Real Name: Ursla
Identity/Class: Uncertain. Human(?) (Hyborian Era) magic-user
Group Membership: Priestesses of the Wild
Affiliations: Conan (former ally and lover); Kratos and Bia (pets); other Priestesses of the Wild (including Lupalina)
Enemies: Vammatar and her undead warriors, Witch-Men of Hyperborea
Known Relatives: Conobar (son)
Aliases: Priestess of the Northern Snows, Priestess of the Wild
Base of Operations: the snow-covered mountains of Cimmeria, Hyborian Era
First Appearance: Conan the Barbarian I#48 (March, 1975)
Powers: Ursla ages very slowly, or perhaps not at all. She has the ability to communicate directly with and control polar bears, as well as other creatures of the northern wild.
History: Ursla's exact origins are unknown. She has undergone rituals which ordained her as a Priestess of the Wild, and granted her an extended lifespan. These same rituals have been undergone by other women, her "sisters," who live in other, far-flung remote places of the world. Ursla stationed herself in the frozen mountains of Cimmeria, and developed an attachment to the bears that live there.
From time to time, men would come to her, too...
(Conan#48) - A young Conan, just turned fifteen years, explored the mountains of Cimmeria and met the Priestess of the Northern Snows. She brought to her dwelling and shared a drink with him, explaining her true nature to him. When she told him that men came to her, too, the naive young Conan asked, "Why?" And so she showed him.
BTS - Ursla gave birth to Conobar, the son of Conan. Due to Ursla's magic, Conobar grew to adulthood in half the normal time.
(Conan the Barbarian I#49) Conan encountered Lupalina, a sister sorceress to Ursla. Ursla appeared to Conan in a vision, telling him of how she had magically communicated with Lupalina.
(Conan#258(fb)) - About eleven years later, Ursla observed the rain of fire (of Vammatar), which destroyed Conan's old village, the Snowhawk tribe. Seeing it as none of her concern, she did not investigate.
(Conan#258) - Weeks later, Conan was knocked
from a flying steed while headed for Mount Crom to oppose the
sorceress Vammatar. Ursla had some large snowhawks slow his
descent and guide him to a soft snowdrift. Ursla brought him back
to her dwelling and nursed him back to recovery. She verified
that she was indeed Conobar's mother. Conan doubted her and
headed off to continue his quest to Mount Crom. However,
Vammatar's undead legions had tracked him to Ursla's cottage and
attacked them. Conan and Ursla's bears destroyed the warriors,
but the one bear, Kratos, was slain in the process.
Conan initially blamed her for failing to fight Vammatar and her legions after first learning of her, when his people needed her aid. However, he withdrew his words and left her, never planning to return.
Comments: Created by Roy Thomas and John
Portions of Conan#48 were "freely adapted" from the Belmont Novel Kothar and the Conjurer's Curse by Gardner F. Fox. I'm uncertain whether Ursla came from that tale as well.
Ursla has the distinction of training the young Conan in the Arts Carnal.
Conan met his son by Ursla, Conobar, in Conan the Barbarian I#145. It was not a particularly happy reunion.
No known connections to:
Kratos and Bia's names are derived from the Greek Gods by the same name, but they have no other connection to:
KRATOS and BIA
Kratos and Bia were a pair of polar bears, male
and female, who served as servitors, allies, and companions to
Ursla. Kratos was killed defending Ursla from Vammatar's undead
A pair of bears were seen, but not named, in Conan I#48. These may or may not be the same bears, who were named as Kratos and Bia, in Conan#258.
Conan the Barbarian I#48-49 (March-April, 1975) - Roy Thomas (writer/editor), John Buscema (pencils), Dick Giordano, Terry Austin & Dan Adkins (#48) (inks)
Conan the Barbarian I#258 (July, 1992) - Roy Thomas (writer), Mike Docherty (pencils), Ricardo Villagran (inks), Mike Rockwitz (editor)
Last updated: 09/04/11
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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