Real Name: Redondo
Identity/Class: human adventurer
Occupation: Swordsman and mercenary, later religious convert
Affiliations: Conan (comrade in arms and commanding officer), Seka (shield maiden of General Hakim unsuccessfully wooed by Redondo), Feducio (priest of Mitra), Merdine (Feducio's thug)
Enemies: the Jester, the Monster of Alhmet, gang of herdsmen, and Conan (after Redondo converted to Mitraism)
Known Relatives: none known
Aliases: Renada, Renaldo, Realto, Renumolo (with the typical indifference of a demagogue for his followers Feducio could never get Redondo's name right)
Base of Operations: Formerly a division of the Turanian army under General Hakim's command, later Feducio's galley.
First Appearance: Conan the Barbarian Annual#10 (1985)
Last Appearance: Conan the Barbarian#176 (November, 1985)
Powers: Redondo was a career soldier and therefore presumably a competent swordsman. Part of the score of the strongest men chosen for the midnight attack on Baron Shamir's castle Redondo probably possesses peak human strength. Redondo was also portrayed as something of a smooth talker. Other than that he was a perfectly normal young man of the Hyborian age, likely of mixed Kushite or Nubian descent, with what I would assume are supposed to be handsome good looks that he used to his best advantage.
History: (Conan the Barbarian Annual #10)- In the province of Alhmet, after twenty nine years of faithful service to King Yildiz, Baron Shamir held a ball celebrating his young wife's twenty-seventh birthday, and then suddenly stopped sending the tribute and taxation that was the king's due. After two years of this, King Yildiz had had enough, and sent in his army to depose Baron Shamir, and occupy his fortress until a newer and more tractable Baron of Alhmet could be chosen. Shamir was such a tyrant his people welcomed the avenging army of soldiers, and in no time, General Hakim, leader of the assault, had the castle under siege and ready to fall.
Redondo, part of the mercenary force sent with General Hakim to Alhmet, spent his time lazing about and trying to sucker the General's shield-maiden Seka into bed. Redondo all but ignored one of the General's orders in favor of continuing (rather unsuccessfully) to charm Seka. This prompted Conan, Redondo's commanding officer, to threaten to hang him if he didn't get a move on. After Redondo left, his ever dutiful commanding officer told Seka to meet him later that night as usual, and to "stay away from Redondo. He smiles too much."
In his chambers, General Hakim briefed his officers. The war action against Baron Shamir had proven too costly in gold and manpower, so he had been ordered by the king to take the castle by the next sunrise. Redondo, along with Conan, was chosen as one of the strongest men besieging the castle to conduct a daring midnight raid in order to open the gates to the waiting army. General Hakim had his men ram the gates in order to create a distraction that allowed the hand picked group to scale the rear walls. The mute and likely mad Jester foiled this plan by cutting some of the ropes the soldiers were climbing. The screams of falling soldiers alerted the castle guardsmen, and soon the attackers were under a rain of arrows.
Both Redondo and Conan were hit, but each made it to the parapet and engaged the guardsmen. Conan ordered the men to split up and head for the gates, then await his signal. Redondo decided to first hunt down the weird little Jester and extract some vengeance. In hot pursuit, Redondo lost the Jester, and ran straight into a guard captain! Redondo quickly beheaded the man, and takes his uniform. Managing to bluff his way past a couple of guards and discovering the Baron Shamir, Redondo was about to behead the rebellious ruler, until he realized the Baron was in a catatonic state, and only came to life when soldiers needing orders arrived. Puzzled, Redondo catched a glimpse of the Jester slipping away, and went after him once more.
Meanwhile, Conan was attempting to rally Baron Shamir's political prisoners and get their aid in storming the castle gate. They wanted no part of his plan, and before he could escape the grasping and whiny Baroness Numballa, Who the Baron has apparently "thrown to the wolves" to use a cute euphemism. the Jester slammed the door behind him, and locked the Cimmerian in. The guardsmen were alerted, and soon the cell was guarded once more, but Redondo, still in the captain's uniform, tricked them into opening the cell. Conan burst out, and Redondo covered his eyes as Conan cracked one guard's skull, apparently just for the hell of it.
Redondo told Conan he expected better treatment in the future, now that he had saved the barbarian's skin, and got belted in the mouth for his presumptousness. Redondo said that it was a really poor way to say thank you. Conan replied that he had orders, and violating them had jeopardized the mission. Just as Redondo reported that all the others from their group were dead, a huge purple tentacle burst up through the dungeon floor, wrapped itself around him, and pulled him down into the depths! Conan snatched Baroness Numballa up by the hair, and had her show him to the caverns below.
Conan learnt from Numballa that the Jester whose tongue she had ripped out was imprisoned in the caverns, and logically deduced the Jester must have found something he shouldn't have. He was right-- there was a king's ransom in gold that wasn't reported to Yildiz's tax collectors hidden there, but what he didn't know was that the Jester also found a ring of stone tablets etched with evil runes, granting him demonic power. Seeing the Jester levitating in the air nearby, Conan leapt to the attack, realizing the peasants' legends about the evil in the scorched earth beneath the castle are true, and the Jester has tapped into the eldritch power somehow. Either deceived by an unillustrated illusion, Or just in a moment of colossal stupidity Conan tumbled into the well the Jester was hovering above.
