The following is an archaeological account written by Akutana Chronicler Nurnua of a village on the Southern Continent, just to the southeast of Mount Valmai and the Voya Nui Enclave. This report is intended for both the Onu-Metru Archives and for the office of the Turaga of Metru Nui, as a party formerly involved with Turaga Bomupar is believed to have some affiliation with the cultists.
1. Estimated History
Roughly thirty-thousand years prior to the recent civil war in Metru Nui, a small mission of Matoran from the realm of Karzahni was sent to the Southern Continent. The missionaries from Karzahni were believed to be rebuilt from natural disasters occurring around or on the Island of Varn. These missionaries from Karzahni were rejects, incomplete and broken Matoran who sought to bring their refuge to a new land, safe from their old ‘caregiver.’
The Karzahni missionaries made landfall and were quickly greeted by the native Matoran who had constructed their village on the coastline. But the misshapenness of the Matoran communicated a beastliness that the natives of the Southern Continent learned to fear.
The xenophobic tribe drove their visitors inland, destroying their vessels shortly after their first encounter. The missionaries would later establish an enclave just at the foot of Mount Valmai. The natives, fearing further invasion, migrated far to the south, settling on the cliffside overlooking the seas towards Artidax.
2. Accounts from the natives and their temple
Exhibit A: “It was a long time ago, longer than most of us could remember. My memory is hazy, as the Great Sleep robbed a great many of us of our lives before our new elder deemed our sacrifice sufficient.
“One of our oldest stories was of a being who marched into the sacred place beneath the volcano and attempted to parlay with the Idol of the Great Spirit. Umbra, the guardian of the sacred place, was very calm around the stranger when normally he would go out of his way to decimate any who posed a threat to the sanctity of the mountain.
“The stranger took hold of the idol, claiming to be greater than it. The Great Spirit would not have its holiness challenged, but humoured the interloper and granted him sight-beyond-sight.
‘Peer into my knowledge, arrogant one. See all that I have to share, and use my gifts to your own ends. And to your end, it shall be.’
“The story concludes that the stranger was given the ability to reshape his body at will. But of course, this gift became a curse. Upon first use of his new power, he became overwhelmed, the wealth of knowledge shared with him made focusing difficult. His attempt at transformation left him as a writhing mass of flesh which blindly squirmed its way into the molten blood of Valmai.
“It's a fable about the dangers of hubris.”- Inouta, Fe-Matoran scribe
Exhibit B: The Creation-Myth of the cultists is as follows:
The Great Spirit descended to this place when the world was consumed in fire and chaos. The land was not fit for his kin, the Matoran, to live on; so, he brought two great craftsmen into existence. (Our researchers believe that these figures were named, but the scriptures of the Matoran here are too incomplete for a full translation.)
The two beings quickly took to their work, purifying and reshaping the lands to the Great Spirit’s specification, but one (or both) became confused about the exact requirements for this land and entered a relentless stalemate between themselves.
The Great Spirit reprimanded the beings and trapped them away on distant lands of their own to toil in. The harder-working of the two was given the endless task of being the Great Spirit’s forge master, while the more troublesome being was tasked with repurposing the broken, sick, and slothenly.
From then on, the Great Spirit refused to tolerate any excuses for the Matoran to delay their tasks of loyalty to him. Any laziness would result in swift punishment until the labors to resume.
This account is taken from petroglyphs found in caves near Mount Valmai that lines up with the former locations of the village and some stone tablets around the village’s holy sites.
Exhibit C: The Sacrifice of Mavkhi and the Prophecy of Sleep.
Roughly three-thousand years prior to the start of the recent clash between the Po- and Ta-Matoran of Metru Nui, the natives of the Southern Continent were presented a prophecy by their former Turaga. The prophecy was in pictorial form, determined by the Turaga by interpreting the recent natural disasters.
Those who remember the months leading to the prophecy’s deliverance state that the seas around the Southern Continent had receded for months, and that atmospheric disturbances caused the plant life to decay or mutate. After months of prayer and tireless worship, storms on the island drove the Matoran into a recently erected temple, where they decided that the best course of action of resolving the Great Spirit’s anger with them was to perform a ritualistic sacrifice of one of their own. A Po-Matoran by the name of Mavkhi volunteered to throw himself off the cliffside of the village adorned in all manner of trinkets and paraphernalia relating to their religion. It took days for the seas to return to their normal height, but the mutated plant refused to die off, and the island was met by a fiercer storm system which ravaged most of the village. Months later, the Turaga finalized the transcription of the prophecy. He believed that the Great Spirit would be dealt a terrible sickness and be placed into a long and seemingly endless sleep. The Turaga asked his village to communally partake of a special spirit; the recipe of which included berries from the mutated plants. The spirit caused the Matoran to enter a prolonged, masse hibernation.
