Previously: Hordak realizes that somehow Prince Adam has arrived on Etheria. He has plans for the prince... She-Ra and certain members of the Great Rebellion (Glimmer, Frosta, Double Trouble/Spira, Mermista and Perfuma) travel across the Crystal Desert in search of the Sun Tower. From sandstorms to sand worms, the group makes it to the Sun Tower and is introduced to Peekablue. Castaspella is also there and together they are all about to find out where Angella is located. But first, a word from the Fright Zone…
The Fright Zone is full of creaks and groans. Every now and then a few screams echo down the various hallways. Shadow Weaver enters Hordak's chambers, leaving the doors open slightly. “Catch me up Shadow Weaver. How are the experiments in the labs going?” Hordak asks taking a seat on his throne. Shadow Weaver stops to think of her answer, “Multi Bot has finished the extra parts for Modulok. He will be better than before. The Winged Warriors are still underperforming. The cocoons have all died out, save for the last one. We are hoping it will survive the next round of human cell injections. Other than that not much has changed since the last report.”
Hordak nods, “Good.” The two are about to continue discussing other important matters when they hear the sound of metal being dragged across the ground and a slight plea for help. “Please help me.” A voice whispers out. Hordak looks at the visitor, “Spikor? What is the meaning of this?”
Spikor slowly walks up dragging his trident arm behind him. “I need help Hordak. We were ambushed. My arm, it hurts.” Spikor walks past Shadow Weaver. The mistress of dark magic stares at Spikor blankly. Hordak quickly stops Spikor from moving any further, “You were ambushed? By who?”
Explaining the story, Spikor addresses nearly having caught Glimmer to the sudden arrival of a strong woman calling herself She-Ra. Believing Spikor to be full of made up stories, Hordak grins, “Her name was She-Ra? Are you sure of this? Or are you simply making up a story to hide the fact that you have failed in apprehending the Rebel Princess Glimmer?” Spikor shakes his head, “No, Hord-”
Hordak holds up his hand, “Enough, I have heard enough. Were you this pathetic when you worked for Skeletor?” Hordak instantly regrets taking up the offer to have Spikor work for the Horde.
“Please, my arm. Hordak, I need help.” Spikor looks miserable. Hordak nods in agreement, “Very well. Go down to the Horde Labs, Multi Bot will find a way to fix your arm. Spikor, before you go, come closer. I have some new orders for you…”
Spikor approaches the throne, and realizes his mistake. Hordak opens the trap door beneath Spikor. He falls down, leaving his detached arm on the edge. Hordak gets up, and pokes Spikor’s arm with his foot. Snorting a laugh Hordak sweeps the arm down the trap door as well. “You may need that. If you plan to survive.” Hordak laughs and looks at Shadow Weaver.
Shrugging, Shadow Weaver wonders what is next on the agenda. Hordak looks at Shadow Weaver, “I wish I could forget ever wanting to take in one of Skeletor’s strays. Remind me the next time we drop in on Eternia that we take him back to Snake Mountain. I no longer have a use for him.”
Bringing the conversation to a head, Shadow Weaver speaks, “In terms of Eternia, what are we to do about the prince? He is fighting the sleeping spell I cast on him. This is a first; I do not recall someone being strong enough to fight that spell. I wonder what we will have to deal with when he wakes.”
Hordak pauses, “I trust you will find a way to deal with it when he does. Surely you have some spell up your sleeve that can alter him in some way.” Standing up Hordak heads for the door.
“Where are you going?” Shadow Weaver asks. Gruffing out the inevitable answer, “I need to be somewhere. If this She-Ra woman truly exists like Spikor claims, the Horde may need some extra help. I will return soon.” Hordak leaves and Shadow Weaver watches him go. In the shadows, Catra notices this and walks up to Shadow Weaver.
“What is going on?” Catra asks. Shadow Weaver wonders how long Catra has been hiding, “Something big I am sure. You just worry about practicing your magic.” Smiling, Catra snaps her fingers as a small ball of electric dark energy forms in her hand…
In another part of Etheria, Bow is trying to make a deal with Madame Razz at Bright Moon. Standing outside of Adora's room, Bow pleads, “Madame Razz, I promise I will not cause a problem. I just need a few minutes with her. I really need to talk to Adora.” Bow is desperate to see Adora. Crossing her arms Madame Razz raises an eyebrow at Bow, “I’m sorry dearie, that’s not in the cards. Or the crystal ball. She needs her rest.”
