CHAPTER NINE – SKELETOR AND THE LOST TEMPLE
"Well, well, well! Isn't that something! The jewel must be inside this temple!" Skeletor exclaimed to himself even as he approached the entrance to the temple, where he noticed that there was ancient runes on the doors. Skeletor used some of his magic to help translate the runes and he quickly worked out that they were warning anyone that to enter the temple was to unleash a deadly curse and to risk one's own death in a most painful and merciless way.
"Ha! What a stupid thing to write in runes! No silly curse frightens me, the mighty Skeletor! Nothing is going to stand in my way and the summoning jewels! Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha!" Skeletor cackled evilly even as he started to prepare to open the stone doors.
Skeletor approached the stone, runed carved doors with impunity. He had an evil, sneering look upon his face as he approached the doors, havoc staff raised in case of a potential magical booby trap that had been in place by the Elders. Skeletor approached with caution due to his recent encounter with the Sand Worn, ever suspecting of another vile trap or yet another magical guardian of the summoning jewel.
"WHO GOES THERE? WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM THIS PLACE MORTAL?"
A powerful magical voice echoed from the nearby area.
"Ha, Ha! I am the mighty Skeletor and no mere magic tricks will frighten me!" Skeletor retorted back towards the stone doors of the jewel temple.
"FOOLISH MORTAL, DO YOU REALLY THINK YOU HAVE WHAT IT TAKES TO COMBINE ALL THE JEWELS?" The spirit of the stone doors of the temple asks Skeletor in a very mocking tone.
"I am Skeletor you stone blasted demon! Let me pass, or I shall blast you with my magic!" Skeletor retorted with sheer arrogance apparent in his voice.
"FOOLISH CREATURE DO YOU THINK YOU HAVE THE POWER TO CONQUER ME?" The magical door replied in a mocking tone to Skeletor's reply.
"We shall see foolish thing!" Skeletor taunted as he unleashed his dark magical powers upon the stone doors. However when he stopped blasting and the smoke and sand had cleared, he was very much surprised to see the doors were still standing, very much unharmed from Skeletor's attack.
"IS THAT THE BEST YOU CAN DO?" The door spirit taunted the Lord of Destruction.
"Ha! I'm just starting to warm up! All I need to do is to adjust the amount of power used." Skeletor replied as he unleashed a more powerful bolt of dark magic at the doors. Once again, Skeletor had the same result.
"FOOLISH ONE! IF YOU CANNOT OVERCOME ME, HOW WILL YOU BE ABLE TO DEAL WITH THE POWER OF THE JEWELS! TURN AWAY NOW MORTAL ONE." The spirit of the door mocked Skeletor's pathetic attempts to gain entry into the temple. This in turn only served to provoke Skeletor's murderous rage.
"I am the mighty Skeletor and I will not be denied by the likes of you!" Skeletor raged at the stone doors.
Meanwhile back at Castle Gray-Skull, the Sorceress was sitting upon her throne, still magically monitoring both the progress of He-Man and Battle-Cat, Man-At-Arms and Orko in the Wind Raider as well as Skeletor's progress into gaining entry into the lost temple. Suddenly she felt a presence which caused her to frown and look up from where she was monitoring the progress of Eternia's champions. And at once she saw that she was being paid a visit by Zodac Zur, otherwise known as Zodac and the mighty Cosmic Enforcer whose main aim was to ensure the safekeeping of the cosmic balance.
"Greetings Sorceress. I see that the sands of time grow ever much lower." Zodac hailed the Sorceress.
"Indeed Zodac. It appears Skeletor grows ever closer to achieving his aim of reassembling the summoning jewels. Even as we speak he is currently assaulting the doors of the lost temple in the Sands of Time." The Sorceress replied.
"This is a grave development indeed Sorceress. Should the demon Lucifer get free by the reassembled summoning jewel, the balance will be greatly disturbed." A grim Xodac mentioned.
"Yes, but there is still hope. He-Man and his allies are already after Skeletor in hot pursuit of the villain. He-Man knows what truly is at stake here."
"Yes. I have been monitoring the situation as well as you have but I have to admit that the fiend Skeletor has a fair head start on the heroes."
"Agreed Zodac. But I have faith that Eternia's Champion will once again save day, like he has on many previous occasions."
"That is true Sorceress. But none the less I feel compelled to offer some advice as this situation has the great potential to truly disrupt the Balance."
"Any help or advice you can offer will be greatly appreciated." The Sorceress responded gratefully to Zodac.
"Well I do believe that He-Man managed to gain a medallion from the fallen Minotaur guardian did he not?"
"Yes he did. In fact the Minotaur passed on the Medallion to He-Man with his dying breaths. There is something powerful about that Medallion. I could sense it even from all way back here at Castle Gray-Skull."
"That is true Sorceress. The Medallion is quite powerful and is the one and only thing that can banish Lucifer back to his realm should Skeletor succeed in his mad quest."
"This medallion is that powerful?" The Sorceress asked incredulously.
"Indeed it is. It was made by the Elders as a safe guard in case of future attempts were made to successfully free the demon. It was given to a guardian who was to safe guard it until a hero proven them selves worthy to receive its aid in battle."
"I see Zodac. Thank you very much for this knowledge. I am sure He-Man will put it to good use."
"Glad I could be of some assistance to help safe guard the balance. Farewell Sorceress, and May the Elders guide you and He-Man safely in this task." Zodac said, even as he teleported away from Castle Gray-Skull to attend to his many other cosmic duties.
