The Second Great Prophecy was told shortly after the fall of the First Toa to Makuta's dark hand. It was conveyed to Takua by the Great Spirit in his escape from Kini-Nui, and with wisdom, the Chronicler kept these hallowed words close to himself, relaying them to no one, not even the other members of his company. The seven Matoran escaped before Makuta could find them and smite them immediately.
Takua, as though guided by the hand of Mata Nui, inexplicably led his group to a hidden location that he could not have discovered on his own. This was the Keeping Place; Takua knew its name because Mata Nui had told it to him. To the others, it looked simply like a sheer cliff, but Takua knew that it was more; a stone plate in the middle of the edge told him this much. On it was carved a series of clues in the written form of the Bird Speech, dialect of the island's winged creatures and the language in which Nuju speaks. Somehow, Takua was able to understand the writing.
The Confiding of the Clues
Takua thought for a long while, and the other Matoran of his company waited in tense silence. Finally, Takua told his companions that, even though the Mata were dead or worse, a new chance for heroes existed. It lay here. He told them that they must help him keep the secret and do as he said, and bid all the company to stand out of earshot. One by one, he called them forth and gave them one of the clues to remember and carry.
Takua found a piece of flat shale, and asked Hafu the stone-carver to chisel into it a series of symbols that Hafu did not understand. It was the words of the Second Great Prophecy that resonated in Takua, but which he knew he would soon forget, written in the Bird Speech. He also had Hafu copy down the same symbols as were on the stone marker of the cliff: the first six clues. Surely enough, Takua forgot the passage and rhyme of the prophecy within minutes, as he forgot the clues that were not his. Mata Nui had made him forget, so that in the event of Takua's capture, the enemy would not discover all.
The company knew that they must disperse, lest they be too easy to kill and take. Takua gave the slab with the prophecy to Taipu, thinking that a carved stone would be safest and least obtrusive in the deep dark mine of Onu-Koro. And so, the Matoran tried to return to their daily lives; all save Takua, who vanished into concealment. Aside from the Chronicler, they would not be successful.
Makuta unleashed the Rahkshi for the first time shortly after the fall of the Toa Mata, to exercise his power and further discourage the Matoran from revolt, but he quickly retracted them, and continued to breed the foul things over the following years. At the present time, he has a countless army of them waiting to be ordered about. In secret, Makuta built in his dark lair a massive and impregnable Vault, in which he stowed his treasures and other objects of power. In the innermost layer of the Vault, Makuta kept the First Toa’s Essence Stones, objects of great power that contained a large portion of the elemental energy and life force of their donors.
Makuta also crafted for himself a servant. This servant was the Toa of Shadow Heuani. Heuani's origins are unknown; what is known is that Makuta granted him the most savage and powerful of elements, immense physical strength, speed, and agility, near-invincibility, and a wily, twisted mind.
With both Heuani and his Rahkshi contained and reserved, Makuta granted the island a period of relative peace, but for the fact that he began to summon to the island foreign beings: Skakdi, Vortixx, and others, any and all Makuta believed had evil tendencies and could bend to his whim. In response, the Great Spirit turned scores of Matoran to Toa, hoping to counter the surge of corruption, but none of these forced Toa had the same power or goodness in them as had the Mata. The island flourished cautiously under Makuta's watchful eye. Taipu, made afraid by the peace, gave the shale tablet to Whenua and went into hiding alone.
The Chronicler's Theft
When Makuta (working through his agents) began to kill and vanish away the members of the Chronicler's Company, though, and when these Matoran revealed that they knew clues to some grand riddle, Takua decided that the time had to be now to act upon the words of his prophecy. He found those still alive of his group and secretly told them to not reveal their clues to anyone. Then, unseen and unfelt by the darkness, Takua managed to break into the Vault and steal the six Essence Stones.
