Written by WKschull
I set this record in metal such that it may not be lost to time. I worry, now, that my stories shall be forgotten (note 4), for I sit, awaiting my ultimate fate, on the eve of battle. In spite of the wishes of my masters, I have never been a soldier, and so do not entertain much hope of surviving.
My name is Misaiz, and I am a noble scion of the Paxorak. I am a poet, a traveler, an exile and a scholar. And, I fear, tonight is the last night of my life.
But, in order to understand the path that led me here, I must start long ago, in the days when I earned my name: “Strange Traveler” (note 5).
I was once a diplomat in service of the chieftain Urprar, traveling to other tribes to do his bidding. However, when the Barraki began to tighten their grip in preparation for their betrayal, Urprar (note 6) chose to stand against Great Carapar, and was soon slain for his arrogance. Before he was killed, however, I chose to leave his side, unable to abide his rage and pillaging any longer. Instead, I continued my travels, ranging far and wide through the Six Kingdoms. The story of these travels, for which I have set aside these tablets, ought to begin, I feel, in the Monastery of the Silent Peak (note 7), on Gavira.
Gavira, that largest island of the Four Sisters. Home to many Monasteries, and, some would say, the center of Layamat culture. All I knew about it was that their weaponsmithing was held in high regard in Hakori, that Urprar held some of their art in high esteem, and that Matoran and Layamat lived in greater Unity than the rest of the Primes (note 8). For these reasons, and many others, it was my first destination after leaving my home.
I had arrived on the island on the boat of an Augafi merchant. Her anger was impressive and unquenchable, for I would not deign to purchase her wares. Nor would I sell her my memory crystals, nor my prized Kanohi Ceveli. Perhaps because of these, she rejected my request to capture a memory of her and her boat, to my disappointment. Many years later, I learned that her boat had been commandeered, and sunk, with her still aboard. She, like so much else, will be forgotten.
I had come to Gavira in search of Toa Paniki, a Ko-Toa whom I had met once in the court of Lord Pridak, though that itself is a story for another time (note 9). When I arrived, I was told that Paniki had left the town, beginning a pilgrimage inland, taking with him several Matoran, and three other Toa. I was content to follow in his footsteps, if it meant finding the help I needed. In trade for supplies, I bartered an Honor Mark (note 10) that had long ago been taken from a Layamat Monastery, and began my own journey.
I shall not bore the reader with the details of the struggle against the Rahi of that island, of the terrible storm that dashed my guide from the cliffs and left him dead on the rocks below, the bitter cold that bit through the warm robes I had carried with me, nor the loss of an Honor Blade (note 11) when it fell over the edge, lodged firmly in the side of a beastly Rahi. When these things are set into writing, perhaps they seem more interesting than the story I will tell, but, I have had enough of the senseless chaos and violence that that story suggests. The loss of my guide and the Honor Marks and the savage chaos of the Gavira wilds are too similar to the later chapters of my own life to be worth describing now, at the beginning of my tale (note 12).
Suffice it to say that the trip was long and difficult. As I neared the top of the mountain, weathering the blizzard around me, I could understand why they had called this trip a pilgrimage, for it was no simple trip. Why, I found myself wondering, had Paniki brought Matoran with him? While, yes, a Toa of Ice like himself would be able to spare them the worst of it, there could be no reason to bring those fragile beings, when the hardy Layamat were so much more accustomed to these conditions. And why here? That question plagued me then, but, alas, it would be some time before I learned the grim answer. Had I learned sooner, been quicker…but no.
That climb was one of the last times I would underestimate the Matoran, though not the last time I would question the motives of a Toa. I only wish that this experience of mine had been shared sooner…but, it is too late for regret. I die in the morning, and there are many stories left to tell once this one is done.
