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Thread: Masters of the Universe - A New Vision

  1. #401
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    I've always been interested in the time before Keldor became Skeletor so this is one of a few stories I have written up from that time.

    Royal Heirs -- Part I

    For the last 17 months Eternia had been at war. The prodigal son of Eternos had returned and his arrival had meant death for thousands. King Miro had bravely led the army of Eternos with his Man-At-Arms, Dekker, by his side. Miro’s son, Prince Randor, had also shown great bravery and fought valiantly but thus far it wasn’t enough. The war was going badly for the warriors of Eternos and recent events weighed heavily on King Miro’s conscience.

    Three weeks earlier a small group of Keldor’s soldiers had managed to break through the frontlines and reach the Royal Palace. The battle at the palace was brief but fierce, causing heavy casualties on both sides. During this battle even Queen Acacia was forced to bear arms and fight. She fought valiantly but was run through with a spear. The wound itself had not killed her but it had become infected and Miro was worried about her survival.

    Sitting on the throne and pondering these matters he was surprised when he saw an excited soldier arrive before him. The soldier reported that Keldor was leading a small group of soldiers that were situated four days north-east of the palace. Reportedly Keldor travelled with less than ten other warriors. No one knew what Keldor had planned but it was suspected that Keldor might be leading a group of special operatives whose goal would be to infiltrate the palace once more. Miro believed that capturing Keldor could bring a quick end to the war.

    Dekker didn’t want King Miro to lead the attack on Keldor because he felt that going so far from the palace was too dangerous. Miro disagreed and felt that it was his duty as king to lead this attack. Furthermore, as a father he felt that it should be he who took down his wayward stepson.

    Miro believed that the only way to get to Keldor would be by taking a small force of troops, handpicking 25 of his finest soldiers to accompany him. A larger force would cause Keldor to learn of the attack early enough to give him a chance to retreat.
    Last edited by Darth Latveria; July 8, 2009 at 02:49pm.

  2. #402
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    Royal Heirs -- Part II

    King Miro had difficulty concentrating on the mission as he marched through the forest. Queen Acacia was very ill and he wasn’t sure how much longer she could fight off the infection. Watching his men as they rode alongside him, their armors covered by a greenish-brown material so as to give them some camouflage, Miro simply hoped that the upcoming battle would end quickly so that he could return to his wife’s side. Miro’s wish that the battle would end quickly came true but not as he intended.

    Setting up camp after the third day of travel, Miro believed that he’d be able to intercept Keldor’s group the following day. Sitting down to eat dinner Miro suddenly heard a scream and looked up, seeing their lookout fall from a nearby tree. Miro then saw a blue creature jump out and land next to three of his soldiers, covering them in some sort of web and then quickly tearing into them.

    As Miro picked up his sword to attack the blue creature, out of the corner of his eye he saw a large green creature rush past him and into a group of 5 soldiers. Turning to see the creature better he saw the largest Caligar he had ever seen. The vicious Caligar was shattering his men’s bones with his gigantic tail. Unsure of which group of men to help, Miro then saw a couple of swordsmen emerge from the clearing. One wore a strange green visor and appeared to be able to see behind his back, quickly cutting down any soldier that came at him from behind and blasting the soldiers in front of him with an eye-shaped jewel. The other swordsmen fought with two swords, a blur of blood-drenched steel slicing through his enemies. A third creature then emerged from the clearing, an orange furred monster that roared with an unbridled bestial fury that lunged at another group of soldiers literally tearing their limbs off.

    Taking hold of his senses Miro chose to attack the dual-bladed swordsmen but was knocked off his feet while running towards him. Looking up, Miro saw a gorgeous lady looking down on him. With a smile, she pointed her staff at him and the last thing he saw was a bright light.

  3. #403
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    Royal Heirs -- Part III

    Miro woke up with a blinding headache. His vision was blurry and it took him a little time to see that he was inside one of his tents. It was dark but he saw the glow of a fire through the tent wall. Rolling over he saw that his weapons had been taken away. Shakily getting to his feet, he emerged from the tent to see Keldor sitting in front of the fire next to the beautiful woman. Miro’s sword was at Keldor’s side.

    Seeing that Miro had left the tent, Keldor said, “Greetings King Miro. I trust that you feel rested. Lyn wasn’t too rough with you, was she?”

    Looking around Miro couldn’t see Keldor’s other warriors. With a smile Keldor said, “Don’t concern yourself with where my men are. I assure you that they are nearby should I need them.”

    “Keldor, why did you start this mad war?”

    Leaning back and sipping at a chalice filled with wine, Keldor said, “Eternia has been ruled by the same people for far too long. It is time for a change.”

    “Keldor I took you in as my son and this is how you thank me?”

    Angrily Keldor spat his wine out and shouted, “SON? You call me your son? I already had a father but you left him to die.”

    “Your father died in the uprising of Anwat Gar.”

    “And where were your forces when my people needed them? Where were you? You left my people to die.”

    “They had gone insane. What was I supposed to do? There is no way we could have saved your people. Your mother and you were lucky to escape at all.”

    “Great luck indeed. Once the heir to a great kingdom I instead watching as my mother was seduced by a pale-skinned fop who then spawned a new child. Father, why is it that I was never the heir to Eternos? Why is it that Randor got the place that was rightfully mine?”

    “Keldor you know that the royal family runs through my bloodline. It has been this way since the days of Greyskull.”

    “Ha, Greyskull. I know far more about your ancestor than you can ever imagine. Times can and do change.”

    “Even if you kill me you won’t be the new king. Randor will take my place.”

    “Randor can be ‘convinced’ to abdicate if need be.”

    “Keldor what are you and your men doing here?”

    “Isn’t it obvious? We’re here to expedite my brother’s rise in power.”

    “What?”

    “I knew that you couldn’t resist leading the attack against me if you knew I was nearby. That is why I planted the information about my whereabouts. Don’t look so shocked; I am well aware of your spies. I assume your people guessed that I was planning to lead a small force in an attack on the palace, after all, Dekker’s analysis is pretty predictable.”

    “You do know that your mother got injured during the last attack, don’t you? Her wound is infected and I don’t know how much longer she can live.”

    For a moment Keldor looked trouble, but he shook it off and said, “In war there are casualties. I learnt that at a very young age. In any case, after the results of the last palace attack I wasn’t inclined to be the one to lead another so soon. Even with my warriors being what they are I don’t like my chances of taking the palace while it is still so heavily fortified. Your loss will be a tremendous blow to them.”

    “Is that what comes next? You kill an unarmed man?”

    Placing his hand on Miro’s sword, Keldor looked into Miro’s eyes and then wordlessly tossed the sword towards Miro.

    Bending down to pick up the sword, Miro said, “And now I take it that you are going to fight me?”

    “Whoever said anything about me fighting?”

    At this point a large orange furred beast walked out of the forest. Randor recognized it as one of the creatures that had attacked the soldiers earlier. Gesturing at the creature, Keldor said, “King Miro, this is the Beast-Man.”

  4. #404
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    Royal Heirs -- Part IV

    A few days after Miro left to find Keldor a number of scout parties were sent out to search the woods for King Miro’s party. A party led by Duncan Ardurr found him.

    His group had been scouring the forest for the better part of a week when one of the dogs started to get really agitated and eventually broke free from his master’s grip and ran off. Chasing after the dog they came into a clearing where a ghastly sight was waiting for them.

    In the middle of the clearing there was a flat stone and on that stone lay a head. Duncan recognized King Miro right away, having known him quite well. None of the soldier’s bodies were ever recovered.

    The following night Queen Acacia succumbed to her fever and died before King Miro’s remains could be brought back to the palace. Soon thereafter, a new king was crowned.

  5. #405
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    Javel


    Javel was born in the last days of the Great War. He grew up in the village of Nikun on the eastern edge of the Evergreen Forest, near to the Sands of Time. A few years before his birth his village had been attacked by Keldor’s forces as they passed through on the way to Eternos. Javel’s parents were lucky to have been travelling at the time of the army’s initial attack because they were spared the terrible battle that ensued. For a brief time Nikun came under Keldor’s control but Javel’s parents got back to Nikun shortly after King Miro’s army had beaten back Keldor’s forces.

    Relak, Javel’s father, was a merchant who travelled across Eternia selling spices that could only be grown in Nikun. Nikun was well known for these unique spices that grew there due to the unique soil found at the border of the Evergreen Forest and the Sands of Time. As a newlywed Relak brought his wife Lessa, along on his business trips. He had always been fiercely patriotic and when he heard that his homeland was under attack he returned immediately.

    Due to its location, Nikun was a valuable point to control so King Miro left a large contingent of troops in the village to help fend off future attacks. Miro knew that his troops alone would likely not be enough so he had them train the local villagers in any town in which they were stationed. This created local militias which helped protect their villages. Relak was was trained by these soldiers and for the duration of the war he set aside his business interests and served as an archer.

