Disclaimer:

Masters of the Universe, Princess of Power, and The New Adventures of He-Man are all copyright to Mattel Entertainment. The characters presented here belong to them are not licensed or endorsed by Mattel or its licensees.

The following story is a work of fanfiction, written Thew40 and owned by Thew40. No profit is made from the production of this story.

The characters Kathryn, Addison, Woodsman, Pelicor, Talas, Ferna, Johanna, Kortan, Elementor, and other original characters are my own creation. The Jewel of Amara was co-created by thew40 and Brimstone. If you wish to use them, IM or E-mail me.


Previously:

Like just about all of my other fanfics, this story takes place in the same continuity as Preludes and Beginnings, He-Man: Year One, The Day That Nothing Happened, The Elfsong of Eternia, The Return, The Crossroads of Destiny, Prophecy & Change, Just Another Day, Liberty and Valor, Manifest Destiny, Roots, Dues Ex Machina, My Blue Reflection, The Last Battle, Return to Eternia, A Winter's Heart, The Shroud of the Horde, The Shroud of the Horde: Prelude to Hope, and Across All Worlds. All of these stories save The Return are here on (The Return is not yet available – long story). I highly recommend you read them. If you haven't, please check out Endings and Epilogues – Book One: Protection for a full previously. In the meantime . . .

In the past few months, Eternia has faced down many dangers. After the fall of the Horde and the end of Hordak's regime, He-Man and his allies battled with the Snake-Men, who were out for revenge for the incident with Vipera. In the end, both Hordak and King Hiss were captured and contained.

Since then, He-Man, She-Ra, and their friends has contended with an attack from Horde Prime (resulting in the Horde's masters death); a failed invasion from Earth (orchestrated by then President Marzo and resulted in the return of Randor and Marlena); a battle on Etheria between Light-Hope and Dark-Hope; and the return of Skeletor. Skeletor, as it turns out, has been manipulating things from behind the scenes since his return from exile in space.

Recently, Adam and an entourage were in space, negotiating the separation of the Cosmic Enforcers and the Galactic Council, due to the Cosmic Enforcers manipulation of Eternian history and their proposed transformation of the cosmos. Adam's mission has been a success, but he then learned to late the Skeletor also returned to the stars and retrieved a second Mutant Mothership. As he traveled home, Skeletor arrived first and with the Mutants and the Evil Warriors, launched a jailbreak – freeing the Horde, the Snake-Men, Hordak, and King Hiss.

Back at Snake Mountain, Hordak and King Hiss dueled to the death. Even though Hiss was the first to die, Hordak was poisoned and was well on his way to dying. Skeletor granted him a warriors death, but before Hordak gave Skeletor the secret to restoring the Great Eye at Castle Grayskull.

A great level of tension has filled the air of Eternia both Good and Evil begins to build for what seems to be the final battle . . .


ENDINGS AND EPILOGUES

The Final Volume of the "Tales of Masters of the Universe" Fanfiction Saga

Book Three: Darkness


Chapter One: "Lords of Snake Mountain"

What Skeletor felt as he levitated every single piece of the two corpses shall always be a mystery. Was it joy? Was it guilt? Was it pleasure or pain; solace or discomfort? The knowledge would never leave Skeletor's mind, never would he share what emotions went through his minds as he scoured the skull-lined chamber floor with flames, seeking to destroy even the blood that was spilt.

As evening came across the Valley of Storms, Skeletor tended to the bodies, wrapping them up like mummies. Upon their chests he placed the symbols of their armor.

They were marched out of Snake Mountain, then.

At the bottom of the stairs to Snake Mountain stood the Horde and the Snake-Men. Both teams had seen the video footage. The Snake-Men were stunned and deeply disenchanted at the loss of King Hiss. The Horde, on the other hand, was a jumble of emotion. Some even seemed happy that Hordak was dead, which wasn't a surprise to Skeletor. He was well aware that certain members of the Horde quite hated Hordak.

The ridges of the valley were aglow with the fires of nearby camps. The Snake-Men army was sitting out there, as were Goblins and Orcs. More to come, too. The only thing stopping the Horde and Snake-Men from fighting were the Centurions standing nearby.

