October 23, 2012, 05:18pm
The Broken Circle: A History of Eternia
First post here, thought I would try something. Not really fan fiction (prologue aside, which is in prose) as it is essentially in bullet point form. Ended up scribbling it down on the computer over a weekend when I had a huge pile of work to do and kept getting distracted!
It pulls together various strands: MOTUC, UK comics, Filmation, etc.
Prose Prologue: The Ebbing Fire
The young girl knew that the man was unaccountably old, although he looked to be young – aside from his eyes. The man’s eyes glittered blue, purple and an impossible black, just like the large star imprinted across his forehead. The shifting colours seemed faster and livelier in light of the fire.
“Tell me it all, please, Scrollos,” implored the girl.
Scrollos – for he was the ageless yet ancient man – laughed and shucked his high-backed collar. “I have told you so many times!” Scrollos rebuked her mildly, with a grin. The girl looked sad and Scrollos again remembered with a heavy heart just why it could be told endlessly for him, but only ever once for her.
“You know everything, Scrollos!” said the girl, admiringly.
Scrollos nodded at the fire, and the girl was unsurprised to see images dancing in it. “Nobody knows everything,” he said. “Not even me. I can tell you of the Ancients – of Keclar and Eldor and the Unnamed One. But even I can only guess about the Time Before. Everyone now knows that Eternia is at the centre of the universe, and that there are 5 special dimensions within the wider universe. Some people think that all of reality is made up of numbers, and that the number 5 is the most powerful of all.” He paused as the images above the fire seemed to resolve themselves into 5 different visions. Scrollos nodded at each one in turn as he described them. “Here are representatives of the 5 Gods that some say even the Ancients believed in, and the powers that belief handed down through the ages. Yet if they were ever real then I do not believe they were Gods, simply manifestations of forces of reason and nature, appearing to us as great symbols or animals. Through the ages people have claimed them as good or evil, but they all could be either of these, or both or neither.”
The first image was of a bird of prey, and the girl could see a line of warrior women and enchantresses in bird armour and wielding bird staffs. “The Falcon,” explained Scrollos. “Many times later its name, Zoar, would be used by others. It is said to represent Wisdom.” He paused.
The second image was of a snake, and the girl could also see an army in tribute to it and a huge stone idol of it wrapped around a mountain. “The Serpent,” said Scrollos. “One day its worshippers would refer to it as Serpos. It is said to represent Rage.”
The third image was of a cat, and the girl could also see a mountain-dwelling race of cat-people, duelling green and purple cats, a vast underground city, a huge tower with a cat-face and a cruel-looking woman with a cat mask. “The Feline,” gestured Scrollos. “It represents Duality and Change.”
The fourth image was of a bat, which seemed to ebb between black and red. Vast armies seemed to march in its name across space and time. “The Bat,” sighed Scrollos. “Representing the Many In The Darkness. Perhaps the most misconstrued of them all as purely evil, but what is light without darkness?”
Lastly, the fifth image surprised the girl. It was a mirror, which seemed particularly impossible in the depths of the fire, yet the mirror did not show the girl’s image, even as she stared at it. Deep within the mirror was an apparently simple geometric shape. “Ah,” said Scrollos. “This is the most mysterious of all.” He ruffled the girl’s hair. “It won’t work for you, but this mirror reflects the person looking. This image is for Man, and by Man I really mean human. Man is supposed to be all of these things the other 4 represent, and can be capable of love or cruelty, hatred or mercy.” He paused, before pointing at the shape. “Can you describe that shape to me?”
The girl squinted but gave up. “No,” she sighed. “Although I feel as though I should, I feel as though it should be simple.”
“You are right, it should,” agreed Scrollos. “But the Symbol of Man is ever changing. It is supposed to represent how it touches all. Sometimes it simply shows two connected elements – perhaps light and dark, or male and female: two vertical lines connected by a central horizontal line. Sometimes it shows the connections as a cross held either straight or diagonal, sometimes as a simple central circle with its petals blooming out like a flower. Sometimes it is like the cross or the flower but from its centre it radiates bones.”
He paused. “It is a circle, yet with items stepping out of the circle. The beast elements may represent the eternal circle of life, yet Man brings perspective. Man brings time. Man breaks the circle with his perceptions, but in a very real way, he brings death to the immortals. Who knows who really broke the circle? Was it the representative of Man or Woman? Or someone less obvious? A walking representation of death? Or perhaps a lost traveller from far beyond our own horizons…”
Scrollos looked away from the fire, out towards the plains of the planet. He could see the ruins of his city-sized spaceship in the distance – no longer needed, its robot crew was busy dismantling what was left. He then looked up to the mighty fortress overlooking the plain. He nodded towards the Castle. “Anyway, some say that all these creatures – these elements - were real once. That Man died, and his skull became the basis for that fortress.”
The girl frowned at him. “That doesn’t seem too likely,” she mused.
Scrollos simply shrugged, a rare occurrence for him.
The girl thought some more about what she had been told, rubbing her glittering emerald skin. “I am Man,” she said, “Or Woman, certainly. And I think it’s pretty obvious about my Snake connections.” Scrollos nodded. She needn’t go on, he had seen her become a green falcon often enough, or change her position in time or space, or melt into a legion of shadows. “So I suppose 5 is important for me too.” She looked down at her feet. “Can you tell me the story you know about now?” she asked. “I’ve been looking forward to it all day.”
Scrollos sighed. “Just like history itself used to be, you live in circles!” he laughed at his young ward. “I will tell you then, of the 5 Great Ones – of He-Man, She-Ra, King Grayskull and the 2 He-Roes. I will tell you of the Councils – of Ancients, Elders and Wisdom. I will tell you of the Unnamed One, and Trollah and Earth and the Horde Empire and Primus and the Two Great Prophecies and your parents. And I will tell you about You, which is why you never remember this tale after it is told. And then you must rest before you resume your training tomorrow.”
The girl clapped with delight. “Thank you!” she squealed.
“Hush, Sharella,” Scrollos told her calmly, tending the ebbing fire as he began. “In the beginning…”
October 23, 2012, 05:46pm
In the beginning…
• Eternia rests at the heart of the universe. It is ruled by the mighty and benevolent Council of Ancients, led by the beneficent Keclar. The Council reside in the beautiful Hall of Wisdom, where the Council gather tales and secrets of the universe. The Council divine that there are 5 great dimensions in the universe. Among them are their own, the dark dimension of Despondos, and the bizarre reality of Trollah. The Council make contact with their counterparts, the Overlords of Trollah.
• A gem-like comet crashes onto Eternia. A vision of a beautiful green woman in snake armour appears – this is the Goddess, Sharella. The Goddess informs the Council of the comet’s arrival. Investigating, the Council realise that the energies of reality itself are contained within, and they postulate it may even be the “Star Seed” from which all the universe was born. The Council forge two mighty blades – the Swords of Power and Protection – aware that they will be needed in dark times ahead.
• However, one of the Council breaks ranks, and sneaks off to investigate the cosmic comet himself. He forges a third blade, the Sword of Evil! He is discovered by Keclar and the rest of the Council, and they chop the Sword of Evil in half. They strip the renegade Councilman of his identity and corporeal form, leaving him as simply the “Unnamed One” and banishing him to shadow dimensions. There, he takes up residence on the planet Infinita.
• The Ancients opted to destroy their Hall of Wisdom and instead moved their base to the already old and fearful-looking Castle Grayskull, to better hide the mystery and power held within the fortress that was a mystery even to them. Their final act was to transform themselves into a single orb of power and knowledge, hiding it within the Castle. Only one Ancient remained human. Almost immortal, he renamed himself Eldor, to reflect his great age. Eldor banished himself from Grayskull to better understand the ordinary lives of other Eternians.
• The Sword of Power is hidden within Castle Grayskull, while the Sword of Protection is given to the Overlords of Trollah for safekeeping.
• Together, the Council and the Overlords witnessed the First Great Prophecy – that the Unnamed One would rise to unimaginable power, and that he would only be defeated by mighty twins.
October 23, 2012, 05:52pm
Rise of the Snakemen
• Generations passed, and the different races on Eternia – humans, Snakemen, Gar, Andreenids, Birdmen and more – continued their lives, occasionally falling into conflict, occasionally not.
• War broke out more than once between the human race and Snakemen, until an uneasy truce was agreed. The main “neutral point” on Eternia of Central Tower was added to by twin flanking towers representing this truce. The Snakemen built Viper Tower in tribute to what they believed to be their living god Serpos, while the humans built Grayskull Tower, in tribute to the fabled and apparently long-lost fortress.
