April 29, 2008, 05:31pm
UK MOTU Comics Junkie
Yep, they're both coming- and more. Here's the next chapter:
Chapter 12: The Return of King Hiss
In spite of Hordak’s return to Eternia, the planet still faced greater danger... in the form of a major blast from the past. During one of the battles between the Horde and Skeletor’s warriors, the presence of General Rattlor and Tung Lashor caught the attention of one of Skeletor’s minions, Kobra Khan, who had joined Skeletor’s forces a year before the Horde’s return. Khan was a former member of the Reptons, regarded now as a traitor to his race. He had spent his lifetime studying the ancient rule of King Hiss, and had become convinced that the Snake Race was superior to all others. He had come before the Reptons’ ruler, King Pythos, and demanded that the Reptons break their alliance with the Elders and rise up to re-establish the rule of their race on Eternia. Pythos had refused, maintaining that the Reptons were a peaceful race who would never return to the evil ways of their ancestors. So Khan took action for himself. Ever since the establishment of the Reptons’ underground kingdom, they had worshipped the Goddess, via a statue of her in the sacred chamber. Khan cast away this statue, replacing it with a statue of Serpos. He lured King Pythos into the chamber and attempted to assassinate him, paralyzing him with his sleep mist and draining his life force with the statue of Serpos. But Pythos’ guards caught Khan in the act, overpowered him, and imprisoned him in their dungeons.
But Khan could not be beaten so easily. He received help from his ally, Webstor, the Arachna. Half man and half spider, Webstor had recently been recruited into Skeletor’s forces, hired for his brilliant mind and ability to escape any trap, no matter how complex. Khan and Webstor had been close friends for some time, ever since Khan had first encountered Webstor, lurking in a web he had spun close to the entrance of the Reptons’ kingdom. Webstor, a loner whose only real concern was to fend for himself, immediately got on well with Khan, for both were of a highly independent, reserved nature, and found that in one another’s company they felt free to speak their usually secretive minds, identifying strongly with one another. After several months of their acquaintance, Khan had revealed to Webstor his secret desire to reclaim the glory of the Snake People and re-establish their supremacy over regular humans, along with his plans to assassinate King Pythos and take his place as ruler of the Reptons. Webstor respected Khan’s initiative and offered to watch over his scheme, so he could free Khan if he were caught. So while Khan had carried out his attempted assassination of Pythos, Webstor had hidden in the corner of a dark corridor to observe the procedure, ready to spring into action when he was needed. He kept quiet when the guards escorted Khan to the jail, as he knew that the armed guards may be able to beat him. But once Khan was imprisoned, Webstor, as the master of escape, had no trouble sneaking into the jail, and freeing Khan from his cell.
Together, Kobra Khan and Webstor had escaped from the Reptons’ kingdom, and Khan decided that his only hope for restoring the supremacy of his race was to free King Hiss himself. So Webstor had suggested that Khan offer his services to Skeletor. As Skeletor was based within Snake Mountain, an alliance with him could allow Khan to explore the fortress and find the Void in which King Hiss had been sealed. Khan had agreed, and journeyed with Webstor to Snake Mountain, where he pledged his services to Skeletor. Once he had been accepted into Skeletor’s forces, Khan, with the assistance of Webstor, set about locating the Void into which King Hiss and the Snake Army had been cast.
After Khan’s encounter with the Horde, he immediately recognized General Rattlor and Tung Lashor from the ancient paintings… and upon hearing Hordak address them by those exact names, realized that they were indeed original natives of his own race… in the flesh, despite having supposedly died centuries ago. Together with Webstor, Khan journeyed to Etheria, where Webstor managed to break into Doom Tower, enabling Khan to confront his ancestors and reveal his plan. Once he explained that his aim was to resurrect King Hiss and restore the Snake People to their former glory, Rattlor and Tung Lashor immediately renounced their allegiance to the Horde, and accompanied Khan back to Eternia.
Within the depths of Snake Mountain, Khan, Rattlor, Tung Lashor and Webstor journeyed deep into the underground caverns, until they finally came across the Void, into which King Hiss had been cast. They gathered in front of the Void in a circle, with a statue of Serpos placed in the center. They began their ritual, chanting an ancient incantation to evoke the magic of Serpos. The statue began to glow as the Snake Men felt the presence of their God, the barrier of the Void was breached… and out came none other than King Hiss. The great Lord of the Snake People, and the diabolical former ruler of Eternia, was finally free.
Reacquainting himself with his former kingdom, Hiss’ first move was to make an assault on his goal of Castle Grayskull. He tricked the Heroic Warriors into allowing him into the castle, by posing as a regular human with his false skin. Once inside, he summoned his three Snake Men to join him in the attack. He almost overpowered The Sorceress, and was driven off only by a mighty combined effort from He-Man and the Masters. His goal of obtaining Grayskull was still not going to be easy… but he would not give in, and vowed to learn from the mistakes he had made all those centuries ago. He knew he could not hope to conquer Eternia with only three Snake Men at his side, especially since he was uneasy about how strongly he could trust them, given their previous allegiances. Two of them had served the Horde prior to his resurrection, and the third was not only a descendant rather than an original member of his army, but had been working closely with Skeletor. So Hiss formed an uneasy alliance with Skeletor, and joined him in his schemes to overcome the Masters.
