Fanfic / Xaterex Multiverse Storyline
The Xaterex Multiverse Storyline
(XMS) is a lengthy seven-book series of BIONICLE
fanfic novels written by Varkanax39
, set in the alternate Xaterex multiverse
. Originally written on the Custom BIONICLE Wiki
, the Xaterex storyline currently spans seven novels (the first of which is currently being reworked to fit with canon more closely) and several short stories in the same setting. The storyline is defined by its fairly complicated plot, its Loads and Loads of Characters
, and its rather darker tone
than BIONICLE canon
. While the original volume, The Eternal Game, written over three years ago, was based heavily off first Battle Royale
and then later The Hunger Games
, the series takes off in a completely new direction after the end of the third book, The Shadows Coil.
In an alternate universe distantly related to the canon, Shardak
and his best friend Blast live in the (fairly) peaceful and isolated city of Intax. But it all changes when the mysterious dark-cloaked beings and their obsidian constructs attack and kill Shardak’s father, Arcturas
, and kidnap his young sister Nightshade. Shardak and Blast set off in pursuit of the beings, but are quickly drawn into a web of darkness that forces them to become irrevocable enemies of the powerful Ix Empire
. Along the way, Shardak discovers that he is supposedly the prophecised Spirit Toa
, and is drawn into a conflict that eventually leads them into battle with the mysterious, deadly Order of Vahrikaan and their masters. It gets way more complicated very quickly. At times rather cliched fantasy, especially toward the beginning of the series.
All of the books in the series can be found on Custom BIONICLE Wiki, and a more polished version of the second volume, Into the Darkness
, is also available on BZpower
and Fanfiction.net, with more to come.
In order, the main series books are:
- The Eternal Game (a prequel volume of sorts with little connection to the rest of the series, planned to be rewritten).
- Into the Darkness
- The Shadows Coil
- The Final Prophecy
- Eternal Darkness
This fanfic contains examples of:
- Action Girl: Kyhrex, Vale Iskara, Lusa, Galika, Sayna Valkyria after her betrayal of the Ix…pretty much every girl in the series.
- After the End: The entire series takes place after the fall of Arcaea, the Elemental’s once-paradise.
- Agony Beam: Vahrikaan tortures Shardak with these in Eternal Darkness.
- All Deaths Final: Played straight until Eternal Darkness. Valkyria sort of returns to life, but this trope is possibly played straight even with her because she didn’t actually die.
- Always Chaotic Evil: Subverted. The Ix at first seem to be this, but as the series goes on, more and more less malign Ix, including several who are aligned with the Resistance such as Kalix, appear over the course of the series, culminating with the Heel–Face Turn of about half the Ix Warrior Class in Eternal Darkness.
- Over time it’s revealed that the Ix were once the oppressed class of Arcaea who led a revolt with the beings who later became the Order of Vahrikaan. One of the revolutionaries, Nihiltian, was working with Vahrikaan, and established the Ix Empire as a front for the growing Order. The Ix had to use more and more brutal methods to keep the many species they ruled in check, culminating, of course, with the use of Elimination. They would have brought Vahrikaan back were it not for Arcturas’ intervention.
- Seen through the eyes of Valkyria, the Ix Empire really is Not So Different from the Resistance. It’s only their leaders who are morally corrupt in the eyes of the Resistance.
- Animate Dead: What the second stage of the Sleikha Inferni virus does to corpses.
- Anyone Can Die: Almost every single volume has at least one major character killed off, usually more. In Eternal Darkness one of the main protagonists, Fairon, is killed as well.
- Apocalypse How: Almost Class 3a in Eternal Darkness. At the end of the series, Shardak is the only surviving Toa.
- Attempted Z with Vahrikaan's plan for the end of time and space.
- Arch-Enemy: Shardak and Vahrikaan.
- Arc Words: Several, the most notable being "Follow your heart" in Eternal Darkness
- Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: Vahrikaan's plan for the Zormacht, revealed at the end of Eternal Darkness. He would have brought them back through the temporal gateway of the Shadovar Complex and to have them all ascend to beings of pure consciousness. They could then recreate the universe as they wished.
- Artifact of Death: The Annulus, the Shadovar Codrex.
- An Axe to Grind: Millennium's Axe of Eternity, to name one.
