“Today is a great day for our village of Ta-Koro,” Turaga Vakama proclaimed. His gaze wandered over the crowded stadium. Villagers from three of the six villages of Mata Nui were crowded into the carved stone bleachers. One section of the bleachers overflowed with a rowdy, brown-masked group from the desert village of Po-Koro, while the quieter, more thoughtful residents of the watery village of Ga-Koro watched with amusement. The hosting Ta-Matoran were scattered throughout the crowd.
Three of the six Toa Nuva sat on a special dais overlooking the scene. The Turaga smiled and bowed slightly toward them.
“We are thankful to the Great Spirit for his gift of six guardians who represent the elements,” he continued. “Fire. Water. Earth. Air. Ice. And Stone. Our mighty Toa, whose valiant quests and heroic deeds have saved us many times from the forces of Makuta…”
There was a visible shudder from the crowd as the Turaga spoke the name of the island’s dark, mysterious enemy.
“… and given us hope for the future, for our history’s next chapter.”
Turaga Vakama bowed to the Toa. “Three of these protectors are with us today. Let us welcome them,” he announced. “First, the spirit of Fire, Toa Tahu!”
As the Turaga spoke his name, Tahu stood and leaped onto the wall behind the Toa’s box. He waved his magma swords, sending a ribbon of fire searing through the air.
The crowd roared with delight.
“From the village of water,” Vakama proclaimed, “Toa Gali! And from the village of stone, Toa Pohatu!”
Gali stood, raising her blue-handled aqua ax in salute to the cheering crowd. Nearby, Pohatu did the same, giving a friendly wave with his bronze-tinged climbing claws.
Vakama continued, praising all the Toa for their brave deeds. As he spoke, Tahu turned and bowed to Gali, who was still standing. “Pleasure to see you again, Gali,” he said.
“Thank you, Tahu.”
The Fire Toa gestured to the seat beside his own. But Gali sat down in a different seat, leaving an empty one between the two of them.
Rolling his eyes, Pohatu leaped over Tahu and sat down between them. He put a friendly arm over the shoulders of each of them.
“You two,” he said with a shake of his head. “Still so ill at ease?”
Gali raised one eyebrow playfully. “I think my brother is afraid of having his fire extinguished,” she said, glancing past Pohatu at Tahu.
“Sister,” Tahu responded, his own tone just as light and playful, “against me you’d be nothing but steam – hot air, as they say.”
Below, the Turaga were watching the Toa’s exchange. Onewa, the Turaga of Po-Koro, shook his head worriedly. “The Toa squabble like Gukkos over a berry,” he remarked.
Turaga Nokama of Ga-Koro nodded. “Their recent victories are a blessing,” she said, “but they’ve forgotten how they need one another.”
Turaga Vakama had paused in his speech just long enough to hear them. “Indeed, Nokama,” he said, glancing up at the Toa with concern.
Then he stepped forward once again. He raised his arm, and the crowd quieted.
“We dedicate this new kolhii field to the Great Spirit, Mata Nui,” Vakama said. “And to the three virtues: unity, duty, destiny.”
“Unity, duty, destiny!” the gathered Matoran cried in unison.
Turaga Vakama smiled. “Let the tournament begin!”