white_apes_of_sorjoon-full.jpgwhite_apes_of_sorjoon-hunting.jpgWHITE APES of SORJOON
(Hyborian era)

ClassificationSub-species of humanity ("hidden race")

Location/Base of Operations: A few dwelled in Karlk's tower within Kelbaza, Brythunia (circa the Hyborian era, at least, 10,000 BC);
    formerly unrevealed northern lands

Known Members: Shuubnagarth (presumably deceased), Xergorgan (presumably deceased), Xergorgan's mate (deceased), Ygothynema (presumably deceased), one unidentified
    Karlk was a hybrid of a human and the king of the White Apes of Sorjoon;
    they are somewhat descended from the northern snow-apes driven off by human savages, and they are diverged from the Beast-Men of Brutheim

Affiliations: Karlk

Enemies: Conan, Ispirana, Thrine, Throll, Throll's soldiers (palace guard of Kelbaza; Maxicus identified)

white_apes_of_sorjoon-face-ispirana.jpgFirst Appearance: (Non-Marvel; mentioned) Weird Tales (July, 1937);
    (Marvel; full appearance) Conan the Barbarian I#264 (January, 1993)

white_apes_of_sorjoon-xergorans_mate-face-profile.jpgPowers/Abilities: The White Apes were savage and powerful, presumably possessing superhuma strength levels (perhaps lifting 1000 lbs. or more) as they appeared to be stronger even than Conan.

    They were carnivorous, man-eating creatures. Though intelligent, they did not demonstrate speech, communicating mostly through growls. 

    They apparently understood Karlk's verbal instructions, although he may have been mentally communicating with / influencing them. 

    They were close enough to human that they could mate with and produce hybrid offspring, at least under some circumstances. 

        The only observed such offspring, Karlk, appeared to be fully human with the notable exception of an extra pair of arms beneath his human limbs.

    The males and females did not appear grossly different in body shape/dimensions.

    The Whites Apes were covered in thick fur, which appeared to be mostly various shades of gray; they may have appeared white/silver/argent under bright light, but dark gray in shadows.

    The White Apes have long arms, with long fingers ending in sharp claws. They have extended jaws common to most apes, with sharp, fanged incisions and canine teeth (and likely others).white_apes_of-sorjoon-xergorgan-face-holding_conan.jpg

    Ispirana described them as foul-smelling.

white_apes_of_sorjoon-feast.jpg

Traits: The White Apes apparently hunted in packs and were ruled by a king. 

    They seemed to be monogamous, choosing a single mate to whom they maintained an emotion connection.

Type:  Bilaterally symmetric semi-humanoid-anthropoid
Eyes
: Two (on head; solid red sclera with apparent black pupil; presumably either possessing red irides, or lacking grossly visible irides)
Fingers
: Four (plus opposing thumb)
Toes
: Five
Skin color: Gray (white to brown-gray fur)
Average height: Approximately 6'10" (they seemed talled than Conan, at least)

History:white_apes_of_sorjoon-invading_kelbaza.jpg

(The Hyborian Age) - At the time of the Cataclysm, circa 18,000 BC, a band of savages, whose development was not much above that of the Neanderthal, fled to the north to escape destruction. 

    These primitives found the snow-countries inhabited only by a species of ferocious snow-apes -- huge shaggy white animals, apparently native to that climate. These they fought and drove beyond the Arctic circle, to perish, as the savages thought. The savages then adapted themselves to their hardy new environment and throve.

(Conan the Barbarian I#264-265 (fb) - BTS) - At some point, the snow-apes diverged into those who would become known as the White Apes of Sorjoon and those who would become Beast-Men of Brutheim.

(Conan the Barbarian I#264 (fb) - BTS) - The White Apes of Sorjoon descended into Brythunia "long ago" (as referenced in 10, 000 BC).

(Conan the Barbarian I#264 (fb) - BTS) - In "years past," the White Apes assaulted the city walls of Kelbaza and dragged off screaming wenches and even a princess or two to their ghastly carnivorous feasts.

