- 1 History
- 2 Powers and Abilities
- 3 Notes
- 4 See Also
- 5 Links and References
Origin and Early Years
Along with Gaea, Oshtur, and Chthon, Set was an Elder God, created at the dawn of life on the planet Earth by the sentient bio-sphere known as the Demiurge. As Satha, he was a great serpent and an Old One.
Set learned that by devouring his fellow Elder Gods, he could add their power to his own. Thus, in this way, Set became the first murderer by killing the centaurian Hyppus. Other Elder Gods followed suit, and soon the majority of the Gods had become corrupt, degenerating into demons. Set and his "brother", Chthon of the dark forces, were among the worst.
Gaea wept for her brothers and sisters, and conceived a child with the Demiurge known as Atum, who had a secondary form, Demogorge, the God-Eater. He went on destroying the corrupted Elder Gods. Set and his children, Damballah and Sligguth, fled Earth into a pocket dimensional space to escape the wrath of Demogorge.
Set formed a bond with the reptiles of the world, especially the dinosaurs and attempted to prevent the ascendancy of mammals. Through the essence of the dinosaurs, Set was able to merge several dinosaur bodies and reincarnate himself on Earth, taking on a serpent incarnation for the first time. Atum intervened, and at the end of an eons long battle, the dinosaurs underwent extinction. Set was forced back into his dimensional exile.
At some point before the First Host of the Celestials, Set brought upon the emergence of the Serpent-Men. On behalf of Set, they attempted to receive the genetic gifts of the Celestials in lieu of early man, but failed. Mankind grew strong thanks to the Celestials, and recognized the Serpent-Men as demons.
Rise of Humanity / Elder Days
In the time of the kingdom of Valusia, the Serpent Men possessed the Cobra Crown, an object of Setian magic. Before this, the Serpent Men and the Harpies, Spider People, and Wolf Men, amongst other demonic races, harried the emerging human societies. Eventually, man became strong enough to oppose these races and established the Seven Kingdoms, Lemuria, and other large civilizations.
At some point in the Pre-Cataclysmic Age (see notes on Captain Rhan's page), the Captain Ehestes Rhan possessed a few ancient incantations books (though he claimed to have never dabbled in black magic). Rhan was marooned on an isle west of Grebuhl by his crew. Stranded on the isle (that he named Zahrahn), Rhan decided to punish the mutineers and to force them to respect the Ancients they despised. He studied the teachings of Set and Mhur in his books. He prayed to the Dark Ones, and to the Great Goat Gods and their brethren, unwillingly summoning a terrible creature only named as "the were-god". The creature seemingly forced Rhan to mate, and later spawned the monstrous Children of Rhan, rapidly aging girls that eventually transform into massive feral creatures if taken away from their birthplace, and causing the weariness of men.
Some Serpent Men survived the resulting Cataclysm.
Foundation of Stygia and Age of Acheron
Those pre-humans received a brutal setback when humans who had migrated from the east after a slave revolution who slew many of them and took their land (these humans had enslaved the fleeing Lemurians, who had escaped the sinking of Lemuria. In turn, these Lemurians became the Hyrkanians and Turanians). The Stygians came to worship Set and the remnants of the pre-humans. Oddly, the Stygians believed Set had a sister called Isuus.
By 15,500 BC, Set was worshiped in Stygia, Acheron, Eidoran, and other places. Eidoran at some point summoned the demon Khorus, but the first followers of the deity Mitra turned him into stone.
Set continued his struggles and encounters with other gods. He battled the avian-headed deity Ibis, became a foe of the demon Xka'Ahk, and formed an alliance with the dark god Nexxx, having met him in Stygia (the spot where they met becoming temple to both gods). Mitra (Mithra), sent to Earth by his father Ahura Mazda to serve as his representative, intervened directly to protect humanity from him.
Set later transformed a priestess of Mitra into a harpy to serve him.
Satha was presumably among the many horrors who resided in the pits (whose door was walled) of the ancient ruins upon which were founded Khorshemish by Khossus V, King of Koth circa 13,000 BC. These horrors were briefly discovered upon the digging of cellars for the city, then walled back again by Khossus V after the Grand Vizier's death.
King Akhutho I of Koth's rule
Centuries later, Akhutho I wished to revive the lost glories of Khorshemish and built a fortress there. Tsotha-Lanti eventually came to rear the Scarlet Citadel and open the pits once again and go into it, returning with a strange expression in his eyes which would not leave him afterwards. Satha became chiefest of Tsotha's "pets".