Skeletor placed the body of Hiss on a pyre in front of the Snake-Men. He did the same with the Horde, placing Hordak's body on pyre in front of them.

"Is it really him?" asked Sssqueeze.

Rattlor up to the body and sniffed hard. After a few long moments of smelling, he turned back to the others. "It is."

The Snake-Men all closed their eyes and looked down at the ground. They all went completely still, as if they had become living statues. Then, with a growl than began in their bellies, they all looked up to the sky and roared. A minute later, the roar was repeated by the encamped Snake-Men army.

All it took was a quick look from Catra to confirm it was in fact Hordak. Again, the reaction was mixed.

Skeletor tapped his Havoc Staff on the ground, then lifted it up and pointed between both pyres. A pair of fire bolts shot out, hitting both bodies. Immediately, the bodies were engulfed in massive flames. The smoke rose up and for a brief second, Hiss' smoke took the shape of a snake and Hordak's took the form of a bat.

The bodies burned and burned. After a few moments, Skeletor stepped out from between them and stood before the two former rivals.

"Your leaders are dead. It was I who was truly victories. It was I who can truly claim to be the lord of Snake Mountain. Follow me now, leaderless ones, and know the price of loyalty. Turn against me, and join your old masters in the afterlife. The world is changing rapidly. Your powers and skills will be put to good use in service to me. Join me!"

Catra looked to her fellow Horde members, then bowed down. The rest of the Horde - , Scorpia, Octavia, Dylamug, Entrapa, Grizzlor, Leech, Mantenna, Modulok, Multi-Bot, Mosquitor, and Vultak – followed suit. One knee and both fists on the ground, bowing before the mighty Skeletor.

Skeletor nodded, then turned to the Snake-Men. Slowly, Kobra Kahn bowed. Rattlor was about to chide him for it, but the other Snake-Men bowed down as well. After a few seconds, Rattlor joined them.

"Yes . . . yes! FOLLOW ME INTO THE FUTURE, MY WARRIORS!" Skeletor shouted. "FOLLOW ME . . . TO MY DESTINY!"


The sky was completely blue, cloudless and seemingly never-ending. If not for the tension in the air, Adam would have probably enjoyed a day like today. Unfortunately, the weight of the world was on his shoulders. His eyes watched as the repairs continued on the prison wing that had been raided on two days before.

The Palace itself was abuzz of activity. Now housing the Galactic Guardians, the Great Rebellion, as well as the Montok, Dree-Ell, and various other allies, everything was busy and people seemed to keep bumping into each other despite how large the Palace really was.

The only reason that the Great Rebellion wasn't back at the Great Towers was because Adam had a training exercise to put the three teams through. It would be needed if everything was to go as planned in the next few days. Their planned offensive would be taking place in four days. Taking the fight to Snake Mountain before Skeletor took a shot at either Eternos or Castle Grayskull.

Current intelligence indicated that Skeletor wouldn't be able to launch an attack in another five days. The Bats, Ilkorts, and Mer-People were still on the move and wouldn't be able to reach Snake Mountain before then . . . giving Eternos the time it needed to prepare for an all-out offensive.

"Dad! What's that?" asked Addison, arriving to Adam's side, pointing up.

Adam smiled at being called that – 'Dad.' But he followed Addison's line of sight to the sky. Adam nodded a little. Five spheres were falling through the atmosphere, heading right for Eternos.

"Those are the Meteorbs. Friends. I asked them to come here to give us a hand."

"To help fight the bad guys?"

"That's right. Look, here they come!"

The egg-shaped Meteorbs quickly slowed down. As they landed, they assumed their robotic shapes. They touched down in the courtyard: Cometoid, Astrolion, Ty-Grrr, Comet Cat, and Tuskor. Adam, Teela, Randor, Man-At-Arms, Addison, and Rokkon all quickly moved in to greet them.

"Allies, welcome back to Eternia," Adam stated, stepping towards them.

"Many thanks, King Adam of Eternos," Cometoid responded. "It is a pleasure to return to this world. The renegades are where?"

