BROWN MAN OF THE RIVER
Real Name: Unrevealed
Identity/Class: Water/earth-based giant humanoid (Hyborian Era)
Group Membership: None
Affiliations: Goranda Zek
Enemies: Conan, Dekanawatha Blood-Ax, Picts
Known Relatives: None
Base of Operations: River between Aquilonia and the land of the Picts
First Appearance: King Conan#9 (March, 1982)
Powers/Abilities: The Brown Man of the River stood almost 30' tall. His body was covered in mud and moss with serpents as hair, and his distorted speech sounded like bubbles. He wielded a tree trunk as a weapon. In order to survive, he needed to feed on the life that had died in the river, but had to rely on staying in the river to maintain his strength and slimy resilience against bladed weapons.
(King Conan#9 (fb) - BTS) - The Brown Man of the River plagued the area that formed the border between Aquilonia and the Picts until he was slain by an ancestor of Dekanawatha Blood-Ax, future ruler of the Picts. The story of the Brown Man became the stuff of nightmarish legends for Pictish children.
Generations later, the replacement shaman of the Picts, Goranda Zek sought to amass power and contrived a plan that would resurrect the great Brown Man to slay the Pict king Dekanawatha and King Conan of neighboring Aquilonia.
(King Conan#9) - As decreed by the shaman Goranda Zek, the rite of passage for Akenak, son of Dekanawatha, entailed collecting three prized artifacts, including two bones located in a grotto shrine. After Conan's son Conn and Akenak had gathered the three items, Goranda and his henchmen cornered them at the shrine of the Brown Man by the river, imprisoning them before invoking magic that would resurrect the great Brown Man.
The next day, Conan and Dekanawatha, searching for their sons, were set upon by Picts paid by the shaman. The two stayed in the river to thwart their attackers, who left as mist rolled along to reveal the giant Brown Man of the River, who lurched forward to kill the two rulers. Conan and Dekanawatha ran out of the river and up the steep bank, forcing rocks to fall and hit the pursuing giant. Conan then offered a deal to the Brown Man, perish by one more boulder or betray Goranda and kill the renegade Picts in his service. The Brown Man agreed to kill the other men and lumbered away, savagely attacking his new foes but receiving many cuts as well. Away from the river, the Brown man fell from his wounds and cursed the two kings as he died.
Comments: Created by Doug Moench (writer), John Buscema (pencils) and Ernie Chan (inks).
Profile by Grendel Prime.
The Brown Man of the River has no known connections to:
Goranda Zek was intended as a temporary replacement for the shaman of the Picts. He was ambitious and well-versed in the dark arts and the fetishes required. He decreed the rite of passage for the Pict king's son, Akenak, and agreed to letting Conan's son, Conn, accompany him. When their quest had been completed, Goranda resurrected the Brown Man, intending that he kill the two kings and held the two sons hostage should that plan fail. However, Conan and Dekanawatha overcame the Brown Man and found the shaman. The Pict king killed him with an ax to the chest and Goranda fell off the cliff into the river below.
King Conan#9, p28 (main image)
King Conan#9 (March, 1982) - Doug Moench (writer), John Buscema (pencils), Ernie Chan (inks), Louise Jones (editor)
Last updated: 08/23/09
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