Conan - MESP - Official Conan Universe

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Transcript of Conan - MESP - Official Conan Universe

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It is more than fifty years since a shy,moody young loner named Robert Howarddreamed beyond the oaks and hills of CrossPlains, Texas, his home; dreamed and imagined the time lost worlds of a mythical,unhistoried past when humankind knewmany gods, and mighty men slew monstersin the night, and jeweled kingdoms rose andfell by bloody blades and the dark whisper-ings of sorcerers.

His neighbors must have scratched theirheads, as neighbors will in small towns, andwondered when the Howard boy wouldgrow up, get himself a real job ’stead o’ thiswhatchacallit, freelance writin’? How shouldthey know that Doc Howard’s precociousintrovert of a son was just then changing theface of popular fiction forever, creatingCONAN and fashioning the sword and sor-cery heroic fantasy into art? Only after-wards, when the sod was cold on the youngman’s grave, folks might remember backand say, “Bob Howard? Heck, the kid was aborn storyteller.”

A born storyteller, a natural, no doubt ofit, and he gave us CONAN. Conan the Bar-barian. Conan the adventurer and swords-man, lover and brawler, corsair and kozakand king. Conan, who wandered the HYBO-RIAN AGE, an imaginary epoch some12,000 years ago our time, between the legendary sinking of Atlantis and the begin-ning of recorded history. The Hyborian Age,a forgotten shadow-era of barbarism anddecadent civilizations, before the continentstook their present shape, before sciencewas or technology, when heroes fought vil-

lains for damsels fair, when magic was realand demons only waited summons, whencodes of honor and codes of revenge set-tled all men’s scores.

The tales have outlived their creator byone year short of fifty now, and their popu-larity is ever on the rise. Conan the Barbar-ian — in prose and pastiche, comic bookand strip, even in the movies — is currentlyentertaining an audience numbered in themillions. It is for these that this guide toHoward’s Conan universe, as interpretedover the last fifteen years by MARVELCOMICS, has been prepared. Here readerswill find, in alphabetical array, the back-grounds of the Hyborian Age from AES-GAARD to ZINGARA. Weapons of Conan’sday are faithfully rendered, gods reverentlydescribed, the saga succinctly summarized.

The Conan Universe. It’s a handy refer-ence and a good browse, but, most impor-tant, a real tribute to that young south-west-erner who dreamed it all more than fiftyyears gone.

ROBERT ERVIN

HOWARD

“My dreams are laid in cold, giant lands… inhabited by savages.”

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A far-northern nation comprising the east-ern portion of Nordheim, Aesgaard is homeof the blond-haired, blue-eyed Aesir, a virileand roughhewn race of hunters and axe-wielding warriors who fight by day andcarouse by night. The Aesir live in tribal units.Though each tribe has its own king, who pre-sides in a timber-roofed Great Hall, all Aesirworship the same god, Ymir, the Frost Giant.The terrain of Aesgaard is rugged, with highsnowcapped mountains to the north, forestin the southern lowlands, and tundrabetween. The land supports musk ox andmammoth, moose, fox, and snow bearamong other native creatures. These, alongwith wild fruits, are the primary sustenance ofthe Aesir, who practice neither agriculturenor herding. Aesgaard may have formed aninformal alliance with Cimmeria to the south,but Vanaheim to the west and Hyperborea tothe east remain ancient and hated foes.

THE HANDBOOK OF THE CONAN™ UNIVERSE, vol. 1, No. 1, January, 1985. Published by MARVEL COMICS GROUP, James E. Galton, President. Stan Lee, Publisher. Michael Hobson, Group Vice-President. Milton Schiffman, Vice-President, Production. OFFICE PUBLICATION: 387 PARK AVENUE SOUTH, NEW YORK, N.Y. 10016. Copyright © 1985 by Conan Properties, Inc. CONAN THE BARBARIAN (including all prominent characters featured in this issue) and the distinctive likenesses thereof are trademarks of Conan Properties, Inc. RED SONJA is a trademark of Red Sonja Corporation. KULL is a trademark of Kull Productions, Inc. All rights reserved. Price $1.25 per copy in the U.S. and $1.50 in Canada. Printed in the U.S.A. No similarity between any of the names, characters, persons, and/or institutions in this magazine with those of any living or dead person or institution is intended, and any such similarity which may exist is purely coincidental. This periodical may not be sold except by authorized dealers and is sold subject to the conditions that it shall not be sold or distributed with any part of its cover or markings removed, nor in a mutilated condition.

AESGAARD“The golden-haired Aesir are wayward and fierce…”

AFGHULISTAN“Untamed tribesmen

haunt her hills”A region of the southwestern Himelian

Mountain Range, Afghulistan is home of theAfghuli outlaw tribe who live in villages ruled byheadmen. The fierceness of the tribesmen asfighters has given rise to the proverb, “A per-ilous road to Afghulistan.” Among otherweapons, the Afghuli hillmen use the tulwarand the yard-long Zhaibar knife. The land ofAfghulistan comprises only the southwesternportion of Ghulistan, while Ghulistan properrefers to the larger region inhabited by moun-tain tribes of the Southern Himelian Mountains.These other tribes of Greater Ghulistan includethe Galzai, the Wazuli, the Zhaibari, and theKhurakzai, the latter possibly a branch of theAfghulis themselves.