As I climbed to the top of the mountain, the blizzard making the stone steps carved underfoot slick and hard to mount, I saw lights piercing through the storm ahead of me, and heard a low vibration split the air. At first, I feared an avalanche, but, then, I climbed the final few steps, and emerged above the storm. Before me stood the Monastery of the Silent Peak, a mighty temple dedicated to both the Great Spirit, and the concept of the Suffering required by Duty.
How to describe the Monastery? It was tall, yet narrow, worn by the winds. From far away, it seemed that the surface glowed, but as I approached, I could see that the surface bore no light, but instead, the light came from within. At that moment, I realized the source of that vibration. It was a song, played so low as to almost be below hearing. As the wind picked up again, that sign rose in pitch and tone, and I saw the building seem to flicker, many of the lights going out before regaining their brightness.
It was the Song of the Peak: that maddening, endless whistling of the wind through the holes in the Monastery’s walls. Hearing it, I came to understand the name of the Monastery, for who could speak with such a song dominating all sound? It would be enough to drive one mad, and yet a great number of acolytes lived here nonetheless. They suffered for their Duty, it seemed, at all times. The Layamat have always struck me as a bizarre people, so dedicated to their ideals. Even so, I could admire the determination of these priests. And, with hindsight, see the dangers that come with such fanaticism.
I approached the doors, and two Tahazeki (note 13) stepped from their hiding places to the sides, their glaives extended to bar my path.
“State thy business,” (note 14) the one of the left intoned, his voice seeming thin and reedy, with the song of the Monastery surrounding us.
“I seek Toa Paniki,” I replied, and the two exchanged looks, before stepping aside, and retracting their glaives.
“Thou’rt fortunate, stranger. Had ye come but an hour later, t’would be too late for thee.”
“Too late?” While I had not seen Paniki in decades, he had been, and always will be, my closest friend, and the thought of some ill befalling him caused me great concern. “Why? Is he in danger?”
The two exchanged another look, before the one on the right shook her head, and gestured me forward. “It is best that thou enter, and seek for thyself the answer.”
With that, the two faded back into the shadows, and I stepped up to the door, pushing open the massive slabs. The weight of the doors worked against me, but as I strained, the wind itself seemed to seek to prevent my entry. Finally, during a lull in the wind, I was able to push hard enough to crack the doors, and slip through. Almost as soon as I did so, the wind strengthened again, and the doors were slammed shut behind me.
Have you, dear reader, seen a Layamat Monastery? I worry that, in your time, they may be forgotten (note 15). I will attach to this a memory crystal, containing what images I can. The Monastery of the Silent Peak was, in many ways, an exemplar of that time, what some still call the peak of the Builders’ work in the East.
While outside the Monastery it bent to the demands of nature, the stones worn by the winds and smoothed by the carvers, inside it was replete with sharp corners and lush decorations. Many would say that it is the Paxorak and Augafi who hoard treasures and precious metals, but those who say such things forget that the Layamat were the first to decorate in gold and chrome (note 16).
Great tapestries were hung on the walls, with threads of gold depicting scenes from both the history of the island and the history of Silent Peak. Golden lamps held candles, burning clean and warm, their flames shedding light and heat into the room. Overhead, the high arches of the building were decorated in tiles, mosaics continuing the story told by the tapestries, though many here depicted scenes of the Great Spirit in his Aspect as a mighty Kanohi Hau, and his many Orders who reside in the Four Sisters. Scenes, of course, of Duty were given particular prominence, with Toa and Layamat dying horribly, or Matoran working until sent to Karzahni, as was befitting a temple dedicated to Suffering for one’s Duty.
But that was not all the luxury the Monastery held. Gilded instruments stood around, and a small number of acolytes plucked their strings gently, accompanying the howling song from outside. Gilded chalices stood on tables, electrum candelabra sat in brackets, and memory crystals of the deepest purples and the most vibrant pinks were arrayed on shelves.
