Masters of the Universe: A Christmas Carol
By General Stingrad
Adapted from Dickens's A Christmas Carol, various movies based on the book, and Mattel, Filmation, and MYP's He-Man and the Masters of the Universe and She-Ra: Princess of Power
This Work is a Fanfic, I did for fun and because of the holiday season, I don't own any of the Characters. Dickens's work is in the public domain and the He-Man and She-Ra characters belong to Mattel, Filmation, and MYP.
Chapter I: Bah Humbug!
Hordak was banished to begin with, banished to the dimension of Despondos seven years ago. Hordak was so disliked among the people of Eternia that only one person attended the ceremony, Hordak's pupil and partner in crime, Keldor of Eternia.
Keldor was the most powerful sorcerer on the planet, now that his master was gone. He was a greedy, evil, egotistical, self-centered being. So consumed with wealth and power was he, that he sold the materials Hordak had left him to perform the freeing ceremony. So tight with money was he that he didn't remove Hordak's name from the sign that hung in front of their hideout, Snake Mountain. His heart was as black as his hair and his soul as corrupt as his business practices. Keldor would charge people outrageous amounts of money for potions that didn't work and would torture those who failed him.
It was a cold December evening in Snake Mountain, Keldor was busy counting his money and plotting his next move. Ever since Hordak's banishment, Keldor has been plotting a way to get inside Castle Grayskull and rule Eternia but every time he's failed to do so, and although he's to blame for his own mistakes, he pinned the blame on his clerk, Bob Tri-Klops, whom he treated like dirt and paid only 3 Bronze Coins a week.
Tri-Klops was busy working in his dank little corner, writing battle plans for his master, with only a small fire in the furnace for heat.
He was beginning to feel the cold starting to bite him, so he snuck over to the bucket of coal by his employer's desk, but before he could take some he felt Keldor's icy grip on his wrist.
"Mr. Tri-Klops what are you doing, you know that neither coal nor money grows on trees!" Keldor snapped at his employee, shuddering at the thought of the money his clerk was about to waste.
"Sorry, Mr. Keldor," Tri-Klops sulked as he went back to his desk. "But sir, it's cold, we need more coal to keep the ink from freezing" he explained as he sat down hoping Keldor would see things his way.
"So there are ice crystals in your ink, big deal!" Keldor replied angrily, "The next time you put coal on the fire, I'll arrange it so you don't need to worry about the cold again, or your life," the blue-skinned skinflint said nodding to his Havok Staff in the corner of his desk.
Tri-Klops went to back to his desk to complete writing battle plans, when all of a sudden there was a knock on the door.
"Tri-Klops get the door!" Keldor yelled, but before Tri-Klops could reach the door, the guests came in, a young man and woman with blonde hair and blue eyes; they were Keldor's nephew and niece, Adam and Adora.
"Merry Christmas, uncle Keldor!" they greeted their uncle smiling at the fact that Christmas was coming.
"Bah Humbug!" Keldor grumbled as he continued to count his money, out of all holidays, he disliked Christmas the most.
"Christmas, a humbug, uncle surely you must be kidding," Adora replied as she and Adam walked over to their uncle's desk. As they were doing so they were decorating Keldor's office with holiday decorations, trying to make their dismal uncle's office look festive.
"What reason do you have to be merry, you're poor as dirt?" Keldor told his nephew
"What reason do you have to be grumpy, you're richer than a deity" Adam replied, he knew that while he was not as rich as his uncle he was rich in other ways, more important than having tons of money.
"You're right uncle I am poor and even though Christmas has not put a one Eternian gold coin into my pocket, I say it has done me good, and will do me good and I say may God bless it" Adam said proudly.
"And I say that any fool who goes about with Merry Christmas on his lips, should boiled alive in a vat of Etheramic Acid with stake of holly in his heart," Keldor snapped angrily.
"Surely you don't mean that Uncle Keldor," Adora asked her uncle, she couldn't believe some one would actually hate Christmas with such passion as to say something like that.
"My dear niece, you observe Christmas in your own way and let me observe it in mine," Keldor retorted as he shuddered at the decorations that were now strewn about his office.