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Westernmost and foremost of the Hybo-rian kingdoms of Conan’s day, Aquiloniarules “supreme in the western world,” acommercial and military giant with a highlevel of civilization, lacking only, perhaps,the richer cultural diversity of its major rival,Nemedia. The most important provinces ofthe country are Poitain, the southernmost, abeautiful region of sunny meadowlands,rolling plains, rose gardens, orange groves,and palm trees; Attalus, in the southeast, abarony whose nobles claimed descent fromAquilonia’s ancient royalty while presidingover an area of advanced commerce andculture; and Gunderland, a northernprovince bordering on Cimmeria and isolat-ed from the rest of Aquilonia by woodlandsrife with wild beers, wolves, and aurochs.Gunderland was once a separate principal-ity before its folk assented to incorporationwithin greater Aquilonia. The Gundermenare more primitively Hyborian, and theirgreatest concession at the time of alliancewith Aquilonia was their adoption of Mitraworship, in place of that of ancient Bori.They are a rude, hardy people with tawnyhair, grey eyes, and tall, sturdy frames. Gun-dermen are outstanding soldiers who, aspikemen and spearmen, form the backboneof the Aquilonian infantry, though nominalvassalage to their adopted homeland doesnot deter them from hiring out as mercenar-ies to the armies of Zamora and Shem aswell, for example.

The Westermarck is an importantAquilonian frontier region located betweenthe Bossonian Marches and the PictishWilderness, and consisting of severalprovinces including Conawaga, the largestand most thickly settled; Schohira, thesmallest; Oriskonie, the least populous; andThandara, the southernmost and mostpurely pioneer province, marked bymanned forts and ruled by an elected mili-tary commander. Though there is almostconstant warfare between the pioneers ofthe Westermarck and the native Picts of thewilderness, nonetheless colonizers are everarriving because of the shortage of goodfarmland in the interior, where the greatlords of Aquilonia have sequestered somuch of the cropland for personal use asprivileged hunting preserves. Otherprovinces in Aquilonia include the Tauran, aland of open groves and pastures, whosecitizens dwell in picturesque thatched cot-tages and hunt native deer; Couthen, Man-ara, Thure, Raman, Karaban, and the bar-onies of Torh, Amilius, Lor and Imirus. On aplain not far from the Khorotas River, sur-rounded by fertile lands and lying on theRoad of Kings — the famed Hyborian eastto west highway and trade route — is Taran-tia, the walled capital of Aquilonia andlargest city of the realm. Renowned as acommercial center and site of the elaborateroyal palace of blue and golden towers,Tarantia is called the “most princely city of

the West,” though here, too, is located thegrim Iron Tower, a notorious prison.

Aquilonia is overall a land of pleasanttemperate climate. Its people are a proudrace, tall in frame and varied in complexion.They are steadfast in their devotion to thegod Mitra, whose service requires refinedrituals and forbids human sacrifice. In mat-ters of war, the Aquilonians put their trust inheavily armed cavalry and a strong infantry.Their pikemen and spearmen are largelyfrom Gunderland, while Bossonians, chiefarchers of the day, fill the ranks of the bow-men. The imperial troops are known as theBlack Legions, while the king’s personalbodyguard goes under the epithet of theBlack Dragons.

During the reign of King Conan I, thecourt at Tarantia was a center of romance,adventure, wisdom, wealth, and wit. A copyof a court portrait surviving in the Chroniclesoffers a rare glimpse of those personalitieswho made up the royal inner circle: KingConan, Queen Zenobia, and their children,Prince Conn, Princess Radebund, andPrince Taurus; Councilor Publius, a man ofplans rather than action; Count Trocero ofPoitain, seneschal of Aquilonia; Prospero ofPoitain, the king’s right-hand man and con-fidante; Alcemides, court philosopher; Dex-itheus, High Priest of Mitra; and GeneralPallantides, commander of the Black Drag-ons.

“Mightiest kingdom of the West, proudest kingdom of the world”

AQUILONIA

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The castle of King Conan was a fortifieddwelling surrounded by thick walls and battle-ments patrolled by Bossonian archers as well aswatchmen, armed with halberd and sword, whocould see for miles. A barbican, a small fort orexterior gatehouse, led to a drawbridge over aditch. Crossing the bridge brought one to theinner gatehouse which was defended by an ironportcullis and double doors. Beyond thesedoors lay the outer ward or bailey, a large openarea where were to be found the servants’ quar-ters, stables, falcon mews, boar pits, dovecots,haystacks, wells, forges, a fish pond, grazingshep, and arbors of fruit trees. An interior wallsurrounded the keep, the strongest part of thecastle, housing the quarters of the royal family. Agate in the inner wall led through an Inner wardto the keep itself. In the Inner ward were locatedthe kitchen sheds bake house, and ovens aswell as private gardens. In the keep proper werethe royal bed-chambers, a chapel of Mitra,sewing and embroidery rooms, audience hallsand a throne room, a great hall for feasting, dun-geons, storerooms, and wine cellars. Surround-ing the castle in the king’s demesne, private for-est and countryside full of bear and boar, deerand wolf, as well as smaller game and wild veg-etables, all belonging to the king.