I must admit, much to my chagrin, that my plunder-lust began to rise, looking at that wealth. To think, such wealth was hoarded by the Monasteries of Gavira! Think of the Honor Marks that they would make if I could claim them! Think of what knowledge must be contained within those crystals…But I was not there to raid and plunder. Even had I been there to do so, I would have stood no chance in battle against the Tahazeki. Even a simple priest, with their mastery of Kayi, would have been able to overmaster me. I have, as I said, never been a warrior (note 17).
No, I was here to look for Paniki, and so I shook the snow from my coat, and looked for a place to hang it. As I did so, snow slowly melting into a puddle beneath me, one of the priests came over, and gestured for me to follow. I did so, and he led me to a small chamber off to one side. There, I found a space to hang my coat, and was offered a set of robes in their place: not the white and gold robes that the priests wore, but a set of plain grey robes, with long sleeves, and a deep hood.
I thanked the priest, and donned the robe, making sure to transfer my few remaining Honor Marks (note 18) to my arm hooks, where they would not disrupt the shape of the robe. By the time I had finished, the priest had vanished back into the Monastery, leaving me to find my own way forward.
The further I explored into the Monastery, the quieter it became. The tapestries on the walls seemed to deaden sound, and the carpeted floors absorbed the footsteps of those who walked. Even the instruments seemed to be replaced by quieter varieties further in. It seemed that the priests wished to be able to explore multiple kinds of silence, though, as I continued, I began to find myself missing the whistling song of the wind. The complete silence in its place was oppressive and stifling.
Still, I needed to find Paniki before it was too late. After all, much of the hour had already passed.
Finally, as I was turning down a side passage, I saw an open door ahead of me, and, through it, that familiar white-armored shoulder. I hurried forward and, in my haste, did not think to knock, instead bursting into the room.
Paniki knelt, head bowed, hands stretched out before him. Before him sat six bowls, each on its own stand, and filled with sand. His hands twitched at my intrusion, and he withdrew them, turning to face me. His eyes widened in surprise, and then he stood, reaching forwards to pull me into a hug.
At first, I stiffened, after all this time apart unused to a hug being a gesture of friendship, rather than an attempt to grapple, but then hugged him back.
“Toa Paniki, it has been far too long. Forgive my curtness, but I have need of your assistance.”
“Misaiz.” His eyes were sad as he pulled back to arms length, looking me over, before gesturing for us both to sit. We folded ourselves to the floor, his long legs fitting cross-legged while I simply sunk into a crouch. As I twitched my muscles, locking my thick carapace into itself and taking the weight off my muscles, I looked over Paniki in turn.
He had changed. Not much, but I could see it in his posture, the way he held himself. Gone was the brash and confident Toa who had saved me from perilous assassins. In his place was a Toa who was tired, one who carried the weight of the years on his shoulders. Had it only been three decades? To count solely based on Paniki’s countenance, it must have been three full centuries of life.
He, too, wore robes, though they were unlike the ones both the priests and I wore. Instead of the full robes with sleeves and a hood, he wore a simple garment that hung down his back, with two long ribbons down his front. It was simply adorned, with a few small symbols, but nothing matching the adornment of the priest robes.
Finally, I looked up at his mask, the thing I had been avoiding. We made eye contact, and his smile grew sad, too, as he reached out, and plucked my Ceveli from my face.
“Do you still hide behind your mask, Misaiz? Do you still fear the world will judge you without it?” “Toa Paniki, you know me too well. I can hide nothing from you.”
“Not even with your mask.” His smile lingered for a moment, before falling away. “I cannot help you, Misaiz. I am sorry.”
“But, you have not even heard what I need your help with. Please, Paniki, I-” (note 19)
“Misaiz…I cannot. The world is changing. Don’t you feel it?”
“I do. That is why-”
“And, it’s time that I change with it. Or, so I have been told.”
“Told? By whom? And what is this ‘change’ you speak of? Why can you not help me?”
Paniki shook his head, and turned back to the bowls. Finally, I noticed, beyond them, another tapestry. This one depicted a being—a Toa—standing before six Matoran. Light streamed from the Toa’s hands, into the Matoran, and, below that, stood six Toa, and one Matoran - no, one Turaga (note 20).
