HIGH PRIEST OF SET
Real Name: Alexus
Identity/Class: Human magic user; citizen of Tarsus, Border Kingdoms (Hyborian Era)
conqueror of the world;
formerly wizard at Tarsus' court
Group Membership: None
Affiliations: Castrica, Demon-Bats, the Unliving
Enemies: Conan, Narcia
Known Relatives: Narcia (twin sister), unnamed mother, unknown father (possibly Set)
Aliases: Prince of Power, Jellyfish
Base of Operations: Tarsus, Border Kingdoms
First Appearance: Conan the Barbarian Annual#8 (1984)
Powers/Abilities: Alexus had an incredibly long-life span. He could open dimensional portals and control natural elements like earth, fire and wind. He could also summon beings from other planes of existence, transform himself and other humans into beast-like humanoids, and was able to project his image over quite some distance. Any other powers remained unseen.
(Conan the Barbarian Annual#8) - Narcia and Alexus were born during a darkly sorcerous rite to create the High Priest of the Snake God during the reign of King Kull of Valusia. Kull ordered the infants be killed because it had been prophecised that they would cause a great evil to be unleashed on the world. Instead, Tu saved the babies, giving them to a shepherd.
(Conan the Barbarian Annual#8 - BTS) - The babies grew, living for thousands of years, but not aging past their teens. Eras passed, continents sunk, and they still lived. In the Hyborian Era, they settled in the state-town of Tarsus in the Border Kingdoms where they became wizards of Tarsus. Alexus became the lover of Castrica, who was the King's daughter, heir to the throne and Narcia's friend. Castrica pushed Alexus to study the arcane dark arts, while Narcia studied and performed white magic and helping the people of the town. Narcia's good actions had the people appoint her the "White Queen" while Alexus was called "Jellyfish" by Conan, then the captain of Narcia's guards. Castrica had Alexus read the ancient scrolls about the Snake God and the prophecies about its High Priest, convinced that Alexus was the High Priest. After the King's death, Alexus, in an attempt to undermine his sister, secretly let the word be spread that her sister wanted to assume the throne instead of the rightful heir, Castrica.
(Conan the Barbarian Annual#8) - A revolt arose against the White Queen and the mob arrived at Narcia's castle. Conan and the mercenaries held the people back but Alexus cast a spell that caused the ground to swallow the fighters, but it also consumed the defenders. Conan saved Asaad and accused Alexus to be the schemer of the machination, although he could not prove it. That same night, Alexus succeeded in summoning a demon. Conan killed the abominable creature but Alexus had learnt what he needed: he was sure to be the prophesied one. Taking Castrica with him, he opened a mystic portal in his castle. Narcia read the ancient manuscripts and learnt that his brother was becoming an evil threat to the entire world.
In his castle on the hills near Tarsus, Alexus transformed his guards into Demon-Bats. His castle became as black as his soul. When he sensed his sister approaching his castle, he sent a rain of fire and brimstone over her squadron, then unleashed the Demon-Bats against them, forcing his sister to kill them. Only Conan and Narcia reached the castle. Transformed into a demon, Alexus attacked Conan, knowing that the barbarian couldn't kill him. Narcia transported herself and Conan into another dimension where Conan and Alexus could fight as equals. Alexus followed them. Human again and clad in his dark armor, Alexus confronted a white-armored Conan. His familiarity with that alternate dimension let him best the Cimmerian, driving Narcia to save him. Alexus was struck by Narcia's mystical blade of compassion but became even more powerful. Maddened with his increased power, Alexus destroyed the castle and killed Castrica. Narcia convinced Conan to slay her so that she could ascend to Alexus' level. The two siblings, now equal in power, continued their fight in the ether, but the world was safe.
(Conan the Barbarian Annual#8 - BTS) - Tarsus remained without heirs to the throne, nor wizards to defend it. Conan and the other mercenaries looted it.
Comments: Created by Jim Owsley (writer) and Val Mayerik (art).
The prophecy told of the firstborn to be male, but Alexus was only the second born after his sister. Was there a misinterpretation or is it yet to be fulfilled?
Alexus' robes were still white before killing the rebels and the mercenaries, but became gray after the slaughter. In the castle, they probably became black and still he mutated into a demonic form after creating the Demon-Bats. The more he used his powers for evil, the more powerful he became and the darker his soul became. This was part of the prophecy and was also true for his twin sister, Narcia.
It is probable that Castrica was directly involved in her father's death, not only to inherit the throne but also to read the secret manuscripts which described the prophesy of the High Priest.
Alexus was almost a dark priest, Castrica was almost a black Queen and Narcia was a White Queen, so was this the first version of the Hellfire Club?
Profile by Spidermay.
Alexus, the High Priest of Set, has no known connections to
Castrica has no known connections to
The Demon-Bats have no known connections to
Castrica was a princess, the daughter of the King of Tarsus in the Border Kingdoms. She studied the dark arts and was convinced of their superiority over the white magic used by Narcia. Castrica suspected that her father had hidden something about Alexus and Narcia, so, when he died, she read the ancient manuscript and learnt of the prophecy about the High Priest of Set. She was sure that the prophesied one was Alexus, her lover, not knowing that the firstborn was Narcia. She always suggested Alexus to use his powers for blasphemous purposes and saw him grow in power. She organized the revolt with Alexus and the summoning of the demon, and followed him when he left Narcia to be at his side as conqueror of the world. She did not take part to the fight in Alexus' castle, but she followed Alexus into the alternate dimension to taunt Narcia and force her to slay Alexus. When Narcia struck Alexus with her mystical blade of compassion, Alexus became more powerful. Unfortunately for Castrica, Alexus had become quite power-mad and killed her.
--Conan the Barbarian Annual#8
The Demon-Bats were normal humans, guards of Alexus' castle, who had been transformed by Alexus' sorcery. They could speak and kept a form of intellect, but their voice was different and they followed their master's orders. They could fly but weren't invulnerable to cold steel or magic. The Demon-Bats attacked the squadron led by Narcia, Conan and Asaad. They killed some of the soldiers, but then Narcia's magic energy destroyed them with one spell.
--Conan the Barbarian Annual#8
Conan the Barbarian Annual#8, p30, pan6 (Alexus)
Conan the Barbarian Annual#8, p10, pan4 (Alexus, head shot)
Conan the Barbarian Annual#8, p29, pan4 (Alexus, beast form)
Conan the Barbarian Annual#8, p9, pan2 (Castrica)
Conan the Barbarian Annual#8, p23, pan3 (Demon-Bats)
Conan the Barbarian Annual#8 (1984) - Jim Owsley (writer), Val Mayerik (art), Larry Hama (editor)
Last updated: 04/21/08
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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