AQUILONIA –THE ROYALCASTLE ANDDEMESNE

“To Argos and the sea!”

ARGOSAmong the greatest commercial nations of

the Hyborian Age, Argos is renowned for itsmaritime industry, master shipmen, andshort, stocky sailors, these last reputedly thebest in all the world. Centrally located on theWestern Ocean between Zingara and Stygia,its sea-faring rivals. Argos dominates coast-wise trade. Its own coast is a glittering arrayof cosmopolitan cities and teeming portsfrom which merchant ships sail south to Kushand the Black Kingdoms, where theArgosseans trade beads, silks, sugar, andbrass-hilted swords for ivory, copper ore,slaves, and pearls. The largest, richest portcity of all, and capital of Argos, is Messantia.Here begins the Road of Kings, a majorHyborian highway running eastward to Turan,and here flows an endless stream of river traf-fic from Aquilonia, Nemedia and Ophir. Here,too, smugglers and pirates find fences for ill-gained wares, giving added meaning to theproverbial saw that “All sea-ways lead toMessantia.” In fact, there is reason to believethat Argos tacitly provides the notoriousBarachan pirates cash subsidies and unoffi-cial use of port facilities in exchange forgranting Argossean vessels free passage onthe open sea while mercilessly harrying theshipping of rival Zingara. North of the bustlingcoastal cities are the inland provinces ofArgos, culturally backward and of minor eco-nomic importance.

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As in later historical times, weapons ofthe Hyborian Age were divided into two fun-damental categories, offensive and defen-sive, the former designed to extend a man’sreach against his foe, the latter to ward offhis opponent’s blows. Although arms andarmor were basically a soldier’s concern,the pervasive lawlessness and decadenceof the period guaranteed that any wise man— and many a shrewd woman — wouldown several hand weapons to protect hishome, family, and person. Most popularand common of these were the sword anda variety of knives, daggers, and dirks.Swords came in all manner of sizes andshapes from short-swords and cutlasses totwo-handled swords, dueling swords, war-swords, and broad-swords nearly four feetin length with bulky blades; the baselard, ashort sword or long dagger, and the fal-chion, a long cleaver-like sword with a thickblade and a curved cutting edge were alsomuch in use, though mostly as knightly

weapons. Iron sword blades were temperedand hammered to steel, and the finishedweapon was carried in a scabbard. A swordwas held by the hilt and sometimes protect-ed by guards. A pommel, or knob at the endof the hilt, was often used to give the bladeproper balance. National variations of thesword existed, such as the tulwar, shamshir,and saber, but all served the same purpos-es — to cut, to slash, to thrust, and to kill.

Warriors, of course, used the widestrange of weapons, which varied for theknights, or mounted cavalry, and theinfantry, or foot soldiers. Once the Hybori-ans had developed stirrups, attached to thehorse’s saddle by leather straps, knightswere able to do combat on horseback with-out losing their balance end falling. Becauseof their firmness in the saddle, the knightswere able to carry the weight of protectivearmor. Chain mail armor of interlocking steelrings was most common; some suitsadding protective plates of metal at the

elbow and knee, while some Hyborianheavy cavalry may have worn whole suits ofsteel plate. Though a basic suit of mail,called a harness, was not as heavy as pop-ularly believed — it weighed not much morethan the pack and gear of a modeminfantryman — it was clumsy to get into,hence the need of a squire to assist hismaster knight by laying out the armor insequence. A typical dressing in harnesswould go as follows: linen hose, breeches,and a long-sleeved woolen shirt were puton as undergarments and, over these, aleather tunic or quilted jerkin was worn toprevent chafing of the shoulders by the coatof mail. On top of this came the mail itself,called the hauberk, with full-length sleevesending in mittens of mail, or gauntlets,designed with palm silts for freeing thehands. In warm weather a surcoat over themail kept the sun from overheating thearmor, while in cold weather a fur-linedcloak kept the knight comfortable. Mail

ARMS AND ARMOR

“Knights and horses in battle array… maces, swords, and helms of brilliant hues”

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over-leggings were called chausses, and amail helmet worn over the head and downover neck and shoulders was called a coif.Various padded helmets were worn over thecoif from simple steel caps with nose-guards to full-face helms or heaumes. Highcrests might be worn on helmets to identifya knight above the battle. Rusty mail armorwas cleaned by rolling it about in a barrelfilled with small stones and coarse sand.

The knight’s hand weapons includedsword and lance, as well as the battle-axeand war club, the spiked, iron headedmace, and war-flail, or morningstar, a varia-tion of the mace swinging on a length ofchain. The knight’s war-horse, or destrier,was an important weapon at times. Thesehorses often wore sharpened shoes andreared up on their haunches to beat at the

foe about them with their forefeet. But metalspikes called caltrops could be thrown ontothe battlefield to disable the fearless war-horses.