• The truce was broken when the Snakemen acquired a new leader, the unyielding King Hssss. This powerful sorcerer and master tactician spread his forces across the planet, subjugating all and reducing humanity to either slavery or a series of resistant tribes such as the people of Eternos Village or the Wolf Tribe.
• A new war was soon fought, as Hssss’ troops occupied the planet from their twin power bases of Snake Mountain and the Three Towers. Hssss was powered by the magics of Serpos, as old as Eternia itself. He desired the mysteries of Castle Grayskull for himself, having been advised of them in telepathic communications by the Unnamed One, who was unable to set foot on Eternia so watched from afar and used Hssss as his pawn.
• Opposition soon arose to Snake rule. Young peasant farmer Gray was moved to join the resistance against King Hssss. Before he could do this, he was accosted by Eldor, the last living member of Keclar’s original Council of Ancients. Eldor took Gray to a mysterious “cave of power”, the landing site of the original cosmic comet. Eldor used his Book of Living Spells to explain to Gray the power of transformation, and Gray transformed himself in a blaze of light into He-Ro, the man with the potential to be the most powerful wizard in the universe! Gray took a powerful magic staff as his main weapon – the Staff of Light was topped by a powerful jewel, hewn from one of the final fragments of the legendary original cosmic comet. After years of magical training, He-Ro was ready to bring the fight to the Snakemen!
• He-Ro assembled a multi-species Council of Wisdom – taking back control of the Three Towers from King Hssss. On his Council, He-Ro counted the elemental of nature known as the Moss Man, the giant Tytus and his cybernetic dinosaur herd, the beautiful and skilled Archa, the gentle young seer and healer Light Hope and the Trollan-sent Cosmic Enforcers, brothers Zodak and Zeelahr. The mysterious ruler of the kingdom of Zalesia, the Faceless One, also headed a team of mystics who aided the Council. He-Ro was also advised by his adoptive mother Sharella and occasionally by a mysterious masked Stranger.
• In the battles that followed, King Hssss and his deputy General Rattlor were not only aided by warriors such as Tung Lashor, Ssssqueeze and Snake-Face but also mysterious half-Gar sorcerer known as Keldor. Keldor was, in fact, also from the future, but an earlier point than He-Ro’s own mysterious Stranger. The Cosmic Enforcer Zeelahr was eaten alive by King Hssss.
• The prize in the Snake War was, of course, Castle Grayskull. The Clan of the Viper had every intention to seize or destroy the Castle when they found it. Eventually, He-Ro and his allies were led to it by Eldor. There, Sharella revealed herself to be the Goddess in disguise. The Goddess never revealed the identity of occasional visitor the Stranger, who was He-Ro’s descendant from the future, He-Man.
• The Three Towers exchanged hands many times between the Council and the Snakemen as the war raged. Many secrets, both magical and scientific, ended up stored there. The complex came to almost rival Castle Grayskull in its power!
• King Hssss launched an apocalyptic assault on the planet by learning the secret of giving corporeal form to the massive living snake god, Serpos! The mighty behemoth raged a path of destruction across the planet. The Faceless One and his team of mystics made a futile stand at the city of Zalesia, which Serpos turned to ruin. The Faceless One sent his infant daughter into the future for protection.
• Eventually, the massed ranks of He-Ro’s Council of Wisdom made a last stand at Castle Grayskull, alongside the Zalesian mystics and the spirits of the Ancients themselves. Serpos was banished, turned to stone and wound around Snake Mountain. Eldor sacrificed his own life in the battle. The Council of Wisdom was broken.
• King Hssss, defeated, seemingly vanished. Unknown to the heroes, the Unnamed One had lost interest in his pawn, having decided that a more powerful yet more directly controllable option was available.
Hope comes to Etheria
• At the behest of the Overlords of Trollah, some surviving members of the former Council of Wisdom decided it was time to explore, and opening a dimensional gateway within Castle Grayskull, they were led by Eldor’s Book of Living Spells to a dark and troubled world called Etheria, at the heart of Despondos. Realising that this world would be a counterpoint to Eternia and a beacon of hope in an otherwise hopeless dimension, the Council established a mighty fortress, the Crystal Castle. He-Ro split the gemstone in his Staff of Light in half – using a portion of it to grow the Castle. Tragedy struck when the young seer Light Hope – who had foreseen Etheria’s importance in the future war against the Unnamed One – was seemingly killed on Etheria. However, his spirit merged with Eldor’s Book of Living Spells and Light Hope became a non-corporeal custodian of the Crystal Castle. He would hide the Castle and guard it until Etheria’s time of salvation would come. The Crystal Castle also housed one half of the dreaded Sword of Evil.
• The Council survivors returned to Eternia, the dimensional gateway to Etheria permanent yet sealed within Castle Grayskull, until the time of the First Great Prophecy came.
• He-Ro departed for the stars alongside Zodak, called by the Overlords of Trollah. There he joined the ranks of the Cosmic Enforcers, pleased that Eternia was at peace. The shining white fortress of Castle Grayskull was known to all, and settlements soon arose around it.
Rise of the Horde
• In the bloody aftermath of the war against Serpos, the Council of Wisdom had been broken. One disillusioned former member was the mage Hec-Tor-Kur. He had been one of the architects of the Three Towers along with his mentor, Noah, and had been one of the mystics who made a stand against Serpos at Zalesia, Hec-Tor-Kur was contacted and corrupted by the Unnamed One, who claimed – perhaps correctly – to be an ancestor of his.
• Hec-Tor-Kur left Eternia, venturing out to explore the cosmos. He met with the Unnamed One on the planet Infinita, where together they planned to raise a mighty horde to conquer Eternia. The Unnamed One rechristened himself as Horde Prime, while Hec-Tor-Kur became his chief general and warlord, Hordak! Infinita becomes the centre of this empire, and it would eventually become known as simply Horde World.
• Hordak upgraded himself into a magical and scientific cyborg-like creature in the years that followed. He also gathered his own Horde elite around him.
The Horde War
• Eventually, Hordak and his chief lieutenants – Calix and the Horde Sorcerers, returned to his homeworld launched an assault upon Eternia itself. The focal point was Castle Grayskull, by now a shining white fortress defended by King D’vann Grayskull, a mighty warrior. Grayskull was accompanied by his wife, the magic-user Queen Veena and his mighty steed, the huge Battle Lion. Inspired by the Councils of Ancients and Wisdom which had gone before, King Grayskull gathered his own Council. Later historians would label this group of warriors, mystics and scientists “the Council of Elders”.
• The Horde War raged for many years. King Grayskull particularly came to rely upon the advice of the Oracle, a mysterious old Trollan from another dimension who would eventually become his guide and confidante. It was the Oracle who recommended that Grayskull truly use the powers available to him as custodian of the Castle, and so King Grayskull chose to wield the Sword of Power in battle.
• They were aided by He-Ro, who returned to Eternia after battling the Horde in space, infected by a techno-virus unleashed by Horde Prime himself. He-Ro was overjoyed to meet D’Vann, realising that Archa had been pregnant when he had left. Although He-Ro had not aged, D’Vann Grayskull was his great-grandson, his royal rank a testament to the esteem in which the peoples of Eternia held the long-departed He-Ro. He-Ro now wielded the Sword of Protection as well as the Staff of Light, the blade was gifted to him by the Overlords of Trollah to combat the Horde.
The Great War
• As if to add to the troubles of the Council of Elders, King Hsss returned, having used the intervening years to rebuild his army. A three-sided struggle ensued. Grayskull, He-Ro and Veena led the Council of Elders, while King Hssss led the Snakemen and Hordak led the Horde.
• He-Ro contacted the Cosmic Enforcers and Zodak also returned to Eternia. He joined the Council of Elders, determined to avenge his brother.
• The combined might of He-Ro, King Grayskull, Zodak, Veena and the other Elders sealed King Hssss and most of his army in a prison dimension, using a similar tactic employed by the Ancients against the Unnamed One. The portal to the timeless dimension was beneath Snake Mountain, and the Council of Elders sealed it – hopefully forever.
• He-Ro suffered fatal injuries in the last battle against the Snakemen. In his last days, he told his descendant how proud he was of him, and gained insight into the cyclical nature of war on Eternia. He-Ro also took the last half of the jewel atop his Staff of Light and set it within the hilt of the Sword of Protection. He passed the Sword of Protection to his great-granddaughter-in-law, Veena, foretelling that it was due to be wielded by a mighty female warrior. At this time, He-Ro made the Second Great Prophecy. The First was from the time of Ancients and was of the twin warriors who would defeat the Unnamed One. The Second claimed that Peace would finally come to Eternia with the union once again of the twin houses – that of the Guardian of the Castle and a descendant of its founder – a descendant of both King Grayskull and He-Ro.
