Categories > Cartoons > He-Man > Preludes and Beginnings - Book: Hate

The Last Ride of King Miro

by thew40 0 reviews

The fate of the royal family is decided!

Category: He-Man - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Action/Adventure, Angst, Drama, Fantasy, Sci-fi - Published: 2006-12-17 - Updated: 2006-12-17 - 3511 words

Chapter Seven
"The Last Ride of King Miro"

Rumors and hearsay spread throughout the kingdom. Duncan did his best to ignore it and not to correct it. He had sworn an oath not to reveal the truths that would shake the foundation of the royal family. Early in the morning, Rohad called him into his office to speak with him.
"Duncan," began Rohad, the early light sifting through the window of the office. "There's been a development."
"What kind of development?"
"Prince Keldor broke loose and fled in the night. Randor is confident that his brother has completely divorced himself with the royal family and Eternos."
Duncan was shocked to hear this. "How is Randor certain?"
"Because he knows his brother well."
"The king, Man-At-Arms. How is the king?"
To that, Rohad did not answer. Rohad went on to tell Duncan about the announcement this morning at the Palace. It was a cover story, saying that during the battle with the Orcs, Prince Keldor went missing and is presumed dead.
Any sort of sympathy for Keldor was gone now. He had done this to himself. He damned himself the moment he thought of betraying Eternos. Still . . . there was a part of Duncan that thought what that betrayal brought to Eternia.
Castle Grayskull, and with it, the enchanting keeper, the Sorceress. His thoughts often went to her. She looked young, nearly his age, but her eyes held wisdom of things lifetimes before Duncan was conceived. Duncan was feeling a constant longing just to see her again.
He shook it off, though, as he took audience in the throne room. Miro sat upon the throne, eyes containing an unimaginable emotion. He looked so old and tired - more tired that Duncan had ever seen him.
The entire royal court had assembled, along with messengers and a few ambassadors to Insectia, Avion and some of the other allied kingdoms. This was a key announcement, though completely fabricated. Only a dozen people knew the truth of Prince Keldor's 'disappearance' - save, of course, the Council of Elders themselves.
For a moment, as King Miro composed himself, Duncan's thoughts returned to the Sorceress of Castle Grayskull. The thoughts were dashed suddenly; King Miro spoke to those assembled in the throne room.
"Members of the royal court, delegates for sovereign kingdoms, and allies of the Men of Eternos, I speak now of sorrowful news. During the attack on Eternos, my youngest son Keldor - " Miro paused for a second, the lie coming in now "- went missing. We have combed the area and can only assume that he has fallen. This is no small part due to his weak heart, which . . . possibly drove him to his actions.
"Perhaps compensating for handicap, Keldor wished to do what he could not for many years and take up . . ." Miro stopped completely, mouth failing his words. Most thought it was the result of the tragedy, but a few knew the truth behind it. The lie was too terrible for Miro to continue. But his weary soul rose up once more and Miro began again.
"Taking up sword against the Orcs. He was last seen by his brother, Randor." Another lie. "And went missing in the Orc charge of General Lursor. We have found . . . evidence to indicate that my son has died."
Miro remained composed as he spoke with truth and authority now. "South Eternos, which was to be passed to Prince Keldor, shall now fall under the jurisdiction of my eldest son, Randor, when he takes the throne."
Not long after, the announcement was over and Miro went to his chambers to be alone.


