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Thread: War of Attrition: the Doom of Prince Adam

  1. #126
    Heroic Warrior Eternian Poet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by General Stingrad View Post
    This is an awesome story I love your description of Eternia so vivid. I had to laugh that Skeletor, Hordak, and Hiss' little alliance didn't last long LOL. Keep up the excellent work my friend
    Thanks! Yeah, I'd love to write about their alliance one day.

  2. #127
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    War of Attrition - Epilogue (part 6)

    I'm ready with my weapons - my battered mace, my re-booted armour - who knows whether the Sentinels from beneath Greyskull will view me as hostile? Though only the Sorceress could have saved me, brought me here, placed me within the cyber-womb, I have seen nor heard no sign from her. (Cyber-womb!? Aye! - that strange bed, an artifact of the Ancients! But it was once not functional... See, my memory is slowly returning... But what yet remains missing of it?)

    Someone had attended to my needs upon being… re-born… the food and drink, my repaired armour. However... as I pass through the portals and halls of Greyskull, there is no sense of any inhabitant – yet it must be her!

    So what am I afraid of? The answer to my question - why did she save me? A shameful thought passes through my mind - could it be that she loves me? - but I dismiss it. She chose me to raise her daughter and to bring Adam to her due to my skills and integrity and nothing more. No, no, nothing more. Yet, now, she has also given me life... But why else would a woman love a man if not for his strength of character? Though it is also true that I am not a tender man and a woman as sublime and majestic as the Sorceress would surely not seek romance? Again I shake these recurring thoughts from my mind - the thoughts of a young man, hot blooded - this young man that I am now! Must I struggle with the chastity and loneliness she imposed upon me, once again?

    Ah! My youth torments me - I do not feel the calm control of age, but the burnings of lust - lust for life! My forefathers’ wisdom is proven once more –
    any blessing can become a curse. But my lofty thoughts are interrupted - not by a present danger, not even by fear of these hallowed halls, but by the image of another beauty, a dangerous beauty. She comes to my mind unbidden, unwanted; the harsh lines of her face, her strong nose and broad, devouring mouth, those piercing eyes, her lovely yellow skin and long, strong, supple limbs. I try to summon some sense of disgust, but my body denies it. Did not my brief death release me from the humiliating consequences of her love philter? No - I have the same body and it denies the course of my mind; blood rushing, my manliness conquers my spirit of denial. Desire moves me and I ache, ache for the evil witch of Snake Mountain. Evil! I remind myself of her terrible, merciless power - I have and will drive her from my mind once more. Aye, there is conflict in my heart, it hurts me now - the love and disgust, intermingled, painful - but it is still the only way to fight the power of that spell. Ambivalence is written all over my feelings for her - love and hate meet in a turmoil of hissing cloud, as fire and ice do, fogging my mind...Ah! How I have wished for death!

    Alas… I am tormented by these powerful women, their pawn. Did I offend some sleeping goddess? Yet I recall that the witch failed to control the effects of that sorcerous drug upon herself. For a moment I wish her dead, but I sigh and then withdraw the wish. Aye, our love affair is over, but the grief and uncertainty and desire is not.

    I cannot help but suddenly wonder - Does she still live? For how long have I been re-gestating?

    I shake my head. I am
    Man-At-Arms, warrior lord! - There is no room for these yearnings! If I cannot control these boyish impulses, I should wish myself slain once more! Sick, I am sick to my heart! I am not rid of the burdens of life - but yet forced to live it all over again! And yet, whatever reason I am resurrected haunts me - for what purpose is this!? Life already torments me with its burning desires, here, deep in the terrifying corridors of this indestructible fortress. It reminds me of war-time, when one dreams of women after a day of slaughter... I should offer a prayer of penance to the Green Goddess -

    But what is that? A slight sound - and then silence. My flesh is all raised like the haunches of a dog - some threat is close. Let it not be a Sentinel, those strange and prehistoric automatons that some how continue to exist within these crushing walls!

    I pause for some time, waiting, watching, but nothing comes of it. I must be too nervous, or else the Castle plays tricks with my mind. I am lost. Greyskull is an oubliette. I do not understand why I am allowed to wander about in this way. Nothing has barred my path, nothing hampers me but my memory, and the burning rush of feelings as my soul keeps creeping through my tingling nerves... I put my hand to my helmet, the exo-cortex, so famous that the Eternos Guard styled their helms after it… I feel incomplete... and I recall that, upon discovering it in my youth, the symbiotic process of adjusting to wearing it took time... Took all my life! Aye, it is a store of such wisdom – too much wisdom! A interior space of demented dimensions...!

