XOTLI

Real Name: Xotli

Identity/Class: Extradimensional demon (presumably Class III);
    Pre-Cataclysmic & Hyborian eras

Occupation: Demon

Group Membership: None

Affiliations: Hierarch, Priests of Xotli

Enemies: Conan and his crew, Mitra, Milo, Sigurd, Trocero, Yakov, Yasunga, many thousands of people sacrificed to him

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: The Demon from Beyond, the Demon-God, the God whose Hunger is Never Slaked, Lord of Terror

Base of Operations: Unidentified dimension;
    formerly active on Ptahuacan

First Appearance: Conan of the Isles (1968);
    Marvel Graphic Novel: Conan of the Isles (1988)

Powers/Abilities: Xotli appears to his worshippers as a rolling cloud of ebony darkness to drink the souls of humans slain upon his altars atop the Zikkurat (pyramid-like structure). He typically consumes the hearts of his victims, often by the thousands. Hovering over the sacrifices, Xotli often takes hours to feed.

    Xotli's full powers are undefined, but the form he takes on Earth may be just a manifestation and not his true form. Nonetheless, that form, mostly an insubstantial cloud, can consume flesh and souls, but is presumably unable to touched or harmed by conventional assault. Xolti is presumably vulnerable to pure light and certain forms of magic. His tentacles are usually composed of psychic energy with which he can enslave others.

History:
(Marvel Graphic Novel: Conan of the Isles (fb) - BTS) - Xotli was worshipped by certain people in Atlantis before the Great Cataclysm.

(Marvel Graphic Novel: Conan of the Isles (fb) - BTS) <18, 000 BC> - When Atlantis sank during the Great Cataclysm, thousands of Atlanteans fled to the mainland, Thuria, but the Priests of Xotli and their slaves fled to Ptahuacan in a mighty fleet of flying ships powered by the mysterious force called Vril.

(Marvel Graphic Novel: Conan of the Isles (fb) - BTS) - The priests of Xotli ruled Ptahuacan by telling the people that there land was the only land above water.

(Marvel Graphic Novel: Conan of the Isles (fb) - BTS) - Naked human sacrifices were served to Xotli by the thousands. Xotli typically only consumed the victims' hearts while the rest of the bodies were dropped within the Zikkurat to be consumed by giant-lizard "dragon" creatures.

(Marvel Graphic Novel: Conan of the Isles (fb) - BTS) - Eventually the population of the seven Antillian islands began to become depleted by the constant sacrifices, and so the priests started raiding the shores of the western continent, which they called Mayapan. When Mayapan's people fled inland, the priests turned eastward. The Hierarch, chief priest of Xotli, sent his "Red Shadows" spirit servants to the eastern continent, magically transporting people to Ptahuacan and then regularly sacrificing them to Xotli.

(Marvel Graphic Novel: Conan of the Isles - BTS) - In Argos, the Red Shadows struck, transporting many citizens to Ptahuacan.

(Marvel Graphic Novel: Conan of the Isles - BTS) - In Tarantia, the capital of the kingdom of Aquilonia, the Red Shadows began to appear, claiming many victims, such as Count Trocero, before vanishing.

(Marvel Graphic Novel: Conan of the Isles - BTS) - In the next "halfmonth," the Red Shadows struck again and again, claiming commoners and the wealthy alike, eventually claiming 700 Aquilonian citizens.

 

 

