Real Name: Ovada
Identity/Class: Extradimensional goddess and/or demon (pantheon/race unidentified);
Hyborian era (and apparently the Distant Past)
Occupation: Goddess of the Crow Road Summer (see comments), and possibly guile, deception, assassination, and/or corruption
Group Membership: Unidentified race of god-like beings
Affiliations: Tara Sidth Alarune, numerous hosts/blood-children;
presumably other members of her race (unless she warred against them all)
Enemies: Akif, Conan, Siobahn Lauchline, Lord High Protector;
unspecified members of her race;
presumably Danu (an alias/aspect of Gaea);
formerly Tara Sidth Alarune and the others she corrupted/possessed/transformed (thought they became her allies upon becoming her blood-children)
Known Relatives: Presumably others of her unidentified race of celestial kin
Aliases: Ovada the Corruptor, Mistress of Assassins, Goddess of the Crow Road Summer, Queen of the Dark Domains
Base of Operations: Unrevealed;
formerly a mountain above Jarabesht, a city of the nothern planes;
formerly an unidentified realm of the gods
First Appearance: Conan the Savage#5 (December, 1995)
Powers/Abilities: Ovada is mistress of guile, deception, and assassination, though her abilities in these areas are poorly defined.
At least when her form was mortally wounded, she could transfer her essence into her blood, such that those who consumed water (or presumably food) tainted by it would be corrupted and transformed into monstrous form; each such "blood-child" would house part of her essence and be under her control. Allegedly, these beings could further spawn other such blood-children, perhaps via their own blood, and all would be part of and under the control of Ovada. She claimed she could thusly take control of the entire Earthly plane (though, again, she's a mistress of guile and deception).
Ovada's massive size grants her vast strength and durability. Allegedly hundreds of millions of years old (see comments), she is presumably immune to aging and resistant to conventional injury and disease; she was certainly vulnerable to some forms of magic, such as balefire.
Her original form wore intricate battle armor. It is not confirmed that this is an armor she donned as opposed to being an exoskeleton that was part of her. This armor covered almost her entire body, but left her eyes and lower face exposed.
Height: Unrevealed; approximately 100' tall (Siobahn was not much bigger than Ovada's orbit - see the image to the right);
in her Tara's form, she looked to be 5'10"
Weight: Unrevealed; approximately 510 tons (assuming she would have weighed 220 lbs. fully armored at 6' tall);
in Tara's form, she looked to be about 145 lbs.
Eyes: Solid white;
in Tara's form, her eyes sometimes glowed solid white, but also had a more normal appearance at rest; the color is unrevealed, but I'd guess they would have been green
Hair: Unrevealed; if any;
in Tara's form, she appeared to have dark hair with streaks of white
(Conan the Savage#6 (fb) - BTS) - Ovada is a member of an unidentifed race of god-like beings. For "years beyond reckoning," Ovada and her celestial kin warred for dominion over the Earthly plane of existence, and for "ten million of your lifetimes" (see comments) they were stalemated.
(Conan the Savage#5 (fb) - BTS) - As the gods feuded, a storm raged over a village on Earth, and hens laid black eggs, cows yielded sour milk.
(Conan the Savage#5 - BTS) - A father warned his daughter, Tara Sidth Alarune, against dancing during the storm, as spying upon the gods' turmoil meant witnessing their weaknesses, which the gods would have mortals believe do not exist: "We would be culled simply to save their dignity."
(Conan the Savage#5 - BTS / Conan the Savage#6 (fb) - BTS) - Ovada's enemies cast her from their realm. Fatally wounded, her immense form hurtled downward from Earth's sky before crashing atop a mountain and lying in supine recumbency. Her right hand, at least, rested in a mountain stream, and her blood drained into its waters
To escape god-death, Ovada bonded her consciousness into her blood, and the blood-tainted waters then passed into a waterfall and spread into lower streams, which reached the surrounding villages.
(Conan the Savage#6 (fb) - BTS) - The tainted water was first imbibed by Tara Alarune, who became the host to Ovada's spiritual essence. Ovada invested her core essence into Tara's form to command the others that followed: all others that consumed the blood-tainted water were transformed into monstrous form and became her blood-children. All of her blood-children were fragments of herself, and the children of her blood would beget children of their own; but, "the seed and the sower are one and the same."
(Conan the Savage$6 (fb) - BTS) - Tara/Ovada apparently remained in proximity to Ovada's corpse, using its hollowed out form as a base.
As Ovada plotted that her blood-children would spread her taint across Earth and those beyond until all life was part of her, she hoped to defeat her celestial brethren beneath their very noses.
(Conan the Savage#5 (fb) - BTS) - The night after the great storm, one of Ovada's blood-children was found in the city of Jarabesht, in the Northern Plains. Some of Jarabesht's people, possibly including Akif, caught the creature emptying some vile brew into the city wells.
(Conan the Savage#5 (fb) - BTS) - The people of Jarabesht put the creature to the sword.