    And yet, the crushing weight of the Castle continues to bare down upon me - this fortress is the most terrifying place... And yet again, I should be thankful for this new life. Should I call out her name? Surely she is aware of me?

    There! Another scraping sound, slight and brief. My back is to the wall and I look for cover as I draw my pistol. The stalker cannot be far. I edge over toward an alcove and press myself into it. In the gloom I cannot make out what shadows moves from the flicker of the torches, and what shadows move with a purpose. Again, nothing comes of it but I wait for longer now, controlling my breathing, primed for sudden attack...

    It must be an illusion of this place, keeping me fearful, on edge. I must find a way out! The weight of this place, I feel suffocated, a pressure on my chest, my head!

    Oh, I know, I know! This place, it is sacred, it is here that the Secrets that almost brought the Ancients to war with the gods are held... It is here that tyrants throw their armies, their explosives, their sorcery - and so fail! How could anyone
    bare to be in this oppressive place for long? It warps the mind, distorts perception - and what a terrible temptation of power!

    Another pang of love - I feel sorrow for the Sorceress, trapped within these mountainous walls, with no escape and no end, until… Until what!? I don’t recall…

    I still my thoughts. I watch and listen as the shadows wave about me, like seaweed within an ocean lit by the twilight. Waiting.


    ***
    Last edited by Eternian Poet; June 16, 2011 at 08:04pm.

  3. #128
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    War of Attrition - Epilogue (part 7)

    I've waited along time now and if I am prey, it is to a creature more silent and black than the darkness itself. Carefully I move on, but as I go I begin to hurry, resisting the urge to run. Endless halls, tunnels, passageways - surely I was not brought to life, only to be lost down here? Gods! It is harder and harder to draw breath... I am a maggot pressed under a boot... I feel small, insignificant - ignorant! I have felt death before and now I sense it clawing at my throat again, squeezing my heart - Finally, my nerve gives in and I hear my voice cry out:

    "Sorceress!"

    Instantly I hear her voice in my oppressed mind -

    Behind you!

    I turn and pull the trigger, hitting my attacker point blank in the face. The body flips back from the blast, lands heavily, several long, thin limbs twitching spasmodically, smoke rising from the burnt-off flesh of its face. The stink of laser-scorched skin is sickening, I step closer, still ready, but the creature looks finished - I see bone where the face used to be. Ah! I see who it is now! And I can only wonder how Webstor managed to enter this place!

    I spit upon the corpse and hurry away at random. If Webstor is herein, Skeletor must be close - and where is He-Man?
    "Sorceress!" I whisper, hoping that she will hear me again. But this time, my reply is the melting away of darkness into light. Before me, at the end of the vaulted hall, a door begins to open and I rush to it, ready to do battle.

    ***

    Webstor gargles in pain, his shaking hands reach up to his face, exploring the tattered muscle and smooth, bloody bone. Slowly he rises. Somehow, I live! Carefully he shuffles forwards, his eyeless eyes still seeing. This is my new unlife? Ah! And now I understand...

    In the darkness of the Castle of Secrets, Webstor follows the light at the end of the hall...

    ***

    Man-At-Arms rushes through the lighted portal before him, feeling the crushing weight of the mace in his grasp, the smooth and elegant metal of the pistol, and the rush of pride – this mace has always been a symbol of authority amongst his tribe, while his pistol must be over 4,000 years old, at least. He must prevail – the stakes are so high – his body rushes with blood and adrenalin, hard and ready for mortal combat.

    Inside, he finds himself within the hallowed Throne Room of the Sorceress – and yet, despite the great, burning candelabra, there is no-one seated upon her splendid Throne. The emptiness sends a shudder through him – it is a sign of danger, of vulnerability, and confirms his fears – Skeletor is herein! Yet there is some relief – he has not yet taken the Throne. Perhaps the struggle is not yet over?

    Surrounding the smashed stair-case leading up to the Throne are piles of rubble, pieces of statues, rolls of cracked and shattered columns, great holes in the floor and rents in the walls. All entrances to this cavernous room are blocked with debris – all except the partially collapsed door-way through which he entered – and along with this, an overpowering stink of burning.

    Man-At-Arms pauses – in this room he feels that he should sheath his weapons as an act of submission and respect for the Sorceress – but who knows what has become of her?

    What is this fear? Is it of the Sorceress, or of Skeletor? Or… or is it fear of my dark desire – a desire that threatens to break my oath to her, an oath more binding than marriage?