Makuta quickly discovered the theft. He was enraged, and alerted Heuani, ordering him to find out who had done this and to retrieve the stones. Makuta sent troops of Rahkshi around the island to all of the safe houses and secret places in his extensive memory to look for the stones. On these searches, the Rahkshi occasionally ran into resistance, and huge battles ensued. The populace of the island was once more reminded of the vast power of these deadly servants. But the search was fruitless; none of the stones were found by Makuta’s minions.
At the same time, Heuani managed to capture Kapura, one of the only two of the Company aside from Takua still alive, and wrangled his clue out of him, as well as how there were six clues. Heuani rejoiced and killed Kapura, so that the dead Matoran's clue would not reach ears aside from Makuta's.
A group of Matoran, headed by the Matoran Stannis, had been following the trail of clues left by the ex-Company. Whenua and Stannis conversed, and when Stannis asked about the whereabouts of Taipu, Whenua said that he did not know, but revealed the tablet. He told Stannis of how he'd conferred with the other Turaga about this tablet, but only Nuju understood what it meant, and Nuju refused to translate the words, for fear that Makuta would discover them. Makuta never bothered to learn the languages of the beautiful creatures, and as such the tablet was as much indecipherable to him as anyone else. Only Nuju could read the Bird Speech; after all, he spoke it.
Whenua decided to trust Stannis, and gave him the tablet. Stannis and his group travelled up to Ko-Koro to try and weasel its meaning out of Nuju. At last, Nuju consented to translate the tablet. In doing so, he made the Second Great Prophecy comprehensible to Stannis, and uncovered the remaining of the six clues. But before Nuju could relay these clues to Stannis, he was seized by Makuta, pulled down into the earth by darkness.
The Parakuka Unleashed
All across the island, Heuani abducted the other Turaga, using everything from subtle trickery to outright force to snatch them away. When all six were gathered in Mangaia, Makuta forced the first of the Parakuka upon them, thereafter sending the Turaga into a deep sleep, the slugs latched to their backs. Makuta told Heuani that the militant pro-Matoran group, the Island Liberation Front, was planning to attack the Nui-Rama Hive in Le-Koro, and that Heuani would lead Makuta’s forces in the battle. Heuani, with Turaga in tow, departed for the Hive.
In the subsequent battle, the ILF slowly but surely battered away at the Hive, killing masses of Nui-Rama, thinning the seemingly endless swarm of deadly bugs. This swarm, and the battle itself, was however only meant only to buy time for the Parakuka-hosting Turaga to awaken and activate. When the Turaga awoke, they changed into horrible creatures that fought blindly against their own people, striking a crucial moral blow against the ILF and the island as a whole. But soon, the energy rush of the Parakuka died off, and the Turaga were subdued. Heuani left the hive, and it fell to fire.
Once the hive was destroyed, a tall obelisk of black stone stood in the middle of its embers. At the base of the obelisk were six notches, and the words “hidden lines;” other than these markings, it was indecipherably blank.
The Second Company
As the hive battle raged, another, far more subtle battle against Makuta was being fought. After years spent in hiding, Takua emerged into the world once more, and furtively visited six Matoran to tell them that they had been chosen by the Great Spirit to embark a quest of great magnitude. The leader of the group was Stannis, who had been earlier named by Nuju as the Wanderer. Stannis and his five new companions – Reordin, Sulov, Oreius, Aurax, and Lepidran – were christened the "Wanderer's Company,” and at Takua’s instruction journeyed to the location of the first Essence Stone- the Charred Forest.
Takua met the Company in the middle of the Forest, and revealed to them the both his identity as the Chronicler, and the true nature of their quest: it was the duty of these Matoran to recover the six Essence Stones. After obtaining all six, the six Matoran would use them to transform into Toa, and end Makuta's reign once and for all.
The Rahkshi Attack
After divulging their destinies, Takua led the Company to the location of Tahu's Essence Stone. Takua had placed the Stone in the path of a lava flow, which had covered the Stone and, when cooled, disguised it as any other ordinary rock. A few strikes of a pickaxe freed the Stone, which Takua gave to Oreius to keep safe.