• With Hssss and He-Ro gone, Hordak could see victory in his sights. The ruthless leader of the evil Horde planned to use all magic at his disposal to perform the Spell of Separation, severing Eternia from the regular universe and plunging it into the dark dimension of Despondos, thus allowing Horde Prime to return to the planet. However, thanks an almighty final struggle from King Grayskull, the plan went awry. Hordak was banished to Despondos. King Grayskull was mortally wounded in the battle, however. King Grayskull had a vision in his last moments which was perhaps linked to He-Ro’s Second Great Prophecy – the twin warriors of the First Great Prophecy would be his descendants, but so would one of their greatest enemies. King Grayskull told his wife that she was pregnant and that he loved her, then used his dying breath to transfer his very spirit to the Sword of Power.
• Eternia had been spared the Spell of Separation’s full effects but it was still devastating. The planet lay almost in ruins and was now divided between Light and Dark hemispheres. The Three Towers, sitting at the mystical focal centre of Eternia, sunk into the ground. All around the civilian survivors of the Great War – dubbed the “Ultimate Battleground” by some - lay the broken remains of science and magic.
• Zodak went into hiding and the Oracle vanished
• A grief-stricken Veena pondered what to do next. At this point, the Goddess appeared once again, informing her of what she must do. A sad Veena used her powers to lock away the Sword of Protection deep within Castle Grayskull, and then combined her powers with those of the Ancients to split the Sword of Power in two and hide them elsewhere on Eternia, so that it could not fall into the wrong hands. Finally, Veena accepted custodianship as the first Sorceress of Grayskull, tearfully giving up her newborn child to live a normal life among normal humans. Never again would humanity settle around the Castle, instead it would be hidden away in the depths of the Evergreen Forest.
• In the millennia that followed, the split halves of the Power Sword would acquire their own mythologies and powers. One half became known as the Sword of the Ancients, the other half as the Sword of He.
October 23, 2012, 06:53pm
The He-Men, guardians of the halves of the Power Sword
• In the millennia that followed, civilisations rose and fell. The Snakemen who escaped He-Ro’s purge became the subterranean-dwelling Reptons, who made peace with humanity. The human race fought a war with the dragons of Darksmoke, led by Granamyr, until both sides agreed to an armistice.
• Although Castle Grayskull remained hidden, threats to it did not. The Goddess opted to recruit new warriors to fight and defend the Castle, plus the two halves of the Power Sword. So it came to pass that history would later remember these warriors as the “He-Men” of the past.
• Among their ranks was Wun-Darr, who was augmented with weaponry from the Cosmic Enforcers. The northern warrior Vikor fought against dread elemental Demo-Man in the Valley of Gnarl, while the naked barbarian Oo-Larr fought battles against extra-dimensional sorcerer Karak Nul. Different Warlords of Eternia rose and fell in these times.
• During this time, the inhabitants of Eternia began to rebuild their shattered civilisations. All around them were half-understood magical and scientific relics of the world which had existed prior to the devastating Spell of Separation that had marked an end to the Great War.
• During this time, Hordak’s Horde grew and grew. Under the cold and watchful intelligence of Horde Prime, the Horde Empire was established as a brutal dictatorship across several worlds. Hordak’s own personal complement of Hordesemen included brainwashed powerful brute Grizzlor, grotesque insectoid creature Mantenna and frustrated regent of the Triax Star System, Catra.
The Great Unrest
• Modern times. By this time, Eternia was a world of both science and magic, largely at peace. Its most powerful civilisation was the Kingdom of Eternos, ruled over by King Miro.
• Strife would come to Eternos, however, as the Kingdom was assaulted by various would-be warlords such as Count Marzo and Evilseed. These threats were fought against by brave Eternos warriors, such as Princes Randor and Keldor, plus the royal Man-at-Arms, Dekker and his apprentice Duncan and stranded Earth astronaut Marlena Glenn.
• However, true war would come when Keldor vanished. He discovered a means of time travel deep in the Sands of Time, and used it to travel throughout Eternia’s history. Keldor became corrupted and evil, working with King Hssss in the distant past and other such escapades.
• Keldor returned to the present day, determined to rule Eternia. Going to the deserted Snake Mountain, Keldor established this as his headquarters, using knowledge gained from time spent in the past to unlock many of its secrets. In addition to his own personal army of slaves, the Skelcons, Keldor also recruited deposed undersea tyrant Mer-Man, once-honourable engineer and swordsman Tri-Klops, loyal steed Panthor, mysterious warlord Kronis and the savage jungle warrior Beast Man into his army of mercenaries, trolls, ogres and other warriors.
• Keldor’s most powerful ally by far was the mighty sorceress known as Evil-Lyn. She had been the infant daughter of the Faceless One, projected into the future by her desperate father during Serpos’ assault on Zalesia. A heartbroken Faceless One saw his daughter turn to the side of evil.
• Keldor and Lyn fell in love, and secretly married.
• Launching a war against Eternos, Keldor defeated Randor and Duncan in battle until he was horrifically scarred by an alchemic attack gone wrong. Blindly retreating, Evil-Lyn took Keldor to the Temple of Despondos, where the dying warlord contacted the long-lost Hordak. Hordak reached out and transported Keldor to Despondos, merging his essence with the mystics of the long-forgotten Demo-Man to create the hideous Skeletor!
The Second Horde War
• Skeletor trained under Hordak and led his new master and a Horde strike force back to Eternia. The Horde made a base at Snake Mountain and advanced across the planet, burning whole settlements as they advanced into Eternos.
• Evil-Lyn had taken control of Keldor’s forces in his absence and was horrified by the creature who had returned in his stead. While Keldor had been in Despondos, Evil-Lyn had given birth to a baby son, whom she kept secret from Skeletor and sent into the future and safety: just as her own father had once done with her. Evil-Lyn and Keldor’s old army kept their distance in the war, partly as Skeletor had no desire for Hordak to know of the extent of his personal troops.
• One young woman who survived a Horde assault was called Teelana. Teelana, lost and terrified in the Evergreen Forest, discovered Castle Grayskull. There, she met the current guardian of Grayskull, a sorceress named Kodak Ungor. Ungor told Teelana that she could strike back against the Horde, and Teelana accepted, becoming the new Sorceress.
• The Sorceress made contact with Duncan, aide to the newly-crowned young King Randor and his wife, lost Earth astronaut Queen Marlena. The Sorceress aided Duncan and Randor in pushing Hordak’s forces back to Snake Mountain. There, they watched in terror as Hordak tried to open the full gate to Despondos, planning to bring through a full army to control the planet and eventually capture Castle Grayskull to offer to Horde Prime or – more likely – claim for himself. They were saved by an unlikely ally – Skeletor had betrayed his master and sabotaged the portal, it had exploded, throwing Hordak through and trapping him and his Hordesmen on the other side. With that, Skeletor had planned to close the gate to Despondos forever and take Eternia for himself.
• Instead, the Sorceress used the powers of Grayskull and the traces of the Spell of Separation to erect a Mystic Wall, separating Skeletor’s forces around Snake Mountain from the rest of Eternia for some time to come.
• Celebrations were short-lived. Marlena had gone into labour during the last battle, but upon giving birth Skeletor had appeared and magically spirited away the Queen’s daughter, Adora, at the moment of her birth. The Sorceress confirmed that Adora was not on the other side of the Mystic Wall, and Hordak must have taken her. The tragedy only had a glimmer of hope in that, unknown to Skeletor and Hordak, Marlena had given birth again minutes later, to Adora’s twin brother. The second child, Adam, was healthy and safe in his parents’ arms. They chose to keep Adora’s existence a secret – aside from Skeletor and Hordak, only Duncan and the Sorceress were aware she had ever existed
• It had been a time of war and terrible loss, but clearly also a time of many important births. Duncan and the Sorceress had become lovers during the war, and with the conflict ended, Duncan planned a life for them together. He visited the Sorceress at Castle Grayskull. She explained to him her past, how she had just taken over custodianship of the Castle, and that now the battle with the Horde was over, she would be confined there, only able to leave in the form of the “falcon of force”, Zoar. This broke Teelana’s heart twice over – she could not be with the man she loved, nor with their daughter, with whom she was pregnant. The Sorceress swore Duncan to secrecy as to the existence and location of Castle Grayskull – Randor and Marlena had been aided by the Sorceress but never knew her background. Duncan agreed, and following the birth of their daughter, the Sorceress made him promise not to visit again, as the Castle would not be seen again until it was needed. A heartbroken Sorceress said goodbye to her daughter and an equally heartbroken Duncan took his newborn baby daughter, Teela, back to Eternos City. There, Duncan was appointed the royal Man-at-Arms, and leadership of the engineering Nerlins. Teela and Adam would at least have each other to grow up with together.
