Warlord Character Profiles
"I tell you, it's just no fun being a king! .There's protocol, affairs of state, court intrigue, a thousand other things to torment me! Why, do you know the latest torture my ministers have devised for me? Marriage! It's true! They call it a 'marriage of state' for the benefit of two countries. I call it insanity! Worst of all, she's a head of state. I wouldn't even be allowed to keep a harem! Ah, my friend, it's a dismal life I see for myself "(Warlord #40).
Full Name: Aram al-Ashir
Occupation: Master thief, (currently) King of Kaambuka
Known Relatives: unnamed wife
First Appearance: Warlord #25
The opening quote sums up Ashir quite nicely. Born the Prince of Kaambuka, Ashir enjoyed the pleasures of royal life, but never cared for the responsibilities that came with them (Warlord #26). He'd rather have a flask of wine in one hand and a beautiful girl on each arm rather than deal with the affairs of state.
When his father (the King) died, Ashir fled, not wanting to inherit the crown (Warlord #26). He then assumed a carefree life, becoming a rogue and the second best thief in all Skartaris. A fellow named Harrando was considered the best thief, but unknown to Ashir, Harrando was killed by Deimos. In one of his many adventures, Ashir woos away the girlfriend of a prince named Kali. Despite his "dashing good looks and roguish charm," the woman leaves him when Ashir's stash of gold is thoroughly spent. In the meantime, Kali has placed a bounty of "a hundred weight of gold" on Ashir's capture (Warlord #25). A group of bounty hunters, including Travis Morgan, seek and find him. After the other bounty hunters are killed by a snow giant, Morgan captures Ashir, but rather than collecting the reward, Morgan soon becomes friends with Ashir.
Bound together by a thirst for adventure, the two seek out the Eye of Truth (Warlord #26) and defeat a minion of Deimos named Chakal (Warlord #27). Told by the Eye of Truth that the burden of guilt he feels about abandoning his kingdom will weigh on his conscience "far greater than the weight of a crown," Ashir decides to return to Kaambuka (Warlord #28).
After becoming king, Ashir's advisors arrange for him to marry the queen of a neighboring land. Totally set against the marriage because it would bring an end to his womanizing days, Ashir relents when he sees his bride to be -- the beautiful Tara! (Warlord #40). After Morgan helps Ashir stop a coup and assassination attempt, the marriage is called off (Warlord #41). Relieved to learn that Tara's already married, Ashir continues in his happy-go-lucky ways.
After Ashir leads the Kaambukan army to victory over a band of ruffians holed up in a Kaambukan outpost, Shakira decides to stay with Ashir and "amuse herself for awhile" (Warlord #55). Alas, the implied romance doesn't last long. Shakira is more content chasing mice than chasing Ashir (Warlord #63).
During the Skartaris-New Atlantis war, Kaambuka is the second city to fall to the Atlantean invaders. Ashir, along with all other Kaambukans, is taken prisoner (Warlord #75). They are soon rescued by Morgan and an army of refugees from Shamballah (Warlord #77). Ashir joins the resistance movement, and he takes young Tinder under his wing, teaching him how to be a better thief (Warlord #90-99, Annual #4 ).
After the war ends, Ashir returns to rebuild Kaambuka. At last finding contentment and happiness in his role as king (or perhaps he just mellowed out as he got older), Ashir remains a valuable ally to Morgan. It was even revealed that Ashir married ( Warlord miniseries #6 - "Alas, I find myself in inescapable bondage").
Skills and Weapons
Ashir is a master thief and will try to talk his way out of any situation before resorting to violence. He's a lover, not a fighter. Nonetheless, Ashir is handy with a bow and arrow, and according to Morgan, his swordsmanship has improved over the years from "third rate" to "second rate."
"One does not walk lightly where I have been without being changed in some way" - Warlord #65
Occupation: Supreme Sorceress of Skartaris
Hair: White (originally it was blond)
Known Relatives: Travis Morgan (father), Rachel Morgan (mother, deceased), Tara (step-mother), Joshua Morgan/Tinder (step-brother), Marie (aunt).
First Appearance: Warlord #38
The daughter of Rachel and Travis Morgan, Jennifer was only eight years old when her mother was killed in an automobile accident (Warlord #38). Sent to live with her Aunt Marie while her father fought in Vietnam, Jennifer had the best upbringing her aunt could provide - but she missed her father terribly.
On Jennifer's tenth birthday, an Air Force officer told her that her father had been killed in a plane crash (The USAF didn't know Morgan landed in Skartaris). For a long time after being left with her aunt, Jennifer thought she had done something to make Morgan go away, but that feeling slowly left her. When told that her father was "dead," she wasn't sad or upset - for her father had already been dead to her for years.
After Morgan first returned to the surface (see Warlord #6), the US government believed that he had defected to the USSR. Reporters "started coming out of the woodwork, wanting to interview the daughter of a traitor," and Jennifer resolved to set the record straight by finding her father (Warlord #38).
Learning of Skartaris from Professor Lakely, an archeologist Morgan met in Peru, Jennifer and a crew of five men set sail for the northern polar opening aboard a boat named the "Lady J." Their dangerous journey into Skartaris resulted in the deaths of four of the crewmen, but Jennifer eventually did find her father.
After a long talk, father and daughter reconcile their past. Understanding that Morgan is happy in this glorious and savage place called Skartaris, Jennifer sets sail for the outer world. She plans to tell the world that Professor Lakely was wrong - Travis Morgan "died" long ago (Warlord #38).
Little Girl Lost -
Jennifer returns in Warlord #42. "The Lady J" was in a brutal accident, killing Paul Chambers, and marooning Jennifer in Skartaris. Faaldren, faithful servant of Deimos, finds her. Faaldren is helping his disfigured master to return to Castle Deimos in the hopes that the super sciences contained therein can reassemble the evil Deimos. Deimos and Faaldren decide to take the unconscious Jennifer on their sojourn. Aton informs Morgan of Jennifer's accident shortly after defeating the Theran Army. Morgan leaves Tara to find his lost daughter (Warlord #43)
Faaldren becomes smitten with Jennifer during their trek to Castle Deimos, and takes care of her. She begins to develop affection for Faaldren in return after he saves her from a sabre-tooth tiger (Warlord #45). Thus are planted the seeds of Faaldren and Jennifer's implicit romance (I say "implicit" because we're never told if anything goes on between them, but the two live together and Faaldren calls her "mistress." You can either believe that Faaldren is simply a loyal servant to Jennifer or that the two are lovers. Personally, I think it's the latter). Faaldren's affection for Jennifer is tested when Deimos demands a quantity of her blood to sustain his horrific life. Instead, Faaldren feeds Deimos his own blood (Warlord #47).
Jennifer and Faaldren begin to make themselves at home in Castle Deimos, as does Deimos who begins to stalk Jennifer (Warlord #48). He doesn't keep his presence secret for very long, though. He crawls into bed with Jennifer and reveals his repugnant state - he is only a dismembered head stuck on the stalk of his severed hand! The experience turns Jennifer's hair white and drives her into catatonia (Warlord #49).
