YASMELA

Real Name: Princess Yasmela

Identity/Class: Human (Hyborian era), Khorajan citizen

Occupation: Princess

Group Membership: None

Affiliations: Ishtar, Mitra (gods); Amalric, Conan, Katuman, Khorajan army, Taurus, Thespides;
Red Sonja (who only tolerated her because Conan fancied her), Zula;
Hobb of Anuphaur (acquaintance)
formerly Vateesa

Enemies: Natohk/Thugra Khotan, Vateesa, Zug, Zugites

Known Relatives: King Khossus (brother); Katuman (husband)

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: the Royal Palace of Khoraja; Hyborian era

First Appearance: Weird Tales Volume 21, Number 6, Black Colossus (June, 1933); Savage Sword of Conan#2 (October, 1974)

Powers/Abilities: None. Yasmela led the pampered life of a princess and had few useful skills. She was wise enough to trust and follow Conan...at least while she needed him.

History: (Black Colossus/Savage Sword of Conan#2/Conan the Barbarian I#248, 249) -
After her brother, King Khossus, was taken prisoner by Amalrus, the King of Ophir, Princess Yasmela became the nominal ruler of Khoraja. Soon after, Natohk began to amass the desert nomads against Khoraja. In reality, Natohk was the ancient Stygian wizard Thugra Khotan, who sought to avenge himself on the Hyborians who had destroyed his city some three thousand years before. Natohk/Khotan saw Yasmela as the reincarnation of his own lover, Bas-Tet, and sought to take her for his own. Natohk began to plague her dreams, tormenting her with his desires and plans for her. In desperation, Yasmela followed the advice of her handmaid, Vateesa, and sought advice from the Oracle of Mitra (The people of Khoraja worshipped Ishtar, but praying to Ishtar wasn't getting her anywhere...). In front of the statue of Mitra, she heard a voice, telling her to go forth alone into the streets and place her kingdom in the hands of the first man she met there. That man turned out to be Conan.

 

Yasmela brought Conan into the palace and indeed placed him in charge of her kingdom, much to the dismay of her advisors. However, as Conan had been serving as a mercenary in her army, he commanded the respect of the other mercenaries, and some of the Khorajan soldiers as well. Yasmela feared to be left behind, so she accompanied the army as they prepared for war. She continued to be plagued with nightmares of Natohk, but her visions enabled her to confirm that Natohk was Thugra Khotan. Later, as the nomads and the armies of Khoraja fought, Natohk sidestepped the battle and abducted Yasmela, taking her to some nearby ruins where he planned to ravish and then kill her. Conan followed and saved her, killing Thugra Khotan in the process. Yasmela was quite grateful, and she thanked him...probably more than once that night.

(Conan the Barbarian#250) - Conan accompanied Yasmela in a victory parade through the streets of Khoraja. He shared her bed, but could not reveal their relationship in public: "I can't have my people know I've taken up with a commoner!" Later, Yasmela accompanied Conan, Red Sonja, and Zula to Kuthchemes, where she hoped to steal the treasures left behind by Thugra Khotan, to use as ransom for her brother's release. However, both Yasmela and Red Sonja were taken hostage by a group of Zugites, who sought the treasure of Kuthchemes for themselves. The two women were brought across the River of Darkness, and they watched as the Zugites walked into and were crushed by a giant skull. Yasmela was entranced by the skull, and only a punch to the back of the head from Sonja stopped her from entering it, too. Conan and Zula brought the two women back across the River, where they were attacked by Zug. Yasmela was furious as Sonja and Zula dropped the treasures of Kuthchemes on Zug in order to distract it from Conan. As Sonja and Zula decided to part from their company, Conan advised Yasmela to keep her mouth silent unless she would prefer to return to Khoraja by herself.

(Conan the Barbarian#251) - On the trip back to Khoraja, Yasmela listened as Conan told the story of Ossian and the wings he had stolen from a demon.

(Savage Sword of Conan#2) - Conan rescued King Khossus from the Mountain of the Moon God. However, while he was out saving her kingdom, she became engaged to Katuman, a Stygian who had fought against Khoraja on the side of Natohk/Khotan. However, he was at least of royal blood. Conan was somewhat less than heartbroken and decided to leave Khoraja, after he'd rested a fortnight or two with a few of the beautiful maidens of the castle of Khoraja.

Comments: Created by Robert E. Howard; Adapted by Roy Thomas and John Buscema.