The main weapons for infantrymen werebow and arrow and pole arms. The shortbow had a range of about fifty yards whilethe more powerful longbow quadrupledthat distance, as did the crossbow. Thelongbow had the advantage of speed overthe crossbow, which required to be drawnby foot and stirrup, but the crossbow pos-sessed greater accuracy. Longbow arrows,or clothyards, had metal heads, whilecrossbow arrows were of wood or iron andcalled bolts or quarrels. Pole arms, used tobreak up cavalry charges and in close fight-ing, included pikes — spears as long astwenty-two feet (the severed heads of trai-

tors were often displayed on these); long-handled bills for lopping off limbs; thepoleax, a battle-axe on a pole; the halberd,a poleax with a longer spear and a cres-cent-shaped blade; the ox-tongue, a spearwith a two-edged blade; and the glave, abig knife-blade on a pole.

Hyborian siege weaponry and missileengines included battering rams; javelinshooting catapults and ballistas; mangonelsand trip-gates that pitched stones; portablefighting towers and a variety of ladders, orescalades. For defense, besiegers used themantlet, a large portable wooden screenpropped on the ground to give cover, andthe pavisa, an oversized shield held by asoldier to protect an archer while he shot.

Among the non-Hyborian peoples of theage, distinctive weaponry and modes of

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fighting developed. Standard arms amongbarbarian tribes were sword, spear, andshield. A barbarian wife presented her hus-band a gift of arms at marriage, and he car-ried them with him always, even to councilmeetings. Among the Stygians, chariotswere used in war. Horses were yoked to thewagon, and quivers for arrows and javelinswere tied to the chariot body. In the BlackKingdoms, armor consisted often of quiltedponchos covered with leopard skins andhelmets of basket-work or hard crocodileskin. Barbed spears and bows were usedfor fighting as well as hunting. Short swordswere common for hand-to-hand combatwhile throwing irons with spikes sticking outall directions were used from a distance.Rhinoceros horn clubs and shields of ele-phant or hippopotamus hide were also pop-ular. Finally, the men of Khitai in the Far Eastused a powerful composite bow made ofwood, split horn, and dried animal sinews.

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The Pre-Cataclysmic Age is an imagi-nary period that began about 100,000 yearsago with the rise of Thurian civilization andended when the Great Cataclysm, a geo-logical upheaval, rocked the world andtransformed the face of the globe some8,000 years before the Hyborian Age ofConan. At that time, Atlantis was a smallcontinent of wilderness and barbarian tribesthat lay out on the Western Ocean betweenthe Pictish Isles and the mainland of Thuria,the major world continent of the Pre-Cata-clysmic Age. When the Great Cataclysmstruck, Atlantis was devastated and com-pletely swallowed by the ocean. Its mysteri-ous doom and disappearance gave rise toan unparalleled body of prehistoric fable,myth, and legend, out of all proportion tothe relatively minor role Atlantis played onthe world scene of its day. It is for this rea-son that the period is often referred to asthe “Age of Atlantis,” though in actuality thecivilized nations of the mainland, knowncollectively as the Seven Empires of Thuria,more clearly dominated the politics and his-tory of the day.

The Atlanteans were warriors and hunts-

men, and Witch Kings ruled their tribes. Aplucky, barbaric people, they had as motto,“Atlantis is the foe of all men,” and, indeed,their enemies included not only the civilizedkingdoms, but contemporary barbariannations as well — the Folk of the Isles, thePicts, who dwelt on the Pictish Islands, orIsles of Sunset, far out on the ocean to thewest beyond Atlantis, and the Lemurians,savage pirates who inhabited a large chainof islands, later destroyed by the Great Cat-aclysm, in the ocean east of the Thuriancontinent.

The civilized nations of the Pre-Cata-clysmic Age, though great in extent,nonetheless occupied a relatively small partof the whole world while vast regionsremained unexplored. Valusia, the Land ofEnchantment, was the westernmost andmost ancient of the fabulous SevenEmpires. This pre-Atlantean kingdom wasdoubtless the richest, most sophisticated,and greatest nation of the day, and perhapsthe most decadent. Its exotic capital wasknown as the Crystal City or City of Won-ders, and it was said that a man couldspend a whole lifetime there and notexplore half its marvels and mysteries. Priorto human rule the land of Valusia belongedto a horrid Elder Race of serpent-folk. Truemen, ancestors of the Valusians came fromthe East, crossed the Carnoonian Desertand the Hills of Zalgara, and conquered thesnake-people. Still, a few of the evil broodsurvived and went into hiding, essayingforth now and then in bloody attempts toregain their lost power.

Easternmost of the Seven Empires was

Grondar a shadowy land whose dark peo-ple were less highly cultured than the Valu-sians. The five remaining Empires wereCommoria, against which Valusia foughtcountless wars, Thule, Verulia, Karnelia, andthe “Triple Federation” of Zarfhanna, Far-sun, and an unnamed country. Thuraniawas a minor kingdom that sought to rivalZarfhanna.

Although Atlantis sank in the Great Cat-aclysm, several remnants of its populationsurvived. Some fled to Antillia, a chain ofseven large islands far out on the WesternOcean, while others preserved the tribe’sstock in a colony on the mainland. Theselatter Atlanteans became ancestors to theCimmerians of the Hyborian Age. A largecolony of mainland Picts, allies of Valusia,survived the Great Cataclysm as well,though their insular kinsmen weredestroyed when the islands heaved up tobecome mountain peaks of the reformedcontinent.

