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Sorceress of Grayskull (Masters of the Universe 1980s cartoon)

Sorceress of Grayskull


Power Level:
Game system: DC Heroes Role-Playing Game

“By the power of Grayskull, let it be done. Enter the pool of power, only the purest and the gentlest may have the power of Castle Grayskull. If the Castle accepts you, you will emerge changed. Enter.”

Context

The Sorceress appears in the 1983-1984 He-man and the Masters of the Universe cartoon series. She’s a powerful magic-wielding sage based out of the ancient Castle Grayskull.

For context, we recommend that you first read these two articles :


Background

  • Real Name: Teela Na.
  • Marital Status: Widowed.
  • Known Relatives: Teela (daughter), unnamed husband (deceased).
  • Group Affiliation: Heroic Heroes.
  • Base of Operations: Castle Grayskull.
  • Height: 5’6″ Weight: 125 lbs.
  • Eyes: Dark Blue Hair: Red


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Powers & Abilities

The Sorceress dwells within the old fortress, Castle Grayskull.

Within these walls, she is one of the mightiest beings on Eternia. Her magic allows her to do practically anything she can imagine. She is strongest when her magic is used for scrying and travel.

She often knows what has happened before her allies ask. It’s rare for the Sorceress to not have the answer. Her knowledge of hidden or magical things is unmatched. In DC Heroes RPG terms, she has a very high Occultist skill. He-man and his allies seek her advice often.

Outside the castle, the Sorceress’ form changes to that of the falcon, Zoar. She retains her mystic senses and telepathy in falcon form but loses all her other magical abilities.


History

A long time ago, a power-hungry wizard, Morgoth, sought control of the universe. He became an immortal giant with terrible power. The ancients trapped him in a prison zone.

In more recent times, Morgoth secretly broke free, determined to conquer Eternia. This time, he would have help. He gave the location of Eternia to a planet-conquering army, which had been terrorizing hundreds of worlds. This was the evil Horde.


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Origin story

Teela Na grew up in the quiet village of Noella. But Noella became the Horde’s first target. The village fell to an advance force in less than an hour. All its people were taken prisoner.

Teela Na escaped, then searched for the mythical Castle Grayskull. It was supposed to exist somewhere in the great waste.

Succeeding, Teela Na met the Sorceress, Kuduk Ungol. A bargain was struck. Kuduk would make Teela Na the next Sorceress of Grayskull, which would give her enough power to save her village. However, once she took the role of Sorceress, Kuduk would be relieved of her duties. Teela Na would never be mortal again.

Teela Na entered the pool of power and emerged, Zoar the falcon.

The new Sorceress of Grayskull returned to Noella. With her new powers she drove out the invaders and re-imprisoned Morgoth.

Teela’s Quest

Years later, Teela Na married and had a daughter, Teela. But her husband died. The Sorceress took her child to the mountains to raise her.

Sorceress of Grayskull (Masters of the Universe 1980s cartoon) - model sheet rotation

A young warrior named Duncan (aka Man-At-Arms) was walking through the Evergreen forest. He had received a strange psychic signal drawing him urgently through the woods. He saw a falcon overhead, Zoar. The raptor was beset by Mer-Man, sent to sacrifice the mystic bird to an evil sea demon.

Zoar was protecting something in her nest. Man-At-Arms intervened and defeated Mer-Man. In the nest was the Sorceress’s infant daughter, Teela. The Sorceress could not raise her child while in falcon form. Furthermore, Castle Grayskull just wasn’t safe enough for a kid.

The Sorceress had come to the hard realization she was incapable of caring for and protecting her own daughter. And so, Man-At-Arms adopted Teela as his own.

The evil Horde returns!

The Horde attacked Eternia in force. Before they could be repelled, Horde leader Hordak kidnapped the infant, Princess Adora. Man-At-Arms and the Sorceress were unable to stop the fleeing villain.

Using Grayskull, the Sorceress searched unsuccessfully for Adora for many years. The Sorceress then used her magic to erase all memory of the Princess from everyone except herself, Man-At-Arms, and the King and Queen.

A destined champion

Teela Na had another task in her role as Sorceress. She would choose someone to take on the mantle of Champion of Grayskull and give them the power of He-man.

With the advice of Zodac and the Spirit of Grayskull, the Sorceress chose Prince Adam. She also saw that his pet Cringer would have a special destiny. Cringer would become He-man’s faithful companion, Battle-Cat.

Sorceress of Grayskull (Masters of the Universe 1980s cartoon) - Zoar falcon model sheet

Morgoth again

The Sorceress summoned He-man to Castle Grayskull after Morgoth attacked the Palace. She recognized his signature attacks and prepared to face him again. She revealed a crystal that allowed her to keep her true form outside Grayskull. Along with robotic horse Stridor, Man-At-Arms latest invention, He-man and the Sorceress traveled to Dark Mountain.

Morgoth soon breached the prison zone. He dropped a huge gem to the ground, his link to Eternia. A barrier rose around it, which no living creature could pass. While Morgoth engaged the Sorceress in battle, He-man was unable to break the force field.