There was an error in Savage Sword of Conan#2, in which Natohk took Yasmela from the battlefield to his temple in Kuthchemes, which was hundreds of miles away. In REH's Black Colossus, he took her instead to the ruins alongside the battlefield. In 1991, Conan the Barbarian I#249 corrected that error, but that meant that the treasures of Kuthchemes were laying open for anyone to grab...which led to the story told in Conan the Barbarian I#250.

Also in Savage Sword of Conan#2, Amalric of Nemedia was renamed Malthom to avoid confusion with Amalrus, the king of Ophir. Conan the Barbarian I#249 revealed his real name to be Amalric.

Red Sonja and Zula were ret-conned into Black Colossus. As best as I understand, REH's Red Sonja (Sonya) was not actually around in the Hyborian era, but instead was a closer contemporary to Solomon Kane, around the 16th Century. Zula is, I believe, a Marvel creation entirely. Neither of them were in the Savage Sword of Conan story, but were weaved into the extended version told in Conan the Barbarian I#246-249, @ 1991.

I've only recently begun to index the Conan series, and I'm not even 10% done. Let me know if any of these characters appear again, and I'll add to their entries, perhaps even expanding to a full profile if warranted.

CLARIFICATIONS:
Amalric of Nemedia, aka Malthom, should be distinguished from:

Taurus of Khoraja has no known connection to:


Amalric of Nemedia

He led a band of mercenaries enlisted by Khoraja in their war against the forces of Natohk. (Conan the Barbarian I#244-BTS, 245) - He and his men were beset by the Afterlings by the vampire-lord Varnae, during which time Amalric was saved by Conan. After the battle, Conan punched out Amalric to stop him from slaying the fleeing Afterlings after they had been released from Varnae's control. However, Amalric allowed it to slide, as he owed the Cimmerian his life. Conan, and his allies Red Sonja and Zula, joined Amalric's mercenaries, and Conan was made Captain of the troops.
(Conan the Barbarian I#246) - Although he worked with Count Thespides, the leader of Khoraja's army, Amalric did not like him, as the Count made it clear that he thought of the common mercenaries as much less than himself and other royalty.
(Conan the Barbarian I#247) - He sent Conan in the failed attempt to recruit Katuman and his men to fight for Khoraja.
(Conan the Barbarian I#248) - Amalric was forced to direct Conan to obey Thespides' edict of a royal curfew, to prevent them from staying out drinking the whole night before they left for the battle against Natohk.
(Savage Sword of Conan#2/Conan the Barbarian I#249) - Amalric soon had to serve under Conan, when Yasmela gave him control over the whole kingdom. While Amalric didn't really like Conan either, he did respect his skills, and followed his lead in battle. During the struggle with Natohk's forces, he received a leg wound. He recovered and was part of the victory parade in Khoraja.
(Savage Sword of Conan#3) - Later, Amalric thought to lead a band of warriors to rescue King Khossus, but Conan instructed him to stay in Khoraja and protect Yasmela while he went himself.
(Savage Sword of Conan#12 (fb)-BTS) - Sometime later, Amalric's bravery and success was rewarded by Yasmela and Khossus, who made him the head of Castle Crimson.
(Savage Sword of Conan#12) - Conan came to Castle Crimson and convinced Amalric to work with him in a plot to pace the slave-girl Zuleika off as Corma, a princess who had been missing for some time. Conan made a deal with Khelru-Shan to sell "Corma" to him, but Amalric fell in love with Zuleika and fought Conan savagely to keep her. Their fight was interrupted when Khelru-Shan's army stormed the city, after another of his agents, Mordek, had snuck in kidnapped "Corma." Khelru-Shan and his forces were ultimately destroyed, but then the army of Aballah Bin Khor, the father of Corma, arrived to claim her. However, Zuleika, who correctly figured that bin Shah would have had his daughter raised by handmaidens, and would't know the difference, told her "father" that she had fallen in love with Almaric, too. Zuleika/Corma and Almaric/Malthom were married.

--Black Colossus, Savage Sword of Conan#2


Khossus

The rightful King of Khoraja, he led a mission to the court of Ophir, seeking aid in the common cause against Natohk and his nomad horde. However, Amalrus, the king of Ophir, had Khossus captured and held hostage for a huge ransom...although he also considered turning him over to Strabonus, the King of Koth...who wished the ransom for Khossus for himself, and in turn offered Amalrus a very advantageous trade treaty. While Amalrus debated his plans, Khossus was imprisoned in the Mountain of the Moon God.
After the defeat of Natohk, Khossus was rescued by Conan, who also rescued him from forceful capture by agents of Strabonus. As they escaped, Conan again saved Khossus, this time from a giant pteradon, which had been incubating inside the Mountain. Khossus gained the chance to pay Conan back, by stopping Vateesa from stabbing him in the back as he recovered from his struggle with the pteradon. Once returned to Khoraja, Khossus resumed his role as King, and was profoundly sorry to see Yasmela reject Conan in favor of Katuman.