- Back from the Dead: Basically happens to Valkyria in Eternal Darkness, though technically she didn’t actually die. Also happens to the Hooded One, who is killed by Ardhana, but gets better in one chapter because her soul is bound to Shadovar.
- Background Magic Field: The aura field.
- Backstory: A ton.
- Batman Gambit: Vahrikaan excels at these.
- Battle Couple: Shardak and Valkyria, by the end of Eternal Darkness.
- The Beautiful Elite: The Ix's most elite warriors are all described as attractive, especially Reyna and Skorpix.
- Valkyria counts as well, after the revelation about her parentage in Eternal Darkness.
- Because Destiny Says So: Played with and ultimately subverted.
- Because You Were Nice to Me: Why Valkyria spares Shardak after she reveals her identity as The Mole. Also the deciding factor in her final Heel–Face Turn.
- Berserk Button: Justified, as Shardak was basically lied to all his life, all the way up to Eternal Darkness. But don’t keep secrets from him. Really.
- Black and Grey Morality: Verges on Grey and Grey Morality at times.
- Black Cloak: Almost all Ix of higher castes wear one. So does Varkanax.
- Big Bad: The Hooded One in the first six books. Vahrikaan in Eternal Darkness.
- Bigger Bad: Vahrikaan to the Hooded One, before he’s released in Eternal Darkness.
- The entire Order of Vahrikaan, to the Ix Empire.
- Big Good: Atarus, Parikon.
- Bittersweet Ending
- Bond Villain Stupidity: Despite his overall Magnificent Bastard status, Vahrikaan sometimes falls into this. Especially at the end of Eternal Darkness, when his A God Am I status makes him overconfident and overly arrogant.
- Boomerang Bigot: The Ix’s entire leadership, and most of the Ix, believe they are inherently superior to the other races of Xaterex.
- Bounty Hunter: Nightwatcher and Skorr. Jekart used to be one as well.
- Broken Masquerade: Basically what Silencer's first big infodump in Into the Darkness amounts to.
- Broke Your Arm Punching Out Cthulhu: Shardak after Vahrikaan's defeat. He's nearly completely broken at first, and still remains a Shell-Shocked Veteran even after he recovers slightly.
- Cannot Spit It Out: Shardak, in the middle of Eternal Darkness, to Valkyria. He gets over it at the end.
- Cerebus Syndrome: The series goes from Shardak on the run from the Ix Empire to Shardak joining the Resistance and fighting the Ix to Shardak locked in combat against a being who plans to bring about the end of all life and the destruction of time and his minions.
- Chekhov's Gun: The Sleikha Inferni virus.
- Chekhov's Gunman: Arcturas in the final volume, in a way. And, of course, the random guy from Into the Darkness that Shardak and Blast meet in the Labyrinth in Into the Darkness turns out to be Isarkh, a former member of the Order of Vahrikaan turned friend of Atarus
- Chekhov's Skill: Shardak's skill with knives, mentioned in Into the Darkness and again in The Darkest Light. Nex learns of these the hard way in Shattering.
- The Chessmaster: Vahrikaan, who manipulated every single organization in the entire plot into his return to power.
- Also, Varkanax/ possible-future Shardak. He outgambits Vahrikaan and is ultimately the only reason Vahrikaan is defeated.
- The Chooser of The One: Really, Shardak only becomes the chosen one because both the Ix and the Resistance will it to be so. In the end, it turns out that Fairon fulfills the Final Prophecy, but he only really happened to have Elemental blood. See Because Destiny Says So and You Can't Fight Fate.
- The Chosen One: Shardak is thought to be the Spirit Toa by both the Ix Empire and the resistance. Except Atarus, who thinks that the real chosen one is Valkyria. It turns out that both guesses were incorrect, and that Fairon is the real chosen one.
- Cold-Blooded Torture: The Ix to Shardak and Blast in Into the Darkness. Then Shardak gets it again from the Order in Shattering. But he gets it the worst in Eternal Darkness, courtesy of Vahrikaan.
- Color-Coded Characters: Subverted, unlike in the canon Bionicle universe. Almost all of the main characters wear gray metal armor. The only way to tell for certain if a character's an enemy is if they're wearing a black hooded cloak.
- Unless it's Varkanax who's wearing the cloak.
- Crapsack World: Xaterex can be considered this.
