KARTAG the KEEPER

Real Name: Kartag

Identity/Class: Extra-dimensional(?) humanoid

Occupation: Guardian of the Twilight Well

Affiliations: Norns/Fates (masters); Him who Sleeps (Guard), Redguard (Guard), Satrina (servant and lover);
Thor, Warriors Three (Fandral, Hogun, Volstagg)

Enemies: Mangog

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: Keeper of the Twilight Well

Base of Operations: The Twilight Well, World's End

First Appearance: (mentioned) Thor I#195, (seen) Thor I#196 (February, 1972)

 

 

Powers: Kartag is large (10-12' tall) and possesses superhuman strength (Class 75?) and durability. He is a reasonably skilled warrior and uses a large battleaxe. He is apparently immune to the effects of aging, and possibly of conventional disease. It is also possible that the Twilight Well exists within a division of Limbo, and thus shields him from the effects of time.

History: Kartag's race and origins are mostly unrevealed.

(Thor I#197(fb)-BTS) - Under unknown circumstances, Kartag became a servant of the Norns/Fates. For 200, 000 years, Kartag guarded the cave to the Twilight Well at World's End. In that time, none had ever crossed its threshold and lived.

(Thor I#195-197,[198],199) - On the verge of an assault by Mangog, Odin dispatched Thor and the Warriors Three to wrest the secret of the Twilight Well from Kartag. The four faced numerous trials, assaults, and struggles before finally locating the Well. Kartag sought to stop them from approaching the Well, and challenged Thor to combat. Kartag's ally, Satrina, prevented the Warriros Three from interfering with the battle. Thor and Kartag fought back and forth briefly until their struggle brought them into the Well itself. Thor was overwhelmed by the myriad of images, of past, current, and future events, which assailed him.
Under the direction of his masters, the Fates, Kartag pulled Thor from the waters.The Fates revealed that his quest for the Well had been a test, to see if his race was worthy of saving. They had passed the test, and so the Fates granted Thor and his allies three large sheepskins filled with the waters of the Twilight Well.
Kartag the joined the four warriors in returning to Asgard to join the battle against Mangog. They found Asgard missing; the Rainbrow Bridge coming to an abrupt end. (Odin had relocated Asgard to a distant dimension, so that Mangog could not continue on to the other realms if he proved victorious over the forces of Asgard). Thor used the waters of the Twilight Well to enhance the magics of his own hammer, Mjolnir, and locate and travel to Asgard. Kartag attacked Mangog, but was quickly swatted aside, knocking him a great distance from the battle and apparently incapacitating him as well.
Thor sent Volstagg to take the waters of the Twilight Well to Odin's Vizier, while he stayed and continued the struggle against Mangog. The Vizier combined the waters of the Twilight Well with those of Odin's Cosmic Well. This generated large amounts of magical power, which had two effects: The landmass of Asgard began to return to its location within its original dimension. In addition, geysers of water shot up across Asgard. Odin allowed the waters to pour over him, replenishing his might, so that he could again confront Mangog. Odin succeeded in severing the link between Mangog and the energies which initially created it, causing Mangog to shrink out of existence. The drain on Odin's weakened form was too much, and he died. However, as Asgard was in transport across time and space, Odin would not truly be dead until Asgard returned to its original location, and Hela could claim his soul.
With the battle against Mangog concluded, Kartag returned to World's End to continue to defend the Twilight Well. The Fates watched via the Twilight Well as Thor fought off the hordes of Hela and then Pluto, who sought to usurp Odin's soul. Thor nearly fell beneath the axe of Pluto, but the Fates themselves interfered, destroying Pluto's axe and allowing Thor to continue the battle. Thor managed to fight off Pluto and Odin was successfully restored to life.

Comments: Created by Gerry Conway and John Buscema.

Thor I#197 revealed that the Norns of Asgardian mythos are the same beings as the Fates of the Olympians.

