Thursday, November 19, 2009 Edit
FAFNIR HELLHAND http://www.comicvine.com/conan-the-barbarian-the-devil-god-of-bal-sagoth/37-12414/
Real Name: Fafnir
Identity/Class: Human/demon composite
Occupation: Warrior, mercenary, and thief.
Group Membership: Kozak army;
former leader of a pirate ship
Affiliations: Blackrat (former partner), Conan the Barbarian, Giselle, Ispirana, Klauz (fence and thieves’ guildmaster), Krylxxa, Kyrie/Aala, Countess Noirelle, Red Sonja, Scarlet Mage, Tania, Turgohl of Khitai, Zula, unnamed peasant lass that pulled him from the Vilayet Sea;
formerly employed by prince Yezdigerd as part of the Turanian army
Bragi, Mitra, Ymir (his gods);
Kx'ulthuum, Nergal, Tammuz, and formerly an unnamed demon (power sources for his demon arm)
Enemies: Baron Alain Mort-Pointard, Shah Amurath, Armati, Balthaz (Turanian), Brothers of the Falcon, Devourer of Souls, Gargantax, Gothan and his monsters, Groth-Golka, Jergal Zadh, Kulan Gath, Kx'ulthuum, the defenders of Makkalet, Marta and her band of thieves, Ormuz, Priests of the Dragon God, Sireena (victim of the demon-arm), Ska, Thazarra the Sorceress, Turanian army, Tuzun Thune, Virmaag (the old crone’s man-eating tree), Vyllm Pt'aar and the "Phytons," Prince Yezdigerd, unnamed old crone and the pair of thieves
Known Relatives: none known
Aliases: Fafnir Demonhand, Fafnir of the Demon Hand, Fafnir of Vanaheim; Redbeard (as Conan called him)
Base of Operations: born in Vanaheim, but later mobile throughout the lands of the Hyborian Age, including Shadizar the Wicked, Bal-Sogoth, Yaralet, the Turanian Steppes
First Appearance: Conan the Barbarian#6 (June, 1971)
Powers: Fafnir was enormously tall (7' or more) and strong, dwarfing even Conan the Barbarian in height and at least matching if not surpassing him in strength (peak human to enhanced human), until he lost one of his arms. Even after this Fafnir remained incredibly strong, just incapable of bringing a certain amount of leverage to bear without two hands. Fafnir was an accomplished soldier and swordsman as well as a seasoned mercenary that had survived many campaigns and was also a passable thief very agile for his size.
Even after the loss of his left arm to sepsis, and the necessary amputation, Fafnir could best most men in swordplay and was even still capable of effectively climbing a rope one handed (which as far as I can tell is no mean feat!). He also remained a skilled horseman, able to guide the horse with the reins in his mouth when he needed to keep his arm free for swordplay or to sweep up a maiden in need of rescuing.
For a brief period of time Fafnir had the left arm of an unnamed demon magically grafted onto him, in order to replace his lost arm. While he had this arm Fafnir possessed enhanced to superhuman strength, the full extent of which was never determined (supposedly the "strength and ferocity of a dozen men"). This limb was capable of acting independently of Fafnir’s conscious will, doing things such as killing a bandit Fafnir had thought surrendered but was actually secretly drawing a knife.
Fafnir's second demon arm, the arm of Kx'ulthuum, grants him comparable power to the first. This arm also draws on the power of Nergal and Tammuz. Fafnir sometimes wore a leather sleeve, which suppressed both the strength and the independent will of his second demon arm. By removing the sleeve, he could again access its monstrous strength, but the longer it remained off, the more the arm would begin to influence his own behavior.
Fafnir's life force was briefly augmented, giving him a lifespan of a thousand years, and making him immune to death from most other forms of injury. This energy was virtually exhausted by Kx'ulthuum. Even before this, Fafnir survived apparently certain death on a few occasions, and since then revived from death on two separate occasions. The nature of this regenerative ability has not been disclosed, but Fafnir has commented that he is not certain that he can die. Residual magic from the energy of the egg, combined with the energy of the demon arm(s) seem the most likely explanations.
Weaknesses: While Fafnir had the first demonic limb attached to his body he could be controlled by the witch who had performed the procedure via a magical glass orb. When this orb was shattered the demonic limb suddenly vanished from Fafnir’s torso as if it had never been (perhaps returning to its original demonic owner).
His second demonic limb affects his will as well, driving him to acts of rage and violence.
History: (BTS) - Fafnir was born in the icy wastes of Vanaheim to a race of fierce red-haired warriors. Growing up amongst the unforgiving snow and mountains Fafnir reached gigantic size and strength, becoming a brave and capable warrior forged in the heat of numerous battles with the warlike Aesir from nearby Asgard, neighbors and cousins of the Vanirmen. However, unlike many of his brethren Fafnir longed for travel and adventures in the larger world beyond perpetually feuding Vanaheim, and so he headed south (much as his future companion Conan would years later) to try his luck as a mercenary and thief.