Some five hundred years after the GreatCataclysm, a second, Lesser Cataclysmfurther transformed the appearance of theworld continents though not to the sameextent as the earlier catastrophe.

“Veiled in the mistsof legendry…

ATLANTISAND THE PRE-CATACLYSMIC AGE

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The Barachan Isles, also known asBaracha and the Pirate Isles, are a tinyarchipelago off the southwestern coast ofZingara infested by bands of see-rovingpirates loosely organized under the laws ofthe sea and in the name of the Red Broth-erhood. Most of these men are outlaws

from Argos, though certainly sailors of othernationalities do join the brotherhood nowand then. The Barachans swear allegianceto Individual captains and live entirely bypiracy, raiding shipping and harrying theZingaran coast in particular, burning andlooting and preying on people of the main-land. The cruelty of these pirates is legend,and fearful common folk actually believethat the Barachans eat women. Famed fortheir skill with the cutlass and their superior-ity as longbow-men, the sea-dogs of

Baracha are also renowned for their furious,headlong style of battling. The capital of thepirate empire, and the only settlement onthe isles, is Tortage. Harbored amidst rockycliffs, Tortage is a pirate port whosecrooked, cobbled alleys are lined with ale-houses, brothels, and inns. Here pirates ofall flags meet in raucous, swashbucklingfellowship to count their booty and sharewine, wenches, and song.

“To the Devilwith emptyseas!”

The Bamula are one of several largeblack tribes of fighting men who dwell in anarea of rain forest among the Black King-doms southeast of Kush. These rival tribes— including the Bakalah and the Jihiji —wage war frequently in order to securethemselves water, land, and often slaves.The Bamulas are a ferocious race who cladthemselves in leopard-skin and plumes andare said to be “suckled at the breast ofwar.” The spear and the great hunting boware their weapons, and Bamula warriorshave been likened in battle to blood-madpanthers. Tribesmen are known as greathunters as well, stalking the dense jungle forleopard and elephant, wild boar and ape.The Bamulas live in villages of huts underleadership of the war chief, who sits on anornate stool carved of ivory tusk. Priestsand shamans use wooden idols, bloody rit-uals, and innate fear of the jungle’s devil-gods in order to wield power of their ownover the tribe. Occasions are known whenthe priests have unseated even a popularwar chief by appealing to the superstitiousdread of the people.

“The thunder of drums and the greatelephant-tusk horns”

BAMULA

BARACHANISLES

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BÊLIT“Queen of theBlack Coast”

Fearsome she-tiger of the sea and fiercelover of Conan the Cimmerian, Bêlit wasborn a Shemite princess, whose forebearswere, for generations, kings in Asgalun, thegreat city-state of northern Shem. She wasraised motherless by her affectionate father,the beloved King Atrahasis, who taught hisdaughter the art of sailing, for he dearlyloved the sea, and Bêlit soon learned to raceher father’s ship, the Tigress, better than anyman. N’yaga, an exile from the Southernisles and advisor to Atrahasis, became hertutor. One night, Nim-Karrak, over-weaningbrother of Atrahasis, smuggled Stygianassassins into the palace to slay the kingand his retainers so that he might seize thethrone for himself. Bêlit was a horrified wit-ness to the bloody deed and was onlysaved from death herself by N’yaga’s fore-sight to flee the city at once. They sailedfrom Shem in the ever-ready Tigress, downto the Southern Isles, N’yaga’s homeland.During this voyage Bêlit nursed a bitterhatred in her heart, and she vowedvengeance against her uncle one day.Because of his reputation as a shaman,N’yaga was able to convince his native god-dess islanders that Bêlit — whose name inShemitish meant goddess — was the pale-skinned daughter of the death-goddess,Derketa. Uzumi, chief of the Silver Isles,grudgingly allowed Bêlit and N’yaga toremain. Here Bêlit grew to maidenhood andlearned the skills of spear and bow. Butmore than leopard and wild baboon, thegame of the forest, she dreamed of huntingdown the traitor Nim-Karrak. When Uzumi,who resented Bêlit’s abilities and heracceptance by his people, refused to granther warrior status unless she fought a horri-ble tribe of man-worms, his plan backfired,and the monsters slew Uzumi, whosereplacement as chieftain was, by universalacclamation, Bêlit. In accepting the leader-ship, Bêlit declared that her island subjectswould become pirates, conquering first theopen sea and then regaining Asgalun fromher uncle. Indeed, over the next three yearsthe Tigress ruled the southern waters of theBlack Coast by blood and steel, and Bêlitmade her notorious reputation as “thewildest she-devil unhanged.” It was duringthis time that Bêlit’s Black Corsairs capturedConan the Cimmerian on the waves. Fromthe moment their eyes first met, Bêlit andConan shared a ferocious, impassionedlove like neither had ever known before, andthey swore to travel together to the ends ofthe earth and the ends of the sea. The nextthree years were an orgy of love and laugh-ter, pillaging, wandering, and hairbreadthescapes, during which time Bêlit learned

