The Element Lord of Water drifted between worlds.
One minute he had been riding the River Dormus, the current taking him to the southern sector of Bara Magna. His watery form drifted through the current, traveling the river; He splashed against the rocks while fish swam through him. So insignificant they are, he thought. So small beneath my power.
The next moment, the banks of the river were gone. The Element Lord suddenly felt space open. The mountains that towered above the river were gone. In fact, all land was gone. Even the water he floated in felt different. Salty, the Element Lord detected, like the ocean. For endless stretches, the sea existed in all directions. A sudden panic went through the Element Lord’s mind. What had just happened? How had he been transported from the River Dormus to this strange ocean?
I must search this foreign ocean, and hope it has answers, the Element Lord decided, sensing the enormity of the waters. He then surged out, into the abyss of the ocean, anxious to explore the territory. He dived below the surface, descending to everywhere his influence touched.
For a time, he grew bored, traveling for hundreds of miles and only viewing fish. It is merely a wasteland, the Element Lord thought to himself. But how did I arrive here, and how do I return to the River Dormus?
Something finally appeared in the black waters, piquing his interest. A blue armored skeletal being floated close to the ocean floor, speaking in a strange, cryptic language to a companion. More beings like this one were nearby, interacting in the same mysterious tongue. Intriguing… he thought. His mind wondered briefly on their existence, and then decided that whoever these beings were, their identities were meaningless to him. Marking his presence with a ghostly aura, he left the beings to their lives and swam onward.
He grew bored again as he explored reefs and caves that catacombed the ocean, only finding the remains of more biomechanical specimens, long dead. A waste of time, he grumbled, exiting the myriad of tombs. But until I find how to get to Dormus once more, time is all I have. Upon resignation, he ventured into one last cave. His dulled senses were sharpened in the blackness, detecting something peculiar. He sent his substance forth, prodding all of the cracks of the cave walls. One crack led to a dark pocket in the wall, which revealed a series of winding mazes that he traversed. Excitement rushed through the Element Lord as he swam deeper into the tunnel.
At last he reached a chamber. It was enormous, impressively built at the intense depth. A long, final path stretched the middle of the chamber, leading to an elegant throne made of fish bones from a time long forgotten. Above the head of the throne, carved into the wall, was an emblem of the element of water. The throne sat empty, awaiting its long departed ruler.
And its ruler had returned. The Element Lord swam through the chamber, marveling not at the elegant simplicity of the chamber, but of its significance. This had been his throne hundreds of thousands of years ago, torn from him by the Shattering. He had been on Bara Magna at the time, and so his empire of the sea was torn from him. The ocean was a mere droplet in comparison to the floods of realization that then overcame the Lord.
So this is the fate of Aqua Magna, the Element Lord thought. The Great Sea, now home to strange biomechanical life forms. The Element Lord took one last sweeping observation of his throne, and then left the hideaway to be abandoned once more. He swam on, looking at the blank oceans in a new way.
Another stretch of travel brought him to a huge structure, buried in the mud. It contained impossible proportions, seeming to extend beyond the endlessness of the ocean. Soaring beneath the water, he travelled for hours, observing the mammoth structure. It was a sculpture twisted and distorted by the years of salt water, on the verge of collapse in some places. As he moved forward, the Element Lord realized what this was: a robot. It was a mammoth machine, the size of an entire world. There was only one explanation to how this could be, the Element Lord thought. The Great Beings. Only they were possible of brilliant enough, or insane enough, to craft something of this size. And look at the creation of the “Great” Beings now, the Element Lord sneered. On the verge of collapse, sunken in the mud. I and my brethren are the only successful experiment of the old tinkerers. Destiny selected us, and doomed the Great Beings to their failure experiments.
Swimming to the other end of the robot, however far it might be, he admitted he was still impressed. The Great Beings had constructed this in secret, without any inkling ever reaching the Agori. Spying a dark speck ahead, he sped up, anxious to see what lie on the surface. The speck grew exponentially, until the path he swam was cut off by land, extending hundreds of miles in any direction.
On the surface, a metropolis reached for the sky; the shoreline was dotted with small huts, while towers lie beyond, competing with each other to be the tallest. Many styles of architecture could be seen on the horizon, yet the various cultures were united into a city grander than any ever seen on Spherus Magna. The Element Lord could sense the power the silhouette represented, as well as the power of individuals that walked among the city.
He could sense it was there. Power, all of it, as well as the power to send him home. It was far within the mega-continent that sat on the robot, well beyond his reach. Small, biomechanical beings walked the beach, communicating in the same language as the ones underwater. He let his frustration out through a wave that lapped onshore; he could not access the power he needed, nor converse with the beings who fled his wave. But there was one other option…
The robot underneath the sea was a main support for the landmass, the Lord could see. But it had been underwater far too long, corroded by salt water, and nearly on the verge of collapse. The landmass was not stable either- there were pockets here and there in vital points, the rock pitifully straining to stay together. It was due to fall apart soon…
In a way, it is a mercy, he thought, gathering every ounce of his power. They will think they know the reason their land perishes, but they will never realize I was saving them from a death unseen. Bringing enormous masses of water together, the Element Lord let it build up, until a tsunami towered above the ocean. He turned it towards the land of the Kingdom, and let the tsunami unleash on the fearful inhabitants below.
A shudder ran through the ground of the giant island, disturbing its inhabitants in their daily work. Pausing to feel the tremor, they looked toward the blue sky. The earthquakes were no longer novelties in the Kingdom, even though the first of them came mere months ago. Chronic, but largely ignorable, everyone knew as they went back to their tasks.
Then the island began to shake violently.
This was no normal earthquake. Deep below the surface of the waves, the great mechanical being once known as Mata Nui had lay rusting for tens of thousands of years. Entropy had taken its toll on the giant over millennia spent underwater, weakening the bases of the mega-continent. All the years of careful reinforcement were swept away as the robot gave a sigh, collapsing on itself and sinking into the pits of the ocean. Now that the bases of the island were free, it was time for the inevitable to happen.
The surfaces of the Kingdom began to crack. Buildings crumpled near the foundations; deep roots of towers tumbled to the ocean floor as currents pulled the metropolis apart. Toa of Stone and Earth created new land to bridge the widening gaps, but the ocean would rip them apart the instant they were formed. Nature was taking over, or so it seemed, and nature would win.
The currents swirled and the land masses shifted, something occurring in the waters. The sea rose into a giant tidal wave, hovering, and crashing down on all sectors. Matoran who ran and screamed for loved ones fell silent, in fearful respect of the power about to crash down on them. As it did, pieces of the Kingdom were pushed away from each other, new shores twisted by the waters of Aqua Magna, separated by unfathomable leagues of water.
As the world finally settled, the inhabitants of the old Kingdom found themselves in a new world. Separated from lifelong friends and allies, people would have to start new. But not a soul would ever forget the final day they were one people, from then on known as the Shattering. Many died that day, but many more still lived to develop new cultures on the lands that survived the waters of the Great Wave. Thousands of years would pass until anyone dared leave their homes again.