The Haunting Of Lyneus

From a story by Full Fallen Moon

He-Man shot a cautious glance at the two moons overhead, as the setting Eternian sun cast a harsh shadow on the warrior's bronze-like face.

A call from Man-At-Arms with news of trouble in the Evergreen Forests brought him swiftly to Eternos, cutting short his daily meditations at Castle Grayskull. Leaving his wind raider docked outside of the coral walls of the Royal Palace, he joined a small band of warriors in Man-At-Arms' laboratory. The transformation from Prince Adam to the most powerful man in the universe left him coursing with mysterious energies that demanded release.

Soon, they would find it.

"The wind raider was forced down over the Caldruas," He-Man explained, directing his comrades' attention to a dark line on the holographic map hovering before their eyes. "There! We head southwest into those hills, nearby."

"Aye, but Prince Aekin's party was attacked by Guld raiders just above them," red-bearded Fisto said, pointing to a small jagged line on the hologram, "and farther north. The Gulds are fierce, He-Man! They are butchers! Prince Aekin never made it to those hills."

"The prince would not have been traveling alone," added Man-At-Arms. "He'd have guards in tow! Enough to fend off even the Gulds and escape into those hills! There is a shrine to the demon-witch Evi in one of them, forgotten even by the holiest of ancient texts! If Prince Aekin is alive, he is there!"

"Evi is the thing that possessed Prince Lyneus,..changing him into Evi-Lyn!" said Teela, next to her father. "He-Man, do you know what that means?"

"If Prince Aekin is sacrificed," Fisto warned, hammering his iron hand on the table before him, "Aekin's half-Guld stepfather, Prince Morbeth, will claim the throne of Endromeda. He is Evil-Lyn's lover."

He-Man glared in the direction of the Gemeas Mountains and lowered his head.

Over the years, the Lord of Destruction had surrounded himself with a small court of freaks and monsters,..but, of all of Skeletor's agents, He-Man knew none to be more treacherous than Evil-Lyn.

She was a sadistic killer, whose unfathomed cruelty was only surpassed by her ethereal beauty and a mastery of black magic that nearly rivaled her Lord Skeletor's. The joy Evil-Lyn took in the torture of even women and children made her the most feared of Snake Mountain's warriors. When Evil-Lyn descended upon her enemies -fortress, village or army- few lived to tell of it, and those few, who did survive, were so shaken by the barbarous acts she committed that they could not bear to ever look upon the color purple again.

"Did you hear what Fisto just said?" Man-At-Arms asked, his gloved hand pressed to He-Man's shoulder. "Evil-Lyn is behind this! That bitch will be queen of Endromeda, the third richest kingdom on the Harmony Coast, and Skeletor is her master. We must stop her!"

"I heard what Fisto said, Duncan,” He-Man answered. “I also remember, when Evil-Lyn was good..and pure. I will go alone."

On a battle ram, He-Man sped into the night sky.

Nearly three years ago, Endromeda's golden spires and perfume-scented winds made it the jewel of the Harmony Coasts, where the ancient cults of the nature gods still thrived under Eternia's sullen moons and lavender skies. No kingdom on those rocky, heathen shores was as beautiful or powerful.

For eight thousand years, House Endros ruled these golden sands and the gentle people, who toiled there. Its proud and beautiful monarchs, descendants of a long line of hotblooded seafarers, presided over a vast marble heaven envied by all the crowned heads of the Light Hemisphere. The Royal Palace of electric turquoise pillars, corridors of warm coral pinks and grand, pale green halls-all of it graced with little touches of pure gold-was lauded as one of the ten wonders of the Eternian world.

Midnight draped her pitch cloak over the palace, and though Prince Adam of Eternos had been its guest for three days he could not rest for allure of its mysteries. When his pent up frustrations became too much to bear, and he'd worn out the fresh charms of his serving girls, he opened a board game and called to his bed one of the handsome warriors assigned to his protection.