• War raged on the dark hemisphere of Eternia, behind the Mystic Wall. Kronis raised an assault force against Skeletor, only to be almost killed by him. Tri-Klops rebuilt the rebellious Kronis as Trap Jaw.
• Evil-Lyn eyed Skeletor warily. They both knew they needed each other but all previous affection was lost. They instead became powerful, if reluctant, allies.
• Skeletor’s forces grew and grew. He constructed robotic sentinels based on old Horde Trooper designs to serve alongside the genetically enhanced slaves the Skelcons and mystically animated Skeleton Warriors, while Mer Man and Beast Man raised up tribes of mer people and beast people to serve. Other powerful warriors joined – the calculating Webstor, the criminal renegade Repton known as Kobra Khan and scientific genius Modulok to name but some.
• Hordak and his troops returned to the Horde Empire, which was by now a vast galaxy-spanning entity. Angry and unable to locate Eternia once again, Hordak instead settled upon a world which was almost as rich in magic as Eternia – Etheria. Horde Prime informed him that it would be a worthy prize, settled as it was by his old foes so long before.
• Hordak led a full army on Etheria. While Randor had managed to unite the different nations and races of Eternia against the Horde threat, no such unity existed on Etheria. Warring peoples refused to help each other or were bought or tricked by the invaders. Kingdom-by-kingdom, the Horde took the planet.
• Hordak installed a huge technological headquarters on the planet, a nightmare factory city dubbed the Fright Zone. He recruited a disaffected sorceress from the fortress of Mystacor to join his side, and the aforementioned Light Spinner retitled herself Shadow Weaver, betraying her homeworld’s last hope by killing head mage of Mystacor, Norwyn. Chief among the rebel kingdoms was that of Brightmoon – its ruler, Queen Angella, stood up to the Horde and resisted their attacks for years. Eventually, even Brightmoon was defeated and its queen imprisoned and her consort slaughtered. They had been secretly betrayed by Angella’s neice, who styled herself as Horde agent “Double Trouble”.
• With Etheria firmly under Horde control, Hordak departed again for other Horde territories. Hordak raised Adora as if she were his own daughter – training her to be a mighty warrior, and Shadow Weaver aided him in brainwashing her with sorcery, science and psychology into accepting Horde ethics.
• Hordak, Shadow Weaver and Adora spent years on Horde World and other Horde planets. Catra, augmenting herself with totems stolen from the ancient Etherian Magicat tribe, was left as Governor of the planet. Catra became obsessed with legends of the Crystal Castle, and vowed to seize it for herself. As she began to assemble her own personal cadre of warriors within the Horde – Entrapta, Double Trouble, Clawdeen, Storm and her cat-men slaves – she neglected to pay attention to a part of the planet the Horde simply could not enter, the Whispering Woods.
• Nonetheless, as more Horde warriors arrived from the Empire or were recruited on Etheria, the planet’s future began to look very dark indeed…
A Legend Is Born
• While Etheria languished in darkness, Eternia enjoyed a time of peace and prosperity. The young Prince Adam grew up unaware of his twin sister, while his “sister” he grew up with Teela, was also unaware of her heritage. While Adam grew up lazy and unconcerned – much to Randor and Marlena’s chagrin – Teela grew up to be a superb athlete and thinker. Adam had a pet tiger, Cringer, and was always entertained by court jester Orko.
• By the time they were 21, Teela was a captain within the Royal Guard, while Adam was still lazy and spoiled. All this was about to change.
• The Mystic Wall was shattered. Skeletor and his warriors escaped. Skeletor’s elite – Evil-Lyn, Beast Man, Tri-Klops and others – now called themselves the Lords of Destruction. They were aided by various ground troops – Skeletor’s air centurions, genetically enhanced slave race the Skelcons and the mystically animated Skeleton Warriors.
• The Lords of Destruction launched a blistering assault on Eternos City, and Adam watched in horror as his father was captured by Skeletor.
• Adam escaped the ruins of the city while a desperate Teela orchestrated the staged retreat of the Eternos Guard, trying to cover Marlena’s evacuation of as many civilians as possible. A terrified Adam stumbled through lost until visions of a falcon – unknown to him, this was Zoar, the falcon form of the Sorceress.
• Zoar led Adam to a mysterious cave. This was the same cave to which Eldor had led Gray millennia ago. There lay one half of the Sword of Power, the half dubbed the Sword of He. Adam instinctively raised the half-sword above his head and it transformed him into He-Man! The most powerful man in the universe. Instantly, he saw the Sorceress in his mind’s eye. Instructing him he must not reveal his secret identity to anyone, she instructed him to follow her falcon form. He-Man refused, opting instead to return to the Royal Palace in Eternos to save his father. In a battle with an astonished Skeletor, He-Man did just that, saving Randor at the moment of his execution in the king’s throne room. Skeletor and his troops withdrew. Rather than reveal his identity, He-Man left Randor, Marlena and Teela in Eternos, opting at last to follow Zoar.
• Zoar led He-Man deep into the Evergreen Forest, where Castle Grayskull stood. He-Man entered, and was astonished to see Zoar transform into the beautiful and apparently ageless Sorceress. The Sorceress explained that the Sword of He was one half of the legendary Power Sword, the key to Castle Grayskull and the secrets of the universe itself. In the central chamber of the Castle, she explained He-Man’s heritage to him. Although he may want revenge for the assault on Eternos and deaths of so many innocents, He-Man was there for justice, not vengeance. The Sorceress explained that she would be one of his allies, but he must not reveal his secret identity to those beyond the chamber. Looking around, He-Man was astonished to see Man-at-Arms and the court jester Orko – in reality a powerful sorcerer despatched by the Overlords of Trollah to help and advise. The Sorceress explained that He-Man’s act of saving his father was understandable, and the right thing to do in many ways. However, by not going straight to Grayskull from the cave of power, he had left the secrets of the fortress exposed to the forces of evil – it was only a matter of time before it would be found. Now strong and wise beyond compare, it would be He-Man’s task to live up to the ideals of his ancestors Gray, D’Vann and Veena and previous warriors Wun-Darr, Vikor and Oo-Larr to defend the Castle and its secrets and protect the just and the innocent. He-Man would have a steed – a blast of his Sword of He would transform Adam’s cowardly pet Cringer into the mighty Battle Cat.
• Returning to Eternos, He-Man announced that he would found a fighting force to defend the free peoples of Eternia now that the Mystic Wall had fallen. This group would be called… the Masters of the Universe!
Masters of the Universe
• So, battle was taken up by both sides. Many conflicts would be fought, over the shaping staff, the secrets of the past and much more.
• The ranks of the Masters of the Universe swelled. Lord Stratos of the bird-people of Avion joined as did General Buzz-Off of the Andreenid Hive, following an abortive attempt by Skeletor to engineer a war between the two sky civilisations. Man-at-Arms constructed the powerful Roboto, given a heart by the Sorceress, while Duncan’s own brother Fisto also joined. Gar cyborg Sy-Klone, the stubborn Ram-Man, forest elemental Moss Man, Qadian ruler Chief Carnivus, look-out Meckaneck and super-powered guardsman Clamp Champ were just some.
• Skeletor’s ranks also grew. Long-banished Karak Nul returned as the supernatural Scare Glow, savage warriors Clawful and Whiplash joined up, as did fighters and mercenaries such as Blade Jitsu and the strategist Two-Bad. A part-depowered, part cyborg evil He-Man from a parallel universe called Faker also joined Skeletor’s ranks.
• Among the battles fought included a lengthy quest for the second half of the Power Sword, nicknamed the Sword of the Ancients. Uncovered by two of Evil-Lyn’s goblins in a hunt for the Masks of Power, the second half was briefly corrupted and wielded by Skeletor, who was almost successful in using it to enter Castle Grayskull. Eventually, He-Man gained both halves, and the Sword of He and Sword of the Ancients were truly combined to form the Sword of Power. This additional power unlocked many extra abilities for He-Man. In addition to bestowing the unparalleled thunderpunch upon him it also granted him various mystical armours such as the battle armour, flying fists and ice armour, which rivalled Skeletor’s own selection of battle gear.