“Oh.” At the time, the sorrow that took us both was unexpected and unexplained. Looking back on it now, I wish I had been supportive, had blessed his new journey. But I was too much a true Paxorak, then, to see the honor in putting down the blade, and too sad at the thought of being unable to rely on Paniki’s aid in Mohra to realize I could rely on his aid in any other way.
“Yes. I have been told that it is time for me to step aside, and raise up the next generation.”
“But, Paniki, surely it is not your time yet. I…I.” I knew that I was being foolish, and selfish. Here I was, thirty years wiser, acting as I had three thousand years ago. And Paniki, as if he were two centuries older.
“I am sorry, Paniki. I…know you always chastise me for being irrational, and I have been again. I owe you an apology. I have come and imposed—”
“Misaiz, never apologize for needing me. And, you are not incorrect. My time, surely, cannot be here. And, who will guide these new Toa? They are so immature, Misaiz. More so than we were at Lord Pridak’s court. And, as you said, the world is changing.”
“…Who told you that it is your time, Paniki?”
I wracked my brain, and was tempted to slot a memory crystal, before I remembered. “Lord Kalmah’s spiritual advisor?” (note 21)
“Indeed. He said that my time as a Toa was nearing its end, and that the time of a new generation has come -- that us older, more experienced Toa must step down, and give ourselves to the making of new Toa. But, I remember how it was. I myself was sent into the field right away, with barely any training. I made constant mistakes, and without Toa Rakuru, I would have fallen many times.”
Paniki paused, and we shared a smile at the memory of his mentor. Rakuru had been a fierce and wild Toa, always flying into a rage, and shouting at us for one thing or another. He had saved Lord Pridak’s life, while Paniki had saved mine, all those years ago, though Rakuru had given his life to do so (note 22).
“I miss him, too.” Paniki smiled at my kind words before continuing.
“But, these new Toa…I am to make six Stones, and give up all my remaining powers to form a full team. And then what? Who is to guide them? How are they to learn to not make the mistakes that I did, without me there?”
“They will learn, Paniki. It is what we all do, when placed in these situations. We learn, and we thrive. Did you-?”
Paniki was already shaking his head, and the dancing candle light caught in the grooves of his mask, seemingly setting fires in the hollows of his face.
“No. Prelate Vezaki chose them himself, or so he seemed to imply. What little I know of them, I do not trust. They are so immature, Misaiz. So unwise, and reckless.”
“We were, too.”
“We were, weren’t we? We truly were. I-”
Paniki stopped abruptly and stared at me, his eyes wide, his hands grabbing for mine. “Misaiz. You came here asking for my help, but, now, I must beg yours instead. You are wise, and experienced. You were with me through many of my early years as a Toa. You helped me, then-”
“We helped each other”
“-and you can help the Ofobo now.”
I paused, shaken. I had not expected this. To this day, I still wonder why he asked me. I am not the noble scholar, the wise paragon that he thought me. Sometimes, I wonder how differently my life would have been had I said “no”. But, I had never been able to say no to Paniki.
“You wish me to travel with them, and guide them.”
“Take up the role of their Chronicler (note 23). You can travel with them. You know so much. Your library of memory crystals holds knowledge that will help them. Your experience can guide them. You can steer them through the dangers of sudden power, and the chaos and darkness of a battlefield. Please, Misaiz.”
I almost denied him. I almost explained to him how I was not who he thought I was. But, to hear that Paniki, the one dearest to my heartlight, thought that I was someone like him? Someone who could guide these six young Toa to be worthy of the title? It opened a hunger in my chest far greater than the lust for Honor Marks, and I could not speak.
Finally, I gave the only answer that I could, and Paniki smiled, the sadness finally lifting from his eyes for the first time since I had arrived.