    ***

    From the shadows she watches him enter. He moves with the ease of a youth – it is impossible to miss his vitality. He no longer bares the wise marks of a mature man – the furrowed brow, lined cheeks, and full, bristling moutache. Now he appears to her as he did many years ago – years that have little meaning now. The clock seems turned back, and the impassable obstacles of the past are now removed!

    He has not seen her – cannot see her – and so she watches his strong body between the plates of his armour, a body she longs to hold and caress. Yes – she cannot deny it, can never deny it. Love such as this is burnt into the soul and only the dark flood of death might quench it. He is everything a man should be – a being she once thought impossible.

    She can no longer resist – her aching body calls out to him as her sinews stretch, her nerves tingle, and the gentle, irresistable rush of lust claims her limbs, pushing them into movement, as strong and undeniable as gravity.

    ***
    ***
    Funny Fan Fic: Meet the Rea-Por! (Heroic & Villainous Deaths) & The Mighty Spector's FIRST EVER FAN-FIC
    & not so funny Fan Fic: War of Attrition
    Trade feedback & WANTED: Bow/SLL style boots!

  4. #129
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    War of Attrition - Epilogue (part 8)

    “Duncan.”

    The low, feminine voice runs him through, a murderous blade sunk with an assassin’s touch into his heart. Of course she is here – this Castle has always been her ultimate aim. He turns to see the lithe figure step out from unnatural shadow, into the burning light.

    “Lyn…”

    She smiles back at him, glinting teeth softened by full lips – what temptation! “Aye my love – “

    “No!” Duncan’s shoulders hunch as he lowers his voice, as if afraid of being over-heard. “You must leave! You will be destroyed!”

    She laughs as she edges towards him, her movements seductive, almost playful. “That is no longer possible.”

    “Back witch!” Up comes his laser pistol, pointing at her withered heart.

    She feigns hurt. “It is so hard for you, isn’t it? But I know you would never kill me. You proved it, when you saved me.”

    “It was my duty – I owed you my own life.”

    “No. We foiled the deaths hanging over each other not for duty, but for love.” She is closer now, her hips swaying with every step, her calves hard and strong as she moves.

    “And you feel no disgust for me?”

    “Of course. But it does not matter.” Her breast is heaving as if she is breathless.

    He lowers his gun, no longer able to threaten the black heart of the woman he is doomed and spell-bound to love - and hate. “You cannot change me, as you wish to.”

    “Perhaps not – but you have already changed, it seems. And so have I. Do you still hate me so?” Her question is mocking, for his weapons are now stowed and she sees the longing in his eyes.

    “What has happened!? What is it that you know!?” Duncan cannot summon the hate that keeps her away. It is his only defence, but it has been so long…

    Evil-Lyn laughs. “Knowledge comes with a price. And my price is but a kiss. A mere brushing of flesh…”

    “You are a fool! A harlot! We are here in Castle Greyskull!” Again the look of fear as he searches for the Sorceress, as his eyes race across the rubble strewn room, wondering what titanic battle took place here. There are no laser burns or bullet holes, but plenty of cuts in the stone of the kind only He-Man could make, and reeking black evidence of a great fire. But what he is witness to does not tell him enough, and so what he needs to know must come from the witch of Snake Mountain.

    Yet, even talking to Lyn feels like a betrayal while at the same time his heart leaps with a joy he cannot suppress upon seeing her wickedly carved face.

    She smiles mockingly, but also with genuine happiness at the sight before her – Duncan lives! And despite his refusal of her help in curing his sickness – on offer even He-Man urged him to take! And despite his wandering into the wilderness to die honourably! Somehow he lives! It is obvious to her that Duncan himself does not understand, and that his youth must be as a result of the resurrection he has somehow undergone. Castle Greyskull contains many secrets, and her evil heart soars skyward to discover this secret!

    Duncan stares back at his smiling beloved. He tries to summon the memory of her real face, a face so withered with age and hatred that it appears deformed, twisted, gauged. But as he tries, the love in her eyes burns through the thin veil of his memory. Again there is nothing – as there will forever be nothing! – that he sees before him that can break the love he feels in return. And yet, he must deny this feeling – a denial he has had much time to practice throughout his chaste life.

    Her broad smile is an invitation to clasp hold of her supple body, to press his lips hard against hers, to run his strong hands under her clothing and tear them away to take hold of the yielding body beneath. But he steps back from her, his heart aching with pain.

    “No woman…” he tries to explain himself, but his voice chokes.