- Cruel and Unusual Death: Many. The deaths of the Turaga of the Sanctum in the Final Prophecy are one example. Fed alive to Sarkanian clones…
- Way worse is Serrakaan’s battle with Tabaris in The Eternal Game. Serrakaan causes him to bleed until he begins to drown in it, then fills his lungs with his own blood until his heart to explodes.
- Another example is Reyna’s Karmic Death in The Final Prophecy. She survived her battle with Freztrak, despite having several ribs broken, and believes she’s escaped until the Sleikha Inferni virus that Freztrak released begins to take hold. One can only imagine how long she lay there as the disease slowly killed her over the course of ten hours.
- Cryptic Background Reference: To the Fall of Arcaea, often. It isn't until Eternal Darkness we learn the full story.
- Dark Action Girl: Valkyria. She's an extremely skilled fighter, mainly with her longbow but also with her scimitar. Later becomes an Action Girl after her final Heel–Face Turn
- Shattering gives us Reyna, the cold, emotionless Ix commander who captures Shardak, Valkyria and Flardrek single-handedly in battle. Oh, yeah, and plans to casually to wipe out all non-Ix on Xaterex with the Sleikha Inferni Virus.
- Warmaster Meera Faal from Eternal Darkness, as well.
- Dark and Troubled Past: A lot of characters, notably Atarus, Fairon, and Arcturas.
- Darker and Edgier: Often more grim then BIONICLE canon.
- Death Ray: Vahrikaan uses one on Shardak, in an attempt to finish him off. It fails, as he’s shielded by the Ignika.
- But it works against Blast a few chapters later.
- Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?: Shardak in Eternal Darkness, when he destroys the Shadovar Codrex. Vahrikaan was not happy.
- Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Villainous example: Reyna kills Parikon, a Great Being, in The Final Prophecy.
- And Fairon, Shardak, and Valkyria take down god Vahrikaan in Eternal Darkness.
- Doom Magnet: Shardak and Fairon. Valkyria, after she pulls a Heel–Face Turn, as well.
- Door Stopper: Quite lengthy for BIONICLE fanfics. All of them are in the 50-200 page length, until Eternal Darkness, which is 385 pages in length.
- Downer Ending: Every book except The Shadows Coil has this to some degree, but The Darkest Light and Shattering are the most prominent.
- The Dreaded: Lord Vahrikaan. Flardrek fears to even mention his name, and merely facing him causes Shardak’s heart to freeze in dread.
- Eostra Nihiltian/The Hooded One as well.
- Earn Your Happy Ending
- Eldritch Abomination: Some of the Elementals. When it’s revealed that Vahrikaan is a Zormacht, this is taken to another level.
- Elemental Nation: Arcaea.
- Empathic Weapon: The Blade of Arcturas
- The Empire: The Ix Empire.
- The End of the World as We Know It: Vahrikaan's plan almost brings this about.
- Evil Counterpart: Nightshade to Shardak.
- And in Eternal Darkness, Shadow-Shardak to core universe Shardak.
- Eviler Than Thou: Reyna completely humiliates Saren in The Final Prophecy.
- And then Vahrikaan simply stops Saren's plans completely with a flick of his wrist.
- Faceless Goons: Most of the Ix shock troops wear hoods.
- Family-Unfriendly Death: And how! We have characters crushed to death, characters messily gored repeatedly, charatcers who lie dying tortured by a deadly virus for ten hours, characters who rupture the arteries of other characters and cause them to drown in their own blood, and characters ripped apart into pieces and spattered across metal spikes.
- Fantasy Gun Control: Due to Arcaean technology being in short supply, though Skorr does have a blaster.
- Fate Worse Than Death: Parikon threatens Reyna with this in The Final Prophecy. It doesn’t work out.
- Five-Bad Band:
- Five-Man Band: Looks something like this:
- Foil: Shardak is Valkyria’s foil. The reverse is also true. Often, Blast is this to Shardak as well.
- Four-Element Ensemble: The four elemental swords, of course.
- Gambit Pileup: We have the Ix's plan, Varakanax's plan, Vahrikaan's plan, the Order's plan, Arcturas' plan...every single plot in the series is tied together, but all of the above have different aims.
- Gambit Roulette: Vahrikaan's plan to escape his prison and help the Zormacht escape their inevitable death in the war against the Ancients was one that encompassed the entire life of Nihiltian, who he'd driven mad from his whispers since the time of her birth. It also encompassed the lives of Shardak, Arcturas, and countless others.
