Tuesday, November 10, 2009
From this it is clear to me, and Milethi agrees, that the Vorox and Zesk had a common evolutionary ancestor. In simpler terms, long ago, they were one and the same. I had actually heard long ago that this was the case, but the information was heavily disputed and speculation on the matter is widely considered taboo. Fortunately my personal web of contacts and information spans great distances and time alike, and I have been able to assemble quite many useful pieces of this puzzle.
I need but one further bit of research from Milethi, a further confirmation of sorts, to complete this story. She has agreed to my new request, thankfully, but unfortunately for me, this time she has requested more difficult "errands" in return.
Now, I have a bit of travelling to do, but I will of course return at the earliest convenience...
Monday, November 9, 2009
Here's a size comparison with the normal type:
Next up is Tierakh, pronounced "tee-eh-rock." Tierakh was raised & trained to be a personal bodyguard of Teridax. His most exceptional feature is his Shadow Shield, an intangible device powered by pure elemental shadow energy. It appears as a very small, shadowy field, but when an attack is inbound, whether physical or energy-based, the shadow force extends forth and concentrates ahead of where the attack is aimed, absorbing it and rendering it ineffective.
It is believed that Makuta Teridax absorbed the life force of Tierakh to supplement his own power in advance of usurping control of the body of Mata Nui.
Saturday, October 24, 2009
For the staff I again referred to this pic from the Dark Hunters book, since I was really underwhelmed by the official version that was used in the combiner set.
The figure has pretty decent articulation and stability. The only thing that's really lacking is strength in the articulated right hand, which makes posing with the staff a bit tricky. The final head came out pretty decent, though.
Vengeance reluctantly obliged, retreating to a solitary shoreline cove at the northwest corner of the island to gather his thoughts. There he sat, silently, staring aimlessly at a point on the ground just a few paces in front of him. For four days and nights he sat, pondering future possibilities, running scenarios through his head. Just before dawn on the fifth day, he stood. He realized that the only possibility of gaining the upper hand on Teridax would be if the Dark Hunters all united in singular pursuit of this goal, something that would never happen without a leader who was completely dedicated to the task.
Eight nights later, The Shadowed One was walking back to his throne room after a day of surveying the land, when suddenly, Vengeance sprung upon him from a dark perch above. Vengeance charged his rhotuka, but before he could fire it, The Shadowed One destroyed it with a blast from his Staff of Protodermis. The two separated and The Shadowed One fired off several more blasts, but Vengeance easily deflected the attacks with his incredible shield. The Shadowed One reared back and charged with all of his might, his weapon pointed straight forward. They met with a thunderous clash and the very tip of the Staff of Protodermis just barely penetrated Vengeance's shield. The Shadowed One fired a blast, sending a small stream of Protodermis directly into Vengeance, but with much of it reflecting back from the shield. The substance instantly hardened on both Dark Hunters, and The Shadowed One could no longer control the staff. Protodermis continued to stream out and immediately harden, encasing the two in an ever-growing, solid mass, until all of the energy of the staff had been drained.
For several minutes there was complete and utter silence, until a faint reddish-orange glow began to emanate from the folds & creases of the protodermis mass. Vengeance was using his telepathic powers to activate The Shadowed One's powerful eye beam attack. Incredible heat and pressure built up in the core until the protodermis completely liquified from the inside. The outer shell glowed intensely and the chamber began to shake. Fractures appeared on the surface of the mass, and then, in an instant, it burst in all directions, sending a concussion wave rocketing down all corridors of the lair. Splatters of molten protodermis re-hardened on the walls and ceiling of the chamber, but where two encrusted Dark Hunters once stood, now there was only one.
Time will tell how this shocking development will affect the future of the Dark Hunters, and whether what remains of Vengeance will manage yet to take down the powerful Makuta Teridax.
Friday, October 23, 2009
Breaking from the way I normally work, I searched the Web for examples before starting on this guy because I knew wih the popularity of Toa MOCs, there were sure to be some previous attempts. Sure enough, there are some out there, but I didn't look them up for inspiration -- I looked to see what was already done to make sure mine wouldn't look like any of them!
I used this Nidhiki picture as my main inspiration during the build to get the appropriate mix of colors. Since he was a Toa of Air, I wanted to give him wings, and the Mistika pieces looked just right. It was extremely tricky and took hours to get them mounted, because I wanted them to fold into a diamond neatly behind his body. I ended up setting them up on a beam that would slide straight down about 3/4ths of an inch to extend the wings, and move back up to keep the front profile heroic in nature. When the wings had a fixed mount low enough to fit under the arms properly, they looked all wrong when folded up.
Finally, there's the whole deal with the Air Scythe. I'm sure there are plenty of concepts about how this should look, but this is my simple take on it, using a piece from the TRU titan Toa Mata Nui set, mounted at an angle and with a curvy handle. In putting this together I just looked at pictures of real scythes and tried to find what would approximate that look without inspiring images of the Grim Reaper.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
The horizontal part of the shield actually can be pulled out slightly and rotated parallel to the vertical part for carrying. I don't have a good picture of the left hand but I set it up so it looks like he's holding a real shield handle with his clenched fist, rather than integrating a ball socket into the structure of the shield itself. The axe uses two Axxon axe halves back to back, forming parallel blade edges. There's a hand & wrist guard only on the right side for a little extra protection -- he didn't need one on his shield side because, well, there's a shield there!