"They are in the service of Skeletor now," Adam answered. "We're launching an attack in three days."

"Excellent. That is more than enough time for us to recharge out batteries to prepare for a final assault," Ty-Grrr said then.

There was a blur of motion from above. All eyes fell upon a falcon screeching down from the clear sky. Zoar. In her clutches was a crystal ball. She landed before Adam, her wings flapping hard to keep her hovering. Adam reached out and Zoar dropped the crystal ball into his hands.

"What is it?" he asked her.

Zoar did not answer. Instead, the falcon form of the Sorceress took back to the skies, returning to Snake Mountain.

"What is that?" asked Astrolion.

"A crystal ball from the Sorceress of Grayskull," Adam answered. "It's a message."

The group crowded around Adam as the crystal ball came alive. A glow deep within its spherical shape began to flicker on, shining through a mist. The mist parted, the light grew brighter. Images suddenly flashed across the surface of the orb.

Hordak and King Hiss battling harshly.

Hordak stabbing Hiss through the head as the Snake-Man poured venom into his ancient enemy.

Hordak dying at the hands of Skeletor.

The Snake-Men and the Horde swearing their allegiance to Skeletor.

"Not good," Randor grunted. "Far from good."

"The Snake-Men, the Horde, the Evil Warriors, the Meteorbs, and the Mutants," Teela counted off. "Sounds like a challenge."

"Yes," Adam sighed. "Definitely. Meteorbs, if you'll excuse me? Rokkon will show you to your quarters."

"Of course, King Adam," Cometoid responded and the group followed Rokkon out of the courtyard.

"Nothing we can really do about this," Man-At-Arms told the rest of them. "The odds aren't even, but I still believe we can handle it."

Randor nodded. "I agree, Adam."

Sighing, Adam set the crystal ball down on the table. "I have a bad feeling about this battle. It's just . . . something isn't right about it."

"War is never right, son."

Adam smirked a little. "You're telling me."

Teela picked up the crystal ball. "You know, it's funny."

"What's that?" asked Man-At-Arms.

"The way the Sorceress sends her falcon out instead of coming here herself or summoning us," she said then, rolling the crystal ball from hand to hand.

"Sweetie, Zoar is the Sorceress," Adam replied.

"What?"

"You didn't know that?" Adam questioned.

"No! I had no idea!"

Randor grinned. "Even I knew that."

"I didn't know that, Mommy," Addison chimed in, trying to help his mom feel better.

Teela shrugged. "Wow. Huh. You know what's really strange about that? I used to see a falcon like that when I was school."

Duncan perked an eyebrow. "What's that?"

She nodded. "Yeah. When I was at the City of Wisdom, there was a falcon just like that that used to fly around campus. I used to think it was following me. Heh. I actually used to think it was hunting me down or something."

"Well, it probably wasn't the Sorceress," Adam stated.

"No, probably not."

Duncan said nothing, instead simply watched as the crystal ball rolled around in his daughters hands.


Systems: activate.

Initiate central processors . . . unable to comply.

Activate internal heater. Temperature rising . . . temperature rising . . . temperature rising . . .

Initiate central processors . . . central processors initiated.

Previous Order: Override personality centers; obey Skeletor

PREVIOUS ORDERS DELETED. OVERRIDE CANCELED: PERSONALITY CENTERS ACTIVE AND PROCESSING.

Program restore: Faker.Personality.file

Loading . . .

Faker on-line and running.

Faker's eyes opened, though the rest of his body was still frozen. He looked out and saw nothing but ice. Sensors whirled within him, reading the surroundings. He was in the Central Tower of the Great Towers, a prisoner of He-Man and She-Ra.

His computer mind processed all data he had on the Great Towers. There was great power here, to which one could bond with. He-Man was currently bonded with the power of the Towers and the Elders. But perhaps a false He-Man could take that power for himself . . .

Faker closed his eyes, allowing his internal systems to thaw out. He knew Skeletor's timetable and while he understood that time was growing short, he was also aware that he had a chance here to become better than either He-Man or Skeletor.

Soon enough . . . the power of the Great Towers and the Elders would be his.