|Start date:||March 16th, 1981|
|End date:||December 5th, 1981|
|# of strips:||228 (38 weeks)|
|Preceded by:||"Hojo and 8"|
|Followed by:||"The Short Cut"|
Theron was sick, bedridden and worried what would happen to the College of Magic if he should die. He sent a mental message to Mandrake that he had to hurry up and get to the College of Magic.
When Mandrake and Lothar did pack their suitcases they discovered a hidden microphone, shaped like a cobra. Mandrake did not dare to let Nard be left at Xanadu and she was easily persuaded to accompany to Paris. At the airport in Paris, they were met by King Segrid and the President of France. While Mandrake and Lothar continued towards Tibet Narda went to Cockaigne.
Arriving told Theron that he was concerned for the future of the College of Magic, and want to tell Mandrake his big secret.
He was now 310 years old. He had been married twelve times and Luciphor was his son with his eleventh wife, a witch of a nomadic people. After a while she became bored and left the College of Magic, leaving her son. Luciphor was unreliable and evil. He left the College of Magic like his mother and started a criminal career.
At the College Theron had fallen in love with a young and beautiful student Eleanora, and when she proposed, he said yes. A year after she told him she was pregnant, but sadly she died during the childbirth.
At this time there was war in Tibet and Theron decided it would be safer for the twins Mandrake and Derek if were sent away. His friend Basil the Great undertook to rear twins, and became their foster father. When the twins were nine years of age Basil became ill and returned to the College of Magic and died shortly after.
During the twins' absence Luciphor has been released from prison and returned to the College of Magic, had discovered that Mandrake and Derek was his half-siblings.
He poisoned Derek's thoughts and finally tried to kill Mandrake. Blazing with anger Theron touched Luciphor’s face and he fled the College of Magic.
Hiding his face behind a silver mask he had lost his memory and his powers for many years afterwards.
Now when Theron was ill, he know he need an heir for the titles "Grandmaster of the College of Magic" and "Guardian of the Crystal Cube". Else Luciphor could claim his inheritance.
Behind the scenes
- The title for the story is lifted from the plot.
- Eleanora, named after Lee Falk's mother.
- Theron is 310 years old.
- Theron's father died when he was 408 years old.
- Narda and Segrid are twins. ??
This story has been published in the following publications:
- "Perseguição Implacável", Almanaque do Mandrake #10 (1982) (first part)
- "O Futuro Mestre", Mandrake #317 (1982) (part of original story only)
- "La famiglia di Mandrake", Mandrake - New Comics Now #81 (1983)
- "Kobra İntikam Peşinde", Mandrake Albüm #172 & #173 (ends August 28, 1981 - cont in #184)
- "Kutsal Görev", Mandrake Albüm #184 (starts January 9)
- "Kobra İntikam Peşinde" & "Kutsal Görev" Mandrake Süper Albüm #74 & #75