noyo-hyborian-elder_gods-teleport NOYO

Real Name: Noyo

Identity/Class: Human magic-user;
    Hyborian era;
    Khitain citizen

Occupation: Priestess, princess

Group Membership: Cult of Creation

Affiliations: Conan, Elder Gods (see comments);
    formerly Zoroazztor

Enemies: Guardian of Beauty, Pau-Styss and his hawk-things, 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."noyo-hyborian-elder_gods-face

    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)
Hair: Black

History
(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).

(Conan 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 jests.noyo-hyborian-elder_gods-flee-styss

(Conan 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 (mystic?) planes."

(Conan 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.

(Conan 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).

noyo-hyborian-elder_gods-whirlwind.jpg(Conan 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 love.

(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.

(Conan 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.

(Conan the Barbarian#128 (fb) - BTS) - Noyo told Conan her true history.

(Conan 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.

    Noyo then 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.

(Conan 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.

(Conan 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 local garb).

(Conan 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."zoroaster-sorcerer_supreme-zorazztor-game.jpg

    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 imagine.

    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 urged 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.noyo-hyborian-elder_gods-contain-crown

(Conan 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-hyborian-elder_gods-mental_assist

    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 soul.

    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 Kane.

Elder Gods

   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 existing thereafter...

    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 information.

Profile by Snood.

CLARIFICATIONS:
Noyo
should be distinguished from:


Cult of Creation

(Conan 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 (see comments).

--Conan the Barbarian#128 - BTS

Note:
We don't know how old Noyo was (well over 500 years old, but possibly much older, and whether she was the original Priestess of the Cult of Creation, or whether she was the most recent in a succession.
    We also don't know anything else about the Cult of Creation, other than that they guarded the Cornerstones for ages and that Noyo was their priestess.



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)


Appearances:
Conan the Barbarian#128 (November, 1981) - J.M. DeMatteis (writer), Gil Kane (artist), Louise Jones (editor)
Conan the Barbarian#129 (December, 1981) - J.M. DeMatteis (writer), Gil Kane (pencils), Gil Kane & P. Craig Russell (?) (inks), Louise Jones (editor)
Conan the Barbarian#130 (January, 1982) - J.M. DeMatteis (writer), Gil Kane (artist), Louise Jones (editor)


First posted: 12/29/2018
Last updated: 6/02/2019

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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