Bardisattva strikes!


Real Name: Bardisattva

Identity/Class: God (Hyborian Era)

Occupation: God of the skies

Group Membership: None

Affiliations: Coya clan of the Hyperboreans, Imperator Addelaus, Silent Followers (priests)

Enemies: Conan, Hakkar (indirectly as rescuers of an intended sacrifice)

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: The Very Old, Bardis (by the enemy clans)

Base of Operations: High regions of the sky where the stars touched the glow of the Earth

First Appearance: Savage Sword of Conan I#178 (October, 1990)

Powers/Abilities: Bardisattva completely controlled atmospheric agents, from wind to thunderbolts. His physical perceivable form was a mass of clouds resembling a human face. His age was greater than the stars, so he was probably immortal. He received sustenance from human sacrifices offered to him by his priests, but could be quick to anger.



The Pillar of the Sky


(Savage Sword of Conan I#178 (fb) - BTS) - Bardisattva was older than the stars and the dark that preceded them.

    Bardisattva taught his will to his chosen. His alien hand wrote the rites to be followed in the minds of his earthly servants. They learnt what Bardisattva wanted and how the god wanted it carried out. Over the years, his worshipers became priests, and made sacrifices to Bardisattva. In exchange, Bardisattva gave them rain and fair weather for their fields. His priests became the Silent Followers, and he met them at the Pillar of the Sky, a cave mountain resembling a tower of natural rock.

(Savage Sword of Conan I#178) - In the Hyborian Era, Bardisattva was worshiped in the savage regions of Hyperborea by the savage tribe of the Coya. Bardisattva was periodically summoned and fed atop the Pillar of the Sky.

    During the reign of Emperor Vidalia, Bardisattva was summoned and offered the life of a Nemedian called Imperator Addelaus. For weeks, the Silent Followers had prepared the sacrifice well, drawing scars on his flesh. Bardisattva then appeared in the skies, hungry. But his sacrifice was no longer there, having been rescued by Conan. His anger was manifest in the howling wind and crackling lightning bolts. He swallowed the priests whom he thought had fooled him. He shattered the pillar, pursuing the unbelievers and his offered one, but he sensed him no more and could not follow the would-be sacrifice any further. But few moments later, in the grassland under him, his offered one silently called him. Bardisattva came. His cloudy, huge form appeared in the sky above the scar-painted Nemedian, smiling with satisfaction. Brilliant thunderbolts from his eyes struck the human, leaving only the dust of him behind. Bardisattva had fed and was sated.

    And rain fell upon the lands, the grasses grew rich, and the herds of mammoths and deer fed well. And the Coya fed with them. With them, new acolytes came to serve the very old being.

Comments: Created by Chuck Dixon (writer), Mike Docherty (pencils) and Ernie Chan(inks).

   At one time, Bardisattva was referred to as an elder god:

  1. if it is true that he is older than the stars, then he is older than Earth, so he isn't one of the Elder Gods of the Hyborian Era, nor one of the Elder Gods who apparently originated from Earth. His "alien hand" wrote instructions in his followers' minds. These two particulars let me suppose that Bardisattva was an alien and very old;
  2. another interpretation could explain "before the stars" as the primal times of the Earth during which it did not have a thin atmosphere, and thus no sky to see, and hence no stars to see. They were the first stages in the formation of the Earth. In this case, Bardisattva could be considered one of the Elder Gods. As for his "alien" hand, it could also be considered a metaphor.

The first hypothesis is more probable, but I prefer the second one.

   I think 9/10 times "Elder God" is used incorrectly. I would think your "a" explanation is right, that it is an alien, perhaps an extradimensional being, like one of the Great Old Ones or something. It certainly could be a younger being that was indeed present on Earth before you could see stars through the thick vapors. Its origins are unrevealed so it's hard to say otherwise. ---Snood

   This being's name could be derived from "Bodhisattva", a person of enlightenment and wisdom from Buddhist religion.---William Uchtman

   "Imperator Addelaus" seems to be a title; he may have been one of the Emperor's delegates.

Profile by Spidermay.