    During the war Lessa gave birth to their first child, a girl who unfortunately got sick and died before she was four months old. Javel was born half a year before the Great War ended and four years after that Lessa gave birth to twins, Zell and Dora.

    As a child Javel didn’t get to see his father much because much of the time he was away on business trips. But when Relak was in town he loved to tell Javel stories of the Great War and the various warriors he had once known. Relak even told Javel that he had known Duncan Ardurr, King Randor’s Man-At-Arms, but Javel always believed that it was a bit of a tall tale.

    Relak hoped that Javel would someday join the family business but Javel never showed any interest in it. As a child, Javel only showed interest in learning how to fight as his father had. Relak felt that it was prudent to train his child in case the dark forces managed to return but was disappointed that Javel didn’t seem to be interested in doing much more.

    Javel didn’t share his father’s talent for archery. Although he spent years trying to match his father’s skill, he simply wasn’t very good at it. Javel also had difficulty mastering swordsmanship. At the age of 12, Javel finally found a weapon he was good at using. Javel was an excellent spearman.

    From the day that Javel first laid hands on a spear he was a prodigy of sorts. Javel was excellent at fighting with a staff and the strength of his thrust soon dwarfed that of the other villagers. His aim when throwing a spear was also unmatched, it being so good that people from nearby villages would come to watch him demonstrate his skills.

    Javel didn’t want to follow in his father’s footsteps as a merchant. Instead he chose to put his talents to use and become a hunter. Every morning Javel would get up a little before sunrise and head into the forest for a day of hunting. Javel took to carrying five spears with him. Four of the spears were carried in a special satchel on his back. They were relatively light and thin and were primarily used for throwing. The fifth he carried in his hands and it was made from a heavier wood that he could use for close quarters combat.

    One day Javel woke up at his usual time and as he was leaving his home he saw numerous lights in the distance. Squinting a little, he saw hundreds of soldiers with torches advancing towards Nikun. Running back into his house, Javel woke his father and told him what he saw. Relak grabbed his bow and a quiver of arrows and told his son to run to the large bell in the village square to alert the others of the attack.

    Giving Relak a quick hug, Javel ran into the village square and started ringing the bell, nervously looking into the distance as the soldiers advanced. Seeing people leaving their homes, Javel shouted that they were under attack and jumped down from the bell. He ran to his father who had joined the other villagers. Relak told Javel that he wanted him to go into hiding with Lessa and his siblings but Javel refused and said he wanted to fight.

    “Are you insane boy? You have no idea what these monsters are capable of.”

    “There was a time when you had never fought either. Father, I know I can do this.”

    “Javel, you don’t know what you’re getting yourself into here. You could die.”

    “Dad, for as long as I can remember I have been training for this day. I’ve always wanted to be a soldier and this is my chance. If Nikun gets taken over what possible chance do I have? They’ll send their soldiers after the people who escape the village.”

    “Okay, just be careful.”

    Relak climbed a nearby tree to a perch that had been made for archers during the Great War. Luckily the perch was well made and could still hold his weight. Looking around, Javel saw some of the other villagers climbing into similar perches around the village. Javel joined the main body of villagers who were creating a phalanx to fight off the soldiers who got past the town’s archers.

    Unfortunately for Nikun, there weren’t enough archers to hold off the enemy soldiers and soon they had entered the village. When the enemy soldiers neared, Javel threw his four smaller spears in quick succession. Each spear embedded itself into the enemy soldier it was intended for. Running forward Javel cut down numerous other soldiers using his remaining spear. Killing the soldiers that neared him, Javel picked up their spears and tossed them at soldiers that were further away.

    Even with Javel’s valiant fighting his people were still badly outnumbered and eventually they were forced into the middle of the village square. Javel looked at his father. Relak was now down from the perch, wielding a sword because he had run out of arrows. They knew that this would likely be their last stand.

    As the mass of soldiers approached, one creature amongst them stood out. A horrid orange monster, covered in matted, bloody fur was running towards the villagers even faster than the rest. Glancing at his father for what he thought would be the last time, Javel silently said goodbye and ran past the villagers towards the rampaging beast man.

    As he ran, Javel pulled his throwing spears out from behind him and threw each of them into the beast man. The beast man’s hide was tough and Javel got relatively little penetration from his throws, but he could see that it was hurting the creature. Nearing the creature, Javel jumped and went into a forward roll, dodging the creature’s arm. Jumping back up, Javel thrust the spear into the creature’s chest but was unable to push it far enough into the beast man to hit any vital organs.

    With a roar, the creature tore out the spear and swung his arm towards Javel. Javel was able to jump backwards but couldn’t totally avoid the creature’s attack and was hit in the sternum. Hearing a crack, Javel was knocked onto his back and looked up as the snarling beast man came at him with a taste for blood. Javel closed his eyes expecting to die and was surprised when instead of being killed he heard the creature scream. Opening his eyes, he saw that the creature had seven arrows sticking out of it.

    Gazing upwards into the sky, he saw an awe inspiring mass of arrows flying towards the warriors in the distance. Turning his head to face the village, Javel watched as his father shot arrow after arrow into the hideous beast man, causing it to retreat. His father was now joined by what looked like hundreds of other soldiers fighting on the side of Nikun.

    Standing up in pain, Javel limped towards the village and was greeted by two strong soldiers who helped him walk to his father. Javel asked him what was happening. Relak said that the soldiers of Eternos, King Randor’s army, had arrived to help. Javel was taken aback by this and couldn’t understand how they arrived so quickly. Later he found out that the barrier separating the light and dark hemispheres had been broken and that a new threat to Eternia had emerged. Upon learning of the destruction of the barrier King Randor sent his soldiers to Nikun to help. They had sent an emissary ahead of them to warn the village of the attack, but the emissary had been lost. It was believed that he’d been killed by Skeletor’s forces before having a chance to warn the people of Nikun. When the soldiers neared the village they saw it was already under attack and quickly joined the villagers in fending it off.

    The battle ended soon after Randor’s soldiers arrived. Most of Skeletor’s troops were cut down in the ensuing battle and the few who tried to retreat were hunted down as well. The only enemy that managed to survive was the orange furred beast man.

    With the village safe, Javel returned home. Sitting on his bed and breathing painfully because of his cracked ribs, Javel heard his father call him into the main room. Walking into the room he saw that his father was accompanied by a middle aged man with graying hair and a mustache. Smiling, Relak said, “Javel, this is Duncan Ardurr, the Man-At-Arms of Eternos. He led the soldiers that helped us today.”

    Javel blinked and said, “What? Sir, you know father?”

    Laughing, Relak said, “I told you that my stories were true."

    Duncan said, “I met your father twenty years ago. For a time during the Great War I was assigned to Nikun to monitor the number of troops passing through from Snake Mountain. During this time your father fought under me and was the best archer that Nikun had produced. Now I hear that his son is an accomplished warrior as well.”

    Javel said, “I just try to do my part.”

    Duncan replied, “No need to be humble with me. The entire village is talking about how well you handled yourself today. If I only had a regiment of spearmen with your talent, we could end this war in a fortnight.”

    “Well, I do practice a lot.”

    Duncan looked at Relak for a moment. When Relak nodded, Duncan turned back to Javel and said, “How would you like to practice somewhere else?”

    “What do you mean?”

    “Come back with me to Eternos. I’d like to enlist you in the royal guard. Your training so far has been excellent but to be a truly great warrior you will need more formal training than what you’ve received. I doubt that we’ll improve on your skill with a spear but there are many other things for you to learn.”

    “I’d love to but… my people need me.”

    Relak put his hand on Javel’s shoulder and said, “Son, Nikun has been through this in the past. We’ve already fought a war and come out stronger than before. King Randor has pledged many of his soldiers to our defense. When you’ve been fully trained you’ll be stationed here with us and far better equipped to defend Nikun.”

    “Are you sure you don’t need me here?”

    “Son, I know you’ve always wanted to be a warrior. This is your chance. Trust me, I'm sure I can hold down the fort until you get back to save us from our enemies,” Relak answered while winking.

    With a big grin, Javel looked at Duncan and said, “I guess that means I’m going to Eternos.”

  6. #406
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    Good stuff guys!!!

  7. #407
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    Beastly Meetings -- Part I

    “There has been another attack against our men. This time four soldiers were killed.”

    Hordak listened to the soldier’s words carefully. For months he and Keldor had been growing the ranks of their army by recruiting people from across Eternia and things had gone well thus far. The primary difficulty was hiding the existence of the army from King Miro. If Miro found out about the army too soon they would lose the benefit of a surprise attack and might be cut down by Miro’s forces before reaching full strength. But now Hordak’s plans were being interfered with by an unseen enemy.

