|Prisoners of the Pit|
In the pursuit of Kanohi Ignika, the Mask of Life, Makuta Teridax's Antidermis essence floats down through the narrow stone Cord into the depths of the Pit. Teridax plans to take matters into his own hands since the Rahi, Bohrok, and the Piraka that he once used as minions all failed to defeat the Toa. He believes that he cannot lose this time, since this time he will use the Toa to retrieve the mask for him. Also looking for the mask are the Toa Inika, who are battling a tribe of Zyglak which set up residence in the Cord when the tunnel walls began to crack and water started to flood the small space. The Toa decide to take their chances in the open ocean surrounding the tunnel, so Jaller produces a flame with his sword, enabling the team to see where they are swimming. When the Toa emerge into the water, they encounter a huge Venom Eel, which is responsible for the damage to the Cord. The beast notices the flame, and it is drawn to it by the prospect of a meal. Elsewhere, on the sea bottom, the Ignika lets out a flash of light as Barraki Pridak is about to grab it. The energies the mask gives off transform the Inika into the Toa Mahri, who are left unconscious after the energy surge.
The Barraki are surprised that they survived the blast. Kalmah finds Pridak clutching the Ignika in a state of insanity, and he also notices a large crack running down the mask. At the same time, Takadox spots the unconscious Toa Mahri and waits to see if the venom eel would finish them off. Meanwhile, the Po-Matoran Dekar has fled from the Barraki and is running out of his meager store of air. He nearly drowns in the dark waters before the Ignika saves him by transforming him into a copy of the long-dead Pit jailer Hydraxon.
When the Toa Mahri recover, they are forced to fight the giant venom eel. They soon discover that their masks have changed powers, and that their Inika lightning abilities are lost. Despite this, they manage to defeat the eel. Seeing the underwater village of Mahri Nui in the distance, the Toa make their way to the sunken city. Unfortunately, the Matoran living there believe that the Toa are escaped prisoners of the Pit, and attack them. However, Defilak, current leader of the Matoran, stops the fight and allows Matoro to enter the city. It becomes apparent that the Toa's transformation has rendered them unable to breathe air. Keeping Matoro near the city, Defilak tells the other five Toa Mahri that to prove they are Toa as they claim, they have to free the Air Fields from Carapar's Keras crabs. When they arrive, though, the crabs draw aside without a fight. The five Toa then encounter the the six Barraki, who take them prisoner.
Defilak observes all of this, and evidently believes that the Toa and Barraki are allies. Seeing that he can not convince the Matoran of their innocence, Matoro flees from the city, but is quickly captured by Hydraxon. Hydraxon places Matoro in a cell on the Pit floor, and introduced him to Maxilos, a robotic guard, and Spinax, an Energy Hound. Teridax has taken over the body of the Maxilos robot, however, and reveals this to Matoro, claiming to be on his side.
During this time, the Barraki have decided to wait until the Mask of Life is destroyed by the Pit Mutagen and then use the leaked energy to restore themselves to their pre-mutation forms. They proceed in this by giving the mask to another prisoner, Nocturn, for safekeeping, as they do not trust each other. While this is happening, the Toa Mahri are able to escape from their cells using their mask powers. After breaking out, a Hahnah Crab begins following Jaller, attracted by his flame. Later, during a fight with Kalmah and Carapar, Kongu unintentionally unleashes a gigantic ancient sea Rahi with his Kanohi Zatth, and the Rahi easily defeats the two Barraki and leaves the area.
Elsewhere, Nuparu finds several Cordak Blasters in a cave and shows them to the others. Each Toa takes one, but Kongu takes two, as he does not have a Toa Tool. They then return to Mahri Nui and Toa Hahli manages to gain the Matoran's trust, to some extent. Matoro soon joins up with them, pretending that Maxilos is an ally. He does not mention anything about Teridax possessing the robot, as the Makuta does not want the other Toa to know. Maxilos suggests that the Toa split up to search for the mask.
