Gargoyles: Stone Warriors Rule!
Gargoyles: Stone Warriors Rule! is the first Parachute Press book based on an episode of Gargoyles. It is a novelization of "Awakening" as adapted by Paul Mantell and Avery Hart. It was published by Scholastic in 1995.
The text on the back cover of the book reads:
"OVER ONE THOUSAND YEARS AGO... in Scotland, a mighty castle was built, with stone Gargoyle statues perched at its very top. By day, these statues remained frozen--as statues should. But by night, they came alive! Their mission--to protect the castle! But one terrible night, the castle was attacked and the Gargoyles were placed under an evil spell--a spell that would make them sleep for a long, long time...
"ONE THOUSAND YEARS LATER...the evil spell has been broken! And six Gargoyles awaken to find themselves on top of...a skyscraper in New York City! But will they survive? Or will they be wiped out forever by the most powerful evil of all?"
The book is 62 pages long, divided into 8 chapters and a prologue. Between pages 31 and 32, there are 8 pages of color screenshots from the television show. These pictures have captions that detail the plot of the story (one such caption reads "But Demona has changed over the years. She tells Goliath about her evil plan to rule the world!").
As a book written for younger readers, certain format and content rules seem to be in place. Contractions are used sparingly, if at all (many lines containing contractions in the series are changed to use the full words in this narrative). Also, the presence of guns is downplayed; they are usually referred to as "weapons" or specified as "laser guns."
In addition, the word, "gargoyle" when referring to the heroes, is always capitalized ("Gargoyle" or "Gargoyles") as though referring to a proper name. Why this should be (especially when the terms "human" and "humans" are never capitalized) is never explained.
For the most part, the book remains faithful to its source material, the "Awakening" multi-parter.
It begins with a 5 page Prologue (banner reading "Castle Wyvern, Scotland: A.D. 994") narrated by Goliath. The prologue briefly describes gargoyles (stone by day, alive by night, but can bleed and die like humans--pg 2), and how they protected Princess Katharine and her people, "the captain of the castle guards...and the Magus, the princess's powerful magician" (pg 2), but that the princess insulted them. Goliath's second-in-command was bitter and angry because of this, and one human--the captain, who "liked Gargoyles better than humans" (pg 3)--agreed with her. The captain made a deal with the Vikings (none are named): he "would let them attack the castle, as long as they left the Gargoyles alone," and that night, "ordered the Gargoyles to leave the castle" (pg 3). Goliath orders his second-in-command to stay behind with the other Gargoyles to protect the castle, and goes in search of the Vikings taking only "the wise old Gargoyle who had been the leader before [him]" (pg 3). While they're gone the sun rises, the Vikings attack, and Goliath and the old gargoyle return to find the gargoyles smashed to bits. The only survivors were "three Gargoyle youngsters and [the clan's] faithful watchdog" while the rest--including Goliath's second-in-command--are "gone forever" (pg 4). The gargoyles are blamed for the castle's destruction, and the Magus curses them to sleep as stone until the castle rises above the clouds...except for Goliath, who nevertheless begs the Magus to cast the spell on him so that he does not have to live alone. Goliath's final sentence is a musing on how castles cannot rise above the clouds "...or can they?" (pg 5)
The narrative proper begins on page 7 with the banner "New York City: One Thousand Years Later..." David Xanatos stands atop the Eyrie Building--"the tallest [skyscraper] in New York City" which is now even taller than before thanks to the castle on top of it (pg 7). Xanatos himself, is described as "young, and he was already one of the world's richest men" (pg 7). He and his assistant Owen Burnett are waiting atop the castle for the sun to go down and the gargoyles to awaken. The six newly awakened gargoyles are described thusly:
"The first to come alive was a handsome gray-blue giant. Xanatos knew that this was their leader, Goliath. "The second to come alive had a wise face. He carried an ancient, sword. This old one bent down and petted a Gargoyle that looked like a dog. It growled up at him happily. "Next were three younger Gargoyles. The brown one was small and mischievous looking. He leaped into the arms of the big-bellied blue Gargoyle beside him. The youngest was orange with wild hair. His eyes shone bright in his friendly face." (pg 9)
The gargs are happy to be alive but surprised when they see their new surroundings. Xanatos leads them into his office and explains the situation. During this, commandos attack and the gargoyles must defend the castle. They put up a good fight, dodging the "deadly laser blasts," one of which the old one takes in the chest (but survives) (pg 14). During the fight Goliath gets knocked off and has to climb up, noticing chunks of stone falling to the ground. Eventually, the commandos apparently get what they came for and leave, but the gargoyles nevertheless feel triumphant at having fought them off (pg 16).