Immediately after, the Company found themselves ambushed by six Rahkshi. The ensuing skirmish was short but violent, with Sulov and Stannis killing two Rahkshi, and Aurax being fatally wounded. Before more blood could be spilled, Takua escaped and led the Rahkshi deep into the Forest, away from the Company, to his presumed death.
The remaining five Matoran buried Aurax at the site of his death, and recovered Takua's satchel, which held a clue as to the identity of the Matoran who would replace Aurax: a list of names that contained their own and two others, though one of the latter was rubbed out. Reordin recognized the remaining name, Leah, as a Le-Matoran in the Le-Koro Guard, and the Company quickly departed Ta-Wahi for Le-Koro.
The Second Stone
After arriving in Le-Koro, Stannis and Reordin convinced Leah to join their quest. The Company, six Matoran strong once more, spent the night in Le-Wahi, and then journeyed south to the shores of Kamae Bay, their mission to retrieve Onua's Stone from the Kumu Islets. They unexpectedly came across an abandoned boat floating on the bay, seemingly placed there by destiny itself, and used it to cross over to the Islets.
Upon arriving on the other side, Stannis led the Company to the Catacombs, a vast labyrinth of tunnels that lay beneath Xa-Koro. It was here that the Matoran made an important discovery: the Essence Stones were receptive to each others' presence, and would guide their bearer to each hidden location. Tahu's Stone, held by Oreius, began to glow and heat up the closer the Company came to their next Stone, allowing them to navigate the complex catacombs with ease.
The Stone led them to a large cavern that held an abandoned village, half-submerged in water. The Company's presence disturbed a school of luminescent jellyfish, briefly forcing them to climb the walls of the cave, until Stannis chose to brave the waters, and discovered that the creatures were harmless. He directed Sulov to dig beneath a marked section of the cavern, and the Onu-Matoran soon uncovered the second Essence Stone.
The Third Stone
After recovering Onua's Stone, the Company began their search for the third Essence Stone. Takua's map guided the Company north, to the Papa Nihu Reef, where they realized that the prize they sought was not on land, but actually hidden deep beneath the waves.
As the Company left the Islets, they were unaware that Makuta's servants were on their trail. Ronkshou and Vidar, two of Makuta's most powerful henchmen, and a new minion, Utu, Mark Bearer of Fear, managed to track the Company to the Kumu Islets before losing the trail. The three Toa joined forces and decided to scour the island for their prey, beginning with Ko-Wahi.
By sheer coincidence, the Company, after recovering the third Essence Stone, had sailed for Ko-Wahi as well. Weighing anchor in a tiny fishing village to spend the night, the six Matoran were unexpectedly disturbed from their rest by the appearance of Joske, a Toa of Fire. They determined that the Toa was a friend, and shared with him the details of their quest.
Their meeting was interrupted by a message Takua had left for the Company on his Book of Chronicles. It was revealed that the Company, upon collecting all the Stones, were to go to the Suva Nui, the black obelisk located in the remains of the Nui-Rama Nest. However, the Stones alone would not be enough to defeat Makuta; Takua disclosed the existence of a failsafe in the Keeping Place, which, to activate, required the presence of the six Crystals hidden in the Temples scattered around the island.
Joske volunteered to collect the six Crystals while the Company continued their quest to recover the remaining three Essence Stones. The Company agreed, but their plans went awry the following morning with the arrival of Ronkshou, Vidar, and Utu.
The Company Sundered
While the Company made a break for the mountains of Ko-Wahi, Joske bought them time and held his ground against Utu. The two Toa fought ferociously, but the conflict ended when Utu used his powers over ice to cause a massive avalanche. Reordin, Lepidran, Sulov and Leah made it inside an escape tunnel, but Stannis and Oreius were swept away, splitting the Company in two.
In a burst of rage, Joske unleashed the full extent of his powers, managing to extract the heat from Utu's body until the Toa of Ice was frozen inside a block of his own element. With the Mark Bearer disabled, Joske raced to locate and rescue the buried Matoran.