(Conan the Barbarian#6) - In Shadizar the Wicked, Fafnir argued with his fellow thief and partner Blackrat over how to split the booty from their rececent efforts--three pieces of gold. As they argued, Conan vaulted over the walls of the city and offered to resolve their dilemna, by taking the third piece. The two tried to fight him off, but Conan dodged one of Blackrat's swordthrusts, which instead skewered Fafnir. Conan then dropped Blackrat with a boot to the head, took all three gold pieces for himself, and went on about his business.
(Conan the Barbarian#17) - Fafnir was one of a group of pirates of the inland sea who assaulted a Turanian Galley on which Conan was working. Conan fought valiantly, but Fafnir eventually laid him out with the flat of his sword. Fafnir the bound Conan to the mast, despite the wishes of his crew (because he needed more men to man the ship), and renewed their acquaintance upon his waking. The ship suddenly struck a reef, and while Conan assumed Fafnir would run him through, he instead cut Conan free and challenged him to "risk Dagon's cellar with the rest of us."
Conan and Fafnir washed up the shore of Bal-Sogoth, the apparent sole survivors of the shipwreck. Conan, angrily remembering his past wars with the Vanir, challenged Fafnir to a fight to the death. After an even struggle, Fafnir ended the fight by lowering his weapon--Conan refused to strike him if he would not defend himself. Fafnir gave Conan a friendly bearhug, but then they both had to save a woman, Kyrie, from a raptor-like devil beast: Groth-Golka, last of the once-dreaded lizard gods.
Kyrie revealed herself as having been formerly thought to a goddess, Aala, in Bal-Sogoth until she was overthrown and ousted by the high-priest Gothan. She convinced them both to join her in winning back her kingdom--an ancient prophecy had predicted that two men from the sea would overthrow the city. Armed with two powerful warriors and the prophecy they appeared to be following, Kyrie took back her city and overthrew Gothan and his puppet-king, Ska.
(Conan the Barbarian#18) - Fafnir and Conan joined Kyrie/Aala on a triumphant parade. That night as they drifted off to slumber, Fafnir teased Conan that Kyrie had begun to take a shine to him. Fafnir fell victim to a sleep-spell of one of Gothan's priestly lackeys, but awoke to Conan slaying some monster sent by the lackey. They then found another giant monster attacking Kyrie, and Fafnir fought it off and chased it down the hall. Kyrie tried to seduce Conan and prevent him from helping his new friend, but he cast her aside--earning her enmity in the process. Fafnir encountered and slew Gothan in the temple of his god, Gol-Goroth, and then defeated the monster and cast it into a deep pit. Kyrie directed her guards to slay Fafnir and Conan, but the idol of Gol-Goroth then crashed down and crushed her. Ska then pronounced himself king and tried to slay the two, but Fafnir instead gave Ska a deep introduction to his battleaxe.
The entire temple began to crumble as Fafnir and Conan fled, and then a volcano erupted as well. They took to a raft, which was eventually discovered by a Turanian ship, led by prince Yezdigerd. The prince offered them a choice: join his crew, or sim back to the bedeviled isle of Bal-Sogoth: They joined his crew.
(Conan the Barbarian#19) - Fafnir watched with some amusement an altercation between Conan the Barbarian and one of the Turanian officers. The Turanians were at war with the city-state Makkalet and Conan had refused to pray for victory to the Turanians’ wooden idol of their savior-god the Tarim and gotten his nose bloodied by the tip of the Turanian officer’s spear. Conan promptly flung the Turanian into the shark filled waters of the bay below. Fafnir also got on Yezdigerd's bad side by pointing out that it was not only the idol for which they fought, but also because they wished to eliminate Makkalet as their chief trading rival. However, Yezdigerd needed them for the coming battle and so let it slide.
At dawn, Fafnir and Conan were part of the siege of Makkalet. Fafnir took a flaming arrow in the arm and dropped. Conan pulled the arrow from his arm and continued the fight, but Fafnir, delirious from the wound and blood loss, got up and stumbled off of the wall into the oceans below.
(Conan the Barbarian#20) - Conan returned to the Turanian ship where he found Fafnir had been recovered. However, due to contamination of his wound with the foul waters of the sea, Fafnir's left arm had had to be amputated. While Fafnir rested, Conan rejoined the fight against Mallaket.
Returning from the fall of the Makkalet Conan discovered that Fafnir was thrown overboard with the rest of the wounded an hour after he last saw him. Conan slew Balthaz, who had given the order to throw the wounded overboard, earning Yezdigerd's enmity, and jumped overboard himself and escaped the wrath of the rest of the shipfull of Turanians.
