ARTYS-GRAN

Real Name: Artys-Gran

Identity/Class: Uncertain (see history and comments), Post-Hyborian (and possibly long before) and modern eras

Occupation: Queen of the Unforgiven Dead;
    former ruler of Atlantis

Group Membership: Unforgiven Dead (Suma-Ket, Socus)

Affiliations: Faceless Ones, Leviathans, Nereids, Old Ones

Enemies: Atlanteans (Homo mermani), Dara, Dr. Doom, Fen, Kalen, Master Khan, Morel, Namor, Neptune, Olympian Gods, Tamara Rahn, Seth, Tiger Shark, Vashti

Known Relatives: Suma-Ket (husband, deceased)

Aliases: Priestess of the Ancient Rites, She-Who-Was; "Fen"

Base of Operations: Currently unknown;
    formerly Atlantis;
    formerly a place north of the Antarctic kingdom of Atlantis

First Appearance:
    (as "Fen"): Namor I#29 (August, 1992)
    (as Artys-Gran): Namor I#39 (June, 1993)

Powers/Abilities: Artys-Gran had physical abilities comparable with an Atlantean (Homo mermani) female, meaning she had superhuman strength (Class 10), durability, speed, etc. She can breathe underwater (she can only spend a short time out of water before suffocating) and her body is adapted to the darkness, pressures, and cold of the ocean depths.

History:
(Namor I#37 (fb) - BTS) - The origins of Artys-Gran and the Unforgiven Dead remain a mystery.

(Namor I#36 (fb) - BTS - Namor I#37 (fb) - BTS / Namor I#38(fb)) <5800 BC (see comments)> - The Unforgiven Dead came from the North as the saviors of the city of Atlantis. Ket claimed his people to be wise men who could rid Atlantis of the plague of the Faceless Ones; in return, they wished merely to settle among them. After the Faceless Ones were driven off, the Unforgiven Dead took over the city, and the Atlanteans followed Ket in slaying their king, the son of Kamuu, and proclaiming Ket their king. Under his rule the city degenerated into darkness and depravity, worshipping the Old Ones.

(Namor I#38 (fb)) - Kalen, grandson of Kamuu and wearer of the sacred armor of Atlantis, returned to Atlantis after a long journey and beheld his people's plight. He urged his people to return to the ways of Neptune; in anger, Kalen slew one of Ket's tribe as she prepared to sacrifice yet another child to her thirsty gods. That act rallied Atlantis, and the people rose up against Ket and Artys-Gran and all their dark court.

(Namor I#38 (fb)) - Artys-Gran, last of the Unforgiven Dead, was slain and her body hidden. In this way, Suma-Ket's covenant with his dark gods was broken.

(Namor I#39 (fb)) - The halfling Socus located the dying Fen amongst the ruins of Atlantis (destroyed by Paul Destine). He took her to a place of evil and somehow transferred the spirit of Artys-Gran into the body of Fen, switching Fen's spirit into Gran's body. This initiated the first part of Ket's prophecy.

 

(Namor I#39 (fb) - BTS) - Fen's true body (possessed by Artys-Gran) was magically rejuvenated over a lengthy period, while Fen's spirit (trapped in Artys-Gran's body) was entombed alive in Antarctic Atlantis, though she continued to fight for control of her body.

(Namor I#36 (fb) - BTS) - "Fen" was already present, chained up in the chamber to which the Faceless Ones brought Seth under the direction of Socus.

(Namor I#36 (fb) - BTS) - "Fen" had already been sent out when Seth was allowed to escape.

(Namor I#29 (fb) - BTS) - A few weeks later, Artys (in the form of Fen) heard rumors of Namor acting in the Great White North and decided to locate him.

(Namor I#29 / Namor I#39 (fb) - BTS) - Wearing battle armor, Artys-Gran (as Fen) confronted Namor--his memory damaged by Master Khan--and blasted him into submission with an energy staff. Once she had taken him far from Namorita and anyone else he knew, she removed her armor. Fen struggled to warn Namor of the threat of the Unforgiven Dead, but Artys-Gran cast her mind back to the tomb. However, Namor and "Fen" were then captured by a net from a great fishing ship owned by Dr. Doom.

(Namor I#30) - Namor and "Fen" were dumped on the ship's deck, where "Fen" began to suffocate. When a man tried to give her mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, she hurled him into the sea. While Namor attacked the seamen, he began to recognize "Fen," though Khan's spell then forced that information from his mind in a wave of pain that incapacitated him. Namor and "Fen" were bound to the ship, though the men supplied "Fen" with just enough water to survive. Doom then arrived and confronted the two.

