This has been a wild ride for me. I took a chance and put forth my crazy notions and wild ideas. For a long time people told me to try something like this but always I felt my work was never interesting to anyone but me. I have been touched by your reviews and your help, the truth is I was scared to even contemplate playing with He-Man given the excellent work I have read on this site. Even so I ignored this and tempted fate and my confidence to see what people would think. Endings are never perfect nor are they meant to be, life only ends when we are done, not when a story is. I hope you have enjoyed this romp and that it inspires others as I was inspired by the many wonderful stories all my life.
Ok done with touchy feely stuff. In case it was not clear in the previous 25 chapters, I do not own these characters, they merely touched my mind and set off a fire works display inside my head I can never ignore.
He-Man Era Year Three
The war is over. Hordak's power was broken at the former Well of Darkness and the Dark Hemisphere is once again a place of light and darkness as much as any place on Eternia. Grayskull stands strong and despite all the loss of life, Eternos rings out with celebration only muted by the bonds of grief and loss. Adam and his friends travel back to Grayskull to learn both what happened while they made their bold attempt and to retrieve a much faster mode of travel back to the palace.
"The Faceless One used Evil-Lyn?" Adam's blues eyes held shock at the very idea the mage had used his prisoner that way. Even so a part of his mind told him she would have had to agree to it or even a moment away from the stone temple would have freed her mind. He noted it for later as a welcome sight crested the horizon. Castle Grayskull, minus its full drawbridge basked in the setting sunlight. Even from here the four friends could see the Etherians and the Sorceress with Roboto watching for their arrival.
Cheers rang from all the throats as Adam saw they were safe. Hordak had not killed anyone here in his hurry to defeat He-Man and later to reach the Well before he and Teela could. Adam blushed to realize he was currently half naked to most of the female rebels, but his own red vest covered Teela far better than Frosta's. Also it had been distracting to see the warrior in her skin tight garment without the coat. Stratos had far too much amusement on the walk back for Adam's thinking. Even so he smiled.
The dark wood of a far narrower bridge was all too familiar to Adam. I see you have been rebuilding Sorceress. He felt relief and amusement from his friend. The friends crossed the bridge and barely entered the castle proper before most of the rebels with the guardian herself almost trampled Adam in a group hug. Tears, smiles, and many questions bombarded the young man as he simply drank in the sight of all those he had left behind in danger alive and well before him.
The Sorceress noted Teela's odd clothing but breathed relief at the lack of mental scars. Whatever had happened to her she was safe and whole for all of it. Embracing her daughter tightly, the Sorceress drank in both the image and the feelings around her. For so long the castle had been empty and now it was full of life, even as that time came to a close she felt it appropriate. Too soon Adam and Teela would have to go home and face a far more stark reality.
As soon as possible Adam settled his friends and relayed all he could remember of the incident at the Well of Darkness, Frosta and Stratos gave their own parts, Teela however left a few details out as she truly had no wish to explain why she needed Adam's vest. Many more hugs and well wishes followed along with a big kiss on his cheek from Madam Raz who let happy tears trail down her face. Somehow she conjured him a new shirt, pink, but it was better than nothing. The amusement on Teela's and Stratos' faces made him swear to burn it mentally but the gift was appreciated.
Finally getting a moment of calm Adam heard the whinny of a horse that cause his eyes to look skyward. She-Ra was barreling down as fast as she could and hopped into a roll that ended in tackling him. Her own clothes were tattered and blood spattered, but tears flowed trails down her face as she hugged her brother tightly. Never pausing to think that no one commented on it or thought it odd the champion would be so worried over Prince Adam.
"Never do that again Adam, never!" the broken grief mixed with true relief from the Princess of Power. She had felt the surge of Grayskull bring back the connection to her twin loud and strong and knew he would come here. The exhausted Swift Wind did his best to get here ahead of the party, but the battle had taken much out of both heroes. Adam returned the hug and could not help the twinge of amusement as he felt the sudden stiffness in She-Ra.
