I’m off to Metropol Con in Berlin tomorrow morning, but while I’m gone, enjoy this Masters-of-the-Universe-Piece Theatre photo story. The name “Masters-of-the-Universe-Piece Theatre” was coined by Kevin Beckett at the Whetstone Discord server.
A few days ago, I got the new Masters of the Universe Masterverse Man-e-Faces, who has an extra set of faces in addition to the three faces – man, monster and robot – that we already know. So I put him on a stage – Man-e-Faces is an actor, when he’s not defending Eternia from the evil forces of Skeletor – and paired him up with Orko, who is an entertainer as well, when he’s not defending Eternia from the evil forces of Skeletor.
In Masters of the Universe Revelation, the defenders of Eternia fall apart after He-Man dies (don’t worry, he gets better). We see what happened to a few of them: Teela storms off and becomes a mercenary. Duncan is stripped off his rank and banished from the palace and moves to a little cottage in the middle of nowhere with Roboto. Cringer moves to Castle Grayskull (probably not quite voluntarily, since King Randor seems to have decided to honour his son’s memory by throwing all of the people Adam cared about out of the palace) to protect the Sorceress and the Castle. Stratos and Buzz-Off are implied to return to their respective homelands. Clamp-Champ and Fisto of all people remain at the palace to guard the King and Queen.
Orko is also kicked out of the palace and is ill and being cared for by Duncan the next time we see him. As for Man-e-Faces, he never appears in Revelation at all, so we have no idea what happened to him. Though I suspect he didn’t stay at the palace, because I doubt the grieving King Randor and Queen Marlena had much need for an entertainer.
So enjoy this story of Orko and Man-e-Faces, the two entertainers at the royal palace, teaming up and taking their show on the road.
On the market place of the city of Sarnscepter:
“Come, good people of Eternia and see straight from King Randor’s court: Eternia’s greatest actor Man-e-Faces and Eternia’s second greatest, no third greatest – I mean, there’s the Sorceress, obviously, and Evil-Lyn and Skeletor, only that he’s gone now, and the Faceless One and Shokoti… brrr… and Mallek and…”
“Orko, come to the point already.”
“Anyway, Eternia’s greatest actor Man-e-Faces and court magician – former court magician Orko bring to you, The Tragedy of Keldor, Prince of Eternia a.k.a. the play King Randor does not want you to see. So give a big hand for Man-e-Faces… and me, of course.”
“You all know Skeletor, self-styled Lord of Destruction and Overlord of Evil…”
“Yes, that’s exactly the right response to Skeletor. Though to be perfectly honest, he’s very much a failure, though I’m only saying that out loud, because he’s no longer around to curse me like he did the last time I mocked him.”
“I didn’t know that.”
“Of course not, Orko. All that happened long before you came to Eternia. And King Randor is understandably reluctant to talk about his wayward brother…”
“Well, I’d say that the King is reluctant to talk period.”
“You may be right, Orko. But let’s get back to Keldor. For you see, Keldor was extremely privileged. He was handsome, rich, he was a Prince of Eternia, a talented alchemist and master swordsman. However, there was one thing Keldor wanted that he couldn’t have. For though he was a Prince, he’d never ever be King. And that irked him more than anything else. So Keldor decided that if the Elders and the laws of Eternia would not make him King, he’d make himself King…”
“And how did he plan to do that?”
“Simple. Keldor made a pact with Hordak, a terrifying demon from beyond, to increase his magical powers. Then he gathered others around him, beings as ambitious and ruthless as himself. And then he started waging war on the throne and the Council of Elders. The royal guard under Captain Randor, as he was then, and the defenders of Eternia met them in battle and a terrible clash of arms ensued. The horrible war we call… the Great Unrest!”
“Oh, I’ve heard about that.”
“And so you should, Orko, for the Great Unrest plunged all Eternia into war, as Keldor and his allies devastated the land. And it all culminated in… the Battle at the Hall of Wisdom.”
“Oh, that sounds dramatic.”
“The two brothers Randor and Keldor met in battle with clashing swords and singing blades. Keldor was one of Eternia’s best swordsmen, but Randor still bested him. But treacherous Keldor still had an ace up his sleeve. A vial of acid that Hordak had given him to vanquish his brother. Keldor hurled that vial at Randor, but….”
“Eww, that’s got to hurt.”
“Indeed, it did, Orko. Keldor only survived his injuries due to the dark magic of Hordak. Alas, the acid ate away the skin and the flesh of his face, leaving only…”
“And that’s not all they did together.”
“Orko, there are children present. Anyway, they erected the Mystic Wall, locking away Skeletor and his minions in the Dark Hemisphere for the next sixteen years. King Randor, as he was by now, never spoke of his brother again and over time Prince Keldor was forgotten. Until he breached the Mystic Wall and reappeared as Skeletor, Overlord of Evil.”
“It’s not a story, but the whole and unvarnished truth. I swear by all my faces.”
“Alas, poor Keldor! I knew him, Orko, a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy: he has borne me on his back a thousand times; and now, how abhorred in my imagination it is! My gorge rims at it.”
“”Here hung those lips that I have kissed I know not how oft. Where be your gibes now, your gambols, your songs, your flashes of merriment that were wont to set the table a roar? No one now, to mock your own grinning? Quite chap-fallen? Now get you to my lady’s chamber, and tell her, let her paint an inch thick, to this favour she must come. Make her laugh at that.”
“And thus ends the tragic tale of Keldor, Prince of Eternia.”
“Thank you, good people of Eternia, and don’t forget to put a coin in the hat for these poor impoverished ex-royal entertainers.”
“…ten, twelve, thirteen gold coins.”
“Enough to buy us a room at the inn, a good dinner and a mug of ale for me and a mug of hot chocolate for you, then.”
“Sigh. It’s sure hard to have to perform on the market places of random towns for a living.”
“I know, Orko. But would you rather have stayed at the royal palace, with the sobbing Queen Marlena and King Randor’s random outbursts of anger?”
“No. First of all, because I got kicked out of the palace. And besides, everything there reminds me of Adam. Sniff, I miss him so much.”
“I know, Orko, I miss him, too.”
The story of how Keldor became Skeletor can also be seen in this episode of the 2002 He-Man cartoon. Meanwhile, Man-e-Faces has borrowed the gravedigger monologue from Act V, scene 1 of Hamlet by William Shakespeare.
That’s it for today, folks. I hope you enjoyed this Masters-of-the-Universe-Piece Theatre Toy Photo Story, because there will be more, when I’m back from Berlin.
Disclaimer: I don’t own any of these characters, I just bought some toys, took photos of them and wrote little scenes to go with those photos. All characters are copyright and trademark their respective owners.