    A few months earlier a squad of eight soldiers disappeared in the north eastern edges of the Evergreen Forest, about fifty miles away from the Sands of Time. Days later their remains were found. They appeared to have been mauled by a beast that possessed great strength but the beast didn’t leave any tracks that could be followed. The week after the squad had been found, another two squads were wiped out. What was most disconcerting about these attacks was that the creature must have been relatively small to leave no tracks, meaning that its power must be immense to so easily take out the soldiers. Hordak then sent emissaries to travel to the villages found in the surrounding regions to look for information about the beast.

    It was discovered that for a long time a beast had been rumored to live in the area. Nothing was known about it as no one who had ever seen it clearly had survived, but the description of the creature made it sound much like Grizzlor. The creature was thought to be the size of a very large man and covered in fur, but nothing more was known about it.

    After a fourth squad had been wiped out Hordak had had enough. Hordak began to send out hunting parties to capture and/or kill the beast. Of the six parties that had been sent out, four were obliterated by the beast. The remaining two had seen no sign of it. Hordak then considered his other options. He’d need to send in an elite member of the Horde who might have a better chance of defeating the beast. Considering his many lieutenants he decided that the best choice for the job would be Keldor.
    Last edited by Darth Latveria; July 24, 2009 at 09:38pm.

  8. #408
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    the Sorceress bio...

    I just read the sorceress bio you guys cooked up for us and it is awesome!!! My fave part was the description of how the magic mirror worked!
    Could we get some Meteorbs, Please???!!!

  9. #409
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    Beastly Meetings -- Part II

    Keldor had left the royal palace behind four years earlier to join Hordak on his quest to take over Eternia. His training was coming along well but Hordak still felt the need to test his young protégé. Capturing this supposed “beast man” would be an excellent way to test Keldor’s progress.

    Keldor was told that it was preferred that the creature be kept alive for study but its death would be acceptable if necessary. Leaving the recently conquered Snake Mountain Keldor was informed that no more hunting parties would be sent to find the beast until Keldor had arrived on the scene. As Keldor sat in his opulently decorated carriage he looked at the mystically reinforced manacles and chains that he had taken from Hordak’s private armory. They were created from the strongest metals that Hordak could find on Etheria and magically enhanced to increase their strength. They had originally been created by Hordak to use on Grizzlor in case control over him was lost.

    After five weeks of travel, Keldor arrived at the encampment. Upon arrival he was told that another forty seven soldiers had been killed since he left Snake Mountain. The creature was killing many groups of soldiers that left the fortified encampment and it had started to affect their supply lines. Keldor told the commander of the encampment to give him a guide who could take him to the locations of the various attacks, starting at the most recent. The commander was also told that Keldor would require five soldiers as an escort.

    The following morning Keldor left with the soldiers to examine the attack locations at first light. He learned that none of the traps left by the trappers had been tripped by the beast. Looking for clues Keldor found nothing at the first two sites, but at the third he found a small tuft of dark orange fur. Keldor asked the guide if he could think of any creatures with similar fur in the area and was told that it didn’t look it came from the native wildlife. Holding the fur up to the light to see it more clearly, Keldor got the feeling that it was likely shed by the beast. Keldor sensed that the fur had come from a creature that had been touched by an incredibly powerful magic.

    That evening Keldor further examined the fur left by the creature. He believed that the creature was likely similar to Grizzlor. The magical energies that he sensed had created the creature felt like the energies that surrounded Grizzlor and he suspected that they likely had similar capabilities. This would explain why the soldiers had fared so poorly against the beast. Keldor was grateful that he has the foresight to take the manacles with him when he left Snake Mountain.

    Keldor found the situation unsettling. Thus far the beast had only attacked parties that had left the encampment so he would need to face the creature in the open, putting him at a disadvantage. Also, Hordak had sent some of the best hunters and trappers in the Horde after the beast and they had all been killed. The beast appeared to be clever enough to avoid the traps set by the hunters so Keldor would need to face the creature head on.

    Contemplatively chewing his supper, Keldor ordered the guard outside of his room to bring the commander to him immediately. Keldor told him that he’d be requiring six of his soldiers for a hunt. He would go hunting the following night.

  10. #410
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    Beastly Meetings -- Part III

    The first night that Keldor went out to find he beast he came back empty-handed. There had been no sign of the creature at all. Looking at the fingers of sunlight that shone through the thick curtains in his room, Keldor fell asleep hoping that he’d find the creature soon. He hated wandering through the forest at night, waiting to be attacked.

    Another few nights passed without any incident but Keldor knew that the creature had to be nearby because on the morning of the third day they found a group of dead soldiers. They had been to a port town that was four weeks away and were returning with a shipment of food and medical supplies when they were attacked. None of the medical supplies had been taken but it was clear from the amount of missing food that the creature had a voracious appetite. On the 8th day Keldor finally found the creature.

    It was an hour before dawn and Keldor was growing tired. Sitting down on a fallen tree, Keldor pulled out his water pouch and was drinking from it when the beast attacked.

    Without warning, one of the soldiers was torn in two by the creature. The soldier who was standing next to the first victim was quickly killed as well. Keldor held his staff in the air and blasted the leaves in the trees above, creating a fire so that he could better see his surrounding. In the time it took Keldor to start the fire, another soldier was killed.

    The beast was closer to the remaining three soldiers than it was to Keldor so the young mage took the opportunity to study his foe. It was shaped roughly like a man but its shoulders were incredibly wide and muscular. It appeared to be a little hunched over, but Keldor suspected that it would be close to eight feet tall when standing upright. Watching as the creature viciously attacked the fourth soldier, Keldor took note of its immense strength. Even a glancing blow could shatter bone.

    After the beast killed the fifth soldier; Keldor placed the havoc staff on the ground and pulled out his twin swords. Running at the beast Keldor rolled out of the way to avoid one of its blows and jumped into the air. While mid-air, Keldor’s back was to the creature so he kicked his feet out and pushed off of a nearby tree, flipping through the air and landing behind the beast, bringing the blades down into the creature’s shoulders. As the blades connected with the creature’s flesh Keldor noticed how incredibly tough it was and was surprised that the blades didn’t penetrate further. The creature’s sinews were incredibly strong and although well crafted, Keldor’s blades simply didn’t measure up.

    Keldor jumped back as the beast spun around to hit him. Holding out his right hand Keldor summoned the havoc staff to return to him. With the staff in hand Keldor sidestepped the rampaging beast and used the staff to sweep its feet out from under it. As Keldor was about to blast the beast, the beast grabbed Keldor’s left ankle and threw him against a tree.

    Keldor was able to quickly cast a shielding spell that absorbed the brunt of the impact against the tree, likely saving his life. Quickly pointing the head of the havoc staff against the beast, Keldor shot it with a powerful force blast. The beast screamed as it was knocked off its feet once more, but to Keldor’s astonishment it was still alive.

    Shooting the beast a second time Keldor saw that once more it was still little more than phased. Keldor got an idea as he examined his surroundings. He stood his ground and concentrated deeply as he willed the energy for the most powerful force blast he had ever unleashed into the head of the havoc staff. Watching the beast slowly get to its feet, Keldor unleashed the blast and watched as it flew past the beast and hit the base of a tree. The trunk at the tree’s base was shattered. As the tree fell forward Keldor rolled out of the way and watched as it landed on the beast.

    Keldor was amazed when he saw that he beast was still conscious. The tree had fallen across the beast’s back and it now lay on its stomach with its arms outstretched. Given time Keldor believed that the beast would be able to free itself, but he had no intention of letting that happen. Bringing the havoc staff inches from its head, Keldor shot another force blast, rendering the beast unconscious. Keldor then said, “You can come out of hiding now.”

    A soldier crawled out from under the remains of another soldier. Keldor saw that the soldier seemed surprised.

    “Did you really think that I wouldn’t notice that only five of my soldiers had been killed? I doubt you would have been of any help against the beast but your level of bravery leaves much to be desired.”

    Opening his satchel, Keldor pulled out the manacles and tossed them to the soldier.

    “Secure the beast with these and then remove my blades from its back and clean them. Once you have done that return to the encampment and tell your commander that I want six men sent here with axes to cut the beast out from under the tree.”

  11. #411
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    Beastly Meetings -- Part IV

    Keldor told the soldiers to wrap the beast with heavy chains once it was freed from the tree. Arriving at the encampment, Keldor told the commander to see to it that his carriage is readied for departure the following morning. He also required a wagon with a cage in it to transport the beast.

    That evening Keldor visited the beast inside the dungeon. It was chained up so tightly that it couldn’t move and a mask had been placed over its face so that it couldn’t bite. Removing the mask, Keldor deftly moved his hands out of the way as the creature tried to bite them off.

    “That isn’t a nice thing to do. If I lose my fingers, who would give you this,” Keldor said as he a pair of tongs to lift a large piece of meat out of the sack he had been carrying.

    Feeding the meat to the beast, Keldor said, “I don’t think you can talk. For that matter I doubt you can think very clearly at all. Your monstrous rage and bloodlust stop that. But I am fairly certain that you aren’t stupid either. You are far too cunning to be stupid. I also suspect that you can understand some of what I am saying. We don’t need to be enemies.”