The heroine backed off looking six shades of red as she thought she would have to explain exactly why she was so concerned over Adam while not asking about He-Man. Madam Raz had to hide her face as giggles threatened to escape, Teela herself found the moment hilarious but took a page out of Adam's book.
"Well I never realized how much you cared for Adam She-Ra. I know Adam was gone a long time on Etheria but I never realized you had grown to love him so much." The stern tone was having great affect on the residents around the three. She-Ra missed the many too blank faces around her as Roboto only cocked his head farther to the right in confusion. "I mean if you were not his sister there would be a problem but since you are I think I will forgive this slip Adora." The blood drained from She-Ra as she whirled at her friends and brother. Laughter broke open wide as a different flush took the heroine.
Adam himself had to hold his ribs as tears trailed down his face as Teela smiled wide and She-Ra suddenly began to giggle as the truth shone through. Without pause she changed back to Adora and proceeded to hit her brother hard. "You could have warned me Adam!" Both twins embraced again and the rebels and Masters moved off to help Stratos and Frosta find food and rest. Only Teela and the Sorceress remained.
"I felt you dying Adam, I really did. When you suddenly got better it was like the world became bright again. Please don't do that to me." The worry and relief warred in Adora's blue eyes but Adam felt the same worry himself. He never wanted Adora to leave again and hoped she would stay. He smiled suddenly as an idea took hold.
"I will do my best if you finally tell me more about this Sea Hawk who is currently hiding around the corner," the pirate had indeed only moved off around the corner and now whirled back in sight. Adam nodded to him as he and his sister walked off for a rather long talk. He knew he had forced that on her, but neither seemed to mind too much given all that had happened. Adam turned back to the Sorceress and drew out his sword.
"It was you Sorceress, I felt you when the power flowed into me. Thank you for allowing Teela to bring me back." the flush to her skin was so much like her daughter's it was hard for him to imagine how long it had taken to see the resemblance. He offered the sword to her and she looked up at him confused. "Hordak is gone, Skeletor and his goons are defeated or locked up. He-Man is no longer needed." The weight of that was not as light as he wished. Evil was not gone, only back in balance like it belonged.
"Prince Adam, He-Man will always be needed because you are needed. I agree the war is over, but the power was meant for you and Adora to use to keep people safe. What you do with it, even giving it up, will be up to the two of you." She smiled wide at the shock on his face. He resheathed the sword and ruffled his own blonde hair as he absorbed the idea that Grayskull would be with him so long. He smiled at the idea that the next earthquake or natural disaster did not mean having to stand aside and wish for something he could no longer use. Teela hugged him as joy shone from her own emerald eyes into his blue ones.
Both nodded to the Sorceress as they went to find the wind raider to return to the palace. Adam sobered at the image in his mind of what he was going to find there and that this time his father would not be so easily evaded from needing answers.
The palace still stood. It was full of holes and cracks with smoke still slowly drifting on the wind, but it still stood. The bodies of the Horde and Eternians alike had been sifted and sorted by the Masters and whatever hands could be put to clearing the field. Many prisoners were now held in pens until King Randor could appeal to the Council to deal with them. Prince Adam and Teela flew slowly over the ravaged fields now turning a sickly brown of dried blood and rents in the earth with machines littering parts everywhere.
His favorite brook was gone, destroyed by crashing batmeks. His rooms were also gone, again by batmeks. Maybe I should not have enjoyed destroying those things so much. The thought did not bring a smile to his face but at least it told him his mind was still working. The horror was only mitigated by the chorus of cheering that greeted their return. How many actually knew what he had been doing he had no idea but one sight stunned him.
A warrior in red and silver armor stood waiting in the hanger, but it was not Zodac, it was Duncan! He stood in his normal attire of battle armor completely recolored like the Mystic Warrior, and now wielding a mace that was very familiar. How? The question was plain on both their faces as Man-at-Arms felt his mustache twitch in a smile. He embraced both his children and felt a pull to Adam's wind raider.
The staff of Zodac answered his summons and came to his hand. Once again he felt it odd to know how to do things as he needed to. He also saw the questions ringing from his daughter and his charge. Smiling the old warrior shrugged, not ready to discuss what he had seen in visions of alternate futures. He truly did not know if Zodac had done this himself, or if the Elders had indeed chosen him to become the new Mystic Warrior.