Shedding his armor, Conan swam to the surface and found... (you guessed it) Redondo! Conan asked him (since he had emphatically stated more than once he has no friends, and even if he did, Redondo wasn't one of them) if he had any idea where they were. Redondo points out they seem to be at the edge of a huge eye, and indeed, the lake at the bottom well was really some sort of huge semi-solid eye. Conan asked if Redondo had any ideas, which prompted a sly grin. Conan found himself swimming out to the center of the eye, standing upon the solid iris, and then driving his sword into the eye's giant pupil.
The next moment, Conan was hundreds of feet in the air above the castle, clinging for dear life to a lashing tentacle, and cursing Redondo. Redondo, in the clutches of another tentacle, told the barbarian that he wasn't having a good time either. Slung back into the caverns, Redondo discovered the cave-in caused by the monster has blocked the only exit, but was consoled by a large pile of gold. Elsewhere, the political prisoners were rioting and attacking the guards at the gate. Conan, in spite of orders commanding him to disregard his soldiers' lives and open the gate, went back to move the boulders and save Redondo's life. "Conan! I thought you said Mercenaries didn't have friends?" Conan helped himself to the fat sack of gold Redondo had gathered up, "They don't."
The creature in the caverns lashed out again, and this time the entire castle began to crumble. General Hakim, and Seka, in tears, watched from afar. Then the general spied two tiny figures approaching on horseback: Redondo and Conan! All that remained of Baron Shamir's castle is the ring of cursed stone tablets. In the words of General Hakim, "Not bad, Conan. I send you to open the castle gates, and you bring the whole thing down for me." Seka joyfully rushed to Conan, but he told her he has something to do first-- BAM! Redondo took another good smack on the jaw! Relatively unfazed, Redondo asked what he did that time, and Conan replied it was just something he promised himself he would do if he got out alive.
Days later at a small outpost near the steppes, Redondo was still asking Conan if there were no hard feelings about riling up the beast beneath the castle. A group of herdsman appeared and wanted to talk to Redondo about a certain horse he stole from them, and told Conan they wished to speak to his friend. Conan replied that he had no friends. Redondo got the crap beat out of him before Conan finally relented, leaping into battle to help his "friend".
(Conan the Barbarian#176)- Years, and many adventures later, shortly after his encounter with the Scarlet Personage (see comments), Conan and his two companions, the teenage swordswoman Tetra and the Zingaran army captain Delmurio, are in an unnamed Argossean town. They are awaiting the arrival of the Black Ship, which Conan sought to charter to Nostrumo's Isle. The priest Feducio was beseeching his followers to sell flowers in order to pay for the new image of the god Mitra which would arrive with the Black Ship. Feducio noticed Conan and his friends (presumably due to a tavern brawl instigated by Tetra) and learnt of their wish to hire the Black Ship. Deducing they either had gold or were on their way to get it, Feducio tried to take advantage by offering the services of his ship (for a modest fee of course). As it began to rain, Conan told the priest he was mistaken in thinking he needs Feducio's galley and stalked off.
Days later the rain had still not stopped, and Conan, growing impatient, set out to inspect Feducio's galley. Once there, he called Feducio a hypocrite for preaching love and peace while maintaining a boat rowed by slaves. The oarsmen happily told him they were not slaves, but servants of Mitra, doing what little they could for the faith. Conan smirked, wondering how grown men could be taken in by such idiocy, only to be unpleasantly shocked as he recognized one of the faces at the oars. In response to Conan's questions, Redondo told his friend that Feducio had shown him the way and enlightened him. "Don't start that," sayeth Conan, "You were the one who fixed me up with those seven milkmaids..." Redondo lamented his sinful ways.
Conan, having had enough of his pious nonsense, grabbed Redondo and dragged him bodily from the ship. Since Redondo saved Conan from the dungeons of Baron Shamir, the barbarian was determined to repay the favor. Redondo just thrashed helplessly, screaming for Feducio to save him. Feducio's masked guards appeared on deck and Conan knocked Redondo out with one blow so he could have both hands free. Conan dispatched the guards in short order, and departed with an unconscious Redondo over his shoulder, but not before pinning Feducio to the mast of his ship by his expensive cloak with one of his guardsmen's own swords. Pulled down by his late arriving henchman Merdine, Feducio went on at length about how Conan could ruin them all by breaking his hold over "Realto" and exposing the truth. So of course, he hatched a plan to destroy Conan.
