vampire-creatures-engazi-katb2-face.jpgvampire-creatures-engazi-katb3-enmasseundead creatures of "Engazi"

Classification: Magically-created reanimated human race 

Location/Base of Operations: Unrevealed;
    formerly the hills and caverns surrounding "Engazi" (see comments), on the west coast of Africa
in the 16th century;
    formerly "Engazi", Africa in the 16th century

Known Members: None identified

Affiliations: Unidentified sorcerers from their formerly human tribe

Enemies: Solomon Kane, N'Longa; unidentified tribe (including Kran & Zunna)

Aliases: Vampires, walking dead men, "dark forms," "Suckers of Souls," "dead fellows," "Sons of Satan"

First Appearance: "The Hills of the Dead," Weird Tales (August, 1930);
     (Marvel Universe) Kull and the Barbarians#2/2 (July, 1975)

Powers/Abilities: Undead beings, these creatures feed on people, slaying them and devouring their souls as they departed the body. They consumed blood given the chance, but did not have blood throughout their bodies.

    Tall and gaunt, their skins were gray, like death. It seemed to Kane that only their burning eyes lived.

    They had talon-like nails, which they used to tear into their victims.

    They were vulnerable to the magical power of the Staff of Solomon, and presumably other mystic items of power.

    While largely unharmed by penetrating wounds, they were apparently affected by crushing trauma to their long bones that would support their bodies during motion. While a smashed skull did relatively little to slow or stop them, a broken neck could paralyze them.

    They were vulnerable to fire, which could rapidly consume their bloodless bodies.

    They were vulnerable to scavengers who prey on the dead, like vultures, who would consume their flesh.


Traits: Silent by choice, the creatures preyed on humanity, sleeping in their caves until sunset. They feared fire and perhaps being crushed.

Type
:  Bilaterally symmetric humanoid bipeds
Eyes
: Two (on head; red color described in the black-and-white comic, with otherwise typical sclera/iris/pupil appearance)
Fingers
: Four (plus opposing thumb)
Toes
: Five
Skin color: Gray (se
e comments)
Average height: Approximately 6'

History
:
vampire-creatures-engazi-katb2-ambushkane
(The Savage Worlds of Solomon Kane) - In ages past, when the priests of Atlantis ruled the world, they built many colonies in what would become Africa. The city of Engazi was one such colony.

(Solomon Kane#5 (fb) - BTS) <per the stories of Zunna's ancestors> - From within their stone city, the people -- who were human but not like the tribe's people (nor were they like Solomon Kane, meaning it wasn't just that they were "white.") -- ruled for ages.

(The Savage Worlds of Solomon Kane) - Masters of all they surveyed, the Atlanteans were still fearful of the natives, for where the Atlanteans were few in number, the surrounding native tribesmen were countless and often revolted.

    The Atlanteans surrounded their city with a high stone wall. Within the walls, the Atlanteans built their city of huge stone blocks, lifted into place using science long-forgotten by the lesser men they once ruled.

(Eternals I#2 (fb) - BTS) <18,000 BC> - Atlantis slipped beneath the waves during the Great Cataclysm.vampire-creatures-engazi-katb3-mountain

(The Hills of the Dead (fb) - BTS /  Kull and the Barbarians#3/3 (fb) - BTS / Solomon Kane#5 (fb) - BTS / The Savage Worlds of Solomon Kane) – Like numerous Atlantean colonies, Engazi came under attack by those they had formerly dominated.

    The Atlantean rulers retreated behind their sturdy fortifications. Countless warriors died assaulting the walls, and the city was eventually breached. Faced with extinction, the priests of Atlantis worked their fell magic, raising the fallen tribesmen as “vampires” (see comments) to aid the defenders.

The plan worked, for the tribesmen were driven back, never to return. But the priests, their numbers depleted, had created far too many vampires, and fell to the last beneath a frenzy of teeth and claws. Fearful of the vampires, the native tribes shunned the city, leaving it to crumble beneath the relentless whip of the wind.

Nonetheless, by the late 16th Century AD, the external wall, though crumbled in places, still protected the city, many of the buildings remained standing, nearly intact save for a few crumbling walls. 

(The Hills of the Dead (fb) - BTS /  Kull and the Barbarians#3/3 (fb) - BTS / Solomon Kane#5 (fb) - BTS) <Per speculation of N'Longa> - Falling roofs forced the vampires to seek shelter elsewhere, deep in the caves surrounding the city that was once their home. N'Longa also speculated  that the creatures dwelt in caves for additional protection from the sun, from vultures, and from each other (perhaps they eat each other, too).