    Evil-Lyn’s smile vanishes. “Few men refuse me, but you have done so time and again.” Then the smile returns, but just a little. “Yet I know you are bound to me with love as strong as death – “

    “I have proven death none too strong – “

    “And your love outlasted it with you!” she cries victoriously. “This is a place of denial, but only beyond these walls! Herein, you can have anything you please! Everything is inside… You can have me, for I love you – I would do anything for you.” Her tone turns to beseeching, the faltering step taken towards him is like a flinch of pain.

    Duncan lets out a sigh. “Then do this – leave me be.”

    “Anything but that. Our love is stronger than your will Duncan!”

    She is smiling, vicious, lusting, while he aches with misery.

    This is how it is for us he sighs. For her I am something to be conquered, yet another battle, another imposition of her desire. Aye, I know my refusal pains her, and yet she is so confident of finally winning. And I almost believe that too. But here I am, I must suffer the turning away of temptation, of a love created with the power of magic and driven into our souls, bringing us together with a purity and force beyond normal loving. There is nothing he can say or do to ruin that feeling – and he has tried many more times before this.

    Duncan looks away from her face, her eyes alight with passion and fury. He cannot answer, cannot keep up this painful game. “What has happened here!?” he suddenly roars. “Where is Skeletor!? Where is He-Man!?

    ***

    I, too, have stolen from Greyskull.

    Webstor has reached the inner chambers of Snake Mountain - from there he cowed the remainder of Skeletor's forces, a small armed-force held back to defend this territory. But they were no match for the creature he has become. Now he stands before a small window that stares out from the fortress across the mountainous landscape. The creatures of the Dark Lands would all soon learn to bow to their new master.

    I am freed, as I wished. The vampire no longer felt the terrible thirst for blood nor the draw of his webbed lair. The pale daytime beyond the ash clogged clouds above did not weaken him. He turned from the window and moved towards the libraries and laboratories where he could work on the many traps and guards that presently prevented his plunder of Skeletor's knowledge and weaponry.

    As he entered the first of these chambers, he was immediately met with a mirror. It was strange to see such a device set within a place that devoted little space to ordinary human needs. Perhaps the mirror had a magic purpose. He drew close to it and stared at his reflection.

    His deformed, man-spider head had gaping holes where his six eyes had been. The knobbled crest upon his head ran clearly down the middle of his fleshless skull. His jaws were empty, his nose gone, dead skin clung in green folds around his neck. But it was no surprise - Webstor knew he had become a Liche.


    ***

  5. #130
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    War of Attrition - Epilogue (part 9)

    Auraboras! The great, twisting snake, it’s long tail streaming light and flashes of psychic energy as it coils around the throne… Coloured scales shimmering prismatic beams, a mouth deadly with venomous fangs... Her body is so long, it winds around and around the seat of power and trails down the flight of steps.

    “Mighty Auboras!” Evil-Lyn cries, and drops to one knee, head bowed, so used is she to slavery – to flattering the egos of powerful daemons, of expressing her will to submission – despite her burning desire to dominate.

    But Man-At-Arms does not bow, he does not kneel – he only stares at this great snake… “Auraboras?”

    The lidless eyes of the great snake afix the two standing at the foot of the dias before her. It is a hypnotic stare - all the more compelling in its human shape and colour.


    “Teela…” he whispers, and that is enough.

    Yes the creature before him stirs, coils sliding like sandpaper across the smooth stone, the cracked steps. The voice of Auraboras appears as a sudden thought in his mind. We are each reborn

    Duncan squints before the blazing form, but a burning response leaps from his lips. “And who else has died!?”

    Your enemy and your friend. The two destroyed each other, here in this room.

    Duncan staggers back a step, as if struck – “He-Man - is dead?”

    No, only gone. He-Man is still here, within Castle Greyskull.

    “So, then, it is Adam who has died.” Guilt is more powerful than grief in Duncan’s wretched heart. But did he not do all that he could? Never did he waver in his duty. He fulfilled every oath. But doubt gnaws at him, a worm hidden deep in the core of his heart.

    Evil-Lyn looks to her love as he speaks. “Be proud now! I look to him for my inspiration.”

    “What!?” Anger quickens his amazement. “You – you look to the Prince of Peace? You who have slain countless men – and women and babes! You who have brought plagues, daemons, and all manner of disasters and miseries. You who have tortured, who has made heinous promises to evil powers upon altars reeking of sacrifice! – and been true only to them!”

    “Aye, I have done all of those things and more. I, Lyn! – who stands before you now as a Defender of Greyskull, Weilder of the Sword of Fortitude!” She draws Skeletor’s blade. “What was stolen, is now taken back. What was given, is now returned.”