Valtys was strong of mind, body, and will, not one to be crossed. At the same time, he was unshakably pious and just, always looking out for the best interests of his people before all other things. When the Core War broke out, Valtys initially wanted no part in it other than to protect the Agori of his land from a secondary invasion by the overzealous forces of other tribes. However, as the fighting intensified and broadened across the entire planet, it was Valtys who formulated the plan to assault the northern region and claim the energized protodermis, and it was he who led the successful charge.
Why such a dramatic change of desires? Why from shunning the war would he dive directly into it? His plan was to secure the energized protodermis, extract it, and deliver it directly to the Great Beings to transport if off the planet. With the object of the war removed from play, the war would surely end.
Well, end, the war did, didn't it?! Not the way Ackar had planned, obviously. Rapid extraction of energized protodermis enhanced the pressure differentials in the planet's core, ultimate leading to the Shattering.
Valtys was thought by some to have been destroyed by that horrific event, but this is not so. He survived, battered and ashamed, swearing to dedicate the remainder of his years to the protection of the remaining Fire Agori, and to never forgive himself for his horrific mistake. He died many, many years later, standing his ground against a marauding horde of Bone Hunters, allowing a band of Agori and Glatorian, Ackar among them, to safely escape.
Some Agori are said to have seen Valtys's spirit in the form of a nearly transparent silhouette roaming the desert in the last moments of light after the sun sets.
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
The thing is, though I had tried hard to mix up masks and equipment to both ensure good variety between all of the Rilovian MOCs and also to keep them from looking like Matoran analogues, I accidentally failed at the latter part with the elders. I see some serious commonality with a couple of like-colored Turaga in there! Matau & Nokama anyone? Argh. Today I got a package from an eBay seller that helped me to remedy this embarassing predicament like so:
Voilla! Now I feel much better. Here's the whole crew with the updated old dudes:
Saturday, October 3, 2009
Based on recent and fossilized remains I provided, Milethi has assured me that with very little margin of error, this diminutive creature, barely larger than a Bohrok-Va, is the ancestral Vorox as it would have appeared between 50,000 and 80,000 of your "years" before the Shattering.
Most troubling this is, indeed, as it flies in the face of history as we know it. The Vorox are said to have once been proud, upright-walking, talking, very intelligent beings who received particular attention from the Great Beings themselves, only to later devolve into the beasts we know of today as a result of the cataclysm. What we see here looks like a perverse larval form of a Zesk! What could possibly be the explanation?
Hmm, the Zesk. "History" tells us that the Zesk have a parallel story to that of the Vorox. If the Vorox had such humble origins...
I must contact Milethi again. I have a new assignment for her!
Friday, October 2, 2009
Saw the new movie, Bionicle: The Legend Reborn this week! No spoilers here, but as you know, it follows the story of Mata Nui as he comes back to life on Bara Magna after his spirit is expelled from his mighty mechanical body (itself taken over by Makuta Teridax) within the Ignika.
Monday, September 21, 2009
The latest from Zeyek tells the story of the Hordika in an alternate reality. Technically it does start with the Toa Metru and quickly breeze through their Toa Hordika phase, but it really focuses on the fully-devolved Hordika who are no longer Toa in any way. Haven't you ever wondered what real Hordika would look like? There was an official LEGO fully-mutated Hordika Dark Hunter built by a fan, but I don't at all agree with the direction he took it. From proud upright humanoid Toa Metru, the mutation seen in Web of Shadows takes our heros to a shorter, slouched-over form that clearly suggests that they're mutating into 4-legged animals. With my Hordika MOCs I just tried to follow the progression to a natural end.
To let you in on a little secret, this whole mini-project came about because I had way too many large claws and wanted to figure out a way to use up a lot of them at once by inventing a claw-bearing species! I guess it worked, because I used up 24 claws. I still have too many extras, but at least now I can close my "feet" drawer a little more easily.
I don't recall how or why I came up with the idea of Great Hordika, but I was really happy with how Vakama turned out.
Can't win 'em all I guess! At least it's not so bad from this angle though.
The genetic differences between the six Toa caused them to assume new unique characteristics when their transformation was completed. Whenua become short and stocky in his build, with strong shoulders and upper arms, but relatively weak hind legs that made him the slowest runner.
Nokama grew long and sleek, able to leap great horizontal distances.
Matau's transformation seemed to have stalled before it was complete, as he continued to walk primarily on two legs. He was also the most diminutive of the Hordika, and the most greedy.
Nuju's new form was uninteresting, but his personality was most unusual. His nerves were shaky and he became the most passive and easily frightened of the group.
Vakama, predictably, was the most ill-tempered Hordika, prone to overreaction and fits of rage. He felt himself superior to his brethren in every way, but the deep evil & hate within him clouded his judgement and limited his ability to act on his feelings.
It was Onewa, exceedingly strong of body and clear of mind, who proved to be a natural leader.