(Namor I#31) - While Namor broke free and slaughtered the crew, "Fen" questioned Doom regarding his presence on the fishing boat. Doom revealed a super-sonic weapon with which he slew all fish in the region, making catching them in nets much easier. This was intended to give the landlocked Latveria dominion over the oceans of the world, and he was well aware of the threat of extinction to all aquatic life, including the Homo mermani which "Fen" pointed out. Namor then confronted Doom, who blasted him into seeming oblivion.

(Namor I#32) - "Fen" attacked Doom, at which point the ship began to lurch as Namor forced its main propeller to a halt. Doom went after Namor, and "Fen," refreshed by the water, joined the fight. Seeing his "mother" threatened by Doom allowed Namor to cast off the last of Khan's spell and regain his memory. Namor overpowered Doom, but then they and the entire ship were pulled into a magic bottle by Master Khan.

(Namor I#33) - Trapped within the "ship in a bottle," "Fen" told Namor that he must do something or she would soon die without water. Doom and Namor then joined forces to shatter Khan's bottle, restoring the ship and everything else within the bottle to its true size. "Fen" remained in the background as Namor then slew Master Khan.

(Namor I#34) - Namor, "Fen," and others were met in the New York harbor by Vashti, who warned Namor of the return of an ancient evil, just as "Fen" approached and told him she had returned to reclaim her throne. Namor and "Fen" joined Vashti in returning to Atlantis, and Vashti had "Fen" put on another ship so he could tell Namor that he feared she might be an assassin. Namor and Vashti's ship was assaulted and destroyed by a monstrous, ancient sea creature, which Namor destroyed.

(Namor I#35 (fb) - BTS) - Traveling to Atlantis, "Fen" pronounced herself ruler of Atlantis in Namor's absence.

(Namor I#35) - After he arrived in Atlantis, Namor confronted "Fen," demanding to know who she was, and she insisted she was Fen, but Namor remained skeptical. Nonetheless, she retained the throne by right of succession. "Fen" continued to visit the bedside of the delirious Seth, intent on being told everything he said. Later, "Fen" attempted to discount the recent increase in attacks by the Faceless Ones as due to their natural migration. The irritated Namor asked her if now would be the time to reveal where she had been all of the years that she was believed to be dead. Seth then arrived, revealing that "Fen" had formerly been imprisoned alongside him, after which Tiger Shark described the stink of the Faceless Ones on both "Fen" and Seth. "Fen" smiled, sensing at that moment that Socus had shed Byrrah's blood to release Suma-Ket and the rest of the Unforgiven Dead, and, her confidence restored, she sent Tiger Shark to the dungeon.

(Namor I#36) - "Fen" allowed Seth to reveal the circumstances of his imprisonment alongside her. When Namor questioned her vague and incomplete explanations, "Fen" told them their behavior was borderline-treasonous, and sent them from her chambers. Artys-Gran then gathered her wits, fighting to retain control of Fen's body, and assuring Socus that she continue to do so. When Socus commented that Seth would soon remember everything, "Fen" commanded that Seth must die. Socus again questioned Artys-Gran's control when she expressed concern over sending the cruel Nereid to slay Seth, but Artys regained her composure, telling him that the Nereid should slay Tiger Shark as well. Namor and Tamara helped Seth and Tiger Shark fight off the would-be assassins, after which Vashti realized that the Unforgiven Dead were coming back, and they departed Atlantis. "Fen" called to Suma-Ket, promising to prepare Atlantis for his glorious ascension.

(Namor I#37) - "Fen" instructed Vashti and Dara to prepare a festival to celebrate her return, specifying that the city's children should gather in the forum for a feast of thanksgiving. Later, she continued to be plagued by Fen's memories, as she sought out Fen's wedding ring from Leonard McKenzie, and Artys-Gran sent a psychic summons to Socus to help her regain control.

(Namor I#38) - After a nightmare in which she relived her death at Kalen's hands, "Fen" composed herself, and she was pleased to see the people of Atlantis gathered outside her window, especially the children. However, she quickly realized that Vashti was missing, and she recognized Dara's lie about his whereabouts for what it was. She had the Nereid sent to slay Vashti, but Namor and his allies--Morel, Seth, Tiger Shark, and Tamara--saved him. When a guard announced the approach of leviathans and the Unforgiven Dead, Dara tried to calm the masses, but "Fen" struck him down (apparently killing him), telling the people they were right to be afraid, and that she had returned to them to save them from this ancient evil. Calling the Atlanteans to believe in her, she scooped up a young girl, telling her she would receive a singular honor. In private, "Fen" told the girl that she would be with her when the palace was made into a temple of old.