    “What!? And what of the Sword of Power?” He turns back to Auraboras.

    No-one holds it. It is a rare soul who can, one who is able to make war with a heart of peace. That time is passed, for in this coming time, there will be only war.

    “But why do I now live? What purpose is there for me now? Adam…. And your own great destiny…. It is fulfilled – “

    Lyn answers him: “And yet Castle Greyskull remains – always remains. I understand now…” Yet her voice trails off, unwilling to continue.

    Duncan looks from Auraboras to Evil-Lyn, his own understanding furrowing his face with frowns and denial. “You want me to help you defend these sacred walls, Evil-Lyn?”

    Help us. I am here now, in Greyskull itself, in my weakest form. I need time to gather my powers, having already spent so much. Even now the enemy lurks within. Your attack did not rid us of Webstor, who is now transformed into a creature of great power.

    “Then where is he!?”

    He has fled as we speak. Let him be, his intentions now are only to escape. He too, is enervated by his ordeal here, despite his greater potential, despite what he has stolen.

    “Then I swear he is my enemy.” Lyn hisses and looks to Duncan, for confirmation.

    But Duncan ignores her. “My oaths are fulfilled. But the end result is not what I had wished!”

    Your wishes are irrelevant. Your new life was not my decision, but the one before me. A spark of the Pheonix flame was the final component to your resurrection.

    “But I thought there would be an end to all of this! Where is justice? Peace? Where is mercy?”

    Evil-Lyn smiles with a cynical curve of her lips, like a scythe.

    Your perceptions are limited. There is a great misery abroad. Eternos has fallen, the Tribal Alliance, broken. Look to your fellow men and women for justice, to death for peace, and inward for mercy. The true balance of things lies here, within Castle Greyskull. But this is not a place for your wishes and dreams, only of the greatest Secrets.

    “Then I am misled.”

    No, you listened to and you believed in Adam and fought beside him as an avatar of He-Man. But He-Man is not Castle Greyskull – this place is much greater than any ideal and cannot be swayed by any promise or dream, even those of its Defenders.

    Duncan growls, caught under a sense of defeat heavier than any lost battle. “Then my life has been wasted!”

    No, you have accomplished what was required.

    “And now!?” He stares up at her, from amidst the burnt and shattered ruins of the Throne Room.

    I do not know why she brought you back. I see no purpose in it.

    “You do not speak as my daughter did.”

    I was never your daughter, in truth.

    “In your heart, you are a simple warrior, Duncan – despite the complexity of your mind. Listen - !” Lyn throws out her arm to him, grasping.

    But Duncan is already leaving.

    “Duncan!” Lyn moves to catch him, but Auraboras, the Serpent form of the Sorceress, lets out a hiss.

    Let him be! Any Defender must be willing. For now, he is an intruder!

    The old woman, hidden by her youthful skin, stares at the back of her true love as he walks away. The chains that bound her are now stronger than ever.


    ***
    Last edited by Eternian Poet; June 27, 2011 at 06:29pm.

  6. #131
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    War of Attrition - Epilogue (part 10)

    Duncan looks back at the massive, dark walls of the dense Castle behind him, the death’s-head façade gazing out towards the light of the setting Sun as it bleeds away behind the staunching fabric of cloud.

    This great and ancient stronghold is the reason why he fought so long and hard, but the Castle does not guard the ideals Adam espoused – and never did. No, its mysteries are much greater than him, greater than He-Man, beyond the understanding of mere men, leaving Duncan lost, betrayed, and bitter. He turns away from this alien place, inhuman and uncaring, a brute prison of secrets…

    He doubts again that such a place could exist to be solely in the service of humanity – Teela, the Sorceress, hinted at that… And Skeletor too.

    How could he spend a second life in the defense of this monstrous domain, fighting alongside the Witch of Snake Mountain? It would be a grave dishonour – and for what? Not for justice or valour, not for peace and honour, but for Secrets forever with-held.

    But then, how can he let the woman he loves – who perhaps now he can love - fight such a dangerous battle alone?

    And now, he can no longer hold back the questions he strove never to think – what Secrets are protected by Greyskull? Clearly, secrets that can bring a man to life. So, then, where is the body of Adam? If there is any debt he still owes, it is to that great man, who should be King!

    But his grief is not so simple, for he grieves for the living, as well as the dead. His daughter has become transformed, strange, and as unapproachable as the old Sorceress. What a wicked existence this is!

    Man-At-Arms drags himself on, but he does not know his destination. Perhaps he should look for his countrymen, for refugees, for Guardsmen...