The three made their way amid cheers and sober sights of wounded men, women, and Masters. Children were running errands for medics, and all three smiled as words rang out from one of the training fields. "I do not care if I need a cane but you will let me out of this blasted bed woman to help these soldiers now!" Dorgan's indignant tones allowed amusement to any within earshot. By the sound of it, the old healer was doing exactly what he told others not to do, argue with their medic.
Prince Adam saw his parents helping tend some of the wounded and before he thought was running to them. King Randor saw Adam first and felt a tension unwind he had not known was there. He opened his arms wide as his son barreled into him. Both let tears flow as Marlena embraced both men. The King looked up at Teela holding back and beckoned her forward, she was family now no matter what politic conditions remained. All four spent the moment in happy reunion, even the wounded around them felt a balm on their fears to see their Prince safely home.
Adam saw the questions in his parents eyes and nodded to Duncan to take over. Teela held his hand as they lead the way to the control room. It was one of the few places no wounded were held. Dismissing the soldiers to go help outside, Teela set a stool for her rulers to sit on for this conversation.
"Adam, I saw you, as a being of light leading an army of the dead. You then somehow healed a great many of the recently mortally wounded and vanished. How did you do that son?" The shock and awe in his father's eyes was only out done by the love his mother sent him and understanding. Duncan had mentioned that his mother knew who he was but not all of it. He felt it best to get the big secret out of the way.
"Father I will tell you, but first I need you to accept something and promise to wait until I am finished before reacting," pulling forth his sword, he noted the widening of his father's eyes at it. Adam calmly raised the blade and transformed. He-Man stood before both rulers as the shock kept them both silent. For Marlena it was still dazzling to see her son really was He-man, for Randor it was as if something obvious had been staring him in the face and only now did the world make sense. The story He-Man unfolded only made his brain keep rapt attention.
Adam once again stood in his room, rebuilt again by Man-at-Arms. He still held his position but King Randor was not quite thrilled with him. Having heard the valid reasoning of his wife, Teela, and even Orko, the King was reluctant to admit he could not have willing let his son face all he had and not accidentally given away the secret. King Randor could remember all too well the many missions soldiers could not take credit for as the enemies or allies of them would make sure to take some kind of revenge. The secret of He-Man must remain that, and thanks to so many unexpected dead on that field, only he and Marlena had noticed Adam facing the Horde. At the end no one knew who the 'strange boy' was that had brought so many back.
The soldiers themselves only said they felt safe and loved. They also remember a voice much like He-Man saying something to them. You have fought well and you are not forgotten. He will give you back the light. No one knew who 'he' was but they had never been more happy to be alive. Adam heard Cringer yawn, it surprised him still to see the form of Battle Cat without his armor, but no one seemed to notice. Like the secret of He-Man, this had just been accepted by all.
Today he saw the Etherians packing up and making ready to go home. All but a few. Madam Raz was going to stay, she felt after all the ups and downs of the rebellion and the twins worrying her, she could not let them out of her sight. Orko would have stiff competition to see who was more disastrous. Sea Hawk was bidding his crew farewell as he had chosen to stay with Adora on Eternia. The option to go home was still open to him, but Adam suspected Adora was just afraid to fully commit yet.
Castaspella had not stood on rank but insisted on staying to help with the still seriously injured men and women who could not go home and were still in the medical ward. Dorgan had been floored when she had healed his leg and arm just to keep him from complaining anymore. That event brought many smiles to people when they saw the old healer nod respectfully to the Queen of Mystacore. Adam also noted that Manny seemed to be much around the Queen lately. The Master had been half buried in rubble when Casta had freed him herself. He had been heard to say the Elders had sent him a vision of unparalleled beauty to make him want to live again. Adam wished him well and noted a secretive smile on her face whenever he was helping around the palace.
