The fishmen were mer-creatures, near-humanoid but amphibian/batrachian-like and/or aquatic and fish-like creatures, related to the ancient gods Dagon and Uluath, and inhabiting sunken lost cities.
Origins and early years
- Dagon sired the race of fish-men.
- The following mention describes material mentioned only in a vision in an alternate reality of the Hyborian Age:
Dagon's disciples "[became] one with the sea", turning into fish-men (or "men of the sea), in his name.
Pre-Cataclysmic Age (18,500 BC)
After the evil sorcerer Ohris Dehjmal's living head was thrown into the deepest part of the sea by King Kull of Valusia, he was found by the fishmen inhabiting the ancient city, who took him as their god (or at least that how Dehjmal presented himself to them). Sensing Kull close, on the coastline, Dehjmal incited them to attack the fort maned by Zardis, in order to assassinate Kull. Kull fend off the attack and, joined by Brule and Alecto, slaughtered the assassins. As the fishmen directly attacked the fort, chanting his name, Kull deducted that they were in service of one of his many enemies. Regrouping and leading his forces, Kull pushed back the assailants into the sea. Returning to the city, the beaten fishmen grabbed Ohris' head, stopping to obey and worship him, and threw it in the lair of a giant squid. The head was somehow returned back into the box and in the city later.
Great Cataclysm (18,000 BC)
Hyborian Age (10,000 BC)
Ages ago, Murgor-Tsoggua and his batrachian servants terrorized the city of Tarantia (the caital of Aquilonia), the latter providing souls for the former, who in turn provided services to further the power and goals of the sorcerer that had summoned and bound him. Suddenly, it came to an end, presumably when the sorcerer died, leaving Murgo-Tsoggua dormant in his plane. His servants persisted, surviving unsuspected and living on the dead of the city.
Though the fate of the fishmen worshiping Dagon remains unrevealed, archaeologist Quintus Scaria, who searched the ruins of the city in 10,000 BC, stated that an object he had found in the city was "nearly twenty centuries in age", meaning the city was still inhabited circa 12,000 BC (though it is likely that the statement was incorrect).
The following mention describes material mentioned only in a vision in an alternate reality of the Hyborian Age:
The disciples of Dagon, once men, "[became] one with the sea". They were known in tales of "men of the sea", "mermaids", and "sirens" in Argos and Baacha.
As part of a greater plan devised by the sorcerers Jumbassa, Urazai, and Scyllanato to defeat Conan, to avenge himself from Conan, Mimus had prepared a vision of himself to appear to his daughter Darweena and make her go in a tomb to preside over a sacrificial ceremony aiming to strengthen Murgor-Tsoggua, a tavernkeeper, the guard Bellus, and Conan's son Conn, all captured by Murgor-Tsoggua's servants. With each sacrifice, Murgor-Tsoggua grew stronger, and could complete his entry to the Earth plane with the third and final life. Conn managed to escape, and when Conan and Alcemides finally arrived to the crypt, the guard accompanying them was used azsc the third life, and the door opened, Murgor-Tsoggua attempting to cross the threshold, but was stopped by them. Alcemides then sealed the mystic portal and urged Conan to seal the catacombs as well. Murgor-Tsoggua's servants infiltrated the palace and completed the ceremony, allowing Murgor-Tsoggua to pass the threshold in order to enact Mimus' vengeance, but was finally banished, thanks to Darweena's sacrifice. Though many of his servants were killed, it remains unknown if any survived.
During his travels westwards across the Western Ocean after he abdicated from the throne of Aquilonia, Conan and his crew were attacked by a group of an unidentified kind of fishmen who cast lines from the deep, snaring their ship before boarding it.
At the time of World War I, a group of fishmen living on an island in the South Pacific worshiped Dagon, and offered him sacrifices in the form of fish and drowned men. One man witnessed their unholy ceremony and the coming of the gigantic Dagon. Rendered insane by the experience, the man managed to flee the island and found himself in San Francisco, where he tried to learn more about what he had seen, and wrote down his story, until he was found back by the fishmen.
