The race emerged with human-like bodies and snake-like heads, suggesting a hybrid origin. They worship their creator. Through unknown means an offshoot race emerged: the Man-Serpents. They have human-like heads and massive snake-like bodies.
Two of the Serpent-Men were granted increased intellect by Set, and infiltrated the green garden-like environment created by Sise-Neg created for two individuals of evolutionary borderline between apes and humans, a couple that spawned an entire tribe.
Centuries later, the leader and his mate discovered their sacred land occupied by another tribe, the Serpent-Men in disguise. The strangers were free from the signs of care and hardship that marked the members of their own tribe, as if all their needs and desired were sated. The leader of the strangers communicated with them telepathically. Informing them that they are the tribe of Set, cared for, fed, given warmth, and kept healthy and alive by their patron god. He invited the leader and his mate to join their ranks, promising them a happy life, if they introduced them to the Space Gods, killed their original tribe and feed them to Set. The couple themselves would safely survive. The two wanderers realized the stranger was evil and reacted violently, killing him. In death, the Serpent-Man reverted to his true form. The wanderers escaped back to their tribe and led them to attack the Serpent-Men, driving them away from the garden. Just as the battle was finishing, the First Host of the Celestials arrived, escorted by Gaea who beckoned the victorious tribe forward to accept the gifts of the space gods.
Gammenon the Gatherer collected the wanderers and transported them to the Celestial ship. The envious Serpent-Men attempting to approach the ship were driven away by Arishem the Judge. Within their ship, the Celestials altered the genetic make-up of the wanderers, creating three races of humanity (virtual immortals Eternals, genetically unstable Deviants and ape-men who let to evolve naturally into humans but with latent genes that would someday produce superhumans.
Preying on Humans
The Serpent-Men and other new demonic races went on to terrorize the emerging human race. But humanity grew strong and fought back, eventually forcing the remaining Serpent-Men into hiding. The legendary king Kull would eventually slay most of the last Serpent-Men on Earth. Most but not all There Uatu ended his story.
For thousands of years the Serpent-Men harassed humanity. For a period they managed to enslave the humans. Meanwhile, the Serpent-Men found rivals and foes in other races of the Earth. Among them were the Harpies, the Spider-People, and the Wolf Men. In the islands that would later become Japan, the Spider-People struck a blow against the Serpent-Men. They stole a sacred statue of great significance. Prophets of the Serpent-Men had had seen far into the future and predicted the Age of Heroes. Seven of these heroes would be possessed and restore the souls of all deceased Serpent-Men back to life. Then the Serpent-Men would have a chance to conquer the world. But this could not happen without the statue.
Using Valusia as their homebase, the Serpent-Men created a vast empire. The Cobra Crown was presumably created during this period. In the land that would become Stygia, the Serpent-Men built subterranean pyramids and tombs. Their downfall came when a Pictish shaman discovered the mystical phrase "ka nama kaa lajerama" The phrase is anathema to the Serpent-Men who can not even pronounce it. Upon hearing it, they automatically revert to their true forms. Making them easy targets for humans. Armed with this knowledge, humanity revolted and overthrew their rule. These words remain buried in the subconscious minds of all humans to the present day, being a part of their common racial memory. The meaning of the phrase is long forgotten but its power remains.
The Serpent-Men and other demonic races were forced to withdraw against the forces of humanity and its patron deities. They were forced to survive on barren, infertile lands. The Serpent-Men ruled Valusia until humans came from the East, crossing the Camoonian Desert and the Hills of Zalgara. The invaders fought a centuries-long battle and managed to conquer the land. The defeated Serpent-Men survived in human forms. They learned to use their power to secretly slay Valusian rulers and assume their forms. Becoming rulers in their place. One such king was ambushed and killed by a tribe of Atlantean warriors. In death, he reverted to his true form. Inspiring an Atlantean legend about "the Snake that Speaks".