"But you don't observe it," his niece told him bluntly.
"Then let me ignore it, then. Now did you come here just to annoy me or was there some other motive," the miser asked his niece and nephew coldly.
"We've come to ask you to come to my house for a Christmas Party, Uncle Keldor. Everyone will be there, Adora's even bringing Seahawk," Adam told his uncle hoping that Keldor would say yes.
"Why ever did you get married?" Keldor asked Adora painfully, obviously Keldor does not think highly of marriage either.
"Because I fell in love," his niece replied happily,
"I guess that goes the same for you Adam," Keldor asked his nephew as he rolled his eyes in disgust.
"Of course!" he responded, thinking of how he and Teela were married on Christmas Day.
"Love, that's the one thing in this universe that's even more silly than a Merry Christmas," Keldor retorted laughing at his own humor.
"So will you come uncle?" Adora asks her uncle hoping for a positive response from him.
"NO! Now leave me alone, and take this stuff with you!" He yelled as he picked up his Havok Staff and aimed it as his nephew and niece as they ran out the door.
"Relatives, they must be an invention of Shokoti!" Keldor moaned to himself as he laid down his staff and tore down the decorations his nephew and niece put up. As he was doing so, there was another knock at the door.
"Alright I'm coming!" Keldor yelled as he grabbed his staff and walked to the door. He was certain it was Adam and Adora so when reached the door he aimed at the door and carefully opened it. No sooner than he done so than a large purple brute grabbed him by his armor and turned him upside down.
"GIVE MONEY TO POOR!" the brute screamed as he shook out the money in Keldor's pockets.
"Let me handle this Baddrha" the brute's colleague a skinny blue being replied. Baddrha dropped Keldor on the ground with a thud.
"Do I have the pleasure of talking to Mr. Hordak or Mr. Keldor?" Baddrha's associate asked politely.
"Mr. Hordak was banished to Despondos seven years ago this very day!" Keldor informed the two beings pointing to a statue of Hordak laying in the corner of the office covered in dust in cobwebs.
"I am sorry to hear that but I have no doubt that you share his generosity," the blue being said as he bowed his head at the sad news.
Hordak's banishment did not sadden Keldor one bit, in fact he was glad Hordak was gone since that gave Keldor the honor of being the most powerful sorcerer on Eternia and also that he didn't have share the money he made with his teacher anymore.
"Do you two have some other purpose than to bother me about my former teacher," he asked as he noticed were not leaving.
"Yes we do sir, my name is Tuvar and this idiot is my associate is my colleague, Baddrha and we are collecting funds for the poor and destitute of Eternia and Etheria. You see at this festive and sacred time of the year the needs of those unfortunate people are felt the most, and we as the well off feel it id our duties to give our time and money to help them by giving blankets and a meal," Tuvar explained in a serious tone of voice.
Keldor remained silent for a moment looking in his account book, before looking up and asked in worried tone of voice, "I see, are there no dungeons?"
"Unfortunately, there are plenty of them," Tuvar informed Keldor sadly.
"And the workhouses are they still in operation?" Keldor inquired nervously as looked up from his account book again.
"I am sorry to report they are still in use, though I wish I could say otherwise," the charity worker told Keldor seriously.
"What a relief, I thought something had caused them to close," he said with a sigh of relief as he smiled happily.
"So how much should I put you down for?" Tuvar said getting out a quill and paper,
"Nothing," Keldor told Tuvar sternly as he got up and made his way to the door and picked up his Havok Staff.
"You wish to remain anonymous," Tuvar replied as began to write the word 'anonymous' on the paper.
"I wish to be left alone, you asked for my wish that is it. I do not make myself merry this time of year and I can't afford to make those who will not work merry either. My tax money helps pay for the aforementioned institutions and those who are poor must go there," he told them as he showed them the door.
"But some can't work and some would rather die than go to a workhouse," Tuvar exclaimed trying to convince Keldor to consider to donate.
"If they want to die, they better do it, and decrease the surplus population!" Keldor said as aimed to his Havok Staff at the two beings. "But to show you how benevolent I am I am going to make so that you two will always be together so you can continue to collect money all year long," he said as zapped Tuvar and Baddrha fusing them into one being.