Teela had found her job as head of the guard temporarily reinstated. No one was left with the experience to sort through the mess and had been very busy the last few weeks. Finally a candidate had been found and King Randor insisted she would dine with them tonight. It was a foregone conclusion that he approved the proposal of marriage and now only a date had to be set and plans to be made. Adam thought he had heard his father mumble something about mother making 'battle plans' but that seemed like an exaggeration.
All in all it was a very good day. So why do I feel something wrong? It had been simply too much horror to process at first. All the deaths, the prisoners, and even the Evil Warriors had to be dealt with at last. The Council of Eternia was helping Eternos rebuild and donated stores for winter as it was obvious farming would be useless this year. Prisons and allocation of trials had been put into effect for all of the Warriors and Hordesmen that would take months to go through. Evidence was in abundance for many but thankfully the Council would handle most of it. They felt King Randor had more than enough to deal with. The nagging sense of something wrong persisted and Adam had sought his room to try and sort it out.
Prince Adam, you need to come to Grayskull immediately. Adam's blue eyes widened at the sense of urgency in the Sorceress' voice. Using a private channel newly made by Duncan, Adam let his parents know he was going to the castle and left a message with Duncan for Teela. Cringer padded after him to the wind raider bay.
Grayskull seemed the only place to stay the same in his mind. The drawbridge was now rebuilt and the solitude of the castle had returned. Checking his sword with one hand, Adam and Cringer made their way to the throne room. He was not prepared for what greeted him.
"Oh good, the cowardly prince, just what I needed." suspended in a cage of blue energy was the last person Adam had ever expected to see. Skeletor looked far worse for wear. Not least of his injuries seemed an almost withered state, his body a fraction of what it used to be. The red glare in his eyes showed his rage, but the Sorceress seemed hardly bothered by it.
"How is he still alive?" it was not that Adam wished the evil mage dead, but all the others connected to Hordak had fallen. He had thought, given the unique connection to Skeletor, that when Hordak died, so had Skeletor. The cackling laughter was much more in line with his old nemesis. Neither the Sorceress or Adam found it amusing.
"I long ago took steps to ensure I survived that craven warlord. I knew he could kill me at anytime, and when He-Man no doubt defeated him I felt it, even in Despondos. I must thank that muscle bound buffoon when I see him, I was able to follow that feeling of death back here." Skeletor had paled at the mention of Despondos. Whatever else he believed, that dimension had left its mark on him. Adam flicked his gaze to the Sorceress who nodded and the cage became a sphere. The mage inside vanished behind an opaque screen.
"He appeared at the Well as you see him. He has no strength left Prince Adam, neither physical or magical. I was able to entrap him as Zoar and bring him here." She looked at her friend in sympathy and understanding. Neither of them had expected this return, nor did they truly know what to do with Skeletor. Unlike his other minions, it was quite possible Skeletor could live forever. His former power could be restored, or an alternate found. He had survived where so many had fallen, yet Adam felt there was no choice, Skeletor must be brought to justice.
He almost nodded to the Sorceress when he felt a compulsion from Grayskull. It had been a long time since this had happened but on instinct he allowed it and felt the Power flow in him. He was a conduit now and before both their eyes a shocking vision came into focus, the Council of Elders. They appeared as they had for Serpos, clothing in light and wise beyond comprehension.
All looked to the sphere and it returned to the caged form from earlier. Skeletor was about to yell then his jaw hung open in shock. Beings he thought long gone now stared at him as power flowed through that wastrel Prince! "Of course! You are He-Man! I get it now. You will never escape me fool, I will have my revenge I will..." Skeletor trailed off as the images of the Elders stared coldly at him.
We have watched you dark one. You have been given chances to change, to learn from mistakes of others. Instead you have chosen greed, pain, and murder. There is justice to answer to, justice to abide by, but you long ago put yourself in our hands. You chose to pledge to Hordak and sacrifice your right to mortal justice. Now you answer to us. Justice be done. The Power Sword swiveled in Adam's hands and pointed at the trapped mage. Skeletor's eyes flared crimson as the power of Grayskull, the power he had craved and killed for, now surged in him. It burned him from within.
