Forward By The Editor
Hello everyone, this is Kughii. Welcome to the official story post for Draeverian Joskiir, where his exploits will be posted in a fully edited, book-style state from the point of DJ as the main character. Thanks to everyone who put their time and effort in RPing with DJ to create the material for these chapters! Also, please leave a comment if you have something to say. This blog post will continue to be updated as chapters are edited and revised, so please check back occasionally for more chapters.
Cast of Characters by Player
- Draeverian Joskiir (Kughii, aka Bandwagon Jumper)
- Salamder (Despair)
- Venator (V-3)
- Kav'den (Mef Man)
- Senegal (Emperor Whenua)
- Kohra (Vezok's Friend)
It. Was. Cold. Each step crunched, not the regular crunch of sand or gravel, but the compact, squishing crunch of snow, the sound giving the walking toa a toothache as he trudged on. Each step was near torture, the winds howling past his plugged ears, the snow giving beneath his feet with every few laborious steps.
"Rivet," The toa muttered through a large, white scarf; "It's time to move. I think we've lived here in the cold enough, haven't you?" He continued, the snow lightly falling on his armor, each pitter creating a resonance as it lighted on his shoulders, relaying to his mind the journey it had undergone from the sky to the ground.
"Funny little things."
Chuckling, he realized living in Ko-koro had done one thing for him: he knew where every doorway was. The world was dark, pitch-black to him, interspersed by colors and ripples as sound, music, euphoria graced his ears and spread through his body. Stopping inches from the first stair in front of him, he cocked his head while looking up.
"Why are you here? You weren't here yesterday..." Slowly, with much caution and crawling on all fours in the snow and ice, Draeverian made his way up the stairs, the large sword tapping slightly at the top of each step. "Sorry 'bout that Rivet," he muttered as he patted the weapon's hilt with a spare hand as he resumed a standing posture. Without warning, a massive thunderclap rent his ears. Dropping to his knees, he covered his head and rocked until the sound faded, its inner ripples calming from their jarring origin. "Only a door. This is why I live hear. It's usually quiet." The sudden crunching of footsteps, however, signaled more than just a door.
"Who's there?" He called out, one hand on the ground, feeling the footsteps resonate through the earth, the sound waves of their snowy crunch pinpointing the exact location of their bodies, the other hand itching for collared Rivet.
Salamander, the being who’s feet had been crunching mightily through the snow, turned towards the source of the question, automatically preparing for battle. It may have been the cold of the region, or his frustration at not being able to find Utu, a serial killer with a mark on his shoulder only making him stronger, but he was certainly a bit more jumpy than usual. Shaking his head at his paranoia, Salamander looked up to see a Toa standing at the top of a small flight of stairs. The Toa was of average height, and seemed rather young. His attire, on the other hand, was rather unusual... Over his eyes was a black band of fabric, presumably to shield his eyes from the glare of the sun off of the snow, but otherwise there was nothing too remarkable about him. I wonder if I can get one of those too, Salamander thought, intrigued by the concept.
"My name is Sal, and this is Venator. Who, if I may ask, are you? You look like no Toa I have ever seen before." Salamander asked, his voice answering quickly over the frozen ground. Draeverian visibly cringed at the sound of Sal’s voice; it's raspy undertone hurt his ears like the door from earlier. The definitely masculine vocables came from about twenty paces away. How did I not hear him earlier? He popped his neck slightly, the light snow accumulation on the top of his mask sliding off in a flurry of fast beat ripples and fluttery movements, and then answered in turn, his voice neither deep or high, as if the voice could be more than one pitch at once.
"DJ," Draeverian said, his voice slightly dangerous, but still inviting enough. In the back of his head, he was really getting worried. I'm late for the competition, Draeverian thought to himself as he remembered the tournament he'd just left his home to attend, the traveling satchel on his back and the few widgets at the bottom jingling as he'd been walking, causing his ears some large annoyance. However, even though he'd make himself later than he already was, what's a little warm-up before the main event?
Salamander nodded positively, unaware of the other Toa's blindness. The area was silent for a minute as both sides waited for a response. Finally, Salamander became impatient and asked;
"Is there anything else you wanted? I was sort of in the middle of something, and I don't like it when people waste my time." His eyes narrowed slightly, already beginning to glow with the feverish anticipation of battle.
"Nah," Draeverian said, his head slightly raised, back curved ever so much, his left hand hanging limp at his side; "There wasn't really much I wanted, oh, save one thing would be nice. Mind losing in a fight?"
Draeverian began to hum softly, the melody lingering, feeling, somewhat driving, turning Salmander's blood hotter than it already was. It was a taunt, a reprieve, and oh how it pulled upon the ears of those who heard its melodious polyphony. It was no longer Draeverian’s humming; it was coming from all around, the very icicles on the huts vibrating at different pitches in different beats, the whole creating an organ's match in splendor.
