Mickey, Donald and Goofy, along with Yen Sid, Minnie and Daisy, were all back in the Doorway Chamber and preparing to journey out.
The three of them were being dressed in more proper clothing and armor for any battles they were to encounter. Mickey had a mixed of regular clothing and one arm dressed in armor and small shin guards on his legs. Donald had his smaller robes that didn’t reach all the way down to the floor, along with a smaller less pointed hat. Goofy had somewhat the same as Mickey in terms of a mix of clothing, but was more towards armor in that his chest, left arm and legs were covered with a loos but sturdy armor. They were all being helped into their gear by more broom servants.
As the others watched, Minnie, looking concerned, asked “Are you sure this is the best choice?”
“It’s really our only choice for now, Minnie.” Mickey said, getting his sword. “You saw what the Horned King did. We need to stop him before he can cause any more harm.”
Daisy interjected and said “But this guy managed to bring the dead back to life. And he made portals to other worlds. There’s no telling what else he could do.”
“Aw. Try not to worry, Daisy.” Donald said. “We’ll be alright......maybe.”
Yen Sid walked over to them and said “Remember, if there is any chance to retrieve the Book then do so. Right now it is the Horned King’s most dangerous tool.”
“Why’s that?” Donald asked.
“I am not entirely sure, but I have a theory. One that I hope is wrong. I will explain more if you manage to retrieve the Book.”
“Let’s just hope he didn’t run off through another portal.” Mickey said, holding up the key to the Doorway.
“You know I’ve been meaning to ask,” Goofy began “how did the Horned King manage to make a portal to another world? I didn’t think that Black Kettle could do that kind of magic.”
“Cauldron.” Donald corrected.
“Oh yeah.” Goofy said with a hyuck.
“Actually,” Yen Sid began “that is not his magic. It is our own.”
“WHAT?” All the others but Mickey said.
“The King knows of this as well.” Yen Sid said, indicating Mickey. Looking confused at both of them, the others waited until Yen Sid continued with “Some many years ago, when the theory of the Outer Worlds had been considered, many magic users and sages had come together to produce a crude but meaningful means of passage between the worlds. Thus the spell for portals was made. Before the Doorway had been created that was our only way to traverse between this world and the Outer Worlds.”
“Well why didn’t they keep using that?” Donald asked, crossing his arms. “Seems easier than using the Doorway all the time.”
“Because that type of magic is far too old and primordial.” Yen Sid said, almost annoyed of the fact he asked. “To travel between worlds requires a very heavy amount of magic that taps into one’s life force. Each time it is used the more it steals more away. Eventually you would either become too weak....or you will simple use the last of your life force.”
All of them seemed a bit uneasy by that answer.
“That may actually be our advantage.” Minnie suggested. “If the Horned King needs to use this magic, chances are he is using his own life force to do it. That would likely make him weaker.”
“Of that we cannot be sure.” Yen Sid retorted. “The power of the Black Cauldron is still a very old and dark. It is possible the King may now have an unlimited amount of magic at his disposal. Perhaps even life force. Of course, we cannot be sure he can be considered ‘alive’ now can we?”
The rest of them all looked uneasy again. Each time they thought they had even a small opening for victory seemed to have another large possibility of difficulty leading to defeat.
“We’ll just try to deal with what we can as we go along.” Mickey said, getting their attention. Seeing Goofy and Donald were ready he nodded and said “Alright, fellas. Let’s go and stopped that big horned bully, and Pete, before they cause any more damage.”
Yen Sid added with “I, of course, will stay behind. If the Horned King attacks again I know the proper spells to keep him at bay. And stay alert, your majesty. He may have left any number of surprises for you in the Dwarven Woodlands.”
Mickey nodded before looking to Donald, who took the key from him and used the magic words to open the Doorway to the Dwarven Woodlands. The scenery was the same as what the Horned King had seen when escaping to it.