Adam saw the terrible understanding as Skeletor stared at him. By leaving his mortal life behind and embracing the servitude of Hordak, he had forsaken any normal justice. That meant the death he had avoided would claim him now. Skeletor tried to scream, but instead felt more pain than he could ever imagine. Worse he felt it work on his mind, all his choices and sins came back at him as something changed inside and out.
The Sorceress and Adam watching shock as the cage shattered and Keldor stood before them once again. Whole and restored, but now weeping and broken. The Elders held no pity in their eyes, no forgiveness, Keldor had brought this on himself. You have been judged and will not have to live with yourself on a new world. You can choose a new path Keldor, a new destiny. You are exiled from Eternia forever, you will never remember the secrets of Grayskull but you will also never forget what you have been shown.
A portal swirled open behind Keldor, he glanced once at Adam, pleading for mercy, but he was flung into it before the Prince could act. The portal closed and the Elders faded leaving the Sorceress and Adam stunned. Skeletor was dead, Keldor lived again. Somewhere far away and not Etheria by the look of the portal. Adam was glad he had not participated in an execution, there had been enough death on Eternia. Nodding quietly to the Sorceress, both guardians of Grayskull silently considered the future of those now subject to mortal justice.
Bow found the castle as gloomy as he remembered. Kowl had been difficult to find until the woodsman remembered they were likely leaving Eternia for a long time. If they could ever come back he would, but Etheria had a long road ahead, maybe not as long as Eternia but not far off either. The scars of Hordak would take decades to heal. Sure enough his animal friend had been with Adam and Adora purring and hugging the twins as hard as his bear paws could. The sight had been well worth it to Bow.
Adam embraced his friend hard, knowing well that this was a good friend still in the dark about his secret. He had thought about revealing it to the rebels here and the Masters, but it was conceit to want them to know now, not necessity. The difference was not an easy burden but Adam had long ago accepted that necessity drove his secret, to keep him grounded and his loved ones as safe as he could make them. The amber gaze held no trace of the usual mischief and sarcasm of Bow. Both men had lived through terrible times and had forged a friendship neither would forget.
Adam noted an impatient Glimmer staring at Bow's back. The glint in her eye spoke volumes, but knowing Bow he would simply say that a princess only made his legend more believable. Nodding to Glimmer, Adam shoved Bow at her and smiled wide as the two fell into a familiar embrace. Some pieces fell into place for the young Prince and he smiled as his two friends let their love shine.
The last person he saw was Frosta. She had not packed her things like the others but still seemed to be going with them to Etheria. She saw Adam coming from a long way off and smiled warmly at him. Teela had told her many things about her friend she had not known. He truly was amazing and she wished only that maybe she had been the one to grow up with him and not the fiery warrior woman. Even so she felt happy for them both.
"So what exactly are you planning on doing now Frosta, besides putting up with Bow's legend making?" both smiled wide at the probably accurate statement about Bow. Even now they heard him telling rebels how he had taken out six batmeks with one arrow. She had been divided on going home to the only world she had known or staying on Eternia with Adora and Adam. She had friends in both places, but Etheria was her home save in one way. She had always imagined that somehow He-Man would finally notice her and now that was impossible she found she was still conflicted.
"I am not sure Adam, I want to go back, but I want to stay. I suppose that is true of a lot of us. We all know this was a special case, that easy travel between our worlds is unlikely. I don't know what I will do in either place now that the fighting is over." That was the rub. She was only 17 years old and had known only the fight against the Horde. She had believed she would die fighting and had never really considered the future. Adam smiled at the play of thoughts he could easily read. Adora had said there were many like Frosta in the rebellion, that it gave them purpose.
"You are welcome to stay here. I know of quite a few things that need doing and you would be very welcome to help. You can always go back to Etheria if you feel you need to, but a home is what you make of it, not a specific place." Adam saw her pale blue eyes warm at his words. In the end she would stay because for so long she had kept people at bay, but he and Adora had woven their hearts around hers. He really could use her help in the colder regions of Eternia, and he had no doubt she would find the love she believed He-Man could have given her. Both bid fond farewells to the rebels as they left. Glimmer had hugged Frosta hard and Bow had merely glared at Adam, mumbling something about keeping far too many beautiful women for his own good around.
