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Origin and early years

Zuakala was an allegedly ageless sorcerer, that claimed to be the last of a once-proud race, and to be older than Atlantis. He wore a full-face mask, which was the source of his powers.

At some point, Zukala had a daughter, Zephra, who could change into a feline, see the future, and who was seemingly ageless like her father.[5]

Hyborian Age of Conan

Master of Zamora

From his castle, Zukala was the master much of Zamora,[2] and forced a remote village, which he considered to be his subjects, to pay him, by right of power, a tribute of forty gold pieces per year as taxes.

Conan was in the village, the day of the due, a year the village didn't payed. He witnessed Zephra in cat-form, come to collect the gold and terrorize the villagers. The two clashed, and Zephra returned home exhausted. Zukala consequently summoned the demon Jaggta-Noga to collect the tribute or kill the villagers. Conan, hired by the villagers to deal with Zukala, infiltrated his lair at that moment, but stumbled into Zephra who revealed her love for Conan. Zukala intervened, but Conan managed to break his mask,[5] scaring his face in the process.[2] Zephra tried to prevent the fighting, causing Conan to offer to leave in exchange for the price he was paid by the villagers. Zukala refused, and tried to have Zephra in cat-form to rip Conan apart, but she refused. As Jaggta-Noga returned, Zukala issued the same order, but Zephra intervened, prompting Zukala to order the demon to kill both his daughter and Conan. Jaggta-Noga defeated Zephra, causing Zukala to banish the demon. He then issued a last threat towards Conan, before leaving with his daughter.[5]

Servant of the Lords of Law

Zukala and Zephra relocated in Koth, reclaiming an abode from the wilderness. His mage-mask broken, Zukala lost much of his powers, and all of his youth, while Zephra could no more turn into a tiger, and would age.

Zukula served the Lord Arkyn and the Lords of Law, opposing Xiombarg, Queen of the Chaos-Swords. Seeing the arrival of Conan, he sent forth Zephra to meet with him, but she was targeted by Xiombarg's Hooded Ones. He enlisted Conan (without mentioning the Lords of Law) to prevent Kulan-Gath from reaching the tomb of Terhali, the Green Empress of the world of Melniboné, whose tomb in the city of Yagala had been projected in Hyboria. Zephra accompanied Conan in his quest.

Preoccupied by his daughter's safety, Zukala attempted to spy on Xiombarg using his powers, but his tentative was spotted. Soon, Conan and Zephra crossed path with Elric of Melniboné, another enemy of Xiombarg, and the trio were attacked by Xiombarg's Chaos Pack, led by Prince Gaynor the Damned. Zephra called her father for help as she invoked Serusha, Goddess of rain and driving storm, conjuring a storm upon her hellish enemies, that fell under the cleansing waters.[2]

Zukala used again his power to witness the party arriving at the Sighing Lake, where was set Yagala. They encountered Kulan-Gath, but Gaynor and the Chaos Pack joined intervened, leaving Kulan-Gath free to resurrected Terhali. To opposed her, Arkyn used Zephra as her host, despite Zukala's protests, who knew that she would not survive Arkyn's power. Zephra, invested by Arkyn's power, destroyed Terhali, before dying.

Conan returned Zephra's body, covered in Elric's cloak, to Zukala, who offered him his friendship but Conan politely rejected it before leaving.[6] Zukala eventually came to blame Conan for his daughter's death.[1]

Shem

Zukala wandered far, until he came to Akkharia, where his knowledge made him the right-hand man to King Sumuabi. Eventually, Karanthes, the last priest of Ibis, came to the city, and stole the semblance, then actuality of power of Zukala, and ultimately replaced him as he was driven out from the city on Sumuabi's orders. Zukala consequently plotted Karanthes' death. Zukala went to live in a temple near Ghaza, Shem.

Eight years after meeting Conan for the last time, Zulka appeared as a spirit, offering him wealth and women if he was to go to his dwelling and cast his mystic runes, and threatening him if he refused. Conan rejected the offer. Later, Zukala appeared again, offering him to restore to life Conan's lost soulmate Bêlit, in exchange of Conan bringing Karanthes to Zukala.

Conan brought Karanthes, along with Red Sonja who had tried to protect Karanthes. Zukala then demanded that Sonja remained, as he needed her soul to restore Bêlit. Facing Conan's refusal, Zukala summoned Jaggta-Noga. Conan briefly surrendered, and Zukala started resurrecting Bêlit, but Conan changed his mind, urging Zukala to reverse the spell. Karanthes managed to repel Jaggta-Noga, while Zukala showed Conan image of a future where he and Bêlit lived, fought, sired a son, and led their own kingdom. Though nigh-convinced, wounded, Conan kept his senses and beheaded Zukala. Karanthes revealed Conan that Bêlit would had not been restored Bêlit's body along with her life, before Zukala's lair started to crumble and finally collapse.[1]

Powers

Zukala possessed great power, though most of it was originated from his mage-mask,[5] and were lost or diminished after its breaking;[2] He could use his own blood to perform some of his powers;[2]

  • Ageless: Zukala was said to be immune to time.
  • Sorcery: Zukala possessed various powers:
    • Summoning: Zukala could summon demons such as Jaggta-Noga,[5] or great white eagles.[2]
    • Disintegration blasts: He could create flashing burst who could reduce one to mere atoms.
    • Transmutation: He could turn a sword into a living serpent.[5]
    • Enchantments: He could enchant weapons.
    • Divination: Zukala could spy on other using water mirrors.[2][6]
    • Spirit form: Zukala could appears wherever in spirit form, while his physical body remained sleeping.
    • Resurrection:Zukala could revive a dead one using a soul of the same gender, though without restoring the body.[1]

His powers were derived into his daughter, though with their weakening, they couldn't power her.[6]

He was considered a minor wizard by Karanthes.[1]



Equipment

Formerly a mage-mask, source of his power.[5][2]

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Footnotes



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