"Soooo," Draeverian began, his word reverberating like a kohlii commentator at the new Ta-koro stadium; "I don't really no much about you, save your voice, which grits and grinds like sandpaper on the wood of a wasted cabinet, meaning your nothing but fabricate, fabricated from loneliness, probably lost and looking for homeliness. Never once shied from a guy like you, unless their armor was dyed deep blue. In which case they were a girl, and if you are, well, that sucks 'cause you better run. I'm gonna' have fun." Okay, not my best, but it should help him on... At least the beat is good. Draeverian smiled, baring his teeth through the front of his Calix and stood, bending to his hip-hop organists of ice.
Salamander felt his blood begin to boil, as if his body itself wanted nothing more than to pound the strange Toa into oblivion. He gasped slightly as the sudden primal rage overtook the rest of him, replacing his previous irritated state with something more akin to a wild beast. Still, there was a part of him attached to reason, or the closest thing to it he possessed. Turning to Venator, Salamander spoke in a low voice, as much to prevent DJ from hearing it as to remain in control for just a moment longer. Without waiting for an answer, Salamander activated his Kadin and rushed straight towards the Toa, his mouth set in a ferocious snarl.
"Go. Now." It was a whisper to Salamander, but a fully-fledged conversation to the toa of sound as his opponent now charged headlong into battle. Okay good. There's two of them. I'll know if the other moves and not be surprised. I can hear the sucker a bio away... He heard the snarl and then something really creeped Draeverian out: Salamander left the ground. Oh, not good. He was blind for real now, no sound waves he had could currently track the flying toa of unknown element. With a groan and a slither or leather on metal, Rivet came forth from her collar, the massive tuning fork held by the ring at the hilt's connection to the two parallel blades. Still standing lax, he began to spin his partner in circles, creating a soft hum as she cut through the air. With the slightest willpower, her humming spread under his control, pushing outwards until he felt the ripples return inwards, bending around the airborne warrior.
"Got ya," Draeverian smiled. He rushed to meet him, Draeverian’s steps impacting the snow with the telltale crunch, crunch, crunch of Ko-koro. Valiantly sure of his prize, he finally gripped Rivet by her hilt and swung, the large sword slicing the white flakes in her path as she bit through air towards the target: Salamander's chest. Without enough time, Salamander acted on instinct, diving down towards the ground. The blade narrowly missed his right arm, but he managed to slip by without getting cut. A half-instant later, Salamander had created a new rain channel in the middle of the road with his face. With a groan, he stood up and brushed the white dust off of his coat. It had been a mighty impact, of that there was no doubt, but his blood ran too hot to let that stop him from fighting. With quick motion, Salamander tore off his coat and tossed it aside. Before it had even hit the ground, he was preparing his next attack.
"Dragon Blast!" Twin pillars of fire erupted from his palms and rocketed towards his enemy. Without waiting for the attack to hit, Salamander took flight once more to get a better idea of his situation. He lazily looped around a few times before catching his breath. When he had, he peered down at the street below, trying to find DJ amidst the expense of white. Draeverian felt the impact and jumped backwards, his foot clipping the edge of the new stairway.
"Karz," he yelped and then fell backwards. The accident was a blessing in disguise, however, as he felt a massive source of heat surge right over his body and continue until the sound of the blast created another blast as it hit snow, followed quickly by the sound of running water.
"A toa of fire," Draeverian said as he sat up, his right hand still tightly clutching Rivet. What do you think, Rivet? Good or bad? Standing up, he brushed the cold powder off his rear and readjusted the white scarf around his throat before saying as he said:
"Man, you fight slippery, for a flame. Aren't you all hotheads who stand and trade blows, even Mata-nui knows you all burnt up inside, the fire of light is what's been trashin' your pride." The rhymes still sucked. With a grunt he began to run forward again, but felt the slightest resistance, as if his legs were encased in armor heavier than normal and his legs had to strain harder than usual, the sound they made obviously in reference to the new condition.
"Toa number two is using his mask on me and you," Draeverian muttered, then he paused, as if something had just dawned on him. "You're right. Let's do that. We’ll break the lock and make our key to victory."
Draeverian rushed forward, Rivet trailing close to his side behind him, each crunch of his feet reverberating out and back, telling him of his new opponent’s location. The only thing he had to worry about was the exact size of the being. On instinct, he swung high, hoping the toa wasn't some punitive creature who’d never fully grown in his transformation. He grimaced as he was reminded of the time he'd attacked a toa under similar conditions to find out the toa was still matoran stature: a fact Draeverian's ribs were long in forgetting.
"Take THIS!" He crowed as Rivet slashed upwards. Draeverian’s sword was blocked with the ringing of blade on blade.
"To what right are you allowed to come up to my ally and myself and begin to insult him?" The weapon’s owner demanded, his dry accent undermining his biting words. Blocking Draeverian's blade with metal was the best thing Draeverian could have wished for. A blow to the body was one thing, but to actually BLOCK his attack; oh the sound was just too precious.