(Conan the Barbarian#161/fb) - For two days after being thrown overboard Fanir kept himself from drowning by clinging to a bloated, rotting corpse. Eventually a peasant girl found Fafnir on the shore of the Vilayet and dragged him away to safety, presumably tending to his grievous wounds and nursing him back to health.
(BTS) - Wandering the Hyborian Continent once more, Fafnir runs into a soldier in Agraphur who tells him of the House of Skulls and how he might be able to find a new arm for himself there. It is unknown, but certainly possible the unnamed soldier had some missing piece of his own anatomy replaced for him by the old crone.
(Conan the Barbarian#161) - Wandering the streets of the Border Kingdom town of Belglat, jug of wine in hand, Conan is attacked by a band of cutthroats after his gold. After taking one of them out with the wine jug, Conan has a bad turn of luck. One of the thieves leaping from a low rooftop lands on his back, nearly knocking him unconscious. As Conan struggles to rise one of the thieves moves in to slit his throat only to be halted by the timely arrival of a giant man in a long tattered cloak, his face hidden by the hood. The stranger quickly dispatches three of the thugs and the rest run away. As Conan gets to his feet he hears a familiar voice, "Got in a little over your head this time, wouldn’t you say so, little man?"
Conan is surprised to see Fanir once more, thinking him dead all this time. As Conan and Fafnir ride out of Belglat the Vanirman recounts what became of him and how he survived being thrown overboard with only one good arm left to him. Fafnir tells Conan of how met a soldier in Agraphur who spoke of where they are headed and how he could find a new arm for himself. On the far side of a misty bog Conan and Fafnir come to the Vanirman’s destination, the House of Skulls!
Attacked by man-eating trees Conan and Fafnir are saved by the old witch that lives in the House of Skulls who calls the attacking tree by name. Once inside the pair discover she has been expecting Fafnir for months and has just the thing to replace his arm (the devil-bat’s wing and set of snow-falcon’s talons being of no use), producing a large hairy arm that "happens to have once belonged to the most splendid demon." By the power of her magical glass orb the arm is swiftly attached to Fafnir by the old crone and the pair of adventurers are on their way. Little do they know the pair of thieves who fled earlier paid to have the crone give Fafnir the demon’s arm as part of a scheme for revenge.
Conan and Fafnir run into two wenches fleeing slavers a short while later and ride tot he rescue. Two of the slaver’s dead, Fafnir catches the third on his knees begging for mercy. As he calls out for Conan, Fafnir’s new arm shoots out of it’s own volition and strangles the slaver to death. Fafnir cries out that the arm is bewitched until Conan points out the dead slaver was secretly drawing a knife, even as he begged for mercy. Later, after they have made camp, Conan and Fafnir are getting to know the two wenches a little better until Fafnir suddenly flips out, going from caressing his companion, Sireena, to choking her! Fafnir momentarily comes to his senses and begs Conan to help until the madness comes over him again and he returns to his victim, screaming and calling her a demon. Conan manages to knock Fafnir away, but too late for him to do anything for the girl.
Overcome with grief, Fafnir realizes it was not him but the demonic arm that did the evil deed. Just as he goes to hack the limb off with his sword the two strange thugs (watching in the witch’s magic glass) order the crone to compel Fafnir to kill Conan just as she did the slaver and the girl. Overcome with rage once more, Fafnir attacks Conan, deciding he is also a demon bent of slaying him. Conan unexpectedly holds his own in battle against Fafnir. The two strangers say that the crone promise the Vanirman would have the strength and ferocity of a dozen men once fused with the demon arm to which the crone replies, "He has those things! But so has the Cimmerian!"
Teleporting to the scene of the battle in order to conduct more mystical strength into the arm, the crone manages to turn the tide of battle against Conan once more. As Fafnir chokes the life out of him Conan realizes all this is the witch’s doing and manages to hurl a nearby stone, shattering her magic orb. With her orb gone the crone crumbles to blackened dust and the demon-arm suddenly disappears. While Fafnir still reels the two strangers leap forward to finish off a weakened Conan, but one is slain by a knife in the back by the other wench in order to avenge her friend, Sireena. Conan swiftly dispatches the other, and finding that his friend is once more himself, Conan, the girl, and Fafnir all ride off.
(Conan the Barbarian#162) - Conan and Fafnir encounter a demon-lord who has plagued Conan in the past, Jergal Zadh. Thinking it was only due to his treacherous vassal Cleolanthe’s intervention that Conan escaped him before, Jergal Zadh hatches a new plot against the Barbarian, involving the Brothers of the Falcon, but the arch-demon is ultimately outwitted by Conan. Fafnir was saved from certain death several times along the way by Conan.
