CROWN of WISDOM
Talismans of Mystic Power;
active in the Hyborian era (present since the distant past; see comments)
Creator: Primal Gods (aka "Elder Gods"; see comments);
if the Crown of Wisdom is an incarnation of the Serpent Crown, then it would have been created or re-created by Set;
User/Possessors: Conan of Cimmeria, Pau-Styss, Zoroaster;
watched over by the Cult of Creation, notably its priestess, Noyo;
if the Crown of Wisdom is an incarnation of the Serpent Crown, then it has also been used by numerous others; see the Serpent Crown for that listing
Group Membership (More of a collection): Cornerstones of Creation (Mirror of Beauty, Rose of Peace, Sword of Strength)
Base of Operations: Unrevealed;
formerly Pau-Styss' castle,
which floated over the
Eiglopohian mountains that separated Cimmeria from Vanaheim and
formerly Zorazztor's mosque in the outskirts of Anshan, Iranistan
First Appearance: Conan the Barbarian I#128 (November, 1981)
Powers/Abilities/Functions: The exact nature
of the Crown's power is unrevealed, but it presumably grants mental or
psychic power. However, it has a seductive if not corrupting nature,
even entrancing a powerful mystic such as Noyo.
It is one of four items of magic
power that collectively form the Cornerstones of Creation. Even when
not in use it exuded powerful energies.
the Barbarian I#128 (fb) - BTS) - In the distant past, the Primal Gods (also sometimes referred to as "Elder Gods"; see comments)
created four items, imbuing each of them with one of the four elements
of the cosmos' creation: The Sword of Strength, the Crown of Wisdom,
the Mirror of Beauty, and the Rose of Peace.
Throughout the ages, the sacred Cornerstones of Creation were jealously
guarded by the Cult of Creation. Knowledge of their Earthly hiding
places was known only to the hand-picked priestess of the gods.
Noyo was chosen as the Priestess of the Cult of Creation.
the Barbarian#129 (fb) - BTS) - Because of the his wisdom, Zoroazztor
was chosen as the keeper of the Crown of Wisdom.
(Conan the Barbarian#129 (fb) - BTS) - Zoroazztor guarded the Crown for "untold ages."
the Barbarian#129 (fb) - BTS) <Circa 10,000 BC> - Zoroazztor dwelled within a
mosque in the outskirts of Anshan, the thriving capital of Iranistan.
the Barbarian#129 (fb) - BTS) - The demon lord sorcerer Pau-Styss
sought the power of the Cornerstones of Creation and kidnapped Laynnen
to force his wife, Noyo, priestess of the Elder Gods, to recover the
Cornerstones. She was joined on her quest by Laynnen's
childhood friend, Conan; her and Laynnen's son, Dreeme, also came
the Barbarian#129 (fb) - BTS) - Having already obtained the Sword of
Strength, Noyo, Conan, and
Dreeme mystically traveled to Zoroazztor's
mosque to obtain the Crown of Wisdom.
the Barbarian#129) - Challenged by Noyo, Zoroazztor mystically
neutralized the illusions that cloaked the Crown of Wisdom, exposing
it, its cage, and the aura of energy it exuded. When the Crown urged
her to place it upon her brow and it would make her a god, Noyo,
trembling and vacant-faced, reached for it, but Zoroazztor stopped her,
using a mystic shock to restore her senses and still the crown's call.
Though he advised her of its potency and that none but the chosen one
could ever wear it, Noyo insisted she needed and would have the Crown;
Zoroazztor agreed that her need was beyond dispute, but made it clear
that her having it was not.
Zorazztor defeated Noyo in a challenge of mental power, but then Conan torched at least
three of Zoroazztor's bookshelves, and the ancient wood and tomes
swiftly spread the fire. As Zoroazztor predictably flew down and
desperately tried to stamp out the flames, Conan scaled another shelf,
dove through the air, snatched the Crown (within its casing), and
landed on Noyo's flying carpet.