He-Man and the Heroic Warriors now faced treble trouble as Skeletor, Hordak and King Hiss all made their assaults on Eternia, and the battles grew harder and fiercer. Although King Hiss was allied with Skeletor, he harbored no greater desire than to break the alliance and unleash his Snake Army. Shortly after his escape, Skeletor had re-sealed the Void and used his magic to create a metaphysical barrier around it, preventing any further Snake Men from being unleashed. But King Hiss was determined to find other means of bringing his army to the present.
Through his navigations of Eternia, he found the spot where the Three Towers had once stood… but they were nowhere to be seen. Kobra Khan informed him that the ancient books claimed the towers were sunk into the ground by the Elders, to protect them after the invasion of Prime. So King Hiss set about plotting to raise the towers once again. He obtained a magic medallion from an ancient temple on the Sands of Time, which had once belonged to the Snake priest, Asp’r. He summoned the magic of Serpos, and raised the Three Towers to ground level. The Ultimate Battleground was back on Eternia’s surface.
Although the Three Towers had played a part in King Hiss’ defeat all those centuries ago, he was now convinced he could manipulate their power to boost his strength and achieve his goals of domination. Within the walls of Viper Tower, he set about exploring the spells that had been left there, and summoning the magic he would need to unleash Serpos upon Eternia.
Once he had fully harnessed the power of Viper Tower, he was able to journey back to the Void beneath Snake Mountain, where he used the power he had gained to break Skeletor’s protective barrier, and unleash two of his prime assassins- Sssqueeze and Snake Face. Snake Face’s power- to turn organic creatures into stone with a mere look at his gruesome face- was particularly deadly, and within moments, half of Skeletor’s warriors were imprisoned in stone. King Hiss attempted to banish Skeletor from Snake Mountain and regain his former stronghold for himself. But Skeletor, having no solid eyes, was immune to Snake Face’s stare and just managed to fend off Hiss with his magic. But the alliance between the two warlords was over. King Hiss retreated to Viper Tower with his unleashed assassins, followed by a band of regular Snake soldiers.
But it wasn’t long before the reappearance of the Three Towers caught the attention of the Masters. Exploring Grayskull Tower and Central Tower, He-Man realized the danger Eternia could be in if King Hiss or any other evil force obtained its power. Permanent guards were established around the towers. King Hiss was uncomfortable with the Heroic Warriors basing themselves in such close proximity to his headquarters, and ordered his Snake Warriors to advance on the Masters. A great battle ensued, but the Masters harnessed some of the magic within Grayskull Tower to fend off the Snake Men, and soon Hiss and his forces were driven from the Three Towers altogether. King Hiss realized it was not safe to base himself permanently in Viper Tower, where the Heroic Warriors could view his moves far too clearly. He retreated with his Snake Men to an underground hideout within Subternia. His powers had been greatly boosted by the magic within Viper Tower, and he planned to obtain the magic of Central Tower before reclaiming Snake Mountain and attacking Castle Grayskull.
The Heroic Warriors were now free to undertake a full exploration of the Three Towers. Although Viper Tower proved dangerous, they were able to harness many great powers within Grayskull Tower and Central Tower. Through studying the towers closely, it transpired that on one particular night each year, when the veil between dimensions was at its weakest, the magic of the Towers could be harnessed to bring forth the Winds of Time, and peer into them to view any other dimensions throughout space and time. King Randor decided to use this opportunity to find out once and for all what had really happened to his brother, Keldor.
On the night when the veil of dimensions was at its weakest, Randor, The Sorceress, and Prince Adam gathered around Central Tower. The Sorceress used her magic to call forth the Winds of Time. But their attempt to discover the secret of Keldor was thwarted by Skeletor, who attacked them midway through the ritual. By the time they had managed to fend him off, the Winds were passed. They had learned nothing of Keldor’s disappearance… but it was clear that Skeletor would do anything to prevent them discovering the secret. Obviously, whatever the truth behind Keldor’s disappearance, Skeletor had a strong connection with it. King Randor then recalled that Skeletor’s sudden appearance on Eternia during the Great Unrest had coincided almost exactly with the disappearance of Keldor.
Skeletor quickly realized the danger that he faced, with the increasing power of the Masters and the double rivalry he faced from King Hiss and Hordak. The Masters were sure to try again to discover the secret of Keldor, so he must stop them before it was too late. He must take serious action. He set about recruiting a whole team of new warriors to aid in his schemes, and made repeated vicious assaults on the Three Towers, Eternos and Castle Grayskull. The war on Eternia grew more and more fierce by the day.
CONQUEST OF THE CRYSTAL CASTLE.