His help was unneeded, however. Oreius, cunningly using an unconscious Stannis's natural body heat to help him melt the snow, managed to dig a tunnel straight down, eventually dropping the two Matoran into the fjord, where they escaped to shore. After discovering the tunnel and assuring himself of their escape, Joske retreated to Ga-Koro to heal his injuries and begin locating the Crystals.
Fleeing the Hounds
Although Oreius and Stannis managed to escape the avalanche, they were unable to shake Ronkshou, Vidar, and Utu from their trail. The three Toa pursued the two Matoran across Ko-Wahi, running across a Matoran named Korero in the process. The Ko-Matoran joined Stannis and Oreius in their flight, which eventually culminated in a confrontation on a steep mountainside.
The Fourth Stone
Having determined that going back for Stannis and Oreius was too dangerous, the rest of the Company decided to move forward and recover Kopaka's Essence Stone. They managed to navigate their way through the tunnels and out from under the mountains, where consultation of Takua's map revealed that the way forward was actually up -up the slope of an enormous glacier.
The Final Stone
With Oreius in a Parakuka-induced coma, Stannis and Korero were forced to journey on alone in search of the last Stone. With Tahu's Essence Stone as their guide, they travelled to a small oasis in the middle of the desert. A small pump there provided fresh water for them; while Korero worked the pump, he noticed that any spilt water was absorbed into the ground almost instantly, despite it being early in the day.
The two Matoran quickly concluded that the Stone they sought was buried beneath the sand, and began to dig. Their efforts rewarded them with a large Essence Stone, resembling a Kolhii ball. It was Pohatu's, the last of the Stones. They rejoiced, unaware that the Makuta's malicious eyes had been watching them from the moment they landed, having happened upon them completely by accident.
Their prize recovered, the pair returned to Po-Koro to join Oreius, who had awoken to discover that he was permanently bonded with Inu. Despite the bleak implications of continuing their quest under the eye of one of Makuta's sons, the three Matoran had no choice but to carry on. They left for Le-Wahi and the Suva Nui, hoping to find their friends there waiting for them.
The two halves of the Company were joined again before the Suva Nui, in the shadow of the ruined Rama Hive. It was here that the Matoran discovered that it was Korero, not Lepidran, who was destined to receive Lewa's Stone. Lepidran bid them farewell and left, and his former companions turned their attention to the Suva Nui.
Their six Stones fit perfectly in six notches cut in the black obelisk. Upon fitting all six in their proper slots, the Matoran were immediately bathed in overwhelming power and blinding light, and felt their bodies changing with every second that passed.
When the light cleared, the Company found themselves transformed. Each of them was now a mighty Toa, carrying new and beautiful tools. But their jubilation was short-lived: as the light faded, a doorway appeared on the surface of the Suva Nui. It opened, and six Rahkshi marched out.
The Toa Maru
The six Rahkshi quickly engaged the new Toa, seeking to press their advantage while their opponents were still unfamiliar with their bodies. The battle was furious, but short: though the new Toa were inexperienced, they were more powerful than any other Toa on the island, and the spirits of the First Toa whispered deep in the hearts, guiding them to victory. Before long, each Rahkshi was slain.
Upon their victory, Stannis turned back to the Suva Nui and saw a word etched there that had not existed before: Maru. He realized that this was the name that the new Toa were destined to carry, and so the team christened themselves the Toa Maru.
Their first test passed, the Toa Maru set out for the Kini-Nui, to meet Joske and unlock the Keeping Place.
The Crystal Pilgrims
While the Company had been scouring the island in search of the Stones, Joske had not been idle on his own quest. After fending off the Dark Toa, he had retreated to Ga-Koro to heal his injuries. As soon as he was well enough, he set out for Ta-Koro with Agni , his mentor, and Cael, a Ga-Koran healer.
In Ta-Koro, the band was joined by Tuara and Angelus, members of the Ta-Koran Guard, who helped Joske access the Temple of Courage. The Toa of Fire quickly recovered the Crystal of Courage, and the company moved on to Le-Koro, where they claimed the Crystal of Faith with little trouble.