The Sorceress took in a moment to take in the information that Zodac had given her, before she then went ahead to mentally contact He-Man and give him the update.
"He-Man, I have some important news and information that will greatly help you in your quest."
"What is it Sorceress? Is it about Skeletor and the summoning jewels?" He-Man mentally asked back when as he continued to race towards his goal on Battle-Cat.
"In a manner of speaking yes it does. It primary concerns that Medallion of Leadership that you were given by the brave Minotaur."
"The Medallion? Hmmm, Orko said that he could sense it has powerful magics in it, but he wasn't sure of what it was meant to do."
"The Medallion given to you by the Minotaur was made by the Elders themselves He-Man and it alone has the power to banish the demon Lucifer should Skeletor succeed in his latest mad scheme."
"Well it's good to know we have a fall back plan then Sorceress. But hopefully that won't be necessary as I intend to stop this madman before he reassembles the jewels."
"I wish you luck in this endeavor He-Man. But please hurry. Time grows short as Skeletor is already assaulting the doors of the lost temple, where the last summoning jewel lies."
"Don't worry Sorceress. I will make all haste and find a way to stop him." He-Man replied back to reassure the guardian of Castle Gray-Skull.
"May the Elders guide you and your success He-Man." The Sorceress replied but finally breaking the mental communication with He-Man.
The Sorceress went back to her throne and sat back down again to keep monitoring the events as they unfolded. It appeared that things were nearing a head. Skeletor was close to gaining the last jewel fragment to reassemble the larger Summoning Jewel that he desired to free the demon Lucifer. On the other side of the coin however, He-Man and his allies were gaining on the villain and would soon be in a position to stop the villain. It was the ultimate race against time and evil, and the Sorceress prayed to the Elders that He-Man would once again prevail against his old nemesis.
"FOOLISH ONE! STOP WASTING YOUR TIME! TURN AWAY NOW MORTAL ONE." The spirit of the door mocked Skeletor's pathetic attempts to gain entry into the temple YET again as Skeletor saw that his efforts were currently proving to be worthless. This in turn only served to provoke Skeletor's murderous rage worse as he grew more frustrated as he knew that meddlesome oaf He-Man and his band of do-gooders would not be too far away.
No! Not when I am this close to ultimate power! I will NOT be denied of my Victory!
Skeletor mentally ranted as his frustration at his failure to gain entry into the Temple grew worse, which made his anger grow more murderous. This resulted in him using more powerful magic but the Door just laughed at his efforts so far to gain entry. It was then a wild idea popped into Skeletor's mind as he grew desperate to open the doors before He-Man and his friends arrived to stop him.
It seems my magic alone will not be enough to open these stupid blasted stone doors! Perhaps if I combined my powers with the magic of the summoning jewel fragments already in my possession, it may prove enough to over come this stubborn door!
"Prepare for destruction vile thing. I, the mighty Skeletor shall have the last laugh here! Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha!" Skeletor magically attached the summoning jewel fragments to his staff, then raised the newly adjusted Havoc Staff at the doors.
"NO WAIT! WHAT ARE YOU DOING?" The spirit of the doors asked in alarm once it realized what the mad man was up to.
"PREPARE TO FACE MY WRATH! No one denies me, the Mighty Skeletor!" Skeletor laughed and sneered evilly back at the spirit as he launched his magical attack.
This time Skeletor could see that his magical attack had done some real damage to the stone doors. They were now smoking dark smoke and had large cracks starting to appear in them.
"STOP FOOLISH MORTAL! YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT YOU ARE ABOUT TO UNLEASH UPON US ALL!" The door tried to warn Skeletor in desperation, but the Lord of Destruction would not bother evening listening.
"Oh but I do! And when I have the Summoning Jewel Ultimate power will be mine! So take this and get out of my way!" Skeletor sneered in response and fired off a more powerful magical blast. This time, Skeletor was successful and managed to completely destroy the stone doors barring his way into the lost temple.
"Ha, Ha! Success! And He-Man, my old nemesis – you soon will be next! Ha, ha, ha, ha!" Skeletor laughed evilly as he finally gained entrance into the lost temple.
Meanwhile back at the Jewel Chamber within the depths of the Minotaur Maze…
"By all that is dark and unholy, curse that bloody He-Man and his interfering fools! Did they really think these pitiful bindings could restrain me, the Mistress of Evil for Long? Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!" Evil Lyn laughed cruelly as she finally managed to escape her bonds. She went and gathered her scepter before using her magic to free Beast-Man.
"Get up you lazy fool! We need to hurry to the Sands in Time to help Skeletor before those heroic do-gooders get there first!" Evil Lyn scolded the Beast-Man.
"Yes Evil Lyn." Beast-Man cowered in fear before Evil Lyn's magical power. After all, Beast-Man was no fool and knew that Evil Lyn was second only to Skeletor in terms of sheer magical power – despite how that fool of a magician Orko managed to hold her bay. Probably divine intervention by the Elders, knowing the luck of those do-gooders. Beast-Man thought.
"What are you waiting for fool?" Evil Lyn asked as she broke Beast-Man out of his thoughts.
"I've already cast the spell for the magic portal to take us to the Sands of Time. Hurry up!" Evil Lyn ordered.
"Yes Mistress." Beast-Man meekly replied as he obeyed and followed Evil Lyn through the Portal, which would take them both of the Sands of Time.
END OF CHAPTER NINE.