Classification: Talismans of Mystic Power
Possessors: Gaea, Ian McNee, Morgan Le Fay
First Appearance: (Mentioned) Mystic Arcana#1 (Magik) (August, 2007);
(seen) Mystic Arcana: Black Knight#1
Powers/Abilities/Functions: Imbued with mystic
power from the Earth goddess Gaea, the Ebon Rose presumably grants a
number of powers, only a few of which have been glimpsed.
The Rose can serve to root/anchor
a user to their location/plane when accessing other dimensions, realms,
The Rose can generate throny vines
to entangle others (even a being as powerful as Chthon); it can also be
used to bind/anchor others to the truth.
Despite its floral appearance, the Rose, or at least its petals, are stone.
Morgan once enchanted one of the Ebon Rose's petals so that if Ian consumed it, communicating
with any of Gaea's "children," any of Earth's flora and fauna, and give
Ian a measure of control over them. This allowed him to read the
thoughts and emotions of the Lemurian Set-descendent Llyra.
In conjunction with the Darkhold, Serpent Crown, and Sword of Bone, the Ebon Rose is one of the Cornerstones of Creation.
Collectively, the Cornerstones grant even greater power, allegedly enough to control all reality.
(Mystic Arcana#1 - BTS)
- The Ebon Rose is the talisman of (and was presumably created by) the
Elder Goddess Gaea, as such, it served as one of the four Cornerstones
of Creation, along with the Dark Mirror (another name for the Darkhold, reflecting its creator, Chthon), the Serpent Crown (talisman of Set), and the Sword of Bone (talisman of Oshtur). See comments.
(Mystic Arcana#1 - BTS)
- Posing as Oshtur, Chthon instructed young sorcerer Ian McNee to
gather the Cornerstones of Creation to restore the ancient sorcerer
Heka-Nut in order to save the Mystic Realms, which had been badly
damaged by the War of the Seven Spheres.
After granting the Sword of Bone
to Ian McNee, Ammut told him he must next seek the Ebon Rose from its
holder, Morgan Le Fay.
(Mystic Arcana: Black Knight#1
- BTS) - In Avalon, within the forests outside Morgan Le Fay's castle,
Ian McNee called out to Morgan and asking her to help him find the Ebon
Rose. She agreed to reveal the Rose's location only if Ian would look
her in the eyes. Ultimately, Morgan appreciated Ian's mischevious
nature, and she directed him to go to the darkened heart of Avalon, to
the lifeless ashes that were once her oaken altar (which was destroyed
in an ancient battle between her and Merliin).
Wandering the barren ground, like
heavy soundproofed glass and surrounded by utter silence (Ian was
reminded of reports of Chernobyl) that made him want to scream
(although he did not).
(Mystic Arcana: Black Knight#1) - Listening
intently to the silence, Ian feared he would lose himself inside it
until he finally heard a sound "like a heart pumping or a baby crying
or a flower opening). Locating and obtaining the Ebon Rose, Ian gave
silent thanks to Gaea and Morgan, her priestess.
(Mystic Arcana#3 (fb)) - Morgan
Le Fay enchanted a stone petal from the Ebon Rose and told Ian to
swallow it, instructing him that the petal would allow Ian to
communicate with any of Gaea's "children," both flora and fauna, and
give Ian a measure of control over them, including creatures of the
ocean's depths (as he was heading to the Serpent's Sea, the realm of
Set, to recover the Serpent Crown).
(Mystic Arcana#3 - BTS) -
Arriving in the Serpent's Sea, McNee used the Rose Petal to touch the
mind of the serpentine Llyra, who guarded the Serpent Crown.
After Nagala arrived and formed a new Serpent Crown, McNee pretended to offer Nagala the Ebon Rose to
save himself while he acted on and perhaps enhanced Llyra's jealous
rivalry, leading Llyra to attack Nagala, while he escaped with the
(Mystic Arcana: Sister Grimm#1 - BTS) - After being
gifted a Darkhold page (the Darkhold being the fourth Cornerstone, also
known as the Dark Mirror) by Marie LaVeau, Chthon appeared, again
posing as Oshtur, and guided him to cast the spell to restore Heka-Nut.
