Agnes was born Agnes de Chastillon to a father whom she later described as a "bastard".
At some point, she became known as Agnes de la Fère, for unrevealed reasons.
Agnes was to marry François, allegedly "a pig" on her father's command. Agnes' sister offered her a dagger as wedding present, and thought Agnes should rather kill herself than marry François, the first time Agnes was given any kindness. She killed François at the altar with the dagger, and escaped the marriage.
She was taken by her father into a forest, drawn by her hair as she was begging for mercy.
With Etienne and Guiscard
Agnes rechristened herself Dark Agnes. She was mentored in fencing by Guiscard de Clisson, who considered her his protégé and brother-in-arms. Guiscard was eventually murdered by Renault de Valence, a henchman of the Duke d'Alençon. Guiscard died in Agnes' arms, but gave her his sword, which she came to consider her "closest friend".
She and Etienne became enemies of the Duke d'Alençon and were both searched for capture by his men. On at least one occasion, Agnes saved Etienne's life.
She and Etienne helped Françoise de Foix when pirates kidnapped her lover.
Adventures on her own
After they were separated, Agnes almost joined "a club" of mask-and-cape fencers, but she left (allegedly because of the mask aspect).
She then traveled down the coast. She slew an English pirate aboard the vessel the Resolute Friend. and acquire his pistol. She ultimately but rejected that path due to the men sailors' attitude.
Going south, she was confronted to many sorcerers, and left as well.
In 1521, while in Orléans, she heard of Etienne Villiers' capture. She came in Chinon, slew and impersonated the executioner at Etienne' beheading (condemned by the Duke d'Alençon), freeing him instead. They fled, passed the forest where they first met, before arriving at the Pewter Pot (Pot en Etain) inn where Agnes was recognized on dead-or-alive five hundred francs-payed bounty. She scared the pretenders and sat down, quickly falling asleep on the conjugated effects of alcohol and tiredness. Awakening in the middle of the night, she saved Sister Marie, a nun, from a rapist. The nun, traveling with a young lady named Helen de la Mère, hired Agnes to escort them on the road towards Fontainebleau, the household of the Duke d'Alençon. Despite Etienne's protest (fearing execution on their arrival at Fontainebleau), Agnes kept on.
On their way, the two clerks scared the previous night, intended to collect the bounty for the Duke d'Alençon, Renault de Valence, and others, including Sister Marie, who achieved one of the two assailants. At Fontainebleau, Agnes met again with Françoise de Foix, and with Helen's sister Isabel de la Mère. Agnes planned to kill Renault, present there, the next day, at the masquerade. During that bal, she was drugged, an a masked man approached her posing as François, and pursued her in the gardens' maze, where she was found unconscious by Françoise and Helen. As they returned inside, Isabel was killed, and Renault, on Queen Claude' orders, instituted a lockdown over the palace until the killer was unmasked.
In 1522, in Poitou-Charentes, seven miles south of the Canal du Curé, Agnes and Etienne fought a group of assassins. Etienne was wounded. The two went to the next village, Charron, where the villagers, cultists of Set awaited her, as her coming had been announced by their god. She was to be sacrificed to a Man-Serpent. Evading the monster, she managed to break her bonds and arm herself, and battled the reptilian horror. At the same instant, Allison, a man with access to his previous lives, saw that scene and Conan the Cimmerian battling a Man-Serpent as well in the Hyborian Age, as part of a convergence. Agnes was teleported into Conan's era, in the Karpash Mountains. The two were about to fight when Allison spoke to them through the mask of the slain Man-Serpent. Under the influence of the Wyrm, Allison told them of the quest he was enrolling them in, all being tied by destiny (he did the same, through his earlier incarnation's body, in 1584, for Solomon Kane and time-displaced present-day Moon Knight, who had both interrupted the unearthing of the corpses of Allison and of one of his former incarnation by cultists of Set). Conan thought it to be sorcery and stamped upon the mask, to no avail. Though reluctant, the four adventurers accepted after being shown nightmarish visions of a world under Set.