(Conan the Barbarian#163) - Fafnir led Conan into a village where he rescued a young maiden, Krylxxa, who was about to be burnt at the stake--accused of being a murderess and a witch. After their escape, Fafnir (and Conan) saved her from a few other perils and she soon took quite a shine to him. The feeling was mutual, but every time he got close to her, he began to feel quite weak--making him wonder if he'd not begun losing his manhood along with his arm. They brought Krylxxa back to her home, which turned out to be a subterranean cavern. Krylxxa turned out to be a member of a race of fungus-like being (the "Phytons"), and had taken human form by draining the life from an innocent woman. Nonetheless, Krylxxa still loved Fafnir, and she pleaded with the leader of her people, Vyllm Pt'aar, to spare her two new allies. However, Vyllm eventually decided that he could not risk allowing the two to live, and possibly tell others of their existence. Krylxxa warned Fafnir and Conan, and fled the caverns with them, knowing she could not survive in the outside world without draining the life from others, but preferring death to living apart from Fafnir. After three days, Krylxxa's life energy was spent, and though Fafnir offered to give up his own life force for her, she chose not to ever take another life. Though Krylxxa then died, Fafnir took some comfort in seeing her in any of the wildflowers and meadows they passed.
(Conan the Barbarian#165) - Conan and Fafnir loot the Temple of the Dragon, carrying off various gold idols, bowls, and candelabras. Amongst the loot is an unassuming mirror, not worth much as booty with the jewel in the pommel missing, which Conan plans to give to Nadine, the daughter of Klauz, their fence and the local guildmaster. After they depart, priests of the Dragon God burst in and discover they have been robbed but happily discover the thieves did not make off with the Jewel of Thazarra. Conan gives the mirror to the shy Nadine who runs up to her room. Meanwhile, a rival group of thieves led by a tough looking woman called Marta grouse about Conan and Fafnir swooping in on a job they had planned for months and plot revenge.
Gazing into her new mirror while brushing her hair, Nadine finds herself possessed by the spirit of Thazarra, locked away in the mirror eons ago by the Elder Gods. Shredding Nadine’s dowdy garments into rags more to her liking, Thazarra climbs out the window and goes in search of a thief to help her obtain the jewel and her everlasting freedom from the mirror. Fafnir already off somewhere carousing, Klauz discovers Nadine is gone when he goes to show Conan to the guest room. Conan sets out in search of the missing girl but instead is waylaid by two of Marta’s gang whom he makes short work of. Instead Fafnir runs into "Nadine", and agrees to secretly meet her the next night in order to steal the jewel for her.
The next night Thazarra once again possesses Nadine. As Fafnir goes to leave, Conan offers him the chance to help steal some truly priceless booty he learned of from one of Marta’s men, but Fafnir begs off saying he has a prior obligation. Conan scales the temple’s tower and struggles to move the dragon idol (beneath which the jewel is hidden). Fafnir meets with Nadine who has brought the mirror with her this time, and the pair set off for the Temple of the Dragon. After hearing from one of her thieves that Conan has not yet stolen the Jewel of Thazarra Marta and her gang set out to get it for themselves. Thus, three separate groups set off to the Temple of the Dragon with three different motives.
Fafnir and Nadine sneak up the stairs, past a group of priests gloating over the latest haul of "offerings" from the peasants, and discover Conan. Thazarra/Nadine urges the two to hurry and procure the jewel, anxious over the approaching daylight. Fafnir offers to help Conan move the idol, but is refused. The morning light begins to come in the window and Thazarra once more becomes Nadine. Conan gets the jewel and against Nadine’s warnings that she senses something evil about it, he places it in the pommel of the girl’s mirror. Thazarra, laughing exultantly, emerges from the mirror as an evil green mist with a witch-like face. She once more possesses Nadine, but Conan threatens to slit her throat and the wild look in his eye convinces Thazarra to abandon her current body. Free to escape whenever she chooses and possess any woman she likes Thazarra returns to the mirror just before Marta and her thieves arrive, intent upon killing Conan. Fafnir and Conan cross swords with the thieves but are forced to stop when one puts his sword to Nadine’s throat.
Conan tosses the mirror to Marta just as the priests of the Dragon God come swarming up the stairs. Conan, Nadine and Fafnir run to escape. Nadine urges Fafnir to hurry, but he says he can’t climb down yet as the rope might not be strong enough to support the weight of all three. Thazarra emerges to possess Marta as Fafnir climbs down from the balcony, Conan commenting Fafnir does better with one arm than most men do with two. Inside the priests begin to slaughter the thieves who turn to Marta for leadership. "Marta is gone fool! It is Thazarra who leads you now!" Running to escape from the chamber, Thazarra darts through a doorway and triggers a bladed trap which falls from the archway and beheads her. The mirror smashed when it falls to the floor, the threat of Thazarra is seemingly ended.