In Ko-Koro, however, Joske's quest was interrupted by a meeting with Heuani. The Toa of Shadow confronted the Toa of Fire in the wastes of Ko-Wahi, and taunted him, going so far as to give Joske the Crystal of Creation to prove that his quest was utterly pointless. Joske escaped with only a scratch, and, after recovering the Crystal of Peace, the group departed for Onu-Koro. Tuara, however, decided to leave the group, and journeyed back to Ta-Koro.
The band met with difficulty in Onu-Koro: the Temple of Prosperity was located at the bottom of the Great Mine, which had been flooded some months earlier. The task fell to Cael to retrieve the Crystal of Prosperity, which she did, though not without effort.
Having been given the Stone of Creation by Heuani, Joske's final destination was Ga-Koro. He took it upon himself to dive deep beneath Naho Bay to enter the Temple of Purity, where he encountered the Guardian of the Temple, a mysterious entity tasked with the protection of the Crystal of Purity. The Guardian posed a riddle to the Toa of Fire; upon answering, she allowed him to take the Crystal he sought. Returning to the surface, Joske immediately journeyed to Kini Nui, and the Keeping Place.
Shadow and Light
Upon reaching the Kini Nui, Joske discovered the location of the Keeping Place, but was unable to access it, the place being protected by an invisible barrier. On a hunch, the Toa of Fire made for Ta-Wahi, where he discovered a circle of statues, each with a niche that corresponded to one of the Crystals he carried. After placing each of the Crystals in its slot, he was teleported back to the Kini-Nui, directly into the Keeping Place.
Inside the Keeping Place, Joske found himself in a long chamber containing nothing but a single pedestal with a mask on it. A note left by Takua revealed it to be the Mask of Conjuring, a powerful Kanohi granting its user the ability to program their own powers into it.
Upon exiting the Keeping Place, he was immediately confronted by Heuani. The two engaged in a vicious duel, with Joske's speed nearly matching Heuani's power. The Toa of Shadow proved the stronger, however, and cast Joske down. He proceeded to taunt the Toa of Fire, and pulled out Cael's mask, revealing that the Toa of Water had sacrificed herself to him in exchange for his sparing Joske's life.
Heuani's jeers fueled Joske's anger; upon learning of the Cael's sacrifice, his resolve was renewed. He activated his Mask of Conjuring, and used it to give himself the elemental power of Light, though at the cost of never being able to use the mask again. The battle was joined again, but Joske held the advantage this time. Though Heuani fought ferociously, he was beaten back and eventually forced to flee.
The Keeping Place
The Toa Maru arrived at the Kini Nui to find Joske waiting for them, ready and able to open the Keeping Place. He did so, and the six Toa entered, ready to receive the failsafe Mata Nui had readied for them.
They found themselves at the edge of a peaceful ravine, with no clues or signs as to what to do next. Inu, however, had a feeling that they were supposed to jump into the ravine to prove their mettle. Though the idea seemed ludicrous, it was the only hint they had to go on, so they decided to try. The Parakuka was correct: upon jumping off the edge of the chasm, each Toa was transported to an individual test prepared specifically for them. As each Toa passed their test, they were given a unique and powerful mask.
The Toa Maru reappeared simultaneously at sunrise, ready for their final confrontation with the Makuta.
His elemental powers of Light already beginning to fade, Joske opened the seal that protected the Makuta's lair from prying eyes, and the Toa Maru descended into the darkness below. They found themselves in an enomous chamber, its proportions unknown, obscured as they were by a thick, ominous fog.
The tense silence was broken by the appearance of the Makuta's first guardians: the Manas. The ferocious Rahi attacked the heroes, but were soundly defeated, their strength no match for the unity of the Toa Maru.
The team continued onward, entering another chamber similar to the first. Here they were confronted by Heuani and five other Toa of Shadow, whom they quickly realized were the First Toa, corrupted beyond recovery. The prospect of fighting their own heroes was daunting, but the Maru engaged in battle nonetheless. Each Shadow Toa fought fiercely, but, one by one, they fell to the Toa Maru. At last, only Heuani was left. When he saw he could not win, he fled Mangaia, taking the body of Reka -formerly Gali- with him.