that her father had not died after all but hadbeen exiled to Stygia. However a rescuemission to that county ended in frustrationand disappointment when she discoveredthat her father was only recently executed tomake space for new prisoners in the dun-geons of Luxur. All the more embittered bythe cruelty of fate, Bêlit at last returned toAsgalun where her vengeance against Nim-Karrak was finally fulfilled; but rather thanaccept the queen ship of her native city, sherelinquished her claim to the throne so thatshe might sail the waves forever with herdark lover, Conan. It was soon after that theTigress made a fateful journey down theZarkheba, River of Death, in southern Kushwhere Bêlit hoped to find a fabulous city to

sack. Indeed, there WAS treasure hiddendown the Zarkheba, but its site, the City ofthe Winged One, was haunted, and allBêlit’s crew save Conan met their doomhere, as did their queen and goddess, whowas killed by a winged ape and hangedfrom the yardarm of the Tigress. Outragedand inconsolable, Conan stalked the junglefor the monster and slew it at last in hotvengeance with the aid of Bêlit, whoseghost came back from the abyss of Hell tobe at her beloved’s side. Afterwards, Conanlay Bêlit’s body in state on a jewel-ladenpyre and set the Tigress adrift across theocean in flames. And so passed the Queenof the Black Coast.

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Occupying the subcontinent south of Sty-gia, the Black Kingdoms comprise threebelts of nations and tribes of varying sizesand complexity. Northernmost of these areKush, the best known, Darfar, Keshan, andPunt. Darfar is inhabited largely by nativecannibal tribes with filed teeth. Keshan hostsa mixed race of lighter-skinned nobility whorule a pure black population, all under theaegis of a king sitting the royal throne inKeshia, the capital. Punt, ancient enemy ofKeshan, is a famous source of precious gold.

South of these, the second tier of nationsincludes the tribal kingdoms of the BlackCoast, among these the Abombi and Suba;the nomadic tribes of the savannah such asthe Bigharma and Mindanga, hunters ofzebra and antelope; and the warrior tribes ofthe rain forest, the Bamula, Bakalah, andJihiji. More pastoral cattle-herding nomadslive east of the warriors, while easternmostalong the second tier is Zembabwei, themost important nation south of Kush. Thename “Black Coast” has become generalfor all the coast of Kush and the lands as farsouth of it as the Southern Isles, or Isles ofSilver, home of the Black Corsairs, dreadedpirates of the Stygian and Kushite shores.Still, the Southern Isles lie technically withinthe third and bottom belt of Black Kingdomswhich occupy a land of torrid jungles southof the Black Coast. Here are Kulalo, a fledg-ling village kingdom on the Western Ocean;Amazon, a nation of fierce woman warriorsand male slaves; the Matamba tribe; Atlaia,an isolated, semi-mythical kingdom; andKordafa, a mysterious country east of Ama-zon of which little is known.

South of the Black Kingdoms lies largelyuninhabited territory of desert veldt, and vol-cano leading to the Beach at the Edge of theWorld, the extreme southern tip of theHyborian world-continent, land’s end, andsite of the city of Yanoga, perhaps the verylast stronghold of the few surviving mem-bers of the Elder Race of serpent-folk whoflourished in the Pre-Cataclysmic Age ofAtlantis.

“The wind in thereeds and misty bogs”

A desolate wasteland of vaporous bog,muddy heather, and dreary plains, the Bor-der Kingdom lies south of Aesgaard andCimmeria, serving as buffer between thenorthern barbarians and civilized Nemediaand Brythunia below. The Great Salt Marshis the most sprawling of the bog-lands foundhere, and its mist-shrouded, swampy envi-rons are haunted by bats and vipers andwild dogs. Native to the region are thebeast-men, shaggy, club-wielding primitivesclad in loin rags, believed to be the degener-ate, inbred spawn of generations of fugitivecriminals and slaves. The beast-men subsiston frogs, crayfish, and wilder-dog meat. It isknown that rebel nobles of the southernlands use the Border Kingdom as hideout,while many a hardy merchant has routedtrade through here to avoid the highwaytaxes of Nemedia.

BORDER KINGDOM

“The silence of shadowed jungles …the scream of angry apes”

BLACK KINGDOMS

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A Hyborian kingdom of city-states. Bry-thunia’s terrain includes the GraaskalMountain highlands to the northeast and afertile interior of prairies and forests. Itseconomy is primarily agricultural, peasantsworking the land of aristocratic lords whopride themselves on their independencefrom their king, a nominal head of state. Kel-baza, Pirogia, Charnina, and Potrebia areamong the fortified cities that serve asheadquarters for important nobles anddiplomats in this loosely-knit kingdom.Despite longstanding attempts to establishitself as a world power, Brythunia fallsinevitably under the shadow of it neighborsNemedia and Aquilonia. The folk of Brythu-nia have the dubious honor of serving astraditional butts of Hyborian Age humorwhich paints Brythunian men as thick-wit-ted oafs and their women as saucy and will-ing wenches. The women of Brythunia are,in fact, much sought after by slave-tradersfor their beauty

“Ah! Brythunia’sgirls with tousledyellow heads!”