    Keldor then placed the mask back over the beast’s face and left the dungeon.

  12. #412
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    Beastly Meetings -- Part V

    Keldor looked forward to returning to Snake Mountain. He’d passed Hordak’s test admirably and had grown tired of being in the forest encampment. He had an affinity for Snake Mountain, feeling more comfortable there than anywhere else. While returning to the Dark Hemisphere Keldor began to refer to the beast as Beastman.

    Keldor was forced to berate his soldiers on one occasion during the trip home. He tended to go for a walk while the soldiers set up camp and one evening he came back and heard howls of anger from Beastman. Running to its wagon he saw two soldiers tormenting it with their spears. Angrily Keldor blasted both of them into oblivion and then proclaimed that the other soldiers would treat the beast with dignity or meet the same fate as their fallen comrades.

    When Keldor arrived at Snake Mountain he was told to put Beastman into a dungeon and wait for further instructions. Sitting in his and Hordak’s private library, Keldor wondered what Hordak wanted next. A soldier soon told Keldor that Hordak wanted him in the amphitheatre.

    Walking into the coliseum-like structure that Hordak had built, Keldor saw Beastman chained in the centre of the room. Hordak said, “You have done well in your quest. I have studied this creature and he appears to be very much like Grizzlor, but even more filled with rage.”

    “Yes my master. He was a challenging conquest indeed.”

    “Good. A test is useless if the results come easily. To learn you must always be forced to think and act outside of the boundaries of what you consider to be normal.”

    Hordak walked down to the centre of the room, circling Beastman. Then he said, “A truly fascinating beast indeed. Kill it.”

    “What?”

    “You heard me. I said kill this beast. You passed your test and he no longer has any purpose.”

    “Master, I wish to keep this beast for myself.”

    “What purpose do you have for this foul creature?”

    “I wish to make him one of my elite warriors, as Grizzlor is to you. He is extremely powerful and I believe that his power can be harnessed for the good of the Horde.”

    “I don’t believe this creature can be controlled. It is older than it appears and its bloodlust has run uncontrolled for centuries.”

    “Master I believe that I can train this creature to follow my orders. He still understands much of what we say and I can use this to bend his will to our needs.”

    With a little bit of irritation noticeable in his voice, Hordak said, “Do as you wish, but know that you too will pay the price for any damage that this creature causes should he break free.” Hordak then spun around on his heels and left the ampitheatre.

    Now alone with Beastman Keldor removed the mask and said, “You will learn that listening to me is in your best interests. You will still get to decimate your enemies but from now on I will be the one who decides who they are and it will be me who tells you when to attack.”

    Keldor then removed Beastman’s chains. Training had commenced.

  13. #413
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    Sea Hawk

    A Privileged Youth

    Hordak wasted no time regaining power when he returned to Etheria nearly two thousand years after his loss to King Grayskull. Soon after his return he regained control of the Etherian military once more and too control of much of Etheria’s resources. The changes to Etheria were planet-wide, affecting all classes from the lowliest peasants to the aristocracy. Hordak was content to leave most of the aristocracy intact. They still commanded a many resources and wiping them out would have been far more trouble than it was worth. Thus Hordak gave the aristocrats a choice. If they agreed to pay homage to him yearly, pledging their allegiance to him under any and all circumstances, they would be left alone to continue as they wished. At times they would be called upon to do certain tasks, but for the most part they would be left alone.

    After Hordak’s return the aristocrats who sided with him were treated well and generally overlooked. Those that did not pledge allegiance to him or betrayed the Horde in any way had their property forfeit and their lives were lost. Finally, new aristocrats were created when Hordak chose to grant special compensations to very successful generals.

    Arthur’s family was part of the old class of aristocrats. They were shipbuilders and had crafted some of the largest ships in Etheria. The family business was started many generations before but now they employed hundreds of workers. His father and grandfather had pledged their allegiance to Hordak years before Arthur was born. Consequently their lives were able to continue at the level of luxury to which they had become accustomed.

    Arthur grew up in Panembria. His father, Simon, had seen to it that Arthur was given anything that he wanted. As a child Arthur lived a life of luxury, always getting his way. His life was that of a spoiled aristocrat and for a long time he never put any thought into the outside world. Of course Arthur knew of Hordak and the Horde but their actions had no bearing on his life. The only people that he associated with were fellow aristocrats, people who had either pledged their allegiance to Hordak to keep their power or those who had had their power granted by him. These people never had anything negative to say about Hordak, although Arthur did notice that they seemed a little nervous when the topic of the Horde Prime was brought up.

    Reaching adulthood, Arthur was an arrogant fop. He never so much as considered the problems that others had. He assumed that he deserved what he had been given, that he was likely better than those who had not had the same opportunities. But despite these faults, he was also extremely charming. There was something about him that made others love him, something that was particularly noticed by women. Interestingly, it was his charm that led him into a lot of trouble. Frequently angering a girl’s other suitors he would be forced into a duel with them. Because of this he became quite talented with a sword.

    When Arthur turned 21 he chose to travel across Etheria. For the first time in his life he was away from his family and was dealing solely with people who were born into a lower class. Arthur noticed that his servants did not appear to like the Horde much, showing more disdain for the Horde when away from the rest of Arthur’s family. Arthur was curious as to why this was. The Horde didn’t seem so bad to him. But as Arthur travelled, he got to see more of the “real Etheria.”

    For the first time in his life, Arthur was associating with “commoners.” He quickly saw that the only thing that truly separated him from them was luck. His arrogance wasn’t deserved. Arthur was just lucky to have been born in a wealthy family and that was the only reason why he lived the life that he did. He didn’t earn the lifestyle he led. What disturbed Arthur further were the terrible stories that he was told about the Horde. Whole villages wiped out, people disappearing, rumors of horrid torture cells and the blackest of magicks. But what really disgusted Arthur, literally making him sick to his stomach, was that his family not only stood by and did nothing, but pledged allegiance to Hordak. Arthur didn’t believe that his family was bad. He didn’t think that they were inherently evil or that they wished harm on others. Instead, he knew that they simply did what they could to save their own hides. They turned a blind eye to the atrocities committed by the Horde so that they could continue to live a life of decadence.

    When Arthur arrived home, he knew he couldn’t live like he had any longer. He needed a change.

    Finding Purpose

    Arthur left home soon after returning from his trip. He had considered not returning at all but didn’t want the servants to be blamed for his disappearance. It was difficult for Arthur to hide his disgust over his family’s lifestyle but he knew that he needed to put up with it for a few days so that he could gather what he needed before leaving.

    He knew that he couldn’t take a lot with him since for once he wasn’t going to have servants following him around. Consequently he just took a tarp that he’d use to sleep under, his sword, a horse and as many gold pieces as he could carry.

    Soon after Arthur left home he wondered what the hell he was going to do with himself. He’d cut himself off from wealth that he felt was unjust, but what good did that do for others? The bit of gold he had would allow him to get by for quite some time, but how was that any different from when he was living off of his family’s wealth at home?

    Drifting from town to town Arthur’s life changed one day when he came across a poor old man who was begging on the street. At best he had been ignored and at worst the man was spat on or even kicked. Watching the man’s plight, Arthur saw that all he wanted was some basic sustenance and a place to sleep which is when Arthur got an idea.

    Walking into a marketplace Arthur bought some bread and meat for the man. Handing it over, he also gave the old man his blanket and the tarp he had been sleeping under when it rained. It wasn’t a substitute for a home but it was certainly better than what the man had before. The problem was that Arthur knew that soon he’d run out of money as well and couldn’t do this forever. How could he possibly make more money? It’s not like he had been a great student and had the skills to build a business. Then it dawned on him… most of the rich were people who were either made wealthy by Hordak or people who were allowed to keep their wealth by siding with the demonic despot. They hadn’t acted justly and now it was the peasants who suffered. It only made sense to redistribute the wealth.

    Helping the Masses

    Arthur’s travels now had purpose. He’d learn about where he had to go to find the richest people, using his charm and guile to learn all he could about his targets, preferring to go after the people that were former Horde generals. When he was satisfied that he had learned enough about a person’s operations, he’d steal their gold and jewelry and give it to those that were more needy.

    Arthur preferred to work in coastal cities that had big ports. The ports assured that there were a lot of people travelling to and from these cities, making it easier for him to remain anonymous while learning about his targets. His exploits became well known and naturally the Horde didn’t look highly on what he was doing. They didn’t know what his actual name was, so they started calling him Sea Hawk because he tended to strike in towns by the sea and would swoop in like a hawk and leave with his targets’ gold. The Horde placed many bounties on his head but he always remained one step ahead of their search parties.

    The exploits of Sea Hawk also became well known amongst the peasants. They loved him for helping them and would not freely give information about him to the Horde. Many of them wanted to join him in his escapades so Sea Hawk was able to pick and choose people that he felt could be useful. He looked for people that could get him the information he needed as well as those who were good fighters for the times when he couldn’t avoid the Horde patrols.