"Contact." Draeverian threw the energy outwards, slamming the rings of sound away from Rivet, dumping them wholly onto his opponent’s sword and body, magnifying the ripples with ease possible from constant rigorous practice. The sword hummed as it shook violently in the opposing toa's hands. The cold sound of crystalizing snow, not painful, but a gradual sound of crackers being broken and shaken in their glass jar, that was what Draeverian heard, as his Venator began to wield his powers over ice, attempting to freeze Draeerian’s feet to the snowy ground. His Calix lit up, and with a fly he hooked Venator's sword between Rivet's two teeth, and threw himself upwards into a roundhouse kick, his point of balance now the sword in Rivet's maw. Venator released his grip on his sword on pure instinct, Draeverian’s attack grazing the air around Venator’s weak leg.
While Draeverian and Venator traded blows, Salamander had looped around in the air; the sudden rush of battle-lust quickly cooling once the sound of Draeverian’s song became faint. I need to focus. Venator suddenly stiffened, as if to keep his body in place. Salamander wasn't a swordsman, but Draeverian’s sudden retaliation made apparent the weakness of such a move, bringing a bold plan to Salamander’s heart. This is a chance! Angling down, Salamander dove towards the street. He felt the cold air whip past his face, but he paid it no attention. When he was only a few feet away from the ground, he pulled out of the dive and rushed towards DJ, his arms stretched out as if to catch Dreaverian in a hug.
"WOAH!" Draeverian released a cry of shock as suddenly his focal point of stability dissipated and fell, without him really knowing how. He'd felt the ripples of the fire-toa careening towards him. Calix flashing, Draeverian caught himself in a single-hand-stand and then spun his legs clockwise, the rotor effect creating a driveline knee kick towards the aerial opponent. With luck, I'll get his face and not break my knee.
The world moved in slow motion. Salamander flew over the ground, the rush of the wind silent in his concentration. He watched as Venator let go of his sword, and Draeverian fell back on one hand, twisting his body so that he could kick Salamander mid-flight. Salamander almost laughed, but he felt doing so would ruin the mood. This... I can handle easily. In his mind, Salamander played through his stunt, satisfied that it would work and be an impressive show of force at the same time. As Draeverian's leg swung towards his face, Salamander twisted counter-clockwise so that his body was perpendicular to the ground and the attack. Concentrate. Keep flying. No matter what, keep flying. Salamander felt the blow hit, but didn't falter. Without hesitation, he grabbed Draeverian's leg and shot forward, dragging the blind Toa with him. He shot into the air, still carrying the now-dazed Toa with him.
"WOAH! WOAH! WOAH!" Draeverian screamed as he flew outwards, the momentum of the figure yanking him into the air. He was blind. For real now. There was nothing he could really do but feel his left hand up towards Sal's fist, which he promptly grabbed. Now the hard-part starts. Draeverian gritted his teeth and pulled his body upwards, doing a mid-flight abdominal crunch. Somehow, he managed to return Rivet to her collar, blinded as he was, but the long hours of practicing to collar his partner finally paid off as she slid smoothly into the contraption against the howling wind. Both hands free, he gripped Salamander body and held, his mask of fate turning bright white as it began its duty. Salamander felt Draeverian shifting, and when he looked down, the Toa had somehow managed to grab onto his body. His plan to drop DJ from a suitable height (he had been thinking about a thousand feet) wouldn't work as long as the other Toa was clingng to him like a baby Brakas monkey to its mother. Okay, suit yourself. A plan already in mind, Salamander flew higher still, until all of Ko-Koro was nothing more than a large blot on the otherwise blank expense of the region. When he felt that he had gone high enough, Salamander looked down to see DJ still clinging to his body. More than that, he was still clinging to the foolish hope that he might be able to walk away from this battle. Salamander wanted nothing more than to crush that hope beneath his feet, to burn it until it was unrecognizable, to shred it to pieces, and finally to show it to DJ. Let him see his "hope". It will be in scorched pieces, but let him see it. That is the nature of this world. These thoughts in mind, Salamander lifted his remaining free hand and faced it towards DJ. His face was set into a calm expression of lazy enjoyment that masked the fierce emotions he felt.
"Dragon Blast." The burst of flames that erupted from his palm once more was again directed at DJ, but this time luck wouldn't save him. Let them burn... Let them all burn, Salamander thought with a vengance. Draeverian released his grip to dodge the heat. It was a really, really bad decision.
Draeverian plummeted, head first, over the edge of the cliff Ko-Koro was built upon, descending into the sounds of the jungle thousands of feet below. Pulling up all his willpower, the icicle organ he had created stopped its beat, his transmission music would be too much of a tax on his concentration to be able to live through this. With a silent shout, he whipped around, now falling spread-out like a Le-toran with a mask of levitation. Only, Draeverian didn't HAVE a mask of levitation. He had a mask of fate.
"Don't fail me now, Rivet," He said as he relieved her of her collar, the wind almost taking her away from his hand in its whistling greed. He descended rapidly, in seconds the sound of the jungle was more than just audible to the plummeting biomass: it was a roar. He made contact with a massive leave, Rivet biting her way deep through the rippling sound-surface of the plant as he slid down it's gargantuan expanse, falling onto the following leaves in similar style until he was deposited, feet-first thanks to the Calix, on the jungle floor.
"Never again," He said, then collapsed.