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Echelon is a powerful Toa of Magnetism and Necromancer who is allied with Makuta.
Echelon's past is largely unknown. He seems to have been on Mata Nui for a long time, operating out of his Ko-Wahi base, but he kept his head down for most of this time. Every so often, however, he would arrange for a being or two to disappear, sometimes with the help of Zadron, a Vortixx assassin.
He orchestrated various plots during this time; the most well-known being the Mark Bearers, whose creation he influenced by manipulating Arekule; he acquired the spiritless body of Wraith, an Iden-user, to observe the effects of long-term separation of spirit from body; and he is believed to have been one of the beings behind the deaths of Merror's old Toa Team.
Echelon's rise to prominence among the forces of darkness began with Vidar's journey to Le-Koro. Beneath the massive tree, he was met in secrecy by Echelon. Makuta himself manifested nearby, and gave the two Dark Toa a mission: to kill the members of the disbanded Chronicler's Company, starting with Tamaru.
As Vidar cornered the Matoran in his hut, Echelon held off the handful of Toa who tried to apprehend them. Once Vidar had captured Tamaru, the two Dark Toa used their elemental powers to fly to the very top of the tree, where Vidar interrogated the Matoran. Unable to gain any information from him, Vidar threw him off the tree to his death, giving Echelon his mask as a memento.
They made a quick getaway, but were confronted by a group of Toa, including Merror and those who had resisted them earlier. After a brief period of combat, the Dark Toa escaped into the Onu-Wahi tunnels.
Their next target was Hafu. They travelled to Po-Koro, where they infiltrated the village and met up with Ronkshou. Word had arrived of Tamaru's death causing the carver to have been assigned a group of guards, so along with a couple of other Makuta-Followers, they planned a quick assassination: Vidar would use his power over Air to quickly kill the one visible guard inside the hut, and Echelon would reanimate him as a puppet to kill Hafu.
The plan quickly went awry, however, and they found themselves under attack by multiple beings. Merror, Skyra, Pirok and others had managed to track them to Po and entered the fray as well. In the chaos, Vidar switched Hafu's mask with that of a dead Guard (leaving the body as a decoy) and escaped; Echelon followed suit through a hidden tunnel, collapsing it after him.
Vidar summoned a Kane-Ra bull to carry them, but they were further pursued by the Toa (of whom Merror had taken charge) on the back of Miha's Gukko. Vidar eventually summoned a sandstorm to throw them off as they moved into a canyon, where he disposed of Hafu. Merror, however, managed to catch up with them, and he and Echelon ended up locked in combat. The two fought each other across the island, but Merror eventually managed to trap Echelon in an ice cave in Ko-Wahi and freeze him solid by absorbing all nearby heat. Merror left, exhausted, with the Necromancer completely unable to free himself. While trapped in the ice, however, he was still able to use the Master Mark he had forged insto himself, and using this he monitored the Mark Bearers. During this time he created the timers as a means of accelerating their progress towards the Temple.
Assault on Pala-KoroEdit
Two months later, a pair of Ko-Matoran stumbled across Echelon while traversing Ko-Wahi. Believing him to be no more than an ice statue, they made camp, and their heatstone thawed out the Dark Toa, freeing him. Having killed and reanimated the Matoran, he left the cave. On the way to his lair he met Xerov, a Vo-Matoran, whom he allowed to travel with him as the Matoran had useful connections.
As they were walking, Echelon was suddenly given a vision by Makuta. It showed him the locations of several groups of Makuta-followers, and the Dark Toa conceived of a plan: to unite these disparate groups into a single force, and strike down the current greatest threat to Makuta's forces: the ILS.
Travelling to Kalen's sanctuary, the Anarchy's cave, and Vitiate's fort, he gathered the various groups and instructed them to meet at Iegasa's shrine in Ko-Wahi. On meeting there, Echelon outlined his ideas - but certain members of the group, particularly Kino Iho, challenged his authority. Fortunately, they were soon visited also by an old acquaintance: Ronkshou. He endorsed Echelon's plan, and instructed them to meet with Ahkmou's 'Kufa' in Xa-Koro. Another visitor arrived - surprisingly, Ambages, the famous architect. He had built Pala-Koro's defences, but mysteriously offered them broken gates. He requested that they sign a contract, to which several of the Followers objected, but Echelon eventually agreed (signing with a semblance of the Master Mark, an eye).
The group moved to Xa-Koro next, to meet with the Kufa. While there, Echelon slew a Skakdi mugger and transformed him into an undead 'Juggernaut'. On meeting the Kufa, they were presented with new weaponry and supplies - but Echelon slipped away, giving no reason for his disappearance.
The Necromancer had sensed, through his Master Mark, that his plot with the Mark Bearers was reaching fruition.
Revealing himself to the Mark Bearers at the Temple, he prepared to activate his Master Mark's primary function: to drain the life and energy from each and every Mark Bearer, granting him near-immortality and considerable power. This plan was foiled when Kearstrunn, revealing himself to in fact be Arekule, activated his own Master Mark and released a self-destruct pulse. Both Master Marks exploded, killing Arekule and severely wounding Echelon. Were it not for the Illusionist's trickery, Echelon would have been beheaded by Dorian on Heuani's orders.