(The Hills of the Dead (fb) - BTS/Kull and the Barbarians#2/2 (fb) - BTS/Solomon Kane#5 (fb) - BTS) - The undead creatures dwelled in the hills around "Engazi" and preyed on the tribe that included Zunna and Kran.

(The Hills of the Dead (fb) - BTS /  Kull and the Barbarians#3/3 (fb) - BTS / Solomon Kane#5 (fb) - BTS) - Hundreds of these creatures swarmed among the boulders and caverns, and they lived on human life. The local tribesmen found that only fire could destroy them.

(Solomon Kane#5 (fb) - BTS) - N'Longa knew of these dead people.

(The Hills of the Dead - BTS/Kull and the Barbarians#2/2 - BTS/Solomon Kane#5 - BTS) <Sometime after 1591 AD> - Wandering Africa's "Slave Coast," Puritan adventurer encounter rescued young woman Zunna from a lion, after which she warned him against seeking shelter for the night in a cave in the hills. Belittling Zunna's superstitions, Kane led her into the cave, assuring her they would be safe if they had a fire.

(The Hills of the Dead/Kull and the Barbarians#2/2/Solomon Kane#5) - After Kane sent Zunna out to gather dry grass while he started a fire and cooked something, a pair of the "vampires" entered the cave. Noting their inhuman appearance, Kane nonetheless addressed them as brothers and invited them in, trying each of the river dialects he had learned, noting he had dried meat and water. Remaining silent, the pair entered, sitting a distance from the fire and staring at its glowing ashes.vampire-creatures-engazi-katb3-blood

    As the ashes smoldered, the two undead creatures suddenly leapt at Kane after he turned his back to him, but the returning Zunna saw this and warned Kane, who grabbed the fetish stick he had been gifted by his blood-brother ju-ju man N'Longa (actually the Staff of Solomon), impaling the one creature on the its sharp base.

    However, the other creature than tackled Kane, its talon-like nails tearing at his face. Fending off the clawed attack, Kane drew one of his pistols and shot the creature in the chest; only jarred by the bullet's concussion, the creature then spun the surprised Kane to his chest, put a bony knee to his back, and pulled against his hair.

    Desperately arching his back suddenly, Kane caught the creature off balance, hurled it over him, and then shattered the side of its skull with the his empty pistol. Barely affected, the creature leapt at Kane, only to scream in agony upon landing on the smoldering ashes after Kane swiftly dodged its attack. Before the creature could rise, Kane jumped on its back and pulled its neck backward, finally stopping the creature by breaking its neck.

    Noting the paralyzed creature's red eyes "still burned with grisly light" while the impaled creature had crumbled to dust, Kane retrieved his staff and drove it into the other creature's chest; it also disintegrated.

(The Hills of the Dead - BTS/Kull and the Barbarians#2/2 - BTS/Solomon Kane#5 - BTS) - Kane considered the creatures to be vampires, Satan's handywork manifested, and Zunna noted that they were walking dead men, dwelling in these hills and preying on her people. She shared that they only feared fire.

    Kane then showed her N'Longa's voodoo stave, noting that it could destroy the creatures.

(The Hills of the Dead - BTS /  Kull and the Barbarians#3/3 - BTS / Solomon Kane#5 - BTS) - Realizing he needed N'Longa's aid in combating this threat, Kane used his stave to contact N'Longa, who instructed Kane to arrange for him to be able to possess the body of Zunna's lover, Kran. Kane and N'Longa left N'Longa's voodoo stave to protect the bodies of Zunna and Kran as both of their spirits were in the "Shadow-Land."vampires-engazi-vultures

    After surveying the "City of Vampires," N'Longa conceived of a way to stop the creatures. Requesting Kane's silence, he initiated a spell to summon vultures to feed upon the creatures' dead bodies.

(The Hills of the Dead, Kull and the Barbarians#3/3, Solomon Kane#5) - One of the creatures attempted to assault the vulnerable form of N'Longa, but Kane used his musket to beat it back and ultimately knocked it off the edge of a cliff, where it fell a hundred feet before writhing on the rocks of the plateau below.

    N'Longa warned Kane as the creatures swarmed up from the lower hills to the peak upon which they stood. Kane fought them back desperately with his musket, but their numbers overwhelmed him, and the creatures tore it him with talons while their flaccid lips sucked at his wounds. vampire-creatures-engazi-sk5-full.jpg

    Fighting to his feet before being pulled down again, Kane figured he had finally met his end, until N'Longa's spell finally took effect.