Deimos reveals to Ashiya the Witch that he intends to use Jennifer as his consort, just as soon as he can get a workable body. With the help of Ashiya, Deimos journeys through time to visit the Evil One. The villainous pair makes a deal, and Deimos gets his old body back but loses his wizardry powers. Deimos returns to the castle just in time to attack Morgan, Tara, Shakira, and Aton with his super science. He succeeds in killing Aton and incapacitating Tara and Shakira. Deimos threatens to kill Jennifer, but Faaldren rescues her in time for Morgan to disarm Deimos. Morgan pursues the fleeing Deimos into the Terminator and leaves him to be eaten by wolves.
The Sorceress' Apprentice
Jennifer has been left in the care of Faaldren, but even his presence is not enough to stop Ashiya the Witch from using Jennifer for her own purposes. Ashiya wants control of Deimos' technology and needs Jennifer's skills to teach how to command these scientific treasures. Using her magic, Ashiya removes Jennifer's catatonia and masquerades as Rachel Morgan, Jennifer's dead mother. Jennifer and Ashiya explore the principles of magic and science over the following days (Warlord #53). Unfortunately for Ashiya, Jennifer is an excellent student and quickly outperforms the witch in magical skill. Morgan, Tara, and Shakira return to Castle Deimos but are attacked by Ashiya. Jennifer breaks free of Ashiya's charms, battles with her, and destroys her using a combination of science and sorcery. Tara recognizes Jennifer's maturation and convinces Morgan to leave his daughter to her own destiny. Jennifer decides to stay at Castle Deimos, with Faaldren, and continue her magical studies (Warlord #54).
The Evil One
Months later, Morgan returns to Castle Deimos to request Jennifer's help in returning to Wizard World, Skartaris' past. Rostov the werewolf, Morgan's friend and Mariah's ex-lover, has been sent back in time to Wizard World to battle the Evil One. Jennifer agrees to help Morgan and Shakira and goes back in time with them to aid in the battle (Warlord #65). They arrive just in time to stop Rostov and Machiste from fighting. Jennifer's skill impresses Mongo Ironhand who comments, "The kid's good. Real good." Jennifer magical acumen quickly becomes evident to all when she uses her skill to battle one on one with the Evil One, something the other magicians in Wizard World have been unable to do without being killed. Jennifer is able to defeat the Evil One with the help of Morgan, Mongo, and Rostov (Warlord #66).
With the Evil One gone, Jennifer decides to help Rostov control his lycanthropy. She casts a spell on Rostov to reveal his family's history, which uncovers the hereditary origin of his disease (Warlord #67). Jennifer uses her spells to separate the disease from Rostov and casts it into a wolf's shape. Rostov now controls the wolf/disease. Unfortunately, Rostov loses his temper and control of the wolf, demonstrating that Rostov must learn to master his emotions before rejoining the world (Warlord #68).
Jennifer, Morgan and Shakira attempt to return to the present using Jennifer's enchanted mirror but Morgan and Shakira end up on an alternate Earth (Warlord #69). In this world, outer Earth has been devastated by ecological disasters. Most of the population has moved into Skartaris to escape the mounting horrors (Warlord #70). Jennifer is unable to locate Morgan and Shakira and is forced to hope they can find their way back if she keeps the enchanted mirror open. The time-lost pair eventually makes it to Skartaris and discovers that Castle Deimos no longer exists. They end up in a bar called "Castle Deimos" and find Jennifer's enchanted mirror. They jump into it and find their way back to Jennifer and their proper time (Warlord #71).
Morgan and Shakira tell Jennifer of their crazy adventure but are interrupted by a magical unicorn and its hunter who emerge from the still open mirror. The unicorn escapes, but not before infecting Shakira with a deadly disease. Morgan chases after the unicorn to find a cure for the plague. Jennifer uses her magic to learn the hunter's origins. His name is Waynah Huhhuh, a mighty warrior and hunter, who brought great tragedy to his tribe when he captured the plague-carrier unicorn. Waynah changes his name to Scarhart - the Man Without a Tribe, and vows to kill the vanished unicorn after returning to find his tribe dead or dying from the plague. Scarhart and the unicorn end up in Jennifer's castle after they both jump through an enchanted waterfall. Scarhart awakens, knocks Jennifer unconscious, and finds both the unicorn and Morgan in the grip of a deadly man-eating plant (Warlord #72).
Scarhart attempts to kill Morgan but is attacked by giant birds. Both men save the other's life during the battle and then hunt the unicorn together. Meanwhile, Jennifer realizes she has come down with the plague also and is powerless to stop its deadly advance. Morgan enlists the aid of the Kaash'ban, mystic gypsies, to find the unicorn and they track it to a nearby swamp. The situation turns ugly after Scarhart kills the beast, but Morgan, with the help of a Kaash'ban maiden, figures out that the real cure for the plague exists back in Scarhart's world. With Jennifer's magic, Morgan obtains a flask of healing waters, which he uses to cure himself, Jennifer, and Shakira (Warlord #73).
New Atlantis-Skartaris War and the Return of the Evil One
The denizens of New Atlantis rampage through Skartaris and topple both Shamballah and Kaambuka with their superior science. Eventually, their troops attack Castle Deimos, and Jennifer repels their forces with her magic (Warlord #77). She and Faaldren investigate the invaders and decide to help her father fight them after she defeats another small band of New Atlanteans (Warlord #79). Their search for Morgan takes an unexpected turn when they encounter the young thief, Tinder, who is secretly Jennifer's half-brother. Jennifer quickly develops an affinity for the boy since she too was an orphan for much of her life. Attacking New Atlanteans ruin their growing friendship. Jennifer and Faaldren are seriously wounded and only with Tinder's help is Jennifer able to scare the invaders away. Tinder conjures a phantom train, and Jennifer begins to suspect that there's much more to Tinder than meets the eye. Much to Faaldren's chagrin, Jennifer decides to let Tinder join them, and she agrees to teach him magic (Warlord #81).
Faaldren attempts to locate Morgan by masquerading as a New Atlantean in Shamballah. He discovers tyranny and terror instituted by the invaders. He returns to Jennifer and reports the grim news. Things appear bleak until Ashir joins the intrepid band and agrees to help them find Morgan (Warlord #83). Their situation quickly turns sour and cave bears attack the group. Jennifer destroys one of the bears but is injured by the other. The group is almost killed but is saved by a mysterious pungent odor that drives the remaining cave bear away (Warlord #84). Jennifer, Faaldren and Ashir discover that Tinder has disappeared and begin to search for him. Tinder has been pulled into a nearby cave by the beast Chaaka, whom also emitted the pungent odor. Tinder is able to return the favor by saving Chaaka from a giant spider. Unfortunately, he is knocked unconscious and becomes new prey for the spider (Warlord #85). Using amazing agility and cunning, Chaaka is able to save Tinder yet again. Jennifer and company arrive in time to destroy the beast with her magic (Warlord #86).
Like a Skartarian version of Huck Finn, Tinder and Chaaka strike up a friendship and explore the caverns together (Warlord #87). They stumble across the ancient lair of the Evil One and become ensorcelled by a magic gemstone (Warlord #88-89). The power of the Evil One interferes with Jennifer's locator spell but she, Faaldren and Ashir find the lair. Jennifer demonstrates why she is "Skartaris' Sorceress Supreme" when she marshals her mighty powers to free the duo from the gem. Jennifer decides to keep the gem and Tinder decides to keep Chaaka, much to the displeasure of Faaldren and Ashir (Warlord #90).
