The Sands affect the inquisitor's mind

Classification: Magic Spell

Creator: Ikonn

User/Possessors: Doctor Strange (Stephen Strange)

First Appearance: Doctor Strange I#174 (November, 1968)

Powers/Abilities/Functions: The Shifting Sands of Ikonn can have different effects, depending on the purpose to achieve. The functions can be grouped in two versions: Illusion and Abjuration.

Version: Illusion

Powers/Abilities/Functions: The Sands could affect minds, erasing memories and introducing confusion that slowed down one or more targets.

Casting Time: Few seconds
Range: Very long (400 feet)
Components: A mandatory component, probably at caster's choice among:

Duration: Instantaneous, or concentration that can be resumed if lost.
Primary effects: Calmness, forgetfulness, confusion.
Collateral effects: Concentric circles of light, centered on the caster's hands. inscribed with arcane runes.

The brawler freeze and calm down (Doctor Strange II#50) - London, 1943, in the past.
    The Sands of Ikonn were used in a composite spell. The part of the spell relative to the illusion sphere affected the mind of the crowd involved in a bar brawl between American and British soldiers. The soldiers, Pamela Hawley, Dum Dum Dugan, and even a strong-willed fighter like Nicholas Fury forgot the fight. The only person not affected by the spell was the bartender who actually wasn't targeted by it. Strange classified the spell as a minor incantation.

(Doctor Strange II#52) - In the past, during the Spanish Inquisition, in a village in Spain.
    The Spell of Vertigo contained an invocation of the Shifting Sands of Ikonn that induced confusion on the target's mind. A second part of the spell called the Eye (of Agamotto) and produced vertigo. Strange's spell worked immediately, the inquisitor fell by vertigo, but Strange was drugged and the attack of Gitana caused the loss of concentration on the spell. Thus, the inquisitor could stand and assault Strange again. Only when Strange regained his full control over his senses, could he restore the concentration and the spell itself. Strange set the spell so that the inquisitor would be subjected to it until he publicly confessed his crimes, then Strange left that time.

(Darkhold: Tales from the Book of Sins#6) - Strange used Ikonn's Sands in the same minor incantation he used in London in 1943. The illusion affected the minds of the people on the beach, having them forget the last events.

Version: Abjuration

Powers/Abilities/Functions: The Shifting Sands of Ikonn have the power to dispel other enchantments, ending their effect or changing it. Spellbreaking can also involve the possession or the control of an intruder on an unwitting host, leading to the banishment of the intruder.

Casting Time: Few seconds
Range: Short (30 feet) at least
Components: A mandatory component, probably at caster's choice among:

Duration: Instantaneous
Primary effects: Spellbreaking, banishment.
Collateral effects: None

(Doctor Strange I#174) - Entrapped in another dimension by Lord Nekron, Strange was menaced by two colossal pendulums shooting laser-like rays, that could kill him at every passage. Strange tried to undo them using the power of Ikonn's Shifting Sands and of Oshtur's Mighty Hands. The dispel worked, but only partially, because the pendulums were transformed in a blazing liquid flooding upon the mystic.

(Doctor Strange II#39) - An elaborate illusion was enveloping Strange; psychic assaults and doubt clenched his mind; but he succeeded in wiping the doubt out with a counter-spell invoking the Sands of Ikonn.

(Doctor Strange II#64) - Doctor Strange needed to free an artist from the possession of his dead wife's hateful spirit, so he used a banishment spell. The exorcism called on Ikonn's ritual of Ever-Shifting Sands coupled with the All-Wise Vishanti's power. The demonic spirit obeyed to the exorcism and left the host, taking with her all her pets.

Comments: Created by Roy Thomas, Gene Colan and Tom Palmer.

The origin of the spell's name is unrevealed, as well as the connection with Ikonn:

Ikonn's Shifting Sands and the Illusions of Ikonn are spells that share almost the same versions. The Shifting Sands could be a particular case of the Illusions of Ikonn.

Profile by Spidermay.

Ikonn's Shifting Sands has no known connections to:

images: (without ads)
Doctor Strange II#52, p15, pan7 (fhe Sands affect the inquisitor's mind)
Doctor Strange II#50,
p14, pan1 (the brawlers freeze and calm down)

Doctor Strange I#174 (November, 1968) - Roy Thomas (writer), Gene Colan (pencils), Tom Palmer (inks), Stan Lee (editor)
Doctor Strange II#39 (February, 1980) - Chris Claremont (writer), Gene Colan (pencils), Dan Green (inks), Ben Sean (colors), Jo Duffy and Al Milgrom (editors)
Doctor Strange II#50 (December, 1981) - Roger Stern (writer), Marshall Rogers (pencils), Terry Austin (inks), Al Milgrom (editor)
Doctor Strange II#52 (April, 1982) - Roger Stern (writer), Marshall Rogers (pencils), Terry Austin (inks), Al Milgrom (editor)
Doctor Strange II#64 (April, 1984) - Ann Nocenti (writer), Tony Salmons (artist), Bob Sharen (colors), Carl Potts (editor)
Darkhold: Tales from the Book of Sins#6 (March, 1993), Chris Cooper (writer), Richard Case and Al Bigley (pencils), Stan Woch and Ariane (inks), Glynis Oliver (colors), Hildy Mesnik (editor)

First Posted: 07/14/2021
Last updated: 07/14/2021

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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