so, a short story from my personal mythos... i'm posting this now, as a rough draft, with the intent of doing a revision and including some story photos, kind of like the stuff we're seeing matt k do over at the other
of note, this is my own personal mythos, which incorporates toys from every property i buy, and elements from the source materials of all of them, spun w/ a healthy dose of "meverse" content.
KIng He-Man's arrival had changed everything. No longer was King Grayskull allowed to sulk in his great castle while his armies fought for his cause; he was now a man without a home, without a throne, thrust back on the field of battle, and in truth, it seemed in many ways as if he'd secretly been waiting for this course of events to unfold. He seemed genuinely happy again, smiling and jovial with the men who served under him. He had surrendered his sword and left it in the castle, though King He-Man kept his as his weapon of choice, opting not to wield the unbroken and unworn weapon of his ancestor. Instead, his beaten, rusted and chipped blade remained at his firm hand, far from perfect, but fit no less to lead a war. Grayskull once again picked up his mighty duel axes and made for battle with a zeal he had not exhibited in some time. His skills, for all his recent apathy, were undiminished as a warrior, and the others were in awe of his puissance.
None, however, could escape the image in their mind of the King kicking Grayskull rudely from his own chambers. King He-Man seemed to know every move before Grayskull could attempt it, and he exhibited a might of arms that even Grayskull had found wilting. Every parry nearly ripped the blade from Grayskull's hands, and each pounding fist seemed to sap Grayskull of his will to fight as welts and bruises were drawn from his flesh. As he had attempted to cheat and score a dirty blow, King He-Man unleashed his magics in the form of two castle golems wearing the facade of Castle Grayskull as their personal visage. They disarmed and caged the errant and ancient King and left him completely humbled. Truly, he was no longer the master of the castle bearing his name.
After this, King He-Man set all the heroes together, uniting the army of Grayskull with his attending allies, and thus forming the first truly united army against Scarabus. King He-Man gathered all allies under him and personally helped coordinate the efforts on every front. The Horde and Scarabus both seemed to withdraw before the surreal might that the new liege put on the battlefield. Whatsmore, King He-Man had used the waning power of the Cosmic Key to summon to him some loyal and capable new warriors, including Duncan's instructor, Master at Arms Dekker, along with the mighty knight Sir Lazer Lot. Dekker had taken up the full time training of new recruits from Marcus Fenix, who was put back in the field over his COG squad, while Lazer Lot had taken it upon himself, along with Vikor and Lion-O, to serve as magistrates functioning in the outer rims and ranging between outposts to keep order and peace and facilitate communications between disparate factions.
Fisto had come into his own as a hero after discovering the awesome Procrustus alive and well, locked in the core of Mt Fisto. Now that some measure of peace had been attained, they could begin an excavation to release the trapped deity. King He-Man seemed very concerned that this take place as quickly as possible, and had ordered the mighty Pitt to guard the sleeping god while the army turned back their collective foes. No one, save a few individuals knew why, but this meeting, the one Dekker was now at, was ordered to clarify the next phase of the mission and give everyone a job for the upcoming recovery efforts. Dekker listened patiently while his eyes scanned the crowd. There was some good friends here, and lots of new faces he had not yet had time to get to know, but there were a few faces he would not get comfortable with, no matter their familiarity. Namely, the face of Fisto. Every time his eyes fell on the massive right hand of the man, wrapped in a metal gauntlet that was clearly of Duncan's design, he unconsciously looked over at Duncan's armored left arm and leg. He remembered distinctly the shouting coming from his training courtyard, now a distant and hazy place in his memory, but the faces... they were only boys then, but their faces shown clearly in his mind. Two of the brightest warriors he had ever trained, taken to combat like a hawk to mousing. The last few weeks, tensions had been brewing. The war was growing more clamorous, and it was apparent to everyone that the boys would be called upon to fight. Fisto was the hero of the new recruits, loud, powerful, talented, and gifted with that odd appendage that had everyone calling him "the strongest right hand in the land." But Fisto, brash and pineapple as he was, was not Dekker's election to lead this mission, an important and delicate reconnaissance mission to discover the identity of the mystery man who was stirring up foment in the Dark Hemisphere and gathering a host of noted criminals and warlords under his banner. The enigmatic threat was described as possessing both skill at arms and mystical might, and the traits sounded eerily familiar to Dekker. He would not, however, trouble his aging Lord Miro with rumors, and so, he needed the squad of cadets, the last forces not occupied fighting the border skirmishes this demon sent time and again, to penetrate enemy territory and return with the intelligence needed to make a strike against this foul villain before he gained too much momentum to stop. He had elected Duncan as team lead because the boy was more quiet and reserved than his brother, possessed of the kind of calm intellect needed for discretion and secrecy. The boy was slso fluent in Gar, asn so could gather intel that no one else in the squad was able to. Fisto was arrogant to be sure, but he was a capable soldier, and would do as commanded, or so Dekker thought. The shouting in the courtyard that morning changed his mind however.
