3 of Volume VII.