AMULET of KA
Classification: Magic item (Talisman of Mystic Power)
Creator: Presumably Ka
First Appearance: Kull the Conqueror III#2 (July, 1983)
Powers/Abilities/Functions: On contact, the Amulet of Ka could almost instantly restore life to one dying from wounds or lying comatose from head trauma. It presumably could heal other wounds and may have been able to cure infections or other ailments. It seems likely that it could also be used to heal wounded animals, but this is unconfirmed.
The Bird-Men of Thuria remained unaging for millennia via the power of the Amulet of Ka, which was kept on atop their mountain.
If placed on the corpse of someone already dead, the effort to reanimate the dead apparently summoned either a manifestation/aspect of Death or an ancient demon claiming to be Death.
The Guardian of the Amulet of Ka watched over it, challenging any who came to claim it. The Amulet could apparently only be claimed by defeating the Guardian at moonrise.
The Amulet of Ka allegedly empowered the Sword of Ravian, forged from (presumably) a meteorite.
The source of power to the Amulet of Ka was allegedly the god-being Ka, aka the bird of creation.
(Kull the Conqueror III#2 (fb) - BTS) - The Amulet of Ka was a splintering from the glittering talons of Ka, the bird of creation.
(Kull the Conqueror III#2 (fb) - BTS) <Millennia before 18,500 BC> - The Bird-Men ruled a portion of the Thurian continent. Seeking an empire, they raised battle against the first true men in the Northern lands. However, the bird-men were instead vanquished in the Northern mountains, with their females and children slaughtered to the last. Only one meager troop of males under Ravian's command survived to return and settle upon a barren summit in southern Verulia.
(Kull the Conqueror III#2 (fb) - BTS) - Possessing the the Amulet of Ka, the bird-men placed it among the topmost crags of their mountain and it yielded them endless life. The amulet was watched over by an immense bird, its guardian.
At some point (either before or after the defeat by the humans), Ravian obtained a sword, forged of metal fallen from Earth's ancient skies and allegedly powered by the Amulet of Ka.
Over time, the ruling Ravian and many others came to see their people's existence as a burden with no purpose. However, holy tradition forbade the bird-people to leave their ruins.
(Kull the Conqueror III#2 (fb) - BTS) - Verulian
tradition told whoever held the Amulet of Ka possessed the powers of
life and death, and that it lied on the highest, most ancient crags of
the unexplored lands to the South,, although allegedly no man had ever
visited the mountains in
which it existed.
(Kull the Conqueror III#2 - BTS) <18,500 BC> - After Tu, the chief councilor of Valusia's King Kull, was gravely wounded in southern Verulia, Kull's physician (a Verulian "Master Leech") noted that only magic could save Tu, and he advised Kull to seek out the Amulet of Ka. Accompanied by his long-time ally Brule and others, including Akreon, Kull traveled to and began to scale the mountain. The Bird-Men brought Kull and his associates to Ravian.
Kull then introduced himself and noted that he had come for the Amulet of Ka. Ravian considered that perhaps it was time that his ancient race closed its eyes in final sleep, and he noted that Kull and his allies must seize the Amulet by hand from its guardian at moonrise.
Ravian subsequently advised Kull and his allies to hasten as the moon was risen and the Amulet of Ka was revealed, silvered in the moon's glow upon the mountain crest beyond gemmed portals at which he pointed. Ravian gave his sword to Kull to aid him in his efforts.
the Conqueror III#2 - BTS) - As Kull and his
allies approached the mountain's peak and the Amulet, the guardian flew
in and fired eyeblasts at them. As Kull engaged the guardian, Akreon --
who sought the Amulet for himself -- stabbed
Brule in the back, and Brule's seeming death spurred Kull to slay the
guardian, using Ravian's sword to reflect its eyeblasts on
slew Akreon, claimed the Amulet, and used it to heal Brule.
(Kull the Conqueror III#2 (fb) - BTS) - As soon as Kull grasped the Amulet of Ka, Ravian sensed this as "time breathed a gentle breeze across my frame, cooling my lifeblood." The other bird-men embraced eternal sleep in shaded chambers.
(Kull the Conqueror III#2) - As Kull and Brule returned, Ravian asked that they let him grasp the Amulet of Ka. Kull placed the Amulet in Ravian's hand, and he noted, "Humankind, our ancient enemy, has brought us peace this day. And Kull has won the Amulet of Life and Death." Ravian then slumped in his throne, swiftly decaying into dust.
(Kull the Conqueror III#2 (fb) - BTS) - Kull and Brule returned to the camp in Verulia, and they used the Amulet of Ka to save Tu's life.
(Kull the Conqueror III#2 - BTS) - Tu denounced the magic amulet as an old wives' tale and hoped that Kull had not parted with good gold for this trinket.
(Kull the Conqueror III#2/2) - A fortnight later, Talena, daughter of Kull's aide Calnor, begged Kull to use the Amulet of Ka to revive her fiance, Gallus, who had fallen to his death. Against his better judgment, Kull was moved by Talena's pleas, and he placed the Amulet around Gallus' neck.
Gallus' eyes then opened and he sat up, but he was possessed by a manifestation of Death or some ancient demon claiming to be Death, who sought to punish Kull for trying to steal a soul from the cosmic abyss. The possessed Gallus unleashed dark energy followed by a number of tentacles from "slavering fiends of Hell" that reeked of rotting corpses. After Kull severed a tentacle, the possessed Gallus confronted him a sword that burned cold from the soul of ice from the frigid gulfs of humanity and the thrusts of which were fatal to any mortal. Before the possessed Gallus could strike, however, Kull slashed Gallus halfway through his neck. When even that failed to stop the possessed corpse, Kull picked up a stone bench (the very one on which Gallus had fatally struck his head) and used it to smash Gallus' skull against the tree from which Gallus had fallen. Kull then tore the Amulet of Ka from Gallus' neck and ordered Tu to arrange a proper burial.