An interlude provides time for Jennifer to reflect on her relationship with her father. Morgan was a loving father but Jennifer realizes that their time together provided an opportunity for her father to build his own fantasy world. The adventures of Robin Hood and Tarzan were read as much for his enjoyment as Jennifer. Her childhood had few good role models. It became worse after her mother dies in a car accident and her father disappears into Skartaris. Ashir tries to comfort Jennifer, but notices that she has become increasingly edgy, an attitude perhaps created by the Evil One's gem (Warlord #91).
Jennifer and Tinder continue their investigation of the Evil One's gem and go back to his lair. Jennifer tells Tinder about the Evil One, but he becomes ensorcelled by another enchantment. Jennifer realizes that now is not a good time to teach Tinder magic since he has been singled out by the Evil One's power (Warlord #93). She discussed the situation with Ashir and asks the master thief to teach Tinder the thief's trade (Warlord #94). Her behavior becomes erratic and Ashir convinces her that the gem is responsible. Jennifer locks the gem away (Warlord #95).
The Evil One will not be denied though and she finds the gem has been stolen (Warlord #96). Jennifer had forgotten that Chaaka was charmed as well as Tinder and the poor creature stole the gem for the Evil One. Tinder and Jennifer find Chaaka but are too late to stop his possession by the Evil One. Morgan, Jennifer and Tinder discover that the one way to defeat the Evil One is to obtain the Hellfire Sword. Jennifer sends Morgan into the realm of the sword's safe-keepers and retrieves it after a battle. Morgan learns that the sword will forever be keyed to his bloodline.
Jennifer again displays her incredible powers in another offensive against the Evil One but his strength and cunning overwhelm her and Morgan. Tinder manages to destroy the Evil One by using the Hellfire Sword against the creature. Sadly, he is forced to kill his friend Chaaka and leaves Jennifer's side, disgusted by the turn of events (Warlord Annual #4). Jennifer realizes that Tinder must be Morgan's lost son, because Tinder could wield the Hellfire Sword, and she attempts to return him with a spell. Mongo Ironhand accidentally disrupts her magic and Tinder ends up in Wizard World (Warlord #96).
Morgan asks Jennifer to summon Machiste and Mariah from the past because he needs help in his final offensive (Warlord #96). His forces are undermined by the Crisis on Infinite Earths and the spying of Saaba the Witch. Jennifer discovers the presence of the evil shapeshifter and engages her in mystic combat. An erupting volcano diverts Jennifer's powers, and Saaba almost escapes but is killed by Shakira. Jennifer quells the volcano (Warlord #97). Jennifer takes the opportunity to probe the defenses of Cykroth, ruler of New Atlantis, and learns that he derives his strength by draining energy from his populace (Warlord #99). Morgan mounts a last battle with the New Atlanteans. Morgan will directly attach Cykroth, with Jennifer mystically defending him, while Machiste, Mariah, and Shakira engage Lord Sabretooth and his troops. Jennifer is able to save her father from the brunt of Cykroth's attack (Warlord #100).
Morgan's Quest and Beyond
During this battle with Cykroth, mystic "feedback" causes Jennifer to age rapidly. Rendered a frail old woman, Jenny is too weak to search for a cure. Morgan comes to her rescue, and after travelling through most of Skartaris, he finds a cure (Warlord #116).
Returned to her appropriate age, Jennifer continued to aid her father or his allies whenever the need arose. Among other things, she helped Power Girl discover her Atlantean heritage (Warlord #122), and she aided in the defeat of the sorceress Khnathaiti (Warlord #133).
When not saving Skartaris from mystic threats, Jennifer resides in Castle Deimos with Faaldren, where she is perfecting and increasing the potency of her magic.
Skills and Weapons
Jennifer is the most powerful sorceress in Skartaris, and the effects of her magic spells are nearly limitless. She can transport people through time and space, fire mystic energy beams, create force fields, and see past or future events. She is not skilled with a sword or in hand to hand combat in general.
"Dreamers, they say, are the chosen of the gods" (Warlord #12).
Occupation: slave, gladiator, soldier, adventurer, and (currently) King of Kiro
Hair: None (it was black before he started shaving his head)
Known Relatives: Mariah Romanova (wife)
First Appearance: Warlord #2
Depending on which version of the legend you hear, Machiste is either a slave who became king or a king who was sold into slavery but then regained his throne. What is known for sure is this:
Machiste first met Travis Morgan, the Warlord, when they were forced to serve as slaves on the Skartaran sailing ship Gryfalcon. Morgan and Machiste incite a revolt aboard the ship which fails, but rather than killing them, ship captain Drogar the Terrible sells them to Shebal, a trainer of gladiators (Warlord #2). Trained by Shebal in various forms of combat, Machiste becomes a perfect fighting machine. One day, Machiste and Morgan are ordered to fight each other to the death for the amusement of Prince Eris, but they launch a gladiator rebellion instead (Warlord #2).
The gladiators form the core of an army Morgan leads against King Deimos of Thera. Machiste is Morgan's second in command and most trusted advisor and friend (Warlord #4). Machiste has saved Morgan's life a number of times, the first being against the lizard men of Metaxa (Warlord #3). After Deimos' defeat, Machiste returns to Kiro, saying "There are matters there which have been too long unsettled I'm somewhat notorious there" (Warlord #5). Because of this, some believe that Machiste is the legitimate King of Kiro, not an usurper.
While journeying to Kiro, Machiste is attacked by a tribe of beastmen, and he uses an axe he finds in a nearby cave to fend them off (Warlord #7). Unable to put the demon axe down, Machiste's return to power is marked by tyranny. To free his friend from the axe's influence, Morgan must sever Machiste's right hand (Warlord #7). The demon axe is ordered destroyed, but it finds its way into the hands of Ghedron, a member of the Kiroan palace guard (Warlord #29).
After having an armorer fit him with a spiked mace, Machiste joins Morgan and Mariah to go adventuring through Skartaris (Warlord #8). Along the way, he loses a bet with Mariah, and as a result, shaves his head (Warlord #10). He also becomes the leader of a band of roving warriors (Warlord #19) and helps Morgan defeat Deimos for a second time (Warlord #21).
While investigating a meteor that entered Skartaris from outer space, Machiste and Mariah are pulled back in time to the Age of the Wizard Kings (aka Wizard World) (Warlord #28). There the two adventurers meet the dwarf wizard Mongo Ironhand, and their adventures are chronicled in Warlord #29, 34, 40, and 41. While in Wizard World, Machiste helps defeat of the Evil One, a supreme sorcerer who threatened to consume all the magical power in the land (see Warlord #50 [foreshadowing], and #65-68). His love for Mariah deepened during this time as well.
Machiste returns to present day Skartaris in Warlord #96. During the Skartaris - New Atlantis War, Machiste once again becomes Morgan's second in command. Machiste's greatest victory occurs when he leads Mariah, Shakira, and a group of soldiers in a successful attempt to recapture Shamballah from the Atlanteans. Facing the Atlantean commander Lord Sabre-Tooth in a one on one fight to the death, Machiste is victorious and parades Sabre-Tooth's severed head around Shamballah (Warlord #100).
