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Thanador (Claw the Unconquered and Red Sonja enemy) (Wildstorm comics)


Power Level: ,
Game system: DC Heroes Role-Playing Game
  • This profile is best read after having read Claw the Unconquered’s profile for context.


  • Real Name: Thanador
  • Marital Status: Unrevealed
  • Known Relatives: None
  • Group Affiliation: Former partner of Red Sonja ; ruler of the small kingdom of Brissendyn
  • Base Of Operations: Mobile
  • Height: 6’5” Weight: 245 lbs.
  • Eyes: Grey Hair: White

Powers and Abilities

Thanador is originally a hulking, extraordinarily muscled barbarian axeman. Though he presumably wasn’t quite a match for the martial excellence of Red Sonja, he was a mighty warrior able to defeat a score of ordinary berserkers by himself and fight for hours. One assumes that he was also a proficient adventurer outside of the battlefield.

He later became a skilled occultist, though he was entirely focused on learning a very specific ritual – the Unconquerable Conjuration, which is apparently the exact same Ritual once used by an ancestor of Valcan of Pytharia (and, perhaps apocryphally, by a chaos demon at the same time).

It is unclear how developed his mystical skills outside of the Conjuration were, and this writeup assumes a generic level of expertise. The game stats section covers his apparent abilities after the ritual in more details.

Nothing but a hound dog

One important military asset of the corrupted realm of Brissendyn were elephant-sized mutant hounds.

Giant mutant hounds charge out from a dreary city

The presence of these things is one of strongest elements to suspect that the steps are actually a plane of chaos – they were bred by non-sorcerous breeders in about two years, and the process didn’t seem too difficult with some knowledge of the more peculiar areas of local zoology.

The hounds, once in battle, were uncontrollable and would attack friend and foe alike, though by this point the locals didn’t much care. Presumable the breeders had ways to rein the animals in after the battle was over – or maybe the militia had to kill them.


One of the militia’s leaders was a giant – not a monster, but a normal-looking, well-proportioned man who somehow happened to be about four meters tall. How he became impossibly tall and massive is unrevealed, as was his name.

The man seemed to assume he was impervious to blades, though perhaps a swing by a very strong warrior with a heavy weapon might have changed his mind.


Thanador was a Hyrkanian adventurer – hailing from the same time and milieu as famous adventurers Conan the Cimmerian, Red Sonja the She-Devil, and others. For a while he was the friend of fellow Hyrkanian Red Sonja, and adventured at her side, his huge physique and heavy axe supporting his compatriot’s masterful blade.

Thanador and Sonja rode to the edges of their world, entering the steppe that somehow lies between their world and a different one – a steppe that, in hindsight, is probably a plane of chaos (see the writeups.org entry for Claw the Unconquered). In the small kingdom of Brissendyn they found an unlikely spot of law and freedom, as the place was civilised and justly governed.

However, king Älgren the First was dying, and a horde of berserkers from Kyfirth was determined to exploit that vulnerability – Ägren son of Ägren the First was but a teenager – to return the place to the same chaos and misery as the rest of the steppes.

Sonja and Thanador decided to fight at the side of the boy-king and his pitiful guard, and were joined by a local wizard named Baxla. Thanks to the Hyrkanians and Baxla, the battle was won after 5 days of hard fighting. The restless Sonja left after the coronation ceremony of the young King, but Thanador decided to stay to help protect the tenuous hopes of Brissendyn.

Thanador closes his wounds with a spell

However, what Thanador liked was slaughter and war, and the fragile peace in Brissendyn soon became frustrating. After the Hyrkanian got himself in yet another fight for trivial reasons and was wounded, Baxla asked him to calm down.

During this stay in the study of the mage, the muscular warrior opened a book at random to pass the time. He happened upon a depiction of the Unconquerable Conjuration, a terrible ritual of power, and was fascinated by what he saw – and the drawings of the demonic arm to be gained through the Conjuration.

Lying through his teeth, Thanador told Baxla that he agreed with him and would stop with murder and massacre to study magic and the occult sciences instead. His friend became his mentor, and Thanador learned well.

There was but one conjuration he focused upon, however, and when he became knowledgeable enough to conduct the ritual he murdered Baxla with an axe in the back. The conjuration was successful, and Thanador replaced his right arm with a demon arm ending with a webbed, clawed hand.

Through further pacts with the demons of chaos, he would eventually replace his other arm with a matching demon limb.

The Devil’s hands

With his taste for carnage and power, Thanador was trivial to corrupt for the forces of chaos. He murdered the young King and took over Brissendyn, which soon started aligning with the dread wilderness around it.

The denizens became poorer, more devious and violent, more lawless. Presumably, the small kingdom was headed toward falling apart and reverting to bands of reavers within a few years.

Four years after she left, Sonja returned to the steppes ; she met with Claw the Unconquered, and the two rode to nearby Brissendyn. For Thanador it soon became a formidable opportunity – to kill Sonja for her ethical preferences and to mystically enslave Claw through his demon hand.

Sonja and Claw clashed with the hostile population as they entered Brissendyn ; knowing that the rabble couldn’t really hope to prevail, Thanador unleashed monstrous dog-monsters that drove the adventurers away.

The pursuing Brissendynian military managed to capture Sonja, but not Claw, who killed their giant champion in an attempt to die in battle. Thanador knew that Claw would be back, and kept the red-haired Hyrkanian in a cell to serve as bait.