"Come on, Baddrha we've wasted enough of Mr. Keldor's time!" Tuvar said yelled trying to make Baddrha move.
"BUT HE NO GIVE MONEY TO POOR!" Baddrha replied looking at Keldor
"He doesn't need to give to money to the poor, Baddrha now LET'S GO!" Tuvar yelled as he dragged his 'other-half' across the street.
"'Two-Badd' about the poor!" Keldor taunted as he watched the two beings trying to get along and laughed amused by his cruel humor.
While Keldor was watching the two charity workers, trying to walk away, he heard someone sing:
"God rest you merry gentle let nothing you dismay…"
He looked down and saw a strange being floating at his feet.
"What do you want?" Keldor sneered at the creature, a Trollan named Orko, if there was one thing Keldor hated more than charity workers it was Christmas carolers
"A bronze coin for the song," Orko replied meekly, as he stared up at the imposing Keldor, hoping that he was generous.
Keldor stood brooding in silence for a moment before lowering his staff and pointing at the Trollan exclaiming, "TAKE THIS!" as he zapped the hapless creature across the street
Once he was sure the singer was gone he went back inside, "back to business," he told himself as he sat down, but he didn't get much done for no sooner than he had sat down, Tri-Klops approached his employer's desk.
Keldor did not recognize his clerk's presence save in looking up at him with eyes cold and callous.
"Excuse me, Mr. Keldor it's quitting time," Tri-Klops told his boss, looking at his chronometer.
"Your chronometer is two attoseconds fast, but you may go," he sighed as he looked at his pocket chronometer for a second before putting away and dismissing his clerk, but Bob Tri-Klops would not leave.
"There is something else sir," Tri-Klops told his boss, as he was getting ready to leave.
"Yes, Mr. Tri-Klops," Keldor sighed in anger as he watched his employee, ready to blast him if he dared to touch one bronze coin on the desk.
"Tomorrow is Christmas sir and I..." Tri-Klops got in before his boss cut him off.
"Very well, be here at 7 hours past sunrise," Keldor interjected as he returned to his papers.
"Mr. Keldor, half an hour is hardly customary for Christmas," Tri-Klops pointed out meekly.
"What is costmary then?" Keldor asked irate that Tri-Klops would question his generosity.
"The whole day," Tri-Klops replied looking pale.
"The entire day and I supposed you want paid for that day as well?" Keldor questioned him.
"If it is convenient sir and it only comes once a year," Tri-Klops, pointed out hoping to persuade his boss.
"It is not convenient and it also a poor excuse for picking a being's pocket every 25th of December, and you would think that you were ill used if I didn't pay you. But you don't think me ill used if I paid you for no work," Keldor retorted.
"As I said it only comes once a year, sir," Tri-Klops repeated looking more nervous this time.
"Fine! You may have it off, but be here all the earlier the day after," Keldor snapped in defeat.
"Oh I will sir, I will, Merry Christmas, Mr. Keldor," Tri-Klops said he bundled up and opened the door.
"Leave, before you sicken me and I change my mind," Keldor yelled as his clerk left the office.
As soon as Tri-Klops left the building, Keldor put on his cape; pulled the hood over his face; picked up his Havok Staff, and closed up to go home. He locked the door and cleared the snow from the sign above that read 'Keldor and Hordak' (even though Hordak was the mentor and Keldor the learner, Keldor's ego demanded his name went first on the sign) and started to walk home.
The old tightwad walked along the snow-covered ground, he didn't mind the cold, perhaps because his own heart was cold and could show no warmth to anyone, or maybe because the cold was cheap, after all you don't need pay for coldness like one pays for coal.
Along the way, people would stop and ask for money, but the only thing Keldor would give is a push to move then out of his way or if he was in a particularly bad mood, a blast from his Havok Staff.
Halfway to his house, Keldor stopped at a local tavern to buy a bowl of his usual supper, cold Tafari Stew, a disgusting dish made from beef, fish, poultry, stale bread, and slices of potatoes and other vegetables.
The owner never asked Keldor for money or handed him a bill as he knew that Keldor would never pay or even worse Keldor would zap him with his Havok Staff, so he would tell Keldor that it was 'on the house' hoping one of these Keldor's might repay the favor by paying for the stew.
