Real Name: Noyo
Identity/Class: Human magic-user;
Occupation: Priestess, princess
Group Membership: None
Affiliations: Conan, Elder Gods (see comments);
Enemies: Guardian of Beauty, Pau-Styss and his hawk-men, Warriors of Eternity, Zoroazztor
Known Relatives: Laynnen (husband), Dreeme (son)
Aliases: Priestess of Creation, Princess Noyo
Base of Operations: Unrevealed;
last seen leaving the castle of Pau-Styss (possibly in Khitai);
at least formerly a cabin in Cimmeria;
previously an unspecified location in Khitai;
apparently active for a time on various mystic planes;
possibly based in Anshan, Iranistan for a time;
First Appearance: Conan the Barbarian I#128 (November, 1981)
Powers/Abilities: Noyo had a number of mystical abilities.
Noyo can teleport herself and at
least two others across trans-continental distances. She can do so
repeatedly, but can be weakened to the point of collapse by traveling
in this fashion frequently.
Noyo can either cast illusions or
alter the perceptions of others to allow herself and at least a couple
others to appear native to foreign realms, or to avoid detection
altogether (at least by reptiles).
She can transport objects (at
least magical objects empowered by the Elder Gods) into other
dimensions, or at least to a limbo-like realm "beyond time and space."
She can transfer her mind (or
perhaps just mentally control/influence) into other beings and other
objects (at least mystic objects, such as the Sword of Strength),
enhancing certain abilities; in one case, she reportedly transferred
her mind into Conan and then into the Sword of Strength to enable Conan
to defeat the powerful and elegantly skilled Guardian of Beauty.
Initially at least believing
herself to be pure and virtuous, after being rejected by the Rose of
Peace, Noyo considered that the quest to recover the Cornerstones of
Creation for Pau-Styss had tainted her soul.
Height: Unrevealed (she doesn't seem to be much shorter than the 6'5"-ish Conan, so perhaps approximately 5'10)
Weight: Unrevealed (perhaps 135-140 lbs. at the above height)
Eyes: Presumably brown (described as black, but they didn't look that dark to me)
(Conan the Barbarian#128 (fb) - BTS) - A princess in Khitai, Noyo was hand-picked by the Elder Gods (see comments)
to serve as their priestess, and they placed within her knowledge of
the hiding places of the powerful Cornerstones of Creation (the Crown
of Wisdom, Mirror of Beauty, Rose of Peace, and Sword of Strength; see comments).
the Barbarian#129 (fb) - BTS) - Princess
Noyo was friends with Zoroazztor, an ancient wizard based outside of
Anshan, Iranistan and renowned as the wisest of the wise. Noyo was
amused by Zoroazztor's
the Barbarian#128 (fb) - BTS) - The Wizard Pau-Styss sought to force
the locations of the Cornerstones from Noyo, hoping to use their power
to overthrow the gods. He waged a long war on Noyo "upon the subtle
the Barbarian#128 (fb)) <500 years before the main story> - As
victory was within Pau-Styss' grasp, Noyo invoked her heavenly masters,
cloaked herself in mystic wind, and vanished from Pau-Styss' detection.
the Barbarian#130 (fb) - BTS) - Noyo felt compelled to join together with the Cimmerian Laynnen (secretly a child of the
Elder Gods; Noyo apparently had known this on some level, but her memories were somehow suppressed).
the Barbarian#128 (fb)) - Apparently emerging from within a powerful
gale, Noyo confronted Laynnen, who had
wandered there after departing Cimmeria. Laynnen and Noyo fell in love,
and Noyo soon after bore him a son, Dreeme; they remained strongly in
(Conan the Barbarian#128 (fb) - BTS) - Noyo's return to human form allowed Pau-Styss to again detect her.
