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- "Picture beings with the power and the organization of the Toa, yet unfettered by their consciences or morality."
- ―"The Shadowed One".
• Odina (Formerly)
• Spherus Magna
Order of Mata Nui (Formerly)
The Dark Hunters were an elite mercenary corps responsible for some of the most disastrous events in the history of the Matoran Universe.
Initially formed sometime between 80,000 and 70,000 years ago, the Dark Hunter organization was conceived in the aftermath of the Ancient Wars, a series of revolutionary uprisings that tore Zarnor, the Grenok homeland asunder. With the League of Six Kingdoms disbanded and with many residents of the Southern Matoran Universe harboring less favorable sentiments towards the Toa as Mata Nui's chosen species, two Grenok known as The Shadowed One and Ancient were able to rally support from warriors native to the southern universe, uniting them into a composite mercenary guild.
Rising in prominence after several early assassination attempts, the Dark Hunters quickly established themselves as a fearsome force, necessitating the secret formation of the Order of Mata Nui. As such, the earliest generations of Dark Hunters were notorious for raiding vessels and villages in an instant then disappearing the next, claiming all manner of cargo, weapons, and bounties with little regard for collateral damage. The organization would also lay claim to entire islands, establishing Odina as their base of operations. Frequently, Dark Hunters would be tasked with missions that demanded them to eliminate or transgress certain Toa, the general sentiment being that Toa represented a law that was unjust.
Between 60,000 and 30,000 years ago, the Matoran Universe entered a golden age of prosperity with reduced Dark Hunter activity, with both the Toa and the Brotherhood of Makuta cooperating to ensure universal peace was maintained. During this time, the Order of Mata Nui was known to have contracted Ancient as a double agent, relaying tactical information directly to Toa Helryx.
Following the evolution of the Makuta species, however, the Dark Hunters began a policy of open hostility towards members of the Toa species, with the vast majority of their number dissatisfied with the universal protectors. During this time a female assassin named Lariska was known to have entered the organization and swiftly risen to a position of high esteem, earning The Shadowed One's interest. The recruitment of elite agents such as Darkness, Silence, Eliminator, and Guardian also played a fundamental role in establishing the Dark Hunters as a formidable power, as did Challenger and the phony competition the Shadowed One established through him.
However, in its early stage, the Dark Hunters primarily leeched on the war brewing on Zarnor. Unfortunately, interest in the war eventually dwindled and no effort, no matter how divisive on the part of the Shadowed One, was able to rekindle the fire. Realizing he had to expand his business venture or else perish with the war, the Shadowed One fully expanded his operations to the larger Matoran Universe, taking with him all the experience he had gleaned on his homeland. As his elite agents spread mayhem to all corners of the known world, the Dark Hunters began forming a name for themselves and landing themselves a position on the list of potential world powers.
Unfortunately, with this also came the attention of the other major powers at the time, particularly organizations that were already in the assassination, theft, and mercenary markets. Traditionally, no organization had ever attempted to combine the three enterprises into a single organization, and yet the Shadowed One intended to dominate in all three. As competition grew, it appeared obvious that the Dark Hunters would be fast booted off the stage.
This was soon to change.
Roughly 7,000 years ago, a Dark Hunter operation to steal the Makoki Stone was notably carried out in the Toa Fortress. As this specific fortification had historically served as the headquarters and training grounds for thousands of Toa over the years, its destruction was a staggering blow felt by Toa across the Matoran Universe. Following the successful completion of this mission by Ancient, The Shadowed One was known to have inducted six Skakdi into the ranks of his organization: Zaktan, Hakann, Vezok, Reidak, Avak, and Thok.
During this period the Dark Hunters also grew in size to become a recognized power faction and a constant menace to Toa on a universal scale, establishing footholds in regions across the universe. Now confident in his claim to power, the Shadowed One became prideful, and sought a base of operations in Metru Nui. This period would thus witness numerous attempts from the Dark Hunters to win Metru Nui, both through political assassination of Turaga Dume and by letting the Kanohi Dragon loose upon the island. After nearly three centuries of brewing tensions, the Toa/Dark Hunter War finally erupted, a conflict that spanned across Metru Nui. Lasting roughly one year, the confrontation escalated considerably once Toa reinforcements stormed the island and began to outnumber the mercenaries. In the final days of the war, Lariska was known to have attempted to tip the balance of the fight by convincing Toa Mangai Nidhiki to betray the other Toa by luring them into an ambush. However, while the Toa proved cooperative, Lariska's strategy was predicted by Toa Lhikan, who orchestrated an ambush of his own and ultimately exiled the Dark Hunters from the City of Legends.