Bow is not backing down, “I know she needs her rest, but I really need to talk to her. I was a jerk earlier, and I want to apologize. I want her to know that I am glad she is back. I need to talk to her.” Madame Razz tries to shuffle Bow away from Adora’s room, “Skootch dearie! I am sure she knows you are sorry, but you really need to go! When she is ready for visitors you can be the first in line! Now skootch!” Bow realizes he won’t be winning this battle so he walks away. He is still determined to talk to Adora soon though.
Waiting for Bow to walk completely away, Madame Razz catches her breath and adjusts her hat. She looks around and quickly opens the door. Slipping into Adora’s room, Madame Razz looks at Adora’s empty bed with concern in her eyes. “I don’t know how much longer I can keep this up. Adora dearie, wherever you are and whatever is happening, I hope you are ok.” She looks around the room and says aloud, “You girls need to get back soon.”
Meanwhile inside the Sun Tower, She-Ra and her friends are awaiting Peekablue’s magical answers about Angella. Frosta is standing with her arms crossed and her hip cocked. She feels strongly that they are all wasting their time. Mermista looks over at Frosta and slightly smiles, Mermista knows that her friend is annoyed. Peekablue opens her eyes, looking sad, “I am so sorry. I am having a hard time seeing your mother.” Peekablue looks at Glimmer with an apologetic look.
Glimmer lowers her head, “I understand. I had a feeling it wouldn’t be easy.” Feeling defeated, Glimmer is instantly ready to leave. Castaspella jumps in, “Surely there is another way. Peekablue, think hard. They have all come a long way to reach this place. Should I use some of my magic to amplify your powers?”
Peekablue thinks about what Castaspella is proposing. She is racking her brain to find a solution; she does not want to disappoint these people. “Alright, here is what we will do. Glimmer, I will need to hold your hands. Castaspella if there is any magic you have to amplify my powers, start it up. This might work.” Peekablue gives a nervous smile towards Glimmer, and holds out her hands. The touch is surprising for Peekablue. Living alone, she has rarely ever made contact with other people.
Castaspella raises her arm and glides her finger around her. Soon a circular beam of magic appears at her fingertips and starts to spin on its own. Castaspella takes a step back as the circle of magic dissolves into faint particles of energy that float and melt away on Peekablue’s skin.
Peekablue is holding onto Glimmer’s hands and concentrates. She starts to see images of the past, images of Glimmer with her parents, Angella and Micah. The images portray wonderful times and also the sad times, like the loss of Glimmer’s father. An image appears of Glimmer’s mother fighting hard to form the Rebellion to ensure that people don’t have to become enslaved by the Horde. There is another image where Glimmer is terrified when her mother is kidnapped during a nearby village raid, Angella had been trapped. All of these images take on a life of their own and Peekablue starts to see glimpses of the ever approaching present. Many images stop making sense and all Peekablue can see are shadows. Then suddenly, the stark whiteness of Angella’s wings appear. Peekablue looks for a little while longer, before the magic wears off…
With eyes closed, Glimmer feels Peekablue let go of her hands. Looking at Peekablue, Glimmer searches for some sort of news. Castaspella walks up to them, “Well? Was my magic able to help?” Slowly nodding, Peekablue whispers, “Yes. I was able to see Angella. Sadly, the details of her whereabouts are a mystery to me. I could not understand exactly where she was, it was a place I have never seen before.”
“Could you tell us what the place looked like?” She-Ra asks. Peekablue explains, “I saw Angella of course, but she was in a very dark place. There was some light, it wasn’t natural. The light looked like blue flames; it could have been from magic. She also had these strange marks on her, as if she had been cut.” Scanning her knowledge of Etheria, Peekablue tries to understand where Angella could possibly be.
