Kah-Tah-Dhen, Conan and Lady Allana


Real Name: Kah-Tah-Dhen

Identity/Class: God (Hyborian Era)

Occupation: To spawn

Group Membership: None

Affiliations: None

EnemiesLady Allana, Conan, Lord Kharga, Thani and Boriph and other Shushan soldiers, Vivalda, Yosef and Yuseph and other Zuagirs

Known Relatives: A myriad of spiders (offspring)

Aliases: Decapitating god, Head-taker, Mother of Spiders, Taker of heads

Base of Operations: Mountain in the desert near Shushan

First Appearance: Savage Sword of Conan I#183 (March, 1991)

Powers/Abilities: Kah-Tah-Dhen was a female giant spider. Its strength was so enormous that his movements beneath the ground could cause an earthquake, and that it could hunt even dinosaurs. Despite its size, it could be very silent while hunting and only emitted a clicking sound with its jaws. It had a long life, at least many hundred thousand years. Kah-Tah-Dhen was fertile, and placed its eggs in human heads.



(Savage Sword of Conan I#183 (fb)) - Kah-Tah-Dhen was born in the age of the dinosaurs. Even among giant animals it was a predator and fed of them. The early men worshipped it, and sacrificed members of their own tribes. They also brought treasures to its lair. But sometime Kah-Tah-Dhen went angry and descended from its mountain, spreading its wrath on man. Kah-Tah-Dhen slew all but took only their heads. So it was called the Decapitating god, the Head-taker or the Taker of heads.

(Savage Sword of Conan I#183 (fb) - BTS) - Its habits and its atrocities were recorded on the walls of the spider god's lair. The Lemurians called it the Mother of Spiders.

    For a long time the Head-taker remained under its mountain, apparently imprisoned. Some scientists and astronomers prophecied the next coming of the god, associating it with a particular astral arrangement, writing it in the Book of Koth.

    In the many years that passed its existence wasn't forgotten, but people recorded its names as a story for children, telling its legend from father to son.

Kah-Tah-Dhen(Savage Sword of Conan I#183) - In the Hyborian Era, the mountain of the god called the Mountain at the Heart of Hell was in the deserts of Shem. Zuagirs still feared the Decapitating god and its mountain.

(Savage Sword of Conan I#183 - BTS) - In the State-city of Shushan, during the reign of King Bharri Zhan, an astronomer read the warning. It was the time of the astral alignment, infact, the Decapitating god awoke, and its crawling in its far lair, caused an earthquake which destroyed the city.

    Two days later, three scouts rode from Shushan to the mountain of the god. Unseen, the Head-taker killed one of the soldiers and took his head. The others managed to flee and reported the news to the King.

    Some nights later, the Taker of heads bit another soldier and took his head. The soldier was part of the caravan headed to the Mountain, to bring Lady Allana, a sacrifice for the god, and Lord Kharga, a champion to slay the god.

(Savage Sword of Conan I#183) - Kah-Tah-Dhen found a human (Lord Kharga) in its lair and killed him taking his head. Pursuing another human (Lady Allana) it met some soldiers and easily slew them all. Keeping on his search, Kah-Tah-Dhen was surprised to be confronted by another human (Conan), showing fury and not fear. He was wounded by his blade and other humans helped him. He lost an eye and killed two other preys (Yosef and Yuseph) then, in pain, tried to reach the strong human. Wounded several times, in its struggling to get her prey, the enormous beast caused the roof of the cavern collapse. Tons of rock killed it, after its last howl.

Comments: Created by Charles Dixon (writer), Ernie Chan (art), Mike Rockwitz (editor).

    Why were Kah-Tah-Dhen's eggs only put in human heads? Probably the size of a human skull was fit to contain an egg, and protect it. Or the spider-cubs fed on the human brain, who knows? The Mother of Spiders's eggs were very different in size from Zath's eggs, and the cubs, too. This doesn't make sure that the two god-spiders were of different species, probably the father of the cubs was different.

    Kah-Tah-Dhen's intelligence seemed no keener than a normal spider's. How the people (or anybody) could learn from it the prophecies about its awakening? I suppose that the Decapitating god had slept and awakened several times in the past, at very regular intervals, and some astronomers and researchers had guessed the period of time between the awakenings, associating it with a particular, recurring arrangement of planets. So, it was handed down to the future generations that the Mother of Spiders would have awakened when "the stars" reached a well-known alignment.

    The cavern collapsed, but a lot of Kah-Tah-Dhen's offspring were still there. They hadn't so much food to become as great as their mother, unless they fed of each other, but very few dinosaurs were still around in the Hyborian Era, compared to previous Eras.

    Conan wasn't surprised at all to meet the Decapitating god. For him it was only another giant spider, and he had already killed some others like it.

Profile by Spidermay.

Kah-Tah-Dhen has no known connections to

Lady Allana has no known connections to

King Bharri Zhan has no known connections to

Lord Kharga has no known connections to

Karai, Thani, Boriph, Vivalda, Yosef and Yuseph have no known connections to any other character with a similar name.

The Book of Koth

The Book of Koth

    The Book of Koth told, among other things, of the imprisonment of the Decapitating god under its mountain. It also foretold a particular arrangement of stars and planets which was the warning of the return of the Decapitating god.

    And so it was, when the astral arrangement came, during the reign of King Bharri Zhan in the Hyborian Era, the spider-god awakened and caused an earthquake.


--Savage Sword of Conan I#183

Lady Allana

Lady Allana

    Lady Allana was one of the many women part of King Bharri Zhan's harem.

    She was sent to the mountain of the god, unaware that she was the sacrifice for the god.

