vultus-birdmen-thuria-faceReal Name: Vultus

Identity/Class: Terrestrial hidden race (unidentified bird-men of Thuria; possible Elderspawn vs. elder race; see comments);
    pre-Cataclysmic era

Occupation: Unrevealed; apparent warrior

Group Membership: Unidentified race of bird-men (apparently extinct)

Affiliations: Vultus and his people worshipped Ka, the bird of creation;
    formerly Ravian

Enemies: Akreon, Brule the Spear-Slayer, Kull, Ravian

Known Relatives: Ravian (uncle, deceased); unidentified parents (unseen/mentioned/identified; however, as Ravian is his uncle, one of his parents must be Ravian's brother or sister; regardless, both are presumably deceased)

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: Unrevealed;
    formerly unidentified mountains (the highest, most ancient crags) of the unexplored lands in southern Verulia

First Appearance: Kull the Conqueror III#2 (July, 1983)

vultus-birdmen-thuria-rear obliquePowers/Abilities: As a member of his race of bird-men, Vultus had large avian wings that allowed him to fly, even carrying an adult male human. Rather than being his pectoral limbs like actual birds, his wings sprouted from his back, presumably forming another joint with his scapulae (shouderblades) and/or humerus (upper arm bone); and/or possibly articulating with his clavicles (collarbones) and/or his vertebrae (spine)).vultus-birdmen-thuria-illusory-warriors

    He had an avian head, with a large beak, paired eyes, and no visible external ear.

    While he may or may not have been able to make bird-like sounds, he and his people were silent and spoke telepathically.

    Vultus could magically generate illusions

    Ravian and his people remained unaging for millennia via the power of the Amulet of Ka.

Height: Unrevealed (perhaps 6'2"; he looked to be close to the height of Kull, although they were never seen exactly side by side)
Weight: Unrevealed (perhaps 120 lbs.; likely lighter than his frame would indicate due to porous bones a lighter frame to facilitate flight)
Eyes: Red; yellow sclera
Hair: None; black feathers

(Kull the Conqueror III#2 (fb) - BTS) - Centuries before mankind fashioned language of the tongue (speech), a race of bird-people spoke telepathically.

(Kull the Conqueror III#2 (fb) - BTS) <Millennia before 18,500 BC> - These bird-people ruled a portion of the Thurian continent.

(Kull the Conqueror III#2 (fb)) - Seeking an empire, the bird-prople raised battle against the first true men in the Northern lands. However, the bird-men were instead vanquished in the Northern mountains, with their females and children slaughtered to the last. 

(Kull the Conqueror III#2 (fb) - BTS) - Only one meager troop of males under Ravian's command (including Vultus) survived to return and settle upon a barren summit in southern Verulia.

    Possessing the the Amulet of Ka (a splinter from the glittering talons of Ka, the bird of creation) the bird-men placed it among the topmost crags of their mountain and it yielded them endless life.

    Over time, while Ravian and the rest of his people came to see their existence as a burden with no purpose, only Ravian's sullen nephew Vultus still dreamed of their people's lost glory.

(Kull the Conqueror III#2 (fb) - BTS) - Verulian tradition told of the location and life-saving properties of the Amulet of Ka, although allegedly no man had ever visited the mountains in which it existed.

(Kull the Conqueror III#2 - BTS) <18,500 BC> - After Tu, the chief councilor of Valusia's King Kull, was gravely wounded in southern Verulia, Kull's physician noted that only magic could save Tu, and he advised Kull to seek out the Amulet of Ka. Accompanied by his long-time ally Brule, as well as Akreon and Ethias, Kull traveled to and began to scale the bird-men's mountain, although Ethias perished en route (secretly slain by Akreon, who sought to usurp Kull's rule). As they approached the mountain, bird-men apparently watched from the skies above, indistinguishable at that distance from birds. As Kull and his allies scaled the mountain, Akreon pretended to accidentally kick Brule off the mountain, but the falling Brule was caught by one of the bird-men, who then picked Kull and Akreon off the wall. Realizing that to struggle could mean falling to their deaths on the ground far below, Kull and his allies allowed the bird-men to carry them to their shadowy cave at the summit. vultus-birdmen-thuria-battle

(Kull the Conqueror III#2) - Vultus was present as Ravian met with the "wingless ones" in his throneroom, revealing the Bird Men's history. After Kull introduced himself and noted that he had come for the Amulet of Ka, Vultus argued, "Never!" However, Ravian countered that Vultus was wrong, and he told Kull that perhaps it was time that his ancient race closed its eyes in final sleep. Noting that they must seize it by hand from its guardian at moonrise, Ravian instructed Kull to rest until dark and he would then aid them.

(Kull the Conqueror III#2 - BTS) - Vultus and seemingly a number of other bird-men confronted Kull and his allies; although the others were actually magical "illusions" generated by Vultus; while these illusions could apparently strike the humans, Kull and his allies found their blades passing through them harmlessly.vultus-birdmen-thuria-death

(Kull the Conqueror III#2) - The fight was interrupted by Ravian who reminded Vultus of his orders, but Vultus insisted he would never forsake his golden dream of the past. Noting that they had outlived their past and that the future was no longer theirs, Ravian drew his sword, advising Vultus that this ancient mystic blade had never before been raised against one of their own and that he would prefer not to use it now. 

    Ravian instructed Vultus to resign himself to let the amulet pass from them, but Vultus refused and defied Ravian, and the king stabbed Vultus in the chest, telling him that the sword would be his final rebuke, as it granted violent death in the name of the Amulet of Ka itself. 

    As Vultus collapsed, Ravian caught him, lamenting that he might have died as painlessly as drifting off to sleep. As Vultus died, his seeming warriors vanished, and Ravian informed Kull and his allies that these had been mere illusions raised by magic. 

(Kull the Conqueror III#2 - BTS) - Guided by Ravian, Kull claimed the Amulet. After the rest of his people had embraced eternal sleep in shaded chambers, Ravian allowed himself to pass, swiftly decaying into a skeleton and then into dust.

(Kull the Conqueror III#2 (fb) - BTS) - Kull and Brule returned to the camp in Verulia, and they used the Amulet of Ka to save Tu's life.    

Comments: Created by Alan Zelentz, John Buscema, Dan Green, and Joe Chiodo.

    The bird-men are described by Brule as "creatures of the elder universe," and Akreon or Brule also noted them to be one of the elder races, whom he considered to be masters of dark deceit and sorcerous illusion. But what are they?

    How many millennia ago did Ravian's people rule and then fall? Since they specify "true men" (presumably to differentiate from one of the Elder Races), I would think it had to be sometime after 30,000 BC and no later than 20,500 BC.

    Verulia was one of the seven empires in the Thurian continent, the major landmass of Earth in the pre-Cataclysmic era. The other empires include Kull's Valusia, easternmost Grondar, Commoria, Thule, Kamellia, and the "Triple Federation" of Zarfhanna, Farsun, and an unidentified country.

Profile by Snood.

should be distinguished from:

images: (without ads)

Kull the Conqueror III#2, pg. 24, panel 5 (rear oblique);
       pg. 27, panel 1 (full);
           panel 3 (illusory warriors);
       pg. 28, panel 4 (close-up profile of face/eye);
       pg. 29, panel 1 (battling Ravian);
          panel 2 (stabbed)

Kull the Conqueror III#2 (July, 1983) - Alan Zelentz (writer), John Buscema (penciler), Dan Green & Joe Chiodo (inkers), Ralph Macchio (editor)

First posted: 11/12/2021
Last updated: 11/12/2021

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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