• The Mystic Wall had not just kept Skeletor at bay. Other dread enemies of the past such as Count Marzo, Evilseed, Lodar, Geldor and Shokoti also returned.
• The spectre of a devastating war with the powerful dragons of Darksmoke was averted when He-Man made peace with Granamyr. Teela struggled unsuccessfully to find out who her mother was. Skeletor and Mer Man flooded the Evergreen Forest to attack Castle Grayskull. Skeletor constructed an “Iron Master” to try to steal the Sword of Power.
October 23, 2012, 06:55pm
Return of the Snakemen
• Skeletor’s warrior Kobra Khan planned to resurrect his warlike ancestors, the Snakemen, and managed to persuade Skeletor to open the dimensional vault beneath Snake Mountain, in which He-Ro and his Council had imprisoned the Clan of the Viper millennia before. Only dimly aware of his pre-Skeletor days, the lord of destruction did vaguely recall his time travelling past, and plotted to resurrect the army but not the leader. Alerted by the Sorceress, He-Man set out to contact Zodak, and persuaded the reclusive former Cosmic Enforcer to help him against the threat of the Snakemen. He-Man and Zodak managed to prevent the rift opening, but not before the escape of King Hssss’s second-in-command, General Rattlor.
• Rattlor uneasily allied himself with Skeletor, but plotted to overthrow him. Evil-Lyn decided to approach Rattlor, explaining that with his help she could open the rift, as she secretly planned to overthrow Skeletor.
• This time, He-Man, Zodak and the Masters were too late. King Hssss and his Snake Army arose from their underworld. Evil-Lyn instantly regretted her betrayal as Hssss tried to eat her and she fled. Skeletor and his key warriors were turned to stone by the Snakeman known as Snake Face. Hssss took up residence in Snake Mountain and planned to once again rule Eternia.
• War was declared. The desperate Masters considered a truce with Skeletor to fight this new threat but discovered he had been frozen. Eternos City stood ready to repel the Clan of the Viper but instead the army marched on Castle Grayskull.
• As He-Man was overwhelmed by the Snake Army, the Sorceress and Zodak fought to repel King Hssss from the Castle itself. Salvation came in an unlikely form. Evil-Lyn had travelled to Zalesia to steal the ram stone from her father’s old fortress. She used it to destroy many of the Snakemen.
• King Hssss and a smaller group escaped to caverns beneath Snake Mountain. A none-the-wiser and restored Skeletor took Evil-Lyn back. A grim Sorceress mused that the Masters now faced a war on two fronts, and she was plagued with visions of an old foe returning. Unknown to her, a new ally would also soon arrive.
Secrets of the Sword
• One troubled night, plagued with visions of Hordak, the Sorceress summoned Adam to Castle Grayskull. She presented him with the Sword of Protection, and led him to a door not opened since the days of He-Ro. This, she explained, was a door to Despondos. He was to take the Sword of Protection – the twin of its own save for the jewel within – to its owner, explaining the sword would make clear who its owner was.
• Expecting the horrors of Despondos, He-Man was instead surprised to find himself on the beautiful planet Etheria. He swiftly realised that the planet was under the control of a brutal dictatorship, and found himself allied with members of the fledgling Great Rebellion. Basing themselves in the mystically protected Whispering Woods, these included the master archer Bow, exiled princess of Brightmoon Glimmer and diminutive witch Madame Razz and her Broom, plus a rag-tag army of peasants and farmers.
• With He-Man’s aid, the Rebels made surgical strikes against Horde slave transports in occupied villages. Disappointed in the failures of Governor Catra, Hordak returned to Etheria with Shadow Weaver and Adora in tow. Hordak demoted Catra, placing her under the command of Adora as Force Captain. He-Man ran foul of Adora’s Force Squad and was captured, momentarily distracted by twin astonishments when the Sword of Protection seemed to react to Captain Adora’s presence, and also his realisation that the planet was ruled by a reviled figure from his own homeworld’s past, Hordak.
• On what she believed to be her homeworld, Adora was appalled by the Horde’s cruel rule of Etheria. She confronted Hordak and Shadow Weaver, only for the pair to again recondition her to obey. Adora’s veil was indeed slipping, and she was drawn to the Sword of Protection among the imprisoned He-Man’s confiscated possessions. Suddenly, the Sorceress could speak to her through the Sword. The Sorceress unlocked Adora’s mind, revealing her true heritage to her and lifting the Horde’s mental blocks on her. In a reflection of her brother’s abilities, Adora used the Sword to transform into She-Ra, the most powerful woman in the universe! Leaping on her Etherian horse, Spirit, the steed turned into winged unicorn, Swift Wind!
• She-Ra freed her brother and attacked the Fright Zone. The two then returned to the Whispering Woods, where she joined the Rebellion. She then returned in her secret identity of Adora. Realising that as a former Hordeswoman she would have to prove herself to the Rebellion, Adora led the operation that freed Queen Angella of Brightmoon from imprisonment in the hands of Horde ally Hunga the Harpy. Castle Brightmoon was freed from Horde control and news of the Rebellion spread across the planet.
• He-Man and She-Ra were then led by the jewel in the Sword of Protection to the summit of Skydancer Mountain, where the Crystal Castle had remained hidden for centuries. Inside, they met the entity Light Hope, who promised to be She-Ra’s guide and friend. He said that the Castle would remain secret for now, but when Etheria was free and united, all could share its beauty. Light Hope revealed that there was now a permanent dimensional gate between the Crystal Castle and Castle Grayskull. The truth behind the two worlds’ connections would need to remain secret, lest Hordak learn of the way back to Eternia. Adora stepped through the portal and had a secret reunion with her parents, explaining she would return to live on Eternia one day, but had to make amends for her past on Etheria. He-Man and She-Ra promised to visit each other through the secret portals when possible. She-Ra was keen to get back to Etheria to help rally the Rebellion. He-Man knew he had to get back to the Masters to continue the struggle against Skeletor and Hssss.
The Second Ultimate Battleground
• Wars on both worlds continued. On Eternia, the Masters faced an attempt by Webstor to instigate a spider takeover, face Icer in the polar regions and encountered the legendary Behemoth, among other threats. On Etheria, She-Ra and Adora – secretly the same person – took up leadership roles and greatly expanded the Rebellion. The Rebels liberated the magic fortress of Mystacor, and its queen, Castaspella, joined. King Agho of the trolls and Empress Frosta of the Kingdom of the Snows both pledged their kingdoms’ allegiance to the Rebels. She-Ra fell in love with Sea Hawk, a charismatic pirate whom she swayed to the Rebel side.
• Eventually, the inevitable happened and Hordak found a way to break through from Despondos. He mapped a much smaller shadow of the Etherian Fright Zone onto Eternia, and brought through a small cadre of Hordesmen. While the bulk of his forces remained on Etheria, this brought the Horde into the Eternian War, thus making it a four-way struggle. Hordak’s presence on the ancient world of his power instantly changed events. The Three Towers were raised from beneath the ground, and again it found itself switching hands repeatedly. In a blitzkrieg assault on Snake Mountain, the Horde drove Skeletor and his troops underground, Evil-Lyn’s attempts to battle the Horde by conjuring up long-lost horrors like Megator and Gygor apparently futile.
• Various struggles occurred, and travel between the linked worlds became more common. Evil-Lyn transported Etheria to null-space, only to be defeated by She-Ra, Castaspella, and an unlikely ally in the shape of Catra. Hordak tried to launch an asteroid at Eternia. He-Man learned a valuable lesson about the difference between the two worlds in an evacuation of an Etherian village. Evil-Lyn and Shadow Weaver had a brief, disastrous, alliance.
• Horde Prime, now aware of the links between two worlds, transported Hordak and Skeletor to Horde World. Skeletor promised to work for Horde Prime once more, though in reality only briefly. Prime put Hordak in charge of Skeletor’s forces and Skeletor in charge of the Etherian Horde. This was all in an attempt to seize both halves of the legendary Sword of Evil from an unaware Masters and Rebels. The two halves were dutifully brought to Horde Prime on his flagship, only for He-Man and She-Ra to appear. They combined the powers of their own Swords and used them to destroy the Sword of Evil forever.
• King Hssss had not been idle. From his HQ in Viper Tower, he had gathered the legendary Eyes of the Serpent, and used them to resurrect the living god, Serpos, from the superstructure of Snake Mountain.