The Second Battle for Kini-Nui
As soon as the Toa Maru had descended below the Kini-Nui, the Makuta sent out a call to all his servants, commanding them to take control of the temple and trap the Toa Maru within Mangaia. Immediately, legions of infected Rahi began to swarm the temple, and they were quickly joined by some of the Makuta's most powerful henchmen, including Ronkshou, Vidar, Echelon, Utu, and Kohra.
Several beings had seen the flash of light that had accompanied Joske's transformation into a Toa of Light, and subsequently made their way to the Kini-Nui. They joined Joske and his companions in the defense of the temple, but it was immediately obvious that they were still hopelessly outnumbered. Regardless, they resolved to make their last stand, if that was what it would take to give the Toa Maru the chance they needed to topple the Makuta.
The battle was extremely one-sided, with the Makuta's forces pressing the defenders back against the temple, until Joske realized that, using his Light powers, he could heal the infected Rahi and set them free from the Makuta's control. This turned the tide of the battle, and the defenders gained the advantage.
Though their ranks were thinned tremendously, the followers of Makuta refused to relent, and continued the assault even as their captains were defeated, one by one. Finally, the defenders repelled the last of the enemy (though not without their own losses), and continued to hold the Kini-Nui in preparation for the Maru's return.
The Final Battle
While the battle for Kini-Nui played out on the surface, the Toa Maru continued into the depths of Mangaia. At last, they entered a huge, dimly lit chamber, where, to their surprise, they met Takua, whom they had long since thought dead. The Matoran revealed why the First Toa had failed: Kopaka had turned his back on his team in favour of the Makuta's tempations. Their unity gone, the team had fallen.
Upon the revelation of this fact, Takua's body immediately began to rot away, and he revealed himself to truly be the Makuta. Taking the form of a vast entity of vicious, twisting shadows, he attacked the Maru both physically and mentally. Physically, serpents of darkness struck at the Toa, innumerable and deadly. Mentally, he tempted them in the same way he had tempted Kopaka: by offering them priceless rewards if they joined him, and promising terrible fates should they refuse.
But the Toa Maru stood strong against the Makuta's seduction, and struck back at the malevolent god. Each of them more powerful than any other Toa, together they were nigh unstoppable. They combined their elemental energies and unleashed the full brunt of their power on the Makuta.
Meanwhile, on the surface of Mata Nui, the Makuta revealed the true extent of his plans: six tunnels suddenly opened on the face of the island, one in front of each Koro, and legions of Rahkshi marched out. The Matoran knew that defeat was inevitable outside of a miracle, but they prepared their defenses anyway. Each village fortified its walls and made ready its weapons with what time they had, resolving to stand to the last man.
Then the Rahkshi attacked. Brutally efficient and strong, the villagers couldn't hold them at bay for more than a few minutes. Before long, each of the six armies began to directly invade the Koros themselves.
As the last of the villages' defenses fell, the Toa Maru, too, realized that they were hopelessly outmatched. The Makuta had grown stronger over the years, and was only weakened by their attack, while the Maru themselves were exhausted. The serpents of shadow struck them down; all seemed lost.
Then Stannis, realizing that his mask was the final, most powerful failsafe, revealed the true power of the Kanohi Hiripaki, and banished the Makuta from Mata Nui forever.
Without a master to direct them, the legions of Rahkshi immediately went wild, and began attacking one another. The few that continued their assault on the Koros forgot any strategy they might have had, and were easily repelled. Those Rahkshi that weren't killed were herded out of the villages, and they escaped into the wild.
Below Kini-Nui, the Toa Maru found the entrances to the six tunnels that led to the Koros. Each Toa entered the passage that led to their village, and began the long journey home. They arrived bearing news of the Makuta's defeat, giving cause for the entire island to rejoice.
Mata Nui was free at last.