Serpent-Men in human guise served as priests to the Serpent Cult of Valusia. Attracting human worshippers in this way. Their temple was hidded in the Forbidden Swamp. At some point the Cobra Crown worn by rulers of the Serpent-Men was hidden on the Nameless Isle. The isle lay far away from any other land or shipping lanes. Ensuring that it would remain lost for millennia. The Crown was hidden under a shrine dedicated to Tsathoggua.
Age of Kull
When Kull rose to the throne of Valusia, ambassador Ka-Nu of the Picts informed him of the existence of the Serpent-Men. Brule was tasked with exposing the Serpent-Men living in the City of Wonders. The search was concentrated in court, where Serpent-Men posed as Tu, other councilors, and Red Slayers. One Serpent-Man was found in the guise of Kull himself. The real Kull slaughtered the exposed Serpent-Men. The center of their power in the royal castle was found to be a chamber where king Eallal was slain 1000 years before the reign of Kull. The chamber was still haunted by his ghost. Kull managed to seal the chamber. With his eyes open to the threat, Kull swore to continue hunting them across land and sea. Never resting until all the Serpent-Men are dead.
Sekhmet Tharn, a sorcerer of the Serpent-Men, set out to conquer Valusia. He re-animated the corpses of Valusian kings and send them to terrorize Valusians. Kull found himself facing his predecessor King Borna. Destroying him for a second time. Jeesala, daughter of Sekhmet Tharn, attempted to seduce Kull. He turned her down. Sekhmet Tharn then managed to drug Kull. Jeesala attempted to seduce him again and this time succeeded. They had sex right before the eyes of her father. The corrupted Kull took her as his new royal mistress.
Under the influence of Jeesala, Kull degenerated into a tyrant. He taxed Valusians heavily and physically abused them. Soon the people were ready to turn on hin, even his loyal Red Slayers. Brule attempted to reason with Kull and bring him back to his senses. Kull simply strucked him and ordered him to leave. The following a rebellion broke out. Jeesala almost slew Kull through an enchanted mirror, but Brule saved him. Breaking the mirror resulted in Kull regaining his senses. Jeesala took her true form and revealed that an army of undead kings was marching against the City. She tried to kill Kull using an acid-dart. He dodged the dart, grabbed Brule's spear and killed her.
Kull and Brule managed to convince the revolting Valusians to turn their attentions toward the undead army. every able-bodied man in the City of Wonders fought against the undead. Sekhmet Tharn appeared and summoned a Kraken to enforce his army. He then tried slsying Kull, forming a corrupted double of the king. Kull slew his evil double and decapited Sekhmet Tharn. With his death, the Kraken also died. Kull managed to regain the trust of his people.
Kull dreamt of an unnamed girl in the City of Wonders who gets killed by Serpent-Men. The dream continues with the Serpent-Men replacing his advisors and ambushing him. He wakes up and almost kills his lover for the night, Laria. He mistook her for one of them. Kull found the dream to be too vivid to be a common dream. He thought it was a warning. He suspected that the Cult of the Serpent was still active. Meanwhile, in the streets of the City, the girl of the dream gets killed.
An army of Serpent-Men invaded Valusia from the West. Annihilating villages in their path. The Serpent-Men were riding horses, and were equipped with full metal armor, swords, spears, bows and arrows. Kull and his soldiers managed to kill some of the scouts of the advancing army. They then retreated back to the City of Wonders, preparing for a siege.
During the Siege of the City of Wonders, Lord Rota Aurix betrayed Valusia and defected to the Serpent-Men. He revealed to them a weak spot in the defenses of the City, that would serve as a focus point for their attack. Kull anticipated their attack, however, and increased the soldiers guiding the weak spot. This move proved decisive in beating back the invaders. The enraged Serpent-Men blamed Lord Rota for his advice and killed him.
The Serpent-Men continued besieging the City of Wonders. There was a plague outbreak within the walls of the City. Kull decided that the victims would be quarantined. One of said victims, Lord Khorata, did not obey. He convinced a mob of the infected to go into revolt and attack the palace. Kull led the Red Slayers in fighting back and killing the rebels. He then used the infected corpses as catapult missiles, throwing them into the Serpent-Men's camp. Hoping that the plague would spread to the enemy.
