Real Name: Hadrathus
Identity/Class: Human (Hyborian Era) magic-user
Occupation: Priest of Asura
Affiliations: Asura (god), Yaamai; Priests of Asura; Conan
Enemies: Almaric, Orastes, Set, Tarascus, Valerius, Xaltotun
Known Relatives: None
Base of Operations: a temple of Asura in Aquilonia; Hyborian era
First Appearance: REH's "Hour of the Dragon" from Weird
collected in Conan the Conqueror;
(In the MU) Giant-Size Conan#3 (April, 1975)
Powers: Hadrathus was granted limited magical powers via Asura, such as telepathy and the ability to animate the statue of Yaamai. In addition, he had extensive mystical knowledge, and using the Heart of Ahriman, he was able to effectively counter and even overcome the spells of the powerful Acheronian sorcerer Xaltotun.
History: (GS Conan#3) - A fugitive in his own country,
King Conan rescued the unjustly sentenced Countess Albiona from the headsmen's
axe. As they fled through the back alleys of the city, a group of hooded
figures suddenly came to Conan's aid against the guards pursuing King Conan
and the Countess. Slaying the guardsmen, the hooded figures quickly
led the pair down a secret passage to the hidden underground Temple of
Asura. Countess Albiona panicked, believing the rumors that the cult
of Asura were cannibals practicing human sacrifice, but Conan's cooler head
prevailed. Conan had, in the past, protected the cult of Asura from
the persecution by the priests of Mitra, believing men should worship what
gods they will (unless, of course, they worship dark gods and demons
and black magic and so forth which means you'll likely be on the point of
Conan's sword soon enough anyway).
Hadrathus, priest of Asura, said he and his followers sought
to repay Conan's barbaric tolerance in the face of the Mitraist's
zealotry. Hadrathus fed Conan and then showed him a vision of the of
the only way to defeat evil Xaltotun's power - - the Heart of Ahriman, a
great jewel brought to Earth by demons from beyond. Conan asked if
this was the source of Xaltotun's powers and Hadrathus said that it was used
to bring him back to life, but that the sorcerer derived his power from black
gulfs and the Heart came from some far universe of light; against it, the
powers of darkness could not stand. Xaltotun hid it so it could not
be used against him, but if it were in the hands of a priest of Asura he
could be defeated. Conan knew where to find the Heart of Ahriman and
planned to set out and find it.
As Hadrathus led them along another secret passage to where
Conan might begin his quest the priest of Asura told them more of his
religion. "Men lie when they say our cult is a survival of Stygian
serpent-worship. Our ancestors came from Vendhya , beyond the blue
Albiona asked if the Sons of the East were
more powerful than the Sons of the West, and Hadrathus replied that neither
could defeat Xaltotun without the Heart of Ahriman. "Asura is a new god
who bound up older ones." Hadrathus pointed to a fearsome looking jade
statue, "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 remarked that he would hate to face Yaamai with nothing
more than a sword and a prayer to which Hadrathus replied Conan would soon
lean hard on both, "For lo - - Yaamai lives!" Conan wondered
why Hadrathus betrayed him since it was obviously his cry that brought the
statue to life but was soon engaged in pitched battle with the giant green
monster, preventing him from pondering further on the matter.
A fearsome battle was waged between Conan and the monstrous, two-headed animated statue, with Conan primarily on the defensive, the bestial head of Yaamai snarling and growling, and all the while the slumbering head dreamt on undisturbed. Finally Conan hit upon a plan and decapitated not the bestial head which proved invulnerable to his sword, but the sleeping head which was quickly decapitated. In response, the monster climbed back upon its pedestal, reattaching its head as it went. Hadrathus begged forgiveness, but the attack was a necessary test to see if Conan was worthy. Confused, Conan did not understand why the monstrous head of death was invincible, but Conan was told that he was mistaken--the slumbering head was, in fact, the head of death, for it represented the final sleep.