Humiliated, the Shadowed One ceased his campaign and all Dark Hunters that were fighting in the war withdrew from Metru Nui, along with Nidhiki, who would later become a member of the organization himself. As punishment for her choice of traitor, Lariska's arm was dismembered and later replaced with a mechanical appendage.
Over the course of the following century, the unsavory agendas of both the Brotherhood of Makuta and the Dark Hunters became more clear to the Toa and the Order of Mata Nui. This period also saw a general decline across the universe, as the Brotherhood began to pay less attention to preserving order and more to their own ambition while the Dark Hunters continued to expand their criminal enterprises and earning the sympathy of dissatisfied working masses across the Matoran Universe.
Shortly after the Toa/Dark Hunter War, the Brotherhood of Makuta began to take interest in the Dark Hunters, eventually hiring their services, contracting members of the organization as guards for various installations and fortresses so as to maintain plausible deniability of any malicious content found by Toa. The Brotherhood of Makuta was also known to have placed bounties on specific Toa of Magnetism and Iron during this era, serving the dual purpose of eliminating Toa with Elemental Powers especially harmful to Makuta whilst strengthening the relationship between the two organizations.
Dark Hunter/Brotherhood War
By the time of the Great Cataclysm, the total Dark Hunter population had begun to see drastic increase in size, with members of the organization growing more experienced and with The Shadowed One constantly searching for new potential in his ranks. With Mata Nui now distinctly absent and the Matoran Universe debilitated by Makuta Teridax's efforts, it became widely accepted that the Toa had failed and that alternative methods of peace-keeping should be adopted, prompting The Shadowed One to begin offering Dark Hunter protection to especially vulnerable Matoran settlements. As the Great Spirit’s health deteriorated, so too did order and law on all the islands. With the Matoran Universe running on auxiliary power and the Brotherhood of Makuta now in a prime position of power, thus began the Dark Times.
However, after Makuta Teridax made his own failed attempt to conquer Metru Nui, the Shadowed One discovered that he had needlessly betrayed and killed two accomplished Dark Hunter agents sent to assist him in conquering Metru Nui, Nidhiki and Krekka. With Toa Metru Vakama revealing the fate of the pair, The Shadowed One vowed vengeance on Teridax and his disciples, sparking a thousand-year war against the Brotherhood.
Towards the end of this conflict, the six Piraka were known to have splintered off from the Dark Hunters, forging their own path as unwitting pawns in Makuta Teridax's grand scheme. As such, The Shadowed One was known to have hired Vezon in their place and tasked him with retrieving the Kanohi Ignika on behalf of the Dark Hunters. Shortly after departing Odina, however, the mad Skakdi cut all ties to the organization and betrayed The Shadowed One.
With the Dark Hunter profit margin beginning to dwindle after so many years of conflict with the Brotherhood, the organization came to partner with the Order of Mata Nui, several members of whom revealed themselves within the ranks of the Dark Hunters already, including "Ancient". With all facets of the guild infiltrated, The Shadowed One was forced to partner with Toa Helryx and her accomplices, an arrangement that supplied the Dark Hunters with more troops with which to battle the Brotherhood of Makuta with but under the direction of Order tacticians. Tasked with blockading the island of Xia to prevent its inhabitants from trading weapons with the Brotherhood, a significant proportion of the Dark Hunter population was present to witness the battle between the Kanohi Dragon and the Tahtorak in the city's skyline. However, The Shadowed One took this task too seriously, preparing to completely eliminate the Vortixx only for the combined might of Toa Helryx and Toa Hagah: Norik, Gaaki, Bomonga, Pouks, Iruini, and Kualus to disrupt the bombardment, reminding the Shadowed One of his task. In the end, the Dark Hunters occupied the island at the behest of the Order of Mata Nui.
With the war raging on, the Dark Hunters were able to achieve a number of significant victories over the Brotherhood of Makuta, relying on Order of Mata Nui intelligence to facilitate their partnership. Met with little resistance, The Shadowed One would eventually step back from his role as his agents fought alongside the Order of Mata Nui, deferring to the leadership of Toa Helryx and Tobduk, her lieutenant.
