Updated: 3 days ago
You can read part six of Keyaji's recount here.
by Keto Keyaji, Akutana e Metru Nui, recorded 85,024 a.A.
As I quickly realized while working on my assignment over the next days, I would have no time to spare for pursuing personal interest in the library. I have to admit that in retrospect this bothers me quite a bit – there I had been, in one of the richest collections of knowledge in the universe, and all I did was read through documents I mostly already knew by heart and copy them to add in recently discovered information. Perhaps my Makuta had given me only a tight time window to complete my task on purpose in order to keep me from getting into trouble. Perhaps it was a good thing that I wasn’t able to test the porter’s words about me keeping to the texts I was supposed to look at. Ever since my time in the great library of Destral I can’t help but wonder what I could have discovered there, had I only dared to look around, however.
I left the library late on the third day, my tasks completed and aware that my Makuta was likely already waiting for me. After the Rahkshi at the entrance had scanned my mind and the porter signed me off his list, I finally stepped into the long corridor leading back to the Inner Ring.
Despite having slept just a few days ago, I was a little tired from my work and almost bumped into a taller being in black and white armor I noticed too late. I hastily apologized, realizing at the same moment that the other must be a Makuta. What surprised me, though, was that I was recognized and addressed as “Yantra’s Keto”. Only then did I notice that the Makuta in front of me was the same one whose quarters Visca and I had accidentally entered earlier that week.
The Makuta still seemed in a chatty mood and asked me if I was coming from the library and what I thought about it, to which I truthfully replied that it was the most amazing place of its kind I had ever seen and that it was unfortunate that I neither had the time nor the permission to study its texts beyond my assignment. He said that knowledge is power and power in the wrong hands the seed of evil, though it sounded as if he was citing something rather than an explanation. I was then asked if I had seen the artifact museum. Nodding, I mentioned the herbarium and the few oddities in the first room. The Makuta offered to show me one other exhibit if I was interested, which of course I was, especially when he assured me that it wouldn’t take long.
As we entered from the second floor, we found ourselves in the section dedicated to statues and carvings. The atmosphere of neglect hadn’t changed since my last visit, but obviously far more time had gone by since the Makuta had last been there. He said that ever since a certain Vamusahi left, obviously no one had cared for the place, and that he’d make sure someone would do so soon. Despite that, he seemed to know exactly where to find what he wanted to show me, as he purposefully walked between the statues until he reached a display of various carvings, several badly damaged to the point where they were barely recognizable. This Vamusahi, who I assume also is a Makuta, apparently owned a more complete and most of all more intact collection of the same motifs. I asked why no one used a Kanohi Kiril to repair them, to which I got the answer that repairing them would take away part of their history.
On first glance, all the carvings looked remarkably similar, despite their sometimes quite different styles. The Kanohi Hau or stylized versions of it were featured in several of them, usually in the center or at the top of the carving. I am no member of a religious organization, but of course I recognized the Great Hau as the symbol of the Great Spirit. More predominant were the symbol of the Three Virtues and variations of it, though.
One of the most intact carvings clearly showed a Matoran, a Toa and a Turaga showing their reverence to Mata Nui, depicted as a Kanohi Hau, so I guessed that all these carvings must have religious themes, even though I couldn’t quite place a lot of the other figures and motifs displayed.
When I told the Makuta as much, he nodded, and confirmed that indeed all the carvings depicted regional religious believes. Then he gestured at one of the strangest carvings, depicting a group of figures made from geometrical patterns ringing an abstract symbol in the same style. He said that it was from Zakaz and that the symbol in the center represented a mythical figure known as the Lightbringer. Then he pointed out how parts of the symbol remarkably looked like a rearrangement of the symbol of the Three Virtues.
The next carving clearly showed an actual symbol of the Three Virtues, though for some reason the circle representing Unity was enlarged and the one for destiny smaller than usual. Next to it was another symbol that could have represented a very simplified Kanohi Hau, but the entire carving hadn’t been done by someone with a lot of skill, so it was hard to say for sure. The crude figures beneath the symbol also didn’t make much sense to me until the Makuta told me that the carving represented the hierarchy of the Steltian castes. Directly beneath the symbols stood a Dahkini, showing Mata Nui his reverence. Below him, multiple Kumopak carried offerings. At the bottom knelt a group of Lhomanu, awaiting instructions. The message seemed to be that the Steltian hierarchy was based on Mata Nui’s will.
After that I began to understand, and was able to figure out for myself how Mata Nui supposedly also gave Xia its wealth, how the Manidi’s ritual meditations served to achieve a higher understanding of the Three Virtues and how the Kolhaki prayed for Mata Nui’s protection.
There was silence for a while as we both studied the carvings. Finally the Makuta asked me what I thought. I said I hadn’t known that all species revered the Great Spirit – or at least used to in some way. Then I hesitated, as I realized that in fact not all species were present on the carvings. The Makuta told me to continue. I asked him why none of the carvings showed the Makuta. I believe he smiled then, though if it was a smile, it wasn’t a happy one.