The numerous deadly Rahi that inhabited Metru Nui in its darkest days made survival difficult for any and all creatures, and the Hordika found that they were best off sticking together to find & hunt food and to defend themselves. Onewa's consistent good judgement, combined with his prowess in battle, caused him to gain strength rapidly and he could feel pure power coursing through his veins. Eventually, he was able to undergo a second transformation, becoming the very first Great Hordika.
An enormous beast oozing raw physical strength, Great Hordika Onewa was not a creature to challenge, and yet, with his newfound power came no change in his demeanor. He continued to lead his fellow Hordika, but freely shared all food he gathered or caught, and demanded nothing in return but respect and loyalty.
Vakama, meanwhile, grew ever more jealous of Onewa, and irritated by the others whom he saw as increasingly weak and subservient. He turned to the mischievous Rahaga Iruini for solace. In private meetings they mocked the other Hordika and fantasized of a day when the others would be but obedient slaves to the clearly superior and more capable Vakama. Over time, the tone of these conversations became more serious, and the two actually began to devise a plan to turn Vakama's dream into a reality.
Over the following year, Vakama pretended to slowly acquiesce to Onewa's leadership and even began doing favors for the Great Hordika such as bringing him his favorite fruit. Into one of these delicious treats, Iruini secretly injected a mutated form of the Hordika venom. Upon injesting it, Onewa quickly felt a new surge of energy as the venom briefly boosted his strength as it took hold. Not long later, though, he started to become terribly disoriented, and he instructed the group to rest at a camp while he broke ranks to collect himself alone where the others would not witness his wavering condition. Vakama quietly followed a safe distance behind. Onewa became increasingly concerned about what was happening to him, and his walk turned into a frustrated jog. His eyesight began to fail and he crashed and tripped through bushes and vines, eventually collapsing to the ground in a small clearing. This is when Vakama revealed himself and what he had done. Onewa summoned the strength to come to his feet and angrily charge after the treacherous Vakama, but nearly blind and with weakening joints, he couldn't mount any form of effective attack. Vakama merely sidestepped and smiled before pouncing visciously upon his poisoned victim, brutally assaulting him and bringing him to within an inch of his life. Standing over the head of the defeated and nearly lifeless Onewa, Vakama himself underwent the dramatic transformation into a Great Hordika, while Onewa simultaneously shrunk back to normal size.
Onewa would actually recover from his physical injuries, but the mutated venom left him blind and simple-minded. From then on, the heartless Vakama would subjugate the Hordika and lead them with an iron fist, or should I say, four iron claws.
Sunday, August 30, 2009
Milethi is as much of a lone ranger in her field as Zeyek is in his. Needing to give her some special equipment to match her unique status on the universe-wide playing field, I realized I had finally found a perfect recipient for my purple-hued sun-damaged copper Huna. Literally everything was built out & down from the mask, focusing on decent height (about 9 1/2"), confidence, and femininity (even got heels in there). Most of the structure is completely custom, with a Mistika Onua front piece giving just the triangular shape I wanted for the middle of the torso (doesn't show up so well in this photo). I'm not entirely sure what she has in her hand. Let's just call it a ceremonial scepter, shall we?
Friday, August 28, 2009
Milethi has studied countless species of rahi plus a handful of higher-order creatures and mastered a process of determining what she calls "evolutionary momentum." With this momentum calculated, she can predict the future form of a species. Even more intriguing to me, she can actually determine the evolutionary origin of a Bionicle being if its physical form has altered over time. The process requires significant and accurate data about the subject, and can take many weeks of work to complete, even with the help of an impressive array of electronic computational devices. The results always have a margin of error, but that margin can itself be reasonably calculated.
It has taken me many years and quite a significant pool of resources to track Milethi down. Now that I have finally made her acquaintance, though, I have managed to convince her to conduct some research on my behalf, in exchange for some... let us say, errands. I have always had a keen interest in the story of the Vorox (and, by affiliation, the Zesk). Genetic experiments by the Great Beings, the Shattering, regression, yes, yes, I've heard it a thousand times but there are holes in those stories the size of a Kleetha whale's eyes. There is a bigger picture, a deeper story, and I must discover it.
My first request to Milethi is to calculate the earliest possible evolutionary form of the Vorox. I will report back when she has results. It may take... awhile.
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Well, one thing led to another, and soon I found myself photographing a whole bunch of gold Bionicle stuff side by side.
As I kept digging, I found even more.
After taking this shot I realized that I had forgotten to raid one of my bins, and I missed all of the Takanuva armor & shoulder pieces. Why do I have so much gold? Basically I needed a lot for another original "species" I've invented for my next upcoming epic. However, I certainly didn't need this many. The bling just got to me -- it corrupted me! Now I can't get enough! Somebody help, make it stoooooppppppp....
Friday, August 21, 2009
Here are a few more of my Agori representatives (before I stopped following instructions and tore these guys all apart). First is Atakus, ready to parry any attack and strike a devastating blow no matter what move you make against him.
Here's a very amped-up and ferocious Solek. You can almost hear him taunting, "Come on! Bring it!"
One more angle for effect.