The island of Mata Nui has changed. Much that it was once was is lost. For none now live who remember it.
It began with the forging of the nineteen great masks. For within these masks was bound the strength and will to govern the six races of Fire, Water, Stone, Earth, Ice and Air. But they were all of them deceived, for another mask was made.
In the land of Kini-Nui, in the fires of Mount Ihu, the Dark Lord Makuta forged in secret a master mask, to control all others. And into this mask, he poured his cruelty, his malice, and his will to dominate all life.
It became known as the Mask of Shadows, a mask that was created to rule them all.
One by one, the free lands of Mata Nui fell to the power of the Mask. But there were some who resisted. A last alliance of Toa and Matoran marched against the armies of Makuta, and on the slopes of Mount Ihu they fought for the freedom of Mata Nui.
Victory was near, but the power of the Mask could not be undone.
It was in this moment, when all hope had faded, that Lhikan, son of Norik, took up his father's sword, and Makuta, the enemy of the peoples of Mata Nui, was defeated. The Mask passed to Lhikan, who had this one chance to destroy evil forever. But the Mask easily corrupted his heart. And the Mask of Shadows has a will of its own. For it betrayed Lhikan to his death.
And some things that should not have been forgotten were lost.
History became legend, legend became myth, and for two and a half thousand years, the Mask passed out of all knowledge. Until, when chance came, it ensnared a new bearer.
The Mask came to the Po-Matoran Ahkmou, who took it deep into the tunnels of Onu-Wahi. And there, it consumed him.
The Mask brought to Ahkmou unnatural long life. For five hundred years it poisoned his mind. And in the gloom of Ahkmou's cave, it waited. Darkness crept back into the forest of the world. Rumor grew of a shadow; whispers of a nameless fear, and the Mask of Shadows perceived its time had now come. It abandoned Ahkmou.
But something happened then the Mask did not intend. It was picked up by Turaga Dume of Ta-Koro.
For the time will soon come when the Ta-Matoran to shape the fortunes of all.