karashnur_simyon-marada-full-loblique.jpgSIMYON KARASHNUR  

Real Name: Simyon Karashnur

Identity/ClassHuman magic-user (1st Century AD)

Occupation: Servant of the Mabdhara (the N'Garai masters)

Group Membership: None

Affiliations: TChundaY'Garon and other demons of the Outer Dark (the Mabdhara; the Marada demon-duplicate);
    he apparently had an unspecified number of human agents

Enemies: Gaius Marcellus Fulva, Arianrhod McLlyanllwyrDonal MacLlyanllwyr, Marada the She-Wolf (Marada Starhair)

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: "Sorcerer," "necromancer" (references from Marada)

Base of Operations: Unrevealed;
    formerly a palace in Damascus, Syria

First AppearanceEpic Illustrated#10 (February, 1982)

Powers/Abilities: Simyon Karashnur was a sorcerer of unspecified power; he derived at least some of his power via necromancy (utilizing the sacrifice of living beings); specifically, the Mabdhara granted him power in exchange for sacrificing human lives and souls to them.karashnur_simyon-marada-face.jpg

    Karashnur was long-lived (claiming to have been at least 2500 years old) and reportedly immortal (at least unaging), although he could be slain by being impaled through the chest with an eldritch sword.

    He could communicate with and summon extradimensional beings.

    He could mystically bind the soul of one being to another via objects of personal connection of one of those beings.

    He could mystically summon flowers that dulled the mind while increasing the body's sensitivity (especially the sensuality).

Height: Unrevealed (perhaps 5'6")
Weight: Unrevealed (perhaps 140 lbs.)
Eyes: Blue (in the one panel where they are seen clearly; I'd have otherwise expected them to be brown)
Hair: Bald (perhaps dark hair in his eyebrows)

karashnur_simyon-marada-spell.jpgHistory

(Epic Illustrated#10 (fb) - BTS) - Simyon Karashnur saw the rise and fall of many an empire, including Assyria, Babylon, Persia, and Egypt.

(Epic Illustrated#10 (fb) - BTS) - Simyon entered the service of the Mabdhara (aka the N'Garai masters), who granted him mystic power in exchange for him bring them human lives and/or souls.

(Epic Illustrated#10 (fb) - BTS) - Simyon earned a reputation as cursed from Damascus to the Nile Cataracts (white water rapids): He was believed to be immortal and to traffic with demons.

(Epic Illustrated#10 (fb) - BTS) - Under the direction of Y'Garon with the goal of making Marada Starhair (aka the She-Wolf) his consort, Simyon had Marada Starhair drugged while she celebrated at a tavern in Damascus, Syria. She was brought to the tower in the palace of Simyon Karashnur and bound in chains.

(Epic Illustrated#10 (fb)) - Simyon greeted and introduced himself to Marada, explaining his relationship with the Mabdhara, taunting her that she would be sacrificed, but not in the way she thought. He then introduced her to the arriving Y'Garon, and he presumably watched as the demon raped and broke the spirit of the bound warrior. 

(Epic Illustrated#10 (fb) - BTS) - Hoping to win favor in Caesar's eyes by returning his wayward granddaughter to him in Rome, Tribune Gaius Marcellus Fulva arranged a Parthian caravan that abducted/rescued Marada Starhair.

(Epic Illustrated#10 (fb) - BTS) - Fulva was captured by Karashnur and/or his agents, and brought to the torture chamber in its basement, where he soon screamed in agony under the care of Karashnur's torturer, Tchunda.

(Epic Illustrated#10) - Karashnur mocked Fulva, noting his surprise in screaming so early when he had been expecting an example of the stoicism of which Romans seemed so proud. 

