THE KEY TO CASTLE GRAYSKULL!
In the second part of the tale He‑Man sets off on Battle Cat in search of another talisman. Soon he encounters an old friend, Ceril. Ceril is the chieftain of a noble forest tribe who were once enslaved by a sorcerer named Damon. In a flashback scene we are shown how He‑Man battled Damon and freed Ceril's people. While reminiscing, He‑Man and Ceril are attacked by more demons which have sprung forth from a warded cave. He‑Man is able to enter the cave because he is protected by his Power Vest. He destroys the ward and Battle Cat follows him. They vanish mysteriously by some unexplained supernatural cause.
Meanwhile, at the Sea of Blackness, Teela, Man‑at‑Arms and Stratos seek the final talisman, guided by a crystal bestowed upon them by Tarrak. The wizard has also provided them with a potion which allows them to breathe for an hour underwater. They dive into the foul ocean and are surprised to find the depths illuminated by a strange green luminescence. They are attacked by Mer‑Man and his underlings. Skeletor appears by magic and reminds Mer‑Man that the humans are under his protection. Amid the distraction, Stratos locates the talisman. The heroes are propelled from the watery world into a weird place where they find He‑Man and Battle Cat.
Skeletor appears and orders He‑Man and his friends to use the three talismans to find the missing Power Sword. They venture into the void, mindful that any transgression could result in the death of the Goddess. From afar a shadowy figure watches them, muttering that Skeletor has done his work for him. Back in the void the heroic warriors are attacked by vicious creatures. Zodac appears in his cosmic chariot and joins the fray. It's an intriguing point to leave the story, knowing that manipulation is part of the intrigue and the heroes are in jeopardy. Skeletor believes he has the upper hand, but perhaps his clever plot is not as robust as he thought.
Zodac's appearance is of questionable value, but overall this is a great middle part to an exciting story. Some of the many demons encountered by the heroes are drawn fantastically well. Ceril is a brilliant character, and it's not hard to imagine that his tribe is the one mentioned in the very first minicomic, He‑Man and the Power Sword. It's not an official link, of course, but retrofitting the concept makes perfect sense. The story is dark and violent, sharing the barbarian themes of the early minicomics but venturing into new territory as well. It's a valuable part of the early Masters of the Universe canon.