“Was anyone else there?” Glimmer asks. Perfuma pipes up, “Yeah, was Kowl there? We are looking for him too.” Peekablue shakes her head, “I did not see this Kowl character. I only briefly saw one other person with Angella. It was a woman. She had red hair, the color of blood. Her cape was tattered behind her and the rest of her clothing looked the same as if she had been living there for a long time. I have never seen this woman before…”
“She is a Pyre.” Double Trouble calls out. Everyone turns to look at Double Trouble. Glimmer is the first to speak, “What are you talking about Spira?” Perfuma begins to look nervous at where the conversation may be going.
“I never thought the rumors would be true, but it appears that Vampra, leader of the Pyres is very much alive.” Double Trouble looks slightly lost in thought. She-Ra asks the obvious question, “What is a Pyre?”
Double Trouble continues, “Pyres have long been the natural enemy of Etheria. No one in our time has ever come across one because they were supposed to be eradicated from existence. You see, before Hordak officially arrived on Etheria he had sent out scouts. These scouts were monitoring the goings on of this world, to see if there would be any threats to a Horde invasion.”
Castaspella knows some information as well, “The Horde came across the Pyres, which proved to be the biggest threat to Hordak’s plans for domination. I remember this story, it is an old one.”
“Right, Hordak had them vanquished thereby making it easy to eventually arrive on Etheria and not face a resistance. That is where the story usually ends.” Double Trouble taps her index finger on her lips. Surely the answer hasn't been there this whole time, Double Trouble wonders to herself.
Mermista speaks, “It sounds like the story didn’t end at all. Sounds like the Pyres still exist and they have Angella, which is interesting seeing how the Horde was responsible for her capture.” Talking aloud, Double Trouble goes on, “This must mean that somehow the Horde never vanquished the Pyres, they must have somehow made a deal. I’d heard whispers in the Fright Zone that the Pyres were still around. Only no one ever made any thought of it.”
Perfuma is very quiet. She-Ra notices this, but has a more pressing concern, “What makes a Pyre so dangerous?” She-Ra thinks to herself, as Adora I never heard any of this in the Fright Zone.
Double Trouble continues, “A Pyre is sort of like you or me, they start out as human. They have the same unique magical abilities inherent in all Etherians only a Pyre is no longer human. The origin is unknown to me because the legends go so far back, but something happened to create this group. Put simply they feed off of blood. Blood gives them eternal youth along with the magical or physical powers that they consume from a person. The possibilities for various power combinations can be endless. What makes them so dangerous is that they have a hunger for blood that can never be stopped, and they will do anything for it.”
“Can they die?” She-Ra asks beginning to calculate what they may all be up against. Double Trouble shrugs, “They have the ability to live forever, and I have no idea what could kill them. I know natural light is a weakness, it shows their true image based upon their numerical age. Their eternal youth is reversed.”
“Don’t forget to mention how one becomes a Pyre.” Castaspella says. Just when everyone thought the story couldn't get any more crazy. “I am not sure I know Casta. What I do know is passed down from rumor and story.” Double Trouble says. Frosta and Mermista look at Castaspella awaiting an answer. Frosta rolls her eyes, "Well someone should start saying something. The Kingdom of Snows has never had to worry about such rif raff. I would like to know if I need to start protecting my bodily fluids."
Castaspella knows some information, “If you are bitten by a Pyre, you have a certain amount of time left before the transformation takes over. During that time of instability, you experience intense hunger for blood. For the transformation from human to Pyre to be complete a person would have to kill someone and drain them of every last drop of blood. It is almost sacrificial in a way. You are draining life to ensure that mortality and age does not catch you in its clutches. Of course in that small amount of time, if you have not killed someone, the hunger goes away. I do not know if this hunger is gone forever, I just know that it is not intense. It is almost as if your body rids itself of a poison.”
Frosta rolls her eyes, “This all sounds so common. There wouldn’t even be this issue in the Kingdom of Snows, I mean really.” Mermista whispers in Frosta’s ear, “Scared much Frosta?” Frosta gives a face to Mermista, “Oh hush up!”
“Interesting information Castaspella. Now we have to figure out where these creatures could be. We know somewhere dark.” She-Ra says. Peekablue nods, “I would say it is the darkest place on Etheria.” Glimmer has no idea where that could be, but all she can think about is her mother being held captive with blood hungry creatures. Mermista wonders where the darkest place on Etheria could be, "It wouldn't be underwater would it?" Perfuma is standing off to the side, her face pale white.