Kartag the Keeper had the big build-up, but never amounted to much. Thor had heard legends "about this cruel keeper," but Kartag seemed more of the "gruff, but lovable" type.

Also, I'm not really sure where World's End is. It could be a distant border of Asgard (or one of the other Nine Worlds), or someplace across the Universe, or another dimension. It wasn't made clear.

The above (left) image of Kartag is artistic license. Kartag's not that big.

The Death of Odin...never gonna happen, my friend! it may take 4 years or more, but they will ALWAYS bring him back. Can't fight the status quo!

CLARIFICATIONS:
Kartag has no known connections to:

Him who Sleeps has no known connection to:

Satrina has no known connection to:

The Twilight Well has no known connections to:

  • The Twilight Sword, aka the Sword of Doom, a weapon of Surtur, @ Thor I#337
  • Twilight 2099, of X-Nation, @ 2099 Genesis#1
  • Twilight of the New Universe, Lenore Fenzl, of DP7, @ DP7#1
  • Well at the Center of Time, an interdimensional conduit, @ Avengers I#84
  • Well of All-Things, the power source of the Temple of Dragon's Breadth sought by Tai, @ New Warriors I#24
  • Well of Life, the energy source which further empowered Morg, @ Silver Surfer II#72
  • Infinity Well, a source of information in the Death Dimension, @ Silver Surfer III#38
  • it's connection to Odin's Cosmic Well is undefined.
    ...and a bunch of other Wells I missed

Him who Sleeps

Acting as Kartag's guardian, Him who Sleeps was one of the first beings to attack Thor and his allies in the quest for the Twilight Well. This insect dealy-o fought off Thor and the Warriors Three for awhile, until Thor got fired up, and dropped him with a blast from Mjolnir.
It was strong to hold and contain Thor in one of its hands, and it could fire powerful energy blasts from its mouth.
--Thor I#195

 

 

 

 

 

 





Redguard

 

 

The flaming dragon was an illusion created by Satrina to delay or halt Thor and his companions. It attacked them, surrounding them with a sea of flame. Satrina did not realize that Thor could fly, and he carried his allies up and out of the flame to confront her once again.
--Thor I#196

 

 

 

 




Satrina

Satrina served as both the servant and lover of Kartag. Her origins are similarly unknown, but she was unaware that they served a higher power: The Fates. She first confronted Thor and the Warriors Three, catching them off guard with casual conversation, and then released a crimson mist that robbed them of consciousness. When they awoke, Satrina had ensorcelled their minds, making them believe they were in the hands of fair and amorous maidens--a place they were none to eager to vacate. Thor, however, overcame her illusions, and after some struggle forced his allies to do so as well.
As the heroes continued their journey, she conjured Redguard to entrap them, but they overcame this obstacle as well. Finally, she led them to the Well itself, hoping that Kartag could overcome them. As Kartag battled Thor, Satrina created great hands out of the rocky ground to hold the Warriors Three and prevent their interference (likely an illusion).
Satrina failed to understand what was going on when the Fates appeared and granted some of the water from the Twilight Well to Thor and his allies. Mistaking them for attackers, she fired a bolt of energy at the Fates, which had no effect. Kartag calmed her and attempted to explain their true role.

 

 

 

 

Satrina's primary abilities seemed to be illusion casting and mesmerization, although she did fire a bolt of energy at the Fates. She could levitate herself and other small objects.

--Thor I#196 (197, 198

 

 




Twilight Well

 

Kartag guards the Twilight Well, a mysterious pool of unknown origin, tied in to the Fates somehow. The Twilight Well also has some connection or affinity to the Cosmic Well of Odin. The waters can stimulate memories, project images of distant events, or even show posisble futures. Thor used the waters of the Twilight Well to locate the Cosmic Well, and later to restore Asgard to its original location after Odin had moved it to protect the rest of the world from Mangog.
--Thor I#195, 197 (195+196-BTS, 197, [198-201]

 

 

 

 

 



















Last updated: 05/14/14

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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