During Machiste's time in Wizard World, Kiro fell upon hard times (see Tara's comment in Warlord #75). Following the war, Machiste reclaims his rightful place as King of Kiro from the usurper N'Dosma (Warlord #111). At Machiste's re-coronation, the Kiroan citizens rejoice, shouting "Long live King Machiste! All hail our beloved King!" (Warlord #112).
Machiste's friendship with Morgan is strained when Mariah uses magic to make Morgan fall in love with her (Warlord #113). To get back at Morgan, Machiste has an affair with a woman who he believes is Tara (Warlord #119). In reality, the Vashek leader Y'smalla uses technology to make herself look like Tara, and uses her affair with Machiste to try to break up the Kiro - Shamballah political alliance (Warlord #120-121). It doesn't work, and Machiste soon learns the truth (Warlord Annual #6). Machiste eventually reconciles with Morgan following Tara's apparent death at the hands of Scavenger (Warlord #126).
Since that time, Machiste has aided Morgan whenever the need arises (Warlord #133), and Machiste even patched up his relationship with Mariah. The two have since married and reign together as the King and Queen of Kiro (Warlord miniseries #3). At the present time, Machiste splits his time between ruling Kiro and adventuring with Mariah (Aquaman #71-73).
Skills and Weapons
Machiste is a skilled warrior, one of the best in Skartaris. In a fight, Machiste prefers to use the mace that serves as his right hand, but he's also known to swing a mean left handed sword. Machiste also carries two daggers, attached to the back of his tunic, and can throw them with deadly accuracy.
"You see, I came here for Skartaris the lure of a lost world unexplored by modern man. And like Morgan, I was swept away in the adventure." (Warlord miniseries #4).
Full Name: Mariah Romanova
Occupation: Archaeologist, adventurer, and (later on) Queen of Kiro
Known Relatives: Machiste (husband)
First Appearance: Warlord #6
Born in the USSR, nothing is known about Mariah's life until she turned 15 years old. At age 15, she was placed in the care of Mikola Rostov, one of Russia's premier fencing instructors, and began training to become a skilled fencer (see Warlord #68). Rostov didn't think Mariah had much potential at first, but she proved him wrong, eventually becoming his best student. With the saber as her weapon of choice, Mariah earned an Olympic gold medal and was the Russian National Sabre Champion for six consecutive years (Warlord #68, also mentioned in #6 and #113).
Mariah and Rostov eventually became lovers, and Mariah used her reputation as a fencer to enter the University of Moscow and eventually earn a degree in archaeology (Warlord #68). Upon graduation, she went to Athens, Greece to do field work. Rostov soon learned of his lycanthropy, and when Mariah returned, he broke off their relationship because he feared for her safety.
Broken hearted, Mariah left for on an expedition to study the Incan city of Maccu Pichu. While there in 1977, Mariah met Travis Morgan, who had returned to Earth for the first time since entering Skartaris (Warlord #6). After helping Morgan escape from CIA agents who considered him a spy, Mariah accompanied him back to Skartaris (Warlord #7). Being an archaeologist, she hoped to study the civilizations in Skartaris, but she quickly got caught up in adventuring and exploring her new world. In Warlord #7, she meets her longtime friend, companion, and eventual husband, Machiste.
Angered that Morgan never told her that he was married to Tara, Mariah runs off, and she and Machiste go off adventuring together (Warlord #16). The duo soon become the leaders of a band of roving warriors (Warlord #19). Reuniting with Morgan to help save his son from Deimos, Mariah has a little fight with Tara, but Machiste stops them before any harm is done (Warlord #21).
In Warlord #28, Mariah and Machiste investigate a meteor that entered Skartaris from outer space (talk about improbable odds - the meteor had to survive entry into Earth's atmosphere, enter the polar opening, and then survive a crash landing in Skartaris. Sheesh!). When Mariah touches the meteor, she is pulled into the timestream and is deposited in Skartaris' past in an era called The Age of The Wizard Kings (aka Wizard World). Machiste follows, and the two adventurers meet the dwarf wizard Mongo Ironhand. Wizard World is a somewhat goofy, lighthearted place (they ride giant chickens instead of horses, for example). Mariah's adventures in Wizard World are chronicled in Warlord #29, 34, 40, and 41.
While in Wizard World, Mariah plays a key role in the defeat of the Evil One, a supreme sorcerer who threatened to consume all the magical power in the land (see Warlord #50 [foreshadowing], and #65-68). Mariah also meets Rostov once again during this time, but she rebuffs his advances. Her heart now belongs to Machiste (Warlord #68).
A timeless time later, Mariah and Machiste return to the present courtesy of Jennifer Morgan's magic (Warlord #96). Arriving in the midst of the Skartaris - New Atlantis War, they assist Morgan's army in defeating the invaders. Following the war, Mariah helps Machiste reclaim his rightful place as King of Kiro from the usurper N'Dosma (Warlord #112). Along the way, the two adventurers fought river bandits, rode a ship made of bones, and escaped from the Torturer's Isle of Ummschal (this lengthy subplot winds its way through Warlord #103-112). .
In Warlord #112, Mariah is give a "love amulet" by a street vendor. Stupidly, she decides to use its powers to woo Morgan (This is one of the stupidest subplots in the series in my opinion; totally out of character for her). Anyway, Mariah's actions damage Morgan and Machiste's friendship, and both men become angry with her. Feeling unwanted, Mariah decides to leave Skartaris and return to Russia (Warlord #118). There she is captured by Russian soldiers, and since the communists believe she defected to the USA with Morgan, held as an enemy of the state (Warlord #125). With the help of Danny Maddox, an old enemy of Morgan's, she escapes and returns with Maddox to Skartaris (Warlord #128). She starts to care for Maddox, and the regular series ends with her still by his side (Warlord #131).
In the Warlord miniseries, its revealed that Mariah left Maddox and patched up her differences with Machiste. The two eventually wed (Warlord Miniseries #3). Since then, Mariah and Machiste have helped Morgan to defeat the sorcerer Valgos and the Ch'rin, his giant servants. Actually, Mariah doesn't do much helping, she's captured early on in the story (Aquaman #71-73).
Skills and Weapons
Mariah is a master swordswoman, and her weapon of choice is a saber. Crafted by Kiro's master swordsmaker Dak Bel Shan, her sword is made of "Damascus steel" and has a stiletto blade concealed in its hilt (Warlord #7). When her original blade was lost during her and Machiste's adventure on the Isle of Ummschal, Dak Bel Shan crafts her an identical replacement sword (Warlord #112).
"I must go! The moon - I can feel it!" (Warlord #47)
Full Name: Mikola Rostov
Occupation: former fencing instructor, currently a wanderer
Hair: Brown with a white streak down the middle
Known Relatives: Mikhail (grandfather, deceased), Gitana (grandmother), unnamed uncle (deceased), unnamed mother.
First Appearance: Warlord #47
Rostov's story begins in 1899, with a tragic story of ill fated romance (Warlord #67).