    Fulva warned that Karashnur would pay for this as he was an officer of Rome, but Karashnur instead accused him as a thief who had stolen something from him of incomparable value. When Fulva argued that he had merely rescued a daughter of Rome from the clutches of a fiend from Hell, Tchunda offered to remove Fulva's insolent tongue. Departing, Karashnur told Tchunda to do as he saw fit as he had no further need for the tribune.

karashnur_simyon-marada-full.jpg    Though having left Fulva's company, Karashnur asked what price was his bravado or his ambition, and noted that Fulva was foolish to have thought he could cross swords with himself and even survive, much less triumph. Having seen many more empires than he figured Fulva could imagine, he noted that Rome would eventually fade like the empires before it. He explained the difference between them as Fulva serving the dreams and desires of men, while he served the dreams and desires of gods.

    From his palace's tower, Simyon used Marada's clothes, armor, and weapons, as well as intimate keepsakes of both Marada and her mother, to summon a demon from the dimension of the Mabdhara in the form of Marada.

    The human avatar asked if her form was not pleasing to him, and Karashnur confirmed it to be perfect, after which he urged the demon to find Marada, that she could be delivered into the hands of their masters. 

(Epic Illustrated#11 - BTS) - Having tracked Marada to the mystic location Ashandriar, the demon-duplicate assaulted her and her allies, and ultimately instead abducted the young sorceress Arianrhod and brought her to her masters as a second sacrifice.

(Epic Illustrated#11 - BTS) - Donal perished from his wounds, and Marada regained much of her resolve as a warrior by necessity to rescue Arianrhod and to avenge Donal.

(Epic Illustrated#11 (fb) - BTS) - Arianrhod was bound in chains in Simyon's palace tower, as Marada had been. As Marada approached Simyon's palace, Simyon and Y'Garon arranged for a number of monstrous demons to assault her. Y'Garon traveled to the tower chamber as well, presumably with the intent of similarly raping Arianrhod.

karashnur_simyon-marada-death.jpg(Epic Illustrated#11) - Simyon seemed ecstatic as Marada -- somewhat worn out from the "warm welcome" they had arranged for her -- entered his tower chambers. He mocking asked Y'Garon if he thought she appreciated their generosity, and Marada advised him to step her way and she would show her appreciation in a manner he was not likely to forget. 

    Marada was instead drawn into a confrontation with Y'Garon, but as Marada began to gain the upper hand, Simyon mystically summoned flowers (presumably black lotus or perhaps some opium poppy) that dulled her mind, making it hard for her to think, while making her body incredible sensitive, such that she ached and hungered for Y'Garon's touch. Seemingly overwhelmed, she dropped to her knees, but when Y'Garon raised his sword to slay her, she instead slew him with a strike to his exposed chest and abdomen.

    Marada told the necromancer to say his prayers, as he was about to follow his master's example. Simyon insisted that he wold flee this place and point the Mabdhara to her as the murderer of their brother, but Marada skewered him through the chest with Donal's eldritch sword.

(Epic Illustrated#11 (fb) - BTS) - As Y'Garon's lesser demons vengefully approached, Arianrhod teleported Marada and herself away.


Comments: Created by Chris Claremont and John Bolton.

    The Marada the She-Devil graphic novel is a colored retelling (not quite a reprint, there are a few minor pages added) of her stories in Epic Illustrated#10-12. I couldn't find my copy as I did this profile, so thanks to MarvellousLuke for getting me the images!

    As detailed by Archie Goodwin in Overview (Epic Illustrated's notes on stories and contributors), Marada's first story was initially intended to feature Red Sonja, but copyright complications at the time resulted in the story and character being totally redesigned into Marada. Further, it was intended to feature in Bizarre Adventures (the black and white magazine that had evolved out of Marvel Preview). The delay due to the copyright brought about a shelving of the material for use in Bizarre Adventures for many months. Reluctant to let their work -- with which they were quite pleased -- languish in inventory, Claremont pitched it to Archie Goodwin and Jim Shooter, the editors of Epic Illustrated (with the latter being Marvel's Editor-in-Chief at the time), and they got a spot for it split between two issues...plus they got to make it their own property (which was the nature of Epic material).
    It has been theorized that Simyon Karashnur was changed from Kulan Gath, but I think he resembles any number of evil sorcerers from the Hyborian and other eras.

Profile by Snood.

