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Two tales, slightly different exist of the origin and early actions of Ahriman, or Angra Mainyu, the "chaotic spirit", the "destructive mind", a Zoroastrian deity.[2] Allegedly, according to the ancient Zoroastrian lore and the Zurvanite tradition, Ahura Mazda, the creator god, emerged from the personification of infinite time, Zurvan. A wise and benevolent being representing truth, order and justice, Ahura Mazda started populating his domain with life.

There is at least two competing stories:

  • His birth was soon followed in the one of his twisted mirror image and antithesis, Ahriman, who personified deceit and chaos.[1]
  • Angra Mainyu and Ahura Mazda were the twin sons of Zurvan. Angra Mainyu tore free of Time's womb, and as first-born, inherited creation for 9,000 years. This tale might be the earliest conception of the Fall of Man, the idea that the world is tainted and ruled by God's opposite.[2]

Ahriman rejected the peace offerings of Ahura Mazda, and tried to kill the life Ahriman had been imbued in his domain. Despite abhorring conflict, Ahura Mazda opposed Ahriman, and after a prolonged battle, narrowly overcame and banished him to the Nether Realms.

Gaea, the primordial Earth Mother, recognized Ahura Mazda as a kindred spirit, and offered to help him oppose Ahriman. She became known to the Yazatas as Armaiti.[1]

Divs', Lilith's and talismans' creation

Ahriman created the Divs, demonic gods with the sole purpose of opposing the Yazatas. Since then, the two groups have waged an endless war against each others. To fulfill his purposes of chaos and strife, Ahriman created various magical talisman. Among those were:

  • The Heart of Ahriman, a golden orb capable of enhancing magical powers.
  • The Eye of Ahriman, a red jewel capable of augmenting existing magical power.

The Heart of Ahriman was transformed by Ahura Mazda to release pure white magic (but the Heart could nevertheless be used for evil).[1]

Allegedly, Ahriman was the father of Lilith, along with fellow father Aer.[4]


As the allegedly sole dark master over the souls of men, the god-thing known as Malik Tous was also known under others identities, including Satan, Beelzebub and Ahriman.[6]

In their endless war, Yazatas and Divs often used mortals as pawn in attempt to gain the upper hand.[1]

Angra Mainyu was perhaps the earliest naming among humans of the evil force, the force of chaos, also known as the Devil, the opposition to the Creator, such as God.[2]

Hyborian Age

According to the legend, every few centuries, the Endless Stair, a stairway between Heaven and Hell opened next to a small town of the Bossonian Marches in Aquilonia, when Ahriman and Mitra came to trade in the souls of men. Allegedly, a fabulous treasure and utter perils accompanied the event for one who would approach it.[7]

13,000 BC

Around 13,000 BC, the Heart fell into the hands of the Xaltotun, a High Priest of Elder God Set in the Acheronian city of Python, then was stolen and used to cause the fall of the Acheronian Empire.[1]

10,000 BC

The Heart was used again three thousands years later to resurrect Xaltotun, before eventually being given to Hadrathus.[1]

Circa 10,000 BC, Red Sonja witnessed the Endless Stair's opening, and encountered an angel-like creature destined to be "her" treasure, having defeated her and wishing to live with her, but she rejected him.[7]

18th Century

In late 18th century, High Priest of Ahriman Ennis Tremellyn aboard a ship sinking off New England coast, used the power of the Eye of Ahriman to bound his life essence to Kemo, a Polynesian sailor, who was consequently mystically kept alive for centuries.[1]


Angrey Mainyu has the power to create good, but simply refuses to, actively chosing evil.[2]



Seemingly on par with Ahura Mazda or slightly inferior.[1]


  • In Conan the Barbarian: Flame and the Fiend (2000), a sorceress named Armati summoned a Demon named "Angra-Mainyu", seemingly as a reference to Ahriman's other name.
    • The Demons' profile in the Marvel Zombies Handbook (September, 2007) described this character as an "extradimensional demon". The update of the profile in Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z #3 (July, 2008) add a mention of Ahriman among the death gods (mentioning him as "Daevas/Persian Gods", without relating them (the death gods associated with Earth being closer to class 2 demons, while the extradimensional demons are class 3 demons). Ahriman was also developed in Thor & Hercules: Encyclopaedia Mythologica (July 22, 2009).
    • Thor & Hercules: Encyclopaedia Mythologica mentions the Persian Gods as the Yazatas (the Daevas being the Indian gods), though they are technically the creations of Ahura Mazda. It is unclear whether Ahriman's mention in the Marvel Zombies Handbook is correct (and Ahriman, and presumably Ahura Mazda are to be considered), or if this is an error, on its own or related to earlier versions of the Persian and Indian pantheons' origins and relation.

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