But Stridor could overcome the barrier as it was not alive. Though Morgoth blasted Stridor with lightning it was able to kick the gem to He-man. Our hero smashed it, preventing Morgoth’s return. After Stridor’s act of courage, He-man carried it all the way back to the palace, so Duncan could repair it.

Stridor became fully sapient  and was set running free.

Skeletor and his warriors!

Skeletor and the forces of evil do not rest and Castle Grayskull is forever under attack. The Sorceress must stand ready to fight any would try to take the castle and its secrets.

Into Etheria

The Sorceress awoke one night to a glow in her bed chamber. The Sword of Protection was floating and glowing. It led the Sorceress to a door that had never been opened. The Sorceress summoned Prince Adam to Grayskull and asked him to go in. She guessed it might be a doorway to Adora but wouldn’t reveal her thoughts to Adam.

Sorceress of Grayskull (Masters of the Universe 1980s cartoon) studying

Adam eventually encountered Adora. Adora was a Force Captain working with the Horde! Yet He-man could tell she wasn’t evil. He soon convinced her to see what the Horde is really like.

However, Adora was still enthralled by Shadow Weaver’s spells and life-long brainwashing. It took holding the Sword of Protection and some coaxing by the Sorceress (along with the big reveal that He-man was her brother) for her to break free. Adora became She-Ra.

The Sorceress carried on as an ally to both He-man and She-Ra.


Description

The Sorceress is a fit young-looking woman wearing an orange, blue, and white bird-motif costume. Her headdress is that of a white falcon’s head with a blue beak.


Personality

She is soft-spoken and serious. Because of her position as Sorceress, she must put her own wants and desires second to her duty.

Sorceress of Grayskull (Masters of the Universe 1980s cartoon) present and past

Sorceress’ present and past.

The Sorceress states the power of Castle Grayskull can never be used against the friends of He-man. It must always be a safe haven for them (“Double Trouble” episode).

Though she has the greatest love for her daughter, she won’t reveal her identity as Teela’s mother until the day Teela receives the power of Grayskull and assumes the role of the Sorceress.

In the meantime, the Sorceress keeps a close watch on her daughter. The Sorceress also watches over He-man’s development and maturity.

The Sorceress has had her fair share of tragedy, yet as guardian she listens to the problems of her fellow Eternians and never asks for anything in return.


Quotes

(Zoar the falcon flies overhead).
Prince Adam: “Zoar !”
Man-At-Arms: “She’s summoning us to Castle Grayskull.”
Prince Adam: “Let’s go.”

“I sense danger.”

“I may not venture beyond these castle walls.”

“I’m getting a psychic signal from Grayskull. Skeletor is on his way there to attack it !”

“Reason is always better than anger.”

Sorceress of Grayskull (Masters of the Universe 1980s cartoon) magic shield

“Sometimes, the ones who seem the worst, are the ones who need our help the most.”

He-man: ” I want to thank you for all that you’ve done. Not just today but for all of those years you patiently waited protecting Grayskull.”
Sorceress: “It has been the highest honor, He-man and it has been and always will be a joy for me to call you my friend.”

“A short while ago, I sensed a great deal of energy coming from the Demon Zone.”

“This may take a little while, Adam. This language is very old, and I must find a particular book to help me with the translation.”

“Inside Grayskull I’m more than a match for Skeletor.”

“Castle Grayskull hear my command ! Expel these villains from your walls !”

“I live for the day when I can tell [Teela] that I am her mother.”


DC Universe History

I can’t see separating the Sorceress from Castle Grayskull. Castle Grayskull could exist on Earth shrouded by magic and mystery.

The Sorceress could make herself known to an individual destined to be the new champion of Grayskull. It would have to be an individual pure of heart. Like the wizard Shazam and Captain Marvel.


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

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Sorceress

Dex: 03 Str: 02 Bod: 03 Motivation: Responsibility of Power
Int: 08 Wil: 05 Min: 05 Occupation: Mystic Guardian of Castle Grayskull
Inf: 07 Aur: 10 Spi: 08 Wealth: 000
Init: 018 HP: 060

Powers:
Awareness: 10, Danger Sense: 04, Detect (Energy): 14, Detect (Evil): 04, Empathy: 05, Force Shield: 12, Magic Sense: 05, Reflection/Deflection: 10, Remote Sensing: 18, Snare: 12, Telekinesis: 06, Telepathy: 18, Teleportation (ML): 07, Truesight: 12, Sorcery: 08

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • All powers are Mystic linked.
  • All powers are their own AV.
  • Danger Sense is only active when there is an imminent threat to Castle Grayskull.
  • The recipient(s) of Telepathy may see a wavy image of the Sorceress’ face.
  • Snare appears as varied visuals such as energy rings surrounding her foe(s), earthen spikes rising them from the ground, etc..
  • Remote Sensing has Discerning, allowing her to identify individuals.
  • Telekinesis is Contingent Upon Sorcery.
  • Telekinesis is Fatiguing.
  • Teleportation may teleport targets within normal range (+1 FC).
  • The Sorceress is forced to become her Alter-Ego, Zoar the falcon, when outside of Grayskull.
  • If Sorceress sustains 01 RAP of Physical damage that is not covered with LDD, all of her powers gain the Fatiguing limitation until she heals.

