Real Name: Giyune
Identity/Class: Pre-Cataclysmic and Hyborian era humanoid magic user (see comments)
Group Membership: None
Affiliations: The Bat-People, Nimbatu;
formerly Baldarr, Valiana
Enemies: Baldarr, Conan the Barbarian, Dern, Udelas, Valiana
Known Relatives: None
Aliases: Giyune of the Three Eyes
Base of Operations: His palace, built upon a solitary mountaintop in the deserts south of Asgalun
First Appearance: Savage Sword of Conan#69 (October, 1981)
Powers/Abilities: Giyune primarily employs transformational magic, turning his victims into animals that he feels reflect their true natures. Some of these animals retain the power of speech.
He can also control certain bodily functions as well, paralyzing Conan and another warrior simultaneously, and stopping the heart of a woman he had turned into a tigress.
It seems that no matter how he utilizes his powers Giyune must open the quite literal third eye set into his forehead.
It is uncertain if he was trapped or otherwise somehow bound to the "holy mountain" in which he resided, or if he had never left for other reasons.
It is not clear from the black and white art, nor is it mentioned in the text, what Giyune’s coloration is like.
Aside from his unmistakable third eye set into the center of his forehead, Giyune also has prominently pointed ears and a pointy, bullet-like skull.
Weight: Unrevealed; estimated 250 lbs.
Eyes: Three in number, color unrevealed
History: (Savage Sword of Conan#69 (fb) - BTS) - Some time prior to the beginning of the Hyborean Era, the immortal Giyune came to his “holy mountain” and took up residence in his palace. According to his own words he resided there for “eons and eons,” though this might have been hyperbole on his part (a common explanation for the vast spaces of time often mentioned in Conan tales).
"Since this hill rose from out the sea,” (possibly following the cataclysm which ended the pre-Cataclysmic Era of ancient Atlantis, Valusia, etc.), the cosmically bored Giyune amused himself by toying with those that came infrequently to his abode (as a race of bat people intercepted most before they could reach Giyune's mountain), transforming them, killing them, or both.
Presumably much later, but at some point prior to his encounter with Conan, Giyune also took the beast Nimbatu as a pet and guardian.
In an unseen and largely unexplained prior meeting, a man called Baldarr came into contact with Giyune, either at his palace or in some other area, and incurred the wizard’s displeasure. Giyune used his third eye to transform Baldarr into a pig, though the beast still retained the power of speech. Baldarr either escaped Giyune or was allowed to flee in order to gather the gifts he would need to purchase his transformation back into human form. To this end Baldarr was aided by his beautiful servant girl, Valiana.
(Savage Sword of Conan#69 - BTS) - After obtaining suitable offerings of wealth and beauty, Valiana, and her unseen master, hiding in a veiled palanquin carried by bearers, undertook the journey to Giyune’s desert retreat. To protect them upon the return journey, they enlisted the services of several swords for hire, including Conan the Cimmerian and Udelas, a seasoned Kothian warrior chosen to be the caravan’s captain.
En route to Giyune’s mountain, Udelas, his son Dern, and Conan were briefly captured by other-dimensional bat-warriors after seeking shelter in a cave during a sudden downpour. In short order (seriously, I mean in the space of a couple pages) the three of them led a revolt of the bat-people’s many slaves and escaped back to Earth, with Conan disrupting and collapsing the dimensional portal before their pursuers could follow.
Leaving the winding canyons of the bat-people, the caravan approached a dense forest bordering the desert where Giyune dwelled. In the last village, a tradesman had warned that blooded offerings should be left at every votive stones along the trail to appease Nimbatu, one of the “old gods.” Udelas spurned such superstitions, but on the old tradesman’s advice, Conan left a small slain animal in the stone bowls at their stops. Udelas discovered Conan leaving an offering and commanded him to desist.
That night Nimbatu the Forest-God, a huge bear-like beast with strange markings upon its fur, attacked the encampment. Unable to grab his sword, Conan fought the beast with only his knife, but could not overcome it alone. Udelas attacked from behind exactly as Conan buried his dagger in the creature’s chest. Nimbatu collapsed upon the badly mauled Conan. For three nights the Cimmerian rode in the back of a wagon tended to by the two serving girls Valiana brought with her.
Valiana ordered the caravan due south into the desert, but the mountain they seek, and which is seen rising up from the sands, seemed to be hidden by a mirage of some kind. Appearing first in the west and then the east, it was only due to Valiana’s command to constantly ride south that the caravan did not become lost in the broad, flat desert. After days of travel, they suddenly awakened one morning at the base of the mountain and began the ascent, following a strange roadway marked by an unusual gate.
One of the two serving girls was
sent forward bearing a golden figurine in the form of an eagle with
Holding it aloft beneath the gate, she disappeared in a flash of light.
party proceeded onward up the mountain, though many of the bearers and
guards were upset by this sorcery.
Before reaching the second gateway the party encountered a gigantic multi-hued butterfly with the wingspan of a large hawk. When it fluttered too close to one of the guardsmen, he stabbed it with his spear, and the giant insect shrieked in the voice of a woman. The caravan workers became even more restive when the second serving girl and her gift of a crystal horse were also whisked away in a flash of light at the second gate.