Rostov's grandmother Gitana was a strikingly beautiful Gypsy girl, and she soon caught the eye of a young Cossack named Mikhail. Although the couple's inter-ethnic relationship was frowned upon, theirs was a love too powerful to be denied (Warlord #68). After Mikhail was shot and left for dead by another of Gitana's suitors, Gitana (who was rumored to have strange powers), cast a spell using a wolf blood transfusion to heal him. Gitana and Mikhail wed in the spring, and the following winter, Gitana gave birth to twins - one girl and one boy (Warlord #67).
The boy bore the mark of the wolf (he was a half wolf-half human hybrid), which was caused by the wolf blood coursing through Mikhail's veins. The female child was not affected, but Mikhail was devastated. Clutching his wolf-son to his chest, Mikhail jumped off a cliff, committing suicide and killing his son at the same time (Warlord #67). The girl grew up, married, and gave birth to a son to whom she passed the recessive wolf gene. Her son was Mikola Rostov.
Rostov grew to adulthood and became a respected fencing instructor without ever knowing about the wolf curse he carried. He met Mariah Romanova during this time, and the two had a lengthy romance. Rostov planned to propose marriage, but that changed one night when he found himself transformed into a werewolf by the full moon. He killed a Bulgarian merchant before he returned to normal (Warlord #68). When Mariah returned, Rostov broke off their relationship because he feared for her safety if he became a wolf again.
Rostov travelled abroad searching for a cure for his affliction, and in Vienna, he met Professor Lakely, a man who was told of Skartaris' never setting sun by Travis Morgan (see Warlord #6). Thinking he'd rid himself of his curse in a land where the sun never sets, Rostov made his way to the North polar opening (via dogsled) and entered Skartaris (Warlord #47). He wandered Skartaris looking for Mariah, but found Travis Morgan instead. Captured by cannibals, the two men escape when Skartaris' wandering moon triggers Rostov's lycanthropy. Skartaris' moon rotates in an erratic, double helix pattern, and despite its unique properties, it affects Rostov just as Earth's moon does (Warlord #47).
Rostov leaves Morgan, and the two don't cross paths until Morgan realizes that Rostov's the leader of a wolf pack terrorizing the Shamballan countryside (Warlord #62). Morgan offers to see if Jennifer can magically cure Rostov's condition, and along the way they stop in Kaambuka (Warlord #63). There Rostov meets the animal loving Kaash'ban, who are in some ways similar to the Romany (Gypsies) of Earth. Feeling a common bond between them, Rostov asks if they'll use their magic to send him back in time - to Wizard World - to find Mariah (Warlord #63). They do, but Shakira follows Rostov back into time as well.
Rostov and Shakira escape from a dragon, and eventually meet up with Mariah in Mongo Ironhand's castle (Warlord #64 & 65). Soon the whole supporting cast and Morgan arrive in Wizard World, and Rostov's werewolf powers allow him and his allies to defeat the power hungry sorcerer known as the Evil One (Warlord #65 & 66). Afterward, Jennifer Morgan is able to remove the spirit of the wolf from Rostov's body. However, instead of being completely free from it, the spirit physically manifests itself as a red eyed, black haired wolf (Warlord #68). Rostov then challenges Machiste for Mariah's hand, but he loses to Mariah, who defends her honor herself. Rostov then leaves, content to roam Wizard World with the wolf spirit at his side.
Skills and Weapons
Rostov is an excellent swordsman. When in werewolf form, he possessed above average strength, above average resistance to harm, and razor sharp claws, but he had limited mental capacity. After Jennifer's spell, Rostov could no longer transform into a werewolf, but rather controlled the actions of the wolf spirit that walks alongside him as a constant companion.
"I'm a free creature, Morgan. I come and go as I please and give my loyalty to whom I choose. You see .It is my nature to be independent." (Warlord #32).
Known Relatives: Daimon (relationship unknown)
First Appearance: Warlord #32
Is she a woman who turns into a cat or a cat who can become a woman? Does Shakira herself even know? The origins of Morgan's faithful travelling companion have never been revealed, but they have been hinted at.
One theory is that Shakira was one of the young women abducted by an alchemist who experimented on them and turned them into cats (Warlord #103). Indeed, Morgan once encountered a woman named Tamara who was able to become a tiger. Tamara was one of the experimental subjects, and she wore a spiked yellow collar just like Shakira wears. However, all of the alchemist's cat-women can turn into large, savage cats, not small domestic sized cats like Shakira. This origin seems both possible and impossible at the same time.
In Warlord #106, Shakira is reunited with Daimon, a cat-man who has the same powers as her. Daimon also can transform into a small black cat, and we learn that the two were once lovers. Daimon's existence further invalidates the "alchemist origin" from issue #103 because the alchemist only experimented on women. Daimon and Shakira could possibly be just two members of a larger race of black cat changelings. We don't learn much more about Daimon's origins, as he is killed in issue #109.
In Warlord #112, Shakira is seen by a group of palace guards from a far off kingdom who believe that she is their long lost princess. Calling her "Princess Orana," the guards explain to Shakira that they've been "searching high and low for you since your abduction." Without explaining anything to Morgan, Shakira goes off with the guards and prepares to become the kingdom's new queen. Eventually, the whole situation is revealed to be a case of mistaken identity. Shakira confesses that she was simply taking advantage of the guards' confusion, and if they wanted to make her a queen, that was fine with her.
An earlier clue to Shakira's origins appeared in Warlord #44, but it was never tied into any of the three possible origins mentioned above. In an abandoned Atlantean computer center near the location of Morgan's downed plane, Shakira demonstrates an ability to use the computer. With the push of a button, an image of a shiny white marble city flickers into view, and with tears in her eyes, Shakira stares at it for a few minutes. She then turns off the view screen and leaves quietly. Was that the home she left behind? We'll never know.
So what is known about Shakira? Well, when she first met Morgan, she was a slave to the Titan queen Amarant (Warlord #32). When Morgan is forced to battle a vicious rhinoceros in gladiator-style combat, Shakira helps him escape. She joins Morgan in his adventures through Skartaris, and the two briefly go their separate ways in issue #42. They meet again ("sooner than you think" she says mysteriously) in the city of Batuhm (Warlord #44).
When Shakira is nearly killed after being thrown from a horse, Morgan challenges Death in order to revive her (Warlord #46). Death grants Morgan's wish, returning Shakira to the land of the living, but she (Death) takes ten years of Morgan's life in exchange.
Later on, Shakira decides to stop adventuring for a while and stay in Kaambuka with Ashir (Warlord #55). Was she more interested in romance with Ashir or in snacking on the fat rodents that lived in the Kaambukan palace? It turns out to be the latter. Shakira tricks Ashir into thinking she has left, but she still hangs around in cat form to chase the rats (Warlord #63). [One of the running gags in the series is that Ashir is too dumb to realize that Shakira the cat and Shakira the woman are the same individual.]
After a trip to the past with Rostov (Warlord #64) and a trip to an alternate future with Morgan (Warlord #69-71), Shakira goes off with the animal loving Kaash'ban people. Her stay with them is cut short however, when she and Scarhart decide to join the resistance movement against the invading New Atlanteans. The first thing she does is rescue Ashir from the Atlanteans' prison camp (Warlord #76).
Except for one low moment, when she agrees to dispose of mice which have infested a Skartaran bar in exchange for food and lodging (Warlord #130), Shakira has been Morgan's constant companion. Their relationship is strictly platonic. Shakira's level headed-ness and realistic outlook on life in Skartaris serve as a nice counterbalance to Morgan's exuberance and overconfidence.
