Real Name: Morcar
Identity/Class: Extradimensional magic user, species unrevealed
Occupation: Dark sorcerer
Group Membership: None
Affiliations: Chaos Warriors, the Dead Host
(mummies, skeletons, zombies, zombie hippopotamus), Doomguard, fimir,
gargoyles, goblins, Great Powers of Chaos, Milnik, orcs (Mildred,
others), rat ogres, skaven, Skulmar, Witch King, unidentified corrupted
Enemies: Akron, Galadrus, Mentor, Rogar, Strom, Zull
Known Relatives: None
Aliases: Lord of Chaos, Master of Dark Magic, Zargon
Base of Operations: Northern Chaos Wastes
First Appearance: Heroquest Winter Special (1991)
Powers/Abilities: Morcar is a powerful sorcerer able to raise the undead, cast bolts of mystic energy, view distant locations via a scrying pool and cast spells of confusion, among many other unrevealed capabilities. He is apparently unaging, having lived hundreds of years, and commands a vast and diverse army of monstrous minions.
(Heroquest Winter Special introduction (fb) - BTS) - Morcar was once the hard working apprentice of the wizard Mentor. Though a quick study he saw magic only as a short-cut to great power and was devoured by impatience, demanding to learn more powerful magic, ignoring Mentor's warnings of the dangers and attempts to reassure him that if he were only patient then in time he would become a great sorcerer. Unable to wait, Morcar broke into Mentor's study one night and read his master's spell books, then fled once he had learned their secrets.
Deciding it would be the swiftest path to the
power he craved and uncaring of the terrible price he would have to pay,
Morcar pledged his allegiance to the Great Powers of Chaos. When Mentor
caught up with him and tried to reason with his former apprentice,
Morcar laughed in his face and attacked him with devastating magics that
Mentor only barely managed to counter. The pair battled for days, but
though Mentor remained the more powerful mage Morcar had allies to back
him up; neither side could gain the upper hand, and when both began to
weaken from their continued exertions, Morcar fled and sought refuge in
the Northern Chaos Wastes. There he licked his wounds and honed his
skills, conjuring ancient powers with which to conquer the Empire.
When he thought he was strong enough, Morcar attacked, but was countered by the ever vigilant Mentor and his ally Rogar. Centuries passed, but eventually Morcar began to prepare for another attempt, with his forces launching raids into the Borderlands, so Mentor gathered new heroes to help him fight the evil sorcerer.
(Heroquest Winter Special prose (fb) - BTS) - Skulmar, the
undead necromancer Captain of the Dead Host, joined Morcar's service,
and was put in charge of carrying out Morcar's new plans for conquest,
decimating nearby barbarian tribes with plague, besieging the dwarves in
their mountain strongholds using Orc armies, despoiling and burning the
elves' forests, and corrupting new wizards to join their ranks. Morcar
meanwhile apparently became displeased with another minion, the Witch
King, and visited some unspecified punishment on him.
(Heroquest Winter Special prose) - Skulmar reported his
progress to Morcar, who added a new mission, to burn the Empire's crops
and deny them a harvest so the people would starve, adding that once
they began to die he wanted his sorcerers to raise them to join his
undead army. Skulmar acknowledged the instruction, but before dismissing
him Morcar added one final task: Since the Witch King who normally
oversaw the armies was... indisposed, Morcar told Skulmar he was to take
over that role, beginning with a troop inspection. To assist Skulmar
with this last, Morcar assigned him the chaos dwarf Milnik as his guide
through the tunnels where many of the troops were housed.
(Heroquest Winter Special comic- BTS) - Mentor assembled a team consisting of the dwarf Strom, elf Galadrus, barbarian Zull and his new apprentice Akron, and teleported them to a former dwarf labyrinth now controlled by some of Morcar's forces on a quest to retrieve the Sword of Zalmir, a powerful artifact recently stolen by some of Morcar's orcs. Their arrival soon triggered alarms, and Morcar swiftly located the intruders and watched them from afar using a scrying pool.
(Heroquest Winter Special comic ) - Morcar cast a spell of confusion on the intruders so that they found themselves unsure of what route to take to escape, and watched with disdain as the party swiftly began to bicker among themselves. Then he unleashed his newest creation, a skeletal reaper wielding a scythe, to finish them off if the orcs failed to do so first.
Special comic - BTS) - As they sought to
evade the orcs the heroes discovered a secret passage and in so doing
stumbled across the prize they sought. The reaper attacked the group,
but the Sword of Zalmar made short work of it, and Mentor, having also
been monitoring their progress, opened a portal to transport them back
to his study.
(Heroquest Winter Special comic) - Watching their escape in his scrying pool, Morcar cursed both Mentor and his heroes, and vowed that next time victory would be his.
Comments: Presumably created by game designer Stephen Baker, adapted into comic format by Ian Abinett, Alan Cowsill, Gary Frank and Cam Smith, and into prose by Ken and Jo Walton and Paul Travers.
HeroQuest was a Milton Bradley adventure
board game developed in conjunction with Britain's Games Workshop. To
tie in with the game's release in the UK, Marvel published a licensed
one-shot magazine which included a prose short story ("The Monstrous
Regiment") and a comic strip ("United We Stand") based on the game.
Despite its success and editor John Freeman's pushing for a regular
RPG/gaming magazine from Marvel UK, the characters and setting were not
In the British release of the game the sorcerer was called Morcar, but the US release named him Zargon.
In the list of associates, the names in
capitals are actual names of minions, while the ones without as the
names of species of creatures serving him, some recognizable from
fantasy in general but others specific to the game.
The comic strip portrays Morcar as being a blue-skinned individual with
his face hidden in shadows, whose servants include a number of skeletal
warriors. The prose story includes a couple of illustrations, the main
one featuring a skeletal individual sitting on a throne, surrounded by a
horde of skeletal warriors; the story itself mentions Morcar sitting on
a throne, not any of his skeleton servants, which suggests artist Paul
Travers intended the skeleton lord to be Morcar. Given that the prose
artist might well not have been given as clear directions on what Morcar
was to look like (the story only mentions he is sitting cloaked in
shadow), I'm guessing that Travers assumed that because skeleton
warriors were described serving the sorcerer that the sorcerer must look
the same. As such, MY assumption is that the blue guy is Morcar, and the
individual sitting on the throne was the Captain of the Dead Host
mentioned in the story, taking a cheeky seat on his boss' throne while
Morcar was out the room. Nevertheless, just in case throne skeleton is
Morcar, I've included the illustration on the bottom left.
This profile was completed 09/17/2021, but its publication was delayed as it was intended for the Appendix 20th anniversary's celebratory event.
Profile by Loki.
Morcar has no known connections to:
images: (without ads)
Heroquest Winter Special, p23 (p4 of story), pan6 (main image)
Heroquest Winter Special, p23 (p4 of story), pan5 (scrying pool)
Heroquest Winter Special, p27 (p8 of story), pan6 (cursing Mentor)
Heroquest Winter Special p7, pan1 (skeleton Morcar, or skeleton minion snatching a cheeky sit-down on the boss' throne)
Heroquest Winter Special (1991) - Ian Abinett, Alan Cowsill (writers), Gary Frank (pencils), Cam Smith (inks), John Freeman (editor)
First Posted: 09/18/2021
Last updated: 09/17/2021
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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