Donald looked to Daisy, who gave him a heartfelt wave, before he and Goofy went through the door. Mickey looked back to Minnie, who had a very concerned look on her face. He sighed before walking over to her and taking her hand.
“I’m sorry if the entire feast was ruined. I know how much you looked forward to...”
“On no, no.” She said, shaking her head. “It not that. I’m just uneasy with you throwing yourself into danger all the time. First at the feast, then when the castle was attacked. Even back when Pete tried to take the kingdom. I just worry about you.”
He gave a reassuring smile and said “Don’t worry. I was trained as a musketeer. Remember?”
She chuckled a bit and said “I seem to remember a new young recruit you kept getting into more danger while keeping me out of it.”
Both smiled before she hugged him, he retuning it, and saying “Just be safe, okay?”
“I will.” He said before letting go and walking towards the Doorway.
He put half of himself through before looking back and give one last salute goodbye. With that he closed the door behind him and the three were now left to search the Outer World.
The trio looked around at the new surroundings, trying to see any clues as to where the Horned King might have gone.
“Any ideas where we start first?’ Donald asked.
“Well,” Goofy began “from what I remember in the story about this world, there was that big castle where the Evil Queen Grimhilde lived.”
“Good idea, Goof.” Mickey said. He looked about before seeing it in the distance and saying “There it is. Come on. It’ll be ark soon.”
As they started to walk Donald suddenly said “Hey wait a minute.” The other two looked back and he said “If the King can bring the dead back to life, do you think maybe he might have brought the Queen back?”
Goofy gulped a bit and said “If he did then maybe we got more to worry about.”
“Only one way we’ll know for sure.” Mickey said before continuing his walk towards the castle.
The others followed him all the way.
Eventually they reached the castle and made their way all the way up to the front door.
The large double wooden doors gave low groans as the three of them pushed together to swing them open. Inside they reached the large main hall with staircases on both sides of a large platform leading up to the rest of the castle. The entire place was run down, dirty, crumbling, and covered with cobwebs.
“Well, if they were here,” Donald said, looking around “they forgot to bring the maid with them.”
“Shh.” Mickey said. “They might still be here.” He drew his sword and said “Follow me.”
They started sneaking about, looking in every possible corner and dark place something could be hiding. Donald at one point stuck his head under one of the stairs ways only to scare a group of bats hiding underneath and making him yelp in fear.
Both Mickey and Goofy gave him a “Shhh.” Before searching again.
After searching as much as they could, Mickey indicated for them to head upstairs. They nodded before walking up them as quietly as possible, only for Goof to turn and knock over a suit of armor that clamored all the way down.
Mickey and Donald gave him a louder “Shhhhh!” before he hyucked and kept going searching with them.
They made their way down one of the hallways were a lot of old painting and busts of heads were situated. Most of the paintings were hard to see, but they were defiantly of royalty. Some of them they could tell were of the same Queen, likely Grimhilde.
As they kept going Mickey accidentally walked into a dusty cobweb and began on the verge of a sneeze. He gave a few sharp breaths and sniffles to calm his nose before holding it. He calmed thinking it had passed, only for him to give a loud sneeze that shook some of the paintings.
This time Donald and Goofy looked and said “SSHHHHH!”
He huffed a bit and said “You know....I’m starting to think they’re not here. I mean, let’s be honest, if they we’re we’d have heard something by now.”
“Yeah. Where is everybody?” Donald asked.
“Maybe they High-tilted out of here.” Goofy suggested.
“Hightailed.” Donald corrected.
“Let’s still do a little more searching.” Mickey said, walking towards the throne room doors. “Just in case we miss anything.”
They all walked inside the throne room, the door creaking when they pushed it open, and looked in to see the set up inside.
As the three of them looked about, Donald suddenly said “Look.” Pointing at the dusty wall in front of him.
On the wall was a clear spot where dust had been removed. It was a very similar oval shape of a certain mirror that had been stolen.