- He was outgambited in the end by Varkanax.
- A God Am I - Lord Vahrikaan after he takes control of Shadovar and begins to merge his essence with the Zormacht.
- Good Is Not Nice: Saren Naghara even before his Face Heel Turn.
- Ham-to-Ham Combat: Shardak versus the Deathmeld and the Inferni versus Vahrikaan and the Zormacht.
- Heel–Face Turn: Jekart, Skorr, Nightwatcher.
- Valkyria turns her back completely on the Ix in Shattering, after finding out the truth about the Ix's plans, and how they were merely puppets for the Order of Vahrikaan all along.
- Heel–Face Revolving Door: Valkyria. Until she chooses a side in Shattering.
- Heroic B.S.O.D.: Happens to Shardak. Often.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Many, but the one that stands out the most is Fairon's at the end of Eternal Darkness.
- Hero Secret Service: The coalition in The Final Prophecy.
- High-Heel–Face Turn: Valkyria.
- Idiot Hero: Played with. Shardak isn’t an idiot, but he is naïve and does play the fool sometimes, especially when it comes to Valkyria.
- Inhumanly Beautiful Race: The Ix verge on this at times.
- Interspecies Romance: Shardak and Valkyria, in one way or another.
- Is That What He Told You?: Lots of well-meaning deception from Shardak’s mentors.
- It May Help You on Your Quest: The reason Shardak is given the Shadow Orb in The Darkest Light subverted as it wasn’t the real Orb at all.
- Karma Houdini: Skorr and Nightwatcher both are granted amnesty for their crimes by the new Xaterex government for siding with the Resistance in the latter half of the war. The same with Ahri and the Ix under his command.
- Karmic Death: Reyna and Windeus are both killed by the Sleikha Inferni virus, the virus that they planned to use to kill everyone on Xaterex. And Skorpix was killed by his daughter, who he'd sworn to kill.
- Kneel Before Zod: Kneel before Vahrikaan.
- Knight Templar: The Ix Empire can sometimes be viewed in this manner, what with their moral genocides and what not.
- From a certain view, Saren is this as well.
- Kudzu Plot: The novels can be viewed as this, though ultimately Eternal Darkness wraps up every plot thread.
- Kuudere: Valkyria.
- Large Ham: Several.
- Last Words: Arcturas: "Follow your heart."
- Fairon: "Fare you well...my Toa-brother."
- La Résistance: The Xaterex resistance.
- Laughing Mad: Shardak, when he’s using the Blade of Arcturas.
- The Lifestream: The aura field seems to be this.
- Luke, I Am Your Father: Gender flipped and averted. Valkyria knew that Skorpix was her father the whole time.
- MacGuffin: The Shadow Orb, the Annulus, the Shadovar Codrex.
- Machiavelli Was Wrong: Subverted with Vahrikaan. While he has a legion of followers who are mostly utterly loyal to him, a few betray him for various reasons and ultimately cause his plans small setbacks, usually due to pesky emotions.
- Mad Oracle: The last Ancient, the guy who wrote the Final Prophecy. Seriously.
- Manipulative Bastard: Ultimately Saren is this, though he has hints of Magnificent Bastardry as well, particularly in Shattering.
- Marked to Die: The Spirit Toa. Is thought at first to mean Shardak, then later Valkyria, but in the end turns out to be Fairon.
- The Mole: Valkyria is ordered to be this in the Resistance by Skorpix. She becomes it, albeit reluctantly.
- Moral Dissonance: Sometimes
- Mutual Kill: Several, the most notable being Fairon and Vahrikaan at the end of Eternal Darkness
- And Freztrak and Reyna in ''The Final Prophecy, though it was unintentional.
- Named Weapon: The Blade of Arcturas. The elemental swords may count as well, too.
- Narrative Profanity Filter: Phrases such as "he/she swore" are used, as well as "Holy Mata Nui" or "Karzahni", but that's all.
- A Nazi by Any Other Name: The Ix Empire could be considered this, from one view.
- Now or Never Kiss: Shardak and Valkyria in Eternal Darkness.
- Oh, Crap!: Several times, usually when Shardak finds out another piece of Vahrikaan's plan, but especially when he learns that Vahrikaan has control of the Shadovar Codrex.