• Serpos immediately launched an assault on Castle Grayskull. It was defeated by He-Man and She-Ra, both of whom had to submit to possession by the spirits of the ancient Councils to do so. Zodak had his reckoning with King Hssss, and ultimately beheaded the tyrant. Zodak took his leave of Eternia – with his brother’s death avenged, he returned to the Overlords of Trollah and his long-forgotten life in the stars as a Cosmic Enforcer.
• In this final struggle against the Snakemen during the Four-Way War, tragedy again struck. Unknown to anyone, the Sorceress had been fatally poisoned by King Hssss before his destruction at the hands of Zodak. It was a slow poison, but would eventually kill her.
• Hordak took the Masters by surprise in the aftermath of Serpos’ assault, blasting his way into the Royal Palace in Eternos City and apparently killing King Randor. Declaring Eternos to be the new Fright Zone, he brought in more troops. This did mean the Horde loosened their grip on Etheria, prompting the Rebels to shore up their positions and allowing She-Ra to travel to Eternia. There, she discovered the Masters forced to go renegade, with Queen Marlena acting as a figurehead for free peoples of the planet.
• The resistance against Hordak was not so long a struggle as the still-ongoing Etherian Rebellion. Hordak still was troubled with war on two fronts. Shadow Weaver, who ruled Etheria in Hordak’s absence, saw more and more Horde territories overrun – the planet was finally uniting against the invaders, even if it was decades later than the invasion itself. She-Ra returned to Etheria to continue the struggle there, sensing victory to be within their grasp.
• On Eternia, Hordak planned to announce himself as Horde overlord of the planet. He was prepared to abandon Etheria for the greater prize of Castle Grayskull. He-Man tried to enter Eternos, but failed.
• In a shock move, the apparently long-absent Skeletor materialised himself in the throne room of the Royal Palace by using a mysterious artefact called the Cosmic Key. Confronting his old master, Skeletor killed Hordak and banished his troops back through to Etheria in Despondos, save for the robotic Horde Troopers, whom Skeletor added to his own ranks with the power of the Key. Skeletor announced himself to be king of Eternia and then, to the astonished eyes of the watching Masters, vanished with the Cosmic Key.
• They soon learned, he had used it to enter and take control of Castle Grayskull…
October 23, 2012, 06:57pm
• King Skeletor imprisoned the already dying Sorceress and garrisoned troops in Eternos and Grayskull. Taking the Sorceress’ throne as his own, he broadcast to the planet that he was now its ruler. He sealed the gate to Etheria and told the populace that with She-Ra, Hordak, Hssss, Randor and Horde Prime all now gone, He-Man would not be long behind them. Marlena and many Masters were given sanctuary by the dragons of Darksmoke.
• He-Man was not gone, however, and alongside Teela and Man-at-Arms, began a fightback against Skeletor’s troops. They encountered diminutive scientist, inventor and locksmith Gwildor, who had built the Cosmic Key and unwittingly allowed it to fall into the hands of Skeletor and Evil-Lyn. The 4 used a prototype Key to gain access to Castle Grayskull, where they failed to free the Sorceress. Ambushed by Skeletor’s troops, He-Man and his allies took the prototype Key and escaped to a random destination in time and space.
• The destination turned out to be the homeworld of He-Man’s mother – Earth. They arrived in the 1980s, 30 years after Captain Marlena Glenn’s departure, but it was not long before Skeletor and his forces followed. The battle then raged on the streets of Los Angeles, before Skeletor captured He-Man and returned him to Eternia. Skeletor planned to take all the powers and wisdom of the universe from the Castle when the “Great Eye of the Universe”, a focus device in the Castle’s main chamber, opened. Although Skeletor briefly did possess the powers of the universe, this was short-lived as He-Man managed to defeat him. The ill Sorceress was freed and order seemed to be returned to Eternia.
• Happiness seemed to prevail even more as it transpired Hordak had not killed Randor, but merely imprisoned him in a shadow dimension. Randor returned not alone, but with his own long-believed dead father, Miro.
Freedom in Etheria
• Although She-Ra was worried about being unable to get to Eternia due to the dimensional gates being shut down, she threw herself fully into the war against the Horde. With the bulk of Hordak’s forces having been deployed to Eternia, the Rebels turned the tide against the Horde.
• The Rebellion won. The Fright Zone was routed of Hordesmen and transformed into crystal pools, lush gardens and idyllic ruins thanks to the combined magics of Rebel mystics Mermista, Perfuma and Castaspella. The highest ranking Horde officers still on Etheria – Shadow Weaver, Catra and a handful of others like Scorpia, Entrapta and Admiral Scurvy – withdrew to a few key strongholds like Horror Hall and Cat Tower as the Etherian Horde itself fragmented into smaller groups. They would still be a threat, but would no longer rule the planet.
• The last miracle would come when the fabled Crystal Castle vanished from the top of Skydancer Mountain. It reappeared on a much smaller hill, standing just above the treeline of the Whispering Woods – a shining beacon for all of Etheria to see. She-Ra and Light Hope hosted a conference of representatives of all the civilisations on Etheria, who signed treaties of co-operation. The Rebellion was disbanded and renamed a Council of Freedom, as the peoples of the planet learned from the mistakes they had made in the Horde invasion.
• With Skeletor defeated on Eternia, the dimensional gateways were opened again between Eternia and Etheria, and She-Ra and a few of her key allies opted to travel to Eternia. The new Council of Freedom still had challenges to face, notably the threat that Shadow Weaver and Catra would try to contact Horde World.
Endings and Legacies
• While a defeated Skeletor tried to rally his forces and Evil-Lyn pondered the chances of a coup, the Snakeman General Rattlor decided to rally his surviving troops in a shock attack in memory of King Hssss.
• A Snake-engineered version of the Horde techno-organic virus from millennia ago was unleashed on Eternia. Man-at-Arms was the first to succumb, as it transformed him into a Snakeman. In a sacrifice, Duncan had slowed the virus’ progress. Its existence also hastened the Sorceress’ weakness given her poisoning by King Hssss’ venom some time before.
• He-Man used time travel equipment in the Central Tower to travel into the past. There he became “the Stranger”, helping He-Ro and the Council of Wisdom against the Snakemen. He-Ro had been infected with the original Horde version of the virus, and He-Man managed to get the cure back to the future.
• The cure was enough to stop the virus. It was too late for Man-at-Arms, though, who could apparently never become human again.
• The Sorceress’ days were short. She called Teela to her and revealed the truth behind her heritage to her astonished daughter, but kept her illness secret. The Sorceress explained that it was Teela’s destiny to be the new Sorceress, but Teelana told her daughter she could – and should – reject the lonely life being the Sorceress would offer. Teela insisted she would have to do her duty, and with a heavy heart, Teelana sent her daughter for training in a secret Elder citadel. The Sorceress said goodbye to her daughter.
• The Sorceress then used the very last of her powers to restore her former lover Man-at-Arms to his correct body and mind. He had also been fatally injured by his ordeal, however. Man-at-Arms left a recorded message for his daughter. Thus the two former lovers shared a final kiss, and both Teelana and Duncan died.
• Teela returned, now the new Sorceress. A grief-stricken Teela saw the truth behind her lonely new life, as she oversaw the burial of her mother and father.
A New Beginning
• Strange interdimensional storms appear to buffet Eternia, and the Sorceress Teela is concerned to see dimensional travel apparently annulled within the Castle’s network. Adam has a vision Teela’s dead mother at that moment, imploring him to go to Castle Grayskull. Impulsively, seemingly aware that his time on Eternia is over, Adam walks into the throne room, where he reveals to his parents that he is really He-Man. He then kisses them goodbye, and leaves for Castle Grayskull.
• He-Man is shocked to see a mighty starship hovering over the fortress. The starship is draining the Castle’s energy and it becomes clear that this is Skeletor’s work. He-Man travels to the ship where he meets its crew – Darius, Icarius and Hydron – and convinces them that they have been duped by Skeletor, who is also on board. The ship – which is christened the Starship Eternia – has absorbed around of Grayskull’s power. Skeletor used his ownership of the Cosmic Key to scan space and time for a civilisation that could drain Grayskull’s energies, and found it in another dimension in the Triax Star System, on the planet Primus. He-Man disabuses the Primands’ of their belief in Skeletor as the living Skeletor drains Grayskull’s power. He-Man and his new allies fling themselves and the Starship back into their own time.