Arcana: Sister Grimm#1) - Using the combined power of the Cornerstones,
with the Ebon Rose helping root Ian to his location, and secretly aided
by Ashake, Llyra, and Morgan Le Fay, Ian summoned the canopic jar
holding Heka-Nut's soul and allowed it to take shelter in his own
Chthon then revealed his true identity and prepared
to have Heka-Nut take over Ian's form, but Ian had already determined
Chthon's deception and taken steps to thwart it. Ashake traveled
the present while invoking Oshtur for help, while Llyra (with the power
of the Serpent
Crown) and Morgan (with the power of the Rose) retrained Chthon to
prevent his interference; Morgan specifically used the Rose and Gaea's
power to generate thorny vines to entangle Chthon.
Using the Cornerstones (notably using the Rose's
strength to bind him to the truth), Ashake and Ian helped free Heka-Nut
from Chthon's influence, and then Ian banished Chthon from the mortal
Comments: Created by David Sexton.
For an "ebon" rose, it sure looked red...
Elder Gods and Cornerstones of Creation
Some insight courtesy of creator David Sexton:
- 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 Black Mirror, which was a form or portion of the Darkhold
(associated with (and a reflection of) Chthon). It is NOT outright stated, however, that the
Cornerstones of Creation in Mystic Arcana were the same as those in the
- Is the Rose of Peace an incarnation the Ebon Rose?
not much to contradict the two being the same, but while the Ebon Rose
could not be touched by anyone tainted by violence without great
pain/mystic backlash, both Ian McNee and
Morgan Le Fay held the Ebon Rose, and both of them are tainted by
- Connections/contradictions between the Crown of Wisdom and the Serpent
Crown are discussed in their respective profiles.
- Connections/contradictions between the Mirror of Beauty and the Black Mirror (a page of the Darkhold) are discussed in their respective profiles.
- Connections/contradictions between the Sword of Strength and the Sword of Bone are discussed in their respective profiles.
- 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...
- My ultimate conclusion is that it
seems likely that the Cornerstones (and the "Elder Gods" that empowered
and were represented by them) gathered by Noyo were not exactly the
same as those gathered by Ian McNee.
- A lot could have happened during the
12,000 years between the stories, but certainly most of the Primal Gods
of the Hyborian era fell out of favor and power.
- Perhaps the true Elder Gods, who had
divorced themselves somewhat from the Earthly plane at the Hyborian
era, re-established the Cornerstones of Creation under their prominence.
- It's also possible that Set was associated with both groups of Cornerstones...or not.
- Maybe there are two completely different sets of Cornerstones of Creation.
- At any rate, after updating/tweaking
the profiles on the Darkhold and Serpent Crown, I'm going to
update/adjust the current Cornerstones of Creation profile, and then
make a new Cornerstones of Creation profile to reflect those in
- 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...
discovered the original Cornerstones of Creation on your Appendix website as I was
investigating magic in Marvel and the idea of the number 4 as a
repeated theme in Marvel. And, of course, the way that Tarot fits into
I saw the C of C on your site I connected it to Tarot and then the 4
Elder Gods. I knew that Gaea was Earth and Rose fit with her, that the
crown was the Serpent Crown, and that the Sword which signifies
intellect and the mind was Oshtur.
then I was like how would a mirror work with Cthon and I realized that
the Darkhold was the mirror of Chthon. A reflection of his twisted
vision for the world.
In Marvel Tarot, it appears as the Ace of Wands (see image on right--Snood; the Ace of Swords is the Sword of Bone, the Ace of Cups is the Serpent Crown, and the Ace of Pentacles is the Ebon Rose)
In the image of Ian McNee using the Cornerstones of Creation, the Black
Mirror is just a magical construct to symbolize the Mirror.
In my mind, the Darkhold itself is the Cornerstone. Possessing the Last
Chronicle of Chthon / Darkhold page allowed Ian to access the
Darkhold's power (as far as the Cornerstones of Creation is concerned).