As Conan and Noyo prepared to depart, Zoroazztor
cursed their treachery and caused the door to the mosque to vanish --
leaving Conan, Noyo, Dreeme trapped within -- before transporting himself and his handmaidens away to parts unrevealed.
the Barbarian#130) - Noyo mystically transported herself, Conan,
Dreeme, and the Crown to Khitai; she placed the Crown in a realm
between time and space so it could not try to seduce them again.
After Conan and Noyo and recovered the Mirror of Beauty and the Rose of Peace and then confront
Pau-Styss, the sorceror defeated Conan and then forced Noyo to bring
forth the Cornerstones; Styss transformed the Cornerstones into their
sidereal states and spoke the chants
to claim their power. Ultimately, however, the power consumed him,
leaving him a skeleton before that crumbled to dust.
Noyo then revealed that she had recalled/appreciated
Laynnen's true nature as the child of the Elder Gods, and Laynnen
revealed how, upon learning Noyo's nature, he had understood that only
the "chosen one," the one pure in heart, could tap into the
Cornerstone's power without harm; he indicated that Dreeme could be
that chosen one, though he, Dreeme, and Noyo would have to work on
drawing out even the limited stain of violent thoughts on Dreeme's soul.
Comments: Created by J.M. DeMatteis and Gil
Elder Gods and Cornerstones of Creation
- In the past, we have always considered the Elder Gods of
the Hyborian Age (never specifically named and sometimes referred
to as the Primal Gods and the Creation-Lords) to be distinct from the
true Elder Gods (Chthon, Gaea, Oshtur,
and Set; with others having long since perished) and to possibly be the major gods mentioned elsewhere in the Conan series: Crom,
Mitra, Asura, and possibly Set..."
- However, the Mystic Arcana series included the
Cornerstones of Creation and showed them to be associated with the
true Elder Gods. Between the two stories, the Sword of Strength from Conan I#128-130 would correspond to the Sword of Bone (associated with
Oshtur), used by Agamotto's Pale Horseman, with most recent incarnation being Cadaver; the Rose of Peace would correspond to the Ebon
Rose (associated with Gaea); the Crown
of Wisdom would correspond to the Serpent
Crown (associated with Set); and the Mirror of Beauty would correspond to the Darkhold
(associated with Chthon). It is NOT outright stated, however, that the
Cornerstones of Creation in Mystic Arcana were the same as those in the
- Is the Crown of Wisdom an incarnation of the Serpent Crown?
- The Serpent Crown has already been shown
to have existed in a separate form, such as the Helmet of Power (when
used by Destiny/Paul Destine)
- Most convincing for the Crown of Wisdom
to be associated with Set +/- the Serpent Crown would be its
- The Serpent Crown was created in
18,000 BC, but it was lost with the sinking of Atlantis and Lemuria
during the Great Cataclysm shortly thereafter.
- The Serpent Crown was next
reportedly used by Naga circa the 14th century AD, who found it, still
clutched in the skeletal hands of Atra and Phraug who had contended for
it as Lemuria sank.
- If the Crown of Wisdom was indeed
meant to be a form/incarnation of the Serpent Crown, we would have to
have it taken from Atra and Phraug's corpses' clutches and then
returned to that location before Naga found it.
- Stranger things have happened in comics, and that's certainly possible.
- It wouldn't surprise me in the
least if some writer would do a story with the Serpent Crown being used
by someone between 18,000 BC and 1400 AD, which would eliminate the
need to work around this, but at this point, there's not in-story
evidence to support its disappearance and reappearance.
- Another possibility would be that
the Crown of Wisdom was not as much an incarnation of the Serpent
Crown, but a separate totem of power, much like the Cobra Crown.
- It could still be tied to Set, but
perhaps some unexplained force blocked access to any sorcerer from
detecting/recovering it, and as a result a surrogate mystic totem was
- Regardless, the two Crowns are not the exact same object, which is why I'm giving them
different profiles here.
- Connections/Contradictions between the Sword of Bone and the Sword of Strength are discussed in their respective profiles.
- The Rose of Peace and the Ebon Rose
have no striking differences, so that's an easy re-creation; but,
again, they're not exactly the same.