The Serpent-Men's siege of the City of Wonders lasted ten months. Kull had doubts about his ability to drive them away. A chance encounter with a blind girl changed his mind. The girl did not recognize him, but spoke with admiration of the King's achievements. With renewed confidence, Kull led the Valusians to victory.
The chamber of king Eallal remained sealed. A pair of Valusian conspirators suspected that there was treasure hidden there. They tricked Gonra to pen the chamber for them. Living Serpent-Men emerged from the chamber and attacked them. Gonra fought them bravely but had to retreat. Kull was alerted by the noise and responded by arriving to the chamber. He faced the Serpent-Men, including one who had assumed the form of Gonra. He managed to kill them all in battle. In death, the Gonra impostor returned to his real form. Kull decided to cleanse the chamber with fire and then reseal it. This time using brick and mortar to make sure nobody can open it.
Five centuries following the death of Kull, the Deviants of Lemuria used their advanced technology to conquer much of the Earth. Atra, a human Lemurian resented their rule. He formed an alliance with the Serpent-Men which led to the creation of the Serpent Crown. Atra intended to use the Crown to overthrow the Deviant rule. But Set had his own plans. Since the Deviants worshipped him, the Elder God protected them from the powers of the Crown user.
Emboldened by the divine protection, Emperor Phraug of the Deviants ordered an attack on the Second Host of the Celestials. The Celestials shrugged off the attack and retaliated with causing the Great Cataclysm. Lemuria was destroyed and Atlantis was damaged by the event. Atra and Phraug were the first casualties of the Cataclysm. Their skeletons were somehow preserved while everything around them was destroyed. The Serpent Crown was lost.
The Serpent-Men survived the Great Cataclysm, but were dealt a blow in its aftermath. Humans from the Thurian continent migrated westward and invaded the Serpent-Men's lands. The invaders created the kingdom of Stygia in the area they conquered. The Serpent-Men went into hiding for millennia.
Other human kingdoms emerged in the Hyborian Age. During this period both Serpent-Men and Man-Serpents started serving the Stygian sorcerer Thoth-Amon. To the south of the Black Kingdoms existed the so-called Land of No Return. There lay only one city, Yanoga, which served as the last stronghold of the Serpent-Men, but were destroyed by Conan and his son Conn, though a few other Snake-Folk survived.
A Serpent-Man and a great warrior, Ssith, attracted the attention of the time traveler Kang the Conqueror who challenged him to a duel. Kang won and Ssith agreed to serve him. Kang took him to Chronopolis. Ssith served as one of the Anachronauts, warriors who traveled through time when Kang tasked them with missions.
When the Avengers (Black Knight, Black Widow, Crystal, Hercules, and Sersi) and the Fantastic Four (Human Torch, Invisible Woman, Mr. Fantastic, and the Thing arrived in Chronopolis, Ssith and the Anachronauts attempted to arrest them. The heroes surrendered, figuring the Anachronauts would lead them to Kang. Unnoticed, Sersi took the form of the Anachronaut Raa. In time, she freed the other heroes and they easily defeated the Anachronauts.
Ssith and the Anachronauts were training and facing each other in mock combat. Then Sir Raston's Ebony Blade began to glow and lost its solidity. Terminatrix determined that this was a result of a temporal anomaly which had the Blade never be created. The erasing of the Blade from history had far reaching consequences and threatened Chronopolis itself. The Anachronauts time traveled back to the days of Camelot to undo the anomaly. They found that the Incinerators, a robotic race, had also time traveled back to Camelot and captured the Star-Stone. The Star-Stone provided the material that was used to forge the Blade. With the help of fellow time traveler Justin Alphonse Gamble, the Anachronauts defeated the Incinerators and captured the Star-Stone. Gamble made sure that the Stone would pass to the hands of Merlin who would create the Blade.
