It started when Kevin Plunder the man known as Ka-Zar had found a journal, it described a story of Jealousy and Power. During his trip to the place known as the Savage Land, he found an amusement park, that seemed to be based off Hell, as described by Dante Alighieri in his 13th century epic, the Divine Comedy. As Kevin explored deeper he found that the 13th century writer had actually been there, seven hundred years previously. Lying on a table was the ship’s log for one Captain Dante Alighieri. Most of what is known about Belasco’s origins comes from this ancient tome. As it was read Kevin found the story. Dante had left his home in Florence, Italy to search for a sorcerer named Belasco who practiced Alchemy and the black arts of sorcery. His goal was to contact beings that were known as the “ elder gods” to gain immortality. Before he could succeed at his plan and had been discovered and convicted of acts of heresey. Instead of that being his end, Belasco escaped and took a woman named Beatrice, a woman he had longed for secretly. Yet Beatrice loved Dante who vowed to chase Belasco to the end of the world.
The chase ended in the previously undiscovered continent of Antarctica, where Dante and his surviving crew chased Belasco into the Savage Land. Inside this warm, lush world, which he called Pangea, Dante found strange, inhuman peoples. However inhuman, they were sympathetic to Dante’s plight and joined his quest. Belasco, in the meantime, had formed vast tunnels deep into the caverns of the valley in which to hide. By the time Dante and his men discovered the lair of the sorcerer, it was too late. Dante’s beloved lay upon an altar, about to give birth to the demonic children of Belasco, as promised by the sorcerer’s “elder gods.”
The unholy experience of giving birth to a race of demons was too much for the young Beatrice, who died during the ordeal. Driven by fury, Dante had fought the sorcerer, blade to blade, but the elder gods had kept their promise and made Belasco immortal. Eventually, Dante tired and Belasco managed to disarm his pursuer. All seemed lost until Belasco raised his sword to deal the killing blow. His steel blade opened a gash in an overhead pipe, from which spewed a freezing liquid that encased Belasco in a mound of ice.
Whether it was as a result of Belasco’s damage to the park’s machinery, rage by the Elder Gods at losing their disciple or by strict happenstance, an earthquake rocked the caverns. Dante managed to escape, but the collapsing caverns trapped Dante’s men and allies and seemingly forever sealed the frozen form of Belasco. Having lost his men and his beloved Beatrice, Dante returned to sea and the city of Florence. Years later, he would write his epic poem, the Divine Comedy, based loosely on the events that had just transpired.
Part 2 – Literary history made flesh of the present
Having read the log and believing it, Ka-Zar came to the revelation that not only was Belasco still alive, thanks to the Elder Gods’ gift of immortality, but he was free from his icy prison. During their entrance into the park, Ka-Zar and his group had narrowly survived the park’s rides and attractions, all of which seemed bent on attacking and killing the intruders. Ka-Zar theorized that they were under the control of the ancient sorcerer, who by now would have armies of demons born from untold generations over the previous seven centuries; demons, all ready for their final confrontation with mankind. Unwilling to let this scourge loose on humanity, Ka-Zar and his companions made their way into the caverns, searching for Belasco. [Ka-Zar the Savage #11]
Over the course of their search, the group was separated. By the time Ka-Zar found Belasco in his inner sanctum, he discovered that his companions had already fallen to Belasco’s influence.
In fact, Shanna, Ka-Zar’s lover, had been declared by Belasco to be the perfect reincarnation of his Beatrice. Unlike Beatrice, he declared, she was not fragile and weak and would be able to withstand the rigors of childbirth. After becoming his bride, she would give birth to a new generation of demons.
On the cusp of victory after so many centuries and having Ka-Zar and his lover so easily in his power, Belasco could not resist to explain his actions. Confirming the logbook of Dante Alighieri, Belasco admitted to being a sorcerer from ancient Florence and his pact with the Elder Gods. It was they who had directed him to the Savage Land, which, they told him, would be the perfect location upon which to carry out the spell. The spell itself would be centered around a chained locket, which would have an incomplete pentagram inside, with bloodstones at each star’s point. Fearful of betrayal from his gods, Belasco kept the final bloodstone until their part of the pact was completed.
As stated in the logbook, Belasco’s triumph had been interrupted by the arrival of Dante. Rather than fight, Belasco had looked for the locket so that he may have completed the spell and win by default. Unfortunately, he learned too late that they had lost it during their descent into the caves and was forced to resort to fighting by sword instead of spell. Equally unfortunately, Belasco had been frozen by the freezing liquid for centuries. Had it not been for recent volcanic activity, he would still have been frozen. Now freed, he had been searching for weeks for the locket. How fortunate for him, he now declared, that Ka-Zar and Shanna had discovered the missing locket during their descent. Now the spell could be complete.
Rather than kill Ka-Zar, however, Belasco made the mistake of imprisoning him for a later death. Belasco’s mistake was further compounded when another of Ka-Zar’s companions, the Atlantean android, Dherk, managed to free Ka-Zar from his icy chamber, even though he had been dismembered and nearby destroyed under Belasco’s control. With the help of other dwellers of the caverns, all enemies of the dark sorcerer, Ka-Zar managed to arrive at Belasco’s unholy ceremony, just as he was completing the spell. Once again on the cusp of success, victory was stolen from Belasco when another companion of Ka-Zar, a winged Aerian named Buth, whom Belasco had already believed dead, returned with an army of his people and attacked.
During the ensuing chaos, Ka-Zar made his way through Belasco’s armies of harpies and grabbed the ancient locket before the spell was complete. Making haste of the moment, Ka-Zar tossed the locket into the fires of the volcano, destroying it and the bloodstones it contained. Having failed once again, Belasco could only look up in vain at the tear of reality he had created, which was quickly closing. The glare of the Elder Gods beamed their hatred and accusations of failure into his black heart.
Having longed for so long to be with these beings whom he worshiped, Belasco plead with them to take him with them. Not tolerant of failure, the Elder Gods had other plans and cast Belasco into the fires of the volcano, who screamed in pain the whole way down. With the dark sorcerer gone, his demonic creations ceased to exist, seemingly ending his threat forever. The crisis passed, Ka-Zar and his companions returned to the surface and their exploration of the Savage Land.
Belasco is one of the most powerful sorcerers on earth. He is immortal and invulnerable, the only thing that can harm him is his own sword, which once was used to cut off his own arm.
He is also very skilled with swords and axes.