“Yeah. Over here too.” Goofy said, pointing at a clean spot where the seat of the Queen’s throne was.
Mickey gave a curious hum before saying “Let’s get some more light in here.”
Donald looked about and saw the torches on the wall before using his magic to set them on fire. Once the room was light enough Mickey was looking down and saw the dusty floor with a number of footprints scattered about in the dust. He compared a few to know which were his own and his friend’s, but then saw the three separate footprints that he could guess who they belonged to.
Goofy, looking at very feminine ones, said “You know for such a big guy, Pete’s got really tiny feet.”
“Those aren’t his.” Donald said, a bit annoyed.
“Then who’s are they?” Goofy asked.
“Probably whoever was the one who sat in the throne.” Mickey said, giving a worried look. “I think you were right, Donald. The Horned King just got a new member to add to his group.”
“And it looks like they still have the Book with them.” Goofy added.
“Which means we’ve come all this way for nothing.” Donald sighed with more annoyance than exhaustion. “Just great.”
Goofy looked over to Mickey who was standing in front of the blank space where the Magic Mirror hung. He had his arms crossed with his right hand was on his chin.
“What’s up, Mickey?” he asked. “You on to something?”
Mickey answered by repeating the words from the Mirror, saying “Foes once conquered shall come together....to become a more powerful force than ever.” His eyes widened when he turned and said “That’s it! That’s part of the Horned King’s plan!”
“What is?” Goofy asked.
“It’s like the Mirror said. ‘Foes once conquered shall come together.’ Think of it. He held his fingers out as he said “First there was Pete, who’ve beaten lots of times before. Then the Horned King showed up and he was defeated in his world. And now Grimhilde, who was beaten in her world and story too.”
“Oh, I get it.” Goofy said with a hyuck. “Foes once conquered means all the bad guys. The villains from the worlds.”
“Which also means.....” Donald suddenly realized “... that wherever he is now, he’s going and getting more of them!”
All looked worried at this sudden revelation before Mickey held out the key to the Doorway and said “We have to get back and tell Master Yen Sid. Right now!”
His friend nodded before all walked over to the nearest door, that being into the throne room itself. Mickey made sure it was closed before putting the key in. He turned it, hearing a click of a lock, before opening it and reveal the door lead not to the rest of the castle, but back to the Doorway chamber.
All three hustled through before closing the door behind them.
Meanwhile, in another of the Outer Worlds, a portal had opened and both Pete and the Horned King stepped through.
The area was very bright and beautiful. It was the middle of the day and sun was up in the air, shining down and showing how green and bright the everything was. They were standing under a very tall bridge that lead to a large castle.
Pete looked about and asked “So who or what exactly are we looking for here, your majesty?”
“Another powerful magic wielder.” He said, looking around. “One who’s power will prove most useful in our plan.”
“Oh yeah? Which one’s that? Some guy who can breathe fire or something like that?”
The Horned King finally stopped what he was looking for, a sword poking out of the ground while impaling what looked like shriveled pieces of black and purple clothe.
“Something like that.” The Horned King smirked before walking over to it.
Pete followed behind while peeking in front to see as the King approached it. The King stopped and examined for a second before reaching down and grabbing he sword. It seemed to burn his skin as he pulled it out, yet the King showed no signs of pain and his skin was not singed.
Once he pulled it out Pete asked “Don’t that hurt at all, boss?”
The King only huffed and said “Nothing more than two-bit fairy magic.” Before tossing is aside.
He stepped back along with Pete as the cloth seemed to react, burning with green fire before moving about. It began to rise off the ground before growing. It grew a trail that kept growing outwards, sleeves, more of a dress and finally a head and hands. In the middle of the fire they could see as the feminine form became more full and solid.
Finally, when her revival was complete, the fire dropped to reveal Maleficent, standing there with her staff in hand. She opened her eyes and looked at the two both confused and annoyed.
