katzenborn_dragon-1550s-drsss37-kaneThe Katzenborn dragon
of the 1550skatzenborn_dragon-1550s-ssoc22-emerge

Real Name: Unrevealed

Identity/Class: Terrestrial fauna, a monstrous reptilian of unrevealed origin;
    16th century

Occupation: Predator

Group Membership: None known

Affiliations: None known

Enemies: Cathryn, Solomon Kane, Hans von Frankenstein, people of Nieder-Beerbach

Known Relatives: Presumably the Scheusslischer Lindwurm; unhatched relatives (all deceased)

Aliases: "The Dragon at Castle Frankenstein" (title of the story)

Base of OperationsUnrevealed;
    perished in the crevice/valley surrounding the Katzenborn brook/spring, near the village of 
Nieder-Beerbach in what is now Hesse and/or Darmstadt, Germany

First AppearanceSavage Sword of Conan#22/5 (September, 1977)

Powers/AbilitiesThe immense dragon had vast superhuman strength and durability; presumably like its predecessor, it could grasp and contain an adult male in one hand.

    It had clawed talons on its hands, which had four fingers and an opposing thumb, enabling it to grasp, contain, and lift a human while standing on its hind limbs.

    Its mouth contained numerous sharp teeth, and it could fit an entire human within its maw.

    Its long tail was strong enough to coil around and potentially crush a strong adult male and still have enough length and strength to lift him close to its face.

    At the tip of its tail was a stinger containing a poison that could rapidly slay an adult female, at least.

    Its tails, limbs, dorsum, and head were covered with dense armor, including various plate-like projections. It armor was impervious to close range gunfire from a 16th century pistol.

    Its ventral neck and mouth were also more vulnerable to close-range gunfire as well as sword slashes, both of which could cause it severe agony, at least. 
It had its most vulnerable spot on its ventrum, either centrally in its thorax or slightly below, and a sword stabbed through this region could apparently either pierce its heart or otherwise fatally injure it. 

    As some sort of reptilian, it was presumably weakened/slowed by cold and more active in heat.

    Its species was oviparous, laying a clutch of eggs from which the young were subsequently born.

Height: Unrevealed (approximately 20-30' standing on hind legs; approximately 10-12' at the shoulder as a quadruped; it's tail seemed to be 18-25' long )
Weight: Unrevealed (approximately 4000-10,000 pounds)
Eyes: Red with a reptilian slit pupil (either there was no visible sclera, or the sclera was also red)
Hair: None

(Savage Sword of Conan I#22/5 (fb) - BTS / Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme#37 (fb)) <1531 A.D.> - The Scheusslischer Lindwurm dragon attacked the village of Nieder-Beerbach. The fearful Baron (Hans) von Frankenstein ordered maidens sacrificed to the dragon, including Annemarie, the lover of Georg von Frankenstein, until Georg returned and slew the creature but only at the cost of his own life.

(Savage Sword of Conan I#22/5 (fb) - BTS) - While the people of Nieder-Beerbach believed themselves rid of the dragon's curse, one day (see comments) another dragon arose from the Katzenborn., perhaps to avenge the death of the first...

(Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme#37 (fb) - BTS) - ...perhaps the mate of the first...

(Savage Sword of Conan I#22/5 (fb) - BTS) - In an effort to spare the rest of the village from the dragon, Hans von Frankenstein again ordered the regular sacrifice of maidens.

(Savage Sword of Conan I#22/5 - BTS) <Circa 1555 A.D. > - After a trio of knights grabbed the maiden Cathryn as she worked at the Black Raven Inn, she was saved by the Puritan warrior Solomon Kane. Learning of Hans' order, Kane had Cathryn take him to Castle Frankenstein to confront Hans. Learning the history of both dragons from Hans, Kane coerced Hans to lead him to Katzenborn to confront the dragon.

katzenborn_dragon-1550s-ssoc22-vskane    Minutes later, as they reached the edge of ravine, Kane considered that the dragon's dwelling place was dark and deep enough, while Hans noted how they could here the monster sloshing about. When Hans stated that he was going back to the castle, Kane assured him that he was either going to Hell bloodied by Kane's sword or he was joining him in the Katzenborn to meet both of their fates; Hans reluctantly complied, and Kane instructed Cathryn to remain on the surface to be a witness to the outcome of their adventure. 

    After Kane and Hans descended the rope to the bottom, Hans explained how the waters had turned black after being mixed with the previous dragon's blood.katzenborn_dragon-1550s-ssoc22-death

(Savage Sword of Conan I#22/5) - After the dragon released a thunderous roar, Kane noted that the sound came from the tunnel that followed the streams underground, and he forced Hans to accompany him. After they spotted giant eggs, Kane considered that these tunnels must be a veritable breeding ground for the dragons; after speculating on their origins, he began shattering the eggs as he noted that the would thrive no more: "Had the Lord ordained that their kind survived the flood, they would exist in the open and in abundance."