(Conan the Barbarian#128 (fb) - BTS) - Noyo told Laynnen that after she spurned a wizard, he cursed her to wander the world in the form of a living wind.
the Barbarian#128) - Alongside Dreeme, Noyo was preparing food in a
kettle over the fire in her cabin when the exhausted Conan broke down
the door and collapsed.
After Laynnen returned, Conan revived and briefly
accused Noyo as a witch for his missing sword before he and Laynnen
greeted each other as friends.
Laynnen told Conan of how he had met Noyo and what
he had learned of her past during hours of laughing and reminiscing
while Noyo served dinner, and Noyo thanked the gods Conan had stumbled
upon their abode. The meal was interrupted when Conan heard a sound
outside, and after they rushed outside to see what was going on, they
encountered a group of hawk-men, two of whom grabbed Laynnen and flew
off with him.
Noyo recognized the hand of Pau-Styss in this, and
she told Dreeme his father had been swept into the lair of a
black-hearted beast. Soon after Pau-Styss projected his image before
them, holding Laynnen's unconscious form and telling Noyo she must have
known he would eventually find her somehow. Pau-Styss told Noyo she
knew what he wanted and that if she ever wished to see her husband
again, she would get it for him.
the Barbarian#128 (fb) - BTS) - Noyo told Conan her true history.
the Barbarian#128) - Though Noyo initially considered that retrieving the Cornerstones of
Creation for Pau-Styss might put all of existence at risk, with some
gentle guidance from Conan, she realized that a universe without her
beloved Laynnen would not be a universe worth living in.
mystically transported herself, Conan, and Dreeme to the jungles south
of Kush. Presumably via Noyo's magic, they were able to pass by
numerous dinosaurs undetected until they came to the immense Sword of
Strength surrounded by a number of gravestones. After Noyo explained
that the Sword was what gave man his courage, fortitude, fierceness,
and pride, reanimated corpses climbed from the graves, and Noyo
announced them as the Warriors of Eternity.
the Barbarian#129) - Conan was initially beaten down by the Warriors,
but Noyo advised him that her magics were useless against them, that
the Sword of Strength was the only thing that could stop them, and that
it must be won by strength. Conan dodged past the Warriors and pulled
the immense Sword from its hilt, after which it shrunk to fit his frame
while imbuing him with power, and he slaughtered the Warriors. Though
pleased at this victory, which brought them closer to their goals, Noyo was
revulsed by Conan's savage slaughter.
the Barbarian#129 (fb) - BTS) - Noyo transported Conan, Dreeme, and
herself to Anshan, the capital of Iranistan, emerging in a back alley.
She additionally masked their features (and either transformed their
clothing or caused an illusion to make them appear consistent with
the Barbarian#129) - When Conan was impressed by these feats, Noyo
admitted that it all took its toll on her, but that such risks meant
nothing where her Laynnen was concerned. She further noted that Conan's
brotherly love for Laynnen was very strong though he was not one to
verbalize it. En route to their mosque destination, she told him of
their next target, the ancient wizard Zoroazztor, holder of the Crown
of Wisdom. Nonetheless, Noyo urged Conan that Zoroazztor must be defeated by
wits alone, "Such are the laws of creation -- by which I am sworn to abide."
Conan initially provoked a confrontation, but Noyo
convinced him to stand down so she could see this through according to
the law. Acknowledging Zoroazztor as "Great One," she told him she had
come for the challenge; acknowledging that they had been friends,
Zoroazztor assured Noyo that she would not coax the Crown from him, but
offered her to choose the challenge. Noyo chose "the Game," telling
Zoroazztor to spare her the look of surprise as she pointed out that he
had left the board floating in plain sight in hopes she would be
seduced by it. As he feigned innocence, Noyo told him that his jests no
longer amused her and that there was more at stake than he could
Refusing to be delayed, she climbed atop a flying carpet,
levitated up to confront Zoroazztor, and demanded to see the Crown.