Days passed and passed. No one had heard anything of Prince Keldor, which was news that rested sourly on King Miro. Prince Keldor had apparently stolen everything of value in his chambers - which Miro had barely even taken note of. The room was sealed away, bricks placed at it doors and windows. It would be completely ignored and forgotten.
As the summer days shuffled along, Miro found himself pausing at the portion of the wall that was once Keldor's door more and more often. He had would reach out to the newly painted part, touch the wall, and think of terrible mistakes. The king would then sigh, and walk off.
Randor often caught his father doing this, and watched as the noble king seemed to grow older right before his very eyes. In his private moments, Randor thought the end would not be so far away for the King of Eternos. His siblings felt this way also, but they never once spoke of it. It was a matter that was best not talked about. A fear that was not to be confirmed by another.
As this was happening, reports indicated that the Orcs were moving east, into the Dark Hemisphere. Monteeg and his lot were struck a hefty blow at Eternos, one that would take a long time to recover from.
Rumor spread, though, of a new threat. Among the villages that boarded the Evergreen Forest, there were tales being told about the Enchantress. Bizarre things were said to be happening at night. Strange lights above the Evergreen Forest. The marking of the Enchantress was found on a scrap of paper at the western-most village.
The Enchantress was a true threat, but one that seemed too far north to be a problem. The true problem was at home. With Miro.
One day, then, in late August - it finally happened.
King Miro was sitting in his throne, eyes cast towards the tall windows along the left wall. Randor, Stephan, and Johanna were assembled, talking amongst themselves. Rohad came through the doors, then, and the Man-At-Arms went to the king.
"Sire? King Miro?"
Miro looked away from the windows and to Rohad. His voice was scratchy, eyes wet, and the shadows cast from the window made him look practically ancient. "What?" he snapped, with much annoyance.
"King Miro . . . we've just received word from Avion. King Tern is dead."
Miro blinked. "What?"
Rohad turned briefly to the children, who were all in shock. "King Tern died this morning."
"How the hell did he die?"
"He was old, sire. Natural causes."
Miro scoffed. "Weakling."
"Father?" questioned Randor.
Johanna rested a hand on her older brother's shoulder. "Easy," she whispered. Johanna then turned to Rohad. "Who is taking the throne?"
"The leadership of Avion will fall on Prince Stratos."
"Stratos!" snarled Miro, taking the attention of all in the throne room. "That boy!? He's a mere child! Avion will crumble under his rule!"
"Father, you know that's not true," protested Randor.
"Quiet! Stratos is not ready for that kind of power and responsibility! Bah! To Hell with them! All of them!" yelled Miro.
"Father!" shouted Stephan.
"Avion will crumble! Stratos is an untrained child! Just like Keldor! Just like my son! That power will destroy him just as it did Keldor! Damn them! Damn them all!"
Miro breathed heavily, eyes running across every face within the Throne Room. Emotions were suddenly striking him - pelting his mind like bullets. Most of the court thought he was crazy. Rohad's eyes were wide with shock. The children - Randor, Johanna, and Stephan - not children any more - looked with hard concern.
King Miro got out of his throne and walked down the stairs. As he passed Man-At-Arms, Rohad put a hand on his shoulder. "Sire, I think you should - "
"Get your hand off me," Miro rumbled. "Leave me alone."
Miro disappeared through a door. Rohad looked to the children of Miro with deep and passionate concern. Something was happening.


King Miro sat in his chambers that evening, thoughts running around his mind in a chaotic pattern. How many mistakes had he made? How badly had he screwed up? Miro was forced to admit it - he was the one responsible for betrayal of Keldor.
A realization came upon the King of Eternos at that moment.
He was now no longer fit to be the King. It was not his place. He was not dead, but he may have been. His heart felt not unlike a shadow, destroyed by the tragedy of Keldor's betrayal and Lara's death. Too many times, now, had he felt this way in recent weeks.
And this would be the last night.
King Miro lifted the crown from his head and laid it down upon his desk. The royal sword - called the Honor Sword - came as well, and the scepter. Miro spent the next few hours writing on scrolls, cleaning, and putting all of his affairs in order. It felt good, like cleansing oneself of impurities. His heart lifted.
Night had come now, and the moons had risen to their zenith. In the quiet of the late hours, King Miro walked along the corridor of royal chambers. He placed a hand on the wall that once held Keldor's door one last time and said good bye to his youngest in his mind. At each door for each child, Miro stopped and looked in on their sleeping forms. Saying good bye and fare well.
When Miro reached the empty throne room, he walked to his seat of power. He took the crown and laid it upon the seat. He took the scepter and sword and lain them on the arms. With a quiet moment, he hoped that Randor, Stephan and Johanna would take his place with great wisdom and strength.
Miro stopped in his office and changed out of his royal garb and into the clothes of a commoner. He then left his office and went to the stables. It was there he drew out a horse of brown fur and black mane. It was there he was confronted.
"Your highness, what are you doing?" questioned Man-At-Arms just as Miro saddled the horse.
For the first time in months, Miro smiled. "I'm leaving, Rohad."
"I can't let you do that, sire."
"And why is that, my old friend? My place is no longer here. I am not fit to be king."
"Of course you are."
Miro walked away from the horse and put a hand on Rohad's shoulder. "No, I'm not," he replied with such honesty that Rohad was immediately convinced. "I'm tired, and old. Let me live out among the people, Man-At-Arms. Let me see the good in Eternia. Tell the children I vanished. Tell them whatever you like."
"They will want to search . . ."
"They won't find me."
"I know."
"This is for the best."
"Is it?"
"Yes, Rohad. It is."
The pair looked at each other. And then, with the shaking of his head, Rohad helped Miro saddle up the horse. Miro got on it, then and looked hard at Rohad.
"You take care of them, Rohad."
"I will, sire. Be safe and careful. Good health and long life."
For the first time in months, Miro laughed. "I've lived long enough."
And with that, the former King Miro rode off into the night.