    When his band of men reached 12 people, Sea Hawk felt it was time to pay a visit to his parents. He wanted a ship.

    A Pirate is Born

    Sea Hawk felt a little strange stealing from his family. For a time he nearly lost his resolve and considered stealing a ship from elsewhere but he knew that his best chances at succeeding were in his father’s shipyard. He’d grown up there and knew the area really well. In the end he told himself that it was okay because what his father had was no longer just. The business they had built was something to be proud of but siding with Hordak tainted everything.

    There was no way that he could steal the largest ship, since he didn’t have the manpower to run it. Instead he chose to take one that was quite fast and would be able to outrun most Horde vessels.

    The truth is that there isn’t much to say about the theft of the ship. Sea Hawk planned the theft perfectly and it went without a hitch. No one was hurt and no other ship was fast enough to follow. Sea Hawk put his ship to good use right away.

    Having spent years stealing from estates on land Sea Hawk was very well aware of the limitations inherent with those methods. There were limits to what he could carry and his thefts on land depended on an alarm not being raised, thereby limiting the number of men he could bring in with him. But on the sea things were different.

    Sea Hawk and his crew became very adept at boarding other ships and stealing from them. These ships carried large stores of food, gold and other goods and a single successful strike was far more valuable than anything they could get while stealing from someone on land. Sea Hawk soon became Etheria’s most renowned pirate.

    Nearly 10 years after having left his family behind in Panembria, Sea Hawk became acquainted with the Rebellion. Not much is actually known about how they met but many believe that the Rebellion had heard of Sea Hawk’s exploits and took an interest in him. Sometime after that they saved him from a Horde attack that he was unlikely to survive, which in turn led to his becoming an unofficial member of the Rebellion.

  14. #414
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    Upgrades: A Tale of He-Man vs. Skeletor -- Part I

    A Nightmarish Weapon

    In the dark and dank depths of Snake Mountain one can hear many things. Sometimes one will hear the screams of prisoners as they are interrogated while at others one will hear their pleading to be freed. It is also common to hear the clanging of metal as the warriors train and the scurrying of rodents looking for a warm place to sleep. But on this night, an unusual sound is heard… screams, but of joy.

    For many months Spikor had toiled trying to make a new weapon for his evil master. While exploring the many myriad nooks and crannies of Snake Mountain he had discovered a hidden room. It appeared to be a storage room and there was little of value in it as the foods stores had long since spoiled, but there was something that caught his attention. There was a thick bar of metal, different from any metal he had ever encountered. Testing it he saw that it was incredibly strong, having a tensile strength far greater than any steel he had worked with. Showing his findings to Evil Lyn, he was told that the metal had mystical origins, possibly created by King Hiss himself. Overjoyed with what he had found, Spikor believed that he could create a very unique weapon for his master.

    Many weeks and months passed as Spikor tried to work with the metal, but try as he might it was nearly impossible for him to heat the metal to a degree that would allow him to reshape it. He knew that the metal would make a marvelous weapon but he simply couldn’t determine a way to reshape it. But then inspiration hit him… King Hiss wouldn’t have created a metal that couldn’t be forged, so there must be a way to do it. This led Spikor to explore more of the lower levels of Snake Mountain until a solution finally occurred to him.

    Lava flowed in many places within Snake Mountain and it was hottest in the deepest depths of the mountain, even deeper than the levels that held the pools in which Merman dwelled. It was difficult for him to bear the heat in these caves but he forced himself to continue exploring. Eventually he found something that had never been reported before. A small forge was built into the rocks, with the lava itself working to heat it.

    Every night for a number of weeks Spikor would travel down into the painfully hot caves to work on the weapon he was creating for his master. The heat was simply too much to tolerate for long periods so he’d only get in a few hits of his hammer at a time, slowly forging his creation. Eventually he completed his task and brought it into his workshop.

    Spikor had considered creating swords for his master, but that seemed far too mundane. He wanted to create something unique, something that was truly a work of art. To that end he had created the “terror claws,” a pair of rigid gloves that had razor sharp claws coming out of them. They were nearly indestructible and he believed that they could even withstand the might of the power sword. Spikor’s glee with his creation caused him to erupt into laughter, screaming at the ceilings about how wondrous his creation was.

    A Gift fit for a King

    The following morning Spikor requested an audience with his master. He hadn’t been in Skeletor’s throne room on many occasions and he always felt a faint chill when walking through the doorway. As usual Skeletor sat on his throne, with Panthor lying at his feet. As he walked towards Skeletor, Spikor took note of how Panthor’s eyes never left him, almost as if it was looking for a reason to attack. Spikor then saw that Evil Lyn was sitting on a thickly stuffed leather chair by the door, examining an ancient and dusty scroll.

    Bowing in front of his master, Spikor presented the terror claws. Skeletor bent forward as he picked them up, closely examining them. It was difficult for Spikor to read his master because his skeletal face showed no facial features. As Skeletor held them into the light and looked at them he said in a quiet voice, “verrrrrry goooooood.”

    Spikor was ecstatic by his master’s praise. Skeletor then said, “You have done well. This weapon will serve me well. Evil Lyn told me about the metal when you discussed it with her and I had been wondering when you would show me the results of your discovery. It appears that you used your time productively. I am pleased.”

    “Master, what do you wish me to do next?”

    “You deserve to be rewarded for your work. Tell the cooks that I want them to make you anything you wish to eat tonight and take the rest of the day off. Tomorrow, go back to your regular work.”

    “Yes master. Thank you.”

    Spikor then scurried out of the room, not wishing to overstay his welcome. Watching the doors close, Evil Lyn then said, “Sire, what do you intend to do with these weapons?”

    “It has been far too long since I last faced He-Man directly. He is the only man capable of stopping me from entering Castle Grayskull and taking its power for myself.”

    “What about the rest of the Defenders of Eternia?”

    “They are an insignificant rabble. They are strong with He-Man at their side but without him they mean little. What I need is to neutralize their threat when I face He-Man next.”

    “How can you do that my liege?”

    “Simple… I will challenge He-Man to a duel. Man to man, with no interference. I will tell him that if he wins, I’ll surrender to Randor’s forces.”

    “So you will be setting up a trap?”

    “No… He-Man won’t be tricked too easily. If I tried to trick him into a trap he’d likely see through my ruse. Even if he failed to do so, it is almost certain that Duncan will accompany him. Any traps I attempt to lay would be discovered.”

    “What if he refuses to fight you?”

    “He won’t refuse. This is too great an opportunity for him.”

    “But master… what if you lose?”

    Skeletor didn’t reply to Evil Lyn’s question. He just sat there, stroking Panthor’s head and looking into the distance.
    Last edited by Darth Latveria; August 2, 2009 at 08:18pm.

  15. #415
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    Upgrades: A Tale of He-Man vs. Skeletor -- Part II

    A Princely Afternoon

    “Try and catch me,” Adam yelled and he splashed into the water. His challenge was greeted by a guttural growl that was followed by a second splash in the water.

    Adam swam quickly, trying to avoid his pursuer and then pulled himself out of the water and ran towards the door. Nearing the open door, Adam could hear the bounding footsteps of his pursuer getting closer until the pursuer pounced on Adam just as he reached the door.

    Tumbling out of the doorway, Adam landed in front of Teela as she ran past. With an annoyed tone Teela said, “Don’t you and Cringer have anything better to do than fooling around in the pool?”

    Rolling over onto his back so that he could look at Teela as he spoke, Adam said, “I don’t see why I would,” in between giggles.

    “Oh you’ll never learn.”

    Watching Teela as she walked away, Adam patted Cringer on the head and got to his feet as Cringer shook himself off. It was a couple months since they had returned from Urdot and Adam had managed to get back to being his normal carefree self. Unfortunately for Adam, Teela’s harsh criticisms returned as well.

    Adam walked back into the pool area and picked up an old shield. It had been made by a diminutive race, similar to the Thenurians, and was very small by human standards. As a child he had found it in the palace armory and taken it to play with since there weren’t any soldiers at the time that could use it. As he got older, the circular shield was far too small for him to use but was now a perfect size to use as a plaything for Cringer. Tossing it over the pool, Adam loved watching as Cringer jumped through the air trying to catch it. After a few minutes of playing fetch, Adam put the shield down and called Cringer to his side.

    Looking down at Cringer, Adam said, “Boy, I think it’s time for us to get some lunch.”

    Cringer looked up at Adam, a mixture of happiness and confusion in his eyes.

    “I know we had lunch an hour ago. But I’m a prince, so I figure why not have two?”

    With a smile he dried himself off and changed into dry clothes before walking to the kitchen, Cringer following with a wagging tail. As Adam entered the kitchen he thought to himself of the many benefits to being a prince… such as a full time staff of cooks. He was understandably surprised when the kitchen was empty. Not even the cook's young assistant, Kalin, was around.