Echelon fled through the jungle, pursued by the newly-formed Toa Astha, before stumbling across the tent of one of the Four Peers on a nearby beach. The Peer offered him healing and aid, and Echelon accepted, shortly being taken aboard the Peer's ship. The Peer spoke with him while sewing up his wound, and the two brokered a deal; in return for the Peer's continued assistance, Echelon would serve as an 'enforce' of sorts to keep their agents in line.
On reaching Le-Wahi, Echelon was dropped on a beach to meet Zadron, and the two proceeded to the jungle near Pala-Koro where they found the troops he had previously gathered, just preparing for the attack. Echelon reassumed command, and, having rallied them, gave the order to advance.
In the ensuing battle, Echelon ended up in combat with multiple beings, including the enemy leader Madrihk, the Toa Aitua necromancer Tupua, and Argentum - a fellow Toa of Magnetism, whose hand Echelon severed using JL's sword. The elemental nullifiers in the village walls forced Echelon to initially rely on his mask, once the walls were destroyed thanks to the Peers' sabotage he was able to bring his magnetic might to bear on the enemy.
With the village heavily damaged and the leader fled, Echelon judged the ILF to be sufficiently crushed and gave to order to withdraw. He then led the remaining Followers to Kini-Nui, to report their victory to Makuta.
When Echelon attempted to gain audience with Makuta, he did not get the warm welcome he had hoped for. The Suva Kaita opened, and a tendril of shadow pushed him down into the black abyss. On the way down, he was mercilessly pummeled by living shadows, until he reached the bottom and was greeted by Manas and his tormentor: Heuani. After a discussion of Echelon's motives and loyalty, Heuani eventually dismissed the Manas and took Echelon to a chamber, where he presented the Necromancer with a Kraata to infect his mask and ensure his loyalty to Makuta's cause. Echelon willingly accepted his punishment, and his Infection was somewhat unusual - rather than the usual homogeneous covering of rust on his Kanohi, it instead formed a tattoo-like pattern on the mask. Also, Echelon's consciousness was not dominated by Makuta's, but rather he was instilled with a nagging subservience to Makuta in the back of his mind, that quelled thoughts of rebellion.
Emerging from Mangaia, he set about continuing the work he had been set on. He instructed Kino in the creation of a Church of Makuta, helped Kyju plan his takeover of Onu-Koro, and visited the Toa Daedra. During this time he also acquired the original body of Skyra Daring.
Having returned to his icy home, Echelon gave shelter and aid to Vidar, Ronkshou and Utu, who had attempted to kill or capture two members of the Wanderer's Company but were defeated by the Matoran and their protector Antrim. Utu was far from pleased to see Echelon again, but his Mark had been badly damaged by Tahu's Essence Stone and the Necromancer was the only one who could repair it. In repairing it, however, Echelon tampered with the Mark and created a Control Stone, binding Utu to his will and turning the Mark Bearer into a mindlessly obedient husk, imprisoned in his own body.
Appearance and ToolsEdit
Echelon’s appearance is an ominous one. Tall and thin, with armour that is black and acid green (with similarly-coloured robes), sleek, and light (it will not stop a weapon), spiked in places. On his shoulders are the carved semblances of two Kanohi Kraahkan.
His mask is shaped and coloured like Mutran’s Kanohi Shelek; crested, mottled black and green, with long scything eyeholes from which his red eyes glow, giving him a malevolent appearance. His fingers are sharp, almost claw-like.
Echelon carries a staff topped with three ornamental blade-like tines cradling a green jewel, which can give out light if Echelon wishes. It seems as though the jewel may have other properties, but it is not clear whether Echelon has access to them. He also possesses three balls of condensed, hardened metal which he keeps in a pouch at his waist; when manipulated with his element, they can be propelled with bullet-like speed.
Abilities and TraitsEdit
From years spent honing his abilities, Echelon has attained an exceptional level of proficiency with his magnetic powers. He possesses great elemental energy reserves as well as precise control, and he utilises these in an expansive arsenal of powerful and complex attacks rivalled by few other elementalists. Throwing opponents about, turning metallic objects into projectiles, and turning opponent's weapons against them are but a few of his strategies. Besides its offensive capabilities, Echelon's unusual skill also has several defensive or non-combat applications; for example, he is able to levitate with relatively little effort. He has a similar level of skill with his Kanohi, able to sustain multiple undead minions at a time. With great concentration, he can even see through the eyes of a thrall and use its mouth to speak. These powerful abilities come at a cost, however. Echelon has little physical strength or endurance, and therefore relies on keeping enemies at a distance. If a combatant gets under his guard, he is highly fragile compared to the majority of Toa.
Echelon is an enigmatic and dark presence on Mata Nui. He is a Dark Toa of brilliant intellect, but also total ruthlessness and evil. He is highly manipulative and calculating, a persuasive speaker, and a cold killer. He has no regard for any sanctity of life nor morality, considering these both weaknesses to be exploited. Echelon believes that knowledge is power, and he pursues both with an iron will. Powerful as he is mysterious, the Necromancer always has another plan, another failsafe...another trap.
Friends and AlliesEdit
"I believe Tamaru has an appointment with destiny."
"So, you would go up against Makuta's chosen servants. You would contradict the will of the Master of Shadows. Do you think that's worth dying for?"
- Some of Echelon's personality was inspired by Magneto from X-Men, particularly his use of magnetism
- The current Echelon could be said to be a combination of two of Ghosthands' characters from the previous RPG: the original Echelon, whose personality and appearance he shares, and Thurduk Jagen, who was an associate of the original Echelon and Toa of Magnetism