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



Thanador is an evil heroic-fantasy barbarian/warlock. He was only seen in a 2007 Red Sonja/Claw the Unconquered cross-over limited series.

When diving deeper, the context becomes fairly complex to explain. So we suggest that you first read Claw the Unconquered’s character profile if you want to get it all. This article assume that you did.


  • 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. Thanador could 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. But he was entirely focused on learning a very specific ritual – the Unconquerable Conjuration. This 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 Thanador’s mystical skills outside of the Conjuration were. 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 steppes are actually a plane of chaos. They were bred by non-sorcerous dog handlers 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. They 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.

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. He hailed 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 supported his compatriot’s masterful blade.

Thanador and Sonja rode to the edges of their world. Eventually, they found the steppe that somehow lies between their world and a different one. In hindsight, this place is probably a plane of chaos. But in the small kingdom of Brissendyn they found an unlikely spot of law and freedom, as the place was civilised and justly governed.

However, its ruler King Älgren the First was dying. A horde of berserkers from Kyfirth was determined to exploit that vulnerability, as Ägren son of Ägren the First was but a teenager. The invaders’ goal was to return the place to the same chaos and misery as the rest of the steppes.

The boy king

Sonja and Thanador fought at the side of the boy-king and his pitiful guard. They were joined by a local wizard named Baxla. Thanks to the Hyrkanians and Baxla, the battle was won after five days of hard fighting.

Thanador closes his wounds with a spell

The restless Sonja left after the coronation ceremony of the young King. But Thanador stayed to protect the tenuous hopes of Brissendyn.

However, what Thanador liked was slaughter and war. 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.

While in the mage’s study, 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. The book also had drawings of the demonic arm to be gained through the Conjuration.

The Devil’s hands

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

But there was but one conjuration he focused upon. When he became knowledgeable enough to conduct the ritual, Thanador murdered Baxla. 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.

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. The small kingdom soon started aligning with the dread wilderness around it.

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

Two riders there were

Four years after she left, Sonja returned to the steppes. She stumbled upon Claw the Unconquered, and the two rode to nearby Brissendyn. For Thanador it soon became a formidable opportunity. He would kill Sonja for opposing demons, and 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. These forced the two adventurers back.

The pursuing Brissendynian military managed to capture Sonja. But Claw, looking to die in battle, ended up killing the mimitia’s giant champion. Thanador kept the red-haired Hyrkanian in a cell to lure Claw back in.

Sonja escaped. However, Claw had already come to help. But at this point the Unconquered was in the thrall of vivid, waking nightmares. In these visions he was slaughtering everyone, including Sonja.


Thanador just threw guards at Claw. He knew that the resulting slaughter reinforced the hold of the demon hand on Claw. Soon, Claw was 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. This bought enough time for Sonja to cleave off his demon hand and free him from the influence.

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

However, it is entirely possible that Thanador’s arms could escape the fire and regrow a demonic clone of Thanador to bear them. Claw’s demon hand did pull similar stunts.


Many of the runes on Thanador’s body are Runequest references.


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

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), Headquarters (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 06, Enhance (EV): 02 (cap is 08), Descriptor: Slashing, Recommended STR 03]. Attack rolls against opponents in medium or heavier body armour receive a +1 to the final roll total. Attacks rolls against opponents in light or no body armour receive a -1 penalty to the final attack roll total.

The right to bear arms

Thanador was clearly more powerful after he got his demon limbs. 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.

Demon limbs sympathy

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. Still, all Thanador 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). But that worked best when Claw was surprised.

Demonic strength

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.

Demonic recovery

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.

Demonic magic

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<./li>
  • Growth has a special bonus – increasing INF just like it increases STR. Well technically it’s a Loss Vulnerability on his INF, but it’s simpler put that way.

Martial artist (AV): 07

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Martial Artist is Contingent Upon 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.