(Conan the Savage#5 (fb) - BTS) - Soon after, those who drank the tainted water became demonic blood-children as well. They spread rapidly, hunting in packs and forcing others to take "the taint," further swelling their filthy ranks. Soon the city belonged to the blood-children. The people were besieged from within.
(Conan the Savage#5 (fb) - BTS) - The Lord High Protector ordered the wells sealed and guarded, and rainwater was collected and rationed. Without their corrupted wellsprings, the demons numbers stopped growing, and they became easy prey for the warriors. Those they captured alive were taken to his Lordship to study and "read their vittles."
(Conan the Savage#5 (fb) - BTS) - Jarabesht was shuttered and barred, and "foreign devils" were prohibited from entering by order of the Lord High Protector.
(Conan the Savage#5 (fb) - BTS) - An army of demons was sweeping down from the mountains, laying waste to all before them and corrupting all they found.
(Conan the Savage#5 (fb) - BTS) - Akif's scouts reported the demon army to be not 5 days ride from Jarabesht, and Akif put the city on alert; every man, woman, and child was ready to fight to the bitter end.
the Savage#5 - BTS) - Akif helped his friend Conan -- who had departed
the town a month earlier to seek bounty on Thorun and his sons --
re-enter Jarabesht and then told him what had happened. Conan agreed to
aid Akif in the coming battle, and they both soon joined the Lord High
Protector in a mission to cut off the demons at their source; they were
joined by, among others, Siobahn Lauchline of the Sisterhood of Danu,
as well as the Protector's Leathermen.
The Lord High Protector carried his allies toward the mountain via a wooden ship borne aloft by levitation globes, but then proclaimed that his abilities could only convey them so far; they must travel the final league on foot. As they approached a place to land, however, a horde of winged demon creatures approached them.
(Conan the Savage#6 - BTS) - Conan and Siobahn slew several of their assailants, but one of them skewered Akif (catching him on his blind-eye side) into one of the levitation globe's causing the ship to fall sideways and dump most of its inhabitants. The Lord High Protector and Conan caught some of the remaining globe's ropes, and Conan caught Siobahn; the rest presumably fell to their doom.
The Lord High Protector, fearing their weight would slow his ascent and ability to escape from further attacks, cut the ropes supporting them (as well as the ropes attaching the remaining globe to the ship). Conan, Siobahn, and the ship crashed to the ground below; their descent was cushioned somewhat by the ship to which they were still attacked, and then by a large tree the ship struck, but they were nonetheless knocked unconsious upon hitting the ground. They were approached by at least one of Siobahn's blood-children.
(Conan the Savage#6 (fb) - BTS) - Ovada's blood-children brought Conan and Sioban into the hollow inside of Ovada's corpse, where their arms were bound using tissue from her body wall.
(Conan the Savage#6 (fb) - BTS) - Ovada's blood-children captured the Lord High Protector as well; they brought him within Ovada's hollow corpse, where he was similarly bound.
(Conan the Savage#6) - After the captives recovered and the Lord High Protector explained that they were within the demon hordes wellspring, Tara introduced herself and named herself as the vassal to Ovada. Explaining that their forces were legion, she asked what chance they thought they stood against Ovada and her blood-children. The Lord High Protector sought to spare himself by offering to help her with his knowledge and power, but "Tara" told him he had nothing she would want. When Conan told her to kill them to spare them the headache of listening to her, Tara told him they would not die, but rather sup of Ovada's lifeblood and be reborn as she was, from a callow farm girl to the handmaiden of a mighty goddess.
Able to sense Ovada's thoughts, Siobahn advised Conan that she was lying and that she was not, in fact, an acolyte, but rather Ovada herself. Ovada admitted the truth in this, as taking this suit of flesh was the only way she could escape god-death. She revealed her history and plans, countering Siobahn's argument that not even she could corrupt so many by explaining how her children would spawn more children (presumably via their own blood). She then demanded Siobahn drink of her lifeblood, but Siobahn refused, and Conan kicked "Tara" back, causing the chalice to spill its contents on the face of Tara/Ovada.
Enraged, Tara/Ovada ordered her guards to eviscerate them, but Conan dodged a two-faced monster's sword thrust, instead moving it into the way of his bonds and then claiming the sword to slay the monster and then cut Siobahn free. The Lord High Protector asked for their aid, but they mocked him and left him behind. Siobahn reclaimed her Balefire Blade from the demon who had taken it from her unconscious form, and she and Conan soon found themselves in the midst of numerous blood-children. Ovada taunted them, telling them her blood-children numbered thousands, and eventually they would fall and be hers.
Realizing that they must destroy the taint's source, which they were within, the hollowed out corpse of Ovada's original form, Siobahn led Conan to Ovada's body wall and then slashed an exit with her Balefire Blade, in the processing setting Ovada's corpse aflame with the Balefire. The blood-children within soon burst into flames, and Siobahn and Conan leapt out the hole she had created, ignoring the Lord High Protector's pleas to save him.