(Conan the Barbarian I#265 (fb) - BTS) - The White Apes carried off Queen Ralde; she was not devoured like the others; instead, their king took her for a mate.

    From this union, Ralde bore Karlk (see comments).karlk-white_apes-hyborian-tower-ape-arm.jpg

(Conan the Barbarian I#265 (fb) - BTS) - Aware of his royal lineage within the "Ebon Throne" of Kelbaza, Karlk eventually returned there, intending to seek to become the new king.

(Conan the Barbarian I#264 - BTS) - Seeking to loot the treasure of the wizard "old Karlk," Zamboulan thief Ispirana led Cimmerian barbarian Conan to scale Karlk's tower. 

(Conan the Barbarian I#264) - As Ispirana approached the tower window, one of the White Apes reached out, grabbed her, and pulled her inside. 

    Having only seen an arm, Conan entered the window and explored the dark chambers, eventually finding one of the White Apes holding and muffling Ispirana. 

    Appreciating that Ispirana was warning him of something behind him, Conan turned, only to be assaulted by another of the White Apes. white_apes_of_sorjoon-battlingconan.jpg

    Physically outmatched, Conan was drawn out of his dream of death by Ispirana's scream, reminding him to use his sword and fatally impale the creature. 

    Another of the White Apes (likely Xergorgan) then furiously assaulted Conan (either alone or with the aid of another), swiftly battering the powerful Cimmerian into unconsciousness.

(Conan the Barbarian I#264 - BTS) - Karlk's orders to capture and not slay Conan and Ispirana likely saved their lives.white_apes_of-sorjoon-xergorgan-lifting-conan.jpg

(Conan the Barbarian I#264) - A quartet of White Apes -- Shuubnagarth, Xergorgan, Ygothynema, and one unidentified -- flanked Karlk as he mocked the reviving Conan and Ispirana, telling them that Conan had slain Xergorgan's mate and revealing part of the White Apes' history.

    Karlk instructed his captives steal the necklace of power from King Throll (the grandnephew of Queen Ralde) so he could rule the city; if they refused, he would turn his White Apes on them. Shuubnagarth began to growl, but Karlk instructed Shuubnagarth to give Conan and Ispirana a few more moments to deliberate. 

    Ispirana charged Karlk when he revealed he wanted her to serve as his hostage while Conan stole the necklace, but Ygothynema grabbed Ispirana under Karlk's instruction and threatened to dismember her. After Conan agreed to serve Karlk's needs, he had Ygothynema drop Ispirana.

    As Conan departed, he warned Karlk that if his pet apes killed Ispirana before he got back, he would cut up the wizard and feed him to the apes. Karlk, however, assured Conan that Xerogorgan did not want to feast on the girl, but rather on Conan.

    The the closeness of the Snow Apes' jaws caused Ispirana to urge Conan to hurry back, as she feared that if Conan did not return"the carnivorous devils would take what they could get.

(Conan the Barbarian I#265 (fb) - BTS) - Unable only to bypass a bar with mystic runes sealing the door that held the necklace of power, Karlk followed Conan into the castle of Throll.

(Conan the Barbarian I#265 (fb) - BTS) - Karlk apparently either brought Ispirana and at least three of the White Apes with him, having them wait elsewhere in Throll's castle, or Ispirana and the three White Apes traveled there on their own (whether Ispirana convinced them to take her there, or whether they followed Karlk on their own and brought her along is unrevealed).

white_apes_of_sorjoon-vs-guards.jpg(Conan the Barbarian I#265) - The trio of White Apes (see comments) that had been watching Ispirana assaulted the palace guards that had confronted Ispirana and the were battling her and Conan.

    Seeking to save Throll's sister, Thrine, from Karlk, Conan and Ispirana left the White Apes and guards to battle each other.