Skills:
Charisma (Intimidation, Persuasion): 05, Occultist: 15, Scientist: 05

Advantages:
Headquarters (Expansive, Castle Grayskull), Scholar (Herbalism, Poisons), Slowed Aging.

Connections:
He-man (High), Zodac (Low), Man-at-Arms (High), Orko (High).

Drawbacks:

  • Alter-Ego (Controllable, Uncontrollable outside of Castle Grayskull).
  • Loss Vulnerability: The Sorceress is physically weakened, Dex and Str drop to 00APs, if her powers are drained or neutralized.
  • Secret Identity (as Zoar the Falcon.)

Equipment:
The Sorceress has access to all the mysteries of Castle Grayskull.

  • Book of Magic. It is mentioned during the “Daimar the demon” episode. Man-At-Arms said thanks to her book of magic he’s made a fantastic discovery. Namely, the Dark Dimension exists adjacent to their own. This closeness keeps the delicate balance of science and sorcery on Eternia in check.
  • 06AP Omni-Artifact.
  • The Crystal of Allenar. It allows the Sorceress to ignore her Drawback (Alter-Ego, Uncontrollable outside of Castle Grayskull). She may thus keep her human form. It has a time limitation of 24 hours per use.

Zoar the Falcon

Dex: 06 Str: -02 Bod: 03 Motivation: Responsibility of Power
Int: 08 Wil: 05 Min: 05 Occupation: Mystic Guardian of Castle Grayskull
Inf: 07 Aur: 10 Spi: 08 Wealth: 000
Init: 023 HP: Shared with other form

Powers:
Claws: 02, Danger Sense: 04, Flash: 08, Flight (Winged): 06, Magic Sense: 05, Remote Sensing: 18, Shrinking: 03, Telepathy: 18, Telescopic Vision: 07, Truesight: 12

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Danger Sense is only active when there is an imminent threat to Castle Grayskull.
  • The Recipient(s) of Telepathy may see a wavy image of the Sorceress’ face.
  • Flash is a brilliant light persisting from below Zoar while in flight.
  • If Sorceress sustains 01 RAP of Physical damage that is not covered with LDD, all of Sorceress’ powers become Fatiguing until she heals.

Skills:
Occultist: 15, Scientist: 05

Advantages:
Scholar (Herbalism, poisons), Lightning Reflexes, Sharp Eye.

Connections:
He-man (High), Zodac (Low), Man-at-Arms (High), Orko (High).

Drawbacks:
Secret Identity (Most don’t know Zoar is her alternate form).


Alter Ego notes

The intent for the Sorceress leaving Grayskull was only in her falcon form. However, we see her do it several times for different reasons. For instance, in the episode “Teela’s Quest”, Teela learns the Sorceress is her mother. The writer likely thought a face to face with mother and daughter would be more touching than a falcon.

The writers did give themselves an out when they introduced the Crystal of Allenar (“Origin of the Sorceress” episode). She may also remain in human form while on the grounds outside of Grayskull (“The Shaping Staff”).

There are a few inconsistencies that can’t be reconciled. In “Return of Evil”, Zoar opens a dimensional  portal. But in “Diamond Ray of Disappearance” Zoar is lost in another dimension, sent there by Skeletor. She can’t get back because she has none of her powers in that form.


Design notes

Many of the Sorceress’ powers are actually her using Castle Grayskull’s power. For instance, when she opens space portals she is using the Dimension Travel Power of Grayskull. An example of this is at the end of the “Dragon Invasion” episode.

Distances for powers were difficult to estimate. I assume each POI is 12 to 16 miles (14 APs) from one another.

Powers demonstrated by the Sorceress are shown at varied levels. Sorcery shouldn’t be used to duplicate her other powers.

Seen only in one episode, the Sorceress sent a bird to help He-man and Teela. He-man called it her “messenger”. It’s a giant blue bird with a dark pink crest and glowing white eyes. It doesn’t speak, the Sorceress speaks through telepathy for it. Treat it as having Medicine (First Aid) at 07 APs (“Keeper of the Ancient Ruins”).

Telekinesis was a 04 until the “The Secret of Grayskull” episode.


Design notes (S2)

Season 2 came with changes to the Sorceress but presented in a flashback as an origin story.

Zoar the Falcon had eye blasts.

The Sorceress herself displayed much more magical might than she had before. She used either Dimension Travel location hopping or a direct Teleport to send the Horde advance force far away. She explained that “by the time they reach their home and report we’ll be ready for them”.

She then put a ring of fire around Morgoth and Dimension Traveled him to the “Prison Zone” (“Origin of the Sorceress”).

By Ethan Roe.

Source of Character: The 1983/1984 animated series He-Man and the Masters of the Universe and the 1985/1987 She-Ra Princess of Power. Voiced by Linda Gary.

Helper(s): Animal File on W.org.

Writeup completed on the 29th of July, 2019.

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