| Toa contains canon BIONICLE info.
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Depends on the type of Toa
Various Toa Tools
Toa is the title awarded to a the principle peace-keepers of the Matoran Universe, a species charged with protecting the world's inhabitants and resolving conflict.
During the creation of the Matoran Universe, the Great Beings surmised the basic concept for the Toa, a species of medium-sized warriors who would roam the individual domes of the Great Spirit Robot to safeguard the Matoran inhabitants of each realm should unforeseen disaster strike. Artakha was thus charged with the creation of the first Toa and, as the Great Beings had become concerned with other matters, all future generations of Toa. This experimental process using a combination of the Glatorian species genetic coding and the elemental attributes of the Elemental Lords of Spherus Magna resulted in the creation of Helryx, the first Toa.
With Spherus Magna growing increasingly unstable, the Great Beings would later return their attention to the Matoran Universe, now resolving to speed up its completion before the destruction of their planet. Regardless of their concerns, however, the Great Beings took it upon themselves to create several more Toa to boost the population of peace-keepers. During this period, Toa Orde was known to have come into being as the first Toa of Psionics. Some time after his creation, he was charged with using his powers to ease the ill-natured sentiments of the Zyglak, a race of reptilian creatures who despised the Great Beings and all their creations. However, due to Orde's aggressive nature, he failed to calm the Zyglak and ignited feelings of hatred towards the Matoran and Toa within them.
The First Toa team - the Toa Cordak - would thus come into existence, consisting of Toa Lesovikk, Nikila, and six other members. Charged with safe-guarding the Matoran Universe at an early point in its development, the Toa team encountered a number of unruly inhabitants, most notable of which were the Zyglak minority in the southern-most region of the world. The final encounter between the Zyglak and the Toa Cordak resulted in an ill-fated ambush. During the battle, Lesovikk was known to have hesitated for a fatal strategic moment in which his entire team was slaughtered. Able to escape with his life but harrowed by the extent of his failure, Lesovikk vanished from the face of the universe and his tale served as a grim reminder that even Toa can make mistakes.
Now firm in their conviction that the Toa could one day prove to be inadequate guardians of the Matoran Universe, the Great Beings chose to take action at this point. As a result, they made numerous countermeasures to ensure the integrity of the Matoran Universe, such as Marendar and the Kanohi Ignika. They also chose, in this moment, to make all subsequent Ce-Matoran female, feeling that users of the elemental discipline should possess a softer feminine touch, and basing them on the telepathic female Rock Tribe Glatorian and Agori, although Orde remained unwitting of the latter influence.
As an added precaution, the Great Beings commissioned a dedicated Toa team that would later come to be known as the Toa Mata. Charging Artahka with the creation of these Toa and contracting Helryx to discretely train them; Toa Tahu, Gali, Onua, Pohatu, Kopaka, and Lewa thus came into existence. These six Toa would later go down in Matoran legend as the principle Toa-guardians of the universe, to be summoned only in the most dire of global emergencies, their destiny tied to the continued maintenance of the Great Spirit Mata Nui. When the training of these Toa was completed, the Toa were placed in canisters and kept in stasis in the Codrex of the Universe Core, ready to be deployed in case of an emergency.
At this early point in the history of the Matoran Universe, it is assumed that the Toa operated as a somewhat unified entity, banding together in times of need but rarely travelling between domes. Although the Toa adhered to no specific leadership, they were guided by an early version of the Toa Code; a list of rules and teachings that all Toa were expected to follow. As the Toa Code was never written down in its entirety, however, it became something of a global vernacular amongst members of the Toa community.
With the recent disbanding of the Hand of Artakha, Toa Helryx helmed the development of a new organization. Well aware of the restrictions of the Toa Code, the Order of Mata Nui was brought into existence to provide the universe with a covert peace-keeping entity that would be unhindered by moral obligations. With the clandestine activities of the organization kept secret from the rest of the Matoran Universe, it was decided that Toa would generally be excluded from membership so as not to violate their right to follow the Toa Code, although much later an exception would be made for whatever Toa of Magnetism as the Order could save following the massacre of the Toa of Iron.
