SERPENT-TIARA

Classification: Magic item (Hyborian Era)

Creator: Unrevealed (presumably an agent of Set and/or the Serpent Men)

User/Possessors: Formerly  King Eannatum of Makkalet, King Ghannif of Pah-Dishah, Red Sonja

First Appearance: Conan the Barbarian I#24 (March, 1973)

 

 

 

Powers/Abilities/Functions: A golden tiara, fashioned out of gold in the form of a snake with jewels for its eyes, it would transform into a giant serpent and slay any who touched it without first saying, "Ka Nama Kaa Lajerama." The serpent was perhaps 30' long, immensely strong, possessed of large & sharp fangs, and coated with golden scales. Beneath and between the scales, however, was living flesh. If the serpent was slain, it would revert back into the Serpent-Tiara.
    The Tiara may have possessed additional powers, as Ghannif prized it highly.

 

 

 

 

 

 

History:
(Savage Sword of Conan#1/3 (fb) / Conan the Barbarian I#24 (fb) - BTS) - Via an apparent clerical error, the Serpent-Tiara was part of the dowry given to King Eannatum of Makkalet when he married Melissandra, daughter of King Ghannif of Pah-Dishah, Makkalet's sister state.

(Savage Sword of Conan#1/3 (fb)  / Conan the Barbarian I#24 (fb) - BTS) - King Ghannif employed the mercenary Red Sonja, instructing her to travel to Makkalet alongside a number of soldiers. Pretending to be honoring Pah-Dishah's commitment to Makkalet against the Turanian hordes besieging her, she was actually to reclaim the Serpent-Tiara for him.

(Savage Sword of Conan#1/3 (fb)) - King Ghannif told Sonja that if she succeeded she would have the most precious gift within his kingly power to bestow.

(Conan the Barbarian I#24 (fb) - BTS) - King Ghannif cautioned Sonja that before touching the Tiara she must speak the words "Ka Nama Kaa Lajerama."

 

 

(Conan the Barbarian I#24) - Red Sonja led Conan into the royal palace of Makkalet, not telling him what she was looking for. They split up, and Sonja located the Tiara; entranced by its life-like beauty, she grabbed the Tiara and prepared to abscond with it, forgetting to first speak the words she had been told. The Tiara then came to life, transforming into a monstrous golden serpent. Sonja recalled the words and voiced them to no avail at that point. Sonja screamed and Conan rushed to the rescue, but he was swiftly wrapped in its coils. Sonja distracted the serpent and Conan smashed it in the face with a full treasure chest, paining it and gaining his freedom. It swiftly recovered and targeted Sonja again, but Conan leapt atop its head and drove his sword into it down to the hilt. The serpent's death-throes smashed Conan into the ceiling and then back into the large heap of gold below, but then it turned back into the Tiara. Speaking, "Ka Nama Kaa Lajerama," Sonja reclaimed the Tiara and she and Conan fled the castle, though Sonja then abandoned him, taking the Tiara with her.

(Savage Sword of Conan#1/3) - Sonja returned to Pah-Dishah, gave the Serpent-Tiara to Ghannif, and demanded her reward. Ghannif tried to force her to accept the reward -- himself -- and force her to be his lover, but Sonja ultimately slew him.

 

 

 

 

 

Comments: Created by Roy Thomas and Barry Smith.

    A curious limitation of the Serpent Men is that they cannot speak the words "Ka nama kaa lajerama." This phrase--referred to by the Serpent as the Words that Unweave causes them pain and universally forces a disguised Serpent Man to reveal his true nature. In some cases it has proven sufficient to actually drive off a squad of Serpent Men.
    The use of this phrase almost certainly ties the Serpent-Tiara to the Serpent Men and/or Set.

Profile by Snood

CLARIFICATIONS:
Serpent Men

No known connections to:


images: (without ads)
Conan the Barbarian I#24, p14 (transforming into serpent)
        p15, panel 5 (head)
        p19, panel 2-3 (Tiara)


Appearances:
Conan the Barbarian I#24 (March, 1973) - by Roy Thomas (writer/editor), Barry Smith (artist)
Savage Sword of Conan#1 (August, 1974) - Roy Thomas (writer/editor); Estaban Maroto, Neal Adams, and Ernie Chua (artists)


Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

Last Updated: 12/02/06

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