Bardisattva has no known connections to

Hakkar has no known connections to

The Silent Followers have no known connections to 



Hakkar was a Turanian, a rider and a good fighter with his sabre. He was a mercenary and signed at Numalia with the Nemedian army. He was among the six mercenaries who accepted the mission to find Rikus Trejus in exchange for a helmet full of silver coins. He followed Conan and a hillman guide to the Pillar of the Sky where Conan showed him a Nemedian coin. Hakkar then believed that Conan had once been a general of the Nemedian Army. He took the coin, but saved Conan's life by killing one of the priests. Hakkar and the hillman guide were the only other survivors, alongside Conan. They never went back to the Nemedian Legion because nothing remained of Rikus Trejus' body.

--Savage Sword of Conan I#178

One of the Silent Followers

Silent Followers

The Silent Followers were the priests of the cult of Bardisattva, the god worshiped by the Coya clan. The priests had their lips sewn shut and their bodies were painted, or scarred, with arcane symbols. Even with sealed lips, they could mutter and scream, and communicated with each other using some little jingling dishes on their fingertips. They knew the tradition and the ceremony to summon Bardisattva, and periodically offered him a sacrifice to quiet his hunger. Their knowledge included the arcane rites to prepare the sacrificed human for the summoning of Bardisattva. If the offered one wasn't one of their faith, they had the ability to brainwash him using long and painful torture (with steel and fire) for about a week and other unknown means (sorcery or, most probably, drugs or hypnotism). They enabled the offered one to enter into a state of communion with the god, able to call him and to be felt by him without even pronouncing a word. They were the only men admitted in the land around the Pillar of the Sky. The priests were the only defenders of the Pillar of the Sky. They could use weapons, and, when they were in the Pillar, they were able to use some hooked chains to strike their enemies from above, slashing them or pushing them away from the stairs.

    In the past, some priests had been captured by other enemy clans. Even if their lips were sealed, torture had them confess the secrets of their cult.

    All the Silent Followers present in the Pillar of the Sky when Conan and the mercenaries sought to rescue Addelaus from being sacrificed were killed by Bardisattva in his divine rage, burned to ashes by his eye bolts, gulped by his cloud-mouth or buried under the debris of the Pillar of the sky. Eventually, Bardisattva was fed, and other acolytes and priests kept worshiping him and sustained his cult.

--Savage Sword of Conan I#178

Imperator Addelaus

Imperator Addelaus Rikus Trejus

Rikus Trejus was the son of the noble Nemedian General Trejus. He was sent in mission as Imperator Addelaus in the northern part of the Nemedian Empire, to lead the ninth legion against some Hyperborean cattle thieves. It was the tenth year of the reign of Emperor Vadalia. Near the Graskaal Hills, Imperator Addelaus' party was attacked by the Hyperboreans. He was captured and all the soldiers were killed. He was given to the Silent Followers, who brought him to the Pillar of the Sky and prepared him for sacrifice. He was scarred with the symbols pleasing to Bardisattva over a week using burning steel. Addelaus embraced the madness of the worship of Bardisattva. During the sacrifice ritual, he was freed by Conan and the other mercenaries. While fleeing, Conan knocked him out, and when he was unconscious, Bardisattva could not sense him. Later, Trejus awoke, killed one of the mercenaries and called Bardisattva, tearing his own sewn lips. The god came and sated himself, feeding and pulverizing the offered one with his lightning gaze. 

--Savage Sword of Conan I#178

images: (without ads)
Savage Sword of Conan I#178, p50, pan1 (Bardisattva)
Savage Sword of Conan I#178, p31, pan3 (Pillar of the sky)
Savage Sword of Conan I#178, p8, pan3 (Hakkar)
Savage Sword of Conan I#178, p22, pan1 (priest)
Savage Sword of Conan I#178, p44, pan6 (Imperator Addelaus Rikus Trejus)

Savage Sword of Conan I#178 (October, 1990) - Chuck Dixon (writer), Mike Docherty (pencils), Ernie Chan(inks), Mike Rockwitz (editor)

Last updated: 08/03/08

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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