    It then dawned on Adam that he hadn’t seen anyone else while walking to the kitchen. Normally the palace hallways were filled with people.

    “Cringer, I guess we have a bit of a mystery on our hands.”

    Adam wandered around the palace, not seeing anyone. It was like a surreal dream. Adam then asked Cringer, “Do you think you can sniff out where everyone is hiding? It’s a little too early for a surprise birthday party.”

    Cringer then sniffed at the ground the ground and started to walk quickly.

    “Hey, wait up!”

    Adam chased Cringer through the palace, under tables and over chairs. The route was circuitous and Adam had no idea where they were headed. And then he noticed where they were… back at the kitchen.

    “Cringer, you really need to prioritize things.”

    Just as Adam was turning to leave the kitchen once more, Teela walked in and said, “Adam, where have you been? I was looking for you at the pool.”

    “I’ve been wondering where everyone else is.”

    “Sure… just another excuse to ignore your responsibilities and stuff your stomach.”

    “Seriously, what’s going on? I came to the kitchen and it was empty. I’ve trying to figure out where everyone is but Cringer led me back here.”

    “You really don’t know what’s going on?”

    “I haven’t the faintest clue.”

    “Skeletor challenged He-Man to a duel. Just about everyone is in the courtyard talking about it. My dad has been looking to speak to you about it, although for the life of me I have no idea why.”

    “Is your dad also in the courtyard?”

    “No, he’s waiting for you in his study.”

    “Okay… I’ll see you later then.”

    Adam then rushed off with Cringer to find Man-At-Arms.

    A Challenge Received

    “Is Skeletor seriously challenging me to a fight?”

    “That’s what it seems.”

    “This must be a trap.”

    “I rather doubt it.”

    “Why?”

    “Where he wants you to meet. A stone island in the river of fire.”

    “Where’s that? And why does that make it seem unlikely that it’s a trap?”

    “The river of fire is a large volcanic river of fire. There aren’t many islands in it but he wants you to fight on one that is roughly a hundred feet in diameter. The surrounding lands are very sparse. Although I am sure that he’ll have an entourage with him, there is nowhere to hide his forces. It would be too easy to detect a trap.”

    “But there has to be something more to it. Skeletor’s not stupid enough to take this kind of risk for nothing.”

    “I agree and I think you’re right. We don’t have many spies remaining in the dark hemisphere but there’s talk of Skeletor obtaining a new weapon.”

    “A new weapon? That doesn’t sound good…”

    “Well, I think we have something that can help. Ever since He-Man’s arrival Gwildor has been working on something for him and I believe it’s ready.”

    “Okay then, let’s give him a visit.”

    Before Adam could leave Duncan’s study, Duncan said, “Don’t you think you should ‘change’ before visiting him?”

    A Challenge Accepted

    He-Man followed Duncan into Gwildor’s workshop. It was difficult for him to move around as it was extremely cluttered. Plenty of room for a Thenurian to move in but not much space for a well-muscled Eternian hero with a massive sword.

    Gwildor rushed to a stool and quickly cleared it off, telling He-Man to sit down. He-Man looked at the tiny stool and smiled, telling Gwildor that if it was okay he’d prefer to stand.

    Bending over, Duncan said, “Gwildor, please tell He-Man what you’ve been working on.”

    Grinning Gwildor said, “Yes, yes. What have I been working on… well, some time ago I thought to myself that even with your amazing abilities you could still use a bit of an added advantage.”

    Listening to Gwildor, He-Man put his hand on the Thenurian’s shoulder and responded, “That’s very considerate of you.”

    Rushing into his closet, Gwildor pulled out a partially completed suit of armor. The lower half wasn’t started yet but the torso was complete although the arms had yet to be started. Placing it in front of He-Man, Gwildor pointed to the H-emblem on the front and said, “I’ve been working on this in my spare time. It’s made out of some of the finest quality steel I can find and I’ve been imbuing it with magical charms to strengthen it.”

    He-Man lifted the armor up and took a good look at it. It was well crafted and would fit him well. He-Man thanked Gwildor and then left with Duncan in tow, ready to accept Skeletor’s challenge.

  16. #416
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    Upgrades: A Tale of He-Man vs. Skeletor -- Part III

    The Battle

    He-Man and his retinue arrived at the river of fire before Skeletor did. Stratos flew ahead to survey the island and reported to the others that he could see Skeletor in the distance. Dismounting from Battle Cat, He-Man bent in front of his loyal steed and looked into his eyes. Battle Cat looked into He-Man’s eyes as if he was pleading for him to stay but He-Man whispered into his ear that that isn’t an option and told him not to worry.

    With a running start, He-Man jumped the thirty feet across the river of lava and landed on the island. It was very hot and the armor made things hotter. Looking at the other end of the island He-Man saw as Skeletor approached. As always Skeletor was riding Panthor. To He-Man’s surprise, Skeletor was alone.

    As Skeletor levitated across the lava, He-Man took note of Panthor running away. Apparently he had no intention of waiting for his master. The others would notice this as well and be on guard for surprise attacks, although it seemed unlikely that any could be forthcoming. To He-Man’s surprise, the havoc staff was nowhere in sight. Instead Skeletor was wearing a matching pair of gloves with long sharpened claws. He thought to himself that this must be the secret weapon he had heard about.

    “I see I am not the only one with new toys to play with,” Skeletor called out as he eyed He-Man’s new armor.

    “Skeletor, you know that you won’t beat me. Just come with us peacefully and that way no one will get hurt.”

    “Do you ever listen to how idiotic you sound? Do you think I would have come all this way to simply give up?”

    To He-Man’s embarrassment, Skeletor’s words actually made him blush a little.

    “I guess that we have no choice but to fi—“

    He-Man’s sentence was cut off by Skeletor shooting a force blast from his hands which He-Man easily dodged. He hadn’t been sure if Skeletor could do that without the havoc staff… he now had his answer. Another two blasts shot out of Skeletor’s hands, both of which He-Man was able to deflect with his sword.

    Moving forward to get into a better position, He-Man parried as Skeletor rushed forward and started slashing with the claws. He was able to avoid the slashes, but he was having trouble moving in the armor. The heat was distracting and his movements were restricted. Because of this difficulty, He-Man was unable to dodge a full force power blast that hit him squarely in the chest.

    To He-Man’s surprise, the blast didn’t even knock him off his feet. He knew that it wasn’t as powerful as the ones that Skeletor was capable of with the havoc staff, but it should still have been able to knock him over. But the armor absorbed the blast fully. Snarling with anger, Skeletor jumped into the air and successfully kicked He-Man in the face.

    He-Man fell back dazed, tasting blood, and was unable to move quickly enough to avoid the terror claws as they slashed at his chest and abdomen. Once more the armor held up well but it was scratched badly, the terror claws cutting deep grooves into the emblem. Sidestepping another thrust, He-Man swung his sword at Skeletor’s arm, hoping to disable him, but Skeletor easily dodged the power sword.

    Circling around He-Man, Skeletor jumped forward and swiped at He-Man with his claws. He-Man tried to twist his body out of the way but once again the armor restricted his movement and he was too slow to fully dodge the blow. His left arm was badly cut.

    Using his right arm to hold the power sword, He-Man tried to hit Skeletor again but once again Skeletor avoided his blow and slashed at He-Man, cutting even deeper into the armor and then following the slashes up with another power blast. He-Man, already off balance due to the slashing attacks, was knocked off his feet.

    He-Man narrowly rolled out of the way as Skeletor jumped into the air, bringing the claws into the ground where He-Man’s head had been moments before. Sighing, He-Man had had enough of this. The armor was really well made but it totally interfered with his fighting style. Pulling it off, he tossed it to the ground and jumped back to his feet.

    Freed from the confines of the armor, the fight went very differently. He-Man was now more easily able to parry and dodge Skeletor’s attacks. The fight was fast and vicious, neither opponent giving up any ground, but He-Man was eventually able to land a sideways kick into Skeletor’s abdomen, knocking the evil master to the ground.

    Moving forward to disable Skeletor, he was nearly taken by surprise when Skeletor spun around and thrust the claws at He-Man’s stomach. Narrowly sidestepping, He-Man grabbed Skeletor’s arm and twisted, dislocating his right shoulder.

    “Skeletor, it’s over. Give up.”

    Breathing heavily, Skeletor said, “Give up? NEVER!”

    He-Man then heard Stratos shout, “He-Man, LOOK OUT!”

    He-Man rolled out of the way, avoiding a burst of flame that shot out of a dragon’s mouth. Turning to the dragon, He-Man wasn’t fast enough to stop Skeletor from mounting it and flying away.

  17. #417
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    I love the Gwildor bio, really suprised you did him of all people. LOL. Still need to read a bunch of these new ones though. You have been quite prolific lately!!!