While this is happening, Nocturn becomes bored with watching over the Ignika and begins toying with the mask. He then discovers that while he holds the Mask of Life, everything he touches dies. He puts the mask down for a moment, and a Gadunka hides under it for shelter. Imbued with the powers of the mask, it slowly begins to enlarge, but Nocturn has already walked off with the mask, in search of Ehlek to tell him about his newfound power.
On his way to the Sea Squid cave, Carapar notices that the revived Venom Eel is fighting with the monster Kongu awakened, but he continues onwards. After all of the Barraki arrive, they decide that the Toa must have stolen the Mask of Life when they escaped, and they split up to catch them and retrieve the mask.
In one part of the Pit, Mantax attacks Hahli, and almost kills her, only to find out that the Toa Mahri have no idea where the mask is. Elsewhere, Jaller and Kongu stumble upon several hatching squid eggs, and end up making a deal with Kalmah and Carapar to avoid being killed by the newborn squids. The deal is that the Toa would obtain the Mask of Life, and in return would restore the Barraki to their past forms and kill Pridak. Meanwhile, Nuparu and Hewkii are attacked by Ehlek and trapped in a venom eel nest. They escape by using their Cordak blasters to shoot at the eels. Hewkii sees several of Pridak's Takea sharks and increases their weight using his Kanohi Garai until they slam into Ehlek's eels, causing Ehlek to believe Pridak ordered the attack on him. While this is going on, Matoro and Maxilos encounter Pridak and Takadox. Pridak's army of Takea attacks them, but Matoro uses his Kanohi Tryna to reanimate the skeletons of dead sea creatures to fight for him. Though the reanimated corpses are eventually defeated, Ehlek's forces arrive and start attacking Pridak's forces. Matoro and Maxilos then use the distraction to escape.
Several hours later, the Toa Mahri return to Mahri Nui. Defilak is upset at what the Toa have done. In addition to the deaths of several Hydruka and Matoran, the safe hour that the residents of Mahri Nui took advantage of is lost. The Toa suddenly realize that Hahli is absent. As the Toa wonder the whereabouts of their fellow Toa, a Ga-Matoran comes and reports that Hahli was last seen leading a group of Mantax's manta rays to Mahri Nui. Meanwhile, Nocturn runs into Hydraxon and is swiftly defeated by the revived jailer. Hydraxon sees the Mask of Life, and the part of his consciousness that still holds the dormant mind of Dekar makes him realize that the mask is dangerous. The jailer takes aim with his Cordak blaster and fires at the mask.
As Matoro and Maxilos head to the last place where Hahli was spotted, Maxilos reveals that in order to revive Mata Nui, the Cord must be severed. This would result in the sinking of Voya Nui and the destruction of Mahri Nui. He also claims that all the Matoran on both lands would perish.
Elsewhere, on Metru Nui, the Toa Nuva sneak into the Great Temple to find a message that Axonn had told them they need to revive Mata Nui. They find the message, which is written on a kind of paper. It is a list of things needed to be done before Mata Nui can be awakened successfully. The first thing on the list to be done is for the Bohrok to complete their mission, to clean the surface of the island of Mata Nui of all substance. Thus, the Toa Nuva travel to Mata Nui and free the Bahrag queens of the swarm. As soon as they do so, the Bohrok awake, ready to cleanse the island of Mata Nui.
- The Bahrag
- The Barraki
- Mahri Nui Matoran
- Maxilos/Makuta Teridax
- The Toa Inika/Toa Mahri
- The Toa Nuva
"For Tim, who helps make any Pit bearable"
— Greg Farshtey
- Prisoners of the Pit and City of the Lost are the only two BIONICLE novels that were officially translated to German.
- Legacy of Evil, Inferno, City of the Lost, and Prisoners of the Pit were packaged together with a Mantax head in late 2007 for a Scholastic promotion.
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