Reign of Shadows
For some time after the Toa Nuva's reactivation of the Great Spirit Robot and Teridax's usurpation of Mata Nui within the mechanics of the Core Processor, the Dark Hunters continued to operate in alliance with the Order of Mata Nui, refusing to accept Teridax as the Great Spirit. However, once the Makuta revealed himself to be in control of the Great Spirit Robot, legions of Rahkshi raided Odina, raiding the headquarters of the organization and scattering the surviving Dark Hunters. During this time, "Guardian" was known to have been killed.
With the semblance of a regional foothold still established in Xia, several Dark Hunters begrudgingly allied themselves with the Toa and Order of Mata Nui factions, joining the rebellion against Teridax. Regrouping under the leadership of Toa Nuva Tahu, the Dark Hunters endured a shaky alliance as they journeyed south of Metru Nui, where they united with the disgruntled masses to fend off the Rahkshi army amassing in the Southern Island Chain as a unified resistance.
Once the Matoran Universe successfully landed on Bara Magna, the rebellion forces emerged onto the surface of the planet, where they allied with the Glatorian and Agori. While several Dark Hunters were known to have defected to the ranks of Makuta's forces during this battle, the overwhelming majority came to oppose the Rahkshi and Skakdi armies. With Toa Tahu using the Golden Armor to vaporize the Rahkshi army, Mata Nui was then able to complete his mission by reforming Spherus Magna from Bara Magna, Bota Magna and Aqua Magna, destroying the Matoran Universe and scattering Teridax's forces.
After Teridax's death, the Dark Hunters migrated to Spherus Magna along with the other denizens of the Matoran Universe. It is currently unknown if the Dark Hunters continued their operations after leaving the Great Spirit Robot, though it is clear several of its more prominent members were able to integrate into the revised social order of Sperhus Magna.
Dark Hunters are generally merciless to those of their number who break rules or fail to follow instruction, with The Shadowed One threatening execution for disloyalty. Members of the organization also possess some form of honor code amongst themselves, demanding allegiance to The Shadowed One and allowing no tolerance for failure, with a handful of Dark Hunters assigned to terminate agents who are unsuccessful in their operations. As such, many injured Dark Hunters have been known seek death than risk defeat at the hands of a Toa and facing whatever punishment The Shadowed One might have in store for failure. Scores of Dark Hunter have been recorded saying "death before dishonor" in their dying moments, preferring their own demise over the prospect of capture.
Within the ranks of the organization, behavior was tightly regulated and no private profit was permitted to be earned. All payment or supplies accumulated from missions were pooled into a singular fund, used to keep the Dark Hunters operating and permitting their expansion, with concessions being made in the case of looting armor from fallen adversaries as victory tokens.
An important trait of the Dark Hunter organization which has led to several problems for them is their avarice of power and technology. They have been known to tamper with the genetic composition of their own members, as well as other creatures, to enhance their strength, speed, and endurance, evidenced by the experimentation upon Voporak and Nidhiki.
Principally, members of the Dark Hunter harbor feelings of resentment towards Mata Nui and, by extension, members of the Toa species. Often prone to competitively tallying up the number of Toa they have slain, Dark Hunters often devise new and imaginative ways to hunt down the peacekeepers of the Matoran Universe. Many Dark Hunters are even motivated by the prospect of revenge on certain Toa, occasionally forgoing financial payment in order to level personal grudge matches.
- The Shadowed One Leader
- Ancient Co-founder; Deceased
- Lariska Second-in-command
- Alchemist - Formerly; deceased
- Gribrak - Formerly
- Hordika Dragons
- Krekka - Formerly, deceased
- Nidhiki - Formerly, deceased
- Piraka Formerly
- Shadow Stealer
- Terminator - Formerly
To Be Added
- The Dark Hunters often worked in pairs, due to The Shadowed One's hobby of assigning odd partners.
|Dark Hunters (v|e)|
|Leader||"The Shadowed One"|
|Current Members||Airwatcher • Amphidax • Bedrock • Bounty Hunter • Kardakas • Dark Mutator • The Twins • Conjurer • Darkness • Destructor • Dweller • Eliminator • Faceless • Firedracax • Frustrator • Gatherer • Gladiator • Hordika Dragons • Kraata-Kal • Lariska • Lurker • Mimic • Minion • Neotis • Phantom • Poison • Possesser • Primal • Proto-Beast • Prototype • Quake • Ravager • Renoa • Savage • Seeker • Sentrakh • Shadow Stealer • Shatterbrace • Silence • Spinner • Stealth • Subterranean • Tracker • Triglax • Vanisher • Vengeance|
|Former Members||Ancient • Guardian|
|Members in Select Universes||Kragator|