CLARIFICATIONS:
Simyon Karashnur
should be distinguished from:

Tchunda has no known connection to:

palacepalace of Simyon Karashnur

    It fronted the Plaxa of the Sacred Way in Damascus, Syria.

    City guards occasionally heard screams from this palace, but they apparently knew to pay these no heed, as its owner was wisely feared by both king and commoner.

    Its basement held a torture chamber in which Tchunda presided.

   
    Its tower contained the chamber in which Karashnur performed his spells, including the creation of the Marada duplicate.


       

-- Epic Illustrated#10
karashnur_simyon-marada-gaius-distant.jpgGaius Marcellus Fulva

    Roman tribune

(
Epic Illustrated#10 (fb) - BTS) - Hoping to win favor in Caesar's eyes by returning his wayward granddaughter to him in Rome, Tribune Gaius Marcellus Fulva arranged a Parthian caravan that abducted/rescued Marada Starhair, who had been imprisoned in the palace of Simyon Karashnur and who had been broken/enslaved by Y'Garon.
 
    Presumably unbeknownst to Fulva (at least as opined by Donal MacLlyanllwyr), the Caravan's driver was Egyptian, and his aura marked him as some kind of priest, a sorcerer.

(Epic Illustrated#10 (fb) - BTS) - Fulva was captured by Karashnur and/or his agents, and brought to the torture chamber in its basement. 

    There he was bound naked over hot coals, and he soon screamed in agony under the care of Karashnur's torturer, Tchunda.

(Epic Illustrated#10) - Karashnur mocked Fulva, noting his surprise in screaming so early when he had been expecting an example of the stoicism of which Romans seemed so proud. 

    Fulva warned that Karashnur would pay for this as he was an officer of Rome, but Karashnur instead accused him as a thief who had stolen something from him of incomparable value. 

    When Fulva argued that he had merely rescued a daughter of Rome from the clutches of a fiend from Hell, Tchunda offered to remove Fulva's insolent tongue. 

    Departing, Karashnur told Tchunda to do as he saw fit as he had no further need for the tribune.

(Epic Illustrated#10 - BTS) - As Fulva's screens echoed through the palace, Karashnur asked -- more to himself than to Fulva, whose company he had long parted and who was likely either dead or severely distracted by Tchunda's ministrations -- what price was his bravado or his ambition, and noted that he was foolish to have thought he could cross swords with Karashnur and even survive, much less triumph. 

    Having seen many more empires than he figured Fulva could imagine, he noted that Rome would eventually fade like the empires before it. He explained the difference between them as Fulva serving the dreams and desires of men, while he served the dreams and desires of gods.

--Epic Illustrated#10

Note: See the Tchunda sub-profile for a closer profile image of Fulva.

karashnur_simyon-marada-mardup.jpgkarashnur_simyon-marada-mardup-creationMarada demon/duplicate

    Mystically powerful, the demon could mystically track and teleport herself and others. Swift and powerful, her claws could rend flesh, apparently delivering a burning poison that was fatal when combined with a sufficient wound. 

(Epic Illustrated#10 - BTS) - From the tower of his Damascus palace and using Marada's clothes, armor, and weapons, as well as intimate keepsakes of both Marada and her mother, Simyon Karashnur summoned a demon from the dimension of the Mabdhara -- a Reaver of the Abyss -- in the form of Marada.

    The human avatar asked if her form was not pleasing to him, and Karashnur confirmed it to be perfect, noting her to be formed from the essence of their dark lords but retaining with itself a piece of Marada's soul or fundamental self. He announced that the demon was bound to Marada, and vice-versa, and no power on Earth could hide from her. He then urged the demon to find Marada, that she could be delivered into the hands of the Lords of the Abyss, whom they both served. 

(Epic Illustrated#10 - BTS) - Marada awakened from screaming after having sensed the demon duplicates' arrival/creation.

(Epic Illustrated#11) - The Marada demon materialized in Ashrandiar, the semi-mystic realm in which Marada had been recovering, slashing the face of and throwing her powerful friend (but not-yet lover) Donal MacLlyanllwyr to the ground. Promising to return Marada to Y'Garon and his brethren, she slashed Marada's shoulder with her claws as the fearful former warrior backed away.