“Thank you, Misaiz. Perhaps they can help you with your problem.”
“Misaiz, I am truly grateful for your friendship. It has been so long, and, yet, when I was about to falter, when I needed you most, here you are.” He leaned forward, and lightly rested the forehead of his mask against my dorsal crest, and his eye lights began to flicker. “The Great Spirit is kind.”
We sat like that for a long moment, two beings who had missed each other for longer than we had ever known each other, before he pulled back, and smiled that sad smile again, before reaching up, and replacing my mask.
“It is time.”
He turned, and raised his hands once more. As he did so, light began to pool between his fingers, and then flowed into the bowls. The sand began to whirl and writhe, shifting and turning, and as it did so, it began to change color.
I watched, fascinated, my mask’s memory crystal recording all that I could see and hear, even the smell of the burning incense, the faint chill that suddenly filled the air, the taste of power at the back of my tongue.
Six bowls. Six colors. Scarlet, grey, green, auburn, white, and azure. When at last the sands stopped their swirling, Paniki leaned back, exhausted, and I reached out a hand to steady him. He nodded in thanks, then gathered the bowls, and stood.
He bid me to follow him through the tunnels of the Monastery to a larger chapel, far beneath the surface. Here, the silence was almost deafening, the weight of all that stone and cloth above us tearing noise asunder (note 24). Paniki gestured to one of the pews, and I took a seat near the front.
In front of me, a hextet of Matoran sat with just as much uncertainty as I held in my own heart. They seemed nervous, but excited. Even the silence of the chapel did not dull their chatter, earning them glares from the priests waiting along the walls.
They fell silent, however, when an elaborately-decorated Layamat—Prelate Ihuris—stepped forwards, followed by three Toa, all wearing the same long, hooded robes that I had been given. Like the priests, their hoods were pulled forwards, and I checked to make sure that mine was too, finding with relief that it was.
“Gathered friends,” (note 25) The Prelate’s voice was sonorous and yet quiet, emphasizing the silence of the halls rather than breaking it. “Listen again to our legend of the Toa: In the time before time, the Great Spirit carried we, His chosen peoples, from death and despair into this land. But we were separate, without purpose. In his benevolence and wisdom, the Great Spirit illuminated us with the Three Virtues: Unity, Duty, and Destiny. We embraced these gifts, and in gratitude, lived as He decreed, working, and living with them foremost in our hearts.”
“But our happiness was not to last. For there were many who were jealous of the Great Spirit, and of His chosen peoples, and of the prosperity and joy that we found in His Words. These betrayers cast aside the Three Virtues, and sowed in their place Discord, and Idleness, and Death.
“Our Great Spirit, to protect us from these betrayers, created new peoples: his Toa, guardians of His Three Virtues, and protectors of His people. Now, today, we welcome six more of these great protectors.
“Matoran. Step forward.”
The six Matoran stood, and stepped towards the priest, who gestured to the symbols carved into the floor. I am ashamed to say that I had not, until then, noticed the Virtue symbols repeated, one carved on each side of the dais. As the Matoran stepped forwards, Prelate Ihuris gestured them each onto one of the circles of the symbols, again reciting the Virtues. I noticed with interest that in these carvings, Duty was larger than both Unity and Destiny. The Layamat, for all their devotion to the Three Virtues, are far more flexible in their worship of them than the Matoran are.
But, again, I digress.
As the Matoran took their places, the hooded Toa stepped back towards the braziers, and with a sudden roar of wind and blast of cold, the braziers went out, leaving us in the utter blackness of the chapel. The only lights visible were the eyes and heartlights of those present.
And, then, six more sources of light entered the chamber. The bowls of sand, carried by priests, shed some small amount of light, enough to see the hoods of the figures, but not their faces. They strode forwards, approaching the Matoran, as Prelate Ihuris spoke again.
"I-Atu Mata Nui, ai-na aiye kama duisi." (note 26)
The ritual words (By the Will of Mata Nui, we are gathered to walk this path) had been spoken, and I knew that the Matoran would repeat them.