A day later the raining had only intensified. Flash floods wiped out the streets, mudslides destroyed many houses, and more people would likely join those that had died already. Redondo was still fanatically loyal to Feducio, and had been kept tied to a chair the whole time. Conan was convinced the spell Feducio had woven over Redondo would pass. Tetra and Delmurio returned from a scouting trip, saying the people believe that the Black Ship had been lost at sea, and Feducio had whipped the people into a frenzy, telling the populace that Conan was some sort of "rain demon" and that the deluge wouldn't end until the Cimmerian was dead. Redondo overheard this as Tetra loosened his bonds, and promptly broke free. Whatever he had lost in independence, Redondo had retained in speed and agility, and managed to dodge all three of them and escape.
In the town square Feducio was agitating the crowd to the point where they would soon happily commit murder in the name of their religion There's a surprise! when Redondo burst out of an alley, joyfully yelling his master's name. Feducio couldn't hear Redondo and thought the former mercenary had broken free from his control. "No! Not now! I have this crowd ready to slit the barbarian's throat!" Merdine said not to worry, he had thought of everything. As Conan closed in with Redondo, one of Merdine's crossbowmen released a bolt killing Conan's friend. The crowd meekly parted before the wrathful Conan, and soon the barbarian had slain both Merdine and Feducio. This murder of their "saint" Feducio inspired the crowd as even their "blessed Father's" words could not, and soon Conan, Tetra, and Delmurio were fleeing the blood mad mob.
Caught at a dead end, the trio of warriors prepared to meet death bravely, only to have the rain suddenly stop and the Black Ship appear on the horizon, bearing the sacred image of Mitra with it. The crowd left the strangers unharmed, and raced off to go worship the new idol.
Comments: Created by Jim Owsley [Christopher Priest] and Ernie Chan. Named, possibly, for Conan artist Nestor Redondo? -Prime ED-ternal
CTB#176 references Conan Annual#9 as Redondo's first appearance, but all of the contextual comments point to CTB Annual#10, thus I have listed that as his first appearance. I do not have Annual#9 to reference so if this is in error please notify me. --I don't see Redondo in that issue--Snood.
Redondo was an amusing character and it was a shame to see him go, especially as some lamb-like religious zealot, but otherwise this was a good use of an relatively unimportant supporting character. Conan stories are littered with people, places, and things that never reappear so this was a nice touch to round out "Argo's Rain" (CTB#176). Of course since both his first and last appearance were written by the same man this could have been the plan for Redondo all along.
Howard often mined history for names of people and places, altering them slightly. There is a historical Argos is addition to Howard's fictional one, the difference being the people of historical Argos are called Argives and the peo1ple of the fictional one are called Argosseans.
It is mentioned at one point in "Argo's Rain" that Feducio has been disowned by the actual priesthood of Mitra. That combined with his over-pronunciation of the word "frie-eeeends!" makes me think he is supposed to be some sort of jab at street preachers and televangelists. It's those dirty tent revival preachers that are corrupt! Not the meek and much maligned established priesthood! No, it's the machinery of entrenched religion that's evil! Me? I prefer Conan's take on things to either of the others. - It's also reminiscent of another corrupt minister created by Priest-- Achebe of Black Panther. -Prime ED-ternal
Feducio seemed rather worried that Conan would uncover what he and Merdine were really up to. I imagine it was just garden variety charlatanism with fake miracles and cures and so forth in order to bilk the rubes out of their money, but perhaps it was something more sinister? Of course, if a writer for Marvel ever does come along and want to pick up some of the dangling plot threads from the Conan comics, I hope they pick better ones than this, so who really gives a damn what Feducio was up to?
"Argo's Rain" occurs in the issue after Conan's encounter with the Scarlet Personage (CTB#175) whom he pushed off of a boat into the sea. It's possible, in light of the demon churning up the waters and tossing the boat about, the Scarlet Personage was also responsible for the storms that plagued the unnamed town and frightened the superstitious peasants.
the street preacher and galley master, and his henchman, Merdine.
Before Conan gave them the wrong end of his sword, they had a
nice little operation set up with dozens if not hundreds of
mindless acolytes worshipping Mitra (including Redondo), and
plenty of nameless masked thugs to protect their interests. -Conan
Monster of Alhmet: a monster with a really, really, really,
really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really,
really big eye, that would burst through the floor of the castle
with one of its tentacles to snatch up a victim as it is wont to
do from time to time. Conan gave something for it to focus on--
the sharp end of his sword. -Conan the Barbarian Annual#10
General Hakim: Redondo and Conan's commanding officer in the Turanian army assigned by King Yildiz to depose Baron Shamir of Alhmet for failing to send the yearly tribute. Here we see him briefing his men on his attack plan. No one ever said he was a GOOD general! -Conan the Barbarian Annual#10
Clarifications: Redondo should not be
Ridondo, the mad Valusian poet, @ Kull the Conqueror#1
Rinaldo, the similarly mad Aquilonian poet, @ Conan the Barbarian Annual#2
Hector Redondo, mad priest foe of the Punisher, @ Punisher V#2
Lando Calrissian of the Star Wars movies, although one could certainly understand why you might!
Profile by: Greg O'Driscoll
Last updated: 08/01/02
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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