The Serpent Crown. The Ebon Rose. The Sword of Bone. and the Darkhold. Those are the four Cornerstones
The Cornerstones of Creation received a mini-profile in the Talismans of Mystic Power of the Mystic Arcana handbook. It stated:
The Cornerstones of Creation refers to
a set of four unique artifacts of the ancient world. The Sword, the
Rose, the Crown, and the Mirror are related to air, earth, water, and
fire, respectively, and some ancient texts have connected them with
four entities known as "Elder Gods." Individually possessed of vast
power, some have theorized that if the four Cornerstones were gathered
together and used correctly, the very fabric of reality could be
altered. This is why the true names of the items have been obscurred
After re-re-re-re-reviewing all the stories and speaking to the
creator, it seems clear that the Handbook entry offers the best
solution...the Cornerstones' reality-altering power changed their
nature...or their natures were altered.
Profile by Snood.
The Ebon Rose may or may not be otherwise connected to:
- ROSE of PEACE - one of the Cornerstones of Creation gathered by Noyo in the Hyborian era--Conan the Barbarian I#128
but should be distinguished from:
- ROSE of PURITY
- Wasteland dim,
intelligent, turned Wasteland dimension into paradise, initially
sought by Defenders as pawns of Enchantress so she would
resurrect Valkyrie (Brunnehilde), they were unable to allow
themselves to take it from the residents of the Wasteland (Damask
& Zaffer)--Defenders I#107
- ROSE - see
FISK, RICHARD--Amazing Spider-Man I#253
- ROSE (Det. Sgt.
Blume) - allied with Richard
Fisk against Kingpin and Richard Fisk imposter (Alfredo), killed by
Alfredo when turned against him--Web of Spider-Man#84
- ROSE (Jacob
"Jake" Connover) -
agent of Fortunato, employed Delilah, pretended to identity of
Fisk + Blume to capitalize on their
reputations--Amazing Spider-Man I#414
- Rose (Phillip Hayes) - Jackpot (Sara Ehret & Spider-Man foe--Amazing Spider-Man Presents Jackpot#1
- Rose of "Earth-22519" - Law Enforcement Squad; crime-fighting counterpart of Fisk or another Rose--Fantastic Four III 2001 Annual
- ROSE ?? - civilian, scared off
when N'Gamo's agents planned to move against T'Challa--Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes II#2
- ROSE ?? -
telepath, worked with Charlie
to slaughter thirty telepaths —Marvel Graphic Novel:
Black Widow: Abbatoir
- Rose O'Hara -
childhood companion of James
Howlett, unintentionally killed by him in early 20th century--Origin#1
- Rose, Lt. Bert - NYPD officer, Daredevil ally--Daredevil I#1
- Rose, Chuck - SHIELD agent, Professor Power ally--X-Factor I Annual#9
- Rose, Daniel - possibly the real name of Rockman--The Twelve#6
- Rose, Danielle - alleged grand-niece of Rockman--The Twelve#6
- Rose, Dr. Janice
of Earth-70105 - radiation specialist, worked with Bruce Banner to
examine the gamma radiation mutated Peter Parker--Bullet Points#4
- Rose Blossom - see Mortis/Lois London--Dazzler I#26
- Rose Kugel - Punisher (Frank Castle) ally, nicknamed Wild Rose--Punisher II#7
- other Rose characters, items, locations, etc.
images: (without ads):
Mystic Arcana: Black Knight#1/3, pg. 10, panel 1 (Ian locating Rose);
panel 2 (main);
Mystic Arcana: Sister Grimm#1/3, pg. 4 (Ian utilizing four Cornerstones)
Mystic Arcana#1 (Magik) (August, 2007) - first and third story (McNee) - David Sexton (writer), Eric Nguyen (artist), Nathan Cosby (assistant editor), Mark Paniccia (editor)
Mystic Arcana: Black Knight#1 (September, 2007) - third story (McNee) - David Sexton (writer), Eric Nguyen (artist), Nathan Cosby (assistant editor), Mark Paniccia (editor)
Mystic Arcana#3 (Scarlet Witch) (October, 2007) - first and third story (McNee) - David Sexton (writer), Eric Nguyen (artist), Nathan Cosby (assistant editor), Mark Paniccia (editor)
Mystic Arcana: Sister Grimm#1 (January, 2008) - third story (McNee) - David Sexton (writer), Eric Nguyen (artist), Nathan Cosby (assistant editor), Mark Paniccia (editor)
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
First posted: 11/17/2019
Last updated: 04/10/2020
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