"I-Atu Mata Nui, ai-na aiye kama duisi."
The six voices spoke as one as the priests stopped in front of the Matoran, holding the bowls up to their faces.
“Matoran.” Paniki’s voice carried cleanly through the room, in spite of the silence, and I turned again, watching as my friend began to glow with the light of his power. He glowed with an intensity to match the sand, at first, but then grew brighter and brighter until the white light shining from him grew painful to look upon. And yet, I am sure that none of us averted our eyes. For the priests, to do so would be to shirk our Duty for the sake of Suffering. For the Matoran, to do so would dishonor the Toa who was giving up his strength to them. For myself, it would mean abandoning my friend when he needed me most.
“Matoran,” he repeated, marching down the aisle. “You six have been chosen. Do you answer the call?”
“We answer the call, Toa.”
“Will you act in Unity, to inspire order?”
“We will act in Unity, Toa.”
“Will you fulfill your Duty, without fail?”
“We will do our Duty, Toa.”
“And will you embrace your Destiny, though it may lead to your deaths?”
“We will forge our own Destiny, Toa.”
I heard a small noise of concern from some of the priests. This response was, obviously, not how the ritual normally went, but Paniki was nodding approvingly. I smiled, behind my mask, imagining him lecturing to the Matoran on their journey up the mountain.
“Then let you be made Toa.”
As he said the words, the six priests, now standing behind the Matoran, lifted the bowls of sand, and began to pour them onto the Matorans’ masks. The light in the room shifted, with Paniki growing dimmer as the Matoran began to glow.
Suddenly, from both the sand and the Matoran shot six balls of light. The twelve lanced out, dancing around the room, and between them, suddenly the candles were re-lit.
Then it was over. Where, a moment before had stood six Matoran now stood six Toa, of Fire, Air, Ice, Stone, Sound, and Lightning.
But though I was looking in their direction, I had not seen them yet.
Paniki stood, but he was shorter now. His Cetuha had lost many of its curves, now all sharp edges and flat planes. His Toa Tool, that devastatingly sharp glaive, was nowhere to be seen, and as he staggered, a priest stepped forwards and pressed a staff of office into his hands for him to lean on.
Toa Paniki was no more. In his place stood Turaga Paniki, and, finally, I felt my eye lights begin to flicker.
He smiled at me, and as he approached, another priest walked over, carrying his glaive. The priest bowed, holding it out towards me, and it took me longer than I care to admit to realize that he was offering it to me. I looked to Paniki, who nodded, and I grasped the cool haft of his Frost Glaive (note 27), feeling some of the weight that he had always carried settling now onto my shoulders.
“Toa Ofobo.” Turaga Paniki walked up the aisle, and I stepped out to follow him to meet the new team. “Congratulations on your ascension. I present to you Misaiz, an old friend of mine, and your new Chronicler.”
While there is more to the history than that, the story of my details of my first meeting with the Ofobo, and their successful first mission can all be found in my official records as Chronicler. What matters to me here, with my limited time and space, is recounting those tales that my official records do not cover. I am being summoned to the command tent to discuss battle plans. I shall continue, with the Toa Ofobo’s disastrous fourth mission, the one struck from all other records, when I return. If I return. Until then, dear reader (note 28).