After Zoroazztor revealed the Crown, Noyo was seduced by its power, which called to her and
her that is she placed it upon her brow, it would make her a god. Trembling
and vacant-faced, Noyo reached for it, but Zoroazztor stopped her,
using a mystic shock to restore her senses and still the crown's call.
He further warned Noyo of its power and that only the "chosen one" may ever wear it.
Nonetheless, Noyo assured Zoroazztor that she needed
and would have the Crown; acknowledging her need but not her ability to
possess it, Zoroazztor initiated "The Game." The two sat for hours before a
single piece was moved, and then they pondered for hours more before a
counter move was made; the power of the play entranced Conan and
Dreeme, who watched silently.
Finally, the silence was broken by Zoroazztor's
cackle, as a sparkling, scintillant energy burst forth from his
forehead, and he triumphantly moved his final piece as he announced his
victory. He advised Noyo that she would do well to learn from the encounter;
arguing that Zoroazztor could do the same, Conan advised Noyo he had
given her law a chance, and now it was his turn. Conan then torched at least
three of Zoroazztor's bookshelves in his sacred library, 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 Conan and Noyo as liars. After Conan bade him farewell,
Zoroazztor caused the door out of his mosque to vanish, before he transported
himself and his handmaidens away to parts unrevealed.
the Barbarian#130) - While Conan and Noyo argued over blames for their
predicament, 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.
Exhausted, Noyo nearly fainted as she prepared to lead Conan to the
remaining Cornerstones; when Conan picked up to carry her, she
protested initially, but he reminded her that she had saved his life
and instructed her to point the way...and to shut up.
Within the village, Noyo used illusions to make
Conan appear as a native. In an alley, Noyo swiftly advised Conan that
they had to contend with a masked, ninja-esque warrior; as Conan
battled the warrior, the Sword of Strength transformed into a staff to
match his attacker's. Conan was outclassed by the warrior's speed and
took several blows until Noyo mystically granted him expertise in such
Eastern combat. Ultimately, after the warrior unmasked as a beautiful
woman and attempted to drain Conan's soul, Noyo, via the Sword-staff,
filled Conan with power to subdue the warrior.
Noyo then explained that Conan had bested the
Guardian of Beauty, as required to claim the Mirror of Beauty; as he
had had no chance unless he could match the elegance of the warrior's
every move, so she had entered his mind and then the staff itself to to
guide him in battle. She further explained that had he lost, his soul
would have been forfeit; instead, Conan had claimed the Guardian's
Noyo then noted as the Mirror of Beauty appeared, and she warned
Conan not to stare directly into its depths lest he be lost forever in
the realms of enchantment where beauty herself dwells. When Conan noted
how he had recently lost friends to such a mirror, Noyo urged him to
stop wasting time in persiflage (frivolous banter)
and to strike the Mirror with the soul-staff. Conan did so, and then
he, Noyo, and Dreeme were sucked into the shimmering glass to emerge in
a land even Noyo did not recognize.
Filled with a sense of peace, they climbed a hill to
find the white Rose of Peace. When the Sword of Strength reverted to
its original form, Conan, seeking a swift resolution, tried to slice
the base of the Rose's stem; when the backlash rendered his arm numb,
Noyo explained that only a heart without the taint of violence could
pluck the rose. After Noyo's attempt was similarly rebuffed, the young
Dreeme rushed forward, and the Rose shrank at his touch so he could
easily pluck it.
The trio were then transported back to the Khitain
alley, and despite the completion of their mission, Noyo was distraught
that the Rose had rejected her, the priestess of creation; she lamented
that the quest had tainted her soul, and she was not what she was
before. At Dreeme's urging, she agreed that they should be focusing on
Laynnen, and she then transported Conan, Dreeme, and herself to
confront Pau-Styss in his base/fortress/etc. Pau-Styss welcomed Noyo,
and at Conan's request, revealed Laynnen in the inert bird statue into
which he had transformed the Cimmerian before reverting Laynnen back to
his normal self, to crash to the hard floor below. When Noyo rushed
toward her husband, Pau-Styss blasted her back, noting he did not see
the Cornerstones of Creation; Noyo assured him Pau-Styss that the
Cornerstones were hidden but would be his once Laynnen was free.