That story was later published by H.P. Lovecraft, who wrote it with the man as narrator, under the title "Dagon".
McTavish founded Headscroll.com and gathered the faithful of Happyology to end the slumber of Uluath, using an ultrasonic transmitter specifically calibrated to communicate with him in his city. Despite the intervention of Elsa Bloodstone, the device was activated and the city rose from the seas, along with hordes of fishmen. Bloodstone was captured by the fishmen and cultists, until the arrival of Kid Kaiju and his partner Aegis, who accidentally completed the awakening of Uluath. Advised by Kid Kaiju, Aegis was able knock out Uluath. McTavish, under arrest, stated the Dread Lord would rise again.
They raided villages to capture new members, who were controlled and transformed by Dagon. They seemingly caused a change in the sea and the people around a port in Shem or Argos, as the fish left the waters, then the fishermen, then the traders, as fear established into the place. Eventually, they attacked that port, and Conan, who tried to foil the transformation of the townspeople and charged the fish-men, was one of many to be turned by Dagon into one of his mindless slaves. Those fishmen worshiped Dagon, as well as Cthulhu, seemingly.
During the Pre-Cataclymisc Age, a city of fishmen worshipers of Dagon took Ohris Dehjmal's living head (thrown into the deepest part of the sea by King Kull of Valusia) as their leader and their god (or at least that how Dehjmal presented himself to them). After a failed attack on Kull ordered by Dehjmal, his rulership was rejected.
- Dagon's fish-men are obviously the counterpart of the Deep Ones, creatures from the Cthulhu Mythos who first appeared in H.P. Lovecraft's "The Shadow Over Innsmouth" (1931), but were hinted in his short story "Dagon" (written in 1917, published in 1919).
- A few pastiches of the Deep Ones appeared in Marvel Comics:
- Appearing in Marvel Premiere #4-6 (September, 1972 to January, 1973), the people of the coastal city of Starkesboro in New England, humans that became Serpent-Men and worshiped Sligguth, son of the Elder God Set, are considered to be inspired by H.P. Lovecraft's Deep Ones, the amphibian-featured inhabitants of Innsmouth. Ethan Stoddard is himself seemingly based on the narrator and protagonist of "The Shadow over Innsmouth", Robert Olmstead, as a man investigating on a mysterious town in New England, and who revealed himself to be part of the hidden race dwelling within it. The Serpent-Men as a whole are themselves creatures from the Cthulhu Mythos appearing in Marvel Comics.
- The Aqueos are a race of "vampire Atlanteans" stated to have been created by the Great Old Ones and often possessing scales, webbed fingers, and piscine fins on their backs and arms; and have been used as stand-ins for Fishmen in cosmic horror-related stories involving Namor, such as Namor: The First Mutant #1-4 (August 25, to November 24, 2010), or King in Black: Namor #2 (December 30, 2020).
- The Broodlings of Chthon, or Daughters of Chthon, an ancient, mostly-female, race of creatures with frog-like features created by Chthon to serve and worship him and the other Old Ones, appeared in Carnage (Vol. 2) #11-Carnage (Vol. 2) #16 (August 31, 2016 to January 25, 2017)
- The fishmen serving Uluath (included in this article), a being heavily inspired by the Cthulhu Mythos, in Monsters Unleashed (Vol. 3) #10 (January 17, 2018). The relation (if any) between Dagon's and Uluath's fishmen remains unknown.
- Grendel's Mother created several fishman-like monsters by reanimating drowned corpses and fusing them with sea-life using her constituent living abyss.
- 8 appearance(s) of Fishmen
- 1 minor appearance(s) of Fishmen
- Mention(s) (or invocation(s)) of Fishmen
- 9 image(s) of Fishmen
- 2 quotation(s) by or about Fishmen