After getting his supper, Keldor continued to walk through the snow and wind, which didn't faze him, he didn't even pull his cape and hood tighter over his body to ward off the cold, he just walked through it like it was springtime.
Finally after a walking for a mile he arrived at an old dilapidated stone fortress that once belonged to Hordak called the Fright Zone.
It had been a magnificent fortress in years past, a monument to Hordak's immense ego and power, but now it was educed to a pile of rubble, since Keldor would not pay to have it maintained and repaired.
At this point I must remind that Hordak was banished to dark netherworld of Despondos years ago, forever trapped in that terrible eternal nothingness. You must remember this or else that will take place now will seem mysterious.
Keldor got out his keys and fumbled to unlock the door, while he was doing this he noticed that the knocker on the door began to transform at it first it was indefinite and unrecognizable, but soon the knocker took on the form of Keldor's old teacher.
Keldor stared at the knocker in disbelief with his jaw nearly on the ground until he finally had enough courage to say, "Hordak?"
The knocker that now bared the image of Keldor's old master stared at Keldor for several seconds and then finally wailed out "Keldor," and mutated back to normal.
The sight of it terrified Keldor, he almost dropped his Tafari Stew but he managed to catch before it spilt on the ground. He quickly unlocked the door and raced in the house
Keldor's black heart was pounding louder than his feet he was breaking out in sweat from fear.
He looked at the offending knocker from the inside as he though the find the rest of Hordak's body hanging there but found nothing but the bolts and nails that held the knocker in place.
"HUMBUG! DO YOU HEAR ME THIS IS ALL HUMBUG!" he yelled as he headed towards the steps and walk up to his room.
Although Keldor had made this journey before he was scared, the apparition on the knocker had made him nervous and slowly carefully he walked up the steps.
He had made halfway up without anything weird happening but that was all about to change.
He had stopped for a minute to see if anyone had followed him, when he heard what seemed to the sound of horses racing towards him.
He turned around to see what was making that sound and saw a spectral hearse come racing toward and up the steps.
The phantom coach was pulled by six black horses and driven by a Horde Trooper.
Keldor stared at it, first in awe than in horror as the hearse stopped and the driver turned to look at him and said, "Merry Christmas, Lord Keldor, Merry Christmas!" a the trooper removed his helmet revealing it's metallic 'skull' complete with wires and circuits before riding into thin air.
Keldor wanted to declare it humbug but the sight of the ghostly carriage had stolen his voice and his courage and thought it best to head for his room without stopping to think about what had happened.
After bolting up the stairs like lightning and made it to his room.
He quickly got his key and with his hands trembling with fear fumbled to unlock the door and race into his room.
He searched the room to see if he could see anymore specters but could not find any, "the room seems normal," he told himself as laid the candle down on the nightstand and went into the washroom to change into his night robe, hat, and slippers.
Once he was changed he sat down by the fire place and ate his dinner.
The stew was awful as it always, but it was the cheap and that's why he ate it, the mixture of fish, beef, and poultry produced a pungent and salty concoction and the broth it made was foul but edible. The bread was hard and even soaked in the broth still was hard as a rock, and the potatoes and vegetables were raw and not cut up too good causing Keldor to choke a few times and had to cough up the offending vegetable.
While he was eating he stared into the fireplace, it was a dusty and ash covered fireplace since Keldor did paid to have it clean or buy the logs needed to light it. However through the soot and dust, the images carved on the stones could still be seen somewhat.
They were pictures of Hordak's great victories over shuch enemies like the Snakemen and King Grayskull, in the heyday of the Frightzone they would have been masterpieces, created by Horde artisans as monument to their master's ego and the power of the Horde.
While Keldor sat there eating his stew, he looked at one of the releifs, as he stared at the imagine something incredible and terrible happened, the image of Hordak gloating over his defeated foe turned to look at the miser and cry out, "Keldor, Keldor"
The sight of this terrified Keldor but soon managed to calm himself a bit by blaming it on the stew that he was eating as it has caused him grief in the past and is no doubt doing so again.
