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ZOGAR SAG

Real Name: Zogar Sag

Identity/Class: Human (Pict), magic user, demi-god? (Hyborian Era)

Occupation: Shaman, war-leader

Group Membership: None

Affiliations: Gorilla-God, Ghost Snake, Swamp Demons, other animals worshipping Jhebbal Sag

EnemiesBalthus, Conan of Cimmeria, Soractus, Tiberias, Valannus, all the Aquilonians

Known Relatives: Jhebbal Sag (father), Swamp Demons (half-brothers), Sagayetha (nephew)

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: Gwawela, Pictland

First Appearance: "Beyond the Black River" Weird Tales (May-June, 1935)
    (Marvel) Savage Sword of Conan#26 (January, 1978)

Powers/Abilities: Zogar Sag controlled the jungle creatures that remembered Jhebbal Sag. He was also able to recall his half-brothers from the Land of Mists and give them orders (it is unknown if he acquired and learned this ability or if it was innate and deriving from his kinship with Jhebbal Sag). Zogar Sag was connected to his half-brothers. A physical injury to his brothers (the Swamp Demons)was reflected on his own body.
Zogar Sag could speak to the White Ghosts of the Dark Lands high grounds, saying to them the name of a man involved to unleash a Swamp Demon after him.

History: (Savage Sword of Conan#27 (fb) - BTS) - Zogar Sag was the son of a woman of Gwawela who slept in a grove sacred to Jhebbal Sag.

    Zogar Sag was an important Shaman and became an important leader, thanks to his magic powers. He traded also with some Zingarans who traveled along the western coasts of the Pictlands.

(Savage Sword of Conan#26 (fb) - BTS) - Once, he stole a load of ale kegs from Tiberias, a merchant. Tiberias had Zogar Sag captured by Valannus, Soractus and other three soldiers. Zogar Sag escaped from his prison and swore revenge against his capturers. Thanks to his powers, he summoned Swamp Demons to kill his hated enemies. Man after man, the Swamp Demons found and killed the soldiers who had captured Zogar Sag and brought their heads to him. The Shaman built a sort of altar in his hut, where his enemies heads' lied, guarded by a gorilla in chain.
    Meanwhile he gathered tribes of Picts, convincing them to attack the border territories that once belonged to the Picts.

    The Swamp Demons murdered Soractus. Zogar Sag had Soractus beheaded body nailed at the external wall of Fort Tuscelan. At that point, several Swamp Demons were walking along the Black River, and Zogar Sag had convinced 15-16 tribes to assemble in his war. His purpose was to destroy Fort Tuscelan, and to spread across the territory after slaying all the farmers and settlers and assault Fort Velitrium, too.

(Savage Sword of Conan#26 - BTS) - A Swamp Demon killed Tiberias. Conan of Cimmeria and Balthus of Tauran found the cadaver, and transported his body to Fort Tuscelan but his head was stolen by another Swamp Demon. Zogar Sag was ready to attack Fort Tuscelan, with more than 3000 Pict warriors.

(Savage Sword of Conan#26) - Valannus sent a squad of a dozen men, led by Conan, to assassinate Zogar Sag. They were ambushed by the Picts and mostly killed. Conan hid, but Balthus and another woodman were captured and brought to Zogar Sag for a sacrifice to the wild beasts of the jungle.

(Savage Sword of Conan#26) - Zogar Sag gathered his warriors and showed them how he could control the wild beasts. He summoned a sabretooth that killed the Aquilonian woodman. Then, Zogar Sag summoned the Ghost Snake, an enormous snake, to kill Balthus. But Conan intervened wounding the serpent. The convulsions of the beast wounded and killed a dozen Picts, the reptile venom burning like fire on contact. In the resulting chaos Conan and Balthus entered the shaman's hut and killed his gorilla guardian, then they fled in the jungle.

(Savage Sword of Conan#27) - The Picts was distracted in killing the giant serpent, but Zogar Sag commanded his jungle creatures to pursue and kill the two men. A leopard tracked them down but was killed by Conan. Also a big, black panther reached Conan and Balthus' hideout, but Conan had drawn on the sand a symbol sacred to Jhebbal Sag and when the panther saw the symbol, it could not resist and had to flee.

(Savage Sword of Conan#27 - BTS) - Zogar Sag ordered the attack, and thousands of Picts ran to Fort Tuscelan. When he learned that Conan had used a symbol that only the Jhebbal Sag's priests could use, Zogar Sag spoke to the White Ghosts of the Dark Lands, pronouncing Conan's name. A Swamp Demon, the same who killed Tiberias, was unleashed on Conan's path.
    The Picts, led by Zogar Sag, reached and assaulted Fort Tuscelan. The Fort fell. Valannus was killed. It was a massacre. Zogar Sag with his bloody axe in one hand was connected to his half-brother, the Swamp Demon who had found Conan. When Conan wounded the Demon on a leg, a big wound appeared on Zogar Sag's leg. When Conan hit the Demon's neck, Zogar Sag's head was almost cut off from his body. Zogar Sag died, but the Picts invaded the region to the Thunder River and over. They attacked Fort Velitriun, but, without their leader, the assault lost strength and they were sent back. Velitrium was saved, but Conajohara was lost. Only Conan and another soldier survived of all Fort Tuscelan's people. Many settlers, woodmen and farmers were saved thanks to Balthus and Conan's warnings.

