ASURA

***No known images***

Real Name: Presumably Asura; possibly Ahura Mazdah (see comments)

Identity/Class: Hyborian God; possibly God of Zoroastrian religion

Occupation: Deity

Group Membership: Hyborian Gods

Affiliations: Worshipped by Priests of Asura (Hadrathus) and possibly Zoroastrians; Yaamai?

Enemies: Set and his followers; formerly Yaamai

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: Unrevealed. Likely some extra-dimensional realm of the Gods; He was worshipped in Vendhya (what is now modern day India and Pakistan), as well as in secret in Aquilonia during the Hyborian era.

First Appearance: Not actually seen in the MU;
First referenced in REH's "Hour of the Dragon" from Weird Tales (1935-1936), collected in Conan the Conqueror;
(First referenced in the MU) Giant-Size Conan#3 (April, 1985)

Powers: Unrevealed. Asura would likely possess immunity or resistance to againg and conentional disease. He presumably possessed magical powers, some of which he granted to his followers. He also would likely possess some degree of superhuman strength and durability.

History: Virtually nothing is known about Asura, the God of the Hyborian age.

(Giant-Size Conan#3 (fb) - BTS) - According to Hadrathus, "Asura is a new god who bound up older ones...Such as yonder Yaamai, four armed God of Death and Sleep. Armed with trident, fire-sword, mace, and noose, he conquered ALL... save ASURA!"

(Conan the Barbarian I#261 (fb) - BTS) - Khalaari, four armed goddess of death from Vendhya, created Scarlet Tears for Asura.

(Official Handbook of the Conan Universe) - The eastern kingdom of Vendhya is ruled by a goddess-queen called a Devi, a mortal woman thought to be the reincarnation of a goddess. The Devi's power is upheld both by the noble warrior caste of Kshatriyas and those servants of the throne, the Priests of Asura, Vendhya's most popular deity. In Conan's day the current Devi is Yasmina, whose life he saved from the Black Seers of Yimsha and whom he once had carnal designs upon.

(text feature in Savage Sword of Conan#7) - "Asura had followers in Aquilonia, though the cult was persecuted until Conan imposed toleration soon after his succession. Even after this, they remained hidden due to the great fear and hatred to which it continued to be held by the mass of Hyborians, who mistakenly believed the cult to be Set-worshipping cannibals. this belief was enhanced by their habitual secrecy and their habit of wearing black.
The Khorotas may have had some mystical significance to the cult, for it seems to have been located only along or near that great river. Certainly when an Aquilonian Asuran died, his body was last seen by the uninitiated floating down the river in a black, skull-decorated "pilgrim-boat," whither no outsider new.
Little is known of the ceremonies of the cult in Vendhya, beyond some fragmentary rites, in which wailing priests beat drums and temple gongs, blew conch-horns, and gashed themselves with knives."

(Hour of the Dragon/Conan the Conqueror/Giant-Size Conan#3, 4, Savage Sword of Conan#8, 10 - all BTS) - Priests of Asura assisted in Conan in defeating the Acheronian sorcerer Xaltotun and his allies who had conquered Aquilonia.

Comments: Created by Robert E. Howard, adapted by Roy Thomas and Gil Kane.

--I place the Hyborian era as beginning shortly after the great Cataclysm (16, 000 BC), although it came to exist as it was usually seen around 12, 000 BC-10, 000 BC. Conan's adventures take place @ 10, 000 BC. For a truly excellent pre-modern era Chronology of the Marvel Universe, check out Robert Wicks' Unofficial Chronology of the Marvel Universe.

Asuras were Hindu gods of the underworld opposed to the Devas, Hindu Gods of heaven. Some texts I've read remark that they were not inherently evil while other texts remark they were indistinguishable from the Rakshasas, Hindu demons.--Will U
This seems to tie in with the Devi mentioned in the Conan Universe.

The Index of Hyborian Names found in the back of Conan the Swordsman and compiled by various Howardian scholars from Robert E. Howard's own notes lists Asura as a "god of an Eastern religion secretly flourishing in Aquilonia. In Indian mythology a term for a god, spirit, or demon cognate with the Persian 'Ahura' "
This Ahura would be Ahura Mazdah, Lord Wisdom," who is the supreme god of the Zoroastrian religion. See the comments on
Zoraster for a discussion on this.
Given the fact that Vendhya represents ancient Persia, and the connections to Ahura from the Index of Hyborian names, AND the use of the Heart of Ahriman (also tried to Zoroastrianim), I think it very LIKELY that the Asura of the Hyborian era is meant to represent Ahura Mazdah. This remains conjecture, however...and I have only the tiniest pea of understanding of Zoroastrianism (based on info given to me by other profilers and fans of the site).

Further info from Greg O:

Thanks to Per Degaton for Asura's mention in Conan the Barbarian.

Profile by Snood and Greg O.

CLARIFICATIONS:
No KNOWN connections to:

Uncertain connection to:

  • Ahura Mazdah, the supreme God of Zoroastriansim, otherwise not seen in the MU (see comments)

Other appearances:
Giant-Size Conan#4 (June, 1975) - Roy Thomas (writer/editor), Gil Kane (pencils), Frank Springer (inks)
Savage Sword of Conan#7 (August, 1975) - Robert L. Yaple (writer)
Savage Sword of Conan#8 (October, 1975) - Roy Thomas (writer/editor), Gil Kane (pencils), Yong Montano (inks)
Savage Sword of Conan#10 (February, 1976) - Roy Thomas (writer/editor), John Buscema (pencils), The Tribe (inks)
Official Handbook of the Conan Universe (January, 1986)
Conan the Barbarian I#261 (October, 1992) - Roy Thomas (writer), E.R. Cruz (artist), Mike Rockwitz (editor)


Last updated: 08/02/02

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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