    As the demon warned the mortified Marada to take a last look at her world, Marada's young sorceress ally, Arianrhod, blasted the demon with a mystic bolt that knocked her into the public bath. 

(Epic Illustrated#11 - BTS) - Having mindcalled the guards, Donal advised they depart.

(Epic Illustrated#11) - The demon swiftly emerged from the water, warning that a single arcane bolt could not slay "a Reaver of the Abyss." Marada urged Donal and Arianrhod to flee as the demon wanted her, specifically; however, noting that all within Ashrandiar were under his protection, Donal struck at and demon and missed, and she/it slashed him in across the chest, dropping him and noting that his brave words would make a fitting epitaph. 

    The demon turned again to the still helpless Marada, but Arianrhod fired a series of bolts of eldritch fire at the demon; noting they hurt but could not kill, the demon then sensed  a power within Ariarhod that rivaled Marada's and it decided to take her to its masters, deciding they would be pleased to have two sacrifices for the price of one.

(Epic Illustrated#11 - BTS) - Donal perished from his wounds, and Marada regained much of her resolve as a warrior by necessity to rescue Arianrhod and to avenge Donal.

-- Epic Illustrated#10

Note: Within some swamplike realm surrounding Simyon Karashnur's palace, Marada faced a number of demons and monstrous creatures before confronting and ultimately slaying both; as a number of lesser demons approached, Arianrhod teleported Marada away...

    ...BUT the Marada demon-duplicate wasn't seen again...one would ASSume Marada slew her behind the scenes...or maybe Arianrhod destroyed her but was unable to free herself?


    Both Simyon Karashnur and Arianrhod called her "Reaver," but she called herself "A REAVER of the ABYSS," which would mean that she was one of many, and/or it was her role, but that she was only one such Reaver. At any rate, I don't think it's her name/title, any more than her calling Donal "warlord" or someone calling Dr. Strange "sorcerer."

karashnur_simyon-marada-gaius-face.jpgTchunda

    Tchunda presided over the torture chamber in the basement of the Palace of Simyon Karashnur in Damascus, Syria.

(Epic Illustrated#10 (fb) - BTS) - For arranging the liberation of the imprisoned Marada Starhair, Roman tribune Gaius Marcellus Fulva was captured by Karashnur and/or his agents, and brought to the torture chamber in its basement. 

    There he was bound naked over hot coals, and he soon screamed in agony under Tchunda's care.

(Epic Illustrated#10) - When Fulva argued to Karashnur that he had merely rescued a daughter of Rome from the clutches of a fiend from Hell, Tchunda offered to remove Fulva's insolent tongue. 

    Departing, Karashnur told Tchunda to do as he saw fit as he had no further need for the tribune.

(Epic Illustrated#10 - BTS) - Fulva's screens echoed through the palace.

-- Epic Illustrated#10


Note: See the Gaius Marcellus Fulva sub-profile for a full-body profile image of Tchunda.

images: (without ads - colored versions from Marvel Graphic Novel#21: Marada the She-Wolf of the images from) 
Epic Illustrated#10, story pg. 8 (numbering based on original story in Epic Illustrated), panel 4 (palace);
            panel
5 (torture of Gaius Marcellus by Tchunda);
        pg. 9, panel 1 (close-up of Gaius and Tchunda's faces);
            panel 3 (Simyon's face);
            panel 6 (Simyon, full, left oblique);
        pg. 10, panel 2 (Simyon's spell);
        pg. 11 (demon Marada duplicate);
    #11, story pg. 3, panel 1 (Marada duplicate leaping out of the water);
        pg. 31, panel 3 (Simyon, full, right oblique, arms raised)
        pg. 38, panel 4 (Simyon, death)


Appearances:
Epic Illustrated#10 (February, 1982) - by Chris Claremont (writer), John Bolton (artist), Archie Goodwin (editor)
Epic Illustrated#11 (April, 1982) - by Chris Claremont (writer), John Bolton (artist), Archie Goodwin (editor)


Last updated: 02/26/15

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