Double Trouble suddenly realizes something, “I can’t believe I am just now thinking of this! Of course! This makes perfect sense. The Pyres are on Beast Island!” Glimmer looks up, “Are you sure?”
Nodding Double Trouble continues, “It makes the most sense. It is the place that the Horde keeps certain prisoners. Knowing Hordak he would also probably want a potential threat, like the Pyres, to be there as well. In fact I am willing to bet they are in the Midnight Lair. That place is far removed from any trace of natural light.”
“Amazing. This may be where we need to go then!” Mermista exclaims. Everyone is beginning to feel more positive about where Angella may be. Perfuma continues to look crestfallen. Glimmer nods at the positivity in the air, “It may be a gamble. I am willing to go though if it means my mother could be there.” She-Ra nods, “I will go there as well.” Mermista smiles warmly, "I will be going too."
“And I will not. Darlings, it has been fun, but I really should be getting back to my castle. Assuming the Horde hasn’t demolished it already. Spira, when we leave, will you be accompanying me back?” Frosta asks. Double Trouble shakes her head, “No, I will be joining the group to the Midnight Lair. I know I should be at the Horde Post in front of Castle Chill, but I still have some more time before the Horde starts wondering where I am.” Frosta is caught off guard, “Well surely you don’t expect me to go back alone!? I just had a sandworm throw up on me!”
Castaspella laughs and covers her mouth with her hand, “Frosta, my mages and I will escort you back. Do not worry.” Frosta smiles at Castaspella, “Isn’t that nice of you darling? Thank you.” Frosta gives a look at Double Trouble.
Mermista talks to Perfuma, “You have been kinda quiet Perfuma. Will you be going with us?” Perfuma shakes her head, “Oh no, I think I will just hang back at Bright Moon.” Glimmer notices something is off with Perfuma, “That isn’t like you Perfuma, you usually want to be in the middle of it all.” Glimmer says.
She-Ra feels that something more is going on, “Is everything ok Perfuma?” Perfuma nods, “Oh sure, sure. Everything is just fine.” She looks nervous and is starting to fight back tears. Mermista reaches out to Perfuma, “Sweetie, what is the matter?” Mermista is concerned as Perfuma starts to cry, “I am so sorry for crying like this, I just don’t know that I will be of any help.”
Double Trouble is the first to say something, “Perfuma, you are always a help. We will need you with us.” She-Ra reaches out to Perfuma, “Is there something you want to tell us?” Perfuma pauses and looks at her friends, “I’m worried that Rolf will be there.”
Most everyone in the room recalls the relationship that Perfuma had with Rolf. They met in the Horde Academy and were very pleased to run off together and join the Rebellion with everyone else. Until he suddenly left her.
“Why would he be in the Midnight Lair Perfuma? I thought he left you to return to the Horde?” Mermista asks. Wiping tears from her eyes, Perfuma explains, “I made that up. Rolf never would’ve gone back to the Horde, he hated the Horde. No, he became obsessed with the old stories of the Pyres. We had stumbled upon some very old books and one of them made mention of the Pyres. He was so consumed with that story, that he wanted to leave to find them. He believed they existed.”
She continues some more, “I thought he was crazy, because at the time I thought there was no way they could exist. I figured he just didn’t want to be with me anymore. He never returned though and I simply lied about the reason behind his leaving.”
Glimmer feels for her friend, “I remember how upset you were about that.” Double Trouble rubs Perfuma's arm, “Perfuma, there is no guarantee that he ever found the Pyres.” Shaking her head, Perfuma exclaims, “They exist though Spira! Peekablue saw the vampy woman!”
“That doesn’t mean that Rolf has found them and joined their ranks. If he did find them he could be a prisoner.” Double Trouble shrugs, doing her best to rattle off other possibilities. “Yeah Perfuma, Rolf could be anywhere.” Mermista says.