--(mentioned) Black Colossus, Savage Sword of Conan#2; (seen) Savage Sword of Conan#3 (Conan the Barbarian I#246(fb), Savage Sword of Conan#3


Taurus

 

The royal chancellor of Khoraja, his role was small, but he knew enough to respect the wishes of Yasmela, and accept the temporary leadership of Conan. He recognized Conan's worth and tried to disuade him him from risking his life in going to rescue Khossus himself.

 

--Black Colossus, Savage Sword of Conan#2 (Conan the Barbarian I#246, Savage Sword of Conan#2, Savage Sword of Conan#3

 


Thespides

A Count of Khoraja, he made his opinion of the commoners with which he had been forced to serve well known. He first chafed Amalric by refusing to aid him when they were beset by followers of Natohk within the city, to avoid sullying his hands in such undignified combat. He objected to the presence of Zula's dark skin, until Amalric offered to pull his whole mercenary out of the battle to spare him the indignity. It was Thespides who created the royal curfew after finding Conan, Zula, and Sonja out boozing it up in the middle of the night as the battle with Natohk's forces approached. However, this had less than desirable results for Thespides, as when Conan wandered around town angrily after being kicked out, he bumped into Yamela following the prophecy of Mitra, and became leader of the forces of Khoraja.
Thespides was most apalled with these events, and refused to serve Conan until Yasmela chastized him and offered him the choice of serving her wishes or leaving Khoraja forever. During the battle against the forces of Natohk, Thespides accused Conan of being a coward and not attacking a small force of the nomads. Despite Conan's concern that it was a trap, Thespides rallied the portion of the army that were loyal Khorajans to follow him, and charged the nomads. Just then, Natohk appeared and set up a magical trap, setting Thespides and his followers on fire, killing them.

--Black Colossus, Savage Sword of Conan#2 (Conan the Barbarian I#246, 248, Savage Sword of Conan#2/Conan the Barbarian I#249


Vateesa

Also known as Vateeza, she was the maid-in-waiting of Yasmela. It was she who recommended that Yasmela seek advice from the Oracle of Mitra. Her father was a priest of Mitra in Ophir. Later, she may have served as Yasmela's double, and seduced Conan in the shadows--before he learned that Yasmela had a double. He learned all right--the hard way.
Later, Vateesa became jealous of the affection between Yasmela and Conan. She stole the map to the Mountain of the Moon God and brought it to King Strabonus, hoping she would gain a great reward. Strabonus sent Sergius and some other men to the Mountain, and had them bring Vateesa along to punish her if she were lying. Along the way, Sergius made it clear that he wanted some fornication under the consent of the king, and that he could tell Strabonus whatever he wished to about her fate. After that, she began to realize that perhaps she did fancy Sergius...until, of course, she was captured along with Sergius by Commander Quzak, the head guard of Koth in the Mountain of the Moon God. In order to avoid imprisonment or death, she made Quzak see that it was he she truly wanted. However, as Quzak led her to his abode, Conan caught up with them, and decided to take her back to Khoraja for punishment. As Conan recovered from his battle with a pteradon from the Mountain, she picked up a sword and tried to stab him in the back. Khossus, knocked her feet out from under her, and she fell upon the sword.

--Black Colossus, Savage Sword of Conan#2(Conan the Barbarian I#250?, Savage Sword of Conan#3


Appearances:
Savage Sword of Conan#2 (October, 1974) - Roy Thomas (writer/editor), John Buscema (pencils), Alfredo Alcala (inks)
Savage Sword of Conan#3 (December, 1974) - Roy Thomas (writer/editor), John Buscema (pencils), Pablo Marcos (inks)
Conan the Barbarian I#246 (July, 1991) - Roy Thomas (writer), Gary Hartle (pencils), Mike DeCarlo (inks), Mike Rockwitz (editor)
Conan the Barbarian I#248-249 (September-October, 1991) - Roy Thomas (writer), Mike Docherty (pencils), Ernie Chan & Gerry Talaoc (#248) (inks), Mike Rockwitz (editor)
Conan the Barbarian I#250 (November, 1991) - Roy Thomas (writer), Mike Docherty (pencils), Ernie Chan (inks), Mike Rockwitz (editor)
Conan the Barbarian I#251 (December, 1991) - Roy Thomas (writers), Sandy Plunkett (story), Tony DeZuniga (pencils), Del Barras (inks), Mike Rockwitz (editor)


Last updated: 11/21/02

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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