- Omnicidal Maniac: Vahrikaan seems to be this in Eternal Darkness, at least in the eyes of Shardak and the resistance. In truth, his real plan is much more complicated.
- One-Hit Kill: Vahrikaan does this to Blast. Reyna also does this to Flardrek in Shattering.
- Only I Can Kill Him: Only the Spirit Toa can kill Vahrikaan.
- The Order: The Order of Vahrikaan, an evil example.
- Plot Armor: No one as any, not even the protagonists. Many fans speculated Shardak would actually be killed off in the finale.
- The Power of Love: How Shardak wins Valkyria over it his side.
- Power Trio: Shardak, Fairon, and Valkyria, when they’re not trying to kill each other.
- Fairon (id), Shardak (ego), Valkyria (superego) is the most common way to set this up, though all three characters play the three roles vis-à-vis each other.
- Pragmatic Villain: Vahrikaan, who, when faced with Lusa’s denial to operate Shadovar, simply goes “oh well” and shoots her.
- Prophecies Are Always Right: Toyed with, but ultimately subverted.
- Prophecy Twist: Several.
- Ruleof Cool: The series practically lives on it.
- From the creator's mouth: "It's Rahkshi jungle warriors and a rebel alliance vs. hooded reaper people and their dark god vs. sentient hiveminded virus vs. Varkanax."
- The Reveal: Many, at least one per book. Tons at the end of ED.
- Sadistic Choice: Shardak's choice in Eternal Darkness. Either stop Vahrikaan or allow his friends to die. He chooses to save his friends. The consequences are large, though Vahrikaan still ends up dead.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: Vahrikaan is this. For the first six volumes.
- Shell-Shocked Veteran: Fairon, post-Eternal Game. And Shardak, after the war.
- She Is Not My Girlfriend: Shardak has a moment of this with Nightwatcher in Eternal Darkness, regarding Valkyria. Of course, Nightwatcher was right.
- Ship Sinking: Fairon and Lusa. Both of them die.
- The Sociopath: Reyna and Windeus, who are willing to commit multiple genocides if Shardak will not obey them.
- Skorpix, too. And Vahrikaan.
- Soul Jar: Vahrikaan’s avatars in Eternal Darkness.
- Talking Weapon: The Blade of Arcturas seems to qualify as this, but is usually quite chatty with promises of (violent) victory.
- All of the elemental swords, actually, especially The temporal sword from Eternal Darkness.
- Tell Me About My Father: Shardak does this to Atarus, often, who patiently sits down and gives him long infodumps. After Atarus seemingly dies, Iskandar takes this role.
- True Companions: Shardak, Fairon, and Valkyria by the end of Eternal Darkness.
- Tsundere: Lusa. Valkyria, too, sometimes.
- Two Guys and a Girl: Shardak, Flardrek, and Valkyria in Shattering. It doesn’t last long.
- Done again in Eternal Darkness with Shardak, Fairon, and Valkyria.
- The Virus: The Elimination Plague. And the Sleikha Inferni virus, which is a thousand times worse.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: All of the original members of The Order of Vahrikaan started out as this. It didn't last.
- Saren Naghara is made of this trope. Everything he did was (in his eyes, at least) for Resistance's benefit.
- Vahrikaan himself may qualify, especially after Eternal Darkness, when it's revealed he's the last survivor of his species, the Zormacht, who were destroyed by the ancients when they became corrupt. He planned to bring them back using the Shadovar Codrex and transform them into beings of pure consciousness beyond the bounds of time, where they could recreate existence as they wished.
- Wham Episode: Every book has plenty, but especially the end of Shattering.
- When It All Began: Way back on Arcaea...
- Actually, way back ten thousand years ago, when the Ancients sealed away Vahrikaan...
- Would Be Rude to Say "Genocide": Averted. The Ix's leadership believe that they are morally correct in exterminating the Toa. This is taken to extremes in Shattering when Reyna and Skorpix unabashedly threaten the genocide of every single non-Ix on Xaterex if Shardak will not complete the Rising of Vahrikaan.
- Later, it comes back to bite them. Hard.
- Xanatos Speed Chess: Vahrikaan excels at this, and his plans are often nearly infallible and take centuries to fulfill. He's finally out-gambited by Varkanax and Shardak in Eternal Darkness.
- You Can't Fight Fate: Subverted.