Real Name: Goru

Identity/Class: Human
    16th century;

Occupation: High priest

Group Membership: Bogondi tribe (Kuroba, Loga, Nayela, numerous others unidentified; all apparently deceased)

Affiliations: Solomon Kane

Enemies: The Akaana

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: Unrevealed;
Bogonda of the Shadow (formerly Upper Bogonda), a village in an unidentified region of 16th century Africa

First Appearance: Weird Tales Volume 20, Issue 1 (July, 1932): "Wings in the Night";
    (Marvel) Savage Sword of Conan I#53/2 (June, 1980)

goru-bogondi-kane-face-straightPowers/Abilities: Goru was experienced and knowledgeable as the high priest of the Bogondi. He recognized Solomon Kane's Staff of Solomon for its nature and power.

Height: Unrevealed (perhaps 5'4"; he was markedly shorter than Kane and his chief, Koruba)
Weight: Unrevealed (perhaps 200 lbs.; see comments)
Eyes: Unrevealed (dark; presumably brown)
Hair: Black (or white, balding, see comments)


(Savage Sword of Conan#54/2 (fb) - BTS) - Goru was the priest of the Bogondi people who had resigned themselves to living in terror of the winged Akaana creatures.

(Savage Sword of Conan#54/2 (fb)) - After years of drought and famine, the Akaana attacked more frequently and savagely, nourishing themselves by feasting on the Bogondi.

(Savage Sword of Conan#53/2 (fb) - BTS) <Late 16th century; see comments> - The people of Lower Bogonda eventually revolted, and the Akaana slew the entire population of that village. goru-bogondi-kane-necklace

(Savage Sword of Conan#53/2 (fb) - BTS) - Seeking to avoid Lower Bogonda's fate, the people of Upper Bogonda began to offer a human sacrifice -- chosen by lot -- to the Akaana at each moon, binding the victim to a stake between the two Bogondan villages.

(Savage Sword of Conan#53/2 (fb) - BTS) - As part of their regular sacrifice to the Akaana, Goru tied a man to a tree, aided by the man's own brother.

(Savage Sword of Conan#53/2 (fb) - BTS) - The Akaana encountered and cruelly mutilated tore the man tied to the tree.

(Savage Sword of Conan#54/2 - BTS) - After encountering the man (who identified Goru and his brother of having bound him there) and slaying an Akaana, Puritan warrior Solomon Kane was knocked unconscious and presumably severely concussed and/or soon after suffering from infection from the creature's claw rents, at least.

(Savage Sword of Conan#54/2 (fb) - BTS) - Kane was found by the villagers of Bogonda and brought to their village, where they cared for him as he raved in delirium for many days.

(Savage Sword of Conan#54/2 - BTS) - Some young Bogondi had witnessed Kane's shooting and killing of two Akaana, and they told this to Goru. Goru recognized Kane's Staff of Solomon as having been the sceptre of fallen empires and the staff of mighty priests.

(Savage Sword of Conan#54/2) - Goru was present alongside chieftain Kuroba when Kane finally regained consciousness, announcing his awakening and that he was of sound-mind. As the weakened Kane struggled to rise and began to ask questions, Goru gently pressed Kane back and told him that he was in the last village of Bogonda, that they found him beneath the trees on the slope, and that he had been badly wounded and senseless for many days. He then urged Kane to eat, and when Kane ravenously devoured the food, Goru noted that he was like a leopard and that he admired him, for not one man in a thousand would have survived his wounds. When Kuroba agreed and noted to Goru that he had also slain that Akaana that had attacked him, Kane recognized the name from the mutilated victim he had encountered, and he instantly accused Goru of binding men to stakes for devils to eat. Kane tried to rise, intending to strangle Goru, but he was overcome by a wave of weakness and collapsed.

(Savage Sword of Conan#54/2 - BTS) - When Kane revived again, Nayela cared for him, telling him how their tribe was ruled by their chief Koruba and priest Goru. After eating, Kane insisted on seeing Goru again.

(Savage Sword of Conan#54/2) - Goru entered the tent, bearing Kane's staff, dagger, and pistols (the weapon which speaks with fire and smoke). Goru voiced that Kane must be a god, but then noted that gods did not bleed and that Kane had nearly died. He asked what Kane was, and Kane assured him that he was but a man, giving his name and his mission as a wanderer from a far land. When Kane asked again about the dying man from whom he had first heard Goru's name, although Goru seemed to have a kindly voice, Goru told him to rest and grow strong, and in time he would learn of this land's ancient curse.

(Savage Sword of Conan#54/2) - In the succeeding days as Kane recovered, Goru and Koruba sat with him, telling him of how their Bogondi had traveled there some 150 years ago, after which the Akaana had begun to attack them and to prevent their departure. Goru finally noted how, in desperation to avoid Lower Bogonda's fate, they had turned to human sacrifice.