• After the resulting chaos, He-Man is astonished to discover he is Adam once more. Again seeing Teelana in his mind, Adam called upon the powers of Grayskull, now stored in the energy banks of the Starship Eternia. With his new cry of “By the Power of Eternia, I have the Power!” he became a very new and different form of He-Man, with the Sword of Power also transformed.
• Skeletor also was changed by this point. He had rebuilt himself as a cyborg following his near-fatal defeat after his occupation of Castle Grayskull with the Cosmic Key.
• He-Man and Skeletor now made new homes for themselves in the Triax Star System. He-Man agreed to work the government of the planet Primus – which included Consuls such as Darius, Sebrian and Mara. He viewed guarding the Starship Eternia as the new receptacle of Grayskull’s power as still his prime duty.
• Skeletor, on the other hand, made his headquarters on the mobile battle moon of Nordor. It typically orbited the war-torn planet Denebria, most of which was populated by mutants. Skeletor made a close ally of the mutant Crita, and made an uneasy alliance with mutant warlord Brakk. Skeletor stirred up Brakk to go to war with Primus.
• Many battles raged in Triax. He-Man – convinced that Skeletor was simply after Grayskull’s power – never dreamed of the Lord of Destruction’s real intentions. He-Man never imagined he would return to Eternia again, but realised he had to do his duty. He would ultimately return to Eternia, but not for many years.
• Eventually, peace broke out at Triax. He-Man learned that the Primands were not all so innocent, and a peace treaty between Primus and Denebria was reached. Denebria had once been a world as beautiful as Primus, and the two planets agreed to help one another.
Return to Eternia
• Years passed. Eventually, Eternians were astonished to see the Starship Eternia once more. His war in Triax over, Skeletor was dead and He-Man had returned.
• He-Man found a world very different to the one he had left. He was astonished to find both She-Ra and Teela quite cold towards him, then he learned what had happened…
• She-Ra had found herself trying to defend both Eternia and Etheria in her brother’s absence. Castle Grayskull still held great secrets, but many of its powers were gone following the Starship Eternia’s first visit.
• Shadow Weaver had rallied the Horde remnants on Etheria and had done the unthinkable – taken control of the Crystal Castle. Although she was defeated, the cost was high. She-Ra believed Light Hope had sacrificed himself to defeat Shadow Weaver, but all – including himself – were astonished to discover that he was able to regain his human form from thousands of years in the past. With Etheria seemingly safe, She-Ra took the powers of the Crystal Castle into her own sword and took them to Eternia, “transferring” the powers to Grayskull to bolster the twin fortress’ defences. An unforeseen side-effect was that it sealed the dimensional gate to Despondos and therefore Etheria. She-Ra’s friends – and lover Sea Hawk – were lost to her, perhaps forever.
• Evil-Lyn surprised everyone by abandoning Snake Mountain to the last dregs of Hssss’ army and rebuilding her late father’s ancestral seat – Zalesia. She mustered her own army there: finally an unchallenged force for evil on Eternia after years of machinations. She struck a deal with Horde Prime and bolstered her forces with Horde Troopers and other warriors. She renewed her attacks on Grayskull and Eternos.
• Marlena, however, was delighted to see her son return. He-Man was aghast to learn his father, Randor, had died in his absence. Marlena was acting as regent, as Adora refused to take the throne. Adam introduced someone he brought back from Triax to his mother – Mara, his fiancée! Teela – who had believed ever since becoming Sorceress that she would break the curse of solitude given to the castle’s guardians by marrying Adam and fulfilling the Second Great Prophecy – was heartbroken.
• With He-Man back, the tide seemed to be turning against Evil-Lyn and the Horde. However, unknown to the heroes and even Evil-Lyn, Horde Prime was finally planning his return to Eternia. The cast-out Ancient kept his real body on Horde World but manifested his spirit in a robotic body at the ruins of the Eternian Fright Zone and walked the land towards Grayskull, spreading death and fear as it went. He-Man took the controls of the Starship Eternia, and planned a last-ditch and undoubtedly suicidal attack on Prime. He did so, propelling the ship towards Prime. It would have been a futile act, until the robotic form of Horde Prime seemingly froze at a crucial moment then the spirit of Teelana ensured He-Man was protected in the explosion. She-Ra had been instrumental in the battle, and thus many believed that at long last the First Great Prophecy had been fulfilled.
• Horde Prime’s form was destroyed, leaving his essence an enraged husk back on Horde World, weakened like never before. Adam awoke next to the wreckage, the Sword of Power having reverted to its original form. He was astonished to discover it no longer turned him into He-Man. Sorceress Teela explained that was because the powers absorbed into the Starship were gone forever. He was now Adam for good, the Sword was no longer his to wield. She locked it away inside Castle Grayskull, which had reabsorbed the Starship’s powers but not granted them to Adam. Adam married Mara, and they were crowned King and Queen. She-Ra continued as the champion of Grayskull, but with Horde Prime’s grip weakened and Evil-Lyn laying low at Zalesia, serious trouble seemed banished from Eternia for years.
• Little did anyone suspect that Snake Mountain had been cleared of the last of the Clan of the Viper. Its throne room was occupied by Denebrian renegade Crita. All in Triax had believed Skeletor to be dead but he had simply gone another step from cyborg to existing as a sentient computer program. SKELETOR had downloaded himself fleetingly into Horde Prime’s form, allowing He-Man to defeat the former Ancient. SKELETOR had reasons of his own for opposing Horde Prime, which were linked to his time at Triax. SKELETOR and Crita kept their existence secret from Zalesia, Eternos and other stronghold, and began a long plan…
He-Ro, Son of He-Man
• 20 years passed of peace and prosperity under King Adam and Queen Mara. The two were happy together but seemingly unable to have children.
• Castle Grayskull faded from many people’s memories unnaturally quickly, as a result of a spell cast by the Sorceress Teela. Her life was not so lonely as her mother’s – she retained friends at least and was regularly visited by She-Ra, who travelled the world as Grayskull’s champion, though She-Ra herself desperately missed Sea Hawk, Light Hope, Swift Wind, Bow, Glimmer and others on Etheria. Teela was friends with Adora but found speaking with Adam hard – she knew he was married to Mara but she had never stopped loving him.
• One day, Adam discovered a dying she-bear deep in the Evergreen Forest. It seemed that the she-bear had raised an abandoned boy as her own cub. Adam took the boy back to Eternos, where they adopted the boy, who was named Dare.
• Prince Dare found life in the city uncomfortable often – he had been raised in the wild, after all. His adoptive father tutored him in much learning, as did Andra, the royal Woman-at-Arms. Dare’s closest friends were his pet bird Craven, Orko and Kay-La, the daughter of Fisto.
• The Sorceress Teela knew Dare had a destiny, and was aware of the ancient wizard He-Ro’s belief that the wars on Eternia were cyclical in nature, at least until his Second Great Prophecy came to pass. And so the cycle began again…
• In a shock to everyone, Skeletor returned. He had a new body created from magic, science, cloning and cybernetics, and the SKELETOR program had downloaded itself into it. Assisted by Crita, he drew his army around him once more – uniting the disparate Lords of Destruction, Snakemen and Hordesmen around the planet. He devastated Zalesia once more and imprisoned Evil-Lyn in its ruins – he couldn’t quite bear to kill her for some reason.
• Skeletor and his army defeated She-Ra and Teela’s magically created army of “Castle Grayskullmen” in battle. Queen Mara and Woman-at-Arms frantically tried to assemble a new team of the Masters of the Universe, while King Adam and a confused Prince Dare travelled to Castle Grayskull. There, the Sorceress Teela drew the Sword of Power. Adam had been expecting to once again be granted the power to turn into He-Man, but instead he was shocked to discover that Dare – at 16 much younger than he had been – was given the sword instead. Dare held it aloft and chanted “I am He-Ro son of He-Man, I have the Power!”. Thus Dare became He-Ro, named in tribute to the first He-Ro, but a warrior like his father, not a wizard.
• He-Ro II launched a counterstrike on Skeletor’s forces, freeing his aunt and driving them back to Snake Mountain.
• Thus the battles began again. King Adam, the Sorceress Teela and She-Ra led the new Masters, with their mightiest warrior undoubtedly being He-Ro II. New Masters included Air-Bad, Fork-Lift, Kay-La, Woman-at-Arms, Stratos’ son Hawk and Battle Bird, He-Ro II’s flying steed (really the transformed version of Dare’s pet, Craven). Other older Masters like Fisto, Man-e-Faces, Roboto and Clamp Champ also served. Skeletor and his right-hand woman, Crita, lead a team of old warriors like Beast Man and Trap Jaw, new warriors like Slob-Boar and Bug-Eye, plus the likes of Ssssqueeze from the Snakemen and Mantenna from the Horde.
