pau-styss-hyborian-full PAU-STYSSpau-styss-hyborian-face-laynnenstatue

Real Name: Pau-Styss

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

Occupation: Sorcerer

Group Membership: None

Affiliations: Hawk-Things;
    multiple unidentified "netherspawn"

Enemies: Conan, Dreeme, Elder Gods (see comments), Laynnen, Noyo;

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: Demon Lord, Lord of Demons, Lord Pau-Styss (as he sometimes referred to himself)

Base of Operations: Unrevealed;
    last seen in his own castle, which
floated over the Eiglopohian mountains that separated Cimmeria from Vanaheim and Aesgaard)

First Appearance: Conan the Barbarian I#128 (November, 1981)

Powers/Abilities: Pau-Styss is a sorcerer of extensive power.

    He can extend his life to a span of over 500 years (he was an adult 500 years before the main story), aging slowly over time.

    He can project mystic blasts, able to stun even a powerful warrior such as Conan, travel among various extradimensional realms, and distantly manipulate objects (opening doors, etc.)

    He can transform himself into mist, vanishing and then reforming a short distance away. He can transform others into animal (at least bird) hybrids; transform others into inanimate objects and back again;

    He can mystically detect others' presence (perhaps only magical beings); project an image/vocal recording of himself across distances.

    He was experienced with crystallomancy, experiencing viewing distant activities and/or projecting images and showing past events through a mystic crystal.

    He likely had other, as yet unseen, abilities.

    Styss considered himself an experienced swordsman, but at least in his senior years, he was no match for Conan.

    He controlled the hawk-things.

Height: Unrevealed (perhaps 6'1")
Weight: Unrevealed (perhaps 180 lbs.)
Eyes: Unrevealed (perhaps brown)
Hair: White (including beard; bald on top; black eyebrows)


pau-styss-hyborian-throne-hawkthings(Conan the Barbarian#128 (fb) - BTS) - Khitain wizard Pau-Styss became wrinkled with age. 

(Conan the Barbarian#128 (fb) - BTS) - Seeking to use the power of the Cornerstones of Creation (the Crown of Wisdom, Mirror of Beauty, Rose of Peace, and Sword of Strength; see comments) to overthrow the Elder Gods (see comments), Pau-Styss attempted to force their location from the Khitain princess Noyo, priestess to the Elder 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#128 (fb) - BTS) - Pau-Styss made many pacts with netherspawns to ensure that he would one day have the means to force Noyo's cooperation in recovering the Cornerstones. He considered the risk to his immortal soul to have been worth it.pau-styss-hyborian-crystal

(Conan the Barbarian#128 (fb) - BTS) - Nearly 500 years later, Noyo, 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) returned to human form, which 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 (fb) - BTS) - Pau-Styss sent his hawk-things to capture Laynnen to force Noyo to assemble the Cornerstones of Creation for him.

(Conan the Barbarian#128 - BTS) - Despite the presence of Laynnen's visiting old friend Conan, the hawk-things captured and flew off with Laynne, transporting him to Pau-Styss' castle where he was imprisoned in a hanging cage.

    Noyo recognized the hand of Pau-Styss in this, and she told Dreeme (her and Laynnen's son) that his father had been swept into the lair of a black-hearted beast.

(Conan the Barbarian#128 ) - 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 then 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) - As Pau-Styss considered that the risk to his immortal soul had been worth it to finally being to force Noyo to do his bidding, Laynnen warned him that Noyo would never be his. Styss explained to Laynnen that he had no interest in Noyo's love, after which he revealed the true circumstances of his encounters with Noyo, as well as discussing the Cornerstones.

(Conan the Barbarian#130 (fb) - BTS) - Upon hearing Noyo's true nature, Laynnen appreciated his own true nature as a child of the Elder Gods. However, he also realized that they would not triumph over evil by dissuading but by encouraging Styss to use the Cornerstones as only the chosen one, the one pure in heart, could tap into the Cornerstones without harm;

(Conan the Barbarian#128 - BTS) - 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 to the Sword of Strength, where they were confronted by the Warriors of Eternity.

(Conan the Barbarian#129) - Pau-Styss cursed Noyo as a witch for magically throwing darkness across his sphere of sight, preventing him from observing her efforts, but he nonetheless felt that he would ultimately gain the Cornerstones, along with limitless power, ultimate knowledge, and the secrets of the universe. Laynnen told him he was a fool or a madman, or perhaps both. Laynnen continued, asking if Pau-Styss had pondered the dangers, not just to world but to his own immortal soul, if Noyo managed to secure the Cornerstones of Creation for him.

    When Laynnen urged Pau-Styss to give up this insanity "before you bi--";  Pau-Styss silenced Laynnen before he could finish, noting Laynnen to be a balladeer, not a philosopher, as he transformed Laynnen into a bird (with Laynnen's head). Pau-Styss then taunted Laynnen, telling him, "So sing, sweet bird -- raise your voice in golden song." Laynnen indeed began a mournful song that echoed over the land, a song of loss and pain and of dreams gone astray.

(Conan the Barbarian#129 - BTS) - With Conan having retrieved the Sword of Strength, Noyo transported herself, Conan, and Dreeme to Iranistan in hopes of gaining the Crown of Wisdom from Zoroazztor.pau-styss-hyborian-ceremony

(Conan the Barbarian#130) - Pau-Styss informed Laynnen that despite Noyo's shielding her whereabouts from his all-seeing crystal, he sensed that her quest drew nearer to fruition.

    Pau-Styss advised that this was good news for both of them, but as the Laynnen bird continued to flap about, Pau-Styss wondered if he disliked his new form or just needed to stretch his newly-acquired wings.