Comments: Created by Robert E. Howard.
    Adapted by Roy Thomas (writer), John Buscema (pencils), Tony De Zuniga (inks), Alfredo Alcala (inker of 2-3 pages).

    Not all the creatures of the jungle remembered Jhebbal Sag, so Zogar Sag could not control all the animals, but only some of them.

Jhebbal Sag could explain why , as Ronald Byrd put it, there exist "non-mutated terrestrial "mundane" animals whose sentience was an integral part of the plot or, at least, clearly not intended as a mere humorous aside.

Profile by Spidermay.

CLARIFICATIONS:
Zogar Sag has no known connections to

Tiberias has no known connections to any other characters with a similar name.

Balthus has no known connections to

Valannus has no known connections to

The Snake-Specre has no known connections to or any other "snake" or "serpent" or "reptile" and/or "spectre" or "ghost" or similar character with a similar name

The Gorilla-God has no known connections to

The Swamp Demons have no known connections to any other "swamp" or "demon" character or with a similar name.


Tiberias

    Tiberias was a normal human. He was a merchant who worked also in the Aquilonian lands menaced by Picts.

    Once, a load of ale kegs was robbed by Zogar Sag and his Picts. Tiberias charged him of the theft. Soractus sent Valannus and other three soldiers to arrest Zogar Sag.

    But Zogar Sag escaped from the prison, swearing revenge against the Aquilonians who had captured him. Man after men, Zogar Sag had the three soldiers beheaded. Then also Soractus was killed, and his body was nailed at the outer gate of Fort Tuscelan, his head put on the Zogar Sag's altar.
    Tiberias foolishly voyaged through the jungle near the Thunder River and was attacked by a Swamp Demon and murdered.
    Conan and Balthus heard his scream of death. They tried to transport his cadaver to Fort Tuscelan but a Swamp Demon cheated them and stole Tiberias' head.

    Zogar Sag placed Tiberias' head near the heads of his other enemies.

--Savage Sword of Conan#27


Balthus

Balthus was a normal human coming from Tauran (western Aqulonia).

    Balthus wanted to defend his land. He went to Fort Tuscelan to enlist in the Aquilonian army.
    He met Conan in the jungle and saw a Swamp Demon rob Tiberias' head. With Conan, he took Tiberias' body to Fort Tuscelan. Once there he joined to Conan in a suicide mission to assassinate Zogar Sag.

    Arriving near Gwawela, their group was decimated, and Balthus was captured.
    Balthus saw Zogar Sag's powers of control over the animals. He was being sacrificed to the Ghost Snake but Conan saved him and they fled. Running through Zogar Sag's hut, they saw the heads of the men killed by Zogar Sag's Demons. Conan killed the Gorilla-God, guardian of the heads. The two fled westward, but Zogar Sag sent some beasts after them. They succeeded in avoiding the killer animals thanks to Conan's knowledge of the symbol sacred of Jhebbal Sag.
    After they avoided the beasts, they went back to Tuscelan. Conan had discovered that more than 3000 Picts had been gathered by Zogar Sag and that the whole region between the Black and the Thunder River was in peril. Conan and Balthus were intercepted by a group of Picts but managed to slay them all.
Fort Tuscelan was assaulted. Conan and Balthus didn't arrive in time. They surpassed the Fort. Conan went to warn the settlers who was traveling on the paths, Balthus went to warn the people of the farms to flee to Velitrium.
    Balthus warned some families of settlers, then sacrificed himself to slow Picts and give the settlers time to escape to Velitrium.

--Savage Sword of Conan#26 (Savage Sword of Conan#27


Valannus

    Valannus was a normal human.

    He was the Commander of Fort Tuscelan and Governor of the region around the Fort. Fort Tuscelan was a fortress made of high walls of wood. It was located on the Black River and was the central defense of the settlers and the farmers who lived near the lands of the Picts. Many soldiers worked in the Fort and were under Valannus' command: archers, swordsmen, woodmen. Conan was one of the mercenaries working at Fort Tuscelan.

Valannus succeeded in capturing Zogar Sag but the wizard soon escaped. In the following months, the shaman had his capturers murdered. This events and the rumors about his powers to control beasts caused the soldiers' morale to fall. Valannus sent Conan to scout alone the zone around the Black River, to gather information and kill the Pict spies. Conan learnt some things about the Swamp Demons and the Pict objectives.

    One night, about three months after Zogar Sag's escape, Conan went back from his scout round and told Valannus that Tiberias had been killed: beheaded, too. Conan convinced Valannus that Zogar Sag was gathering tribes of Picts. Valannus was ready to give to Conan a hundred of men, for a mission to assassinate Zogar Sag. Conan accepted and choose only a dozen of chosen woodmen, plus Balthus.

