Classification: Uncertain (see history and comments), Post-Hyborian (and possibly long before) and modern eras
Location/Base of Operations: Currently unknown;
formerly the Grey Waters;
formerly Antartic Atlantis;
formerly a place north of the Antarctic kingdom of Atlantis
Known Members: Artys-Gran, Guardian, Socus, Suma-Ket
Affiliations: Faceless Ones, Leviathans, Nereid, Old Ones
Enemies: Atlanteans (Homo mermani), Dara, Dr. Doom, Fen, Harran, Kalen, Master Khan, Morel, Namor, Neptune, Olympian Gods, Tamara Rahn, Seth, Tiger Shark, Vashti
(Artys-Gran as "Fen"): Namor I#29 (August, 1992)
(Socus) Namor I#34 (January, 1993)
(Unforgiven Dead) Namor I#35 (February, 1993)
Powers/Abilities: They have physical abilities comparable with Atlanteans (Homo mermani), meaning they have superhuman strength (Class 10), durability, speed, etc. They can breathe underwater, and can only spend a short time out of water before suffocating. Their bodies are adapted to the darkness, pressures, and cold of the ocean depths. They are savage warriors, typically wielding spears and swords.
They also wielded trumpets which served to summon Leviathans, as well as to demoralize their foes.
Traits: The Unforgiven Dead worship the Old Ones, practicing ritual sacrifice and other atrocities in their name. Serving the dark gods and bringing others under their sway is their primary purpose.
(Namor I#37 (fb) - BTS) - The origins of the Unforgiven Dead remain a mystery.
(Namor I#37 (fb) - BTS / Namor I#38(fb)) <5800 BC (see comments)> - Suma-Ket and his tribe came from the North as the savior 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.
(Namor I#37 (fb) - BTS / Namor I#38(fb)) - Suma-Ket freed the Atlanteans from the terror of the Faceless Ones, banishing the monstrous creatures from the city. In awe of his mighty battle prowess and great mystical powers, the Atlanteans followed Ket, slaying their king, the son of Kamuu, and proclaimed Ket as King of all Atlantis.
(Namor I#36 (fb) - BTS / Namor I#37 (fb) - BTS) - The seemingly messianic Suma-Ket transformed into a demonic tyrant, bringing to Atlantis a new way, a new religion.
(Namor I#38 (fb)) - Ket built an immense temple in the city dedicated to his dark gods, declaring himself prophet of the new way, and his wife priestess of the blood rites.
(Namor I#36 (fb) - BTS / Namor I#37 (fb) - BTS) - Ket's court was an evil place, where unspeakable things were practiced, including infant sacrifice, and creatures stalked the land.
(Namor I#38 (fb) - BTS) - Ket sent the Nereid to seek out all who hid and deliver them to him.
(Namor I#37 (fb) - BTS) - Great quantities of Atlantean blood was spilled to fuel his forbidden magics.
(Namor I#37 (fb) - BTS) - Atlanteans worshipped Suma-Ket, hoping not to incur his wrath; but as their children fell in the name of his abominable religion, their prayers turned to cries of vengeance.
(Namor I#36 (fb) - BTS) - According to Ket, Atlantis was on the brink of glory undreamt of in all its history, but the people wavered and weakened; they could not see the righteousness of his way nor bear the burden that had to be born.
(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#37 (fb) - BTS / Namor I#38 (fb)) - Ket's host was defeated by the rebellious lords of Atlantis (with the aid of Neptune himself) in a bloody battle that turned the oceans indigo with blood, but the Unforgiven Dead were strong and could not be destroyed.
(Namor I#36 (fb) - BTS) - The lords of Atlantis banished Ket and his court beyond the Earthly plane to the Grey Waters, a mystical prison that was not quite death, but was certainly not life.
(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#36 (fb) - BTS) - As Ket fell, he prophesied that he
would return when the blood of his people possessed the blood of Kalen.
There they waited for millennia, forgotten, save in myth and legend.
(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.
(Namor I#34) - Under the command of Socus(?), the Faceless
Ones began mass slaughters, which claimed the life of the Homo mermani Mara, the
beloved of Tiger Shark, and many others. Later, as Namor and Byrrah returned to
Atlantis, their ship was assaulted by a monstrous Leviathan, also summoned by
Socus or others of the Unforgiven Dead. The creature destroyed their ship and
slaughtered the Royal Guard, but Namor used the prow of his lost flagship to
impale the monster, slaying it. However, Namor and Vashti were then confronted
by the skeletal remains of a long-dead warrior holding an age-encrusted horn.
In a castle some distance from Atlantis, Socus asked a guard to see Byrrah, but was turned away. Nonetheless, Socus then appeared in Byrrah's chambers, claiming to be an ambassador of a mighty lord, and telling Byrrah that the Old Ones were returning. Socus also visited Seth, telling him that his escape from the Faceless Ones was in vain and that the Old Ones were returning.
(Namor I#35) - Socus led Byrrah to the place of dark waters, the forbidden place, and they were then approached by the Unforgiven Dead (never truly dead nor quite living). Socus then slashed his throat, and his royal blood drifted through the waters, touching the doors to the Grey Waters, which then opened. Socus welcomed his dread lord back into the world of the living.