1 - Archivist note: This comes from a cache sealed within a Stasis Chest. It eventually made its way to Metru Nui via one of our many collectors, and was checked into the Archives in late 98,203 a.A - whoever checked it in did not file paperwork correctly or promptly, and so the specific date of arrival is uncertain. Dating and psychometry showed the contents to date to the Prosecution, or shortly before - combined with the descriptions of the contents, a firm date has yet to be established, but estimates can be narrowed to year 124 of the Prosecution. If the tale contained in these tablets is to be believed, we can date it precisely to the night before The Battle of Hedbjut Mar, a large and devastating battle between the Prosecution’s Sundered Legion and the League Loyalist legion the Storm Fists. I say if, because the veracity of this tale is questionable; it centers around the Toa Ofobo, a Toa team who do not appear in other recordings. It mentions extensive Chronicles of that Toa team, documents that likewise are not available. It makes mention of several beings, events, and actions that cannot be verified or that fly in the face of existing historical evidence. As such, I have marked these records Unreliable. However, in spite of their questionable historical value, they are ancient and well-preserved, unlike most of the other items from the cache, a regrettable condition other Archivists ascribe to being submerged in the bogs of Airon for the past several myriads. As such, what you see are high-fidelity scans of the original tablets, which has also allowed for my annotations.
2 - Chief Archivist’s Note: The original annotations to this come from Sub-Archivist Talutis. While his interpretations are flawed at best, I haven’t erased them, as they are a convincing argument to not promote him to full Archivist.
3 - This tale is, regrettably, from the perspective of a particularly vain Chronicler who calls himself Misaiz. He is supposedly a Paxorak, though I believe that this is more akin to “fan fiction,” written by a Matoran about the leader of the Sundered Legion, High General Hanrai. I will elaborate on this suspicion throughout these footnotes.
4 - A clever ploy - this covers for the obvious absence of the rest of the Chronicles, while allowing this to retain veracity. Obviously, if the Chronicler himself (I will be referring to the author of these tablets as The Author, The Chronicler, or Misaiz, interchangeably, in the unlikely chance that this is true) is worried that his other stories will be forgotten, then we won’t suspect that they never existed! While, yes, records from before the Prosecution are patchy and vague in some areas, especially in those areas that saw heavy fighting, like Gavira, Mohra, and Phaidua, where the majority of this record is set, records should not be patchy enough that entire Chronicles vanished, and no other mentions of an entire Toa Team survived.
5 - Very clever, really - he conceals the “true” name of the narrator, Hanrai, until much later, by this clever conceit of a pseudonym.
6 - Warlord Urprar is a noble hero, lauded by history. His clan was lost to a tragic storm, and he along with it. This is clear slander, especially as there are no records of Urprar standing against the Barraki. Though “slander” is maybe not the right word. Further research, Talutis, then rewrite this.
7 - There is a monastery that bears physical resemblance to Silent Peak, though its name and Path are notably very different.
8 - I’m willing to attribute this to contemporary propaganda, as Matoran were second-class citizens under Kalmah’s laws.
9 - There are records of Toa Paniki and Lord Hanrai being in Rhomari at the same time, though there is no evidence that they had a relationship such as the one painted in these texts.
10 - Honor Marks are a rather outdated facet of Paxorak culture, but they do still have some remnant. They are a glorified, ritualized form of plunder, taken to Honor the one it was stolen from, and displayed to increase the Honor of those who hold them. Trading one like this was a terribly dishonorable thing to do, done only in the most dire of circumstances, which shows the author’s lack of understanding of Paxorak culture at the time. However, the trading itself is factually correct - the Four Sisters had implemented their Scrip Currency prior to this. While nowadays, other kinds of currency can regularly be spent on the Four Sisters, in addition to Prayer Scrips, during the height of Lord Kalmah’s rule, the barter economy was the only option for those who didn’t want to pay the exorbitant rates of moneychangers.
11 - An Honor Blade is an Honor Mark in the form of a weapon, not necessarily a bladed one. This is the only distinct kind of Honor Mark, which the author somehow gets right.
12 - Foreshadowing, foreshadowing, foreshadowing, and so heavy-handed! This author paints a picture of Misaiz as a gloomy, depressed scholar, completely at odds with the descriptions we have of High General Hanrai, who was said to be an orator to rival the Barraki themselves, and a staunch and unbowed warrior, not prone to remorse or regret.
13 - An outdated term for the Warrior Priest caste of the Layamat temples.