(Conan the Barbarian I#265 - BTS) - While Karlk, who had revealed his familial relationship to Thrall and Thrine as well as to the White Apes, battled Conan, three White Apes of Sorjoon lied dead or dying, sprawled across the corpses of Kelbazan soldiers who fell protecting their king.

    Conan slew Karlk (who had already slain Throll).

Comments: Created by Clifford Ball;
    adapted to Marvel by
Roy Thomas and John Watkiss.

    Clifford Ball was a writer who helped fill the void in the pages of Weird Tales following the death of Robert E. Howard. One of his stories was "The Thief of Forthe," featuring Rald, the prince of thieves, who was manipulated by the wizard Karlk into stealing the necklace and seizing the Ebon Throne.
    Additional information courtesy of Darci: 

white_apes_or_sorjoon-4remaining2.jpgHow many Apes are left?white_apes_or_sorjoon-4remaining.jpg

    In #265, Conan notes that Karlk had three White Apes guarding Ispirana, asking how she evaded them, and she noted "Who says I did?: before the three Apes enter the picture and attack the palace guards. 

    BUT there are clearly four White Apes shown in #264; only three of them are identified. 

    Perhaps Karlk dispatched one of the four to some other purpose, leaving three to watch Ispirana. 

    Or, perhaps picturing four in #265 was a mistake. 

    Or some other variation. Regardless, the three referenced/shown in #265 were all shown to be dead; if there was a fourth one, perhaps he or she survived. Or not. 

    I'd like to think at least one of them survived...

Profile by Snood.

CLARIFICATIONS:
The White Apes of Sorjoon are diverged from the Beast-Men of Brutheim.

They should be distinguished from:


Shuubnagarthwhite_apes_of_sorjoon-shuubnagarth.jpg

     Shuubnagarth was one of the White Apes of Sorjoon that dwelled within the tower of Karlk in the city of Kelbaza, on the plains on Brythunia.

    Shuubnagarth may have been the White Ape who grabbed Ispirana as she approached a tower and pulled her inside; similarly,Shuubnagarth may have been the one restraining Ispirana when Conan arrived, or Shuubnagarth may have aided Xergorgan in subduing Conan; however, it may also have been Ygothynema or the unidentified White Ape that did either or both of these things.

    When Karlk threatened to turn his White Apes on Conan and Ispirana if they refused to recover the necklace of power for him,Shuubnagarth began to growl, but Karlk instructed Shuubnagarth to give them a little longer to deliberate.

    There were four remaining White Apes serving Karlk, but apparently only three (none of whom were or could be identified; see comments) who subsequently arrived in Throll's castle, all of whom apparently perished while slaying Throll's royal guardsmen. If Shuubnagarth was one of those three,Shuubnagarth presumably died there. If not, Shuubnagarth's fate is unrevealed.

--Conan the Barbarian I#264 (possibly #265

Note: I don't think we know whether Shuubnagarth is male or female; the name has a more masculine sound to it, but that doesn't mean anything.

Shuubnagarth may be named for Shub-Niggurath, an Outer God in the Cthulhu Mythos.--Wolfram Bane


white_apes_of_sorjoon-xergorgan-face.jpgwhite_apes_of-sorjoon-xergorgan-face-claw.jpg

Xergorgan

      Xergorgan was one of the White Apes of Sorjoon that dwelled within the tower of Karlk in the city of Kelbaza, on the plains on Brythunia.

     After Conan slew Xergorgan's mate, Xergorgan -- with or without the aid of one of the remaining Apes -- savagely beat Conan into a stupor, but stopped before doing further harm at the command of Karlk. Nonetheless, Xergorgan drooled at the thought of devouring Conan.

    There were four remaining White Apes serving Karlk, but apparently only three (none of whom were or could be identified; see comments) who subsequently arrived in Throll's castle, all of whom apparently perished while slaying Throll's royal guardsmen. If Xergorgan was one of those three, Xergorgan presumably died there. If not, Xergorgan's fate is unrevealed.

