Real Name: Kx'ulthuum
Identity/Class: Hyborian Era (and possibly much older) demon (presumably Class Two)
Occupation: Former master of a realm of the dead
Group Membership: Leader of a realm of the dead;
possibly one of the Hell-lords and/or Lords of the Splinter Realms
Xirquirtel," "Zaphralz"; various demon
and undead servants;
(post-mortem) Fafnir Hellhand
Enemies: Conan, Fafnir Hellhand, Scarlet Mage
Known Relatives: Possibly other Hell-lords
Aliases: Death, Prince of Death
Base of Operations: Unspecified hellish realm accessed via a mountain on Earth (presumably in or nearby Nemedia) in the Hyborian era
First Appearance: (Mentioned) Conan the Barbarian I#169
Conan the Barbarian I#170 (April, 1985)
Powers/Abilities: A demon (presumably Class Two), Kx'ulthuum ruled a realm of the dead and lived off of life forces drained from others. He could reanimate the dead under his control: such beings were immune to most forms of harm, exuding a smoke-like mist from any wounds that then repaired/replaced/reformed any injured tissue, including limbs and heads. He kept his heart separate from his body within a magma pit in his hellish realm, and he could only be truly harmed by damaging his heart. Skewering his heart with the Death-Sword of Kx'ulthuum, a weapon of his own making, was apparently sufficient to destroy him. He commanded an army of demon minions, could fly, and had sharp talons and fangs. His demons had various forms, though a large number of them were green, bat-winged creatures similar to Kx'ulthuum himself, though lacking his horns and long ears.
Even after Kx'ulthuum's destruction, his arm retained much of the power he had absorbed from consuming the life forces of others, rendering Fafnir, to whom it was bonded, extended life, as well as superhuman strength and ability to heal from conventional injury.
At least one of Kx'ulthuum's gems could be used to magnify moonlight.
Kx'ulthuum looked to be out 10' tall.
(Conan the Barbarian I#170 (fb) - BTS) - In the Hyborian era, at least according to the Scarlet Mage, Kx'ulthuum was the very incarnation and embodiment of death, the lord and master of all the realms of the dead.
(Conan the Barbarian I#170 (fb) - BTS) - Kx'ulthuum's heart was kept outside of his body, within his realm, within a deep, seething cauldron, pulsating in a bubbling brew of offal and filth.
(Conan the Barbarian I#170 (fb)) - Kx'ulthuum sought to extend his dominion to the Earthly plane, adding living humans to his legions of the mindless undead; to accomplish this, Kx'ulthuum forged himself an enchanted sword, tempering it with demon's blood: the Death-Sword of Kx'ulthuum. By driving the sword into the bowels of the Earth, Kx'ulthuum intended to release the noxious vapors from the underworld that transform all living beings into soulless living dead.
(Conan the Barbarian I#170 (fb)) - Before Kx'ulthuum could carry out his scheme, the sorcerer known only as the Scarlet Mage stole the sword and fled into the forests surrounding the mountain associated with Kx'ulthuum's realm. Knowing Kx'ulthuum would eventually overtake him, the mage hid the sword by causing a mighty oak tree to grow up around it.
(Conan the Barbarian I#170 (fb) - BTS) - Kx'ulthuum entombed the Scarlet Mage and sent demons to search for the lost sword.
(Conan the Barbarian I#169 - BTS) - The Scarlet Mage made the
Sword of Kx'ulthuum visible to Conan, who used it to fend off a band of
attackers. Conan realized that he had accrued some sort of eldritch debt that
dark forces would make him repay.
The next day, Conan unwittingly saved "Zaphralz," a demon servant of Kx'ulthuum that had taken the form of a human woman and sought to reclaim her master's sword, from attackers. "Zaphralz" stayed with Conan as he followed the regular summoning of the Scarlet Mage, using the sword (and light) to fight off Kx'ulthuum's dead servants until they freed the Mage from his tomb.
the Barbarian I#170) - The Scarlet Mage swiftly recognized "Zaphralz" as an
agent of Kx'ulthuum, and the Mage used a blast of light to dispatch "Zaphralz."
The Mage then used the treasures of Kx'ulthuum to bribe Conan to aid him in his
quest to destroy Kx'ulthuum. When Conan saw that he had been marked with the
brand of Kx'ulthuum for having wielded his sword, Conan wanted to part of such a
conflict; but when he saw that his very touch now resulted in others' deaths,
Conan realized he needed to see this to its conclusion.
Eventually joined by Fafnir -- an old ally of Conan who had lost his left arm from an infected wound and subsequently gained a millennium long life via exposure to the fluids of the egg of a mystic winged creature -- Conan and the Mage traveled to the mountain containing the portal to Kx'ulthuum's realm, fending off attacks by Kx'ulthuum's demons and undead servants, using the sword, as well as light amplified by a "gem of Kx'ulthuum" that Conan had stolen from the demon's treasures . Once within -- via a spell of the Scarlet Mage -- they were assaulted by two servitor demons, "Roza" and "Xirquirtel," dispatched by Fafnir and the Scarlet Mage, respectively. The Mage led them to Kx'ulthuum's heart, but then the demon-lord himself confronted them. Conan rushed Kx'ulthuum, sword in hand, but the demon merely grabbed him and began draining his life force. Fafnir offered instead his own life force, and Kx'ulthuum released Conan, feasting upon Fafnir's millennium long life. As he did so, however, the Scarlet Mage magically levitated Kx'ulthuum's heart, and Conan skewered it with the Death-Sword of Kx'ulthuum. The demon apparently disintegrated, while the Mage was nowhere to be seen, and Fafnir apparently perished, his long life consumed by Kx'ulthuum.
