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History

Hyborian Age

Akah Ma'at was the home city of the Bird-Men, a race of winged humanoids created by Oshtur to fight against the bestial races spawned by Set and Chthon.[1] For eons the city floated high above Cimmeria, where it was enshrouded by clouds. It remained hidden from the rest of humanity until it was visited by Conan during the Hyborian Age.[2] It was a floating city dedicated to Oshtur, in her guise as Ma'at, the Goddess of Truth.

After the Great Cataclysm, Agamotto, the son of Oshtur, grew tired and retreated. When finally returned, he spent more time with Oshtur's new "offspring" in their floating city.[3]

For uncounted eons the Bird-Men of Akah Ma'at dwelt in their cloud-enshrouded city, their existence unsuspected by the wingless races of the planet below. The only threat to tranquil Akah Ma'at was the evil race of bat-winged conquerors from nearby Ur-Xanarrh some half-dozen leagues away. For centuries the Man-Bats endlessly sought to destroy the Bird-Men.[4] The Man-Bats of Ur-Xanarrh were themselves another one of the elder races created by Chthon.[5]

One of the sages devised the miraculous Cylinder of Power. This source of inexhaustible energy, in turn, fueled a cordon of 'power batons' encircling the city that unleashed death-dealing bolts upon any invaders. However, periodically the power batons and other weapons charged by the Cylinder needed recharging. For a millennium Akah Ma'at enjoyed peace thanks to the Cylinder and the floating batons.[4]

15,000 BC - 11,000 BC or 10,000 BC

In 15,000 BC,[6][3] Agamotto chose as the his successor Shamhat Saraswati, a great priestess of Akah Ma'at.[3]

Guided by Shamhat, Oshtur and Agamotto, the Bird-Men of Akah Ma'at soon evolved into powerful sorcerers and almost godlike beings.[7]

Varuna, the most powerful among them, was manipulated by Chthon and became suspicious of the "lower races".[7]

Two factions rose among the Bird-Men:[8] Varuna gathered same-minded followers, the Asura who felt superior and wished to force their will on others, Ashamed at their fellows, Saraswati and her followers, the Seraphim, vowed to protect those the Asura would harm.[7]

Civil War

The ideological dispute grew into a civil war, with the help of Chthon.[3] Ultimately, the Seraphim and Asura grew so destructive,[3] and the conflict caused massive earthly devastation, that Oshtur was forced to intervene.[7]

Banishment (11,000 BC or 10,000 BC)

Circa 11,000 BC,[6] or 10,000 BC,[3] Oshtur banished both the Asura and Seraphim,[7] and the whole city, into the Dark Dimension (The Splinter Realms, or the "Archipelago of Anguish and Redemption"),[9] to the extradimensional Planes of Sephiroth,[7] in the Higher Realms.[5] By 11,000 BC, the Bird Folk had "ascended".[6] though the exact circumstances of the banishment are unknown.

A few inconsistencies exist between the accounts:

  • Some accounts place the banishment around 11,000 BC,[6] or around 10,000 BC.[3]
  • Given the Bird-Men and Akah Ma'at were witnessed during the Age of Conan (circa 10,000 BC), a few elements remain unclear:
    • Some accounts highlight the rapture of the warring factions,[5][7] while other mentions that the entire race was banished.[5] It is also hinted that the whole race was divided between the two factions (those who didn't followed Varuna being stated to rally behind Saraswati),[5] but it should also be noted that the Bird-Men encountered by Conan were not godlike entities but closer to simple winged humans.
    • Similarly, an account mentions the "whole city" being banished.[9]
    • Another interpretation considers that though the floating isle of seemed to be hovering over Cimmeria, it was actually in another dimension.[10]

It is consequently unclear whether the Bird-Men and the city witnessed during the Age of Conan are remnants on Earth of the banished race, or if they were witnessed before the banishement.

Age of Conan (10,000 BC)

Given the banishment of the Bird-Men and of Akah Ma'at may have occurred circa 11,000 BC or 10,000 BC (then it would be likely after), it's unclear at what stage the events recounted below fit in Akah Ma'at's and the Bird-Men's chronology.
The traitorous elder Thaltar stole the Cylinder, intending to betray Akah Ma'at. Luckily, Thaltar did not succeed and was shot down by a warrior wielding one of their energy weapons before he could get away. However, both Thaltar's dead body and the Cylinder fell to Earth far below. Three of Akah Ma'at's most valiant warriors were dispatched to recover the Cylinder and never seen again. If the power batons were not recharged, the cordon would fail: after a millennium of peace, the unprepared Bird-Men would be attacked by Ur-Xanarrh.[4]

Hiding in a nearby cloud bank, the bird-warriors then caught Conan in a net and took him to Akah Ma'at, bringing him before Alhambra's father, the King of Akah Ma'at, as a captured spy. Telling the king he had pledged to help his people, the king, seeing nothing to lose, freed Conan and gave him a giant cloud-hawk to fly to Ur-Xanarrh to steal back the Cylinder of Power.

Conan returned in triumph, but the horde of bloodthirsty Ur-Xanarrah were on his heels with no time to recharge the power batons. Conan lead them into battle with steel. An aerial battle erupted; and, though outnumbered two to one, the Bird-Men led by the barbarian turned the tide.[11]

Residents

Akah Ma'atr was the city of the Winged Lords/Bird-Men of Akah Ma'at.

Formerly:

Trivia

See Also


Links and References

Footnotes

  1. Marvel Zombies Handbook #1
  2. Conan the Barbarian #153-154
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z #7; Magic - History of the Sorcerer Supreme
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Conan the Barbarian #153
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 Marvel Tarot #1; Wolf Book
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Marvel Tarot #1; Timeline of the Sorcerer Supreme
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.6 Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z #3; Angels' profile
  8. Marvel Zombies Handbook #1; Angels' profile
  9. 9.0 9.1 Mystic Dimensions - From the Journals of Ian McNee at the Appendix: The Splinter Realms (The Dark Dimension, the Archipelago of Anguish and Redemption), The Citadels of Sephiroth's entry
  10. 10.0 10.1 Conan Saga #77; A Chronology of Conan's Career as interpreted by Marvel Comics, by Roy Thomas: VIII. Women with and without Wings
  11. Conan the Barbarian #154
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