The trailing firelight of the large bonfire in the center of the meeting, around which coursed King He-Man, Dekker stared at intently. The flames flickered joyously like dancing sprites and seemed to showcase ephemeral glimpses of the faces that teased memories of the boys as he ran out to see what they were up to. He found Fisto standing over a bowed Duncan, holding the boy's left arm in his massive grip, and the arm clearly bleeding. Duncan was swallowing hard to avoid a scream of agony, but Dekker could see in the boy's watery hazel eyes that the pain had the best of him. Dekker approached at a dead run and slapped Fisto hard just in front of the ear, where the jaws meet, backhanding the boy to the ground and knocking him clean out. He took the relieved Duncan under the arm and lifted him, but found the boy unable to stand on his left leg. "Sorry, Master... I didn't think he would really attack me. We were yelling and shoving, but I didn't think he would hit me. He struck me in the knee to buckle me, then crushed my arm. Why did he do this?" Duncan could remain poised no longer, and he began to sob. "Why Master? I didn't ask to head the mission. Wh... why was he so jea... jealous?"
"Don't worry yourself on his account right now Duncan. I'm getting you to the Medicus to get patched up. You'll be right as rain by the end of the week, and you will still lead that mission. But his sorry ass won't be involved. Of all the irresponsible..." and Dekker had let his thought trail off, as he noticed his anger was only upsetting Duncan worse. Despite his promises to the contrary, the Medicus did not restore Duncan to 100%. He required a brace on both arm and leg, and would for the rest of his life. Leave it to Duncan though, the boy had seen fit to modify his braces to enhance him, adding weapons and devices that unarmored opponents would not have at their disposal. Taking a negative and turning it into a positive was one of the most cherished skills Dekker had seen in his young protege, and seeing the boy add armor plating and emergency blasters to his braces was only proof that this boy was truly something special. Duncan indeed went on to become a hero of the Great Rebellion, and later Dekker would discover that he likewise had been critical at the First and Second Ultimate Battlegrounds. What a sad thing that Duncan's talents were best employed at warcraft, but how wonderful that these terrible wars had had such a capable warrior to call upon. The conflagrations could have been a disaster in the hands of a lesser man, like Fisto, brother of the prodigy, and eventually deserter of the war but alas, such was not to be, and a great many lives wer euntouched by wars Duncan had seen to a swift conclusion.
However, here, now, and back in front of the fire, Fisto was front and center again, being hailed as a fine and capable warrior. Dekker bit down slightly on the toothpick he chewed, sinking his teeth into the spittle soaked bar of wood and knotting his jaw muscles. The accolades would only inspire the buffoon's ego, Dekker mused, why couldn't the new King see this? Still, Dekker held his piece and sat quietly. As the proceedings died down though, he found occasion to rise and step out into the dark blue night to gather his thoughts.