(Savage Sword of Conan#231 (fb)) - Mortally wounded, the Scarlet Mage gathered up the arm of Kx'ulthuum, all that remained of him, and bound it to Fafnir, reducing it to his size and replacing the Vanirman's own left arm. Revitalized by the life-absorbing demon's power and apparently rendered virtually immortal, Fafnir wandered North, deliberately avoiding Conan in his present state. In Yaralet he met Atali, who drugged him and merged the Arm of Kx'ulthuum with the Hand of Nergal, and the combined form was further merged later with the Heart of Tammuz.
Comments: Created by Michael Fleisher, John Buscema, and Bob Camp.
See the profile of Fafnir Hellhand for further stories, as the Arm of Kx'ulthuum ceased to exist as a solitary entity after being merged with the Hand of Nergal.
Conan and Fafnir were active in a Nemedian village in Conan the Barbarian I#166, and 169-170 took place fairly soon after, so I'd guess Kx'ulthuum's realm was accessed via a mountain in Nemedia.
I'll do Scarlet Mage clarifications when I get to his entry.
Profile by Snood.
No KNOWN connections to:
Other demons...though the spelling reminds me of:
"Death-Sword of Kx'ulthuum"
Kx'ulthuum forged the enchanted Death-Sword of Kx'ulthuum with his own hands, tempering it with mystic fire and demon's blood. By driving the sword into the bowels of the Earth, Kx'ulthuum intended to release the noxious vapors from the underworld that transform all living beings into soulless living dead under his control. Before Kx'ulthuum could carry out his scheme, the Scarlet Mage stole the sword and fled into the forests surrounding the mountain associated with Kx'ulthuum's realm. Knowing Kx'ulthuum would eventually overtake him, the mage hid the sword by causing a mighty oak tree to grow up around it. Kx'ulthuum entombed the Scarlet Mage and sent demons to search for the lost sword.
The Mage led Conan to the sword, which he used to defend himself from a band of attackers, and then to free the Mage from his tomb. Having been cursed with the touch of death by wielding the sword, Conan reluctantly agreed to aid the Scarlet Mage against Kx'ulthuum. Ultimately, Conan plunged the Death-Sword into Kx'ulthuum's disembodied heart, which the Mage had levitated into reach. The heart and Death-Sword vanished as Kx'ulthuum perished.
The sword enhanced the fighting prowess of its wielder, but also cursed that person with the touch of death until the sword and/or Kx'ulthuum was destroyed.
--Conan the Barbarian I#169 (170 (fb), 169-170
One of Kx'ulthuum's servitors, it dropped onto Conan after he entered Kx'ulthuum's realm. Fafnir promptly beheaded it.
--Conan the Barbarian I#170
Another demonic servitor of Kx'ulthuum, it charged Conan, Fafnir, and the Scarlet Mage right after Fafnir had slain "Roza." The Scarlet Mage dispatched it with a mystic blast.
--Conan the Barbarian I#169
A demon agent of Kx'ulthuum's sent to retrieve the Death-Sword, she adopted human form and posed as a damsel in distress to acquire Conan's aid. She tried to steal the sword while he slept, and when he discovered her he sent her away on his horse. She continued to follow Conan all the way to the tomb of the Scarlet Mage where she battled Kx'ulthuum's reanimated corpses with him. After the Death-Sword freed the Scarlet Mage, the Mage identified her as a demon and then destroyed her with a blast of light.
It's not quite clear, but Conan definitely kissed her and may have even given her sexy time.
--Conan the Barbarian I#169 (170
"Gem of Kx'ulthuum"
One of a multitude of gems in the cavern in which Kx'ulthuum had entombed the Scarlet Mage. Conan pocketed this gem, but the Mage was aware of its theft, and when they were beset by another legion of Kx'ulthuum's, the Mage used it to magnify the moonlight to dissolve the fiends.
--Conan the Barbarian I#170
"Kx'ulthuum's undead servants"
Reanimated corpses (or spirits of the dead given new physical form), they could regenerate from injury: wisps of smoke exuded from their wounds and reformed any missing tissue, growing a new limb or even a head if needed. They could not withstand light. They could be blinded by sparks and driven off by flame or magnified moonlight.
--Conan the Barbarian I#169 (170
images: (without ads)
Conan the Barbarian I#169, p3, panel 6 (Death-Sword in tree)
p19, panel 1-3 (undead servant re-growing arm)
Conan the Barbarian I#170 cover (Death-Sword), p1 (Zaphralz, human form)
p2, panel 5 (Zaphralz, demon form)
p8 (Kx'ulthuum squatting)
p15, panel 1 (Gem)
p17, panel 4 (Roza)
p18, panel 3 (Xirquirtel)
p19, panel 3 (Kx'ulthuum's standing)
Savage Sword of Conan#231, p18, panel 3 (Arm of Kx'ulthuum)
Conan the Barbarian I#169 (April, 1985) - by Michael Fleisher (writer), John Buscema (penciler), Bob Camp (inker), and Larry Hama (editor)
Conan the Barbarian I#170 (May, 1985) - by Michael Fleisher (writer), John Buscema (penciler), Bob Camp (inker), and Larry Hama (editor)
Savage Sword of Conan#231 (March, 1995) - by Roy Thomas (writer), Mike Docherty (penciler), E.R. Cruz (inker), Timothy Tuohy (editor)
Last updated: 06/12/07
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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