    On the dusty road before him he sees a black tree, torn into two halves by a lightning bolt.

    He too is split in two, torn between his old life and loves and his new life of pain and dejection. Looking out over the plains below the hills he descends, he thinks he sees the ruins of Eternos in the twilight. What more terrible news is there to discover?

    Perhaps he is in fact in Hell.

    How he wishes he had been left in peace... And there, behind the broken tree, he sees a dirty, travel-worn boot...

    ***

  7. #132
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    War of Attrition - Epilogue (final part 11)

    The incursions into Greyskull and the failures of Adam had proven the need for a revival, for a new vision. But there was much to learn - rebirth was as much discontinuity as it was continuity. Time still flowed here, where the Sorceress must make her abode, as it did outside, and so the new enemy required a counter, a new champion - a matter that could not be delayed. Now, with this defence partly in place, there could be opportunity for some recuperation and research.

    The Sorceress spent some time scrying for the friends He-Man had made, wondering if they could be rallied around the cause of Greyskull again, wondering whether any were worthy to champion Greyskull alongside "Eva-Lyn". Upon the surface of the great, moiré patterned Looking-Glass standing in her Throne Room, she observed familiar faces, all now changed from the time she knew them as she pushed her second-sight forward into the future, to ascertain the most likely possibilities....

    Stratos looked back over his shoulder to the great mountain-top city of Avion, high up on the freezing peak. There civil-war raged again, but he was an exile. His hairy body was almost naked before the harsh elements, but he did not feel winter's chill as it blew the snow up into his face. His beard was shorn in disgrace, his feather-bands stripped and his flight-pack confiscated.

    He was three times a failure: A young warrior, Tropos, had saved him from the vampire Webstor. He had been caught in a simple trap and then humiliated by Tropos' own courage. It would have been better to have died in the fight where his afterlife would have been glorious. But he had not died. His second failing was the fear that he now instilled in his people, who knew that the vampire had taken his blood. For this they called him "Fellwing" and considered him cursed, perhaps even one of the undead. This, coupled with his third failing - the loss of the Great Hawk's feather and his absence of successful leadership when Eternos fell, had robbed the Avionians of their confidence in him. Such a loss was a bad omen to a superstitious people. The alliance he had forged with Randor was over, nothing he had done and nothing more he said could be trusted.

    He donned a simple helmet and gripped his quarterstaff, his face grim and hard as he set off alone - aimless and bitter...


    The second-sight of the Sorceress moved on, beyond Avion City towards an obsidian cave deep in the Dark Lands.

    The massive baulk of a powerfully built man could be seen through a heat-wave clouded with smoke. His shoulders were hunched forward, his enlarged, horribly deformed head bowed, deep in thought. Red eyes flashed, reflecting the flames around him, but he did not seem discomforted by the intense heat or poisonous, acidic air choked with soot. Long shreds of metal hung limply and useless at various lengths and intervals from the sides of his head, as it could be glimpsed through the smoke. A shortened and battered tentacular device hung, twisted and dented, from the middle of his face, twisting and turning like a dismembered worm. Torn metal cut deep lines and hollows upon the armoured, faceless-face of this top-heavy cybernetic visage.

    He was a monstrous sight. The whole form of this elephant-man - the tension upon his giant body, the unblinking stare of his inhuman eyes, the hellish flames licking at his ash-blackened armour - created a cloud of grave danger and ponderous planning around the figure; a planning that was hell-bent and brimming-over with a violent hunger for a bloody vengeance....


    Her vision left the Dark Lands behind for the plains of Eternos…

    ....The warmachine rumbles on, the preparations for killing never ends. Udin may sleep, but the wars continue; souls torn from their rightful bodies, cities smashed back into the rock, promises betrayed. The new lord of ruins, of enslaved tribes, sits upon Randor's throne, a beaten harlot by his side in mockery of Queenship. This lord’s heavily scarred body bares witness to the tortures he once suffered at the hands of Horde vampires, feeding from his pain. They reduced him, tore away his legs, his jaw - but now he stands triumphant and no longer a slave to Skeletor - now once more a captain, a King!

    Trap-Jaw's mouth opens like a grate over Hell as he laughs at the condemned, the rebels caught and brought before him - and points his laser to blast them into Hades. He is more powerful than ever, free to exercise his murderous whim. His warriors are re-armed, refreshed by their plunders and violations. Trap-Jaw does not sit upon the throne for long - new battles are ready to commence upon this beleaguered world... His armies now march…


    Another image bled through the Glass' golden surface:

    He was wounded in multiple places, and not yet being able to tell if he would die of thirst or infection. Clamp Champ pauses again, puts down a heavy bag, and moves to tend to a make-shift bandage upon his thigh, wincing as he tightens it once more. Overhead, the bluish Sun sends waves of heat down from the purple sky and the whole desert around him wavers with mirage. Where else can he go now but back to his arid homeland? There was a safe place there, a place he knows that he might hide and keep safe the valuable burden he bares upon his bruised back.