  18. #418
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patreek View Post
    I love the Gwildor bio, really suprised you did him of all people. LOL. Still need to read a bunch of these new ones though. You have been quite prolific lately!!!
    I'm glad you liked it, and thanks a lot for replying

    Gwildor sorta took me by surprise as well. Although I have always thought that the 87 movie was a poor MOTU adaptation, I thought it was a decent little sci-fi movie and unlike many others, Gwildor grew on me. So for awhile I was wondering how I could incorporate him into the NV. As he was originally created I couldn't use him due to the no-tech components, so I looked for things about him that could be adapted. Originally he was an inventor, so I figured that he could be a carpenter/blacksmith/etc type in the NV. So I kept the fact that he was a creator.

    There's a line in the movie about the Thenurians being a peaceful race, so I went ahead and said the same in the bio, trying to tie him into the original Barty character a little more closely. I still needed to find a role for him... and then an idea occurred to me.

    Throughout the NV people use specially made magical weapons. A lot of the time we just say it's something from the covenant or an ancient thing or unknown origin, but in practice there's a lot of people who would have this stuff (mages, the mage-knights, some special soldiers, etc) and it can't all be from ancient sources. I'd already established that there are people that specialize in magic that is solely used to improve goods and whatnot, so I figured that that can be Gwildor's job and a lot of the weapons that get mentioned (like Rondantus' special sword/whip) can be made by him.

  19. #419
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    Upgrades: A Tale of He-Man vs. Skeletor -- Epilogue

    A Champion’s Ride Home

    Duncan rode his horse alongside He-Man, while the others trailed further behind. Looking to He-Man, he said, “How’re you feeling?”

    “A little sore. He got in a few good hits but overall I’m alright.”

    “The armor seemed to be more of a bane than a boon.”

    “It’s a good armor. It has to be to withstand Skeletor’s blows, but it’s really not appropriate for my fighting style. Although I’m not totally invulnerable, I can take a lot and I need all the speed I can muster.”

    “Once the armor was off you seemed to dominate the fight pretty well.”

    “Yes. It was a lot easier after that but I don’t want to get overconfident. The claws were Skeletor’s weak spot. They are an amazing weapon but not conducive to his fighting style. He’s trained to use swords and staffs and he didn’t know what to do with the claws. If he continues to train with them, it’ll be a much harder fight next time around.”

    “I wish we had seen that dragon sooner.”

    “We knew he had to have something up his sleeve. I’m surprised it wasn’t something more malicious. The dragon was clever since it could move fast enough to swoop in and get him with us being unable to follow it. All things considered I’m happy with the way things turned out. The bruises on his body are nowhere near as bad as the ones on his ego.”

    A Dejected Return

    Skeletor arrived home that evening. Storming into the throne room he threw the claws onto the ground and sat down on the throne waiting for Evil Lyn to arrive to mend his wounds.

    Moments later she entered the throne room and began to apply healing ointments on Skeletor’s shoulder. Trying to soothe his rage, Evil Lyn said, “Shall I have Spikor punished?”

    Angrily Skeletor said, “What good would that do? He didn’t fail today. The claws are well made and punishing him will just lead to his being useless in the future.”

    “Then what shall we do?”

    “My staff alone isn’t enough. With it I might be able to beat He-Man but the odds aren’t good. What I need is something else. What I need is a pair of swords.”

    “You have some of the finest blacksmiths in Eternia. Have them forge you a pair of swords.”

    “Don’t be idiotic. The power sword will cut through anything that our men make. But there is a pair of swords that is rumored to exist. They are supposedly unbreakable, likely a Covenant weapon. I heard about them years ago and haven’t put any effort into finding them, but now I have good reason to do so.”

    “And what of the claws?”

    “The claws… give them to Wrath. He’ll make good use of them.”

  20. #420
    Chillin' He-Man54's Avatar
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    Dude, I haven't posted in this thread in a while, but I gotta say this last story was pretty cool. I'm guessing you are setting Skeletor up to get his 200x sword? I need to catch up on some of these bios too!

  21. #421
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    Hey He-Man54, I'm really glad you liked it

    A few weeks ago it hit me that I don't believe we've ever actually had He-Man face Skeletor. As a matter of fact, we've barely seen He-Man at all! lol Figured that after a year and a half of this it was time to have them finally meet, haha.

    As for the sword thing, you got me, lol. Wolf and I like the design and we like to use distinct weapons when we can, so it seemed like a good fit. We've actually got a ton of stuff written up and ready to go and working on more as we speak.

    Hope you like the other bios and stuff when you read them

  22. #422
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    Cool! I love Skeletors 200x sword! One of the best elements of his redesign!

  23. #423
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    Some of you may remember that I have already posted a Scare Glow bio. It was a nice little comedy piece that I had a lot of fun with, but in honor of the recent announcement that Scare Glow would be coming out this year in the MOTU line I decided to post my more serious (and official) version of the bio. Enjoy!

    Scare Glow

    Eternia has produced countless sorcerers throughout the ages. Some of these mages knew little more than parlor tricks while others were great mages whose powers could affect nature itself. Some chose to focus on freezing spells, others chose to study healing magic and some specialized in teleportation spells. The types of magic practiced were almost as numerous as the sorcerers themselves. There was one mage in particular who focused on his specialization with an insane level of dedication. His name was Skairglo and he was obsessed with immortality.

    Skairglo was born a few hundred years after Hordak’s initial invasion of Eternia. He came from a poor family of shepherds and from a young age he utterly despised his lot in life. He hated that his family couldn’t afford him the luxuries that the aristocracy enjoyed. Consequently Skairglo idolized people of power and learned everything that he could about them. One figure from history particularly fascinated him and this man was Hordak.

    For years Skairglo broke into nearby libraries and stole whatever scrolls he could to learn about Hordak. What he learned was that Hordak was an incredibly powerful mage who nearly succeeded in taking over Eternia. The only thing that stopped him was a man named Grayskull. As far as Skairglo was concerned, Grayskull was little more than a muscular brute. He showed great wisdom and was a brilliant strategist, but his power was limited to little more than great strength. It was Hordak that interested Skairglo because Hordak’s powers were far less limited than Grayskull’s.

    Not long after Skairglo turned 14 he ran away from home, never looking back to the small village that he had grown up in. He knew that to gain the great power that Hordak had he would have to travel abroad.

    For years Hordak travelled across Eternia hoping to find a mage to train with but he was constantly disappointed. For a long time no one wanted to take him on. Some felt he was too poor to pay for his training while others felt that he lacked purity. But one day he finally met a man who would train him.

    The master mage was a reclusive hermit. Unlike the masters that Skairglo had asked to train him, this mage approached Skairglo instead. He told Skairglo that he felt a tremendous mystical potential within him and that he wanted to help nurture it. He introduced himself as Marcus.

    For the next 11 years Marcus trained Skairglo in the mystic arts. It was a peculiar time for Skairglo because during these years of training he actually learned very little about his master. At times Marcus would entertain various guests but Skairglo was never introduced to them and he was told very little about what they did. Once Skairglo thought he heard the phrase “Sentinels of Eternia” spoken but he wasn’t sure if he had misheard the speaker or not. Truthfully, Skairglo wasn’t concerned with who they were or what they did, his only concern was to further his own magical abilities.

    Skairglo was an excellent student and quickly mastered just about anything that was taught to him. During this time he would sit back and think about his idol, Hordak, but over time these thoughts would bother him. One day it occurred to Skairglo that there was something about the story of Hordak that had left him very troubled but he had difficulty determining what it was. Eventually Skairglo managed to figure out what it was. Hordak had been killed by King Grayskull. Even with all of his power he still died. What was the point in these years of training if he was to eventually die? This is when Skairglo’s obsession with immortality began.

    Soon after having made his revelation he left Marcus. Skairglo had already learned all that he felt Marcus was capable of teaching him and didn’t feel that he had any further use for his mentor. Ironically, Marcus likely knew far more about immortality than Skairglo could have ever imagined and perhaps he would have thought about this if he wasn’t too myopic and self-obsessed to notice that Marcus hadn’t aged a day in over ten years of training.

    Upon leaving Marcus, Skairglo used his magical powers to quickly amass a small fortune that he dedicated to learning all that he could about immortality. Studying numerous ancient tombs, Skairglo saw that the ancients didn’t appear to know much more than he did. Feeling disgusted with the uselessness of these books Skairglo used a fire spell and burned his whole collection of magical texts and manuscripts. Skairglo knew that he would have to find a way to do it himself.

    For another 10 years Skairglo experimented on himself using the forbidden magicks that he had read in the texts that he once acquired. None of them alone held the secret to immortality, but perhaps they could be used in conjunction with each other. As time passed Skairglo became more and more obsessed with his quest to find immortality. One day, after years of experimentation, Skairglo created a spell that he believed would keep him alive forever.

