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Akivasha is a beautiful princess, daughter of Pharaoh Tuthamon, who reveled in purple feasts amid the black halls of ancient Luxur 10,000 years before the birth of Conan, in the age of the Giant-Kings. She couldn't bear the thought of growing old, so Akivasha wooed darkness like a lover and was gifted with eternal life. She lives in the tombs of her ancient land as a vampire. A cult dedicated to her worship, proclaiming to the uninitiated of how she ascended into the heavens as a goddess, procure sacrifices in her honour.

Akivasha has ivory skin, with thick tresses of black hair. She wears nothing but velvet sandals and a broad jewel-crusted belt about her waist. Her flesh is cold and her eyes glow in darkness like golden fire. She carries her sarcophagus with her, with Akivasha's face carved into its cover.

Background[]

"I am Akivasha! I am the woman who never died, who never grew old! Who fools say was lifted from the earth by the gods, in the full bloom of her youth and beauty, to queen it forever in some celestial clime! Nay, it is in the shadows that mortals find immortality! Ten thousand years ago I died to live for ever! Give me your lips, strong man!"

Robert E. HowardThe Hour of the Dragon, Chapter 18: "I Am The Woman Who Never Died"

Akivasha's past is surrounded in mystery. It's believed many centuries ago she was a teenage Stygian princess who was renowned for her stunning beauty. As such while reveling in the purple feasts amid ancient Luxur's towering black halls, she couldn't bear the thought of growing old or shriveled with old age, so she sought the favor of the dark gods to gain immortality and eternal youth. With their blessing, Akivasha remained beautiful but would have to consume the blood of the living to perpetuate her own youth.

Her only sin was that she loved life and all the meanings of life. To win life she courted death. She could not bear to think of growing old and shriveled and worn, and dying at last as hags die. She wooed Darkness like a lover and his gift was life -- life that, not being life as mortals know it, can never grow old and fade. She went into the shadows to cheat age and death.

Robert E. Howard, The Hour of the Dragon, Chapter 18: "I Am The Woman Who Never Died"

She came across Conan during the events of The Hour of the Dragon, when he entered the Temple of Set in search of the mystical Heart of Ahriman. Armed with the Heart, he could regain the kingdom of Aquilonia from his enemies, including the 3,000 year-old sorcerer known as Xaltotun, who wrongfully usurped the throne from him. She offered to lead him towards the sorcerer Thutothemes, who held the Heart. However, within her burial chambers, as she sought to seduce him, he found the empty sarcophagus of Akivasha and realized her true nature. Nonetheless, she entranced him with her tale and sought to make her companion. As she was about to bite him in the neck, Conan overcame her control by rejecting Akivasha in favor of his true love Zenobia and escaped the chamber, leaving the vampiress behind laughing maniacally.

The story of The Sorrow of Akivasha, presented in Conan the Cimmerian #15, showed her meeting with Conan from her own point of view. Far from the never-ending parade of pleasures she desired, Akivasha found that she regretted her decision of immortality and eternal youth 10,000 years later, as she is now simply a predator being kept by the priests and temple of Set out of obligation. Aside from when they bring her fresh victims to feed on, she is alone in the dark catacombs, forever denied the light of day and the world above. Rather than seeking Conan as a conquest or slave, she was wooed by his power and strength, desiring after so long, a companion to stay with her to fight off the unbearable loneliness of her endless existence. She is tearful and genuinely heartbroken when Conan leaves her, knowing she will never see him again and is alone once more.

With the Heart of Ahriman in his grasp, Conan used to order the three-thousand-year-old emperor of Ancient Stygia, Thoth-Merki, to guide him out of the pyramid for his journey homeward, while its glowing light thwarted Akivasha and the other supernatural creatures from pursuing him. 

Appearance[]

  • The Hour of the Dragon - Her first appearance was in "The Hour of the Dragon" from Weird Tales (1935-1936). Akivasha was described as a teenage girl born in an ancient bloodline of Stygian royalty, with long black straight hair, green eyes, and pale ivory-white flawless skin.
    • According to Chapter 18: "I Am The Woman Who Never Died" and Chapter 19: "The Hall of the Dead", she first encountered Conan who disguised himself as a member of Thutothemes' entourage in the Temple of Set:

"A girl stood at the mouth of a smaller tunnel, staring fixedly at him. Her ivory skin showed her to be Stygian of some ancient noble family, and like all such women she was tall, lithe, voluptuously figured, her hair a great pile of black foam, among which gleamed a sparkling ruby. But, for her velvet sandals and broad jewel-crusted girdle about her supple waist, she was quite nude."

Robert E. HowardThe Hour of the Dragon

  • Kull The Conqueror - The novelization of the film Kull the Conqueror, written by Sean A. Moore and published by Tor Books.
  • The Return of Akivasha - The Return of Akivasha: Book One of the Lost Hyborian Tales, written by Timothy Ford Allen. Akivasha has fled Stygia by gathering her own armies to launch an invasion against Aquilonia and its rightful rulers, King Conan and Queen Zenobia.

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