A frontier province of Aquilonia extend-ing the length of the country from Cimmeriain the north to Zingara in the south, Bosso-nia, or the Bossonian Marches, is inhabitedby a rude, rugged folk of rustic farmersforesters, and huntsmen. The Bossoniansare stubborn defensive fighters whose stur-dy courage and matchless skill in archeryhave enabled them well to protect theirwalled villages against both Pictish andCimmerian attack. Bossonian bowmen areamong the staunchest and most prized reg-iments in the royal army of Aquilonia.

BRYTHUNIA

BOSSONIA“The very fringe of the civilized world”

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A land of mountains and nondescript city-states joined in loose alliance, Corinthia is alesser Hyborian kingdom whose major claimto fame is that the Road of Kings passesthrough its central countryside. Its peoplepractice self-sufficient farming and herding,and some small industry, including the pro-duction of wool and handcrafted musicalinstruments, exists in several city-states. Aninfamous thieves’ district, the Maze, alabyrinth of black alleys and sordid dens,attracts rogues, brawlers, and loose womenfrom throughout the realm and beyond.

CORINTHIA“Goatherds piping melodies in her

green hills”

“A gloomier land never was all of hills,darkly wooded…”

The birthplace of Conan, Cimmeria is anorthern nation situated below Aesgaard,its sometime ally, and Vanaheim, itshereditary foe, though separated fromboth by the Eiglophian Mountains. Itspeople are barbarians, tall, strong, dark-haired, and light-eyed. Direct descen-dants of the folk of lost Atlantis, whichvanished in the Great Cataclysm, andancestors of the historical Gaels, the Cim-merians live in tribes and are, for the mostpart, hunters and woodland foragers.Unlike the more high-spirited barbariansof Nordheim, Cimmerians are wont to be amoodier people, taking on the cast of theirskies “nearly always gray,” as a tribal dirgesuggests. Their somberness of spirit,however, makes them no less ferocious aswarriors in their battle-madness, andmany a Gunderman of northern Aquiloniawill not lie down to sleep before entreatingMitra to protect his home and loved ones“against the black-manes who descendlike wolves from their fastness with torchand iron sword.” The Cimmerians them-selves trust in grim Crom of the HighMountain, chief of gods, though they arenot given much to prayer. They believerather that there is little to hope for here orhereafter and that the gods desire no wor-ship, but are best left to their own indiffer-ence towards mortals. A rare ritual on thebirth of boys does, however, exist in whichCrom is besought to grant the infant man-child “power to strive and slay.” Afterdeath, Cimmerians believe, the soul wan-ders Crom’s mountain — a cheerlessrealm of gray clouds, cold mists, andmoaning winds — for all eternity.

CIMMERIA

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“Black-haired,sullen-eyed,sword in hand,with giganticmelancholies andgiganticmirth”

The greatest man-legend of the Hybori-an Age. Conan the Barbarian was born on asnowy, wind-swept battlefield in gloomyCimmeria as his blacksmith father and histribesmen beat back a horde of blood-lust-ing raiders out of Vanaheim. Like all Cim-merian boys, Conan was trained as a war-rior from birth, but unlike his peers Conanpossessed a skill at arms and a strength ofphysique well beyond even the hardiest ofhis race. At age fifteen, after a rite of pas-sage in the Cimmerian wastes where theyoung lad was seduced by Ursla the bear-priestess, Conan was permitted to accom-pany the elders of the tribe to Venarium,where the fierce Cimmerians soondestroyed an Aquilonian settlement. Conan,already six feet tall and one hundred eightypounds of muscle — though he yet lackedfull growth — was first to vault the stockadewalls. After the Battle of Venarium, whichmade him a hero of the tribe, Conan joineda band of Aesir on raids into Vanaheim, thenled a slave revolt of humans against theape-men of Brutheim, before being cap-tured first by the Vanr then by Hyperboreanslavers. But, iron-willed and fiercely deter-mined, young Conan soon escaped andbegan to wander the Hyborian world. Bythe age of eighteen he had visited Zamorawhere he climbed the magical Tower of theElephant in Arenjun and later encounteredJenna, a beautiful but crafty harlot ofShadizar. From Zamora he traveled about,finally turning east to Turan where heentered the War of the Living Tarim and metRed Sonja of Hyrkania for the first time.After an adventure in the jungles to thesouth, Conan re-enlisted in Turan’s armyand was dispatched to Khitai on a diplo-matic mission. On his return, Conan left thearmy and traveled back to Zamora, wherehe met Red Sonja anew. After being aban-doned by Sonja, Conan made a rare visit toCimmeria, but soon grew bored. Turningsouth once more, he joined the mercenary

