Tama's Fai Fuamoa Item in The Million Islands | World Anvil
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Tama's Fai Fuamoa

Kailo Moana settled by the fire, and nodded to the children gathered around, eagerly awaiting the signal that the storyteller was ready to begin. Immediately, several of their tails shot up over their heads, as each child who wanted a particular story tried to be selected by the legendary Fai Tala. Kailo Moana pondered a moment, and chose a small child sitting in the back another, whose tail was only half-raised as if uncertain they had the same right to ask as the others.

"Have you a story you wish to hear, fofoa?"

"Um, may we have the story of Tama?"

One of the older children muttered something, but snapped their mouth shut when the Fai Tala flicked a glance in their direction.

"Yes, fofoa. I think the tale of Tama is a fine choice for this evening."

In a time before you or I hatched, there was a village on the southern coast of Motu named Ta'nafa. It was similar to many other villages of the Mu'o'a, and was home to the Aiga Savai'i. In this village lived a vaivai named Tama. Even for a vaivai, Tama was thought to be small and scrawny, and the matai of the Savai'i saw no useful purpose Tama might serve. They were permitted to remain in the nest, tending the eggs, and sometimes helping other vaivai like themself by cracking their shells with their fai fuamoa.

One day, war came to the village of the Aiga Savai'i. The matai of the Savai'i had insulted Aukuso, the matai of the Tai'ava, who was enraged beyond reason by the slight. The Tai'ava gathered their warriors, and followed Aukuso to war, intent on destroying the Savai'i. They came upon the village in the early morning, and called the warriors of the Savai'i out to face them. Throughout the battle, Tama stayed in the nest, knowing that they had no place on the battlefield as a small and scrawny vaivai.

When the sun had risen as far as it would, the battle was ended. The Tai'ava had won the day, and the bodies of the Savai'i soaked the ground beneath them. But the matai of the Tai'ava was not yet satisfied. Over the protests of their own warriors, Aukuso slew each of the wounded, and then declared that they would finish the last of the Savai'i before they could rise up to plague them. When Aukuso moved towards the nest, three of the Tai'ava tried to stop them from this violation of Mu'a, but Aukuso overpowered and slew all three in their wrath.

When Aukuso entered the nest, Tama was waiting holding their fai fuamoa before them. The matai sneered at the tiny vaivai, and swept them aside with a backhanded blow. But before Aukuso could take a step towards the eggs of the Savai'i, Tama was again before them. They were trembling, but held their fai fuamoa out in challenge against the massive Aukuso. Snarling, the matai struck Tama a blow that drove the vaivai to their knees, and left the ground beneath Tama red-soaked. Still Tama rose and blocked the path to the eggs. A third time Aukuso struck, and a third time Tama was knocked to the earth, and a third time Tama rose. A prayer to the Aku arose from Tama's throat at this moment, that they be granted to the stamina to endure all that must be endured to protect the nest. Faamo'aku heard this prayer.

When the fourth blow fell, Tama did not fall. Their fai fuamoa caught the larger weapon of the matai, and turned it aside. Then Tama struck their own blow, which shattered the right leg of Aukuso and soaked the ground beneath them. A second blow from the fai fuamoa broke his skull, opening it like an hatching egg. The mighty Aukuso lay still upon the earth, and would not rise again.

When the Tai'ava saw their matai soaking the earth, they withdrew from the ruined village, accepting Aukuso's death as the judgement of the Aku. Tama alone remained of the Savai'i, save for the eggs they had protected. But Tama's fai fuamoa was transformed by the power of the Aku, and with it in hand Tama was able to provide for themselves and the fofoas when they hatched. The village was rebuilt by Tama, and remained strong for many years after Tama passed into memory and dream.

Kailo Moana stopped speaking and took a long drink, the tale complete. One of the children nearest the storyteller raised a questioning tail, and the Fai Tala nodded their permission to speak.

"Fai Tala, what happened to Tama's fai fuamoa after she passed?"

"Ah, it too went into memory and dream. But it was touched by the Aku, and such things are not lost. It returns from time to time, when it is needed. And when a deserving hand is there to receive it. But that will have to be a story for another night."

A Mu'o'a fai fuamoa (or egg-breaker) is a tool used by the Mu'o'a to help hatchlings who cannot break their own shells. It is a hook shaped instrument, with a sharp point used to crack the egg. There are larger versions used in battle as well, but Tama's fai fuamoa is described as a common tool more than a military weapon. After it was touched by the Aku, it gained the ability to shatter anything, including bones, by finding every weak spot in the object that is struck.


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