On the ground, a "beautiful young woman...[with] long dark hair and large brown eyes" approaches the base of the Eyrie Building where fall out from the battle overhead has landed, and introduces herself to the nameless officer doing crowd control as "Elisa Maza, NYPD. Detective Second Class" (pg 20). Noticing claw-marks on a chunk of stone, she goes to investigate. She brushes past Owen and speaks with Xanatos, who says he just fought off an attack by a rival company attempting to steal his secrets and then has Owen escort her out. She jumps out of the elevator when Owen's back is turned and proceeds to the roof of the building, convinced that something is up there, "something to worry about" (pg 21). While there, she hears something behind her, pulls out her "weapon," and gets frightened first by Bronx, then Goliath, causing her to back off the edge of the castle. Goliath swoops down, saves her, then immediately climbs back up the side of the building to the top, where he and Elisa have a chance to talk.
While they talk, the rest of the gargoyles arrive. It's almost sunrise, so Goliath tells Elisa to leave, but she first offers to help them learn more about their new home. The old gargoyle distrusts her, but Goliath agrees to meet with Elisa on the next night. After she leaves, the "orange gargoyle" tugs on Goliath's wing and asks if she was a new friend. "That was--a detective" (pg 25).
Xanatos then calls Goliath into his office, where Xanatos asks for Goliath's help ("'I need your help,' he cried"--pg 25). He explains that three disks were stolen by his rival, Cyberbiotics and that three separate bases--a tower, an underground base, and an air fortress--must be hit. Goliath wonders why Xanatos doesn't just send humans, so Xanatos explains that humans aren't as strong as gargoyles "or as loyal" (pg 26). Goliath is still hesitant, so Xanatos doesn't press the issue, but as he leads Goliath out, he places something on his shoulder that Goliath does not notice. As soon as Goliath is out of the Room, Xanatos presses a button that opens a secret panel in the wall, revealing a shadowy figure. Xanatos reasures the figure that "everything is going according to plan" (pg 27).
The next night, the Trio decide to explore the city after getting permission from Goliath. Elisa and Goliath meet, while the old gargoyle follows Goliath to make sure he is not being tricked. During this conversation, the old gargoyle takes the name of "Hudson" (after learning the very river is named that), and returns to the castle. Goliath and Elisa spend hours exploring the city before Elisa suggests taking a "quiet walk" through Central Park--"Trees and meadows won't seem so strange to you" (pg 32). During the walk, they are attacked by the commandos of the night before, who shoot Goliath with a dart and throw a rope around him, threatening to hunt down the rest of the gargoyles. With Elisa's help, Goliath is able to throw off the rope and escape his attackers. Elisa grabs Goliath's hand and they race across the park, but Goliath starts to slow. Elisa inspects him and discovers both a tranquilizer dart and a tracking device with a picture of a beetle on its back (pg 34). She puts this latter item on a stray dog, and attempts to lead Goliath to safety, but the sun rises and Elisa screams when Goliath turns to stone.
After the initial shock, Elisa notices the commandos approaching, and attempts to lead them away by using herself as bait. Reasoning that they can track "the Gargoyle" with the transmitter later, the commandos pursue. Elisa dives into a boat house and closes the door, but "laser blasts" shatter the walls above her head (pg 38). She crawls to the open end of the boat house and dives into the water just as the place explodes. After swimming to safety and seeing that the commandos are gone, Elisa returns to the stone Goliath and stays with him throughout the day. At nightfall, Goliath awakens refreshed, and is surprised that Elisa stayed with him throughout the day. He thanks her for possibly saving his life, Elisa says they're even, and they clasp hands. As Goliath leaves to return to the others, Elisa asks to meet later that night.
Back at the castle, Goliath refers to Hudson by name, prompting the others to choose names as well. The orange one chooses "Brooklyn," the brown one "Lexington" and the big-bellied one calls himself "Broadway" while also naming the dog "Bronx" (who "barked happily" at receiving that name--pg 40). Before Goliath can explain where he's been, Xanatos calls him into his office and reveals Goliath's second-in-command, alive and well and called "Demona" by Xanatos (pg 41). She feared for Goliath's safety and left Castle Wyvern to find him, but was too late and got cursed by the Magus as well. While the gargoyles rejoice to have their second-in-command back, Demona convinces Goliath that they should help Xanatos retrieve the disks. Xanatos assigns Goliath and Demona the airship, the "youngsters" the tower, and Hudson and Bronx the underground base.
Goliath and Demona enter the airship and make it to the computer lab where they disarm the guards. Goliath retrieves the disk, but Demona then pulls out a live wire and uses it to touch off a fire. When Goliath protests that fire is deadly there and they cannot leave the humans to die, Demona shoves him out an open hatchway and says not to worry, "No one will know it was us" (pg 44). As they glide away and the airship crashes into the river, they are spotted by Elisa.
Upon returning to the castle, all three groups have been successful and Xanatos has the disks, which he promises will be used for the benefit of both humans and gargoyles. After Xanatos leaves, Goliath states that he's going to meet a human friend, causing Demona to get angry. After Goliath says he cannot make war upon an entire world, Demona cries out "the humans must pay for what they did to us!" (pg 46). This causes Goliath to remark that she has become "hard, unforgiving." His eyes flash as he says "You are not as I remember you" (pg 46). Goliath leaves as Demona growls "So be it", and Xanatos (who has been watching this on a monitor in his office) notes that Goliath can't be controlled. "A pity. We shall have to destroy him" (pg 47).