    The men were all killed with the exception of Balthus and Conan. The Picts, more than 3000 warriors, led by Zogar Sag attacked Fort Tuscelan and destroyed it killing everybody, including Valannus.

--Savage Sword of Conan#26 (27


Ghost Snake

    It was an enormous snake, that lived in the Pict forests. The ancient men called it the Ghost Snake. It was long 20-30 meters long and was venomous. Its venom's touch burned like fire.

    One night, the snake was summoned by Zogar Sag, to kill Balthus and impress his people. The snake replied to the call and approached Balthus but was hit by a spear launched by Conan. Its convulsions smashed a lot of Picts in the village, and its poison put on fire the whole village. The Picts had to kill it.

--Savage Sword of Conan#26

 

 


Gorilla-God

    It was probably a normal gorilla, creature of Jhebbal Sag, summoned by Zogar Sag. The real Gorilla-God was worshipped by some Picts, who believed he lived on the moon.

    Zogar Sag chained the gorilla in his hut, guarding the heads of his enemies. Probably he also wanted to have the Picts believe that he had power over the Gorilla-God.

    When Conan and Balthus fled from the Pictish village they passed through Zogar Sag's hut, the gorilla tried to assault them and Conan slew it with a single sword slash.

--Savage Sword of Conan#26

 

 


Swamp Demon / "son of Jhebbal Sag"

The Swamp Demon(s)s was/were Jhebbal Sag's son(s) and Zogar Sag's half-brother(s) via a fire demon.

    The Swamp Demon(s) usually lived in the Land of Mists, probably an extradimensional realm. It/They could have humanoid form or a half-snake form in the lower part of the body and probably other different forms. It/They was/were far stronger than a normal man and had a good tolerance to physical wounds. It/They had sharp talons capable of tearing chain mail, and its/their body was covered of green or blue flames. It/They could reproduce the voice of every man or woman they wanted. Zogar Sag's thoughts were its/their thoughts; in fact the Demon(s) was/were linked to Zogar Sag, and all the physical wounds it/they suffered were replicated on Zogar Sag's body.
    I thought is was a single demon--Snood.

(Savage Sword of Conan#26 - BTS) - Several Swamp Demons were summoned by Zogar Sag. The Demons probably were sent to murder at least three Aquilonian soldiers and Soractus, and brought their heads to Zogar Sag.

(Savage Sword of Conan#26 - BTS/Savage Sword of Conan#27 (fb) - BTS) - In the lands between  the Thunder River and Black River, a Swamp Demon, of humanoid form and covered by a green fire, found and murdered Tiberias but he could not pick up Tiberias' head because he was interrupted by Conan and Balthus, and went away, because Zogar Sag didn't pronounced their names, so he could not kill them.

(Savage Sword of Conan#26) - Another Swamp Demon, half-snake and covered of blue flames, saw Conan and Balthus while they transported Tiberias' body through the forest. Before they arrived to Fort Tuscelan the Demon mimicked the voice of a woman shouting for help. Conan and Balthus ran to the place where Conan had heard the voice, leaving the cadaver alone; and in that moment, the Demon robbed Tiberias' head and then brought it to Zogar Sag.

(Savage Sword of Conan#27) - Later, after Conan had freed Balthus from the village where Zogar Sag was, the shaman sent the "Green Fire" Demon to kill the Cimmerian. The Demon found Conan while he was fleeing in the forest with some settlers. He attracted the Cimmerian using Balthus' voice, then took humanoid form and attacked the warrior. The Demon was wounded in a leg and in the chest but continued to fight savagely; it only died when Conan beheaded him. His wounds were reproduced on Zogar Sag's body, and his death caused Zogar Sag's death.

--Savage Sword of Conan#27 (Savage Sword of Conan#26 - BTS, Savage Sword of Conan#27


Images:
Savage Sword of Conan#26, p26, pan3 (Zogar Sag, main image)
Savage Sword of Conan#26, p25, pan2 (Zogar Sag, head shot)
Savage Sword of Conan#27, p36, pan2 (Fort Tuscelan under Pictish assault)
Savage Sword of Conan#26, p5, pan1 (Tiberias)
Savage Sword of Conan#26, p5, pan7 (Balthus)
Savage Sword of Conan#26, p14, pan3 (Valannus)
Savage Sword of Conan#26, p28, pan5 (Ghost Snake)
Savage Sword of Conan#26, p32, pan1 (Gorilla-God)
Savage Sword of Conan#26, p8, pan4 (blue-flamed half-snake Swamp Demon)
Savage Sword of Conan#27, p41, pan2 (green-flamed Swamp Demon)


Other Appearances:
Savage Sword of Conan#27 (February, 1978) - Roy Thomas (writer), John Buscema (pencils), Tony De Zuniga (inks)


Last updated: 06/14/06

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