Roughly 95,000 years ago, the Brotherhood of Makuta was established by Mata Nui. Originally tasked with populating the Matoran Universe with Rahi creatures, the Makuta fulfilled their purpose and began to use their considerable abilities to assist the Toa in maintaining order across the Great Spirit Robot. On occasion, the Brotherhood of Makuta would assist Toa forces, the most notable example of which occurring 80,000 years ago when the two organizations united to overwhelm the League of Six Kingdoms. Over the coming few centuries, the relationship between Toa and Makuta would begin to grow more strenuous given the favor of Mata Nui constantly being awarded to the Toa. This would grow all the more complicated when the Matoran Civil War and the resulting Great Disruption were recognized as the fault of the Matoran and the failure of Toa to intervene and stop them. The heroism of Jovan's team became viewed by many as simply cleaning up the mess the Matoran had started.
Between 60,000 and 30,000 years ago, the Matoran Universe entered a golden age of prosperity. While the Dark Hunters and number of dangerous Rahi attacks remained prominent threats, this era marked the peak population of Toa. Furthermore, this era was marked by a brief age of stability where the two authorities of Toa and Makuta cooperated with each other. Over the course of several years, the Brotherhood employed a number of elite Toa warriors as Toa Hagah, although some Makuta would later testify that such an alliance was a subtle ploy by the Brotherhood to usurp the title of universal protectors from the Toa by taking their best warriors and absorbing them into the Brotherhood as little more than a division of prestige bodyguards. As Chief Archivist Dessal once asserted, the Brotherhood here attempted to "monopolise the universal protector field" by merging with their competition.
However, following the Evolution of the Makuta species, the Toa would be regarded with mixed sentiments. While the Matoran heralded them as champions of justice and liberty, many of Mata Nui's less-favored creations grew jealous of the affection these peace-keepers were afforded. On Xia and Stelt, two islands with no designated law enforcement, the will of the Toa became disenfranchised with the will of the citizenry.
Threatened by the Toa, the Brotherhood of Makuta's members purged their inner light and became a decidedly malevolent organization. With a number of factions now wary and mistrustful of Mata Nui's justice, so too did they become hostile towards Toa. As the Dark Hunters began their rise to power, the Toa also earned the resentment of the organization, an organization of felons and renegades led by The Shadowed One. 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.
Roughly 7,000 years ago, the Toa Fortress was notably raided in a spontaneous attack by a tribe of Frostelus. As this specific fortification had historically served as the headquarters and training grounds for thousands of Toa over the years, its loss was a staggering blow felt by Toa across the Matoran Universe.
By now the Dark Hunters had grown 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, anywhere from political assassination of Turaga Dume to letting the Kanohi Dragon loose upon the island, all thwarted by the stalwart Toa Mangai. After nearly three centuries of brewing tensions, the Toa/Dark Hunter War finally erupted, a conflict that spanned across Metru Nui but would ultimately culminate in a Toa victory and exile of the Dark Hunters from the City of Legends.
Met with open criticism on Xia, the war served only to further distance the interests of the Toa from those of the denizens of the wider Matoran Universe, who were inconvenienced by the conflict and saw the confrontation as entirely unnecessary. Furthermore, the organization of the Toa into a military unit aroused considerable doubts in their collective moral conviction. However, public attitudes towards the Toa were settled once more following a statement issued by Turaga Dume, who exposed the Dark Hunters' aggressive policy of conquest and sabotage for the purposes of seizing the crowning island of the Matoran Universe.
Over the course of the following century, the Brotherhood of Makuta's unsavory agenda 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. With the evolution of the Makuta species, the Brotherhood began a covert genocide of all Toa of Iron followed in quick succession by a genocide of those of Magnetism due to the threats their powers pose to their new Protosteel armor. Thus began a trend of covert hostility towards Toa on a universe-wide scale.
By the time of the Great Cataclysm, the total Toa population had begun to see drastic decreases in size, with members of the species now being hunted by the Brotherhood and Dark Hunters alike. 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. As the Great Spirit’s health deteriorated, so did order and law on all the lands. With the Matoran Universe debilitated and the Brotherhood of Makuta now in a prime position of power, thus began the Dark Times.