(Namor I#39) - In the "First Atlantis" (Antarctic Atlantis), Namor his allies approached the grave of Fen, defeating the Unforgiven Dead's guardian and releasing the true Fen, trapped in Artys-Gran's body. Fen revealed what had really happened to her then, using dark magic she had learned from the Unforgiven Dead, she used the blood of one of the fallen Nereid to open a portal to modern Atlantis.
    Meanwhile "Fen," who had been preparing to sacrifice an infant to the Old Ones, was momentarily weakened by Fen's release. As Tamara rushed forward and pulled away the children from her, Artys-Gran recovered and tried to turn the Atlanteans against the two outworlders (including Tiger Shark). Namor's group then arrived, promising to save his people and to slay Suma-Ket.

(Namor I#40) - Fen confronted the Unforgiven Dead, promising vengeance. When Artys-Gran revealed that she had slain Dara, Seth rushed forward and killed her, slaying Fen's body in the process. Fen, in the dying body of Artys-Gran, marshaled her strength and rallied the Atlanteans to fight against the Unforgiven Dead. Namor slew Suma-Ket and the Atlanteans defeated the Unforgiven Dead, but Socus then tried to take vengeance, hurling a spear at Namor. Fen leapt in the spear's path, and she and Artys-Gran's body were slain as a result.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comments: Created by John Byrne, Jae Lee, and Jeff Albrecht...or maybe by Bob Harras and Jae Lee.
    Maybe Byrne had actually intended to just bring Fen back. Her initial behavior towards Namor was loving and protective, so I guess Fen's mind might have had prominence over Artys-Gran's initially. Perhaps Artys even allowed this to facilitate the deception.

Several statements refer to the Unforgiven Dead having been imprisoned for 5000 years, but the true date of their imprisonment can be defined by the statement that the Unforgiven Dead arrived in Atlantis in the third decade (20-30 years) after the death of Kamuu, the first king of sunken Atlantis. Kamuu was king around 6000 BC (12000 years after the Great Cataclysm in 18000 BC), and Atlanteans have lifespans around 150 or so years, so 5900-5800 BC would seem like the time of their arrival (meaning they had been imprisoned for closer to 8000 years).

The origins of the Unforgiven Dead were not clearly identified.

The Unforgiven Dead were also known as the Old Ones, but I'll refer to them as the Unforgiven Dead to clarify them from the demonic race of Old Ones as described above, whom they apparently worshipped. At one point, Ket is described as worshipping the Elder Gods, but I'd ASSume that to be just confusing the nomenclature, though none of their gods are actually named.
    See Elder Gods for clarification.

    The Unforgiven Dead share some common themes with the people of the Black Sea: Banishment from Atlantis for religious belief, combined with the serpentine figure associated with the statue showing the gods worshipped by their people, makes me think there might be some connection to the worship of Set or perhaps Dagon.
    However, the People of the Black Sea lived in both air and water.

Profile by Snood.

CLARIFICATIONS:
No known connection to:


images: (w/o ads)
Namor I#29, p19, panel 1 ("Fen" with Namor)
    #39, p14, panel 1 (Artys-Gran face)
    #40, p5, panel 1 (Artys-Gran body)


Namor I#30-33 (September-December, 1992) - John Byrne (#30-31) & Bob Harras (#32-33) (writer), Jae Lee (pencils), Jeff Albrecht (#30) & Jae Lee (#31-33) (inks), Terry Kavanagh (editor)
Namor I#34-37 (January-April, 1993) - Bob Harras (writer), Jae Lee (artist), Terry Kavanagh (editor)
Namor I#38 (May, 1993) - Bob Harras (writer), Jae Lee (pencils), Bill Sienkiewicz, Shawn McManus, Chris Ivy, Malcolm Jones & Jimmy Palmiotti (inks), Terry Kavanagh (editor)
Namor I#39 (June, 1993) - Bob Harras (writer), Jimmy Palmiotti (pencils), Howard Rourke (inks), Terry Kavanagh (editor)
Namor I#40 (July, 1993) - Bob Harras (writer), Scott Kolins (artist), Terry Kavanagh (editor)


Last updated: 06/20/05

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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