Twenty-six-hundred years later, the Civil War in Metru Nui would begin and the natural disasters that followed the war most likely led to an eruption from Mount Valmai preceded by a series of bioquakes. This is suggested by signs of a landslide on the hilltop overlooking the village, which collapsed onto the Turaga’s hovel. No body was found upon excavation. It is also worth noting that there is evidence of Makuta passing through the village, whether this visit occurred before or after the Great Sleep is unknown to me.
Around the end of the Matoran Civil War, Onu- Lesohka Awpofta was on assignment in the Northern Continent fighting alongside other Toa from across the known universe against remnants of the League of Six Kingdoms. At some point during the fighting, Awpofta became disheartened by the fighting and opted to abandon his station. Witnesses report seeing him fleeing the continent in one of the Toa Canisters used to transport him and other Lesohka members.
Navigational data from a canister found on the Northern Continent shows a voyage made to the Southern Continent from around the Tren Krom Peninsula. It is unknown for what reason this canister was found back on the Northern Continent.
Coincidentally, the Cultists of the Southern Continent were roused from their sleep almost immediately after Awpofta’s desertion, by an Onu-Turaga.
The Turaga refused requests for interviews, but I managed to catch glimpses of him entering and exiting the temple over the course of a few days. The only distinguishing detail I could make out was a Kanohi Matatu adorned with a telescopic modification that matched the one worn by Toa Awpofta.
My request to enter the temple was also denied, as the Turaga was praying in privacy for the safe return of a Matoran who had left the village years prior. The villagers corroborated the story with the mention of a missing Ko-Matoran named Ardell who was last seen travelling to Mount Valmai to pray to the Golden Idol of the Great Spirit.
4. The Temple
Sneaking about the village at night during one of their congregations, I managed to finally enter the Cult’s temple. And not to my surprise, death is a much greater component to the cult’s operation than a Matoran bargaining his life for the safety of his friends.
Dating back to the origins of the tribe, in a time long before the arrival of the Karzahni Matoran, many more trips to the place under Mount Valmai were made through caves all along the Voya Nui enclave. Most of these caves resulted in dead ends, with only a small handful of them leading into the passages within Mount Valmai, (further exploration beneath the volcano was discouraged by the presence of lesser Makuta, and the creature known to the natives as “Umbra.”)
Within the caves that align with the former location of the Matoran Village I found a litany of signs of ritualistic sacrifice, not least of which were the shattered masks and primitive, makeshift weapons broken at their handles. Petroglyphs along the areas most concentrated with remains depict a legend not found within the documents of the village, I’ll add this account later within my findings.
The Turaga’s office within the temple includes lists of Matoran who are missing, dead or under suspicion of undermining the peace within the village. The scribing work on these lists appears to have been performed by different individuals.
*Ardell is for certain missing
** Judaluan appears to be on the list of individuals with questionable loyalty to the village, but this section appears to be a list made by the former Turaga.
Within the Turaga’s personal possessions was an electronic tablet matching the ones used by Ga-Matoran scholars in Metru Nui (lending further clues to this Turaga’s origins), with a diary of sorts included among its contents. An unencrypted entry dated just before my arrival follows:
‘The stone workers and fishermen had a disagreement today regarding the importance of their work to the village, something I had hoped to leave back home. The carvers and architects claimed their works were the most important after the scribes, while the fishermen rebutted that it was their work and their traps that kept the Rahi away from the village. Seeking to end the conflict immediately, I asked both groups to choose a representative and send them to the center of the village.
The carvers selected one of the newly built Matoran, Ytka (irksome at the least, using that machine is not pleasant), while the fishers chose Hrelta, one of the Matoran who gave me some trouble after I became Turaga.
The two Matoran met by the Suva I had constructed and each chose a weapon of their trade.
I reminded the village that this deviation from their work is not to become a regular occurrence, and announced the fight to commence.
The clash was fast, ugly and barbaric. I thought these Matoran gave that lifestyle up when I took their old Turaga’s office; but clearly, the old ways do not die. Hrelta, she drove the spear into the poor Po-Matoran with such little regard for his survival. She was a killer.
Ytka tried to pull the spear out, but Hrelta pounced on him. Fists curled and flying across Ytka’s mask - sending it flying. The fight was clearly over, but Hrelta continued to pummel him. I had to personally step in, but by the time that happened, Ytka was already in too serious of a condition to be saved. I had a group of his carvers take him to the abandoned caves, probably to die.
Hrelta was tasked with tending to her traps while I and the rest of the village discuss what should be done about the disagreements between its members.’
This concludes all of my findings of the Cult so far, I will document any further findings in an additional account