“Perfuma, we need you with us. I am also going to make sure that we all get through this excursion together, ok?” She-Ra says. Perfuma nods and thinks of her situation, “I guess I will find the strength to go. After all, we now have the chance to save Angella. Saving her is more important than running into some guy from my past.” Hugging Perfuma, Glimmer adds, “Thank you Perfuma for agreeing to go with us. I know it won’t be easy for you, but thank you. We may also need Bow too.”
She-Ra nods, “Good idea, we will head back to the Whispering Woods and get him…” Before She-Ra can finish her sentence Peekablue lets out a piercing scream. She holds her hands to her eyes and the designs on her feathers begin to light up erratically. No one knows what is going on.
“How can we help her?” She-Ra asks. Castaspella has no idea. Peekablue is shaking and in pain, she drops her hands and her eyes open. She looks at everyone with a dazed look. Her eyes roll up into the back of her head and she collapses to the floor. “My goodness we have to help her!” She-Ra says and rushes to the body. Castaspella joins her and they try to see what can be done.
Mermista looks at Perfuma, they both look worried. Double Trouble is monitoring the situation, seeing if she can help in any way. Frosta doesn’t know what to make of Peekablue collapsing. Glimmer notices the rise and fall of Peekablue’s chest; she is breathing. Castaspella casts a spell to help Peekablue. She-Ra smiles as Peekablue’s eyes open. “Are you alright?” She-Ra asks.
Peekablue nods slowly and sits up, “My head hurts a little bit. I will be fine though.” Castaspella helps her friend up, “What happened to you?” Unsure how to answer, Peekablue gasps, “I had a sudden vision of the future. These visions happen from time to time, but never like this. I’ve never had this response.”
“Here, sit down.” Castaspella says and helps Peekablue to the gilded seat. “What did you see?” She-Ra asks. Peekablue shakes her head, “I am not sure I can say. Let alone explain what it means.”
“Is it about my mother? Please, if it is you have to say something.” Glimmer is anxious. “No, it is not about your mother. It is actually about one of you.” Peekablue says and looks at everyone in the room. They are all holding on to every word that Peekablus has to say. What could she possibly have to say about one of us, Mermista asks herself. Peekablue takes her time with what she needs to say. I don't want to tell them, these people are kind. I want them to like me, I want friends, Peekablue tells herself and realizes that they have to know, “Someone in this room is going to die soon.”
Everyone looks at each other. Peekablue’s statement sinks in as everyone experiences various thoughts and feelings. One of us will die? Surely this is a joke, Mermista thinks. Death? How can this be possible. I want us to live on forever, Perfuma wonders silently.
“One of us?” Glimmer asks, uncertain she heard correctly. What exactly did she see, Glimmer asks to herself. Peekablue looks sad, “I am sorry for telling you all this bit of news. I could not help what I saw.”
“What is it exactly that you saw Peekablue?” She-Ra asks. Peekablue treads carefully with her answer, “I simply saw death.”
Frosta groans loudly, “Enough! Enough! I am done with this crackpot! Have any of you been listening?” Peekablue is startled, “Have I done something wrong?” Frosta laughs, “Darling, you put on a good show, I will give you that. Honestly though, the whole Pyre thing was a bit much, but death? Really? You have topped yourself with that one.”
“Frosta, you don’t believe her?” Mermista asks. Frosta rolls her eyes, “Oh come now Mermista! How am I supposed to believe these visions? How do we know she is seeing anything at all?”
“You believe I am making this all up?” Peekablue asks, caught off gaurd that someone would think her capable of lying. “Yes I do. Darling, you have made quite a home for yourself in this tower, but I think you need to get out more.” Frosta smirks.
“Frosta!” Double Trouble says, feeling as if Frosta is pushing too far. “That is unfortunate that you do not believe.” Peekablue says.
“Eh, either way, very nice to meet you.” Frosta smiles and looks at Castaspella, “Casta darling, I will be waiting outside with the mages. Good luck with the blood hungry monsters!” Frosta waves and walks off. Double Trouble is the first to speak, “Feel free to ignore her. Frosta can be brash.”
Mermista adds, “Underneath the icy demeanor resides a really caring person that is just scared. She is dealing with a lot.” Peekablue nods, “I can see that. Again I do apologize if I have made anyone uncomfortable.” Glimmer shakes her head, “No, do not worry Peekablue. You have helped us so much. I am very glad we got to meet you. I hope we can visit you again.” Smiling, Peekablue nods, “I would like that.”
