(please note that these stories are from Epic, part of a more mature line and may not be appropriate for everyone)
Real Name: Ren
active circa 9000 B.C. (Hyborian era)
Group Membership: Ath'Agaar's tribes
Affiliations: Ath'Agaar, Jhagur
Enemies: Dark Lords (Eeyod, Hemuth, Koth and Zepharr) and their people, Kaok
Known Relatives: Ren may or may not have been Ath'Agaar's queen/consort, etc. vs. just being his long-term lover; she was referred to as his concubine, meaning she lived with him but had a lower status than a wife (or wives, either of which he may not have had); however, she was the only one for which he gave any thought, and she seemed to be his one true love
Aliases: "Girl," "Whore" (from the Dark Lords)
Base of Operations: Unrevealed;
physical death in Kur, Novum Terra (see comments), in the region that would become New Mexico;
formerly the Citadel of Erok, Novum Terra, in the region that would become New Mexico;
possibly formerly an unrevealed location in the glaciered northland of Novum Terra (see comments)
First Appearance: Marvel Graphic Novel#11: Void Indigo (1984)
Powers/Abilities: Other than her physical attributes, Ren did not demonstrate any particular abilities in her limited appearances, and she was presumably a normal human woman of the Hyborian era.
Her will to live was strong, and she endured fierce torture for nearly 24 hours.
Height: Unrevealed (perhaps 5'9")
Weight: Unrevealed (perhaps 135 lbs.)
Eyes: Brown (destroyed or removed prior to her death)
(Marvel Graphic Novel#11: Void Indigo (fb)) - Circa 9000 B.C., Ren enjoyed romantic embraces with her lover Ath'Agaar (before, during, and/or after he became chieftain of a glaciered northland and then led his tribes south, conquering four -- Kerei, Baalat, Tzerama, Erok -- of the citadels/enslaved city ruled by the ancient Dark Lords, seizing power and then establishing his stronghold in Erok).
(Marvel Graphic Novel#11: Void Indigo (fb) - BTS) - Appreciating that their stronghold, Kur, might be next, the Dark Lords began sacrificing their followers by the thousands, but the enslaved people, with minimal willpower, granted them limited power. They resolved to capture Ath'Agaar himself, knowing that to him death without resistance was unthinkable, and to sacrifice him to their master, Kaok, the demon-lord of Sominus.
(Marvel Graphic Novel#11: Void Indigo (fb) - BTS) - Despite Ath'Agaar's orders, Ren spoke to Erok's former magistrate and his witch-woman, who told her that the wizards had marked Ath'Agaar for vengeance and that their time on Earth was nearly finished.
(Marvel Graphic Novel#11: Void Indigo (fb)) - As Ath'Agaar and Ren embraced in Erok's palace bedchambers, Ath'Agaar noted that her unsure and faltering touch and her rigid spine indicated that she had disobeyed him. She reluctantly admitted her conversation with the former magistrate and his witch-woman and her fear that their time on Earth was nearly finished. After Ath'Agaar reminded her that those two had been the sorcerers' lackeys, which was why he had forbidden her to speak to them, Ren encouraged Ath'Agaar to discipline/crush her as she pulled him nearer; however, she then screamed as the Dark Lords materialized in their bedchamber.
After Zepharr magically sealed-over Ren's mouth to stop her screaming, another of the Dark Lords transformed Ath'Agaar's sword into an immense serpent that coiled around him. The Dark Lords then transported both Ath'Agaar and Ren back to their sacrificial chamber in their stronghold, Kur, after which they told Ath'Agaar to watch as they tortured his woman. When they refused his demands to release Ren, Ath'Agaar summoned his strength and tore apart the serpent holding him, but one of the Dark Lords magically bound Ath'Agaar in an unbreakable filament.
As Ath'Agaar called out to Ren, one of the Dark Lords noted that Ath'Agaar actually cared for her and that they were in the presence of genuine passion. Koth noted that too many centuries had passed since they had felt with such intensity, and he envied the savage. Ath'Agaar then argued that Ren had done nothing to them and that he was the one they wanted, but Eeyod explained that they wanted them both, especially now that they knew the strength of their bond: Watching her perish by degrees would fuel his hatred for them, and the fierceness of his loathing was precisely what they needed.