Conan, Nadine, and Fafnir wander off to the sounds of the thieves being slaughtered in the temple above. Conan promises to find Nadine a new trinket to which she replies she wants no new gifts for awhile.
(Conan the Barbarian#166) - In a Nemedian village, Fafnir again rescued a maiden. This time it was Giselle, who had been sold to Gargantax, the champion of Baron Alain Mort-Pointard--she did not love the giant and had fled from him, and the Baron's soldiers sought to return her. Fafnir was up against three armed soldiers, but he was furious when Conan joined the fight and helped defeat Giselle's would-be captors. Fafnir had begun to feel inferior to Conan, and his pride began to make him act progressively more foolishly in an effort to prove himself. Conan left with Giselle in an effort to take her to safety, but Fafnir refused to flee, even though more soldiers would be on their way.
The rule of that portion of Nemedia was maintained by a yearly challenge of champions. Gargantax had maintained Mort-Pointard's rule for over a dozen years, and his strength and prowess was such that it had become a challenge in itself of finding someone willing to fight Gargantax. Wishing to maintain the challenge (possibly to avoid other means of overthrowing the ruler), Mort-Pointard's men chose Fafnir, assuming the one-armed man would be no match for Gargantax, and thus no threat to Mort-Pointard's rule. Fafnir learned that he was picked for this reason, but his pride and his anger drove him to fight anyway.
Gargantax was a true giant, several feet taller even than Fafnir, and he was superhumanly strong and unnaturally swift. Fafnir was quickly backed into the corner by Gargantax and his battleaxe, when Conan rushed in to his rescue. Even Conan was quickly overpowered by Gargantax, but Giselle rushed down to stop the giant from killing his opponents, distracting him enough so that Conan could wound and then skewer and kill Gargantax. Fafnir's pride had taken another hit, and he seethed with rage, admitting that he might have been killed by the giant, but at least he would have died like a man.
(Conan the Barbarian#167) - Fafnir was still bitter over the recent events when they were recruited by Countess Noirelle. She had maintained her youth for a thousands years at at ime with the white of an egg from a certain giant, winged creature, and needed them to help her obtain a fresh supply, as her last millenium's worth was rapidly wearing off. Rather than attempt to fight the monstrous creature, Noirelle had them first obtain a sample of the rare Yellow Lotus to drug it into slumber. Fafnir insisted that it be he who would steal the Lotus, but he lacked Conan's stealth and his lumbering roused the sentry, and soon her was beset by a squad of men. Conan set free the squad's slaves, who joined the struggle, allowing Fafnir, Conan, and Noirelle to escape. Noirelle went off with Conan to show him her...gratitude, while Fafnir went off to the local tavern, quaffed a few ales, and picked up a tavern wench. Fafnir bragged to the wench of his battle prowess, including his theft of the Lotus, and while he slept, she switched his pouch for one filled with sand.
When they approached the rest, the creature swooped down to attack them. Fafnir went for his pouch and only then realized that he no longer had the Lotus to drug the creature. The creature attacked Conan, but Fafnir, taking responsibilty for his mistake, drew the creature to attack him instead. It swatted him backwards, and Fafnir fell back onto its egg, shattering it and covering himself in its fluid. The creature then swooped down again and knocked Fafnir off of its nest, and off of the cloud-covered mountain which they had climbed to reach it. Noirelle, desperate for the egg's fluids, leapt off after him.
(Conan the Barbarian#168-BTS) - Conan searched for the valley below the mountain for Fafnir and Noirelle, to no avail.
(Conan the Barbarian#170(fb)-BTS) - However, the fluids from the egg had made him immune to death by almost any means (short of aging once its effects began to fade). The realization that he would live one thousand years, regardless of whether he fought well or poorly pushed Fafnir into a depression. He sunk deep into wine, and searched for ways to end his life. Wandering into a village, he soon provoked a group of cutthroats, hoping they could end his life.
(Conan the Barbarian#170) - Conan, having gotten wound up in another plot (involving the demon Kx'ulthuum, its sword, and an elderly mage), sought to slay Kx'ulthuum to free himself from its curse. On the way to accomplish this, Conan found Fafnir: alive, drunk, and fighting a group of cutthroats. Fafnir, still drunk, joined Conan on his journey, but required Conan's help to save him from a packed of Kx'ulthuum's winged demons. Conan feared that Fafnir would be a liablity for the rest of the journey as well, and asked him to turn back. Fafnir did not take his request (nor Conan's comments that he always ended up saving Fafnir's hide) kindly, and soon the mage accompanying Conan had to break up a fight. Conan agreed to let Fafnir continue with them, as long as he stopped drinking so much wine.