14 - Regrettably, the Chronicler did do his research - Temple Speech, a ritualized and archaic dialect even at the time of this tale, was still spoken by Tahazeki to put outsiders off balance.
15 - They are not.
16 - Again, factually incorrect. Histories suggest that it was the Matoran who were the first to gild and silver Kanohi to honor their wearers, rather than the Layamat being the first to decorate. Pah! However, the inclusion of an opulent Monastery is, again, correct, suggesting that the Chronicler was likely a part of Hanrai’s campaign on the Four Sisters, which involved the sacking of many Monasteries. Since the rise of the Prayer Token economy, much of the wealth on the Four Sisters has flowed to the Monasteries, with displays of that opulence being a key facet in securing both additional supplicants, and additional purchases of Prayer Tokens.
17 - A blatant lie. High General Hanrai was a masterful warrior, a point on which many stories agree.
18 - I realize I should clarify the nature of Honor Marks. Honor Marks are any piece of plunder of special value to the Paxorak who claimed it, whether due to the effort it took to claim it, or to mark important rites of passage, such as a First Raid. Their only defining feature is that they are worn on hooks Paxorak would screw into their carapace and armor, and so needed some kind of loop or hole punched through them to be hung from.
19 - It is moments like this that make me doubt the veracity of this story. If High General Hanrai were, as he says, in his tent carving this the night before a battle, with the limited time he so often refers to, why take the time and effort to carve the ellipses, pauses, and starts in his memories? Either his devotion to accuracy was more important than any time-saving concerns, or this was not written under the time pressures our narrator suggests it was.
20 - There are numerous inconsistencies here. First, Toa are created by Toa Stones, not bowls of sand. Second, we have a record of Toa Paniki’s death, defending Layamat and Matoran from a disaster on Airon far closer to the Prosecution than this story is seemingly set. He did not transform into a Turaga, that much is certain.
21 - “Spiritual Advisor,” he says! Prelate Vezaki was a tyrant almost worse than Kalmah, one who, by all accounts, usurped the reins of power as soon as the Barraki vanished, and was solely responsible for the persistence of Parvamu as a state for as long as it lasted. Vezaki was not a Spiritual Advisor, but a cruel tactician, Master of many Kayi, and the architect of countless sorrows.
22 - This, again, is accurate. Apparently our author knew about Pridak’s court. Rakuru was a Su-Toa, an odd match for Paniki’s ice, and was Lord Pridak’s bodyguard for some time. He died during an attack by the Seven Shining Knives Clan, a troupe of Manidi assassins.
23 - Preposterous, honestly. A Paxorak warrior as Chronicler? Not just any Paxorak warrior, but High General Hanrai himself? While we have records of Toa Vezonoi, one of the so-called Ofobo serving alongside him in the Sundered Legion, there is no reason to believe that their partnership began with the High General serving her as a humble Chronicler.
24 - How humorous. A small gesture, yes, but, “asunder” - the Sundered Legion, of course. Our author expects us to cackle at his wit.
25 - This version of the story is unfamiliar to modern readers, but was commonplace at the time, and variants remain popular among the Layamat today. While most Ceremonies of Becoming (the local name for the universal practice) are presided over by Turaga now, in those times it was not uncommon for particularly notable priests to oversee them. In fact, we have records of many of the new Toa from before the Prosecution being ushered along these next steps of Destiny by Priests of the League.
26 - Again, this ritual was, at the time, performed during Ceremonies of Becoming, though it has long since fallen out of favour. The writer must have attended some during his time on the Four Sisters.
27 - This is correct, in so far as High General Hanrai wielded a Protosteel Glaive in battle. However, it did not have any innate elemental powers, and the ice that often coated it was channeled from the Koi Stones woven into Hanrai’s shell.
28 - The author ends each of his tablets with an Afterword, setting the stage for the following tale. While I could explain the problems with this kind of foreshadowing when the reader has the next tablet available, I can only assume that his method will make sense eventually.