Goliath meets Elisa on the same rooftop as the previous night, where she confronts him about the disks and reveals that the logo on the transmitter was for a company owned by Xanatos. Xanatos had been responsible for both the attack in the park, and the earlier attack, which was actually staged. Nothing was stolen from Xanatos--in fact, the gargoyles had actually stolen disks from Cyberbiotics. Elisa says that Goliath has to trust someone, and that he'd be better off with her than Xanatos. Goliath crumples the paper, frowns, then glides back to the castle "with a mighty roar" (pg 49).
At the castle, Owen and Demona watch as Xanatos paces in front of five bulky objects under a large sheet. Xanatos notes that they "don't need the Gargoyles anymore" because with the disks he has been able to create their replacements (pg 51). He whips off the sheet to reveal gargoyle robots. Xanatos notes how they are better than the gargoyles: steel instead of stone, they don't sleep during the day, they fly instead of glide, and "best of all"--in his own words--"they will always obey me" (pg 52). Xanatos orders the robots to stand on the roof until Goliath returns, at which point he orders them to attack. The robots' lasers hit a stone wall, causing chunks to fall and stun both Broadway and Lexington. Brooklyn and Bronx rush to their side to drag them to safety while Goliath and Hudson fight the robots. Goliath smashes one into a wall, then manages to cause two robots to crash into each other. Meanwhile, Hudson slices one robot in two with a sword. Xanatos notes that his Steel Clan isn't performing as well as he had hoped, so he and Demona head to his office. Outside, the last robot is aiming at Brooklyn and Bronx who are busy helping Broadway and Lexington recover, but Goliath and Hudson knock a section of wall onto the robot, destroying it. As Lexington cheers that they won, Demona and Xanatos reappear--she armed with a "deadly weapon" and he with a "laser gun" (pg 55).
Demona reveals that she had been in on the captain's plan, and was supposed to lead the gargoyles out of the castle so the Vikings could attack the humans. Goliath asks why she did it, and Demona responds that the humans had to pay for how the gargoyles were treated. Goliath says that good and evil is in everyone, human and gargoyle alike, and that Demona should know that better than anyone. "Don't you see, Demona?...None of this would have happened--if it weren't for you" (pg 59). Demona growls that this is his last chance, and that "If you are not my friend, you are my enemy" and aims her weapon at his chest (pg 59). Elisa leaps out of the shadows at Demona, throwing the latter off balance and causing her weapon to fire into a tower. Xanatos gets hit by falling stones and crumples to the ground. Elisa and Demona are knocked off the building and Goliath leaps to save Elisa. He looks for Demona afterward, but cannot see her and roars her name in "fury and grief" (pg 60). He then grabs Xanatos and dangles him over the side, but Elisa says not to drop him or he'll "be the same as evil Demona" (pg 61). Hudson yells out that she's right, and asks if that's what Goliath wants. Goliath says "No" and lets Xanatos live.
After Xanatos is "taken away to prison" (pg 61) and the sun is about to rise, Goliath tells Elisa it's nice to have one human friend. Elisa responds that she hopes he has more, and that she'll always be his friend. They agree to meet the next night right before Goliath turns to stone. Elisa gazes over the city, thinking how there is good and evil in it and, glancing at her new friend, "now there would be justice, too" (pg 62).
Differences from the Series
- Nowhere is Demona ever referred to as Goliath's mate. She is only ever his second-in-command. They never hug, or do anything to indicate that they are lovers.
- The eggs and the Rookery are never mentioned. Consequently, it is never explained how the Trio and Bronx survived.
- In order to condense the narrative, any scenes focusing on Hudson or the Trio were cut. This includes their interactions with the modern world, and their attacks on Cyberbiotics installations.
- The Trio as a whole seem to be written as a lot younger than they are in the series. This seems especially clear when they ask to explore the city ("'Can we go, Goliath?' the brown one begged. "Please?"). Also, why Brooklyn is identified as the youngest is never made clear.
- During the first battle with the commandos, a "bomb" is thrown and Lex does grab it, but instead of tossing it aside as unimportant, he throws it back at the commando.
- On page 22, when Elisa encounters Bronx for the first time, the text describes his eyes as glowing red. No other color is ever indicated for gargoyle eyes.
- Here, Demona says Xanatos calls her by that name, seeming to indicate that he gave her the name.
- Instead of Brooklyn helping Goliath to destroy the final robot, it is Hudson in the book.
- In addition to lines of dialogue, various reactions and emotions seem different. Specifically: Xanatos seems less cool in his reactions, Goliath's "You are not as I remember you" is punctuated by flashing eyes, and Demona does not shout "Don't say that!" to Goliath's pronouncement of her own fault in what happened.