    Sweat cuts clear-lines through the dirt and dried blood upon his a face, all knotted with tension and pain. Clamp hobbles as he bends towards the bag, but upon lifting it, some of the contents spill out. The warrior lets out a grunt of frustration and slowly stoops to pick up the tomes that have fallen open upon the sand. Slowly, painfully, he gathers them up again, his face set with stoic determination. The Prince's message must live on!

    Clamp turns once more to face his distant destination and seems to wonder if the sand will claim him and his precious cargo first.


    The vision sweeps onward towards the brutal icy lands north of Eternos…

    A new face, young and bold, but set like a mask hiding torment. His strong arms hold aloft a bloodied visor of green. Inlaid upon the visor are 3 eyes, moving with strange life, but dulled and glassy in the housing of their metal sockets. Each eye blinks, cold and wet, staring blindly outward as the youth shouts before a crowd of hulking barbarians, clothed in their green tribal colours, collective voices rumbling with impatience, disbelief, consternation:

    “Look at me! I stand before you triumphant, the blood of enemies still upon my hands! Aye, shame has befallen my family name, and this blood is still not enough to wash it clean! My father – your King! – an oath-breaker! My father – your King! - lies dead on the warplain. His body – robbed and left to the diseased dogs!”

    The crowd murmurs, a few angry shouts, calls for revenge.

    “I am the avenger! See! I have sought and slain those desecraters, buried the bones, and taken back what is
    my right! See! I hold the symbol of his power – now my power! See! I am ready, I am the one, to bring honour back to our tribe, to right the wrong of having obeyed and cowered before the fell Skeletor! Are you ready to follow me?”

    There is tension in the crowd, the youth is an upstart, not fully trusted, older men still have loyalties to the old alliance with Skeletor, they are not prepared to be swayed by this display. The young man plays a dangerous game.

    And yet, this son of Tri-Klops, takes up a ceremonial dagger before them all, holds it to his face barely covered in a beard, and carves out his eyes, his teeth clenching back his cries as the living orbs burst and let run their fluids. The Tri-Visor is lifted and placed like a crown upon his sweating and bloodied head. The mechanism, under its own Ancient intelligence, fits upon the bloodied sockets, seeks the optic nerves, and the three eyes see again once more, focusing on the watchful faces… the vast grey skies surrounded by icy mountains… the future before them…

    “Does any dare doubt or defy me now..!?” the young man shrieks. The red eye upon his head turns with a whirr to glare at the crowd, blazing…. “Onward to conquest!” and his cry is met with a great roar…


    And now the Glass appeared to ripple, as if under some great tension, a multitude of vague and conflicting images spilled over and down the surface, mixing and blending, reflecting the confusion in the mind of its subject, the great uncertainty of his future.

    He is at a cross-roads in his mind; and so for the Sorceress, the future is most difficult to see….:

    …He turns his helmeted head, his face vigorous with youth and hardened with determination. At war again, Man-At-Arms fights at the right hand of Randor, no more a King, but a pretender to Trap-Jaw’s crown. This time, they face the Walls of Eternos themselves, various tribes unified behind the miraculously revived General Duncan, insect people buzzing over-head, a newly discovered and re-outfitted weapon of war spraying its deadly missiles over the Walls.

    Yet victory is not foretold, only the endless shedding of blood, the race between greater and greater killing machines, the old cycle of barbarian wars of vengeance and prestige… while in the distance, Greyskull stands in obscurity, as if forgotten, abandoned for the pursuit of worldly power and vengeance… Blood runs down the Walls, through the streets, the gutters, soaked up by a vast graveyard called Eternia with no clear end, no upper-hand gained, only the deadlock of equally matched and equally stubborn forces…

    …The same young face looks up, this time to a long and yellow feminine hand, outstretched and waiting (hiding claws). He moves toward it, a strange smile upon his face (an ache in his heart). His armour is blackened with paint and adorned with ancient sigils of power that hang from beaded chains (naming daemons, praising gods).