"Humbug, I won't believe it!" he got up and went into the kitchen to get some wine to drink as the saltiness of the stew had made him thirsty.
The wine he had was a cheap wine made from olives giving it a salty and sour taste but for Keldor it didn't matter since he had gotten it at fiftey percent off its normal price.
As he poured some into a glass, and went back to sitting room, he heard the bell above the entrance of his room ring to let him know that a guest had arrived.
"Oh bother" he said as he picked up his Havok Staff, "who's ever there better show themselves or I will blast you" he threatened as he looked at the door but there was no was there. "Am I going mad?" he said as he sat back down in his chair and had a sip of wine and spoonful of stew.
Just then bell rang again, not once, or twice, but four times and stopped, then the one candle that Keldor had lit, went out and the bell rang one last time.
Keldor stared at the bell, transfixed by horror and dread, why was this happening and what did it mean.
But Keldor had little time to think for soon he heard the horrible sound of chains rattling and moaing as if someone was in pain downstairs, it was getting louder as if whoever it was walking up the steps.
In terror Keldor rushed to the door to lock it, to prevent the intruder from getting,but it did no good for as soon he sat down, Keldor saw the locks he had just secure one by one unlock of their own volition.
Keldor was watched in horror as he saw something truly ghastly, a spectral image of a being enter the room by passing through the door as it was air.
Keldor could see that this 'being' was wearing black armor with a red bat with a death's head on the front of the armor with a black and red bat wing cape flowing down his back.
The being's face was white with red eyes, large bat like ears, and fangs. The jaw was bound shut with a bandage around the head.
However the most chilling thing about the specter was that it was bound in chains from head to foot. The chains were made up of bones and skulls, phials and beakers of potions, swords and knives, and moneyboxes.
Keldor stood speechless at this figure for a moment before picking up his staff, pointing it at the ghost and asking, "Who are you?"
The ghost loosed the bandage around his head, causing his jaw to become dislocated and the apparent pain of the dislocation made it give out a hideous wail before he picked up his jaw and reattach it.
"Ask me who I was," it answered once it was able to speak.
"You're pretty picky for a spirit but okay who were you?" Keldor asked again still with his Havok staff pointed at the being ready to blast him bits.
"In this dimension I was your teacher Hordak," the being said staring at his pupil.
"Can you sit?" Keldor asked him, curious as to whether ghosts to sit or not.
"I can," Hordak replied as he dragged chains into the room.
"Then do I,t" Keldor said his Havok staff following the ghost's movement until Hordak's shade sat on the chair in front of Keldor's.
"What business do you have with me?" Keldor asked skeptically, he studied Hordak's ghostly form, he thought to himself how he always heard people say that Hordak was a 'cold, heartless monster' but never knew it was true until now as he could plainly see through Hordak's armor revealing that Hordak literally had no heart.
"Much," was the specter's answer as he crossed his legs to try to get as comfortable as he could since he the chains made it impossible to do so for very long.
"You don't believe in me, do you?" Hordak asked bluntly, he could sense Keldor's thoughts and sensed the disbelief in his pupil's mind.
"No," Keldor answered as plainly as Hordak asked the question and took a sip of wine and scrutinized the shade of his old mentor.
"Why do you doubt your senses?" Hordak asked the skeptical Eternian, who continued to sip his wine and eat his stew.
"Because the smallest can make them go topsy-turvy. You could be a sip of bad wine, an under cooked mushroom, a piece of badly prepared meat. Yes there's more indigestion than interdimensional about you," Keldor said pointing his finger at Hordak.
At those words Hordak stood, rattled his chains loudly, and gave a terrible wail so loud that Keldor shrunk back in his chair.
"MAN OF WHO THINKS OF NOTHING BUT MONEY AND POWER I WILL ASK YOU AGAIN DO YOU BELIEVE IN ME OR NOT?" Hordak yelled his eyes burning like the fires of the horrible place where his corporal form is imprisoned.
"Yes, I do, I do I must," Keldor whimpered "dreadful specter, why do you haunt me why do spirits walk among the people of this dimension?" Keldor asked still in shock from the display of power the ghost showed moments before.
