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Chapter IV: THE UNDEAD DEMON

 

                Far East of Eternos, past Haraldrin and Tarn and at the beginning of the eastern desert lands of the continent of Eternia, amid of the plenty of Eternos’ fertile lands and the dark Purple Mountains, dwelt a small kingdom, not affiliated with the Royal Accord.

                It was a realm of unsociable creatures whose origins had been lost through the centuries. Maybe they had come through a portal from another world, ages ago, or maybe they were natives to Eternia. No one knew.

                These creatures were called ‘orcs’ and were a race of green-skinned, short and sturdy reptilianesque ugly savages. They knew not of civilized manners or social relationships. Barbaric by nature, they lived by simple, yet often disobeyed, sets of rules, in the lowest form of kingdom imagined.

                Until the day the demon came, years ago. He was a creature of great might and evil, and the orcs respected him, more out of fear than admiration. He claimed the nearby Snake Mountain for his own, being the first one in ages to dare enter the wicked fortress. There he had summoned creatures from alien worlds, beings of evil nature and powerful attributes, to join his army. By spreading terror, he conquered Tharog, realm of the orcs, making them his servants. He seemed determined to build an empire throughout Eternia at all cost.

                Lyn was a dreadful witch from Eternia. She had been studying the dark magic arts all her life, researching forbidden libraries everywhere and acquiring great knowledge from it. She was a mean, ambitious person, who found in the overlord her chance to gain great power. She forged an alliance with the demon, in which he took obvious advantage. Taking notice of the woman’s need, he sealed a blood pact with her that almost made her his servant. She, however, plans to break the oath when she sees fit. At the moment, the beautiful, wicked young woman was climbing the stairways towards her master’s private chambers. She was tall, slim, of clear skin and deep black hair and eyes. Her long straight hair flowed through her back, and at the top of it, keeping it away from her brow, she wore a metal purple tiara, from which five short blades emerged upright.

                Almost all her other garments were also purple. She was clad in a tight bodice of reduced dimensions, revealing great part of her impressive physical attributes. Her perfectly shaped long legs stood naked, except for her leather black boots. In her wrists and upper arms she wore metal bracelets, finely crafted. Her long fingernails were painted black.

                The woman carried a phosphorescent scepter, a wand with a large three-finger claw in it’s upper tip, in which a glowing crystal sphere hanged, which gave her a dim light in the dark, damp corridors.

                She reached her master’s room gates and knocked. From inside, a deep, demonic voice, seeming to echo through itself, answered – “Enter, Evil-Lyn. I have been waiting.”

                With this, the doors opened, seemingly by themselves, revealing a large, half-lit room. There were candles everywhere, their small, trembling lights showing only roughly the odd, macabre decoration of the place.

                In the center of it, seated in a large throne all built of bones was a large man of blue skin, wearing a purple leather vest. He irradiated an intense aura, powerful and dark, an aura of pure evil. But what was most impressive on this man was his face. From within his leathery hood, there emerged his horrible head, a head deprived of skin or flesh; in its place, only the skull remained – there was no nose, no tongue, no eyes – only two small shining dots issued from the sockets. He was Skeletor.

                “What is your report from Tharog, woman?”, he asked with his demonic voice creeping in the air.

                “My master” – she knelt – “I have had a word with Akrash, the tribal chief, and D’januh, their shaman. They have told me their armies were ready to charge Tarn at your command. There are one thousand and eight hundred orcs, battle apt, armored and armed, just waiting your word to march on.”

                “Good. I will personally assemble a small party of my own personal guard to join them. Meanwhile, I will attend to other business in Evergreen. Come. We will reunite our private army and decide who’s going with the orcs and who’s coming with me.”

                They left the throne room and walked downstairs to the main hall. Soon the army was summoned, and they answered the call just as quickly. Among the small private elite group, there could be found the most diverse and strange creatures, creatures which Skeletor had collected over Eternia and, through the portal in Snake Mountain, in other planets of the galaxy as well.

                There was Tri-klops, an eternian, wearing a metal helm from the center of which a bizarre, living eye emerged, a magical eye of great power. Beside him was Trap-Jaw, another eternian, small in wits but mighty in brute strength. In his helmet, there was a chin protection, made of metal, in which saw teeth had been cut, giving him a threatening look, and thus his name. But what was most scaring in him was his right arm, full armored in black plate, in which extremity there was a large metal hook where a hand should be.

                There was Clawful, a bulk crab-man from another world, with forceps instead of hands; Whiplash, a lizard man with a prehensile tail; Webstor, a slim spider-like man of blue, short furred skin, with long limbs, sharp fangs and four eyes; Blade, another eternian, a one-eyed ambidextrous sword master; Kobra Khan, a snake man, probably brought by Skeletor from Hiss’ troops world; and finally, Nar-gath, leader of the mer-men from the sea of Rakash.

                A small troop, but only in number. All of them were incredible warriors of great power, each with unique abilities that made them fierce adversaries. Skeletor had chosen his elite well.

                “Tri-klops” – the demon walked towards him, making the man contain himself from shaking from the proximity of his evil presence – “You shall lead the toad troops to Tarn. Without someone with brains to lead them, they might lose the battle due to their stupidity, despite their offensive advantage.” – coming from Skeletor, this observation was quite a compliment to Tri-klops intellect – “Take Clawful with you. I want to inspire that people some terror before enslaving them; remember: kill only those who might be a threat, for an overlord must have subjects to rule.”

                Then, the demon turned to Nar-gath: “You shall assemble your mer-men army at Skarmos Bay. Remain near the coast until you are contacted again. New orders will be given to you soon.”

                The mer-man bowed. Skeletor continued: “Webstor is coming with me. The rest of you will remain here in Snake Mountain; during my absence, Evil-Lyn will be in command. Questions?”

                No one spoke. “Good. Nar-gath shall leave now, as well as I and Webstor will; Tri-klops, you must take the toads to Tarn in three days; travel by night, take the following day to rest from the journey concealed, and strike the city as soon as the night falls.”

                “Yes, my lord.” – the grim man replied.

                Skeletor walked back to his chambers. He would be smiling grimly had he lips. He had a simple, yet almost flawless plan. His vengeance would come soon.

                He entered the room and walked towards the armory. There, he replaced his leather cloth for a chest plate metal armor, and grabbed his mighty havoc staff. It was a large, crafted bone, perfectly shaped, in which upper tip stood the skull head of a goat with spiraling horns. It shined dimly at the touch of its master.

                He also grabbed a long object wrapped up in leather, and strapped it to his back. Then, in a low whisper, he called: “Panthor... come to your lord.”

                From within the darkness, an even darker figure emerged, its eyes gleaming a golden yellow. It was a huge, fierce feline, a giant black panther, heavy muscular. It was Skeletor’s mount.

                Soon he was riding westward, with Webstor crawling behind, away from Snake Mountain.

 

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