“I...am alive.” She said, looking down at herself. She looked up to the King and said “It must have been you then. Who...what are you?”
“The Horned King. And you are Maleficent, Mistress of all evil.”
She huffed and said “I see my reputation proceeds. Though I am have heard of every great or small king in this world. Never have I heard of the Horned King.”
“You may be surprised of the reason behind that” he said. “I can explain more, but I think it best we depart before we are seen. And I can offer you anything you want. Power. Control. Even revenge.”
She hummed with curiosity at his proposal before asking “And why are you such a charitable sort? If you know of me then you must know of my ways.”
“Indeed.” He said. “But that is where I know you will agree to my offer. Looking past the fact that I have brought you back from the dead, I know there’s one thing you crave as much as power. And that, Maleficent, is seeing the deaths of those who put you where you were.”
She seemed to contemplate the comment before finally smirking an evil smirk and saying “You have my attention.”
“You’re saying he’s gathering an army of villains?” Minnie asked.
Mickey and the others had returned and were all gathered with Minnie, Daisy, Yen Sid, and even Pluto, in the throne room. They’d told what they’d found, or rather not found, and discovered because of it.
“It all makes more sense now.” Mickey said. “Think of it. He knows the prophecy, not to mention he has the mirror along with the Book of Legends. He knows just as much as we do, maybe even a little more. He’s going to try everything he can to make sure this prophecy happens and that we’re the ones who’ll lose.”
“Then it is as I had feared.” Yen Sid sighed. “That was what I had theorized. And that he still has the Book only means he now knows how each foe was beaten, where to find them, and if they needed to be resurrected.”
“Hold it.” Donald began. “If he brought back dead people before, but they were just mindless zombies, does that mean he can bring them back good as new?”
“Well if that Black Cauldron could bring dead people back in general,” Mickey began “then who’s to say the Horned King hasn’t figured out how to change it for his own benefit? It’s like you said, Master, his power and the Cauldron’s are fused now.”
“Indeed. And with an a force of powerful foes at his side, we have far more to worry about than resurrected corpses."
“So what are we supposed to do?” Minnie asked. “We’ll have ten times as much trouble if the Horned King comes back with an entire army. We’ll be hopelessly outmatched.”
“Well what about getting the same people who beat them?” Daisy suggested. “You know. The heroes from those worlds? Maybe they can help.”
All of them perked up before Donald said “Hey, that’s a great idea, Daisy.”
“Yeah.” Mickey said. “Think of it: we bring them here and we can, I don’t know, maybe hold down this place like a fort. The villains try anything and we’ll surprise them with our own special army.”
“Is that really such a good idea?” Goofy asked. “I mean isn’t it bad to bring them out of their worlds? Won’t it mess up the whole equality balance beam thing of the worlds?”
“It might be our best and only chance.” Minnie said. “If we do nothing then the Horned King will surely win.”
“Then that’s it then, we go, get them and bring them here so we have a better chance of fighting them off.” Mickey declared.
“I’m afraid the situation may be more dire than we originally surmised.” Yen Sid said, catching their attention. “We are neglecting one important fact: the Horned King knows everything in the prophecy as well as we do. That being said, he has likely took notice of one line in particular. ‘If thou should hope to win this day, then gather the light to keep the darkness at bay.’ Think of it, Mickey. What if the darkness is not only the Horned King, but his forces as well? And the light needed to be gathered is....”
“The heroes who stopped them before.” Minnie said out loud.
“Precisely. If he knows of this, then any smart man would know that victory can only be achieved if any variables that can stop you are eliminated before your final strike.”
That’s when all started to realize what Yen Sid was speaking of before Donald declared “He’s going to kill the heroes!”
“If he does, then everything will be sunk.” Mickey said. “The whole worlds could be thrown out of keel if the heroes are dead when they’re not supposed to.”