She-Ra also says something, “We are also here to help whenever you need it. Please do not feel that you are all alone.” The statement warms Peekablue, “Thank you She-Ra. I am very glad I have gotten to meet you all today.”
After saying their goodbyes, She-Ra and the group starts to leave. Castaspella explains she will be right behind them. Tired and worn down, the group of women shuffle towards the exit. As the group walks out under the golden sun, Mermista looks at everyone, “Are we going to talk about the last thing Peekablue told us?”
She-Ra shakes her head, “I’m not sure any of us could try to understand the gravity of that statement.” The group heads towards Frosta and the mages. Each thinking about the possibility of one of them dying soon.
Back inside the Sun Tower, Castaspella is alone with Peekablue, “Are you ok?” Peekablue nods, “Yes, I think so.” There is a reason Casta is still in the Sun Tower, “The person that will die. You know who it is correct?" Peekablue nods, afraid to say more. Peeking into the future can be a dangerous thing.
“Don’t worry Peekablue, I am not about to ask who it is. I know these things can’t be messed with, but can you at least tell me this; is it going to be bad?” Castaspella looks at her friend. They have known each other for a long time and been through many things. This topic has been a first. Peekablue fights back tears, “Oh Casta, it is going to be awful…”
Elsewhere, away from Etheria, an enormous chunk of rock is floating in space. The rock contains a city that is built into the floating structure. This is the main base of the Horde. Horde Ships come and go, constantly scouting for new worlds to conquer. Hordak has a direct teleportation line with this place and visits every now and then. He is there to talk with Horde Prime.
Horde Prime is the real ruler of the Horde. A massive being cloaked by smoke and machine, no one has seen the true form of Horde Prime for a very long time. Unable to leave the floating rock, Horde Prime calls the shots and is always ready for Hordak’s promptness in delivering magical energy from planets in various galaxies. “You are taking too long on Etheria Hordak, how much longer do you plan on making me wait?” Horde Prime asks.
“I admit the process has been a bit slow Horde Prime. We failed to notice a threat among a group of people who have become resistant.” Hordak explains, recalling Spikor's message about some powerful woman calling herself She-Ra. If this threat was real, Hordak would need more time and help. Horde Prime booms, “Then why are you here? I expect your visits to be productive. Full of information about when I can be expecting new energy.”
“I understand. It would be helpful though Horde Prime if I had some added help. There may be further complications on Etheria. I need a certain member of the Horde to accompany me back to ensure Etheria is completely drained of all magic energy.”
“Very well Hordak. I will call for someone now.” Horde Prime sends a message out through an electronic service. Hordak waits patiently, wondering who will arrive to help. There are many members of the Horde ready to help in a moment's notice. During the waiting game, Horde Prime is not one to spend the time by quietly, “Hordak, what is the story on Skeletor and Eternia?”
Hordak is dreading this, “Skeletor has proven to be a bit sluggish in taking over Eternia. He seems to be interested in the dominance of Eternia for himself.” Horde Prime is not happy, “What a sorry thing to hear. After everything the Horde has done for him, you would think he would appreciate his life and merely help return a favor. See to it that you have a talk with him; remind him of what he owes us.”
“Yes Horde Prime, I will be sure to visit him soon.” Hordak says immediately realizing that he must get Skeletor to hurry and take over Eternia. The last thing anyone needs is for Horde Prime to change the ultimate plans. Hordak hears the sounds of doors sliding open and turns to see a familiar face. Hordak grins and asks sarcastically, “Have you done something different with your hair?”
The figure glides towards Hordak, her name is Entrapta. She stands tall with two large ponytails that seem to move. Smiling a devilish grin at Hordak, Entrapta raises an eyebrow. One of her ponytails moves towards Hordak and lightly grazes the bottom of his chin. “Oh Hordak, it has been awhile. Tell me, which world will we be conquering this time?” Entrapta asks. They both laugh and soon prepare to leave with big plans to shake up Etheria…
She-Ra and the gang prepare to save Angella…
Some visitors pop up at Castle Chill…
And what is going to happen to Prince Adam?