    Intent on drinking Kane's blood, the creatures didn't hear the beating of wings until the giant vultures were on them. The scavenging birds tore, rent, and devoured the creatures' dead flesh.

    As the creatures sought shelter within their former city, N'Longa used steel and flint to ignite a bundle of dry leaves, which he then kicked to the dry grasses below.

    The fire swiftly spread into the "City of Vampires" and consumed the creatures; there was a single, inhuman scream, as one vampire broke the centuries-old chain of silence. 

Comments: Created by Robert E. Howard.
    Adapted to the Marvel Universe by Roy Thomas, Alan Weiss, and Neal Adams.

    The title on the cover was Sword of Solomon Kane, but the indicia just listed "Solomon Kane," which is why I list the cover title in parentheses as (Sword of) Solomon Kane.

    The image of the creatures being consumed in flames is shown in the city of the vampires sub-profile.

    Whatever happened to those vultures that ate these magically-created zombie-vampire creatures...there's a story to be told there...

    There was a big deal about one of the creatures breaking centuries of silence as they all burned to death, but in Kull and the Barbarians#2, one of the creatures screamed when it fell on Kane's fire.

    The dates of "1555" (Solomon Kane#5) for Hills of the Dead and "1559" (Solomon Kane#6) for Wings in the Night were in error, as they occurred after the Battle of Flores in 1591.
--Wolfram Bane

    Creation of the creatures

    We have no idea when these creatures were supposed to have created.

    It could be almost anywhere between the Great Cataclysm of 18,000 BC and the time of the late 16th century story.

    I would think they were created within several centuries or perhaps as few as several decades prior to the time of their destruction by Solomon Kane and N'Longa.vampire-creatures-engazi-sk5-face


    Not really vampires...not classic (Varnaean) vampires, anyway.

  1. These creatures were certainly undead.

  2. They were created magically-created from the recently deceased by Atlantean sorcerers, just like Varnae and the first vampires.

  3. They were active at night, hiding in caves during the day and not coming out until sundown.

         However, they could come out during the day. When they massed on Solomon Kane and N'Longa, that was during daylight. They didn't burn or disintegrate.

         Zunna noted that only fire could destroy them them. She said nothing about sunlight.

  4. The reportedly slew beings and then fed on their souls. They seemed to have a taste for blood, but it was apparently souls that gave them sustenance.

  5. There is not evidence that those on whom they fed became creatures like themvampire-creatures-engazi-sk5-headhole

  6. They were vulnerable to the Staff of Solomon, which was a magical item, but there is not evidence they were vulnerable to religious symbols

  7. Kane called them vampires because they were undead and preyed on people and they reminded him of vampires he had encountered before, but he's not an expert on the matter.
  8. If the creatures were true vampires, they may have been resurrected after Blade fulfilled an ancient prophecy in Blade III #12.



    KULL AND THE BARBARIANS vs (SWORD OF) SOLOMON KANE version

     (Sword of) Solomon Kane#5 had a few changes from the original version adapted to Marvel

    The images associated with the comments section are from (Sword of) Solomon Kane

  1. The "vampires" were much more inhuman in (Sword of) Solomon Kane

         The creatures in Kull and the Barbarians looked like human corpses (with normal human dentition).vampire-creatures-engazi-sk5-full-action

         The creatures from (Sword of) Solomon Kane#5 had:

    1. Thin, elongated heads
    2. Cat-like (or reptilian) vertical/slit pupils
    3. Pointed ears
    4. Orange skin
    5. A pair of sharp, fang-like teeth in their maxilla (upper jaw); they may be the canine teeth, although there are only two, instead of four, incisors between the fang teeth.

      From "Hills of the Dead":

      "They were tall and gaunt and entirely naked. Their skins were a dusty black, tinged with a grey, ashy hue, as of death. Their faces were different from any he had ever seen. The brows were high and narrow, the noses huge and snout-like; the eyes were inhumanly large and inhumanly red. As the two stood there it seemed to Kane that only their burning eyes lived."

      The undead were described as being of a somewhat awkwardly appearance, but not so much so that they could not pass for human. The description of the undead seem to more closely match their appearance in Kull and the Barbarian #2-3 rather than the more alien appearance in Solomon Kane #5.



  2. At least one of the creatures in (Sword of) Solomon Kane#5 could transform into serpentine form.

         As Kane was preparing to break the neck of the second of the two creatures that confronted him in the cave, it turned into a giant serpent.