The era of battle was over, but pieces still had to be settled, choices still had to be made. Life was not done with Eternos by far.
He-Man Era Year Eight
Five years Lyn, I will be back. The words had echoed in her mind since Prince Adam had spoken to her. For some reason they would not be banished that first month. Those words alone had made her agree to her father's plan to assist in defeating Hordak. How he had known where to send her still mystified her but it had been a beginning. She remembered the scene all to clearly, the cold rage of Hordak as he basically prepared to filet Teela's bare skin for He-Man to watch. It had chilled her to the core.
Long ago her dress and attire had been replaced by her father with more simple robes. He still indulged her colors of black and lavender, but it was more more peaceful looking. The years had revealed how exact her father could be in accepting her as both prisoner and student. She had thought her childhood stifling, now she knew her father had loved her and allowed her the freedom to make mistakes. No longer. Five years of lessons with out end or forgiveness had shown her a side to her father she had only imagined.
As the Faceless One had told Prince Adam, he would never judge her, but he had magics that would not allow her self deception of her past. The first year had been nothing but reliving her choices and being forced to see the bald truth of fear and loathing she had for herself and others. It was also the year that Prince Adam and Teela married. The stories had reached even here somehow. Her father had actually allowed her a day of rest as he told her of the event. Apparently that Sorceress of Grayskull had been able to attend, revealing she was indeed the mother of the very girl she had threatened.
The only other piece of news came rather unexpectedly. Man-at-Arms arrived in her third year, all clad in red and silver lined armor on the chair of Zodac. Even weakened as she was, she felt the power of the Mystic Warrior coming from him. Some kind of bandits were making trouble in the Sands of Time and the Faceless One had noticed them fleeing far to the south. Man-at-Arms had only glanced at her but she was shocked by the power in him. How by the Ancients did this happen? She was never told but the curiosity had burned in her for days.
Now was the anniversary of her incarceration. She fully expected no changes, Prince Adam may have made a promise but the witch had long ago given up hope of ever leaving this place again. Her back burned with the many marks of spell work her father had put on her. As she had told Adam quite accurately, he chose his punishments well. Each mark was another lesson from her father, they were also marks of progress. She had used such marks to break enemies in the past, by forcing them to relieve their worst fears, or love her unerringly to complete obedience.
She donned her simple robes for indoors, not as revealing as her old garb, it still hugged her frame and she relished the one benefit to being in this place. As a blood relative her youth and beauty were maintained here despite her father's no doubt strong wish to disown her. He had never spoken of that part of their lives, only once had he broken the line of jailor and prisoner, and that was when the largest mark on her back had finally stopped burning. She had been crying like a little girl, lost and alone in the wilderness, but she was free of much of her pain after that.
Entering the room of the Stone she crossed to wait for her father, and froze as she saw the unexpected form of Prince Adam standing by the alter. He was looking at the Stone wearing a simple tan vest and leather pants similar to his clothes from long ago. His sword still rode his back but his blue eyes held a serenity that stole Lyn's breath away. By the Ancients he is handsome. The thought had been there before, but back then it had been more a lead to make him a toy than really seeing him.
He smiled wide at her and she felt a sudden flush to her face. It was a genuine smile of gentleness and generosity. She recognized it now as she could not before. Suddenly she took in his body and frame and felt shock go through her. "He-Man, you are He-Man!" her voice was full of wonder. She saw again the day at the Well and it took on a whole new meaning. Hordak had known who he was.
"I wondered if you had figured that out, but I see the Faceless One kept you busy. I promised I would return Lyn and I am here. He said I should talk with you alone. How are you?" There was no suspicion in his voice or eyes. His blue eyes were open and curious to know the truth. She never thought to hide all that had happened. Even going so far as to turn around and show her back to him so he would understand she had not been coddled here. In speaking to him it was as if all her frustration and hopelessness faded. She felt real hope that something had truly been gained here. She felt shock as another voice she had not expected spoke from the hallway.