(Namor I#36) - Suma-Ket promised his people that they would be
forgotten nevermore. Slaying a few Atlanteans abducted by his people, Ket used
their sacrifice to summon back the first of his host, the Nereids. He was
pleased to learn from Socus that a new form, both pleasing and powerful, had
been found for Artys-Gran, and that, as Fen, she sat on the throne of Atlantis.
Soon after, Socus appeared to Artys-Gran, informing her of their lord's return and warning her about weaknesses she was showing in her control of Fen's form. To prevent Suma-Ket from learning of these, Socus dispatched the Nereid to slay Seth, as well as Tiger Shark, who had offended her. Namor drove the Nereid off, slaying one of their number in the process.
(Namor I#37) - Ket used a mystic crystal to view Namor,
Tamara, Tiger Shark, Seth, and Morel, plotting to slay Namor, the heir to
Neptune, to fulfill the prophecy of his people to regain their past glory. Socus
warned him that as he and the Nereid had only just passed through the Grey
Water, they were not at their full power. Nonetheless, Ket sent the Faceless
Ones to overwhelm and capture the above five, binding them in mystic chains. Ket
confronted his captives upon their revival, but Namor dodged the strike of his
sacred blade, causing it to instead sever his chains. Namor smashed Ket across
the room, but the warrior-mage returned the favor with a magical burst. Ket then
prepared to slay Tamara to keep her alien blood from blaspheming his holy place,
and as Namor leapt across the room to stop him, Ket turned and shoved the sacred
blade through Namor's torso. Ket and Socus left Namor to die as they returned to
Atlantis, but Neptune himself then arrived, freed the other prisoners and
rekindled the spark of life within Namor, giving him the sacred armor of
Atlantis which Kalen had worn to defeat Ket millennia before.
Meanwhile, Artys-Gran (as Fen) prepared a great feast of Thanksgiving to celebrate her return, making sure the children were included.
(Namor I#38) - As the feast celebration began, Suma-Ket
rallied his people to march on Atlantis, trumpets blaring. Ket's people's
trumpets summoned monstrous creatures from the depths. One of Atlantis' heralds
warned of the approach of Suma-Ket, his people, and the Leviathans, but when
Dara attempted to rally the Atlanteans against them, Artys-Gran/Fen struck him
down. She assured the people that she would protect them, and she took an
Atlantean child with her as she prepared to transform the royal castle back into
Suma-Ket's temple of old.
Meanwhile, Namor and his allies slew one of the remaining Nereids (who had been sent to slay Vashti), and forced information from the remaining two. Namor sent Tamara and Tiger Shark back to Atlantis, while he, Vashti, Seth, and Morel took the Nereids to seek out his entombed mother.
(Namor I#39) - Suma-Ket expressed his pleasure to Socus for
successfully bringing them towards the fulfillment of his prophecy.
Namor traveled to the previous Antarctic Atlantis, defeated the member of the Unforgiven Dead who guarded Fen's tomb, and freed his mother, who was trapped in Artys-Gran's form. Artys sought to convince the Atlanteans that they must sacrifice an infant to the gods of the Unforgiven Dead in order to appease them and spare them from devastation, but she was weakened by the release of the true Fen, stalling her until Tamara and Tiger Shark could arrive and reveal her true nature. The delay of the blood sacrifice barred the Unforgiven Dead from entering the city of Atlantis, but when Dara attempted to restrain the woman who had usurped Fen's body, another Atlantean believed Dara to be the traitor and slew him with a spear. This served as the sacrifice that allowed the Unforgiven Dead to storm the gates of Atlantis.
The true Fen, having learned of the Unforgiven Dead's magics while in Artys-Gran's body, opened a magical portal to Atlantis, and Namor, Morel, Seth, Vashti, and Fen (in Artys-Gran's body) arrived to oppose Suma-Ket and his people.
I#40) - Namor and Suma-Ket battled fiercely, strength against magic, while Seth
decapitated the Artys-Gran-possessed Fen as punishment for her actions. Namor
was struck down from behind by another of the Unforgiven Dead, and the
Atlanteans, Tiger Shark, and Tamara fought hard against their attackers. From
outside the city, the rest of the Unforgiven Dead blared their trumpets, which
myth foretold as the heralds of death, sending the Atlanteans into blind panic,
but Vashti and the true Fen rallied their people to fight again, to fight with
everything they had against those who would destroy them.
Suma-Ket became discouraged as the Atlanteans overcame their fears, but he renewed his battle against the recovered Namor, conjuring a dark trident to destroy him. Namor was driven back by the trident's force, but one of his people then brought him the sacred trident of Neptune. The two locked in combat once more, and Namor plunged Neptune's trident into his chest, slaying him.
Without Ket's power to sustain them, the Unforgiven Dead became just the dead, the corpses falling to the ground where they were consumed by the ravenous Faceless Ones.
Socus slew the true Fen (in Artys-Gran's body) before escaping.
Comments: Created by Bob Harras and Jae Lee.
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.