         There was no such transformation in Kull and the Barbarians.

         In Kull and the Barbarians#2, Kane immobilized the second creature ambushing him in the cave by breaking its neck.

         Kane destroyed the second creature in both versions with the Staff of Solomon

    In "Hills of the Dead," neither creature became a serpent. Kane impaled one with the staff and the creature disintegrated into a pile of bones, but this disarmed Kane. Kane then shot the second in the head, shattering its skull, the bludgeoned it with the pistol, and broke its neck before it went down. Although not moving, Kane still sensed life in it, then it disintegrated when he impaled it with the staff too. Neither creature turned into a serpent.

  3. In Kull and the Barbarians#3, N'Longa and Kane left the Staff of Solomon in the cave to protect Zunna and Kran. vampire-creatures-engazi-sk5-snake

         In Solomon Kane#5, N'Longa used the staff to draw a fetish sign to protect them, while -- once the creatures threatened to overwhelm him -- Kane wielded the staff against the creatures as N'Longa cast his spell.

    In "Hills of the Dead," they left the Staff in the cave to protect them from vampires, but also the smell of the undead in the cave would keep lions away.
    Perhaps behind the scenes, they decided to return to the cave to retrieve the staff after all.
    Kull and the Barbarian #2-3 seem to be the more accurate version of the encounter.


  4. In Kull and the Barbarians#3, the creatures sucked at Kane's wounds, drinking his blood as they fought.

    In (Sword of) Solomon Kane#5, Kane calls them bloodsuckers, but they are not shown or described as actually drinking any blood.

    Kane's misinterpretation of them as vampires may be the reason he calls them that..

The precise location of the city of the vampires is not given, but "Hills of the Dead" places it "many weeks" travel by foot inland from the Slave Coast of Africa. The map made by Keith Curtis from The Savage World of Solomon Kane placed it in east Africa near the Great Rift Valley, but the map made by Tim Kirk from the anthologies Solomon Kane: Skulls in the Stars (1978) and Solomon Kane: The Hills of the Dead (1979) placed it in western Africa immediately to the east of the Slave Coast.

Courtesy of Wikipedia:

The Slave Coast is a historical name formerly used for that part of coastal West Africa along the Bight of Benin that is located between the Volta River and the Lagos Lagoon.

The name is derived from the region's history as a major source of Africans that were taken into slavery during the
Atlantic slave trade from the early 16th century to the late 19th century.

Profile by Snood.

CLARIFICATIONS:
The vampiric creatures of Engazi should be distinguished from:



vampire-creatures-engazi-katb3-city"City of the Vampires"
"Engazi"

 (The Savage Worlds of Solomon Kane) - In ages past, when the priests of Atlantis ruled the world, they built many colonies in what would become Africa. The city of Engazi was one such colony.

(Solomon Kane#5 (fb) - BTS) <per the stories of Zunna's ancestors> - From within their stone city, the people -- who were human but not like the tribe's people (nor were they like Solomon Kane, meaning it wasn't just that they were "white.") -- ruled for ages.

(The Savage Worlds of Solomon Kane) - Masters of all they surveyed, the Atlanteans were still fearful of the natives, for where the Atlanteans were few in number, the surrounding native tribesmen were countless and often revolted.

    The Atlanteans surrounded their city with a high stone wall. Within the walls, the Atlanteans built their city of huge stone blocks, lifted into place using science long-forgotten by the lesser men they once ruled.

(Eternals I#2 (fb) - BTS) <18,000 BC> - Atlantis slipped beneath the waves during the Great Cataclysm.

(The Hills of the Dead (fb) - BTS /  Kull and the Barbarians#3/3 (fb) - BTS / Solomon Kane#5 (fb) - BTS / The Savage Worlds of Solomon Kane) – Like numerous Atlantean colonies, Engazi came under attack by those they had formerly dominated.

    The Atlantean rulers retreated behind their sturdy fortifications. Countless warriors died assaulting the walls, and the city was eventually breached. Faced with extinction, the priests of Atlantis worked their fell magic, raising the fallen tribesmen as “vampires” (see comments) to aid the defenders.vampire-creatures-engazi-sk5-city

The plan worked, for the tribesmen were driven back, never to return. But the priests, their numbers depleted, had created far too many vampires, and fell to the last beneath a frenzy of teeth and claws. Fearful of the vampires, the native tribes shunned the city, leaving it to crumble beneath the relentless whip of the wind.

Nonetheless, by the late 16th Century AD, the external wall, though crumbled in places, still protected the city, many of the buildings remained standing, nearly intact save for a few crumbling walls. 