Agnes traveled eastwards with Conan, passing thru Zamora into the Kharamun Desert. Lacking coins and transportation, Conan fought for money. In the desert, they were attacked by a giant snake, which they slew. They found in its body Set's Aventurine Stone, an artifact they destroyed to weaken Set's might. Allison informed Moon Knight and Solomon Kane of that feat.
The pair traveled westwards, from Iranistan into Stygia. On their way, they went on a series of raids against assets of Set's, such as a caravan transporting the jars containing the hearts of Set's cult's masters (hidden and on their way to a vault in Stygia to secure the hearts for those masters to be immortals, killing the hearts' owners with the destruction of those jars), relics, and temples, in order to shatter the bonds between Set and the world.
In Tenuzar, Stygia, they attacked a temple to destroy a bracelet blessed with a portion of Set's power. The bracelet had a twin in a temple in 1584, in Turin, Italy, and the four adventurers were to destroy both simultaneously in order to wound Set. There, they were attacked by a horde of cultists led by Satyne, priestess of Set and wielder of the bracelet. Conan was bitten by a venomous snake commanded by Satyne. Meanwhile, the Wyrm decided to leave Allison, who understood his doings in horror. Conan was projected into Eternal Egypt where he battled Set alongside Khonshu.
Upon Set's command, Satyne swallowed the venom from Conan, and all allies in the war, including Satyne, were gathered, and were soon confronted by the Wyrm itself. With the help of Khonshu, and with the manifestation of Allison in his Niord incarnation, delivering the killing blow, the quest was ended with each adventurer returned to their respective era.
Agnes was returned to the village of Charron where she was welcomed by villagers searching for her on behalf of Etienne, still recovering from his wounds.
Powers and Abilities
Agnes demonstrated great skills in the use of weapons:
- Fencing: Agnes was mentored in the art of fencing, and stated she was deadly with a blade.
- Markswoman: She was claimed to never miss her shots, and to able to shoot "a codpiece at 200 paces".
- Thrown weapons: Agnes proved able with throwing daggers.
Armory assembled across her adventures:
- Dagger offered by her sister as a wedding present,
- Sword inherited from her mentor Guiscard de Clisson,
- Pistol once property of an English pirate.
Horses and carriages
- Dark Agnes de Chastillon was created by Robert E. Howard in two stories that were published after Howard's death, as well as two unfinished drafts for a third story.
- Dark Agnes de Chastillon was to a certain degree an inspiration for the character Red Sonja, created by Roy Thomas and Barry Smith in "The Shadow of the Vulture" (Conan the Barbarian #23; February, 1973), the loosely-based adaptation of the eponymous historical fiction short story (1934) by Robert E. Howard, and mostly based on that story's main protagonist Sonya of Rogatino.
- The second draft for the third story, "Mistress of Death", was completed by Gerald W. Page and first published in Witchcraft & Sorcery Vol. 1 #5 (January–February 1971). It was freely adapted in "Curse of the Undead-Man" (Savage Sword of Conan #1; August, 1974), as a Conan story, in which Dark Agnes was replaced by Red Sonja.
- Introduced in the crossover Conan: Serpent War (December, 2019 to January, 2020), Agnes had her own solo series, Dark Agnes (launched on February 5, 2020). Due to the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic and the related shutdowns and lockdowns, Dark Agnes #3 (originally to be released on April 15, 2020), #4 and #5 were officially cancelled in November, 2020.
- Dark Agnes had previously been introduced in comics by Darkhorse Comics, in Robert E. Howard's Savage Sword #1, #2, #5, #6, and #7 (December 22, 2010 to January 29, 2014).
- 6 appearance(s) of Agnes de Chastillon (Earth-616)
- 20 image(s) of Agnes de Chastillon (Earth-616)
- 2 quotation(s) by or about Agnes de Chastillon (Earth-616)