A short time later, they were attacked by an unliving army of Kx'ulthuum's, and Fafnir was speared through his middle, but he pulled out the spear and recovered instantly, thanks to the effects of the egg's fluids. Fafnir, Conan, and the mage enter Kx'ulthuum's domain and fought off a few of his demon-agents before being confronted by Kx'ulthuum itself. The mage directed Conan and Fafnir to occupy the demon, while he levitated its heart from a bubbling pit below. Conan skewered the demon, who laughed off his attack, pulled him close, and began to siphon his life force. As Fafnir rushed to his rescue, Kx'ulthuum recognized his magically enhanced lifespan and gladly tossed Conan aside in favor of consuming Fafnir's life force instead. Conan skewered the demons levitated heart, killing it, but he was apparently too late to save his old Vanir ally. Fafnir was pleased to have saved his Little Man's miserable hide for a change.
(Savage Sword of Conan#231(fb)) - The mage, who had seemingly been destroyed by the explosive death of Kx'ulthuum, returned, mortally wounded to the demon's domain. The mage gathered up the severed arm of Kx'ulthuum, all that remained of him, and bound it to Fafnir. The energies from the arm, resurrected/revived Fafnir, as the mage himself died. Fafnir was repulsed by this new demon arm, but he couldn't bring himself to hack it off. In no state to cross paths with Conan again, Fafnir wandered North, eventually coming to Yaralet. There he was hired by Atalis, the advisor to prince Thann, who kept the prince drugged with Lotus and ruled in his place. Atalis also drugged Fafnir, and made him his enforcer to keep those loyal to Thann in line. Atalis sorcerously merged the dark power he worshipped--the Hand of Nergal--with that of Kx'ulthuum, so that Fafnir's left arm now housed the essence of two devils.
(SSoC#220/2, 221/2) - Conan, along with several of his new allies, the Kezankians, came to Yaralet, hoping to persuade Thann to become their ally against the Turanians. Instead, Atalis had Fafnir defeat Conan, and then used the power of the Hand of Nergal to defeat the Kezankians. Atalis had Conan and his allies thrown into prison, while he took Tiqua, the daughter of the Kezankian leader, as his prize. Tiqua--acting on the advice of Conan, who remembered his previous encounter with the Hand of Nergal--stole Atalis staff, which contained the Heart of Tammuz. As before, "the Heart was ever stronger than the Hand," and when Taqui struck Fafnir's demon hand with the Heart of Tammuz, it broke Atalis' control over the Vanir. Conan and his allies broke free and defeated Atalis, and Fafnir returned to his senses, his demon arm now containing the forged Heart of Tammuz and Hand of Nergal.
(SSoC#231) - Fafnir, Zula, and the rest of the Kozak army and Kezankians were all left behind while Conan (and Red Sonja) got caught up in a time traveling adventure involving the wizard Tuzun Thune and his mirrors. Thune replaced Conan and Red Sonja with mirrored duplicates and sent them back to Conan's armies to rally them for an attack against the Turanian armies. Zula suspected that the two were duplicates, but backed down when "Conan" proved able to relate the stories of his first meetings with his allies. Thune, posing as Gonar, a pictish Shaman allegedly allied with "Conan and Sonja," attempted to shift the suspicion from his duplicates onto Fafnir, by exposing his demon hand. "Conan" attacked Fafnir, and in the course of the struggle, Fafnir determined that he was a duplicate because he (and Sonja) were both using their left, non-dominant, hands. However, "Sonja" skewered Fafnir from behind, before he could reveal his knowledge to the rest of the army.
Zula and another of Conan's allies, Turgohl, took Fafnir off to bury him, and though "Gonar" had confirmed Fafnir as being dead, the Vanir suddenly rose up again, his wound completely healed. Fafnir revealed his origins and related his suspicions to Zula. However, as they made plans on how to overcome the wizard and his doppelgangers, Thune ambushed them, imprisoning their souls in one of hte shards from his cavern of a thousand mirrors.
(SSoC#232) - "Conan" told the Kozaks and his other allies that Fafnir's demonhand had restored him to life just long enough to slay those who were burying him. He had their bodies brought back to the village to be burnt at midnight. Thune/Gonar wished to have the burnt sooner, but his doppelganger's had begun to take on will of their own and defied his wishes. At midnight, before their bodies would be burnt, Thune performed a ritual to insure that his three downed enemies could never return to life. The ritual was interrupted by the return of the real Conan and Sonja, and in the ensuing struggle, Turgohl's wife, Tania, got hold of Thune's mirror shard and freed the spirits of Fafnir, Zula, and Turgohl. They then destroyed a number of Thune's mirror weapons, weakening him. Thune's doppelgangers turned on him, mortally wounding him, and he, in turn, destroyed the mirror shard that allowed them to exist.