(The Hills of the Dead (fb) - BTS /  Kull and the Barbarians#3/3 (fb) - BTS / Solomon Kane#5 (fb) - BTS) <Per speculation of N'Longa> - Falling roofs forced the vampires to seek shelter elsewhere, deep in the caves surrounding the city that was once their home. N'Longa also speculated  that the creatures dwelt in caves for additional protection from the sun, from vultures, and from each other (perhaps they eat each other, too).vampires-engazi-burning

(The Hills of the Dead (fb) - BTS/Kull and the Barbarians#2/2 (fb) - BTS/Solomon Kane#5 (fb) - BTS) - The undead creatures dwelled in the hills around "Engazi" and preyed on the tribe that included Zunna and Kran.

    After surveying the "City of Vampires," N'Longa conceived of a way to stop the creatures. Requesting Kane's silence, he initiated a spell to summon vultures to feed upon the creatures' dead bodies.

(The Hills of the Dead, Kull and the Barbarians#3/3, Solomon Kane#5) - One of the creatures attempted to assault the vulnerable form of N'Longa, but Kane used his musket to beat it back and ultimately knocked it off the edge of a cliff, where it fell a hundred feet before writhing on the rocks of the plateau below.

    N'Longa warned Kane as the creatures swarmed up from the lower hills to the peak upon which they stood. Kane fought them back desperately with his musket, but their numbers overwhelmed him, and the creatures tore it him with talons while their flaccid lips sucked at his wounds. 

    Fighting to his feet before being pulled down again, Kane figured he had finally met his end, until N'Longa's spell finally took effect.

    Intent on drinking Kane's blood, the creatures didn't hear the beating of wings until the giant vultures were on them. The scavenging birds tore, rent, and devoured the creatures' dead flesh.

    As the creatures sought shelter within their former city, N'Longa used steel and flint to ignite a bundle of dry leaves, which he then kicked to the dry grasses below. The fire swiftly spread into the "City of Vampires" and consumed the creatures; there was a single, inhuman scream, as one vampire broke the centuries-old chain of silence. 


 

--(Historical) "The Hills of the Dead," Weird Tales (August, 1930); (Marvel) Kull and the Barbarians#3/3

Note: It did not receive an official name in the original story or the Marvel Adaptations. The name Engazi comes from the Savage Worlds of Solomon Kane by Pinnacle Games.

But...it would be really nice to have a name for them...since they're not vampires like they were called.

    I would guess that there was a lot of dried grass already in the city, and then sun had dried the grass in and around it such that N'Longa was able to light it so readily...or perhaps it was his juju...

    Plus, the bloodless vampires apparently went up in flames quite readily.


images: (without ads)
Kull and the Barbarians#2/2, pg. 7, panel 4 (faces);
          panel 8 (springing for Kane);
       pg. 8
    #3/3, pg. 7, panel 1 (city, black & white);
       pg. 9, panel 2 (massing on Kane);
       pg. 10, panel 1 (attacking Kane on the mountain);
       pg. 11, panel 1 (swarming over Kane);
       pg. 12, panel 2 (attacked by vultures);
(Sword of) Solomon Kane#5, pg. 7, panel 6 (inhuman form, full body);
          panel 7 (inhuman faces);
       pg. 8, panel 4 (full body forms assaulting Kane);
          panel 5 (skewered by Staff of Solomon);
          panel 6 (disintegrating);
       pg. 9, panel 3 (hole in skull, eye hanging out);
          panel 8 (snake-form);
       pg. 20, panel 4-5 (creatures and city in flames)


Appearances:
"The Hills of the Dead," Weird Tales (August, 1930) - Robert E. Howard (writer)
Kull and the Barbarians#2/2 (July, 1975) - Robert E. Howard (original story), Roy Thomas (adaptation), Alan Weiss (pencils), Neal Adams (pencils, inks)
Kull and the Barbarians#3/3 (September, 1975) - Robert E. Howard (original story), Roy Thomas (adaptation), Alan Weiss (pencils), Pablo Marcos (inks)
(Sword of) Solomon Kane#5 (May, 1986) - Robert E. Howard (original story), Ralph Macchio (adaptation), Jon Bogdanove (pencils), Al Williamson (inks)
Savage Worlds of Solomon Kane - Pinnacle Games , 2007) - Paul “Wiggy” Wade-Williams and Shane Lacy Hensley


First posted: 04/01/2020
Last updated: 05/29/2020

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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