(GS Conan#4-BTS) - Hadrathus contacted another follower of Asura, who met Conan and Albiona, to guide them through the mountains to the first Poitain Stronghold. However, Conan was familiar with the area, since it was part of his country, Aquilonia, and so the guide was not needed. Once inside Poitain, another Priest of Asura informed him that the Heart of Ahriman had been stolen from Tarascus' agent, then sold to Zorathus, who took it towards Argos.
(Savage Sword of Conan#10) - Conan obtained the missing/stolen
Heart of Ahriman from Stygia. He gave the Heart to Hadrathus, who used
it to oppose the magic of Xaltotun. The Priests of Asura allied themselves
with the former Aquilonian noblemen, who had been deposed and broken by Xaltotun
and his allies. Hadrathus blocked a spell of Xaltotun's intended
to trap Conan's Poitanian army in a sudden flood (or perhaps the spell failed,
since Xaltotun did not have the Heart of Ahriman). The Priests also
created a mist that clouded the view of Valerius and his soldiers, enabling
the former noblemen to trap and slaughter them.
Hadrathus, holding the Heart of Ahriman, confronted Xaltotun himself. Hadrathus staved off Xaltotun's magic power, while Conan skewered the Acheronian, at last sending him to his final death. After Conan's forces conquered Tarascus and the rest of the usurpers and retook Aquilonia, Hadrathus returned to his temple, taking the Heart of Ahriman with him.
(King Conan#29) In light of recent threats to Conan's kingdom, Hadrathus brought out the Heart of Ahriman, offering to use it to protect and defend Aquilonia. Conan turned down his offer.
(King Conan#30) When Tarantia, a city in Aquilonia, was under seige by Xantaus, king of Argos, Hadrathus showed Conn (Conan's son) a secret passage to the Khorotas River so Conn could reach his father, engaged in battle elsewhere..
(King Conan#31) Conn found his father. Later, Crassus (a Set-worshipper posing as a Mitran priest) killed a Mitran priest named Dexitheus and blamed Hadrathus. Hadrathus stated that he was innocent of the crime to Queen Zenobia, and gave her the heart of Ahriman as collateral if he was lying.
(King Conan#34) - Speaking with Trocero and Publius, Hadrathus (by this time a known confidant of King Conan of Aquilonia), showed them the Heart of Ahriman. He noted that it protected the kingdom from Crassus, a vile, Set allied adept. Trocero, Publius, and Hadrathus watched safely from a castle as a battle raged.
Later, Hadrathus used the Heart of Ahriman to divine the location of the Prince and Princess Radegund and Taurus. Hadrathus discovered that Crassus rode to Argos with Radegund as a hostage but had slain Taurus. Zelata, the blind prophetess, admonished Hadrathus, pointing out that the boy whom Crassus slew was a changeling of the real Taurus.
(King Conan#35) Hadrathus used the Heart of Ahriman to observe Conn as the prince set out to slay Crassus.
(King Conan#42) Hadrathus stowed away with the Heart of Ahriman as Conan set sail on a journey to confront Crassus. Hadrathus, once his presence on the ship was revealed, persuaded Conan that the Heart of Ahriman would be needed to defend themselves from Crasssus.
(King Conan#45) Hadrathus warned Conan not to leave Tarantia due to impending supernatural danger. (Conan was targeted by the sorcerer Caliastros.) Later, Hadrathus argued with Publius (a court official) about placing a mystical cordon over the palace and Zenobia's chamber. Publius did not agree to Hadrathus' idea.
(King Conan#46) Because Publius did not allow Hadrathus to erect the magical cordon, Caliastros was able to cause Zenobia to suffer a miscarriage. Princess Radegund was also pregnant at the time, so Hadrathus summoned the other Asuran clerics to use the Sacred Blue Flame of Asura to protect Radegund. She gave birth to a healthy child.
Comments: Created by Robert E. Howard, adapted by Roy Thomas and Gil Kane.
Profile by Snood and Greg O.
Profile updated/edited by Kyle Sims with info provided by Per Degaton
No known connection to:
Harpagus, a Hyborian age agent of Zath, @ SSoC#207
Last updated: 07/19/03
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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