--Conan the Barbarian I#264 (possibly #265

Note: Xergorgan is also shown in the main profile, lifting Conan overhead.

    Karlk does specifically refer to Xergorgan as a "he," and as Conan having slain "his" mate, so we know he, at least is male.


white_apes_of_sorjoon-battlingconan.jpgwhite_apes_of-sorjoon-xergorgan-mate.jpg

Xergorgan's mate

      She was one of the unidentified White Apes of Sorjoon that dwelled within the tower of Karlk in the city of Kelbaza, on the plains on Brythunia.

    At some point she became the mate of Xergorgan.

    When Conan followed Ispirana into Karlk's tower, Xergorgan's mate swiftly assaulted Conan.

    Conan swiftly realized his strength could not stand against the rage of such a beast, and that its fangs would rend his neck if they could reach it. 

    Ispirana's fearful cry to Conan roused Conan from his dream of death, reminding him to use his sword to accomplish what strength alone could not. 

    Conan shoved his sword through the White Ape's chest, swiftly killing her. 

    Xergorgan swiftly and vengefully assaulted and overpowered Conan.

--Conan the Barbarian I#264

Note: Xergorgan was identified as male, so we can assume his mate to be female.

    Xergorgan's mate is also seen in the main profile, as the profile of the face with fangs threatening Conan


white_apes_of_sorjoon-ygothynema.jpgwhite_apes_of_sorjoon-ygothynema-upper-front.jpg

Ygothynema

     Ygothynema was one of the White Apes of Sorjoon that dwelled within the tower of Karlk in the city of Kelbaza, on the plains on Brythunia.

    Ygothynema may have been the White Ape who grabbed Ispirana as she approached a tower and pulled her inside; similarly, Ygothynema may have been the one restraining Ispirana when Conan arrived, or Ygothynema may have aided Xergorgan in subduing Conan; however, it may also have been Shuubnagarth or the unidentified White Ape that did either or both of these things.

    Ispirana charged Karlk when he revealed he wanted her to serve as his hostage while Conan stole the necklace, but Ygothynema grabbed Ispirana under Karlk's instruction and threatened to dismember her. After Conan agreed to serve Karlk's needs, he had Ygothynema drop Ispirana.

    There were four remaining White Apes serving Karlk, but apparently only three (none of whom were or could be identified; see comments) who subsequently arrived in Throll's castle, all of whom apparently perished while slaying Throll's royal guardsmen. If Ygothynema was one of those three, Ygothynema presumably died there. If not, Ygothynema's fate is unrevealed.

--Conan the Barbarian I#264 (possibly #265

Note: I don't think we know whether Ygothynema is male or female; the name has a more feminine sound to it, but that doesn't mean anything.


images: (without ads)
Conan the Barbarian I#264, pg. 12, panel 2 (White Ape arm reaching out and grabbing Ispirana);
        pg. 14, panel 4-5 (Xergorgan's mate fighting Conan, full body and lateral face);
            panel 6 (White Ape holding Ispirana; face front);
        pg. 15, panel 1-2 (Conan slays Xergorgan's mate);
            panel 3-6 (Xergorgan batters Conan);
        pg. 16, panel 3 (four White Apes alongside Karlk in throne/chair);
            panel 4 (Xergorgan face);

        pg. 17, panel 2-4 (White Apes hunting in Brythunia, assaulting Kelbaza, feasting);
        pg. 18, panel 2 (Shuubnagarth face);
            panel 5 (4 White Apes surrounding Ispirana);
        pg. 19, panel 3 (Ygothynema holding up Ispirana);
    #265, pg. 15, panel 3-4 (White Apes vs. palace guards/soldiers)


Appearances:
Weird Tales (July, 1937) - Richard Ball (writer)
Conan the Barbarian I#264-265 (January-February, 1993) - Roy Thomas (writer), John Watkiss (artist), Richard Ashford (editor)


First posted: 05/20/2018
Last updated: 05/20/2018

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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