Prince Adam's protector and traveling companion from childhood, Lord Conan Agrippa of Ardacia was a tall, muscular warrior with a hood of wild, dark hair and a reputation for sexual conquest. It was whispered amongst the young lord’s admirers, which were many, that he was built for sex in the way that swords were cast for war. Trained in the Vine Jungles of Evermoor, his young body was a plateau of rippling muscles!

As the skies darkened above the royal palace of Endromeda, with many game pieces scattered between them, Prince Adam and Conan lie together under the rosy haze of Eternia's twin moons.

"I can't believe you, Conan!" Adam cried. "Ravishing Bravda the She-Wolf of Endromeda - Captain of the Guard! Is it true she can't get enough?"

"With the whale between my legs, two thousand years from now'll be too soon for her!" Conan winked, climbing out of bed. Looking out over the harbor, the barbarian took a long, hard piss straight over the balcony. "Bet my cousin's still wobbly from the pounding you gave her, little hornet."

"Teela told you about that?" Adam laughed, as much from chagrin as amusement, hearing a nickname Conan hadn't called him since boyhood. "I'm not the naive boy you protected so many years ago, Ardacian. After we take a bath and play another game, maybe we can sting your She-Wolf a few more times!"

Conan Agrippa wrestled Adam into a headlock. "Bathe, bathe! Are we women now?! We're going to swim out to that fishing boat in Gorgon's Bay with a few of Bravda's amazons and ravish them on a pile of sardines! Then, we'll swim to the Bitter Rose Temple and let the priestesses bathe us,..after we've had them."

Then, as if wounded in the side by an invisible arrow, Prince Adam rolled away from him.

"Forgive me, Your Highness," the broad-shouldered warrior begged, resting his back against the bed's cast-iron frame. "I've displeased you?"

"It's not you," Prince Adam said. "It's something else."

"Someone else, you mean," the warrior corrected him.

"W-what did you say?" Prince asked, propping himself up on an elbow.

"The niceties of palace life sometimes elude me, Prince Adam," the handsome lord said. "I am a soldier and speak too plainly sometimes."

"My father says wisdom is often plainly spoken, good Agrippa. Speak as you please," smiled Prince Adam.

Agrippa smiled knowingly. "I have seen you with Prince Lyneus. I've seen the deep bond you share."

Adam sighed, resting his golden head on folded arms. "We’ve been friends, since we were children. He was even betrothed to my sister, Adora, before tragedy took her from my parents. It's always seemed as if fate willed us together, but since spending a month with you at Loduncan's Mound,..I-I'm confused."

"I am a warrior, Prince Adam," Conan Agrippa reminded him. "The glories are hard-won, but the path is all the harder to leave,..and I am not my Uncle Duncan. I will never be the Man-At-Arms, and I will never serve one lord. Not even you."

"It was a cool night, much like this one, when you last came for me," Adam recalled, forcing back his tears, "and I've been waiting for your return to Eternos. You're really not staying,..are you, Conan?"

Lord Agrippa kissed Adam's forehead gently. Consolingly. "We'll be reunited sooner than you know, my friend. It is your destiny,..but, Prince Lyneus is here, Adam. Tonight! Go to him. Go to him now and tell him these things."

Sounds of splashing water drew Adam to the bedchamber of his best friend since boyhood, Prince Lyneus Endros. The beauteous prince of Endromeda bathed, while three tall, nearly naked man-servants stood watch over him, nearby. The biggest of them, the handsome, black Gambatta, Prince Adam recognized from his visits to Endromeda, as a boy. Prince Lyneus uttered some phrase to the muscular, black men in his native tongue.

Modestly, Gambatta filled two chalices with a fiery-colored liquid led the other two man-servants out onto to the terrace.

"We're alone now, my friend," Prince Lyneus whispered to Adam. "Take off that robe. Bathe with me, while they fetch our wenches."

Prince Adam slipped out of his short, silver gown. Between strong, rounded thighs, made so by rigorous sport, hung bulbous, male fruit in a forest of golden curls. He sighed when they kissed the water and eased himself down into the bath next to Lyneus. "No wenches, please. For a while, anyway."

Prince Lyneus's eyes wandered with much envy over Prince Adam's body. "As you wish. You're so big, Adam."

