teyanoga-pict-changingsnakeTEYANOGAteyanoga-pict-hyborian-face

Real Name: Teyanoga

Identity/Class: Human (pre-Cataclysmic and Hyborian eras) magic user;
    Pict

Occupation: Leader and tribal shaman

Group Membership: Hawk Clan of the Picts in the Hyborian era;
    formerly led the Hawk Moon Clan of the Picts, as well as Brule's tribe of Picts, in the pre-Cataclysmic era

Affiliations: Kwarda, Valerian (and all those opposing Conan's rise to power in Aquilonia), Set, Wizard of Ghost Swamp;
    Wildcat and Turtle Clan of the Picts in the Hyborian era; sought an alliance with the Wolfmen Clan;
    created and controlled a
snake-man
    possible loose alliance with
Thulsa Doom;
    limited association with
the Assemblage of Avatars (Akoos the Red Wizard, Lady Linnea, Rotath, Sorrow, Thulsa Doom, Tuzun Thune, Lord Varnae (still human at the time), Zhered-Na,, and the spirit of C'Thunda);

Enemies: Brule the Spear-Slayer, Conan (and all those supporting his rise to power in Aquilonia), Gault (son of Hagar), Kull;
    various victims, human and serpent
    enemies with the Wolfmen clan of Picts (but an alliance was being sought)

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: Unrevealed;
    formerly the Pictish wilderness beyond the border of the Westermarck, the western frontier of Aquilonia;
    formerly Kurmonn, Pictish Isles, pre-Cataclysmic era

First Appearance: Kull and the Barbarians#2 (May, 1975)

Powers/Abilities: Teyanoga had a number of magical abilities, only a few of which have been glimpsed.

    One favored trick was to merge a man with a serpent, turning it into a hybrid warrior under his control. While Teyanoga was able to focus on his creation, this snake-man was able to survive most forms of destruction, including decapitation.

    Teyanoga also possessed superhuman resistance to injury. Badly burnt in a fire, he rose to attack anew. He took a seemingly fatal arrow to the chest and showed up within days wearing a bandage.

    Teyanoga survived at least 8000 - 9000 years; though elderly in facial appearance, he retained a muscular frame.
    Teyanoga's full powers has yet to be seen, although he did claim -- presumably falsely -- to be infinitely more powerful than Thulsa Doom.
 

History:
(Kull and the Barbarians#2 (fb) - BTS) - Teyanoga's true origins are unknown, but legends have it that he made arcane pacts with Hellish demons, trading his soul for power and immortality.

(Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z (hardcover) Vol. 7: Appendix: Magic (from the journals of Ian McNee) (fb) - BTS) - Around 19,000 BC when conflicts broke out again among the four surviving Elder Gods -- Chthon, Gaea, Oshtur, and Set -- Agamotto summoned their representatives to Atlantis for the legendary Assemblage of Avatars. The summit was attended by all the greatest sorcerers of the ancient era, including  Zhered-Na with her apprentice Dakimh, as well as Akoos the Red Wizar Lady Linnea, Rotath, Sorrow, Teyanoga, Tuzun Thune, Thulsa Doom, Lord Varnae (still human at the time), and the spirit of C'Thunda.

    However, very little was accomplished during the meeting and Agamotto became frustrated with humanity's limitations.


(Kull and the Barbarians#2) <Over 18,000 BC> - Kull and Brule came to the island of Kurmonn, seeking to recruit Brule's tribe for assistance in regaining his throne from Thulsa Doom.

    However, upon arrival they were ambushed and overpowered by the Picts, who now served Teyanoga. The shaman demonstrated his power to Kull by merging a man and a serpent into a hybrid creature, which he then decapitated.

Teyanoga burning

    Teyanoga planned to slay Kull next, but Kull broke free and attacked Teyanoga's loyal tribesmen. Kull scattered the tribesmen and freed Brule, at which point Teyanoga reanimated the headless snake-man and sent it to destroy Kull.

    The former king stabbed the snake-man repeatedly, to no avail, as its tail coiled around and crushed him. 

    Realizing that Teyanoga was feeding the snake-man power, Brule shoved the shaman into the middle of a blazing fire.

    As Teyanoga screamed in pain, the snake-man paused, and Kull stabbed it one last time, finishing it off.

    However, Teyanoga was not defeated, but instead rose from the flames, covered with bubbling, burning skin. Teyanoga rallied his warriors to attack his two foes, and Kull and Brule fled from the amassed warriors.

    While Kull went off to seek further allies to regain his throne, Brule remained in Kurmonn, intending to free his people from Teyanoga's power.

8000 years later...

(Savage Sword of Conan#59/3) <Circa 10,000 BC> - Before a group of picts of the Hawk Clan or Onayaga (see comments) as well as Lord Valerian (a local land-owner who had declared neutrality), a mask-wearing Teyanoga performed the Dance of the Changing Serpent, apparently exchanging the souls of a captive pict of the Raven Clan with that of a large serpent as it descended upon the captive.

