HARPAGUS

Real Name: Harpagus

Identity/Class: Human (Hyborian era) magic user

Occupation: Former leader of Yezud; former vicar

Group Membership: None

Affiliations: Zath (god), Feridun, Followers of Zath

Enemies: Conan, Helliana, Rudabeh, Sabo

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: Lord of the Spiders, Zath

Base of Operations: Formerly Arenjun; Yezud (a city in Zamora, during the Hyborian Era)

First Appearance: Savage Sword of Conan#207 (March, 1993)

Powers: Harpagus commanded the legions of Yezud and Arenjun. He wore a spider-ring which enabled him to mesmerize and control others.
After the death of Zath, Harpagus became able to transform himself into a human-sized spider. This form possessed greater than human strength, was covered with dense chitin, and possessed venom capable of slaying a man within seconds.

History: -Harpagus lived in Yezud, the city of the Spider-God, where he ascended to the title of vicar, and was one of the leaders of the worship of Zath. Alongside the high priest, Feridun, Harpagus sought to use the immense spider-god and its children to take over all of Zamora.

(Conan: Lord of the Spiders#3(fb))-During one of his routine searches for cattle to feed Zath, Harpagus slaughtered a family and assaulted their young girl. This girl grew up to be Helliana.

(SSoC#207-210)-Harpagus led the capture of Jamilah. He encountered Conan in the deserts outside Yezud, and erased his memory after he had seen Jamilah. When Conan returned to Yezud (his memory restored by Kushad), he used a magical dust to erase Harpagus' memory of him this time. Later, Harpagus attempted to force himself on Rudabeh, who had been given the pouch of magic dust by Conan (from the witch Nyssa). In a panic, Rudabeh hurled the entire supply of dust into Harpagus' face, resulting in the erasure of his entire memory. Harpagus spent the next several weeks, wandering around, and a virtual invalid.

BTS-After Zath's death, Harpagus somehow inherited some of its power.

 

 

(Conan: LotS#1-3)-The mindless Harpagus unconsciously wandered to Arenjun, to the ruins of the Tower of the Elephant, which had formerly been the home to another giant spider. He encountered the now adult Helliana and her fellow thief Sabo. When Sabo remarked on Harpagus' Spider-Ring, it caused his memory to return. Harpagus slew Sabo and then coerced Helliana to capture Conan and bring him to Arenjun.
Meanwhile, Harpagus began calling himself Zath, and took over the leadership of Arenjun. Conan escaped Helliana's trap, but followed her back to Arenjun and ended up getting captured by Harpagus' priests anyway. Harpagus injected Conan with the black lotus, which sent him into a drug-induced frenzy. Helliana recognized Harpagus as the man who had assaulted her years before, and so she freed Conan and cured him with the white lotus. Conan fought Harpagus in his spider-form, and split his face with an axe. Harpagus crawled away, preparing to unleash a spell or two on the barbarian, but Helliana attacked him, tackling him into a large fire. She willingly sacrificed herself to put an end to him.
Conan found a cage of spiders, possibly new children of Zath, and hurled it into the fire as well.

Comments: Created by L. Sprague de Camp.
Adapted by Roy Thomas and John Buscema.

I place the Hyborian era @ 12, 000 BC-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.

If the Black Lotus is some sort of early opium derivative, then the white lotus, which reverses its effects, is most likely Naltrexone or Naloxone, more commonly known as Narcan (which is used to reverse drug overdoses).

CLARIFICATIONS:
Harpagus, aka Zath, claimed to be the successor to, but should be distinguished from:


images:


Other appearances:
Savage Sword of Conan#208-210 (April-June, 1993)
Conan: Lord of the Spiders#1-3 (March-May, 1998)


Last updated: 08/02/02

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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