Sonja escaped, but by that point Claw had already come back to help her and was in the thrall of vivid, waking nightmares where he was slaughtering everyone, including Sonja. Thanador just threw guards at Claw, knowing that the slaughter reinforced the hold of the demon hand on Claw – who became unable to tell whether he was really killing people or just dreaming, and whether he had killed Sonja or she was at his side.

Thanador, easily overpowering Sonja, nearly convinced Claw to butcher her and come over the dark side. However, Claw resisted for long minutes and when he eventually went under, Sonja managed to cut off his demon hand and free him from the influence.

Claw brutally turned against Thanador. During the scant seconds when Thanador was surprised they gained the upper hand. Claw and Sonja hacked off Thanador’s demon limbs, then killed him and burned everything, including Claw’s demon hand.

From capabilities later demonstrated by Claw’s hand, it is entirely possible that Thanador’s arms could escape the fire and regrow a demonic clone of Thanador to bear them.


See illustrations.


Thanador went from being a battle-and-carnage-happy barbarian strongman, to being a Vader-style Dark Lord of the Sith.


(As a barbarian adventurer) “It’s the waiting I can’t stand. I’d rather be in battle now, feeling skulls crack like eggshells against the blade of my axe.”

“Claws, indeed. It is a manifestation of the darkest magic. I embraced this magic… and was rewarded with almost limitless power.”

“Every death by his hand makes him more powerful, and vulnerable. You guards are expendable. His value is incalculable. He will be my perfect soldier. Entirely under my command. An extension of myself.”

Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Thanador (as a barbarian warrior)

Dex: 07 Str: 05 Bod: 06 Motivation: Mercenary
Int: 05 Wil: 04 Min: 06 Occupation: Assassin
Inf: 07 Aur: 06 Spi: 07 Resources {or Wealth}: 005
Init: 019 HP: 020

Animals handling (Horses): 04, Weaponry (Melee): 08

Credentials (Brissendyn, High), Headquarter (Tower of Brissendyn), Iron Nerves, Rank (Commanding officer of the militia – rough equivalent of Captain)

Realm of Brissendyn (Low, from Credentials)

Distinct Appearance (Demon arms)

Large Battle Axe [BODY 09, EV 05 (06 w/STR)]

The right to bear arms

Thanador was clearly more powerful after he got his demon limbs, though by how much is not entirely clear. Here are the observed changes over the cookie-cutter mighty-thewed barbarian warrior stats above:

  • He learned Occultist: 04. He was mostly focused on the Unconquerable Conjuration and may not have had other significant mystical abilities and rituals.
  • His demon arms sympathetically bore the same wounds as Claw’s demon hand, as long as such wounds were inflicted within a few miles of him. This wasn’t much of a hindrance, these limbs not feeling pain and regenerating.
    Once Claws’s presence was thus known to him he could sense where Claw was, get a vague sense of what he was doing, and even possess him while he slept – though all he could do with this possession was to talk, and that may only have been possible since Claw was exhausted and badly corrupted at that point.
    Once Claw was corrupted enough, Thanador could even mentally force Claw’s hand to make some gestures (such as clawing at his own face), though that worked best when Claw was surprised.
  • The arms boost his physical might – DEX 09 STR 07, Weaponry (Melee): 10, Lightning Reflexes (Initiative is increased by four over the one in the stats block), Damage capacity: 06, Stabilisation, No Vital Areas. Even a sword through the head wasn’t fatal, through it did pin him.
  • Thanador could mystically heal his wounds, though that required concentration – Regeneration: 15 (only for his Damage Capacity pool, requires a Dice Action to apply). Regenerating these allowed him to draw the damage to form a green ball of hellfire he could hurl at enemy – Flame project, which is its own AV, and has as many APs as the APs of Damage Capacity he just Regenerated.
  • Thanador had other spells at his disposal, but was killed before he could use them. The stats for Claw the Unconquered’s demon hand are good inspiration for whatever these might have been.

Giant mutant dog

Dex: 06 Str: 08 Bod: 07 Motivation: Kill and devour
Int: 01 Wil: 01 Min: 01 Occupation: Beast
Inf: 02 Aur: 00 Spi: 02 Resources {or Wealth}: N.A.
Init: 019 HP: 000

Analytical Smell/Tracking Scent: 07, Claws: 09, Cold Immunity: 01, Damage capacity (All): 04, Extended Hearing: 03, Growth: 06, Running: 05, Super Hearing: 03, Ultra Vision: 03

Lightning Reflexes

MPR (color-blind), Catastrophic Rage

Giant militiaman

Dex: 03 Str: 07 Bod: 07 Motivation: Mercenary
Int: 02 Wil: 02 Min: 03 Occupation: Soldier
Inf: 06 Aur: 02 Spi: 02 Resources {or Wealth}: 002
Init: 012 HP: 020

Growth: 04

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Growth is presumably Always On, and is Already Factored In
  • Growth has a special bonus – increasing INF just like it increases STR

Martial artist (AV): 07

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Martial Artist is Contingent on Growth
  • Each AP of Growth a foe has active negates one AP of Martial Artist – as the advantage of reach disappears

MPR (One-eyed, wears a patch over one eye)

By Sébastien Andrivet

Source of Character: Red Sonja / Claw (Dynamite Entertainment)

Helper(s): Darci

Writeup completed on the 5th of May, 2011.

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