Meanwhile, one of the last few functioning Toa Teams, the Toa Metru, managed to evacuate the majority of the comatose inhabitants of Metru Nui, which was taken control of by the Brotherhood's leader Teridax. The Matoran of Metru Nui were transported to the outside of the Matoran Universe, on a tropical island later named Mata Nui by the Toa. The team awakened the sleeping Matoran by sacrificing their powers and transformed into Turaga. Remembering a message from the future by a Toa of Sonics named Krakua, the Turaga of Fire Vakama convinced his colleagues to raise the amnesiac Matoran into expecting and anticipating the arrival of the Toa Mata. However, Teridax had followed the Toa Metru outside of the Matoran Universe, and began harassing the newly formed villages with frequent Rahi attacks.
Soon, the Toa Mata were summoned to Mata Nui on accident by the disguised Av-Matoran Takua. As time went on, the Toa Mata protected the Matoran from Teridax's attacks and eventually evolved into Toa Nuva thanks to exposure to Energized Protodermis. Takua also later joined their ranks after transforming into the Toa of Light named Takanuva, a fabled warrior who was known in legend as the "Seventh Toa". Together, the Toa Nuva and Takanuva seemingly defeated Teridax, an event which lead directly to the emigration back to Metru Nui.
As the Matoran resettled themselves into the City, Mata Nui's health became too much of a concern to be ignored, as the self-destruction of the Matoran Universe was foretold if the Great Spirit should ever pass away. The Toa Nuva except Takanuva were sent to find the Kanohi Ignika, the Mask of Life, to restore Mata Nui's health. However, their long absence and lack of word drove a Ta-Matoran named Jaller to form a group of Matoran to find the Toa and possibly help them find the Ignika. After passing through and escaping the realm of Karzahni, the Matoran traveled to the fabled location of the Ignika, Voya Nui, in Toa Canisters. As they approached the island, lightning from the mysterious Red Star struck them, transforming them into an elite band of Lightning-infused beings called the Toa Inika.
The Toa Inika found that the island of Voya Nui was under the control of a band of ex-Dark Hunter Skakdi calling themselves Piraka, and frequently clashed with them while searching for the Ignika and the imprisoned Toa Nuva. Eventually, they found the pathway to the chamber holding the Mask: the 777 Stairs. As the Matoran of Voya Nui freed the Toa Nuva, the Inika fought their way through numerous traps and Guardians before finally reaching the Chamber of Life, the Piraka following close by. After a lengthy confrontation, the Inika managed to defeat the Piraka and the Mask's final guardian. However, the Ignika, frightened by the battle, fled to the ocean and drifted towards the underwater city of Mahri Nui.
The Inika went to Mahri Nui to retrieve the Ignika while the Toa Nuva worked to complete the tasks needed to awaken Mata Nui. The Toa Inika were tranformed into water-breathing Toa Mahri by the Ignika as they confronted the Barraki over possession over it. After evacuating the population of Mahri Nui to Voya Nui, the Toa Mahri destroyed the rocky Cord that anchored the above island so as to allow it to return to the inside of the Matoran Universe. The Mahri's resident Toa of Ice, Matoro, sacrificed his life to restore Mata Nui back to full health by donning the Ignika. He also returned the Toa Mahri to Metru Nui, returning to them the ability to breathe air as well.
As this happened, the Toa Nuva continued to complete the tasks given, along the way discovering that Mata Nui was in fact the Universe itself: the Great Spirit was in fact a giant planet-sized robot that contained the Matoran Universe within him, with the Matoran's labor powering him all this time. The Toa Nuva's quest led to the Artakha, who provided them with Adaptive Armor before sending them to Karda Nui (the Universe Core) for their final objective. The Toa Nuva sought out the keystones that would unlock the Codrex they were put to stasis in long ago all the while battling the Brotherhood of Makuta's most powerful members. During the conflict, the Ignika had formed itself a body and allied itself with the Toa Nuva, though initially reluctant to give up his body to awaken Mata Nui. The self-titled "Toa Ignika" was convinced to give its energy and did so, which resulted in a monstrous Energy Storm that decimated the Makuta stationed in Karda Nui.