    Stating, "Here minstrel, let my magics liberate you!" Pau-Styss magically opened the door to Laynnen's cage. After Laynnen immediately took off for the window, only to find it barred, Pau-Styss noted that he was not foolish enough to permit his escape.

    Styss further mocked Laynnen's screech, noting it to be far from his usual melodious lilt, after which he mocked Laynnen efforts to turn on him and scratch his eyes out; noting that this behavior hardened his heart to stone, he did the same to Laynnen, transforming him into an unliving stone statue, in which form Styss considered that he would remain until Styss became lord of creation.

(Conan the Barbarian#130 - BTS) - After retrieving the last of the Cornerstones of Creation with Conan and Dreeme's aid, Noyo transported herself and her allies to Pau-Styss' castle.pau-styss-hyborian-consumption

(Conan the Barbarian#130) - When Conan demanded to know where Laynnen was, Pau-Styss hurled the small man-bird statue into the air, where it transformed back into Laynnen's normal form before crashing back to the ground.

    When Noyo rushed toward her husband, Pau-Styss blasted her back, noting he did not see the Cornerstones of Creation; Noyo assured Styss that the Cornerstones were hidden but would be his once Laynnen was free.

    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. Laynnen weakly tried to explain that she had misunderstood him, but Noyo paid him no heed and told Conan that while her sorcerous energies were at their end, he could use the Sword of Strength to slay Pau-Styss.

    Noting that it had been too long since he had faced a swordsman of any worth, Pau-Styss welcomed the challenge. However, when the vengeful Conan outfought Pau-Styss with the Sword, Styss turned into mist, reformed behind Conan and then struck him down with an energy blast.

    When Dreeme angrily charged forward, urging Conan to get up and kill the evil sorcerer, Styss, the sorcerer swatted down the youth and then forced Noyo to bring forth the Cornerstones.

    Pau-Styss then transformed the Cornerstones into their sidereal states and spoke the unintelligible chants to claim their power.

    Initially seeming to swell in power, Styss let out an exultant roar that seemed to echo from the heavens, shook the room.

    Ultimately, however -- as he was impure and not the chosen one -- his cheeks flushed and then grew sallow, before the power consumed him, leaving him a skeleton before that crumbled to dust.

Comments: Created by J.M. DeMatteis and Gil Kane.

Elder Gods

    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.

the Demon Lord should be distinguished from:

The hawk-things have no connections to:


    Pau-Styss dwells in a grey, polished stone castle, floating high over the towering Eiglopohian mountains that separate Cimmeria from her enemies in Vanaheim and Aesgaard.

    Styss' throne is within the castle's high-reaching donjon (
The fortified main tower of a castle).

    Styss' hawk-things also dwell within his castle.

    The castle also contains his mystic crystal globe.

Conan the Barbarian I#128) - Seeking to force Noyo to assemble the Cornerstones of Creation, Pau-Styss had his hawk-things abduct Noyo's husband, Laynnen, from their home in Cimmeria and bring him to his castle.

     Laynnen was imprisoned in a cage suspended from the ceiling.

(Conan the Barbarian I#129) - When Laynnen warned Styss of the threat to his immortal soul in seeking the Cornerstones, Styss transformed him into a bird.

(Conan the Barbarian I#130) - Styss let the Laynnen-bird free, taunting it with barred windows, and then transformed it into a statue.

    Noyo eventually traveled to Styss' castle with her and Laynnen's son, Dreeme, and their ally, Conan.

    After Styss struck down Conan, he forced Noyo to summon the Cornerstones, but their Cornerstones' energies consumed his impure form.

    Despite Styss' death, his castle continued to float in the sky.

Conan the Barbarian I#128 (129-130


       With leathery wings and beaks, the hawk-things flew through the air, wielding swords and speaking in shrill, hawk-like screeches.

    It apparently took two of the hawk-things to carry an adult male into the air and fly. They followed Styss' orders, but otherwise just crowded around him.

(Conan the Barbarian I#128) - Seeking to force Noyo to assemble the Cornerstones of Creation, Pau-Styss had his hawk-things abduct Noyo's husband, Laynnen, from their home in Cimmeria and bring him to his castle.

    The hawk-things stood around as Pau-Styss informed Laynnen of Noyo's true nature and his true quest.

(Conan the Barbarian I#129) - The hawk-things stood by Pau-Styss as he transformed Laynnen into a bird.

(Conan the Barbarian I#130) - The hawk-things witnessed as Styss transformed the Laynnen-bird into a statue.

    They were present as Styss accessed the Cornerstone's power, only to be destroyed by it.

    The hawk-things' subsequent fate are unrevealed.

--Conan the Barbarian I#128 (129-130

It is unrevealed whether the hawk-things were humans mutated by Styss; extradimensional beings summoned by him; some other naturally existing race on Earth (perhaps some Elderspawn, children of one of the spawn of the Elder Gods or some other Elder Race); Styss' magical creations; or something else altogether.

images: (without ads)
Conan the Barbarian#128, pg. 10, panel 1-4 (hawk-things confronting and abducting Laynnen);
       pg. 13, panel 1 (castle - details);
          panel 2 (seated on throne, flanked by hawk-things; pale coloring);
       pg. 14, panel 1 (standing behind orb/crystal);
    #129, pg. 12, panel 3 (castle, full, distant);
    #130, pg. 5, panel 7 (face; with Laynnen bird statue);
       pg. 17, panel 5 (conducting ceremony);
       pg. 18, panel 1 (full; mostly);
          panel 3 (face, detail, green color);
       pg. 19, panel 3 (face, being consumed);
          panel 4 (skeleton)

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: 04/17/2019
Last updated: 04/17/2019

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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