"It is required of every sentient being that he walk among his fellow beings and make this place a better place. If he fails he do to so in this dimension he is condemned to do so in the next dimension. It is doomed to wander through this realm and see the goodness it could have shared but cannot share and turn to happiness!" Hordak explained in a weary voice that soon gave way to a horrific moan as if the very word 'happiness' caused Hordak pain
"But Hordak, You were always a good man of business," Keldor said trying to comfort his friend.
Business? Mankind was my business, kindness, charity, and good works were all my business, the doings of occupation were but a drop in the ocean of my business. In this dimension my spirit never walked beyond the walls of Snake Mountain." Hordak told his pupil.
Keldor studied the chains and asked, "You're chained, tell me why" as he shook from fear.
"I wear the chained I forged while I was on Eternia; I made it link by link and yard by yard. It is comprised of all my acts of greed, malice, and immorality, I made it of my own free will and of that same free will I chose to wear it. See here is where I separated the hemispheres and here is where I killed King Grayskull. Oh Keldor it is at this time of the year as the anniversary of my banishment approaches that my chain is at its heaviest and I undergo the worse suffering" he explained as he held up his chain and pointed to certain links on it and then looked up to Heaven as if God could break his chain and realizing that it will not happen thre the chain down in agony and despair.
"This shocks you or do you know the girth of the chain that you have" Hordak asked as he took his chain and wrapped it around Keldor's arm. "It was as heavy and long as mine seven Christmas Eves ago" Hordak told Keldor.
Keldor removed the chain wrapped around him and looked at his arms and legs, "I see nothing" he told Hordak, thinking to see a chain wrapped around him.
"Mine too were invisible until I was banished, but I can assure you it's there, you have worked on ever since my banishment. It is an incredible chain." Hordak said.
The thought of a chain like Hordak's made Keldor uneasy, "please Hordak speak comfort to me." Keldor pleaded his old teacher.
"I have none to share with you, comfort is something that is given to more worthy beings than you and is administered through other beings more perfect than me" Hordak informed his pupil, "Listen to me Keldor for my time on Eternia is ending, but I have come to tell that there is a way for you to escape my dark fate, a way that I myself pleaded for you to have," The specter told Keldor
"You always were a good friend Hordak" Keldor told his friend smiling at the thought of avoiding such a fate.
"You will be haunted by three ghosts," Hordak told his student.
"Is this the chance you mentioned?" Keldor asked as a knot formed in his stomach, the thought of seeing more Ghosts made him uneasy.
"It is" Hordak replied
"I think I'll pass on that," Keldor told his friend as he held out his hand in s gesture of refusal.
"Without their intervention, you cannot avoid the path I trod" Hordak told his pupil. "Expect the first ghost when the bell tolls one hour past midnight." Hordak informed his student.
"Can't they all come at once and get it over with?" Keldor asked wanting to have nothing to do with ghosts.
"Expect the second when the bell tolls two hours past midnight, and the third more unpredictable will appear when he feels like it" Hordak said as got up and went to the window and opened it.
"Look for me no more, but come and look so that you remember what I have told you" he informed his student as he pointed outside as if there was something out there that Keldor should look at.
Keldor walked to the window and saw spirits, the spirits of many people they were chained like Hordak, some were even chained together. They were floating around crying and wailing, they looked like they were trying to give food to a homeless mother and her child but were being ignored.
"Who are they Hordak?" Keldor asked in horror as he beheld this ghastly sight.
"They are beings like me, lost souls, they try to do good for their fellow beings but have lost the power to" Hordak said wearily as he watched Keldor's face turn pale as he saw the specters fly around violently in front of his windows
Keldor was horrified by this vision and crawled away from the window and went back to hiding behind his chair.
"Remember expect the first ghost when the bell tolls one hour past midnight!" Hordak reminded Keldor as he flew out the window and joined the hellish chorus of spirits floating outside.
Keldor stayed hidden for a few minutes before he mustered enough courage to look out the window again, but this time everything was normal- no Hordak and no ghosts, just the dreary and dank Eternian winter night.
"Humbug!" Keldor exclaimed as he shut the window and went to get ready for bed, thinking no more of this strange event that had just happened.