“And they’ll be free for the villains to claim.” Yen Sid added. “No heroes to stop them. That is likely one of the reasons they will join: the chance at revenge and total control of their worlds.”
“Then we have more of a reason to get the heroes here.” Minnie said. “They’ll be better protected if we bring them all here together.”
“Then we have a plan.” Mickey said. He held out the Key to the Doorway and said “Let’s go save the heroes.”
As they all walked down towards the chamber, Donald asked “What are we going to say to them to get them to come with us?”
“I can help with that.” Yen Sid said, following. “I believe I can be persuasive enough.”
Mickey nodded while looking over and saying “Minnie, you and Daisy might want to get this place ready. We’re about to have a lot of company.”
“I’ll let Clarabelle know.” She said. “I’m sure she’s going to have a field day with this.”
“So which are we going to pick up first?” Goofy asked. “I mean which hero are we getting first?”
“Maybe we should get the one who beat the Horned King.” Donald suggested. “That boy and his friends. Taran, right?”
“Correct.” Yen Sid added. “An excellent decision, Donald. We can find him in Prydain.”
By this point all of them had reached the Doorway Chamber and stopped just in front of the Doorway itself.
Mickey, still holding the key, put it into the Doorway and said “Aperi. Prydain!”
He opened the door which revealed.....the other end of the chamber.
All of them looked confused and concerned as Mickey looked back with a worried face. He tried again only to have the same result. Yet again, only a little more frantically. Still the end of the chamber.
“What’s happened to it?” Daisy asked. “Is it broken?”
“Far worse than that, I fear.” Yen Sid said, looking shocked. “The Horned King’s tampering with the worlds has forced them to become far too unbalanced for the Doorway’s magic to handle. I’m afraid until we can restore more balance, the Doorway is of no further use.”
“So we’re stuck?” Goofy said.
“Worse.” Mickey added. “We’re completely cut off.”
The Pirate ship called the Jolly roger was anchored in cannonball cove of the far out place called Neverland.
The crew of the ship, all pirate scoundrels, were milling about without much to do. Some sat about while other either played music, pirate games, or simple sharpened their already sharp weapons.
In his little spot on the upper deck, Captain Hook was looking over his map of Neverland. He smoked a large cigar holder with two stuck in it. He smoked them while shining his hooked hand and looking over a map of Neverland.
“He thinks he’s beaten me.” Hook said to himself. “That blasted Pan thinks he’s gotten the better of me yet again. But the day will come when he sees I’m more than just some scallywag of a captain he can push around.” He stood and said “Not on your life, Pan! I found your little hide out once and I’ll do it again. Captain Hook shall have his...”
“Captain!” Smee suddenly said, running up to him. “Captain, sir!”
“Smee!” he said, angered while turning to him. “How many time have I told you not to interrupt me while I’m projecting to myself?”
“B-but, Captain, Sir.” He stammered. “Th-there’s something on the ship! Some evil spirit!”
Hook looked oddly at this remark before drawing his sword and saying “Let me see what all you dogs are whimpering about.”
He made his way down to the main deck and saw what was scaring the men so. It was a portal, but to these sea bearing men it seemed like some otherworldly force. It was no wonder they, and even Hook, thought of it as some type of spirit or demon.
“What do we do, Captain?” one of the pirates asked while cowering with the others.
“It’ll drag us all down to Davey Jones’ locker!” another yelled with fear.
“Shut it, you swabs!” Hook said. “We’ must try and communicate with it.” Hook walked closer and asked “What are you? What do you want?”
As if on answer, and on cue, the Horned King emerged from the portal. All the pirates gasped while Hook, scared out of his wits, dropped his sword. The appearance of the King frightened all the men, making them back up.
Seeing Hook there, the King smirked and said “What do I want? Why you, Captain Jas Hook. And your men. And as to who I am, you will come to call me the Horned King. I am also the one who I can offer you what you’ve always wanted: revenge on Peter Pan.”