Keldor awoke to the sound of marching.
The horse had taken him far east of Eternos, but had abandoned him once they reached the Desert. Keldor cursed the horse many times since then. His heart felt weaker every day he was forced to walk in the accursed sand and heat. He was sleeping far too much.
But on this morning, his sleep was interrupted by a march. And chanting. And grumbling. And a foul odor.
"Look at this!" shouted a harsh voice. Keldor sat up to see whom it was that found him. An Orc stood next to large group of his fellow Orcs. "General Lursor! Come! Look!"
Lursor bounded over as Keldor stood up. The Orc snarled his nose, reached out, and grabbed hold of Keldor by the neck. "Look at this flesh-wad! The prince sleeping out in the sands now! Foolish and stupid little sorcerer! You were the one responsible for killing half our Orcs! I'm gonna cut ya!"
Keldor gasped as Lursor pulled out a dark, jagged knife and put it close to his neck.
Lursor hissed. "Monteeg . . ."
A blast of energy sailed through the morning sky, striking Lursor. The Orc and his knife fell to the ground, allowing Keldor to drop to his knees. Lungs flaring and heart aching, Keldor looked up at his rescuer. Monteeg smiled at their find.
"Well, well, well . . . the dead prince . . . the traitor to Eternos . . ."
Keldor gasped. "You knew?"
Monteeg laughed heartily. "Of course I knew! Ha ha! I knew the second you came to me! Your plans backfired, I see."
"Yes . . ." Keldor replied, standing up once more.
"The horn was a stroke of genius. You could very easily become a great sorcerer."
Keldor nodded. "I have no master to apprentice with."
Monteeg smirked. "I will be your master, Keldor. I'll teach you all the spells I know."
Keldor's eyes widened. "Really? You mean this truly?"
"Of course I do."
"Monteeg!" spat Lursor. "This is a bad idea! He cost us half our men!"
"No, Lursor," Monteeg corrected. "The Kingdom of Eternos cost us half our men. The Kingdom this former prince betrayed, no less. He will make a valuable asset to our group, Lursor." Monteeg then returned his attention to Keldor. "What do you say, Keldor?"
Keldor smiled at the outstretched hand. "I will join with you."


It had been three days when Miro realized he still had on his royal bracelets baring his crest. He paid it no mind and left them on to remind him of what he left behind. He was in the Evergreen Forest, somewhere far west of the location of Castle Grayskull. It was a swampy area that he thought looked familiar.
The night was just beginning come upon the land when he heard a noise from a nearby grove. Miro sat up, the noise startling him. He heard it once more, and knew that this was trouble. He reached for his dagger and stood up.
The grove was not far, and Miro could see flashing white light. The former king walked slowly across the swampland and realized quickly just where he was. The Swamp of Enchantment.
He reached the top of the grove and looked down. There was she was - the one that caused the light and the noise. The Enchantress. She stood before an ancient alter, with a large man next to her.
"This is it, Drude!" the Enchantress announced, her purple and red robes flying around her. "The moment has come! It has taken all my power, but the book has arrived!"
From her fingers, light and power splashed against the altar. A book was forming onto it. "What is that?"
"This book will allow me the power to summon all the energies of Swamp of Enchantment! With it, Eternia will be mine."
In the shadows, Miro wondered to himself. The Enchantress was summoning something of legend and myth. For a moment Miro paused, unsure if this was the right course to follow. This could be all wrong. The Enchantress was doing something that was based purely in legend. But if there was one thing Miro had learned from Keldor, it was that most legends were based on fact.
In any event, Miro could not let the Enchantress read from the book. He spotted a nearby campfire near the altar. He quickly developed a plan. It would surely kill him, but it was for the sake of all Eternia. Better to go down fighting.
Adrenaline was released, heart pounded, and Miro leapt into the grove like a tiger after its prey. The Enchantress barely comprehended his movement as the old man made for the altar. Her apparent lackey, Drude, didn't move. Miro went to the altar with all the speed his old legs could muster.
The dagger slammed into the freshly materialized book and ripped the spine.
"NO!" shrieked the Enchantress.
Miro snatched the book up, spun around and tossed it. The book sailed right into the campfire. The flames roared and shot up as the pages burned away.
Drude body slammed Miro, knocking the former king onto the ground. The Enchantress threw her hands around in anger.
Miro snorted. "I just saved Eternia from the likes of you."
"It took all but a little of my power to summon that book, you old fool! It'll take the rest just to open a portal back to my home!"
"Good," laughed Miro. "Get outta here!"
"Oh, I will," the Enchantress laughed. "But I'm taking you with me as my prisoner."
Miro said nothing as he was led to a newly formed portal. In all and complete honesty, he felt a strange calm overcoming his tortured soul. He laughed a bit to himself, realizing he had to become a prisoner to be set free.
As he was pushed through the portal, Miro unhooked his royal bracelet and let it fall to the ground. And then . . . the former king Miro was gone.


