Well do I remember the first time I saw the Kanohi Avohkii, or Mask of Light. Truly no more vile or disgusting thing has ever been created in this universe. There it was in the hands of Teridax, not even having the courtesy to be the color of a lump of clay when not being worn – oh, no, the Avohkii gleamed golden. Locked within it was the one power we Makuta dreaded, and the unspoken promise of something far worse – the existence, someday, of an actual Toa of Light.
Whispered rumors had reached Destral that such a mask had come into existence on Artakha. Naturally, Makuta Kojol, being the idiot he was, had not learned this directly. But he was more than ready to lead an armada against the island and seize the thing.
Teridax wanted a subtle operation, a few Rahkshi, that’s all. Kojol, at his peril, chose to ignore this. He assembled a strike force of Visorak, Rahkshi, and even a few Exo-Toa, intending to overwhelm any defenses on the island with one crushing blow.
It didn’t quite work out that way. The first things the Visorak ran into when they hit the beach were two massive serpents that seemed to be made of crystal. The Visorak, supremely confident as always, thought they would make short work of such large Rahi. Instead, the rays of the sun focused through the bodies of the snakes promptly incinerated Kojol’s entire first wave.
Kojol pulled his ships back and tried another approach. Fortunately, Rahkshi are good climbers and were able to get a clawhold on more treacherous terrain. While the Matoran on the island posed little threat, the devices of the island’s ruler – also named Artakha – took a heavy toll on the Rahkshi. They bought enough time for the Exo-Toa to deploy, however, and with their power added to the battle, the island fell.
Kojol could have – should have – taken everything in sight from the fortress. But it took him so long to come ashore, and so long to find the Avohkii (since the interior of the fortress was booby-trapped), and then he claims there was this intense blizzard as he tried to depart. Worse, he was never supposed to have set foot on the island at all – the point was for this to be a secret raid, not one that could be tied to the Brotherhood. (True, Visorak and Rahkshi are associated with us, but without the actual presence of a Makuta there, we could still deny knowledge of what happened.)
Kojol returned to Destral in “triumph,” and despite disobeying orders, Teridax praised him for claiming the mask. The Toa Hagah who served us showed no indication they knew anything about the raid, meaning somehow our plans were still safe from view. The story, it seemed, was over.
Then something strange began to happen. Two squads of Rahkshi dispatched to a remote part of the southern continent were never seen alive again. When I found them, their armor was reduced to scraps and their kraata to dark smears on the ground. It seemed an interesting coincidence that they were the same Rahkshi who were on the Artakha raid.
The Exo-Toa were next. In the middle of the night, they vanished from their guard posts. To this day, we have no idea what became of them. By then, I was beginning to suspect that Artakha, or someone close to him, was taking revenge for our raid. That would mean Kojol would be next. Teridax needed to be informed immediately…
So, naturally, I did nothing.
Why? Because Kojol was a posturing, arrogant, obnoxious buffoon. If someone else wanted to spare me the trouble of killing him one day, so be it.
Oh, it looked like an accident, of course. He was visiting Xia, presenting them with a new armor-eating virus he wanted them to incorporate into a weapon. Either he made the virus better than he knew or else someone substituted a different one – for when it escaped, it turned out to have a taste for protosteel. His armor was devoured in seconds. Well, accidents happen. Of course, that didn’t explain how his energy form wound up in a high-temperature Vortixx furnace where it was completely destroyed.
The virus had died almost immediately upon finishing its work, and we have never seen its like again. The Vortixx claimed innocence, but Teridax ordered part of the island razed anyway, as a reminder to them to be more careful in the future.
It was only later that I realized what a fool I had been. Kojol was the only one who knew where the island of Artakha was, and I should have forced the knowledge from him before he died. When the Brotherhood tried to seek out others likely to know where the island might be located, we found that all had mysteriously died. Artakha – if it was him – was being very thorough.
In the end, we did not keep the Mask of Light for long. Teridax’s squad of Toa Hagah actually dared invade the Destral fortress and steal the mask! They paid for it in the end – remind me to write sometime of Roodaka’s nasty sense of humor – but they did escape with the mask.
Once that happened – once we knew there were Toa who had divined our new purpose in life – the Plan had to go forward swiftly. The time had come to bring down the Great Spirit and begin our march to power.