Fisto was embarrassed by all this attention. He had not been the one who had discovered the sleeping god, Pitt had, as he dug himself a hole to sleep in under Mt Fisto, but despite protestations, King He-Man had continued the celebration with the naming of Fisto as hero, as well to redefine the mission of his United Army now that the wars seemed to be abated. By the end of this week, a huge expedition would be sent to release the trapped giant, and Fisto was to serve as the head of security. He accepted the accolades, as well as the job title, humbly, still not feeling as if he'd earned them, but hardly willing to refute the man who had defeated him with his own buster sword in a duel. That had been a defeat he would not be telling around the campfire anytime soon.
As the two warriors had faced off across the training ground, with only Vikor as witness to the match, King He-Man had kicked up a good bit of silt, letting it blow in great clouds towards his downwind opponent. Fisto has gripped the buster in it's shield position, and ducked his face behind it for but a moment to blink the dust from his eyes, yet when he looked up, He-Man was positively hurtling towards him. Fisto had stepped back a half-step on his right foot, turning to brace his left side against the impact of the charging warrior on the flat of his slab-like sword. He-Man, seeing his man move as he'd planned, dodged to the left of his opponent, flanking the sword, and booted him as he ran past, a glancing but fierce kick to the hip that buckled Fisto's left leg and used the width of the sword to block the reach of his gorefist. Fisto stumbled forward almost falling to one knee, planting the buster to prop himself up to keep from completely falling over. He-Man, seeing his chance, delivered a sharp jab to the back of Fisto's head, driving the soft palette under his chin directly onto the fist shaped pommel of his sword and jarring the consciousness right from the mallet-fisted warrior. As his vision blurred and black began to collapse his vision, the last thought through his head was "Never even touched him."
Fisto awoke some time later to the King standing over him, a quart of strong ale in each hand, awaiting his reawakening. He rose to one knee and swore featly to King He-Man and then stood erect and toasted the man's victory, though he jested even then that it was a tale he would repeat to no one. When he stood, he had noticed that Vikor was already gone as was half the afternoon. The two discussed many things afterwards, and it was to Fisto that the King had entrusted the gathering of the army to discuss their plans.
Fisto now was still saying goodbye to the compatriots who were all heading off to their own tents for the night and Fisto himself was getting ready to take bed, as the planning would begin early and he would need a clear head to make arrangements. He strolled away from the fire to find a spot to piss, and then off to his bedroll. As he trod into the blue and gooey darkness, a face appeared before him from the dark, the only traits visible being one white and blue eye and a tussle of white dreadlocks catching the little moonlight offered this evening. "Dekker! It is good to see you again Master," and Fisto offered him his hand to shake. Dekker stated directly into his eye, and did not reciprocate the gesture.
"I will never forgive you for Duncan's injuries. Never. I don't care if you carry home Scarabus' head in your pouch. if I so much as catch you giving one of my students a wayward glance, ESPECIALLY your brother, I will snap that abomination from your arm and beat you to death with it."
There was no hesitation or escape hinted at in his tone, and Fisto knew very well that his former mentor meant the warning seriously and literally. The event was only one moment of shame and sorrow that Fisto had tried to drink away on many nights but he had no idea it still held such meaning for Dekker. Fisto was no boy now, and had seen his share of hard fights, though, while he held no fear of Dekker, he had no desire to fight the man either. Despite his age, Fisto had seen Dekker disarm and disable men considerably stronger and larger than himself, and he had no illusions that the man before him now was less than able to repeat those feats.
"Dekker, I have never forgotten nor forgiven myself for that. I was young and stupid and thought only as a child. I don't expect you to forgive me or to forget what I have done. I make no apology either, I did the deed and it is my burden to bear. I will defer and give you and yours the berth you request. Make no mistake though, you were a hero, I AM a hero. If we should ever come to blows... my blade will bite you through meat, bone and organ till two halves of you are all that are let to mourn. Good journey."
"Good journey" came the reply, half snarled and half strangled, as the aging Taskmaster walked onward back towards the fire.