Randor shook his head with weariness. He sat in the Situation Room with Rohad, Johanna, and Stephan. All of them looked exhausted.
"The search has yielded nothing, sire," Rohad told them. "The King has gone missing. Completely and utterly gone."
"I don't believe that," Stephan protested. "I can't believe that."
Johanna sighed and leaned forward. "I think we all need to accept something. You saw him, those last days he was here. He was bitter, angry, and weary. If our father wanted to be found . . . he would be."
"You're saying he wants to be left alone?" questioned Randor.
"Yes," Johanna replied. "I'm sure of it."
Randor turned to Rohad. "And you, Man-At-Arms? How do you feel about it?"
"The King is gone. We found his steed yesterday, but there was no evidence of foul play. Prince Randor, it is time to move on. There are urgent matters of state for you to attend to."
"What are you saying, Man-At-Arms?" asked Stephan.
"The crown, the sword and scepter were left behind for a reason, sire," Rohad answered. "Wherever your father is, it's obvious he wanted one thing. And that's to leave the kingship behind . . ."
". . . And to pass it on," Randor finished, the full realization coming to him. "Indeed. We have no choice now, I suppose. Call upon the royal court, Man-At-Arms. Send for riders from North and West Eternos. All the necessary arrangements must be made. Five days, and that's when we'll halt the search. Five days, and the new leadership will be put into place."

And indeed, five days did pass. The royal court gathered at throne room of Eternos. It was filled with ambassadors, dignitaries, courtiers, friends, and family.
Randor stood on the steps before the thrones, with Stephan and Johanna flanking him two steps in front of him.
Rohad placed a small silver crown on Johanna's head.
"All hail, Queen Johanna, daughter of Miro! Queen of North Eternos!" shouted Rohad. "She who has taken the oath to uphold justice, peace, prosperity, and wisdom under the command of the King Randor! All hail Queen Johanna!"
The crowd replied. "ALL HAIL QUEEN JOHANNA!"
A courtier handed Rohad another silver crown. He placed this one on Stephan's head.
"All hail, King Stephan, son of Miro! King of West Eternos!" shouted Rohad. "He who has taken the oath to uphold justice, peace, prosperity, and wisdom under the command of the King Randor! All hail King Stephan!"
The crowd replied once more. "ALL HAIL KING STEPHAN!"
Rohad nodded to the two and both Stephan and Johanna walked down the stairs, to the bottom, where they gazed upon their oldest brother.
Randor smiled a bit, but found himself strangely wishing that Keldor was here. He pushed the thought down, and concentrated on the matter at hand.
Rohad handed him the scepter, the royal sword, and the Gem of Life - the tools and weapons that the king used to guide Eternos onward.
"Prince Randor," Rohad addressed. "Do you solemnly swear upon your father, mother and your bloodline that you will uphold justice, strength, honor, power, prosperity, peace, and wisdom of the kingdoms of Eternos?"
Randor nodded. "Yes. I swear upon my father, my mother and my entire bloodline that I shall be the King of Eternos and uphold the things that make this kingdom up."
"Then let it be done," Rohad said. He was handed the golden crown now and walked behind Randor. He placed it on Randor's head and smiled.
Randor's heart leapt as this new responsibility and power was placed upon him, symbolized by the crown of his father and his many forbears.
Rohad stepped down to the bottom of the stairs and shouted. "All hail King Randor, master and leader of Eternos!"
Randor smiled and looked upon his friends and family - Stephan, Johanna, and Duncan in the crowd, and Rohad - as they returned the smile to him. And he hoped, somewhere, his father did so too.

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