- The Mirror of Beauty supposedly judged purity and could only be
used by one who was pure. The Black Mirror, however, was a reflection
of the Darkhold, a creation of Chthon, one of the most malevolent
beings associated with Earth. Obviously, it could have been that the
Mirror of Beauty was a trap to corrupt others, but the fact the
Pau-Styss was destroyed upon accessing the Cornerstones' power makes it
seem less likely that it was some seductive trick.
Interestingly, the one image in Conan the Barbarian
I#130 that shows the Elder Gods as appearing to be at least three completely human-looking males. Is
this just an image from Noyo's understanding of her masters? Did she
lack understanding of their true forms/natures and just assume them to
be human males who mystically combined their energies to generate a
living being? Were these beings actually avatars of the Elder Gods,
rather than the Elder Gods themselves? Or are there two different sets
of Cornerstones of Creation?
- I know the author of Mystic Arcana, David
Sexton, intended the Cornerstones in his stories to be the same ones
from the Conan stories, but he did tell me that he wasn't sure that would actually work out...
- This issue will likely remain
perhaps moot, depending on how the new Conan series fits in. It's
supposed to be a continuation of the older series, although they don't
necessarily plan to revisit much outside of classic Robert E. Howard
story themes. We shall see...
Profile by Snood.
The Crown of Wisdom may or may not be connected in some fashion to:
- The Serpent Crown - created by agents of the Elder God Set--Tales to Astonish I#101
but should be distinguished from:
- Cobra Crown -
Imperfect predecessor of the Serpent Crown created in ancient Lemuria
and stored on the Nameless Isle; later briefly worn by followers of Set
in place of the lost Serpent Crown but swiftly burnt out with usage--Savage Sword of Conan I#40
- CROWN of BLINDNESS - used by
Eternity to imprison Zom by covering his eyes--Strange Tales I#156
- CROWN of HATHOR - Egyptian magic item used by Gamal Hassan to enslave
Alicia Masters as the Bride of Nephrus
- CROWN of ZXAXZ - Enhanced his molecular control of his own body, enabling him
to shapeshift, also protected him from others’ use of chaos and order powers--Spellbinder#1
- Circlet of Enchantment Alpha Flight #19 (1985) Crown which identified Elizabeth Twoyoungman as the Talisman.
- CROWN (Adam Crown) - Knights of Pendragon, apparently imbued with same
Pendragon spirit that Arthur Pendragon had hosted and which was later hosted by
the Black Knight (Dane Whitman), apparently sacrificed self banishing the Red
Lord back to Annwn, possibly deceased
Enhanced human physical abilities, wielded Caliburn
(app)--Knights of Pendragon I#14 (15-18, Knights of Pendragon II#1-4,
Marvel Comics Presents I#22/2, [KoP II#5], 5, 6-9, 10-11, 12, Mys-Tech Wars#1,
- CROWN - see HUNGER. powered by same source as SHOC, kidnapped Dr. Lanning to perform his energy experiments, further
mutated to become Hunger--Spider-Man#76
- CROWN - Hydra base--[Secret Warriors#1/2]
CROWN BEE ( ) - --Marvel Mystery Comics#38
- CROWN PUB - frequented by agents of UK government--Wisdom#1
- Serpent's Crown - built around the magical idea of Captain Fate's vehicle, enlarged
with Lilith's power, served as Dracula's ship to contain the vampires and the
ordinance needed to subdue Britain, destroyed upon crashing into mystic barrier
around Britain--Captain Britain and MI13
- CROWNE, RANDALL - opponent of Lisa Parfrey and later Bill Hollister in New York mayoral race--Amazing Spider-Man#547
- other Crowns...or Wisdom thingees...
images: (without ads):
Barbarian#128, pg. 14, panel 4 (unencased);
#129, pg. 17, panel 6 (encased)
Barbarian#128 (November, 1981) - J.M. DeMatteis (writer), Gil
Kane (artist), Louise
Conan the Barbarian#129 (December, 1981) - J.M. DeMatteis (writer), Gil
Kane (pencils), Gil Kane & P. Craig Russell (?) (inks), Louise
Conan the Barbarian#130 (January, 1982) - J.M. DeMatteis (writer), Gil Kane (artist), Louise Jones (editor)
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
First posted: 09/07/2019
Last updated: 09/07/2019
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