Eeyod then told Ren to behold the light that glinted from his blade, as it was the last glimmer she would ever see. With two swift slashes, Eeyod rendered Ren sightless, after which the other sorcerers joined in what became a protracted process of unrelenting excruciation. The Dark Lords were grimly delighted when Ren proved stronger and less willing to die that they had anticipated.
It was twilight the next day when Koth finally delivered the death stroke; by then, there was little left of her to torment. Her vital life force had been expended as agony and greedily devoured by the Dark Lords.(Marvel Graphic Novel#11: Void Indigo - BTS) - Ath'Agaar was then chained naked to the sacrificial altar atop Ren's blood, and they proceeded to slowly torture him until even his memories of Ren's embrace felt like pain.
On the third night of Ath'Agaar's torture, he shattered the Living Orb/Eye of Kaok, which spewed forth a cloud of force that engulfed the domed chamber and all within it -- their bodies flayed and their bones ground to powder -- before similarly destroying the walls of Kur and then all of the nine citadels formerly ruled by the Dark Lords. Within hours, the entire civilization was obliterated.
(Marvel Graphic Novel#11: Void Indigo (fb) - BTS) - The spirits of the hundred thousand entities slain in the conflagration demanded that the sorcerers not know peace until they had paid for their atrocities, and the spirits of the Dark Lords were sent back to the physical plane, into a cycle of death and rebirth, repeatedly reincarnated.
(Marvel Graphic Novel#11: Void Indigo (fb)) - The spirits of Ath'agaar and Ren, half-crazed with pain and hate and unable to accept their integration into the spirit world, tore loose from the cosmic fabric and willingly followed, seeking both vengeance and one another.
(Marvel Graphic Novel#11: Void Indigo (fb) - BTS) - Ath'Agaar, Ren, and the Dark Lords all lived innumerable lifetimes -- some as brief as a moth's, others as long as redwood's. Their souls were scattered over continents and seas, and across the vastness of space.
(Marvel Graphic Novel#11: Void Indigo (fb)) - By the late 20th century (see comments), the incarnations of Ren and the Dark Lords were on Earth, while Ath'Agaar had been reincarnated in the extraterrestrial Jhagur of the planet Gebura.
(Void Indigo#5-6: "DOMINION AND REBELLION" (unpublished, from Gerber's script)) - As Jhagur -- having traveled to Earth -- underwent a ritual of purification in the desert outside Hollywood, California, Ath'Agaar and Ren appear to him in a vision. When Jhagur reached out for Ren, her form replicated the wounds inflicted upon her by the Dark Lords before crumbling to dust, after which Ath'Agaar deteriorated in a similar manner.
(Void Indigo#5-6: "DOMINION AND REBELLION" (unpublished, from Gerber's script) - BTS) - Joined by all his past incarnations, including Ath'Agaar, Jhagur confronted Kaok and then drove Kaok into the Void Indigo astral realm. There Kaok was torn apart by the psychic assault of all the hundreds of thousands of souls whose lives he had cut short those 11,000 years ago.
With his past incarnations having vanished and with still no sign of Ren after he returned to Earth, Jhagur wandered off into the desert
Comments: Created by Steve Gerber and Val Mayerik.
There is not confirmed evidence (as far as I know) that Ren was with Ath'Agaar before he came down from the glaciered northland vs. whether she was part of one of the four of the nine citadels under the dominion of the Dark Lords that Ath'Agaar and his forces conquered. However, given that her spirit was strong and valuable to the Dark Lords, I think it is pretty convincing that she was part of the group from the glaciered northland (or, at least, form somewhere north of the nine citadels.
I would not normally capitalize the letter after an apostrophe, but as Gerber's scripts had "Ath'Agaar," I'm going with it.
The Void Indigo is somewhat nebulous, but it exists beyond the mortal veil, into the continuum of pure spirit. It is a "horizonless, liquid space from which all things -- material and spiritual -- originate, threads of the great chain of being. Each perfect, pearl-like bead along its infinite length glimmered with the light of a soul. From its position on the chain can be determined the condition of that soul and its location in the cosmos."
Profile by Snood.
Ren should be distinguished from:
Marvel Graphic Novel#11: Void Indigo (1984) - Steve Gerber (writer), Val Mayerik (artist), Laurie Sutton (assistant editor), Archie Goodwin (editor)
Void Indigo#5-6 scripts (unpublished)
First posted: 08/14/2022
Last updated: 08/14/2022
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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