Refusing to accept defeat or to lose her life to the likes of these mortals, the badly burnt Tara/Ovada released Ovada's core essence and then recalled all of the rest of the fragments of her essence, reuniting them all back into Ovada's immense form. Ovada rose to her feet and told the mortals to look on her and despair; however, as Siobahn appreciated, the Balefire had too great a hold on Ovada, and not even her restored soul energies could sustain her for long. Nonetheless, Ovada remained a threat, and her foes fled to avoid being stomped on by her massive feet.
Ovada taunted that she could taste their fear, but Conan guided Siobahn to charge her Balefire Blade and hold it with him, and together they hurled the sword through Ovada's visor. As the blade struck her eye and the fiery energies penetrated deep into her body, she screamed in agony and denial before her body exploded, leaving behind only fragments of a smoldering skeleton.
Conan and Siobahn left her remains to return to Jarabesht, claim a golden bounty, and drink many drinks in the name of an old friend.
Comments: Created by Ian Edginton and Alcatena
Anyone know what Crow Road Summer means?
I don't think a lifetime would have been that long in the Hyborian era...perhaps 30-40 years? Even if so, that would put Ovada's claim of her stalemated war as being 300-400 million years. Then again she's also mistres of guile and deception, so everything she says could be considered suspect.
Spread her taint across this world... That's a lot of taint! Even at 100' tall...ah, never mind...
I'm going to give Tara and the blood-children their own profiles, as there are just way too many images to fit into this profile. Siobahn will also get her own profile, too...as will the Lord High Protector, probably Akif, and maybe Thorun and his sons...and maybe Jarabesht...who knows!
Profile by Snood.
Ovada should be distinguished from:
images: (without ads)
Conan the Savage#5, pg. 6, panel 1 (Tara's village);
panel 3-4 (Tara body & face);
pg. 7, panel 1 (Tara's father);
panel 3 (Ovada cast from heavens);
panel 4 (Ovada crashes to Earth);
pg.8-9 (Ovada prone form);
pg.9, panel 1-3 (Ovada tainting water into Tara's village);
pg. 10, panel 1 (Jarabesht outside);
panel 4 (bowman/guard);
pg. 11, panel 2 (Akif, full)
panel 4 (Akif face, profile);
pg. 12, panel 3 (Ovada spawn tainting Jarabesht's water supply);
panel 4 (Ovada spawn besieging Jarabesht);
pg. 13, panel 1 (Jarabesht soldiers slaying Ovada spawn);
panel 2 (Akif, partial face, showing good eye);
panel 2 (Siobahn Lauchline, seated, with harasser);
pg. 14, panel 1 (Siobahn shoving harasser);
panel 3 (harasser, frontal);
pg. 17, panel 1 (Akif, face);
pg. 18, panel 1 (Lord High Protector & Leathermen);
pg. 19, panel 2 (Lord High Protector's floating ship);
panel 4 (Siobahn Lachline, face, slight oblique);
pg. 20, panel 5 (Lord High Protector, face with Leathermen face);
pg. 21, panel 3 (carrion);
pg. 22, panel 4 (winged spawn approaching floating ship);
#6, pg. 1 (Conan vs. harpy-like spawn);
pg. 2, panel 1 (Conan slashes bat-like spawn);
panel 3 (Lord High Protector menaced by 2 spawn);
panel 4 (Conan skewers spike-tailed spawn);
pg. 3, panel 1 (Conan impales hawk-like spawn with spike-tailed spawn's tail);
panel 2 (Siobahn vs. baby-faced bat-like spawn);
panel 3 (Sioban slays spawn with Balefile blade);
pg. 4, panel 2 (Akif menaced by vulture & hawk-like spawn);
panel 4 (Akif slain by hawk-like spawn);
pg. 6, panel 1 (Lord High Protector cuts loose Conan & Siobahn);
pg. 9, panel 3 (Tara as Ovada's host; full/left profile, with father's head on a skewer);
pg. 11, panel 1 (Tara as Ovada's host; face & upper body; frontal; with chalice of tainted fluid);
pg. 12, panel 3 (Conan vs. two-faced spawn);
pg. 13, panel 3 (Sioban, full, front-view, wielding mostly-full Balefire Blade mostly forward);
pg. 14 (Conan & Siobahn vs. many spawn);
pg. 15, panel 1 (Tara as Ovada's host; full/right profile; within Ovada's corpse, with Conan & Siobahn battling blood-children);
pg. 17, panel 1 (Siobahn full, blade to side);
pg. 22, panel 1 (Ovada standing; in flames);
pg. 23, panel 4 (Balefire blade, full);
pg. 24, panel 1-3 (Ovada's death);
pg. 25, panel 3 (Ovada's corpse)
Conan the Savage#5 (December, 1995) - Ian Edginton (writer), Alcatena (artist), Mike Lackey (editor)
Conan the Savage#6 (January, 1996) - Ian Edginton (writer), Alcatena (artist), Mike Lackey (editor)
Last updated: 02/26/15
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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