    He ascends the steps of Point Dread towards Eva-Lyn, who stands astride the mystic structure before an altar in flames. This hallowed place is the only mobile part of Castle Greyskull, the fortification that supports the Defender who rides the vehicular gift of the Sorceress – an outpost to transport the fight where-ever it may be. Here - behind Eva-Lyn stands a flying machine, but it is not the Talon Fighter (now burned at the Point’s altar). Instead it has the appearance of a winged missile, its head shaped like a serpent (its belly filled with destruction).

    Atop the transporting Point, he speaks a promise to keep, and thinks of the old allies who might join in the defence of Greyskull (of Secrets). But who would fight alongside this feared and hated woman, regardless of the pressing need..?

    …He is alone in the third vision, in some dark place, shrouded in secrecy. The vision blurs, as if momentarily interrupted. Upon a surgical table before him lies a withered body surrounded by ice. He applies his instruments, his occult medicines, attaches weird devices. Duncan’s face is corpse-like itself, all sunken and haunted with atrocious memories - what has he done to bring himself to this?

    In his mind, the Jawbridge hangs open, the Secrets therein defiled. His design began with an honorable impulse, only to be perverted by the price of its execution. And yet, he owes this dead man, and seeks to lead him to the truth they sought. Eternia needs Adam, and he knows the means to bring him back, to take the Throne, to take the Sword…

    Behind him, hangs a silky web…


    The Sorceress concentrates once more, this time on a name she could not deny. Has Manefred survived? Has their love?

    No, now is not the right time for this. Her old life is an open wound, close to her and still bleeding. She should resist the temptation to acknowledge it and treat Man-E as she would any other potential Defender. Aye, there would be more opportunity to look towards her old friends and with a stronger head - but first there was something more important that she had to understand.

    ***

    The Sorceress reaches the caryatids. She looks upon them, one by one. Then, beyond Zoar-Sorceress, beside her own snake-like image, she sees a final, empty pedestal. So the future has been secured, she muses and does that not mean He-Man must one day return?

    She slides down the walls, through the floors via secret conduits and tunnels, her long, limbless body slithering in the darkness. She reaches the Armoury where the smashed Sword of Power lies, denying manifestation to the great daimon Defender, the spirit of heroes, He-Man.

    What has drawn me here?

    For a moment she looks about herself, confused. No pure heart with peaceful and noble soul had yet been found in her divinations - there is yet no replacement for Adam. For now, she – and the rest of Eternia - can only wait.

    ***

    Much later, the Sorceress pauses in her reading of a great and rare tome. Her mind is fatigued with absorbing so much new wisdom. For a moment she wishes for rest, but knows that such a wish could never be granted. It is almost night-fall, but sleep will now never come to her lidless eyes, only occasional, recuperative stillness.

    ***

    Is she feeling lonely already?

    She raises her head and turns to the narrow window through which the dying light filters from beyond. Though the Season of Storms has begun, there is only a light, drizzling rain across the land, which seems to magnify the sense of stillness outside.

    Beyond the barren rock-land that surrounds the Abyss of Greyskull, are collections of old, twisted trees that lead down the hills and on to the plains. The air is misty with rain and she cannot see very far - yet, for a moment she thinks she has seen the shadow of a man beside one of the old trees.

    But when she looks again, he is gone.

    ***

    FIN

  8. #133
    Heroic Warrior
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    yeah, I didn't think he was dead. Awesome story dude.

  9. #134
    Heroic Warrior Eternian Poet's Avatar
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    Thanks! Glad you enjoyed it.

    You think it's Adam who's not dead? Perhaps the shadow is Man-At-Arms, who went in that direction? Or Man-E-Faces? Or Adam's ghost? Or her imagination? Hehe...
    Last edited by Eternian Poet; July 7, 2011 at 05:06pm.
    ***
    Funny Fan Fic: Meet the Rea-Por! (Heroic & Villainous Deaths) & The Mighty Spector's FIRST EVER FAN-FIC
    & not so funny Fan Fic: War of Attrition
    Trade feedback & WANTED: Bow/SLL style boots!

  10. #135
    Heroic Warrior
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    I thought of those as well. But you didn't mention a body, and I'm going with the comic/movie saying of "No body, no death". But as it's your story, only you know for sure.

  11. #136
    Heroic Warrior Eternian Poet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KryptonianMike View Post
    I thought of those as well. But you didn't mention a body, and I'm going with the comic/movie saying of "No body, no death". But as it's your story, only you know for sure.
    I see!

    I was implying it was Man-E, as he was last seen heading in an unknown direction & he was the last person the Sorceress was thinking about.

    Adam is definately dead.

  12. #137
    Working for The Man Saved's Avatar
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    Really liked it!

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