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History

Origin

The Night-Cult presented themselves as the "Bastard Children of the Akah Ma'at", forced into hiding, when they later became the Crow Cult.[1] It is unknown if that relation is literal.

Night-Cult of the Bat-God

The Night-Cult were a Bat cult,[1] a cult of red-robed zealots that served and worshiped the nameless Night-God, a deity worshiped by their people since time untold.

They were based in Shadizar, in Zamora, where they kidnapped a young girl that they sacrificed to the Night-God once each moon. This was considered by the locals a small price to pay for peace with that dark and sinister god. Their minaret's dome was open, to allow the Night-God to enter his temple.[2]

One of the women offered as sacrifice was impregnated by the Bat-God, and gave birth to the bat-winged humanoid hybrid Night-Goddess.

While the priestess' father was away on a pilgrimage,[3] the Night-God was killed by Conan and the priestess Hajii was slain by Jenna.[2]

Crow Cult of Ma'kannta, God of the Talon

The cult went on despite their god's death, but became the Crow Cult. Some cultists wore the same red robes but were now assisted in battle by crows, while other members wore crow costumes and could emit deafening shrieks. They kept on sacrificing young maidens to their god, now Ma'kannta, God of the Talon. They presented themselves as the Bastard Children of the Akah Ma'at, forced into hiding, and wishing to free Ma'kannta from his demonic realm prison, for him to protect them, and thus enabling them to reclaim the skies over Shadizar.[1] The exact nature of their relation to the Akah Ma'at, if it really exists, remains unrevealed.

As Conan and the time-displaced Scarlet Witch tracked bandits who had stolen a Night Shard, a piece of the Olympian goddess Nyx's soul, those bandits were attacked by night-cultists and crows, who looted the Shard away.

They used the Night Shard, the "Ebon Key", for its eldritch power to free Ma'kannta, through a girl's sacrifice. Though Conan prevented the girl's death, the Shard still cut her, and the blood spilled was enough to return Ma'kannta from its demonic realm prison. Conan battled the crow cultists and the god, possibly slaying all of cultists, until the Shard was detected by Nyx. She intervened, along with her Children of the Night seemingly killing Ma'kannta or return him to his realm.[1] The heroes, rejoined by other Avengers then battled Nyx and her ilk among the corpses of the Crow cultists.[4]

Night-Cult and the Night-Goddess

When the priestess' father returned from pilgrimage, he found the temple destroyed, the order dissolved, and learned of his daughter's and his god's deaths. According to their people's beliefs, no new incarnation of their god would come to them nor answer their prayers until the deaths caused by Conan were avenged.

The Night-Cult returned, led by the priestess' father, and rebuilt the tower, though only of wood, feeling they weren't worthy till their honor was revenged. During the next two years, the cult sacrificed a female upon the altar, and sometimes heard the flapping of wings, though no god ever came, as the Night-Goddess did not care for women. They purchased the Lotus many of their worshipers required for their visions from Yatha.

Two years later, their sacred assassins followed Conan after he slew Yatha and burned his warehouse. As Conan's Free Companions fled Koth and camped in Zamora, near Shadizar, a Night-Cult recognized Conan at Maldiz's tavern. The Night-Cult attacked their camp a couple days later, capturing the "God-Slayer".

He was placed on the altar, and it "the Night-God", in fact the Night-Goddess, appeared to take the male sacrifice. She wished to take her as mate, but Conan believed she would fed him to her spawn afterwards, and decided to attack them. Conan slew the Night-Goddess, only to realize she was only taking him away from her hatchings, as any mother would.[3]

The whereabouts of the Night-Cult afterwards remains unknown.

Powers

The so-called Bastard Children of the Akah Ma'at could emit a deafening shriek.

Wounded night-cultists could magically wither into dust and death, and the night-cultists performed their raids along with crows,[1] though the means to those feats are unrevealed.

Paraphernalia

Equipment

Red robes with a hood with a stylised skull on the front.[2][1] Crow costumes[1]

Many used Lotus for their visions[3] (presumably Grey Lotus).[5]

Notes

  • The Night-Cult was one many foes battled by Conan in his past, and in which form the Leech-Men appeared to Conan, when he was fighting his way inside the Leviagod.[6]

See Also

Links and References

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 Avengers No Road Home #6
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Conan the Barbarian #6; Devil-Wings Over Shadizar
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Conan the Barbarian #274; Demon-Wings Over Zamora
  4. Avengers No Road Home #7
  5. Conan the Barbarian #273; The Lords of the Lotus
  6. Conan the Barbarian Vol 3 #9; The Life & Death of Conan: part nine - The God Below
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