    After the serpent in the man's body awkwardly slithered across the ground and the man in serpent's body tried repeatedly to rise to a standing position and collapsed, a knife-wielding pict stepped forward to sever the heads of both.

    After Teyanoga removed his mask, he was recognized by Gault (son of Hagar, of the province of Thandara, who was working as a forest runner to support the rise of Conan to power as king of Aquilonia, and had observed the ritual) as the very pict who had burned alive his good friend Jon, son of Galter. Overcome with outrage, Gault fired a seemingly lethal arrow into Teyanoga's chest and then fled, his longer legs allowing him to outdistance and escape the pursuing picts.

(Savage Sword of Conan#59/3 - BTS) - After Gault exposed Valerian's loyalties, he was freed by Kwarda ("halfbreed pictish mistress, half hawk half Ligurean, the witch of Scandaga." Valerian sent her bestial Chakan creature to slay Gault (who instead slew it), after which Valerian and his witch-mistress headed to the cabin on Lynx Creek; Valerian's own men were to meet him there, after which Teyanoga was to come to them so they could rouse the picts against the Hyborians.

(Savage Sword of Conan#76/2) - As Valerian met with a grouping of rogues (including Kwarda, half a dozen Schorian renegades, three forest runners, and half a dozen Gunderman guards), Teyanoga arrived with 6-7 picts. Teyanoga told Valerian that if the Hawk, Wildcat, and Turtle Clans of the Picts struck across the border against the divided Aquilonians as he was requesting, that the large and powerful Wolfmen Clan would ravage their land while they were away. Noting that all four clans must clasp hands, Teyanoga advised that chiefs of all four tribes should meet at midnight on the edge of Ghost Swamp and make "talk-talk" with wizard of the swamp: All present would do as the wizard said.

    Valerian noted that if they stepped lively, they could reach Ghost Swamp in two hours, and that he would go directly to see if he could persuade the wizard to induce the Wolfmen to join the other tribes.

(Savage Sword of Conan#76/2 (fb) - BTS) - Teyanoga and his associates apparently departed the cabin before Gault and his allies set it ablaze; Valerian and Kwarda escaped as well.

To be continued!
Except, not...at least, not as far as I know.

Comments: Created by Gerry Conway and Jess Jodloman.

    The images at the top of the profile are the most recent image of Teyanoga, from the Hyborian era.

    When Kull first saw Teyanoga, he saw the image of Thulsa Doom floating above him. Kull asked him if he conspired with Thulsa Doom, and Teyanoga did not explicitly deny this, but instead stated that he was so powerful that he need not conspire with anyone. Nonetheless, Thulsa Doom had been directing attacks at Kull ever since he fled the City of Wonders, and his involvement (at least as a warning or suggestion to Teyanoga) seems likely, though it remains unconfirmed.

    It looks like the "Wolves Beyond the Border" adaptation was never finished, which leaves the story in Savage Sword of Conan#59 and #76 unresolved.
--Markus Raymond

    Teyanoga worshipped "the Snake God"; his presence at the Assemblage of Avatars confirms this to be Set.

    Savage Sword of Conan#59/3 says "HAWK CLAN OR ONAYAGA" (all the letters are capitals). I'd take that as meaning that Onayaga was an alias of the Hawk Clan, likely their name in their own language. However, it strikes me as a bit odd that a couple sentences later, the narrator (Gault), references the Picts' Raven Clan and doesn't give another name for them.
    Not that it makes any more sense, but I wonder if the "OR" was supposed to be "OF," referring to the location they inhabited. I don't recall seeing the name mentioned anywhere else (although I'm getting old and senile), so that seems even less likely...

    Teyanoga is misspelled "Tenayoga" in Savage Sword of Conan#59/3, but it was spoken thusly by a man who'd been imprisoned for public intoxication, so maybe he just misspoke...

CLARIFICATIONS:
Teyanoga should not be confused with:


Images:
Kull and the Barbarian#2
Savage Sword of Conan#59/3, pg. 3, panel 5 (full, masked in Hyborian era);
    #76/2, pg. 3, panel 1 (face in Hyborian era)


Appearances:
Kull and the Barbarian#2 (July, 1975) - Gerry Conway (writer), Jess Jodloman (artist), Roy Thomas (editor)
Savage Sword of Conan#59 (December, 1980) - Roy Thomas (writer/editor), Ernie Chan (artist)
Savage Sword of Conan#76 (May, 1982) - Roy Thomas (writer/editor), Ernie Chan (artist)
Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z Hardcover#7: Magic Appendix (2009) - David Sexton (writer), Jeff Christiansen (head writer/coordinator), Jeff Younquist & Jennifer Gruenwald (editors)


First Posted: 02/20/2003
Last updated: 06/24/2019

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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