"You have changed Ev...I mean Lyn," Teela had also come into her full bloom. Lyn felt a wash of guilt she had not expected. She truly felt regret for ever hurting this child so fully as she had. If someone had told her 5 years ago this would be happening she would have blasted them into oblivion. The emerald eyes were more harsh than Adam's but she expected that. What she did not expected was in the former Captain's hands.
"Why did you bring those here?" She had dreamed of her staff many times. At first to free herself, later as a nightmare of temptation. The broken shards were held in both hands by Teela as the woman continued to stare at Lyn. The fiery hair wreathed her face as the warrior woman felt almost compelled to offer them forward.
"I remember you at the Well Lyn, Adam explained to me that you could not have come unless you agreed to do that. You saved me, saved us all, and now I have seen that the witch I knew is gone." She had not believed a word of it until she saw the guilt and fear in those lavender eyes. Of all the things she expected to see, that had not even made her list. Adam smiled wide but said nothing. In this he was only an observer as Lyn gently lifted her broken staff and then firmly set it aside.
"I am not to be trusted with such power again. The Faceless One knows I am not to be trusted. I thank you for keeping your word Prince Adam but I am far from being allowed that." The honestly blazed from her. Teela's jaw dropped as she saw Adam had been right. His blue eyes sparkled with relief and amusement. His wife glared at him, only Teela would find him offensive in being right. Now he spoke something he had only suspected, but by a tone he recognized well from himself, felt he was right.
"Fathers do tend to be harsher critics of their children, but not more so than the children themselves." He had to fight hard not to laugh at the shock on both women's faces as they were nearly identical. The Faceless One himself chuckled from the side corridor and entered the room. He bowed to the Prince and his lady wife.
"We do indeed Prince Adam. I understand your own father still worries over your heroics as He-Man, even in these more peaceful times." His daughter stared at him as she realized he had known who Adam was long before she had. The Prince himself only nodded in acceptance, feeling he should start wearing a sign that proclaimed the secret at this point. "I have watched Lyn struggle with her past and her present. Mostly though I have watched her realize that her power became a weakness not a strength in the end. She is ready now for your judgment Lady Teela as I can make her." He bowed to the surprised look on Teela's face.
Adam strives very hard to look serious but knew Teela still had problems with understanding she would be deciding the fate of many such criminals as time wore on. He himself had problems with it and he had over 24 years to accept it.
Picking up the two halves of the staff, Teela looked harder at Lyn than she had before. Adam himself squirmed slightly under that look and wondered if had done anything wrong he should not be thinking about at the moment. Lyn calmly looked back at her judge and waited for a verdict of hard labor or death for all she had done. Teela sighed deeply and closed her eyes. She saw all Evil-Lyn had been in her past, all the pain and suffering she had caused. She saw again the honest emotions of the present and the marks on her back from her 5 years here. In her mind something unlocked slightly and she felt what Adam called a compulsion from Grayskull feeling.
Her hands brought the two broken ends together and power surged in them. Violet energy rippled over Teela and the staff as the wood healed back into a single piece. The glow faded and Lyn stared in shock as Teela opened her eyes. For a moment she had felt the power of He-Man in the woman before her. Before she had realized what happened, Teela tossed the staff at Lyn, out of instinct she caught it.
It was different than before. Before it had simply been a tool to her, later a symbol of her weakness. Now it blazed with power and filled her not with desire for more, but forgiveness. Tears fell freely down the witches face as her father embraced her and welcomed her home at last. She saw Prince Adam nod to her and a silent promise to keep in touch as he and Teela left. All she could think was how fortunate the power of Grayskull had found that boy so long ago. She was home!
He-Man Era The End
So many legends had been born when the Mystic Wall fell. The children and grand children often thought their elders made most of it up, except for He-Man and She-Ra. Those two certainly existed, so maybe it was not all stories. King Adam and Queen Teela lived a long time and reigned peacefully until both retired for their own children. There was a rumor that the great cat was the original Cringer at the time, but everyone knew Eternian tigers did not live that long. So many legends, but now word spread that He-Man had to go, that his time was over. Would the next generations believe, or would the story pass into myth, then legend, and then be forgotten?
Grayskull never forgets its champions.