"Not half as big as Gambatta," smiled Adam, splashing Lyneus. "Must hang nearly to his knees!"

"Very funny," Lyneus laughed, splashing him back. Mirth seemed to fill the air, when Prince Adam was around. It was as if no time had passed since they were boys. "We were the same height, three summers ago, and you were even skinnier than me, then. What happened to you?"

"The kitchens happened," chuckled Adam, pouring bath oil onto a washcloth. "Duncan happened. The man makes me eat the most horrid things, Lyn--you wouldn't believe it! Really!"

"Revenge for losing Queen Marlena to your father, perhaps," Lyneus smiled.

"Lyn!" gasped Adam, roughly gulping down his ale, while scrubbing an armpit. "You really think Duncan loved her, mother?"

"My mother tells me as much," answered Lyneus. "In those days, mother was hailed as the most beautiful woman in the world. She offered herself to Duncan many times, but he only had eyes for your mother. Love like that never truly dies, if you ask me.

"Now, Queen Venya’s son has eclipsed her, it seems." Prince Adam remarked, swallowing his ale with a grin. "Stand up, Lyn. Let’s have a look at you."

Lyn looked at Adam confusedly and stood. "Something you missed the last time we swam Lake Eldor, perhaps? I think you’ve had one too many glasses of Ardacian ale, my friend."

Adam laughed. "Makes no sense to me you haven't been married off to some beautiful, golden-skinned princess by now--some hot-blooded little nymph, who indulges your every nocturnal whim and fills your palace with little, black-haired imps! Look at you, Lyneus! Your midnight hair and black pearl eyes, charged with the magnificence of the moons above,..paling only in comparison to Captain Teela’s breasts!"

"Now, those are what I call perfection," giggled Lyneus, splashing himself with water. “May I wash you, Adam?"

Prince Adam knew bathing to be of great religious importance in Endromeda,..thought to be a path to the love god Parthay's favor. The goldenhaired prince handed Lyneus the washcloth and stood up. Even as his eyes narrowed suspiciously. "Sure, Lyn. Help your--I mean..thank you."

"It's lonely here, my friend," said Lyneus, scrubbing Prince Adam's shoulders, chest and belly. "So lonely I sometimes think myself mad."

"But the priests of Evi--aren't they still your companions?" Adam asked, confused.

"Since the goddess Evi has marked me with her magic, all has changed," Lyneus cried softly, the prince's black locks falling before the violet of his eyes. "The High Priest Celinthos and his priestesses are afraid to touch me."

"Sorcery can be very dangerous, my friend,..if you don't know what you're doing," Prince Adam warned, as Lyneus gently lathered what hung between his legs with soap. "You should be careful. Very careful. My own Uncle Keldor dabbled in the black arts, and he's been lost to us for decades."

"But it's not sorcery, Adam," Lyneus insisted, washing Adam's broad back and down over the cheeks of his buttocks. "Evi's touch has left me with Dark gifts, my stepfather, Prince Morbeth, tells me. Tomorrow, you belong to your palace and I to Evi, but tonight is ours. To drink and laugh like devils! To ravish beautiful girls..and pray, like fools, for love! Gambatta will not tell of it. We don't have to be cold or lonely anymore."

Years later, in a dark cavern in the Gemeas Mountains, on taut length of iron vine, He-Man lowered himself into a jagged cave’s mouth.

A small, silver signet ring in his hand.

He-Man held the ring before his face, and his eyes widened. The purple jewel sparkled bright as a sun -its magic lighting the way, as his heels touched the cavern floor. All around him, the familiar scent of Lady Evil-Lyn's perfume, a bewitching blend of dried, crushed flowers, fine-ground rhino hooves and virgin's blood, haunted him. "One summer night, not so long ago, you gave this ring to me as a reminder that, no matter what directions fate cast our lots, the joy we discovered that night would never die. Do you remember that night, my friend?"

No answer came. The cave echoed with the bronze champion’s loneliness.

He-Man sank to his knees. Tears filling his eyes. "Where are you, sweet Lyneus?"

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