    Goru promised to do no more sacrifices if Kane would save them from the Akaana, noting that while Kane may not be a god, he had the power of a god in him. He promised they would make him king, god, or whatever they wanted, and he continued that the Akaana had stayed away from their village since his arrival despite the time of the sacrifice having come and gone.

    Noting that he had little powder for his pistols and that the cannibals remained a threat even if he somehow slew the fiends, Kane confirmed that the would stay there to protect them in hopes of ridding the land of evil.

((Sword of) Solomon Kane#6 (fb) - BTS) - Kane remained in Bogonda of the Shadow for months (at least two months since his injurious fall).goru-bogondi-kane-decapitated

(Savage Sword of Conan#54/2 (fb) - BTS) - As Kane slept one night, the Akaana attacked en masse, slaughtering the people of Bogonda.

(Savage Sword of Conan#54/2 (fb) - BTS) - The Akaana decapitated Goru and left his head on his hut (or on a stick by his hut, see comments).goru-bogondi-kane-decapitated-smile

(Savage Sword of Conan#54/2 - BTS) - Kane was awakened by the screams, and he rushed outside to attack the Akaana furiously with pistol, dagger, rapier, and axe, futilely trying to save the Bogondi, who mostly died like sheep. Although the Akaana ultimately fled his furious assault, they carried with them the few survivors, slaying them as they flew above.

(Savage Sword of Conan#54/2) - Finding Goru's head, Kane felt its eyes staring at him like that of a hurt child. Kane left Goru's head there, vowing he would see the fall of his slayers.

(Savage Sword of Conan#54/2 - BTS) - Vowing vengeance, Kane reinforced the hut of the witch doctor, Goru, with thick layers of vine-bound bamboo. He then slew any easy prey the Akaana could have for weeks before slaying a captured buffalo outside Goru's hut, slinging its blood into the air so its scent would draw in the Akaana. He then cut apart the buffalo and brought its parts into the hut, after which he retired to a nearby wooden region and waited.

    Apparently all of the starving Akaana soon arrived, drawn by the scent, and they entered the hut, which Kane then set aflame after trapping them within.

(Savage Sword of Conan#54/2 - BTS) - Watching to confirm no Akaana escaped, Kane looked at the severed head of Goru, which seemed to smile at him before being consumed by the flames.

Comments: Created by Robert Ervin Howard.
    Adapted to Marvel by Don Glut and
David Wenzel...and then again by Ralph Macchio, John Ridgeway, and Al Williamson.

    According to what I see in superficial research, Wings in the Night was REH's last Solomon Kane story published during his lifetime.

    The (Sword of) Solomon Kane version didn't make it clear that Bogondi had first come there 150 years earlier, and an image of their arrival there seemed to show Goru and Koruba. I'm taking that picture as representing Goru and Koruba, but just not at the time the Bogondi first settled there.


    I don't whether REH's original story had Goru as a fat man with black hair (as in Savage Sword of Conan) or an older, balding, skinny white-haired man (as in(Sword of) Solomon Kane).

    Similarly, the former had Goru's head sitting on a board over the hut's door, while the latter had it impaled on a stick.

Regardless, it seems a shame not to show the images we have in color, so here they are!


goru-bogondi-kane-sosk-seated goru-bogondi-kane-sosk-decapitated goru-bogondi-kane-sosk-decapitated-smile

Profile by Snood.

should be distinguished from:

images: (without ads)

Savage Sword of Conan I#54/4, story pg 2, panel 2 (face);
          panel 3 (full);
       pg. 3, panel 6 (fullish-oblique);
       pg. 6, panel 5 (face; straight-on);
       pg. 15, panel 4 (decapitated);
       pg. 22, panel 3 (laughing);
(Sword of) Solomon Kane#6, pg. 7, panel 2 (seated);
          panel 3 (face);
          panel 4 (full);
       pg. 11, panel 2 (staffs);
       pg. 15, panel 2 (decapitated);
       pg. 20, panel 5 (smiling)

Weird Tales Volume 20, Issue 1 (July, 1932): "Wings in the Night" - Robert Ervin Howard (writer)
Savage Sword of Conan I#53/3 (June, 1980) - Don Glut (script), David Wenzel (art), Mark Gruenwald (associate editor), Lynn Graeme (consulting editor), Roy Thomas (editor)
Savage Sword of Conan I#54/4 (July, 1980) - Don Glut (script), David Wenzel (art), Mark Gruenwald (associate editor), Lynn Graeme (consulting editor), Roy Thomas (editor)
(Sword of) Solomon Kane#6 (July, 1986) - Ralph Macchio (script), John Ridgeway (penciler), Al Williamson (inker), Carl Potts (inker)

First posted: 01/08/2021
Last updated: 01/08/2021

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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