Considering that the Amulet was never meant for mortal keeping, as mortals were blind and wisdomless fools, Kull hurled later hurled the Amulet (contained within a sack, presumably weighted) off a cliff into the ocean below.
Comments: Created by Alan Zelentz, John Buscema, Dan Green, and Joe Chiodo.
Verulia was one of the seven empires in the Thurian continent, the major landmass of Earth in the pre-Cataclysmic era. The other empires include Kull's Valusia, easternmost Grondar, Commoria, Thule, Kamellia, and the "Triple Federation" of Zarfhanna, Farsun, and an unidentified country.
I don't think the being that possessed Gallus was directly associated
with Ka. I felt that it was more likely a demon from whatever Hell-like
realm might have gained dominion over Gallus' soul, and that that demon
was acting to punish Kull for trying to reclaim the soul.
Gallus will get his own profile, along with whatever possessed him.
My copy of Kull the Conqueror III#2 has some black ink staining on the pages involving the guardian of the Amulet of Ka. If you have better images, please feel free to send them my way!
Profile by Snood.
The Amulet of Ka should be distinguished from:
the Bird of Creation, was worshipped by the Bird-Men of Thuria. The
Amulet of Ka was formed from a splintering of the Ka's glittering
talons. Ka granted power via the Amulet of Ka, allowing the Bird-Men to
live for millennia after their women and children had perished.
--Kull the Conqueror III#2
Note: Ka was never pictured, and the information above pretty much details what we know about Ka.
Ka would be one of the gods of the pre-Cataclysmic era, who would include at least Anu, Bishru, Black Shadow, Chthon, Crom, Erlik, Golgor, Great Scorpion, Holgar, Honan, Hotath, Jaquari, Kaa-U, Kodatha, Kulthas, Set, Syndra, Valka, Vramma, White Wolf (possibly the White Wolf associated with Weirdworld), Zugthuu, Zukala and many others (not yet gathered to the list)
But, beyond that, we know nothing...is Ka an alias of Thoth? Perhaps he's another son of Gaea? Maybe he has origins related to others we know, maybe he's something altogether unrevealed. Maybe the being they worshipped and from whom they gained the Amulet wasn't a bird-god at all, but they just imagined him to be a bird-god as they were bird-men.
The Sphinx(es) (Anath-Na-Mut and Meryet Karim) were empowered by the Ka stone, which originated from the extraterrestrial Lifestone tree, and Ka is an Egyptian term referring to the soul or spirit.
I would guess that the name Ka was picked by the writer because it would sound the same as a crow's "caw."
|The guardian watched over the Amulet of Ka at the top of the Bird-Men's mountain.|
The Amulet could apparently only be claimed by defeating the Guardian at moonrise.
The guardian was an immense blackbird, perhaps 18-25' in wingspan, with talon large enough that they could wrap around an adult mail. It could fire eyeblasts able to shatter stone. However, the Sword of Ravian, apparently drawing power from the Amulet of Ka, could reflect the eyeblasts back onto the guardian; being struck with its own eyeblasts was either fatal, or at least incapacitating enough to cause the guardian to drop from the sky.
|(Kull the Conqueror III#2 - BTS) - After
Kull's chief councilor, Tu was rendered comatose by head trauma from
falling off his horse, Kull had a vision: As Kull kneeled over Tu, an
immense black bird approached, calling out Tu's name, and Kull assumed
it to be perdition's harbinger. Resolving to die himself before letting
the bird get its talons around Tu, Kull slew it with his axe. |
After Kull revived from his vision, the Verulian physician ("master leech") advised Kull that Tu could only be saved by magic, and he directed Kull and his allies (including Brule and Akreon) to seek the Amulet of Ka in the unexplored mountains to the south.
| Tired of their pointless and otherwise endless existence,
Ravian guided Kull and his allies to claim the Amulet of Ka, and he
gifted Kull with his meteorite-forged sword. |
(Kull the Conqueror III#2) - As they scaled the mountain at moonrise, the Guardian approached, blasting the mountain rock between them. As Kull engaged the Guardian, Akreon -- who hoped to claim the Amulet's power for himself and usurp Kull's rule -- stabbed Brule in the back. When Akreon advised Kull of Brule's seeming death, Kull assumed this to have been a result of the Guardian's attack, and he warned the Guardian that not even Valka or Hotath could spare it now, and that he would drench Ravian's "blade in its bloodwet gizzard" and "crimson the ocean below with your dripping guts."
When the Guardian fired its eyeblasts at Kull, Kull reflected its "obscene fire" back at the Guardian with Ravian's sword, and the blast caused the Guardian to drop into the ocean below.
--Kull the Conqueror III#2
images: (without ads):
Kull the Conqueror III#2, pg. 8, panel 4 (vision: bird approaching Kull);
pg. 9, panel 3 (vision: Kull vs. bird);
pg. 24, panel 1 (mountain);
panel 2 (amulet);
pg. 30, panel 4 (Guardian approaching Kull and allies);
panel 5 (Guardian blasting Kull and his allies);
pg. 31, panel 1 (Kull swinging sword at Guardian);
panel 5 (Guardian blasting at Kull);
pg. 32, panel 2 (Guardian struck by own reflected blast);
pg. 35, panel 4 (Kull saving Brule with Amulet);
pg. 36, panel 5-7 (Ravian's hand holding Amulet and decomposing);
pg. 37, panel 2 (Tu holding Amulet);
III#2/2, pg. 11, panel 4 (Kull holding Amulet in sack);
panel 6 (Amulet cast into ocean)
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
First posted: 01/09/2022
Last updated: 01/09/2022
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