The Toa returned to Metru Nui, where they witnessed Mata Nui's awakening and subsequent rising from the Endless Ocean. However, it is revealed that Mata Nui's body was possessed by Teridax, who had trapped the Great Spirit's mind into the Ignika. Now with the Universe under his control, Teridax exiled Mata Nui from his own body by launching the Ignika into outer space. Thus began the Reign of Shadows.
After Teridax's defeat at the Battle of Bara Magna, the remaining Toa evacuated to the newly reformed Spherus Magna
Abilities and Traits
Typically, Toa come into existence at the will of Mata Nui, usually empowered to fulfill a specific purpose and ensure the continued functionality of the Great Spirit Robot. On occasion, Mata Nui has been known to spontaneously conceive Toa, such as Helryx and many of her early contemporaries. The majority of Toa, however, begin their lives as Matoran villagers and become imbued with Toa Power.
The passing on of Toa Stones is a rarely-performed method of creating Toa. Most Toa are spontaneously transformed as the Great Spirit requires, and they transform into Turaga without giving their energies to successors. Toa Stones acted as a failsafe method and were a largely unknown process to most of the Matoran Universe.
Each Toa has control over a certain Elemental Power, the most common being Fire, Water, Earth, Air, Stone, and Ice, though others are known to exist. And when six different elements combine, they create a protodermis seal. Toa possessing legendary elements are a rarity, as misuse of their power could lead to the destruction of one of the universe's fundamental forces. Most Toa also wear great Kanohi masks, and without them their strength and power would be halved.
Every Toa has a fixed destiny that they are intended to fulfill, though it is not a given that they will succeed in doing so. If the Toa does succeed, they may choose to undergo a transformation into Turaga. The process involves locking their Toa power inside a Toa Stone, which can then be taken by a destined Matoran.
Most Toa operate in dedicated teams, which are traditionally comprised of six members.
Any three Toa of different elemental disciplines can combine into a genderless Toa Kaita. The result would has each of their traits, a combination of their tools, strengths, and control over all their mask and elemental powers. However, the Toa's thoughts must be in sync or otherwise, the Toa Kaita will separate into three.
Toa also possess the ability to form mental links with other beings, being able to transfer memories or information between one-another over long distances. This was presumably implemented to assist in coordination between the Toa and their mentally-linked allies as they performed their programmed duties. With the rise of sapience within the Matoran Universe, however, many Toa seemed to have deemed it useless. Within the present day, very few are actually aware of the existence of this power.
As a collective band of warriors originating from around the Matoran Universe, the Toa boasted a proud an ancient heritage as the principle peacekeeping organization of the Great Spirit Robot. Initially structured as a military unit, Toa were typically stationed in specific island domes, serving as guardians of peace and justice for thousands of years and rarely venturing from their assigned regions. Following the rise of the Six Kingdoms, however, there emerged a distinct requirement for Toa to mobilize and cooperate in the event of catastrophe.
Originally established early in the history of the Matoran Universe, the Toa Code was the term given to a programming software in the core processors of all Matoran in the Great Spirit Robot, offering a built-in moral conscience while simultaneously physically restricting individuals from using elemental powers for malicious, destructive purposes should they become Toa. As such, the programming offered a series of mental and physical safety measures to ensure that the powers of a Toa were never misused. Shortly after the successful launch of the Matoran Universe, however, Velika tampered with the denizens of the Matoran Universe, imbuing the population with emotions. As a consequence, the Toa Code was relegated to guideline status rather than a compulsory second instinct.
As such, no physical manifest of the Toa Code is known to have existed. While there has never been a unified Toa federation, the contexts of the codex were generally considered to be the governing laws by which a Toa was to operate. Although understanding of the code varies between different islands, the crux of the Toa Code is considered to be a universal concept:
- A Toa does not kill. Arguably the most fundamental aspect of the Toa Code manifest, this regulation also both prohibited murder and betrayal, which were considered severely punishable. This clause also indicates that Toa could not sneak around, or fight at night, as Matoran would become suspicious of them.
- A Toa must uphold the values of their "Unity. Duty. Destiny." motto, operating amongst their kin, taking responsibility for their role in the universe, and working towards a progressive future.