Adam's blue eyes looked over the ancient jungle from his last home. His sword felt heavy on his back today from the top of Grayskull. The day he knew would come long ago had not come too soon. Teela had embraced the destiny of Grayskull at last. Too many times exposed had made her the perfect candidate and now that he was fading, she could serve all equally as the guardian was supposed to. Her mother had been set free and found her own rest with the other guardians with in the castle's walls.
The one consolation was that as always Man-at-Arms would be by Teela's side as mentor and father. His life extended far beyond normal by his power. The long ago vanished abode of Zodac had been restored by Duncan as his own refuge. He said he found the blizzards much easier to deal with than court had ever been, Adam happily agreed with that. His children had wondered at his choice of retirement, but they understood well why he had to end here. Like so few others they had been told who he really was when they were ready, but not his grand children. He-Man would be only remembered as a story some day, just as King Grayskull had been before him.
Adam held his journal tight as he made his way to the throne room. He knew it was Time, but there was one thing he wanted to do before that. One last thing.
"Adam you look better every day," Teela had regained her youth but she had never lost her beauty in his eyes. He saw the serenity her mother had held so many times before, tinged with the same knowledge he had now. He smiled his lopsided smile, his wrinkles only making it bigger on his face. The power had given him much and helped so many, but even heroes must rest in the end.
"I have something for the one who comes after me Teela. Evil will be gone a long time but eventually He-Man will be needed again. I wish I knew how I know that but I do. Keep this for him or her. It might help them accept it better than I did at first, or maybe just knowing they are not unworthy of the power." His blue eyes crinkled at the amusement in her emerald ones. Cringer prowled the castle, young still from whatever it was Adam had done to him, but now the tiger rubbed the legs of his master. At least Teela would never be alone.
Strength faded from Adam and he fell suddenly as it became hard to breathe. He felt a wisdom claim him as he willed the power back to the blade. Unlike so long ago he did not have to pass it on to others to take up the fight. The Dark Hemisphere was only a myth now, no one believed it had ever existed save a few who were there. He knew Adora would be coming soon, but she would be too late this time. He had nothing left and few regrets. He smiled wide at his love and caressed her cheek for the last time as she returned his love.
Emerald light bathed Adam's body as it faded and Eternia accepted its champion in rest. The sword returned to its casket and settled on the stone floor by the Sorceress. Adam was the only one that still called her Teela, and now he was gone. The loss was deep, but in a very real way he would always be with her. Cringer purred and licked her face, and she thanked her love for a companion like this.
Curiosity stole over her as his journal fell open. Much of it she knew well having lived it with him, but he had always left the first page blank. Adam had said he did not know how to start it for posterity, but she suspected he had been reluctant to commit it to paper until the end. Sure enough words were there now, she smiled at the nature of them as if introducing a story.
I am Adam, Prince of Eternia and Defender of the secrets of Castle Grayskull. This is Cringer, my 'fearless' friend. Fabulous secret powers were revealed to me the day I held aloft my magic sword and said, "By the Power of Grayskull!" "I have the Power!" Cringer became the mighty Battle Cat, and I became...He-Man, the most powerful man in the universe. Only three others share this secret. Our friends the Sorceress, Man-at-Arms, and Orko. Together we defend Castle Grayskull from the evil forces of Skeletor.
The Sorceress kept the journal of He-Man safe in Grayskull and eventually reclaimed the Sword of Protection when Adora's time came. Eternia moved on, magic became less common but a story always resurfaced, always came back. Each time darkness threatened to overwhelm all, a strange warrior would rise up and defend the innocent and protect all of Eternia. Castle Grayskull kept all its secrets and stood guard over the history that was forgotten.
The last secret, the only one Adam never knew. Only he could be He-Man. Whenever he was needed he returned again and again. Teela always welcomed him home and bid him farewell. Now and forever he is the Champion of Grayskull.
That is the end folks. I hope you enjoyed it and please feel free to pick apart anything. And oh yea, I totally planned in that journal entry from the beginning. It seemed appropriate to honor the beginning at the end. Hope you guys catch any of my other crazy ideas.