The war was over.
Not that I got to witness the final, grand battle between the forces of the Brotherhood of Makuta and the upstart League of Six Kingdoms. Oh, no – Miserix’s lieutenant claimed the honor of leading the attack and getting all the glory. I and another Makuta, Gorast, were sent on what amounted to clean-up duty in the fortress of Kalmah.
Needless to say, I was not excited about this task. If you have ever been to the northwestern regions of the League’s territory, you know that it stinks like the breath of a Kanohi Dragon and is littered with the carcasses of dead Rahi. Of course, that last is my fault – Kalmah never showed the proper respect due a Makuta, so I never sent him Rahi with a lifespan of more than three days.
Add to that the company of Gorast, as warm and friendly as cuddling up with a spiked lava eel. She said nothing on the trip north, other than to urge me to move faster, which was fine with me. Gorast is a fierce warrior, but once you have finished discussing dismemberment, slaughter, carnage, and decapitation, she has nothing much left to say.
Kalmah’s “fortress” was hardly that. Word of the League’s surrender had spread and that remnant of his army that had been left behind had sacked the place. They had fled before we arrived, so that all we found was a pile of rock and debris. A brief search revealed no signs of any weapons, charts, equipment, or anything else that would be of use.
After a while, Gorast spotted a few stragglers and hunted them down. I tried to clear some of the rubble to make a space to sit down. That was when I spotted the carving. Looking it over, I realized that some of my creations – the Rahi beasts I named “blade burrowers” – had defied the odds and survived. What’s more, Kalmah had discovered something most interesting about them. When enough blade burrowers are present, they start to tunnel every which way. At first glance, the tunnels look random – two long, curved ones running north and south, with smaller ones in between them – with the same pattern of construction, repeated over and over again. But Kalmah had realized they were not random at all, as any fool could see. No – the blade burrowers were constructing a map.
But… a map of what?
That question plagues me to this day. The shape of the tunnels looks like no land mass I know of. I even once tried having an imprisoned Toa wearing a Mask of Translation communicate with the burrowers, but to no avail. It seems the burrowers don’t know why they are building the tunnels in this pattern either, only that they must.
I felt certain then, and still do now, that this means something… perhaps something devastating. But it is a mystery beyond even the Brotherhood’s capacity to solve… and although a Makuta should never admit to feeling fear, I confess the memory of that carving haunts my dreams.