    No one knows what ingredients went into the potions or what the spell entailed, but the result was that Skairglo’s flesh began to glow radiantly as if a light had been placed into his very body. The glow sometimes frightened those around him and as a joke people would occasionally refer to him as Scare Glow. Skairglo’s sense of humor wasn’t anywhere near as advanced as his magical abilities as was evidenced by the quick and sudden demise of anyone who used that nickname in front of him.

    Skairglo spent the next 17 years of his life living in luxury, enjoying the best food, drink and women that Eternia had to offer. His magical abilities made him famous throughout the land and there were many wealthy princes and aristocrats that were willing to pay him obscene sums to aid them in their causes. But Skairglo’s happiness was short lived. One day he noticed that he had gotten a white hair.

    To others, a white hair would mean relatively little, but to Skairglo it was a very unnerving thing. To his shock, he had not stopped aging. His aging had been slowed, but it still appeared to continue. Skairglo also wondered what could possibly be causing his skin to glow if he wasn’t actually immortal, but he was far more concerned with learning how to gain true immortality. Once more Skairglo dedicated himself to the quest for immortality.

    Skairglo recalled that Hordak’s great enemy, King Grayskull, had a mythical castle that was supposedly the nexus of incredible magical energies. But the castle had been lost many hundreds of years ago and there were no texts that stated what its location was. Skairglo did his best to approximate a location for the castle and spent 8 years searching the western edges of the Evergreen Forest but found nothing.

    After close to a decade of searching the Evergreen Forest, Skairglo knew that he would never find Castle Grayskull. Skairglo ordered his servants to prepare for a long trip because it was time for them to leave the Evergreen Forest. The only problem was that Skairglo wasn’t sure where he would go next.

    Skairglo wracked his brain to determine where else he could find great power. There had been myths about three towers of great magical potential in Eternia’s distant past but he didn’t believe that they were true. In any case, the towers had been lost for so long that he doubted he could find them. Then while looking at the ground, something slithered past. Looking more carefully, Skairglo saw that a small snake had just crossed his path. Snake… what was it about snakes that seemed important? That is when he remembered their significance. There were stories of a great Snakemen uprising, about a thousand years before Hordak’s time. The Snakemen were led by a man named King Hiss and it was believed that he had based himself out of a mountain that was also on a nexus point of great magical potential. This place was called Snake Mountain and was reportedly in the Dark Hemisphere.

    For many months Skairglo and his servants travelled through the Dark Hemisphere. Skairglo wasn’t able to find an exact location for Snake Mountain on any map but he had a good idea as to where it was likely to be.

    The Dark Hemisphere was a frightening and dangerous place. It seemed as if Skairglo’s party was constantly being attacked. At first the attackers were simply roving bandits, but the deeper he went into the Dark Hemisphere the more often the attackers would be either Shadow Beasts or small pockets of Snakemen. As Skairglo neared Snake Mountain, his number of servants dwindled until he found himself alone. Skairglo found the death of his servants unfortunate. He cared not for their company nor did he need their protection, but he hated having to cook for himself and being forced to ride a horse as opposed to being pulled about in a luxurious wagon.

    The legends of Snake Mountain said that any attempts to enter it would lead to certain death. Very strong magical traps were left in place by King Hiss and it was believed that only he could enter Snake Mountain safely. Skairglo believed that this wasn’t true. He felt that the problem was that those trying to enter had been trying to enter through the primary entrance. There had been rumors of numerous entrances that were hidden in the mountains surrounding Snake Mountain, entrances that led to long and winding catacombs underground. Skairglo believed that although the hidden entrances would be dangerous that they were far safer than entering through the main gate. He felt that should he be able to get deep into the mountain that he would then also be able to depower the magical traps left by Hiss.

    Skairglo spent a little under a month searching the mountains. In time his searches were met with fruition when he finally found a small hole in the side of a mountain. Skairglo could tell that the hole was not natural, even though it was designed to appear as such. Getting down on his knees, Skairglo wriggled into the deep hole and spent hours crawling through the narrow passages until he finally came into a room that he was able to stand up in. Skairglo noticed that he did not need a torch, his own natural glow giving his surroundings a ghostly illumination.

    Working his way through the tight passages, Skairglo could tell that they were definitely carved out of the stone. He marveled at the work that had been done, wondering how many slaves it must have taken to creature such an amazing structure. Skairglo could feel the power emanating from the Snake Mountain as he neared it and was pleased. But then things suddenly went terribly wrong.

    As Skairglo walked through the caverns he was careful to disable the various traps that had been set in place, but in the end his skills weren’t good enough. Unable to disarm one of the traps, there was a great explosion that caved in much of the corridor that Skairglo was in. Surrounded by hundreds of tons of rock, Skairglo wasn’t a strong enough mage to escape. For many years he continuously tried to free himself but he wasn’t able to do it without making the cave-in worsen.

    It was at this point that Skairglo learned that he had in fact become immortal but the results were not what he wished for. He no longer needed food or water, but his body continued to age. In time it began to decay, causing Skairglo unimaginable pain and slowly breaking his mind. Eventually he could see the true source of his glow. His immortality spell had caused his bones to glow.

    For centuries Skairglo was left alone in the cave, unable to free himself and forced to suffer through unimaginable pain and isolation. This caused terrible damage to his mind, erasing his memories of growing up as a peasant, forgetting about his years spent with Marcus and the years where he searched for immortality.

    In time he was found by Skeletor’s men who were exploring the caves surrounding Snake Mountain. By then all he could remember was magic and that his name was “Scare Glow”. The tale of Skeletor’s discovery of Scare Glow is a tale for another day.

  24. #424
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    Bludaxe was introduced a few stories ago. Time for us to learn where he comes from. Also please note that he has no connection to any Marvel version of the character 'Bloodaxe'.

    The Tale of Bludaxe -- Part I

    Throughout Eternia’s history there have been few races that have loved the joy of combat as much as the Valhallons. Their history has been passed down orally for as long as they could remember, seldom being committed to parchment. A proud and strong people, the Valhallons are known to spend their nights drinking mead and singing about their conquests.

    Located far south of the Evergreen Forest, for much of the year Valhallos was a frigid land. It was far too distant and cold for any other races to take interest in so they spent much of their time alone. Given their secluded status, the Valhallons had taken to having games four times a year to determine the greatest warriors. These tournaments were held every three months, meant to coincide with the seasons of the year. They were savage and bloody affairs, frequently leading to the deaths of multiple participants. Between games, many of the warriors would leave Valhallos and hunt the deadliest beasts that they could find. Some warriors even took mercenary work with the other groups found in Southern Eternia.

    During the Great War the Valhallons chose to get involved. They weren’t interesting in dealing with the house of Miro but there was an understanding that they had a mutual enemy and both groups would do what they could to take down Keldor’s forces. The Valhallons were the only group in Eternia to have not lost a single battle to Keldor’s forces and the tales of their victories were still sung about.

    Compared with many of the other Eternian races such as the humans in Eternos, the Gar and the Andreenids, Valhallon history is relatively poorly kept. Even with the great pride that they take in their songs of the past it is inevitable that certain details are forgotten. Stories are exaggerated and the dates associated with them are eventually lost.

    It is believed that they likely fought a long and bloody war with a sect of Snakemen between 1500 and 2500 years ago. No one can be sure what actually happened as the tales of that war had long since evolved into songs about the Valhallons courageously battling giant serpents of the deep. There were two reasons why a past war with the Snakemen seemed likely. Firstly, the Valhallons had what appeared to be a natural distrust of the Snakemen. A Valhallon would quickly anger when the topic of Snakemen arose. The other thing was the Temple of Niadhoggre.

    The Temple of Niadhoggre was a temple that had many serpentine symbols carved into its walls. The Valhallons had used it as a holy place for longer than they could remember and didn’t know how they came into possession of it. During their occupancy they had destroyed most of the serpentine carvings, leaving nothing but rubble to remind them of the temple’s previous occupants.

    Valhallon tradition had long spoken of a man who would someday be born and come to embody the power of the Valhallon people. The legend had been passed down for centuries but not even the holy men of Valhallos knew how they would come to pass. The holy men had placed runes of unknown origin into the Temple of Niadhoggre believing that they played a role in the creation of the prophesized hero. Even after years of study, no one had made any progress in deciphering the runic symbols.

    For centuries the people of Valhallos waited for that day and were disappointed when they didn’t get so much as a sign of the prophesized one. That was all to change with the coming of Bludaxe.
    Last edited by Darth Latveria; August 27, 2009 at 10:17pm.

  25. #425
    Born A Monster wolfsfang's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Latveria View Post
    As for the sword thing, you got me, lol. Wolf and I like the design and we like to use distinct weapons when we can, so it seemed like a good fit. We've actually got a ton of stuff written up and ready to go and working on more as we speak.
    yeesh just because he guessed about the twin swords things correctly that doesn't mean you have to admit to it...

    still it is nice to get some responses, almost makes it all worth it...almost
    Last edited by wolfsfang; August 8, 2009 at 03:05pm.
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