Ssith and the Anachronauts defended Chronopolis against the invading forces of Immortus. A "time-twisting explosion" killed most of the team, leaving only temporal shadows of the dead. Only an injured Wildrun seems to have survived.
Powers and Abilities
They can assume the identity of any human. They have used this ability to infiltrate and control human societies, replacing rulers and other influential persons. Some Serpent-Men receive training in sorcery and are reasonably skilled magic users.
The mystical phrase "ka nama kaa lajerama" The phrase is anathema to the Serpent-Men who can not even pronounce it. Upon hearing it, they automatically revert to their true forms. Making them easy targets for humans.
- The Serpent Men are a fictional race created by Robert E. Howard in "The Shadow Kingdom", published in Weird Tales in August 1929. Clark Ashton Smith (mentioning them in Ubbo-Slatha) and Lin Carter adapted the race into the Cthulhu Mythos, inspired by H.P. Lovecraft's short story "The Nameless City", which refers to an Arabian city built by a pre-human reptilian race.
- Lin Carter's Dragon Kings are similar to Howard's Serpent-Men (who were later confirmed to be similar looking and to be two different offspring of Sligguth). Similarly, Carter's Slorgs are close to the Man-Serpents.
- The Serpent-Men are often called an Elder race, but are not to confused with the Elder Races, though the Elder Race proper is speculated to descend from Elderspawn (offspring of the Elder Gods).
- Discuss Serpent-Men on the forums
- Appearances of Serpent-Men
- Minor Appearances of Serpent-Men
- Media Serpent-Men was Mentioned in
- Race Gallery: Serpent-Men
- Images of Serpent-Men
Links and References
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Kull the Conqueror #2
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 King Conan #4
- ↑ Savage Sword of Conan #40
- ↑ Savage Sword of Conan #122; Blossoms of the Black Lotus
- ↑ Savage Sword of Conan #3
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 Marvel Zombies Handbook #1; Set's entry
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Vol 4 #18; Werewolf's entry
- ↑ Marvel Tarot #1; Get of Set
- ↑ Savage Sword of Conan #36
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 What If? #39
- ↑ King Conan #3
- ↑ Savage Sword of Conan #226
- ↑ Savage Sword of Conan #14; A Kull Glossary: Serpent Men's entry
- ↑ 14.0 14.1 Conan the Barbarian #89
- ↑ Monsters on the Prowl #16; The Forbidden Swamp
- ↑ Savage Sword of Conan #40; A Gazetteer of the Hyborian Age: Valusia's entry
- ↑ 17.0 17.1 Avengers Annual Vol 3 #2000
- ↑ Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Vol 3 #7
- ↑ 19.0 19.1 19.2 Savage Sword of Conan #192
- ↑ 20.0 20.1 20.2 20.3 Uncanny X-Men Annual #1989
- ↑ 21.0 21.1 21.2 21.3 21.4 21.5 Handbook of the Conan Universe #1
- ↑ 22.0 22.1 22.2 22.3 22.4 Marvel Team-Up #111
- ↑ 23.0 23.1 23.2 23.3 23.4 Kull the Conqueror #1-2
- ↑ 24.0 24.1 24.2 Bizarre Adventures #26
- ↑ Savage Sword of Conan #140
- ↑ Savage Sword of Conan #148
- ↑ Savage Sword of Conan #149
- ↑ Savage Sword of Conan #159
- ↑ Savage Sword of Conan #213
- ↑ Conan Saga #97
- ↑ Kull the Conqueror Vol 3 #10
- ↑ 32.0 32.1 32.2 Marvel Team-Up Annual #5
- ↑ 33.0 33.1 33.2 Amazing Spider-Man Annual #23
- ↑ 34.0 34.1 34.2 Eternals #2
- ↑ Conan the Adventurer #5
- ↑ 36.0 36.1 Avengers Annual #21
- ↑ Fantastic Four Annual #25
- ↑ Avengers Annual #22
- ↑ Avengers: Forever #3
- ↑ Serpent Men at Wikipedia
- ↑ Marvel Zombies Handbook #1; Demons' entry