    At the end of the travel she learnt of her fate, but was forced into the lair of the Head-taker by Kharga. Alone, he tried to touch and kiss her and she momentarily blinded him hitting his eyes. This action saved her. When Kah-Tah-Dhen killed Kharga, she had time to run away. Running, she crossed the path of other soldiers till finding Conan and his Zuagirs, who were looting the riches in the sacrifices' cavern. Continuing to invoke Derketo to save her, she managed to avoid the monster, while it was fought by Conan and his Zuagirs.

    Finally, the god was killed and she was save, but refused to give to Conan any reward, sure that she had been saved by her prayers to Derketo. She left to dedicate her life to the goddes.


--Savage Sword of Conan I#183

King Bharri Zhan

King Bharri Zhan

    Bharri Zhan was the King of Shushan, State-city in the desert of Shem. He was in good relations with the King of Kyros.

    Shushan was nearly destroyed. Bharri Zhan was impressed by the power shown by the Decapitating god, but didn't listen to the wise astronomer's suggestions. He chose Lady Allana from his harem, to be destined as sacrifice to the Decapitating god and, for any eventuality, he also sent Lord Kharga to slay the monster.


--Savage Sword of Conan I#183



Karai was a soldier of Shushan.

He was part of the caravan sent to the monster's lair. 

Karai, Thani, Boriph and other soldiers tried to follow Lord Kharga in the lair. Among a heap of human skulls, Karai was attracted by something shining. He picked up the skull and a lot of spiders, sons of the god, attacked him. He died screaming in pain of their poison and their bites.


--Savage Sword of Conan I#183

Lorg Kharga

Lord Kharga

    Lord Kharga was a warrior, nobleman, considered the champion of Shushan.

    He was chosen by King Zhan to slay the Decapitating god, and led the caravan to the mountain of the monster. He tried to learn something about its enemy from the wise man who had studied Kah-Tah-Dhen's story, but didn't understand the actual danger he faced.

    Once in the monster's lair, Kharga tried to abuse Lady Allana, but the distraction was fatal to him. Kah-Tah-Dhen bit him easily and took his head.





--Savage Sword of Conan I#183


The astronomer

    The scientist, a wise man, was the court astronomer, able to read ancient books and scrolls. He read the Book of Koth were it was foretold of the coming of the Decapitating god.

    He warned King Bharri Zhan but it was too late. The god arose from his mountain and caused an earthquake which destroyed Shushan.

    The wise man was sent along with Lord Kharga and Lady Allana, to the Mountain of the Heart of Hell. He repeatedly warned Kharga about the godly power he had to face, but Kharga didn't believe him.

    He was sure that they would be all dead at the end of the mission but Conan and his Zuagirs saved Lady Allana and him.

--Savage Sword of Conan I#183


Thani and Boriph

    Thani and Boriph were Shushan soldiers.

    They were part of the escort for Lady Allana and were employeed by Lord Kharga to watch his back while he looked for the spider god in his lair. They found the very lair of the Decapitating god, where Karai was attacked by the spiders, and had to flee.
    They eventually met the monster and were killed by it, as their comrades.

--Savage Sword of Conan I#183






    Vivalda was a Zuagir.

    She was a warrior-woman, strong of will, proficient in the use of the bow and other weapons.

    Vivalda followed Conan and fancied him even if he took some decisions against logic and against her advice, as the one to follow the caravan to Kah-Tah-Dhen.

    Like the other Zuagirs, she was scared by the legend of Kah-Tah-Dhen and believed in it, but unlike her kinsmen (especially Yosef and Yuseph) she faced the danger with courage and stoicism.

    She found the carvings on a rock and learnt the secret of Kah-Tah-Dhen. Later, she helped Conan and the Zuagirs when they had to fight Kah-Tah-Dhen, and managed to hit and wound the beast several times.
    After the battle, Conan asked a "reward" from Lady Allana and she refused. He then turned to Vivalda for the same kind of "reward" and she turned him down, too.


--Savage Sword of Conan I#183



Yosef and Yuseph

    Yosef and Yuseph were Zuagirs, very friend. They weren't warriors, they probably were only liars, cheat and thieves.

    Yosef saw the caravan for first and with his lies set up Conan's interest in it.

    Yosef and Yuseph were obliged by Conan to pursue the Shushan caravan with the rest of the band of Zuagirs. They also entered the mountain of Kah-Tah-Dhen from a different passage, fearing Conan's sword more than the lurking god. Conan led them to the chamber of the treasures but, once there, they were reached by the Decapitating god. Forced to fight, Yuseph was grabbed by the great beast, and his friend Yosef went to rescue, but eventually the spider god killed him too. Their distraction bought time to the other Zuagirs, who escaped.


--Savage Sword of Conan I#183


images: (without ads)
Savage Sword of Conan I#183, cover (
Savage Sword of Conan I#183, p39, pan1 (
Savage Sword of Conan I#183, p4, pan2 (Book of Koth)
Savage Sword of Conan I#183, p26, pan5 (Lady Allana)
Savage Sword of Conan I#183, p4, pan5, (King Bharri Zhan)
Savage Sword of Conan I#183, p33, pan3 (Karai and the spiders)
Savage Sword of Conan I#183, p9, pan4 (Lord Kharga)
Savage Sword of Conan I#183, p4, pan1 (astronomer)

Savage Sword of Conan I#183, p32, pan2 (Thani and Boriph)

Savage Sword of Conan I#183, p11, pan4 (Vivalda)
Savage Sword of Conan I#183, p22, pan1 (Yosef)
Savage Sword of Conan I#183, p42, pan3 (Yuseph)

Savage Sword of Conan I#183 (March, 1991) - Charles Dixon (writer), Ernie Chan (artist), Mike Rockwitz (editor)

Last updated: 06/19/08

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