Skills and Weapons
Shakira has the ability to transform herself into a black cat about the size of the average housecat. She retains her human intellect in cat form and can change back and forth between her human and cat forms at will.
In cat form, Shakira's most dangerous weapons are her razor sharp claws. In human form, a spear is her preferred weapon of choice, but she has used a sword on one or two occasions.
"If by laying down my life I could avert the world's end, I would do so willingly." (Warlord #123).
Occupation: Queen of Shamballah
Known Relatives: "The Old King" (father, deceased), Travis Morgan (husband), Joshua Morgan/Tinder (son), Jennifer Morgan (step daughter).
First Appearance: First Issue Special #8
The only heir to the Shamballah crown, the young princess Tara grew up in a life of luxury. While her father, the "Old King," ruled Shamballah with a fierce but firm hand, Tara was give the best education a child could receive in Skartaris. Taught to wield a sword as well as how to rule a kingdom, the young Tara soon fell in love with the son of her tutors, a young minstrel named Graemore (Warlord #58).
Their love was an intense but brief one. Knowing that his daughter must marry someone of royal blood, the Old King banished Graemore and his parents from Shamballh. The love Graemore and Tara felt for each other couldn't be banished that easily though. It did, however, lay dormant for a few years.
Some time later, Tara was on a hunting expedition in the foothills of the Great Fire Mountain with fellow Shamballans when they were attacked by Theran soldiers (First Issue Special #8). Tara managed to escape from the soldiers, but while fleeing, she was attacked by a carnivorous dinosaur. Only the timely arrival and help of Travis Morgan (this took place on his first day in Skartaris) allowed her to fend off the dinosaur. Tara tutored Morgan in swordsmanship and taught him the Skartaran language (First Issue Special #8).
The two soon fell in love, and when Tara was kidnapped by the devil-priest Deimos, not even all the soldiers in Thera could keep Morgan from her (Warlord #4). The two were married in a private ceremony a short time later. When Morgan is accidentally transported back to the surface world, Tara waits for him to return, but she returns to Shamballah when she fears he has left for good (Warlord #5).
In Warlord #15, we learn that the Old King had died, making Tara queen of Shamballh. During this ten issue span,
Tara was pregnant with Morgan's child. Upon giving birth, Tara names the baby Joshua (after Morgan's father), but Deimos kidnaps the baby during a crisis caused by a crazed computer (Warlord #15). Tara and Morgan immediately begin their search to find Joshua, but their quest ends in tragedy (Warlord #21). Heartbroken by the apparent death of her son and further devastated when Morgan deserts her, Tara returns to Shamballah. Seen briefly in issues #28 and #31, Tara concentrates on her queenly duties.
Once again thinking Morgan has permanently left her, Tara enters into an agreement to marry the king of the neighboring kingdom of Kaambuka. The political marriage between her and Ashir would have cemented the two kingdoms' alliance in the face of Theran aggression, but it never takes place. Morgan pops back into Tara's life, and a rightly angered Tara tells Morgan that she is no longer his and that he must win back her love (Warlord #41). Morgan does just that, and more, during the subsequent Thera-Shamballah war (Warlord #42-43).
Tired of Morgan's ceaseless wanderings, Tara wants him to settle down and (rightfully) devote more of his time to her. He is her husband, after all. For what it's worth, Morgan tries living the royal life (Warlord #56-61), but he finds the political bickering and squabbling not to his liking. Torn between devotion to her kingdom and her love for Morgan, Tara becomes a tragic figure, in a sense. She can only have one of the two things she wants most out of life.
Tara's relationship with Morgan inevitably becomes strained (every time he comes home after a long time off adventuring, she breaks his nose with a well placed punch), and Tara has an affair with Graemore, her childhood love. Although she cares for Graemore and could be happy with him, Tara remains in love with Morgan. She truly does love him, despite the many times he has abandoned her.
In what many consider to be their greatest accomplishment together, Tara and Morgan drove the New Atlantean conquerors out of Shamballah and, eventually, all of Skartaris (Warlord #87-100). Tara has survived coup attempts by DeSaad (Warlord #114-115) and the Vashek leader Y'smalla (Warlord #117).
In Warlord #125, the villain Scavenger steals Tara's soul. She becomes a zombie and appears dead, but really isn't. Stuck in a "twilight state between life and death - an empty shell of her former being," Tara's soul is given to a goddess who keeps the souls of the universe's greatest warriors in giant pearls (Really! I couldn't make this crap up - see Warlord #133).
Finally realizing what a jerk he's been to Tara, Morgan frees her soul and the two are reunited in the final scene of the series (Warlord #133). Since then, their marriage has improved somewhat (Morgan still can't resist the lure of adventure), and Tara has devoted her time to ruling Shamballah. In fact, the legends say she'll be remembered as the fairest and greatest queen ever.
Skills and Weapons
Tara is an excellent swordswoman and athlete. She also has a brutal right handed punch (as Morgan can attest to). Her fierce determination and drive to succeed make her a formidable foe - and an excellent queen.
Tinder (Joshua Morgan)
Occupation: thief, pickpocket, (currently) advisor to Queen Tara of Shamballah
Hair: Reddish brown (sometimes depicted as blond)
Known Relatives: Travis Morgan (father), Tara (mother), Jennifer Morgan (step-sister), Dagin (foster father, deceased), Hecubah (foster mother, deceased).
First Appearance: Warlord #15
Tinder is the lost son of Tara and Travis Morgan, and the rightful Prince of Shamballah. He has a circuitous life, one that rivals his father's own adventures. Upon returning to Shamballah, Travis is surprised but overjoyed to discover that Tara has given birth to a son, Joshua. The joy is short-lived because Deimos the Devil Priest abducts the boy (Warlord #15). Travis and Tara embark on a quest to retrieve their son and have a series of harrowing adventures (Warlord #16-19).
Deimos intends to use Joshua as an instrument of revenge against Morgan. With the help of Ashiya the Witch, Deimos clones Joshua as an escape plan; Deimos will surrender the clone to purchase his freedom if his revenge fails. Morgan, Tara, Machiste and Mariah assault Deimos' castle in the Terminator, the shadow land at the edge of Skartaris. Morgan quickly finds Deimos but discovers his blade useless against the undead Deimos. While Morgan is stunned, Deimos uses the moment to artificially age Joshua (Warlord #20). Deimos planned to raise Joshua as his own son and teach him to hate Morgan but this scheme was ruined by Morgan's assault on Deimos' castle. Instead, Deimos sets Joshua against his father now and forces Morgan to kill his own son. The Devil Priest is eventually killed by the combined might of Morgan and Tara, but it is a pyrrhic victory for the grieving parents (Warlord #21).
Skartaris is not filled with tears for Morgan or Tara, though. Unbeknownst to them or Deimos, Ashiya the Witch took the true Joshua (identifiable by the wristwatch he wears around his arm) to live with a woodcutter family and left the clone with Deimos (Warlord #50). Ashiya planned to use Joshua for a future scheme but is killed by Jennifer Morgan before her plans can reach fruition (Warlord #54).