The Makuta made a gesture for me to follow him, then led me to a statue near the other side of the room. It depicted the Great Spirit in the form of a head wearing a Great Kanohi Hau, but the Hau showed fissures that separated it into many small pieces that together formed the mask. Every Makuta was but a piece of Mata Nui’s visible face, the Makuta told me. To worship Mata Nui meant to revere the Makuta through him. The Makuta were only the Great Spirit’s tools, cogs in the great machinery, servants of the greater good. I told him it was a very altruistic thing to do, serving the greater good without demanding any rewards.
I still had questions about the previous carvings, but rather abruptly the Makuta bade me farewell as he had his duties to attend to. Thus I stood there for a little while longer on my own, studying the sculpture. I remember that at that moment it somehow seemed significant to me when I discovered that the cracks in the mask had not been intended by the sculptor, but where actual shows of damage, and that some fragments were missing. Today I mostly wonder why the Makuta showed and told me all those things, however. Was there a hidden meaning in all of this, or did he simply want to give me a little glimpse into the old history of the universe? And if all species once had direct ties to the Great Spirit, why did they sever them?
When I left the artifact museum, I was guiltily aware that I had spent far more time in there than I had intended after the Makuta left. It thus wasn’t too surprising when I met Makuta Yantra just as I walked through the doorway. She wasn’t too pleased seeing me amusing myself after I just had a free day, but I could mollify her somewhat by reporting that my tasks in the library were done and that one of her brothers had wanted to show me something in the artifact museum. Still, she asked me which of the other Makuta it had been. Of course I couldn’t give her a name, since the other Makuta had never introduced himself, but I mentioned that he apparently was watching over the region of Phaidua and had his quarters across from hers. Makuta Yantra frowned at that, then told me that I should better discard whatever he talked about. He was prone to meaningless philosophical ramblings, even though otherwise he was talented and respected in many regards.
Back at my Makuta’ lab, it turned out we were just collecting Visca, who had been cleaning up the rest of the equipment. Makuta Yantra told us that we were finished on Destral and it was time to get back to Inoatra. This came a little abruptly to us, especially since apparently we were going to leave right away, but all in all wasn’t surprising, for we knew our Makuta didn’t like to linger on Destral for longer than necessary.
The same carriage that had taken us to the fortress was already waiting in the courtyard, though this time the driver was a sullen Atureas mercenary. He sloppily saluted our Mistress, but didn’t say a word. Since it was night, I couldn’t make out much more on our way back to the docks than on the reverse trip which already felt like it had been ages ago. I spent the time telling Visca about the library and the artifact museum, though I left out what the Makuta of Phaidua had shown me. When we exited the carriage, Visca threw a longing glance back at the majestic towers rising into the air above the island, saying that he wished to get the chance to return one day and also visit the places I had seen. Then he surprised me when he admitted that right now he actually was a little homesick for Inoatra, however.
It was just then that I realized how close we actually were to our destination already. Despite, or rather because of the darkness, I could clearly make out the glowing chain of volcanoes of the Tamisino Ridge so familiar to me as a native of the Tren Krom Peninsula. Destral currently was located just south of the coast of the Northern Continent. It also explained why we didn’t need a courier ship this time. Instead, a local fishing boat was waiting on the docks, the Bo- and the Ga-Matoran manning it obviously a little cowed by the fact that they had been summoned to Destral to have a Makuta as their passenger.
Makuta Yantra told the fishers to head for Risuva, then settled down near the middle of the ship to meditate. Visca and I watched Destral recede behind us, eventually joined by the Bo-Matoran while his companion handled the boat. His name was Kishu, that of his companion Bohvoli. He told us they came from the small village of Isiru on Inoatra’s south coast and had just been on a normal fishing trip when suddenly Destral appeared right in front of them and the next moment someone had been commanding them via telepathy to get to the island’s docks and wait there. I asked Kishu if they had ever been to Risuva. He nodded, replying that they made the trip every few years to get certain goods they couldn’t get elsewhere in the vicinity.
While the small fishing craft was well-built, it of course couldn’t even match a fraction of the Kunoi’s speed and it took almost until midday before we spotted the characteristic silhouette of Risuva’s dockside. Makuta Yantra was very generous, handing the two fishers ten Ornate Widgets for their services. Our arrival meanwhile hadn’t gone unnoticed and already Matoran were greeting us left and right. Turaga Kavakawi was busy directing a few carpenters working on finishing the roof of a house, but climbed down to the street when we drew close. He bowed to Makuta Yantra, saying he was glad that she returned, and that during her absence nothing of importance happened. Afterwards he invited us to share some tales with him. Mistress Yandra declined, but allowed us to accept the offer. And thus I once more recounted my trip to Destral, this time in the richly furnished house of the Turaga, with Visca adding details here and there and the Turaga intently listening, his eyes gazing far way, as if he was actually seeing the wonders we told him of.
These lines now shall also be the end of this recount. Dear reader, I hope this tale made you see the island of Destral with different eyes and I hope I was able to give you a glimpse of what only few are allowed to see. Perhaps one of you will be allowed to visit Destral themselves some day and will write their own recount of how things changed and of how things stayed the same.