• In the few years of renewed struggles ahead, many events happened. Various players’ true parentage became of importance, as Dare believed he was at first really Adam and Mara’s son. He then believed he was She-Ra’s. It would be some time before he would learn the shocking truth. Kay-La, meanwhile, discovered she was not Fisto’s daughter at all. She had been magically cloned from the Sorceress Teela, who opted to give the child to her uncle, Fisto, to raise – in much the same way that her mother had been unable to raise her.
• Eventually, the cycles of war on Eternia were broken, by an unlikely source. Marlena, now an elderly woman, had returned to her first love of astronomy. After decades of research and aided by Gwildor’s Cosmic Key, she managed to understand the clues to dimensional gates and the five-dimensional structures in the stars – something very few since the Ancients had done. It took an outsider to realise that the five dimensions identified by the Ancients – Central, Despondos, Shadow, Triax and Trollah, were simply set within the wider universe, the “real” plane of existence of regular laws of physics and reality from which she hailed as she was from Earth. Now there was a “map” for the first time in millions of years to the dimensions, it could be used to travel around them.
The Last Battles
• She-Ra planned to use this information to return to her beloved Etheria in Despondos, but others planned to use it too. The real reason for Skeletor’s time in Triax was revealed – he had planned to adapt the Nordor battle base to launch a full assault on Horde World itself! He would take the powers of Horde Prime and, unencumbered by the curse cast upon the fallen Ancient, would be able to set foot on Eternia. She-Ra found her plans to return to Etheria cut short! Skeletor used his forces to launch an all-out assault on Eternos and Grayskull as a distraction as he once again planned to return to Triax, now able to go from there to Horde World after all!
• The Masters found help from an unlikely source. Evil-Lyn made a shock return from her exile in Zalesia and defeated Crita, who was leading Skeletor’s troops. Evil-Lyn planned to usurp Skeletor’s army and take Grayskull herself, which led to a titanic battle between herself and the Sorceress Teela. Teela won. The former ruler of Zalesia was astonished to discover following her defeat that Dare was living in Eternos. She explained to Teela that Dare was the son of her and Keldor, hidden in the future. Lyn rejected any notion of a reunion with her son, and shocked all by offering a way to follow Skeletor, explaining she always knew how to find him.
• King Adam, She-Ra and He-Ro II crammed into the Talon Fighter – wielding both Swords plus the first He-Ro’s staff - and ventured through the dimensional gateways, using Marlena’s “map” as a guide. They arrived at Horde World, and She-Ra briefly found her old conditioning as a Hordeswoman coming back, until she shrugged it off. They arrived too late, and expected to see Skeletor usurp Horde Prime. The fallen Ancient wasn’t as powerless as all expected however, and he destroyed Nordor. Skeletor was banished back to Eternia through his own dimensional gate. Remembering how much he had hurt his loved ones by following Skeletor before, nonetheless Adam followed him through the gate, He-Ro II swiftly followed his father.
• Horde Prime mused that with the cycles broken, he could return to Eternia, setting foot on the planet once and for all. This he did, casting She-Ra aside and setting through the gate not as a robotic avatar but for real, for the first time since he had forged the Sword of Evil.
• Two battles raged. Death and destructions whirled Eternia at random, as the planet threatened to tear itself apart with Horde Prime’s return. Every footstep caused earthquakes or eruptions as he began his walk of death towards Grayskull.
• Teela saved She-Ra from the fast-disintegrating Horde World. She-Ra was then gifted the powers and wisdom of the Elders. Using the jewel in her Sword of Protection in conjunction with the remnants of He-Ro I’s Staff of Light, she called forth not the spirits of the Elders but of the He-Men and Women of History, who stood with her to fight Horde Prime. The battle was epic and long, but eventually she prevailed. She-Ra refused to use the Sword of Protection to kill, and ultimately this last act of mercy was enough to finish Prime. He lay dying anyway, and turned to dust. At last, his evil was over.
• However, the other battle raged inside Grayskull. Adam – just a regular, middle-aged man rather than the super-being he once was – lay defeated and dying. An enraged He-Ro II engaged in battle with Skeletor, who – just like when he had the powers of the Cosmic Key – now possessed much of Grayskull’s power. Skeletor defeated He-Ro II and was about to kill the boy when he was interrupted. Evil-Lyn arrived in the Castle, and explained to both parties their true natures – father and son. Skeletor planned to kill He-Ro II anyway. Then Adam, barely alive, picked up the Sword of Power. The powers denied to him since returning from Triax returned, and he became He-Man once again! More powerful than ever before, the two ancient enemies faced one another. Their battle was so titanic, the Castle began to shake apart around them – so much of its powers had been drained or usurped in the past it could no longer hold. Evil-Lyn rescued her unconscious son and fled the fortress.
• He-Man, aware of the cycle of events, realised it was time for the cycle to break. As the battle raged, he deliberately opened the Great Eye, smashed the Orb of Power and destroyed other wonders within the Castle, as a horrified Skeletor felt his new powers drain away. As the masonry fell, He-Man became Adam once again, and Skeletor became Keldor. Keldor tried to escape, only to be held in place by Adam deliberately keeping him there as the Castle – now just bricks and mortar – fell on the two now mortal men. For them, the war was finally over.
• In the aftermath, there was doubt the two foes were dead. Neither man’s corpse nor the Sword of Power was ever found in the Castle’s ruins. Nonetheless, they would never be seen again.
• Of Evil-Lyn, there was no trace. Some stories said that she planned her revenge and would return as the true embodiment of evil. Others said that she was stripped of her powers, and lived a simple life in penance for the horrors she had wrought.
• Dare woke up next to the Castle ruins. He found that there was no way he could transform into He-Ro II again.
• She-Ra was still She-Ra however, because she was also powered by the energies of the Crystal Castle. Using her mother’s knowledge, She-Ra returned to Etheria. Although she was delighted to be “home”, she learned that the Sea Hawk had passed away during the two decades she had spent on Eternia. Although she grieved for her lover now as well as her brother, she was welcomed back by Light Hope. Etheria was stronger than ever before, and She-Ra accepted the invitations of the peoples of the planet to be the convener of the Etherian Council. She settled into her new life as guardian of the peaceful world, basing herself in the Crystal Castle, still in its new home in the Whispering Woods.
• Not all love ended in loss. Teela was no longer Sorceress, and although she believed there was little left for her on Eternia, she finally became friends with the widowed Mara. Teela opted to play a part in her cloned daughter Kay-La’s life in a way her mother never had the chance to with her. Teela even found love late in life – of all people with Bow, Etherian archer now living on Eternia following the opening of dimensional gates.
• And Kay-La had many duties. Kay-La and Dare had fallen in love during the Last Battles, and opted to marry. Although the crown passed to Dare, he decided that the royal house of Eternos had brought great joy but also great suffering. Using his adoptive mother Mara’s knowledge of governance on Primus, Eternos instead became a republic ruled by an elected council. The Republic of Eternos was a leading light in the reconstruction of the planet Eternia following the horrors of the Last Battles. Dare and Kay-La often gave advice to successive Councils, but opted not to sit on any of them, instead they lived their lives as farmers, just as Dare’s ancestor Gray had, long, long ago.
• Dare and Kay-La had a child together. Many attended their baby daughter’s Naming Ceremony – Teela, Mara, She-Ra, Light Hope, Bow, Orko and more. There was even a mysterious hooded woman, who some said was Lyn. At the Ceremony, Light Hope thought back to his old friend He-Ro I’s Second Great Prophecy, that peace would come with the union of a descendant of King Grayskull and a descendant of the Guardian of Grayskull. For a long time Teela thought this referred to herself and Adam but no, Dare was Keldor’s son and Keldor was a descendant of King Grayskull. Teela had been guardian of Grayskull when Kay-La was magically cloned from her as one of Skeletor’s insane schemes. The cycle of conflict was broken, the Second Great Prophecy was fulfilled. Dare and Kay-La opted to give their daughter a name that in an ancient language meant “peace”. That name, was Sharella…
October 23, 2012, 08:55pm
Awesome, simply wonderful! You managed to weave together the various elements of the MOTU together in a way Mattel never could. Even though you are not one for fanfiction I hope you might consider weaving this history into a story (if it is just short vignettes) giving us insight to what is like living in these different eras. Congratulations on a masterful work of art
October 27, 2012, 03:59pm
What a brilliant piece of work. I really enjoyed reading!!! You should write more