(SSoC#233) - Fafnir continued fighting alongside Conan, Red Sonja, Zula, and the Kozaks. In one battle against the Turanians, the blood lust of the demon arm overwhelmed him. When Conan tried to stop him, Fafnir nearly slew him as well, before returning to his senses, appalled at what he was becoming. Fafnir stayed behind, with the Kozak army, when Conan sought allies in Kherdpur.
(Conan: Flame and the Fiend#1) - Alongside Conan and Zula, Fafnir rescued Ispirana from a squadron of Turanians (who were pursuing her after she had stolen one of their horses). In the course of the battle, one of the Turanians sliced open Fafnir's leathern sleeve, and he removed the sleeve and strangled the Turanian with his hellhand. Zula had to calm Fafnir back down from his hellhand-induced frenzy.
Ispirana informed them of a plot of Shah Amurath (an agent of Yezdigerd) involving Kulan Gath and the fire demon Ormuz. Conan went off to stop Armati, the shamaness seeking to revive Gath, and he sent Fafnir, Ispirana, and Zula back to gather his Kozak army.
(Conan: F+F#2) - Ispirana feigned a problem with her horse and sent Fafnir and Zula off without her, telling them she would catch up. In reality, she was stopping to check on her son, who proved to be the reincarnation of its father, the demon Wrarrl, the Devourer of Souls. Fafnir, however, figured Ispirana was up to something and sent Zula ahead while checked on Ispirana. He found her fleeing from her now fully grown son, and he used his hellhand to cause a cave-in to slow the Devourer while they fled.
(Conan: F+F#3) - Fafnir, Ispirana, Zula, and the Kozak army burst into Akif, to rescue Conan from the clutches of Shah Amurath, Armati, and Kulan Gath. The struggle continued to escalate, as Gath summoned Ormuz, and then Wrarrl burst into the city as well, following the trail of his mother, Ispirana. Eventually, the two powerful demons destroyed the city of Akif and Gath and Armati were both slain (for awhile, anyway), and Fafnir headed off with Conan and his allies.
Comments: Created by Roy Thomas and Barry Windsor Smith
The large red-haired thief named Fafnir in Conan the Barbarian#6 apparently died on the point of his accomplice’s knife. It is possible but unlikely that this Fafnir and Fafnir Demonhand are the same. I have listed his appearance in this file for completeness sake.
The Marvel Comics Index#2: Conan and the Barbarians identifies them as one and the same...tough to argue with George Olshevsky! Also, in Conan#17, Conan and Fafnir discuss and both recall the events from Conan#6, confirming that they're the same guy. Fafnir even states: "Blackrat? That pipsqueak could never thrust a sword hard enough to spit a sparrow," explaining that he did indeed survive his accomplice's knife.
So, it's pretty difficult to argue that they're not the same guy. The only thing in favor of this would be a duplicate of Conan claiming to have met Fafnir when his pirates hijacked him on the Villayet sea (@ SSoC#231), and Fafnir not disputing this. Then again, Fafnir did suspect that this Conan was not the real deal, and may have just let it slide to gather further evidence against him.
Fafnir appears to be a mixture of several different characters:
* In Conan#6, as pointed out by both Robert McKinney and "Dim I Nticoudis," Fafnir and his partner Black Rat may be a tribute to Fritz Leiber, Jr(1910-1992)'s most famous characters and among the most famous of the Sword and Sorcery genre. Namely "Fafhrd" and his partner "The Gray Mouser".
You can find some info on this rogues and wanderers in the following page: http://www.stormbringer.net/tmouser.html.
Their adventures were being adapted by DC Comics at almost the same time these characters were introduced at Marvel. Fafnir's backstory sounds an awful lot like Fafhrd's from Leiber's novella, "The Snow Women".
* Further to the last, Per Degaton notes that this site "reprints Roy Thomas' reminiscences about the early days from Conan Classic, and from#6, he wrote this: First there were "Blackrat and Fafnir," originally intended simply as a passing doff of the hat to Fritz Leiber's sword-and-sorcery team, Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser."
* Per Degaton points out that Fahfrd and the Grey Mouser have appeared in Marvel comics, specifically an Epic mini-series by Mike Mignola. The duo have also appeared at DC, where they met Wonder Woman and Catwoman in Wonder Woman I#200-202.
* Conan the Barbarian#17 and 18 were adapted from the Turlough O'Brien short story "The Gods of Bal-Sogoth" by Robert E. Howard. The Gods of Bal-Sagoth featured Robert E Howard's Irish hero Mad Turlogh and his former enemy, sometime sidekick Wulfhere the Saxon. Conan replaces Turlogh and Fafnir pretty much takes the place of Wulfhere.