However, as the weakened Laynnen noted Pau-Styss' black heart and the
Cornerstone's power, Noyo appreciated that their love had no use if
Pau-Styss controlled creation. Paying no heed to Laynnen's efforts to
explain what he was really trying to say, Noyo told Conan that her
sorcerous energies were at their end, but that he could use the Sword
of Strength to slay Pau-Styss.
Conan outfought Pau-Styss with the Sword, but Styss
turned into mist and then reformed behind Conan and struck him down with an
energy blast. Styss then forced Noyo to bring forth the Cornerstones,
which Styss transformed 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.
Conan departed, voicing his disgust in what he perceived as nonsense.
Comments: Created by J.M. DeMatteis and Gil
When we first posted the Cornerstones of Creation profile 2/19/2002, we made this comment: "The Elder Gods of
the Hyborian Age (never specifically named and sometimes referred
to as the Primal Gods and the Creation-Lords, but possibly the
four Elder Gods mentioned elsewhere in the Conan series: Crom,
Mitra, Asura, and Set..." although only three gods are depicted in a flashback; but there could have easily been one or more off panel).
I had always considered the Elder Gods of the Hyborian era to be distinct from the true Elder Gods (Chthon, Gaea, Oshtur, and Set; with others having long since perished).
However, the Mystic Arcana series included the
Cornerstones of Creation and revealed them to be associated with the
true Elder Gods; further, the Crown
of Wisdom was shown to a form of the Serpent Crown (associated with Set); the Mirror of Beauty was shown to be a form of the Darkhold (associated with Chthon); the Rose of Peace was shown to be the Ebon Rose (associated with Gaea); and the Sword of Strength was shown to be a form of the Sword of Bone (associated with Oshtur), used by Cadaver.
Interestingly, the one image in Conan the Barbarian
I#130 that shows the Elder Gods (as they are apparently creating
Laynnen) looks to 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.
Questions that will likely remain unrevealed...and
perhaps moot, depending on how the new Conan series fits in. I would
guess that the new series is going to be a fresh start, working from
Robert E. Howard's material, but not necessarily tied to previous run
of Conan stories from the 1970s-1990s. Perhaps the older stories will
be part of the reality that existed before the recreation of the
Multiverse in Secret Wars, while the new stories will be part of that
Khitai is the Hyborian equivalent of China; Kush is the equivalent of a
large portion of Africa; you can probably figure out Iranistan. Read
the Blockbusters handbook's entry on the Great Cataclysm for more
Profile by Snood.
Noyo should be distinguished from:
- NOY - Madripoor businessman, employed Rising Sons--Generation X#53
- Other "Noy" characters, etc.
images: (without ads)
Conan the Barbarian I#128, pg. 8, panel 4 (arriving in a whirlwind);
pg. 15, panel 1 (fleeing Pau-Styss);
pg. 17, panel 1 (teleporting with Conan and Dreeme);
#129, pg. 18, panel 4 (seated on flying carpet, opposing Zoroazztor);
#130, pg. 3, panel 5 (banishing the Crown of Wisdom);
pg. 9, panel 1 (mentally guiding Conan against Guardian of the Mirror);
pg. 20, panel 2 (face)
Conan the 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)
First posted: 12/29/2018
Last updated: 12/29/2018
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
Non-Marvel Copyright info
All other characters mentioned or pictured are ™ and
© 1941-2099 Marvel Characters, Inc. All Rights Reserved. If you
like this stuff, you should check out the real thing!
Please visit The Marvel Official Site at: http://www.marvel.com
Special Thanks to
www.g-mart.com for hosting the Appendix, Master List, etc.!
Back to Characters