    As Kane smashed the eggs, the dragon angrily confronted them. After Kane ensured the destruction of the eggs, Hans, who had dropped his sword upon seeing the dragon, stood transfixed, too aghast to move. Seeking to repay Kane for having saved her, Cathryn descended the rope. 

    Kane confronted the massive beast, instructing Hans that he needed his aid, but Hans fled, noting that as the monster fed on Kane's carcass, he would have enough time to reach his castle. Kane soon found the dragon's hide resistant to his bullets, after which his sword shattered against its armored tail. However, Kane then allowed himself to be wrapped in the creature's coiled tail, and as it lifted him higher, he fired his pistol into its mouth and/or ventral neck, this time wounding the dragon.

    The dragon continued to crush Kane with its tail, at which point Cathryn rushed to give Kane Hans' sword; although Kane warned her to stay away from its tail, Cathryn delivered the sword to him only to be fatally struck by the venomous stinger on the behemoth's tail. Seeing her fall, Kane slashed at the dragon's underbelly, and when it turned toward him further in anguish, he sank the sword into its central weak point. The creature collapsed in its death throes, and the waters of the Katzenborn were perhaps blackened further by its blood. 

    As Kane took Cathryn to the village chapel for a proper funeral, he confronted Hans, cursing him to see her face in his daydreams and nightmares until the day of his final judgment.

Comments: Created by Don Glut and Sonny Trinidad.

    Solomon Kane was born in 1530 A.D. (according to, at least, The Trail of Solomon Kane, Kane... the Avenger), and most of his young stories occurred circa the 1550s. Fellow Appendix writer Wolfram Bane, whose Robert E. Howard knowledge significantly exceeds mine, placed the encounter with Kane and the Scheusslischer Lindwurm as occurring around 1555 A.D. 

    Given the above and the established death of Georg von Frankenstein circa 1531, there were over 20 years between the rampages of the two dragons, depending on how long between the second dragon's emergence and Hans' sacrifices of women Solomon Kane arrived there. Perhaps the dragon only emerged once a year, and Hans sacrificed a woman to it each time, for 5, 10, 15, or even 20 years?

    After seeing the dragon eggs, Kane considered that he had heard tales about huge and marvelous beasts that perished in the waters of the Great Flood (Great Cataclysm). He speculated that it was possible that these dragons were such antediluvian creatures, having survived in these haunts for thousands of years. 
    Or...maybe they were deviant mutates, extraterrestrials, or beings associated with any or the multiple races of gods of Earth.

What were the dragons' relationship?

    There were giant eggs in the crevice presumed to be the offspring of the dragon, but it is unclear whether... 

katzenborn_dragon-1550s-drsss37-saccath    The images and story in the Book of the Vishanti for the story of Hans, Cathryn, and Solomon Kane don't quite match the story in Savage Sword of Conan#22.

Notably, in the scene to the right, with three knights and Hans preparing to cast Cathryn to the waiting dragon:
Further, in the main image, in color, with Kane sitting atop the creature's head and stabbing it in the head while Cathryn awaited in chains:
I would think the Book of the Vishanti images were more symbolic than directly factual. They fit with the theme of what happened, if not matching the events directly.

Profile by Snood.

The Katzenborn dragon of the 1550s
should be distinguished from:



(Savage Sword of Conan I#22/5) - After they spotted giant eggs in the tunnels as they sought the Katzenborn dragon, Kane considered that these tunnels must be a veritable breeding ground for the dragons; after speculating on their origins, he began shattering the eggs as he noted that the would thrive no more: "Had the Lord ordained that their kind survived the flood, they would exist in the open and in abundance."

    As Kane smashed the eggs, the dragon angrily confronted them. Nonetheless, Kane ensured the destruction of the eggs, before turning to face the dragon.

Savage Sword of Conan#22/2

Note: The comments section of the main profile discusses both the potential origins of the dragons and their potential relationship, as well as their relationship to the eggs.

: (without ads)

Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme#37, pg7, panel 5 (Cathryn being pushed before the pit containing the dragon);
        pg. 8, panel 1 (Kane vs. dragon; Cathryn in chains);
Savage Sword of Conan#22/5, pg. 8, panel 5 (Kane and Hans with eggs);
            panel 6 (Kane smashing eggs);
        pg. 9, panel 1 (dragon confronting Kane);
        pg. 10, panel 1 (Kane with sword vs. dragon);
        pg. 11, panel 6 (striking Kane with the side of its tail);
        pg. 12, panel 1 (fatally wounded)

Savage Sword of Conan#22/5 "The Dragon at Castle Frankenstein" (September, 1977) - Don Glut (writer), Sonny Trinidad (art), Archie Goodwin and Roger Slifer (consulting editors), Roy Thomas (editor)
Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme#37 (January, 1992) - Jean-Marc Lofficier, Roy & Dan Thomas (writers), Geof Isherwood (artist), Mike Rockwitz (editor)

First posted02/20/2023
Last updated: 02/20/2023

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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