Joshua's adoptive parents, Dagin (a woodsman/farmer) and Hecubah (a housewife/farmer), live in the woodlands surrounding Shamballah and they raise Joshua as if he were their own son (Warlord #30). When the Theran army approaches Shamballah, the family is forced to flee, but not before Dagin successfully helps Morgan defeat the Therans' advance unit (Warlord #30).
After the Shamballah-Thera War, it is revealed that Hecubah and Dagin were killed by retreating Therans (Warlord #55). Now a young boy of 7 or 8 years old, Joshua escapes and becomes a thieving street urchin on the streets of Shamballah, his rightful kingdom (Warlord #56). While on the streets, Joshua adopts the name Tinder because all the other street kids make fun of his weird, outer world name (Warlord #56).
He is lost, lonely, and in need of a father figure, who arrives in the form of Darvin, a sly and wily gang leader. Darvin is in cohorts with Praedor (also spelled Praydor), a politician plotting to overthrow Tara's rulership. Darvin recognizes Tinder's armband, Morgan's old wristwatch, and takes Tinder under his tutelage until he can use the boy to his advantage (Warlord #56). Morgan and Tinder, father and son, quickly become enmeshed in the machinations of Praedor and Darvin. Morgan is imprisoned by Darvin and replaced with a double by Praedor (Warlord #57) in an attempt to place the Shamballah government under his sway.
The conspiracy does not go smoothly. Darvin deduces Tinder's actual identity as the royal son and attempts to blackmail Praedor for more money (Warlord #58). Meanwhile, the imprisoned Morgan befriends Tinder and spins fabulous stories about the Outer World (Warlord #59). Tinder frees Morgan who squelches the conspiracy with the assistance of Tara. Unfortunately, Tinder loses his armband, the only proof of his real identity, to Darvin (Warlord #60). Darvin realizes the armband is an opportunity to seize a profit after the conspiracy fails, and attempts to sell an imposter Tinder to Morgan and Tara. An accidental fire kills Darvin and Morgan retrieves the armband/watch. Tinder attempts to steal back his armband but, since Tara safely wears it, decides leaves Shamballah (Warlord #61).
Leaving Shamballah, Tinder apprentices himself to a merchant in a traveling caravan. They traveled from city to city until the beginnings of the Skartaris-New Atlantis War (Warlord #81).
New Atlantis-Skartaris War and the Return of the Evil One
During the onset of the war, a pack of Atlantean soldiers attacked the merchants and enslaved them, but Tinder escaped. Lost and hungry, he attempts to steal food from Jennifer Morgan and Faaldren. Jennifer captures Tinder, whose thieving skills is no match for her magic. Jennifer immediately feels a kinship with the boy and allows Tinder to join her and Faaldren. A squad of New Atlanteans who wound Jennifer terribly interrupts their journey. Tinder uses Jennifer's magic to conjure a phantom train and repels the invaders. Jennifer realizes that Tinder must have secret knowledge of the Outer World, since he is familiar with trains. Much to Faaldren's chagrin, Jennifer decides to let Tinder join them and agrees to teach him magic (Warlord #81).
Faaldren attempts to locate Morgan by masquerading as a New Atlantean in Shamballah. He discovers tyranny and terror instituted by the invaders. He reports the grim news to Jennifer and Tinder. Things appear bleak until Ashir joins the intrepid band and agrees to help them find Morgan (Warlord #83). Their situation quickly turns sour and cave bears attack the group. Jennifer destroys one of the bears but is injured by the other. The group is almost killed but is saved by a mysterious pungent odor that drives the remaining cave bear away (Warlord #84). Jennifer, Faaldren and Ashir discover that Tinder has disappeared and begin to search for him. Tinder has been pulled into a nearby cave by the beast Chaaka, whom also emitted the pungent odor. Tinder is able to return the favor by saving Chaaka from a giant spider. Unfortunately, he is knocked unconscious and becomes new prey for the spider (Warlord #85). Using amazing agility and cunning, Chaaka is able to save Tinder yet again. Jennifer and company arrive in time to destroy the beast with her magic (Warlord #86).
Like a Skartarian version of Huck Finn, Tinder and Chaaka strike up a friendship and explore the caverns together (Warlord #87). They stumble across the ancient lair of the Evil One and become ensorcelled by a magic gemstone (Warlord #88-89). The power of the Evil One interferes with Jennifer's locator spell but she, Faaldren and Ashir find the lair and charmed Tinder and Chaaka. Jennifer arrives in time to free the duo from the gem. She decides to keep the gem and Tinder decides to keep Chaaka, much to the displeasure of Faaldren and Ashir (Warlord #90).
Tinder and Jennifer are eventually reunited with Morgan after he returns from a battle with Captain Hawk, pirate of the Skartarian seas. Morgan and Tara begin to plan their strategy against the New Atlanteans but Tinder is more concerned with Tara's armband. While he is happy to have new friends like Jennifer and Chaaka, he feels a great sadness that the armband will never be his again (Warlord #91).
Jennifer and Tinder continue their investigation of the Evil One's gem and go back to his lair. Jennifer tells Tinder about the Evil One but he becomes ensorcelled by another enchantment. Jennifer realizes that now is not a good time to teach Tinder magic since he has been singled out by the Evil One's power (Warlord #93). She discussed the situation with Ashir and asks the master thief to teach Tinder the thief's trade (Warlord #94). Her behavior becomes erratic and Ashir convinces her that the gem is responsible. Jennifer locks the gem away (Warlord #95). The Evil One will not be denied though and she finds the gem has been stolen (Warlord #96). Jennifer had forgotten that Chaaka was charmed as well as Tinder and the poor creature stole the gem for the Evil One. Tinder and Jennifer find Chaaka but are too late to stop his possession by the Evil One.
Morgan, Jennifer and Tinder discover that the one way to defeat the Evil One is to obtain the Hellfire Sword. Jennifer sends Morgan into the realm of the sword's safe-keepers and retrieves it after a battle. Morgan learns that the sword will forever be keyed to his bloodline. Jennifer again displays her incredible powers in another offensive against the Evil One but his strength and cunning overwhelm her and Morgan. Tinder finally destroys the Evil One by using the Hellfire Sword against the creature. Sadly, he is forced to kill his friend Chaaka and leaves Jennifer's side, disgusted by the turn of events (Warlord Annual #4). Jennifer realizes that Tinder must be Morgan's lost son because Tinder could wield the Hellfire Sword, and she attempts to locate him with a spell. Mongo Ironhand accidentally disrupts her magic, and Tinder ends up in Wizard World (Warlord #96).
Ballad of the Warlord
Tinder grows to adulthood in Wizard World and somehow returns to present-day Skartaris. He has become a minstrel and creates an inspiring ballad about the Warlord, his friend and inspiration. He encounters Petrus, an old warrior, who scoffs at the idealized images of the Warlord in Tinder's songs. A bargain is struck between the two men; Tinder will search for the truth behind the Warlord if Petrus accompanies him. Their journey takes them across Skartaris and they meet each of Morgan's old companions: Jennifer, Machiste, Mariah, Tara, & Shakira. Each offers their insight into Morgan's character. Unfortunately, Deimos has arisen from the grave once more and threatens all of Skartaris. Tinder locates Morgan and convinces him, with a mixture of guilt and goading, to fight the Devil Priest. Deimos is only defeated after Morgan reacquires the cursed Hellfire Sword. Skartarian nations are united in peace once more but Tinder finds no peace; Morgan has abandoned kingdom and responsibility once more.