(Marvel Graphic Novel: Conan of the Isles - BTS) - Advised in a dream by Epimetrius the Sage, a long-dead priest of Mitra who gave him a phoenix talisman, King Conan (now in his late-60's) left Aquilonia to his son, Conn, and traveled to Argos. Reunited with his old friend Sigurd in Argos' capital, Messantia, Conan spoke of the Red Shadows and then earned the secret financial support of Argos' king, Ariostro, to purchase a vessel to stop the Red Shadows. After recruiting a crew, Conan led them westward in the newly crowned Red Lion beyond the known world. The Priests of Xotli sent a black kraken against them and it slew a couple crewmen, but Conan blinded it, enabling the rest to escape.
    A Priest of Xotli then magically assaulted them, but Conan and his crew slew the priest and his mystic doppelgangers, and then Conan located a map that led them towards the seven isles of Antillia. As they approached, however, a pair of Ptahuacan dragon-ships set their ship on fire and used gas bombs to knock out much of the crew. Conan alone escaped capture, using one of the Ptahuacan's helmets to breathe underwater and walk his way to Ptahuacan, while the rest of the crew were captured and imprisoned to become sacrifices to Xotli. The crew were bound in virtually unbreakable chains that looked like glass and kept in line by guards wielding weapons of the same composition.
    From a woman named Catlaxoc, whom he romanced, and from Ptahuacan's king of thieves, Metemphoc, Conan learned of Ptahuacan and Xotli, and of his crew's fate as the sacrifices began; Sigurd, the rest of the crew, and a large number of Antillians were lined up by the Zikkurat, and one-by-one (starting with the Antillians), they were placed on the altar, where their hearts would be cut out and placed in a sacrificial fire while their bodies were dropped down to the dragon creatures. Fighting his way past a pack of giant rats, Conan ran into the dragons but escaped them and then forced open the doors containing the lizards, allowing them to rush out of the Zikkurat and slaughter anyone they could reach. Seizing the distraction, Conan's crew attacked the guards, while Conan emerged from the top of the Zikkurat and pushed the Hierarch down to a waiting dragon.

(Marvel Graphic Novel: Conan of the Isles) - Using a former guard's sword, Conan began to free his men, but then Xotli appeared, summoned by the gory ritual. With tentacles of mental force probing downward from its dark turbulent center, Xotli began to overcome Conan and the others, but Conan regained his wits long enough to shatter the phoenix talisman Epimetrius had given him. As Conan regained consciousness, the god Mitra appeared as a sphere of light and assaulted Xotli. As the two fought -- fiery blasts of lightning contending with tentacles of dark smoke -- the earth below began to quake, causing collapses and cave-ins, and Conan led his crew to flee the city. Before shafts of Mitra's intolerable light, the black cloud that was Xotli seemed to fold in upon itself, shrinking and dissipating even as it lashed out with final, desperate tendrils. Finally, the blazing sphere of light swallowed the last of the dark cloud and then vanished in a thunderclap.
    In the ensuing chaos, Metemphoc sent his legions of thieves through the city to slay any Xotli-priest or soldier they encountered. Recognizing that he, as a former king, might present a threat to Methemhoc (as would his allies), Conan led his crew aboard one of the Ptahuacans' dragon-ships.

 

 

 

 

Comments: Created by L. Sprague DeCamp & Lin Carter;
    adapted by Roy Thomas, John Buscema, Danny Bulandi, Ricardo Villamonte & Armando Gil.

    Xotli might have had his name based on Xolotl, Aztec god and brother of Quetzalcoatl.
    Nothing Aztec about Ptahuacan or Zothique, but Mayapan is an ancient site in the Yucatan where the Mayan Empire flourished before the Aztecs, and the Mayans and Aztecs did share several of the same gods.
    One thing though, both the Aztecs and the Mayans claimed that they had lived in the area for a short time and that their ancestral land was called Aztlan, which is often linked to Atlantis. Atlantis-researchers consider the Aztecs descendants of Atlantean refugees.
    However, Xolotl was a benign underworld god like Hermes credited with guiding the dead to the underworld. He took the image of a dog, and is often confused with Pek, the Aztec Cerberus.
--Will U

    This story isn't the last known adventure of Conan. Conan the Savage#10 features a story chronologically following Conan of the Isles, and -- courtesy of Per Degaton -- according to a text feature in Conan Saga#95, Conan continued to explore Mayapan, Zothique, and Poseidonis, before eventually returning to Aquilonia and being reunited with Conn. In Savage Sword of Conan#6, Conan is apparently reincarnated as Jim O'Brien, who died saving two people from the Children of the Night.

Profile by Snood.

CLARIFICATIONS:
No KNOWN connections to:


images: (without ads)
Marvel Graphic Novel: Conan of the Isles, story page 90, panel 4 (main image)
    p93, panel 3 (vs. Mitra)


Appearances:
Marvel Graphic Novel: Conan of the Isles (1988) - Roy Thomas (writer), John Buscema (pencils), Danny Bulanadi, Ricardo Villamonte & Armando Gil (inks), Craig Anderson (editor)


Last updated: 10/25/07

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