* Lastly, per Luis: it appears to me that Fafnir is a modified version of Sigurd (from Lin Carter and L. Sprague de Camp's "Conan the Buccaneer" and "Conan of the Isles"). For those with access to SJG's "GURPS Conan", there is a profile on Sigurd at page 124 - both are Vanir (red-headed, naturally enough), have a story of meeting Conan while both worked as pirates/buccaneers, and while Fafnir has a demonic prosthesis, Sigurd often swears by anatomical parts of deities. Also, you will notice that Conan allies that roughly match him in battle prowess are few and (generally) far between.
Early issues of Conan had some unusual guest-stars. One of those was Elric of Melniboné, who showed up at#14-15.
I would say that Fafnir's _name_ is a consequence of that Fafhrd/Greymouser parody/homage from Conan the Barbarian#6, while the development of the character itself (from#17-beyond) is roughly based on LC/LSdC's Sigurd.
I don't know my Conan history as well as some, but I think Conan the Barbarian#19+20 mark the start of Conan's long feud with prince Yezdigerd.
Fafnir has not been mentioned in any of Conan's chronologically later stories, partially because most of them were written BEFORE he was revealed to be alive in SSoC#220, April, 1994. By that time, Conan the King and the first Conan the Barbarian series were discontinued. He popped up a few more times in the final 15 issues of Savage Sword of Conan, and then again in the Flame and the Fiend, as recent as 2000. However, Conan's chronology continues for decades after the events of Flame and the Fiend#3. The Kozak armies saga continues through...
Nergal and Tammuz (Dumuzi) are two of our old friends, the Annunaki (Mesopotamian Gods). Both the Hand of Nergal and the Heart of Tammuz showed up back in Conan the Barbarian I#30, and Nergal has been mentioned in modern era tales as a demon, the husband of Allatou, in fact.
Conan the Barbarian I#164 is out-of-order chronologically, and does not contain Fafnir.
Profile by Greg O’Driscoll and Snood.
Fafnir Demonhand should not be confused with...
* Fafnir the Frost(?) Giant, brother of Fasolt, who constructed Valhalla, used the Ring of the Nibelung to transform into a dragon, @Thor I#294
* Fafnir of Nastrond, an evil king transformed into a dragon by Odin, eventually slain by Thor and Elif Dragonslayer,
@ Thor I#134
both of whom were brought back in spirit by Malekith @ Thor I#486-488
Atalis, the prophet and later usurper of Yaralet, has no known connection to
* Atali, or Yatali, the daughter of Ymir, @ Savage Tales I#1
Kyrie, aka Aala, of Bal-Sogoth, has no known connection to:
* Kyrie, of Rimthusar's Menagerie, a hawk-like woman who briefly possessed Shawna Lynde, @ Thor I#320
Conan the Barbarian I#6 (June, 1971) - Roy Thomas (writer), Barry Windsor-Smith (pencils), Sal Buscema (inks), Stan Lee (editor)
Conan the Barbarian I#17-20 (August-November, 1972) - Roy Thomas (writer/editor), Gil Kane (#17-18) & Barry Windsor-Smith (#19-20) (pencils), Ralph Reese (#17) & Dan Adkins (#18-20) (inks)
Conan the Barbarian I#161-163 (August-October, 1984) - Michael Fleisher (writer), John Buscema (pencils), John Buscema (#161-162) & Charles Vess (#163) (inks), Larry Hama (editor)
Conan the Barbarian I#165-168 (December, 1984 - March, 1985) - Michael Fleisher (writer), John Buscema (pencils), Armando Gil (#165), Geof Isherwood (#166), Dave Simons (#167) & John Buscema (#168) (inks), Larry Hama (editor)
Conan the Barbarian I#170 (May, 1985) - Michael Fleisher (writer), John Buscema (pencils), Bob Camp (inks), Larry Hama (editor)
Savage Sword of Conan#220-221 (April-May, 1994) - Roy Thomas (writer), Mike Docherty (pencils), E.R. Cruz (inks), Richard Ashford (editor)
Savage Sword of Conan#231-233 (March-May, 1995) - Roy Thomas (writer), lMike Docherty (pencils), E.R. Cruz (#231-232) & Geof Isherwood (#233) (inks), Tim Tuohy (#231) & Mike Lackey (#232-233) (editor)
Conan: Flame and the Fiend#1-3 (August-October, 2000) - Roy Thomas (writer), Geof Isherwood (pencils), Sandu Florea (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Last updated: 05/20/08
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
All characters mentioned or pictured are ™ and © 1941-2099 Marvel Characters, Inc. All Rights Reserved. If you like this stuff, you should check out the real thing!
Please visit The Marvel Official Site at: http://www.marvel.com
Back to Characters