Tinder decides to stay in Shamballah and become an advisor to Tara (Warlord miniseries #1-6). Neither Tara nor Morgan realize that one of their most trusted advisors is really their son and heir (Teen Titans #9-11).
Skills and Weapons
Tinder is an accomplished thief and was once the student of Ashir, second greatest thief in Skartaris. He is also an excellent minstrel. He prefers song or subterfuge over might but engages in swordplay when necessary.
The Warlord (Travis Morgan)
"By the gods, this is the life" (Warlord #12).
"Being a legend isn't what it's cracked up to be, kid. You always have to prove it to someone" (Warlord miniseries #5).
Occupation: former US Air Force pilot, (currently) legendary adventurer
Known Relatives: Rachel (first wife, deceased), Tara (wife), Jennifer Morgan (daughter), Joshua Morgan/Tinder (son), Joshua (father, deceased), Chuck (brother in-law), Marie (sister in-law)
First Appearance: First Issue Special #8
He came from an iron bird in the sky. He shot forth thunder from his hand. He won the love of a warrior queen. He slew the devil-priest more times than anyone can remember.
The Skartaran legends of the mighty Warlord say many things - some true, some exaggerations. But while the legends sing the praises of Skartaris' greatest hero, they say little about the man behind the legend - Travis Morgan.
Little is known of Morgan's childhood, but it is known that he attended Thomas Jefferson Junior High School in an unnamed American city. There he met Rachel, his childhood sweetheart who would later become his wife, and there he also met his life long nemesis, Danny Maddox.
Morgan - no one ever calls him Travis - joined the US Air Force upon reaching adulthood. Rising to the rank of lieutenant colonel, Morgan's assignments with the Air Force frequently kept him away from his family. Even in America, as in Skartaris, Morgan's thirst for adventure took him far from those he loved. (He and Rachel were happily married, and they had a daughter named Jennifer). When Morgan did come home, however, he always brought flowers to the women he loved more than anything - roses for Rachel and daises for Jennifer.
A timeless time later, Morgan suffered the first of many tragic losses in his life - Rachel was killed in an automobile accident. Unable to cope with his grief, Morgan sent Jenny to live with her Aunt Marie (Rachel's sister), and Morgan went off to fly combat missions in Vietnam.
On June 16, 1969, the Pentagon sent Morgan on a secret aerial surveillance mission over the USSR. His mission was nearly complete when his plane was detected by Russian radar. Firing surface to air missiles, the Russians missed Morgan, but the shockwaves and flak from the nearby explosions severely damaged Morgan's plane. Leaking fuel like crazy, Morgan charted a course to a nearby emergency support base in Alaska - a course that took him straight over the North Pole.
But he never makes it there. Forced to eject when his fuel supply is exhausted, Morgan lands in what he thinks is the Yukon Territory. Unknown to him, Morgan actually descended through a portal/gateway linking Earth to the other-dimensional realm of Skartaris. (Originally, Morgan thought that Skartaris was a world within a hollow Earth, but he later learned that Skartaris occupied a dimension unto itself.)
As Morgan's first heroic deed in Skartaris, he rescued Princess Tara from the clutches of a flesh eating dinosaur. Tara taught Morgan the Skartaran language, and soon after, Morgan had his first encounter with his arch-foe Deimos. (At that time, Deimos was the wizard priest of Thera. Only later would he become the Theran king). After a stint as a gladiator-slave, Morgan and his newfound friend Machiste led an army of ex-gladiators against Deimos. Slaying the devil-priest in hand to hand combat, Morgan rescued Tara and freed those who had been enslaved by Deimos.
Now called the Warlord by his army of followers, Morgan thought he and his army could bring freedom to all oppressed peoples in Skartaris. Alas, Morgan's dream of a Skartaris where "every man and woman is the equal of every other" never came to pass. The lure of adventure in an unexplored land was just too much of a temptation for Morgan.
Travis Morgan's curse, you see, is having a restless heart. He loved Tara deeply, and after marrying they had a son together, but not even the love of the mightiest queen in Skartaris was enough for Morgan. Some legends might speak of him having affairs with Mariah, the flame haired beauty from Morgan's world, or Shakira, the woman-cat, but that would be wrong. Morgan's true mistress was adventure.
The lure of adventure led Morgan to many strange places, and even different time periods. Adventure allowed Morgan the chance to meet many friends - and even more enemies. The legend of the Warlord grew with every good deed done and battle won by Morgan. Eventually, he became Skartaris' greatest hero. And once Jennifer came to join her father in Skartaris (she eventually became the dimension's leading sorceress), Skartaris became Morgan's home. There was simply no reason for him to return to Earth.
But, oh no, dear friends, don't think for a moment that Travis Morgan's story is one full of loveliness and happy endings. Skartaris took its toll on him. Morgan's son Joshua was taken from him, and even though the boy lived, Morgan never knew it. His relationship with Tara had its rough times, and its only a matter of time before she stops letting Morgan back into her life. Morgan's dream of freedom for all Skartarans withered like a grape in the sun. And even though he was now closer to his daughter in terms of physical distance, Morgan remained as far from her emotionally as ever before - he sought out Jenny only when he needed her help in battle or in some crazy adventure.
Yes, Morgan would climb any mountain or swim any sea for his friends and family, but he's never satisfied. Morgan will never be able to stop to admire the many good deeds he's done. And as he's grown older, his few failures and the realization that he can't save everyone and everything have made Morgan a tad bitter.
But Morgan has the heart of a warrior, and nothing will stop him from trying to solve all of Skartaris' problems. He's still out there adventuring, you know. With Shakira curled around his neck, sword and shield at his side, Morgan rides on. And in Shamballah, Tara wonders and worries about him. And in a far off castle, Jennifer Morgan still feels like the little girl who misses her daddy.
What are you up to now, Morgan? Where are you today? You can find him, if you want. Just take the second star to the right, and go straight on till morning .
Skills and Weapons
Morgan is an excellent swordsman, a superb strategist, and an amazing athlete, among other things. Morgan has a magnetic personality and can win friends and lead men into battle like a charismatic snake oil salesman.
For a time, Morgan wielded the sword Hellfire. Hellfire protected its bearer from the effects of magic spells, but it thirsted for blood. Every time Hellfire is unsheathed, it must draw blood - or else. Needless to say, Morgan soon rid himself of it. Morgan's other, "regular" sword has no special properties.
Morgan's one link to the outside world in his .44 magnum gun. He has a seemingly endless supply of ammo for the .44, and he is often criticized for relying on it too much when he gets into trouble. For a time (in First Issue Special #8 only), Morgan had a .38 Special, but he quickly used up the gun's 12 rounds of ammunition. Morgan has no replacement ammo for the .38.
Morgan has also been known to use other weapons - daggers, axes, etc. - in his many adventures.
All characters are DC Comics
This piece is © 2001 by D.J. LoTempio and David R. Black.
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DC characters are used here in fan art and fiction in accordance with their generous "fair use" policies.
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