- A Toa should always protect those who cannot protect themselves. Charged as universal protectors and enforcers of Mata Nui's justice, Toa were expected to safeguard the interests of all inhabitants of the Matoran Universe with no prejudices depending upon species. Following the evolution of the Makuta, however, this regulation became increasingly unpopular.
Failure to comply with its requirements could, on occasion, result in either forced transformation into a Turaga or the removal of the Toa title. along with losing the respect and membership of their team, and the respect of other Toa. Toa Tuyet was infamous for breaking the code, along with Nidhiki. Lesovikk's case however, was that he had failed his team during a battle, and considered himself losing the title of "Toa". Also, several Dark Hunters were formally Toa, who were never punished, but they abandoned the code for their own reasons.
However, Helryx does not follow the Toa Code, due to being in existence before the code, and wouldn't follow it regardless, since it would interfere with her duties to the Order of Mata Nui.
While the first Toa Team to be created was the Toa Mata, and the first generation of Toa such as Helryx or Orde came about early on, neither of these went down in history as the first team as the former were not active as such, and the latter did not congeal in the form of a team. The first team to actively fight together as a group was the Toa Cordak, drawn from the second generation of Toa, who were the first to be created from Matoran. Lesovikk's team, despite its untimely decimation, was the first example of what a team of Toa should look like. The accounts and legends of the Toa Mata, however, greatly influenced the Toa that banded together under Lesovikk, which would then influence many of the Cordak's contemporaries.
The Mata had fire, air, water, ice, earth, and stone. These were regarded as the cornerstone Toa, seeing as these six Matoran were the most populous. A team should have all six, or close to all six. There was no set size for a Toa team, but the lower end was the Mata's 6 and the higher end was the Cordak's 8. Team size generally depended on the overarching goal of the team.
As the leader of the Cordak was Lesovikk, many teams that sprang up at the time also preferred a Toa of Air to be a leader. Other team slots were viewed as flexible, with emphasis being placed on having Toa of the secondary elements, the reasoning behind this being team diversity. Overall, each Toa on the team should command a different element. The more elements a Toa team could call upon, the better equipped they were to deal with tasks. This long-standing, unofficial tradition would be carried on throughout the millennia, with a few notable exceptions.
Nikila, the tactical leader of the Cordak, may also have influenced the popularity of adding Toa of Lightning to a team roster. The amiable nature of Vo-Matoran and the particular usefulness of lightning also contributed to their popularity. Toa of Gravity were often seen as practical and down to earth, and hardy Toa. A stereotype of the Toa of Gravity was that they were particularly prone to wisdom, and so their services were often sought out, although these Toa felt uncomfortable having to live up to that perception.
The Toa of Magnetism and Iron appeared on teams far more often as their ability to work with metal was simply invaluable. These were popular choices for a team at the point when the Makuta did not hunt them down to near-extinction. Unfortunately, the very reason they were such popular choices would eventually become the very reason the Brotherhood targeted them; teams almost always had at least a Toa of Iron or Magnetism to rely on. Iron and Magnetism vanished from team rosters after being hunted down by the Brotherhood.
Last of note are the Toa of Psionics, Plasma, Plantlife, and Sonics, many of whom were far less common among teams. Toa of Plasma were generally seen as difficult to work with, hotheaded to the point of irritability among even their peers, and prone to disaster--a perception that unfortunately was true with enough of these Toa that it was a valid concern. Toa of Plantlife were often less likely to be interested in the adventuring required of the Toa, often taking to the remote natural wilderness that Bo-Matoran inhabited and spending their days in meditation. Because Psionics was an element that many Toa teams felt could run the risk of amorality, this proved a hindrance to Toa of that element. Finally, Toa of Sonics were tremendously rare, as De-Matoran had such sensitive hearing they did all they could to avoid Toa Stones for fear of controlling the power they would far rather avoid.
The infamous end of the Cordak caused less Toa of Air to be nominated as a leader, until they were altogether cut from the position. Team leaders would come from all backgrounds until stories circulated the Matoran Universe of great feats accomplished by several Toa of Fire, which contributed greatly to the view that Toa of Fire were natural leaders.
Teams continued to be a balance of the "cornerstone" elements and secondary elements. One exception were the Mangai, whose task was to slay the Kanohi Dragon and fielded an abnormally high number of Toa of Ice to do so.