(Savage Sword of Conan#69) - The caravan reached the summit and paused outside a palace of strange design, circular with stacking levels that reminded Conan of a giant snail shell and four spiraling minarets. A cruel and scorning voices boomed a welcome, bidding them enter. At last the fearful bearers and guards refused to go no further. Only Udelas, Conan, and Dern were left to assist Valiana and her palanquin-confined master. Udelas and Conan carried the palanquin between them, and Dern brought up the rear with his bow.
The travelers were welcomed to Giyune’s throne room, but when Valiana commanded Conan and Udelas to bow and make obeisance before Giyune, the Cimmerian balked at this, throwing down his end of the palanquin. Stalking over to shimmering black pillar that had caught his eye. Conan discovered one of the two vanished servant girls struggling to escape from inside the pillar, soundlessly screaming. The other serving girl occupied another pillar nearby, silently weeping. Conan demanded an explanation, but Valiana ignored him, going to her knees and asking if the gifts offered would earn the boon they sought. Giyune judged the gifts, disdaining gold for some reason, but praised the gems, including those hidden in the belly of the golden eagle.
However, the greedy wizard went on to say Baldarr’s curse would not be lifted until a final gift was offered, Valiana herself. Horrified, Valiana begged her master to not consent to such an exchange. Vailiana's faith in her master misplaced, the still unseen Baldarr told Giyune she now belonged to him. Opening his third eye, Giyune transformsedValiana into a rampaging tigress. The tigress slashed open the concealing curtains of the palanquin, and Baldarr was finally revealed, a squealing pig with a human voice.
True to his word, Giyune employed his third eye to return Baldarr back to his human state - - just in time to die! Valiana leapt upon her former master in her tiger form and killed him. Conan realized that Giyune was some sort of cosmic horror, no matter what past offense Baldarr might have once offered the wizard. Conan prepared to attack him, sword in hand, but Giyune unleashed his transformative powers upon the Cimmerian next; Conan was turned into a lion and soon her and the tigress were clawing and biting at each other. Conan attempted to restrain his new animal instincts, but soon seemingly killed Valiana.
Giyune, possibly insane or at least easily amused by his own tricks, laughed and explained that it was he who struck Valiana dead by causing her to over exert her tigress form, which stopped her heart. Giyune knew it would have caused Conan pain to think he had killed Valiana, but the wizard planned to allow Conan the privilege of actually killing his other two friends.
Using a cord from a nearby curtain, Dern got the drop on Giyune and started strangling him, threatening to kill the wizard unless he returned Conan to normal. Giyune complied just in time, and as the lion moved in on Udelas it changed back into the barbarian. Giyune managed to flip Dern over his shoulder and escape the rope around his neck, after which he paralyzed Conan and Udelas as they rushed in to kill him.
After discussing his motivation of diversion from boredom, Giyune offered Dern a choice who would live and who would die, his father or Conan. Conan convinced Dern to spare his father, and Udelas encouraged Dern in this regard.
Dern begged his father to tell him what to do, and Udelas managed to force out some words past the magical paralysis, saying he wanted nothing more than to be off the cursed mountain. Released from Giyune’s mental grip, the Kothian warrior seemingly ran off like a craven. Apparently pleased to have his low opinion of humanity reconfirmed, Giyune bent down to retrieve Udelas’s sword before raising the blade to execute the still frozen Conan.
However, Udelas then launched an arrow that thudded dead center into Giyune’s third eye, immediately disrupting his spell.
Free to act, Conan seized the sword from the reeling wizard and neatly sent Giyune’s head flying from his shoulders, “I only wish to Crom I had been able to do this sooner, wizard… so it would be poor, foolish, loyal Valiana I was carrying off… not offerings of gold and jewels!”
Well versed in how these things go, Conan urged Udelas and Dern to follow him in a hurry.
Sure enough, shortly after the wizard’s death, the magical power that once reared the weird palace faded, and the palace collapsed and the entire mountain dissolved into a whirling pillar of rock and sand which moved off like a living thing into the southern wastes.
Comments: Created by Roy Thomas, Christy Marx, Ernie Chan and Alfredo Alcala.
We don't know Giyune's exact origins. He could be one of the Elder
Race, or perhaps some sort of god, extraterrrestrial, or
extradimensional. Or maybe he was a human who accrued magical power and
was transformed by it...the world may never know.
Profile by Greg O'Driscoll (Cyborg Caveman).
No KNOWN connections to:
images: (without ads)
Savage Sword of Conan#69, story p29, pan1 (palace);
p32, pan4 (seated on throne);
p33, pan5 (face, third-eye closed);
p34, pan3 (third-eye open, transforming Valiana);
p42, pan2 (arrow in the third eye);
Savage Sword of Conan#69, “Eye of the Sorcerer” (October, 1981) - Roy Thomas (writer), Christy Marx (plot), Ernie Chan (pencils), Alfredo Alcala (inks), Louise Jones (editor)
Last updated: 02/12/17
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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