Neptune: "The Unforgiven dead are followers of the old ways, of deities both foul and fell. Dark and evil beings are they whose cruelty offended the very gods of Olympus."
In the Book of Enoch (Apocrypha), the part-Human offspring of the fallen "Watchers" (subset of Angels? [never clearly defined in the 'book']) who trespassed by mating with Human women, were forbidden forgiveness by God as punishment for the Watchers' actions. Perhaps Marvel's Unforgiven Dead are the offspring of a similar group (i.e. Asura; 'Gods'; or even [my choice] corrupted Faltinians). I suppose the Elder Gods or whatever could be said "Watchers".
Profile by Snood.
The Nereid are named for, but otherwise have no KNOWN connection to:
The Nereids, who are the fifty daughters of Nereus and Doris who dwell in the Mediterranean Sea. These beautiful women were always friendly and helpful towards sailors fighting perilous storms. They are believed to be able to prophesize. They belong to the retinue of Poseidon.
The Leviathans have no know connection to:
Guardian of Fen's crypt
"Brother" to the Nereid, he stayed in the older Antarctic Atlantis, where he watched over the crypt of Fen, which actually held the living body of Artys-Gran, in which Fen's spirit had been shunted. When Namor brought the Nereid, Vashti, Seth, and Morel there, the Guardian slew the Nereid for bringing Namor there, despite the fact that they had told Namor nothing. Just as swiftly, the Guardian then slew Morel, but Namor then attacked him. Outmatched physically, the Guardian fired his lethal eye-blast at Namor, but the hero was protected by the sacred armor of Kalen. Namor then shattered a watch tower, which collapsed on the Guardian, presumably slaying him.
In addition to surviving at the ocean's depths and having some degree of superhuman strength (Class 10-25), he could fire energy blasts capable of slaying a normal Atlantean (Homo mermani) or the Nereid.
Monstrous creatures summoned from beneath the ocean's floor, at least some of them were reportedly "old when Atlantis had not yet sunk beneath the waves" (during the Great Cataclysm, @ 18, 000 B.C.). They presumably stalked the land outside of Atlantis when Suma-Ket ruled.
One was summoned to attack Namor's ship as it returned to Atlantis, and it slaughtered his royal guard and nearly ate Vashti before being skewered by Namor himself.
Others were summoned as the Unforgiven Ones massed to attack Atlantis. They were presumably involved with, though not seen, during the assault on Atlantis. Their fate is unrevealed.
They are immense, perhaps 100 feet tall, and can sleep for millennia. They are typically summoned by the trumpets of the Unforgiven Dead. They are enormously strong, able to rend Atlantean ships into fragments with a single blow. They have razor-sharp teeth and claws, can survive at the ocean's depths, and presumably can swim at great speeds.
One can only guess whether they are Deviant mutates or demon-agents of the Old Ones, or other beings altogether.
--Namor I#34 (38, [39-40 - BTS?]
"The Four Sisters of Death"
Per Vashti: "According to the legends, they are merely death spirits, murderous sprites with little cunning and less mind."
In the days when Suma-Ket ruled Atlantis they served as his enforcers, seeking out all who hid and delivering them to him. They may have been destroyed or simply banished when the Unforgiven Dead fell. Almost immediately after Suma-Ket was returned to the world of the living, he sacrificed a number of captured Homo mermani, which allowed him to call back but the first of his lost host: the Nereid. Shortly thereafter, they were sent to slay Tiger Shark and Seth. One of them took the form of Tiger Shark's recently lost lover, Mara, attempting to get him to drop his guard and then slay him, but Tamara Rahn revealed the deception and Tiger Shark fought back against them. The remaining three assaulted Seth, but were stopped before they could slay him by Namor. They took the forms of Namor's lost lovers, Marrina and Dorma, also hoping to get him to drop his guard; but Namor was able to resist them, recognizing them as imposters, and he slew one of their number. The surviving three Nereid fled Atlantis.
They later begged Suma-Ket to give them a chance to avenge their sister, wishing to kill Namor slowly; when Socus advised caution, they accused him of cowardice. When Vashti fled Atlantis to warn of "Fen" (possessed by Artys-Gran)'s plots in Atlantis, the Nereid appeared, intending to kill him before he could get the message across. Namor and his allies returned in time, and Tamara speared and slew one of the Nereid, after which Tiger Shark and Namor subdued the remaining two. Namor chained the Nereid and brought them to the older Antarctic Atlantis alongside Vashti, Morel, and Seth. There they were confronted by the Nereid's "brother," the Guardian of Fen's crypt, who slew the Nereid for bringing Namor there, despite the fact that they had told Namor nothing.
They are stronger than the average Atlantean (Class 10-25), and are fierce fighters, using their sharp talons to tear foes to pieces. They can survive at the ocean's depths, and they can take the form of other beings, usually the lovers of their foes, to get them to drop their guard.
--Namor I#36 (38 (fb) - BTS, 36-39
images: (not including ads)
Namor I#34, p16 (Leviathan)
#37, p11, panel 3 (sword)
p21, panel 1 (face)
#40, p15, panel 2 (full body)
p16, panel 2 (trident)
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: 07/07/05
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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