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Living during the 1st century AD,[2][3][4] Marada Starhair, the She-Wolf was the daughter of the first-born daughter of Caesar, and of a foreign prince made a slave in Rome and eventually executed.[5]


Origins and early years

Marada Starhair, was the daughter of the first-born daughter of Caesar, and of a foreign prince made a slave in Rome.[5]

For some reason, and unbeknownst to her, she possessed both temporal and arcane power. At some point, her mother asked Deiphobë, the Sybelline oracle of Cumae about her daughter, and was told she was unique, which she believed. Marada believed it too for a time.[1]

At four years old, Marada saw her father's execution. Despite his torments (broken on the rack, disemboweled, drawn and quartered), he didn't uttered a sound.[5] Marada cried upon her father's death, and would not cry for twenty years afterwards. That very night, Marada's mother fled Rome with her daughter, for her to be raised free,[5] yet a childhod free of innocence.

Marada read Julius Caesar's commentaries on his invasion of Britain, including mention of Ashandriar whom he described as a home of the gods.[1]

Adventures

Fighting with a ferocious skill that humbled most of the men, she became known as the She-Wolf.[1]

Europe

She first met Donal MacLlanllwyr, a friend of her father, near the Rhine, where they battled a war party out of Germanica.

They celebrated their victory in a frontier post garrisoned by a cohort of the Thunderclap Legion, matching the legionaries at the drinking, gambling and winning. When a trooper tried to force her to his bed, she broke his jaw, and swore that no man would take her against her will and that she would chose her lover or mate on her terms.[1]


Twenty years after fleeing Rome as a child, Marada was a warrior known and respected throughout the Roman Empire,[5] and even beyond, such as in the black empire of Meroë in east Africa.[6]

Damascus

Marada led a caravan the length of the Silk Road to Damascus. With the warriors of her escort, they went to a tavern, where Donal was awaiting an opportunity to talk to her. Unfortunately, Marada was drugged and captured by an agent of the immortal sorcerer Simyon Karashnur, who wished to bind Marada's power, both temporal and arcane.

Marada was brought to Karashnur's tower and chained within a mystic circle. The sorcerer presented himself to Marada who knew his name, then offered her as consort for the Mabdhara Ygaron of the Triad, who raped her. Ygaron clawed her back in the process, causing massive wounds that he healed with ease. He also removed a part of Marada's soul while replacing it by a part of his, causing Marada to beg for him to stay when he returned to his realm.

Karashnur's goal of binding Marada's power was prevented, as she was rescued by agents of the Tribune Gaius Marcellnus Fulva, possibly wishing to win Caesar's favor by returning his granddaughter. He organized a caravan, with Parthian mercenaries escorting it, going from Damascus to Rome. Fulva himself was captured by Simyon, and tortured by his Tchunda.[1]

On the road to Rome

While in the highlands of Galilee, they were attacked by the soldiers of Ashandriar led by Donal (who intended to find Marada back), prompting the Egyptian driver of Marada's palanquin (possibly an agent of Simyon Karashnur) to attempt to Marada's life, only to be slain by Donal. Donal was astonished seeing the tamed Marada, and returned her and his host to Ashandriar, England, using a spell of transportation.[1]

Ashandriar

In Ashandriar, Marada was submissive but wished to leave, prompting Donal to shake her in order to have the She-Wolf return, in vain, only causing her to cry for the first time in twenty years.

Using Marada's belongings, Simyon invoked a Reaver, a demon with a piece of the She-Wolf's soul. Marada felt the creation of that evil being, causing a brief panic around her in Ashandriar. She was consequently assigned Donal's daughter Arianrhod as companion.

For months, Marada discovered the wonders of childhood, while becoming inseparable with Ari and closer with Donal. While Marada was explaining to Donal her horrible ordeal,[1] the Reaver finally attacked. The demon mortally wounded Donal before retreating with Ari as hostage.

Marada was reluctant to go help Ari but forced herself, while Donal died of his wounds. She armed herself with Donal's axe and sword, and the sorceress-queen of Ashandriar Rhiannon transported her to Y'Garon's realm.[7]

Realm of the Mabdhara

There, she was quickly confronted by demons and a hellish octopus. Fighting her way into the realm, she reached her goal, the tower where Simyon and Y'Garon waited for her with Ari chained.

Marada confronted Y'Garon and bested him, despite Simyon's attempt to subdue her using the scent of conjured magical flowers, avenging herself from the demon. She then slew the srocerer to avenge Donal. As a swarm of lesser demons were approaching the two, Ari casted a spell of transportation to evade the swampy demonic realm.[7]

Africa

Ari and Marada were transported far away from their intended destination, in a ruined temple in a jungle,[7] in southern Africa.[8] Marada preferred to continue on foot and reserve the use of the spell later in absolute necessity.[7]

Months and thousands of miles later, Marada and Ari ended up in east Africa, where Marada was recognized by a mercenary captain who forced the girls to join his command or die. They later learned that they were among an army of freebooters hired to seize the throne of Meroë from the Candance Ashake.

The mercenary host clashed with Ashake's army and was decimated. Ari tried to cast the spell of transportation, but were captured before. Captain Keos intended to "celebrate" with their "spoils of war", but Ari and Marada were taken under Ashake's protection. They were healed by Makede, physician to the Candance, and Ari used her own gifts to heal recent and old wounds of Marada.

Ashake then feasted with them, while offering them to be the preys of her royal hunt with at the end either death or freedom. The alternative being slavery, Marada choose the hunt. Keos, Inkose, Casta and Macro, angered at Ashake for taking their spoils, decided to set a trap to her, as she was to be alone during the hunt. Dyuring the night, Ari confessed that she saw in Marada a mother to her. The next day, Ashake find them back, and Marada fought and defeated Meroë's monarch, earning her and Ari's freedom. At that time, Keos' party entered, taking Ari hostage. Ari summoned a firebird illusion that terrified the men long enough for the female to take the upper end and slay them.

For her help, Ashake offered Marada her friendship, whom the She-Wolf accepted,[6] though she was "tempted to do far more" than refuse it. After a week, Ari and Marada were restored, given food, drink, clothes, horses. Ashake tried to have Marada stay in Meroë, but Marada was pledge to return Arianhrod home.[9]

Religion and Faith

Marada invoked the names of the Bright Goddess,[1] the Bright Lady,[6] the Great Gods, Minerva, and the Goddess.[7] She also mentioned Tartarus on occasion.[6]

For a time, Marada believed to Deiphobë, the Sybelline oracle of Cumae, about her being unique.[1]

Powers

Marada Starhair was considered to be a superhuman.[4] Unbeknownst to her, she possess both temporal and arcane power.[1]

Abilities

Marada was among the finest warriors of her age.[1] She knew how to use bow, dagger, axe.[7]



Discover and Discuss

Footnotes

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 Epic Illustrated #10; Marada the She-Wolf
  2. Marvel Graphic Novel #21; Chris Claremont's text
  3. Marvel Atlas #1; United Kingdom's entry, Prominent Citizens' section
  4. 4.0 4.1 Marvel Atlas #1; United Kingdom's entry, Superhuman Residents' section
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 Marvel Graphic Novel #21's introduction
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Epic Illustrated #12; Royal Hunt
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 Epic Illustrated #11; Marada, the She-Wolf
  8. Epic Illustrated #12; Royal Hunt's recap
  9. Epic Illustrated #12; Royal Hunt, completed by Marvel Graphic Novel #21



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