Age of Conan (10,000 BC)
After having King Conan of Aquilonia captured by the forces of King Strabonus of Koth and King Amalrus of Ophir, Tsotha-Lanti had him chained into his Scarlet Citadel, to be devoured by Satha. Satha approached Conan, dropping some venom on him, but went into hiding upon the sound of the door opening to Beeya, an ancient foe of Conan became slave to Tsotha-Lanti and who wished to enact his revenge on Conan. After teasing Conan with the keys of chains, Beeya was going to strike Conan when Satha reappeared in his back and killed him, before crushing his body and dragging it into the shadows, leaving Conan to free himself. After freeing Pelias, the sorcerer, rival and captive of Tsotha, they encountered Satha a second time, but the serpent fled out of fear upon seeing the "naked soul" of Pelias.
Country of the Worm
Satha lived in the southern jungle of the Country of the Worm, which was inhabited by the Picts and later colonized by the Aesir led by Niord. Satha was the only beast feared by the Picts (yet less feared than "the Worm").
After the Worm exterminated the tribe of Bragi, his fellow Aesir, Niord decided to slay it. He first collected Satha's venom, by setting a trap and beheading the great serpent. He then used arrows dipped into the venom, first on the Worm's pre-human slave, then, in vain, on the Worm itself (he would defeat it through other means).
Later, after Vanir adventurers had turned Stygia into Egypt, Set lost his worshipers to the Heliopolitan deity Seth, an impostor. Through sleight-of-hand, Seth appeared to Set's worshipers in the form of the Serpent God, then assumed his natural state and instructed "his" worshipers to call him Seth. In this manner, Seth diverted the worship Set received to himself.
600 years ago, Atlantean wanderers came upon the ruins of Lemuria and found the Serpent Crown. Their leader, Naga, became an agent of Set. Later, Lemurian rebels stole the Crown from Naga, only for one of them to don it and fall under Set's sway. Rebelling in a lucid moment, this man set off an explosion to kill himself.
Later, American Paul Destine in the 1920's traveled to the site of the explosion and found the Crown. Destine placed himself in suspended animation. Circa 1958, Destine revived himself and attacked the Atlanteans (Neptune worshipers) under Set's direction. He then returned to suspended animation.
Powers and Abilities
Set was an Elder God of great power, limited only by his inability to leave his pocket dimension and manifest totally on Earth. Sorcerers calling upon the power of Set have been capable of performing a wide variety of powerful magic. Those wearing the Serpent Crown were also granted power, such as levitation, mind blasts, and telepathic communication and mind control. Set could taint the minds or otherwise influence those in the presence of the Serpent Crown and was able to control minds of its bearers to some extent.
- Set was a deity from the Egyptian mythology, adapted in Marvel Comics as an Elder God (first mentioned in Conan the Barbarian #7, then seen in Marvel Feature (Vol. 2) #6). The deity was also named "Seth", was also adapted in Marvel Comics as the Ennead (the Egyptian gods) Seth.
- In the Hyborian Age, Stygia is a kingdom that predates Egypt.
- Set was a deity recurrent in the stories of Conan by Robert E. Howard and the subsequent writers of Conan's adventures.
- Satha, the great serpent, the Old One, created by Robert E. Howard in the stories "The Scarlet Citadel" (January, 1933) and "The Valley of the Worm" (1934), respectively adapted in Savage Sword of Conan #30 (June, 1978) and Supernatural Thrillers #3 (April, 1973), was another name of Set (as told in "The Valley of the Worm", which was confirmed for their comics adaptations in Conan: Serpent War #1; December, 2019). Set's entry in the Marvel Zombies: The Book of Angels, Demons & Various Monstrosities #1 (September, 2007) doesn't mention that early appearance in Supernatural Thrillers #3, as Satha.
- Worshipers of Set are known as "Setites".
- Llyra was erroneously listed among Set's descendents in his entry in the Marvel Zombies Handbook, instead of Merro.
- 35 appearance(s) of Set (Earth-616)
- 14 minor appearance(s) of Set (Earth-616)
- 77 mention(s) of Set (Earth-616)
- 17 image(s) of Set (Earth-616)
- 1 quotation(s) by or about Set (Earth-616)