Crimson Company of Captain Murilo. Hiswanderings brought him to Argos and arun-in with the law from whom he fled byboat. His craft, however, was seized on theWestern Ocean by the Black Corsairs ofBêlit the she-pirate. Bêlit and Conan fell inlove, and the two sailed the Black Coast aslovers and plunderers for several years. Itwas during this period that Conan won forhimself the native epithet “Amra the Lion.”But after three years of romance andadventure, Bêlit was killed by a monster inthe jungles of Kush, and Conan was left towander melancholy and alone. He partici-pated in tribal wars along the Black Coastand sold his sword elsewhere. An infre-quent visit to Cimmeria followed, afterwhich Conan fought in Koth then journeyedeastwards to roam with the Free Compan-ions and then the Kozaki, whom he servedas hetman for a while. A stint with theVilayet pirates was followed by a captain-ship in Khauran, where Conan was crucifiedfor his loyalty to the free queen. Rescued byoutlaw Zuagirs, Conan, as was his wont,soon rose to the chieftainship. After leavingthe Zuagir tribes, Conan visited Zamboulathen rejoined the Kozaki against Turan. Butthe Kozaki lost, and Conan next fled toIranistan then led a band of Afghuli outlawsin the Himelian Mountains before returningto mercenary service in Koth, Argos, Stygia,and Tombalku. A period of sea-service fol-lowed among the Barachan pirates and Zin-garan buccaneers. Returning to Stygianservice, Conan soon deserted for lack ofbattle and joined fellow ex-pirate Valeria ofthe Red Brotherhood on a hair-raisingadventure in the haunted city of Xuchoti.Parting with Valeria after a brief amour,Conan went into service in Keshan andPunt and perhaps paid a last visit to Cim-meria before making the fateful move tobecome a frontier scout for Aquilonia in thePictish wars.

Because of his frontier deeds, Conan’sreputation soon preceded him, and he roserapidly to the rank of general, in whichcapacity he defeated the Picts at the greatBattle of Velitrium. By then, King Nume-dides of Aquilonia had grown jealous of hisgeneral’s successes, so he plied Conanwith drugged wine and threw him into theIron Tower to await execution. But CountTrocero and Prospero arranged his escape,and Conan fled across the Pictish Wilder-ness where, after a bizarre adventure involv-ing the Treasure of Tranicos, he was con-tacted by Trocero, Prospero, and Publius,who persuaded him to lead a revolt againstthe despot King Numedides who was slow-ly growing insane. Conan the Liberator slewNumedides and usurped the throne to gen-eral acclamation. He withstood threeattempts to wrest the crown from him, afterwhich, sensing his kingdom relativelysecure, he took to wife Zenobia, the daugh-ter of Nemedian petty nobility, who had ear-lier assisted him to retain his rule. As King,Conan was often at the center of many asorcerous and political storm, ever fendingoff harm to his person or that of Zenobia.But a period of relative peace came toAquilonia, and Conan and Zenobia enjoyedfor a while the fruits of domestic and royaltranquility with their growing family of PrinceConn, Princess Radegund, and Prince Tau-rus, until sorcerous plots broke once more,and Conan was forced to confront thesupreme Stygian wizard Thoth-Amon andbattle him to the death. Soon after, Zenobiadied bearing their fourth child, and severalyears later, responding to a mysteriousthreat from the far west, Conan abdicatedhis throne and took to the Western Oceanon perhaps his last voyage, though theChronicles do not record his death and offerlittle information of the days after his voyageto the western mainland of Mayapan.Prince Conn assumed his father’s rule andreigned as King Conan II of Aquilonia.

CONAN

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Mountain, who cared little for mankind saveto breathe into men’s souls the power tostrive and slay. Subordinate to Crom weresuch gods as Father Lir and his son, Man-nanan, as well as the war goddess Morrig-an. The Cimmerians believed in a gloomyafterlife in which the souls of the deadwould wander Crom’s grey realm aimlesslyfor all eternity. The Hyperboreans to theeast worshiped ancient Bori, while west ofCimmeria the Picts served Jhebbal Sag, the“ancient god of darkness and fear” as wellas the Ghost Snake and Guliah the gorilla-god. Unlike the Cimmerians, the Picts hadno aversion to human sacrifice, and theirblack altars were permanently stained withthe gore of men, women, and children.

In the kingdoms of Aquilonia, Argos,Ophir, Nemedia, and Zingara, south ofNordheim and Cimmeria, Mitra worshipwas almost universal, rivaled here and thereonly by cults of small numbers such as thatof Asura, Ibis, Ishtar, and even, to somedegree, the Stygian serpent-god, Set.Unlike the battle-minded gods of the north,Mitra was a gentle god who ruled a heaven-ly host of saints and angels, and whopreached mercy above vengeance. Mitra,too, was mankind’s eternal judge, grantingfinal reward in heaven or punishment in hellto each soul as merited by its deeds in life.Blood sacrifice expressly forbidden in the

Mitran religion, the rituals of which aremarked by simplicity, dignity, and beauty.Unlike pagan idols, the statues of Mitrawere mere emblems meant to represent thegod in idealized form and NOT to be wor-shiped themselves. Koth, which at one timeknelt to Mitra, afterwards fell under the influ-ence of Shem and Stygia and abandonedthe gentle god for the more sensual rites ofIshtar, as did Khoraja and Khauran. Thecity-states of Corinthia may each have hadpatron gods, though Mitra worship wasknown there as was the cult of Anu the bull-god. Zamora, on the other hand, neveraccepted Mitra but played host rather toany number of weird and mysterious cultsand divinities. Most notorious of them wasBel the god of thieves, borrowed from theShemites of Shumir, and most horrible wasthe nameless spider-god of Yezud, wor-shiped in the form of a giant tarantulasculpted in black stone. The land of Shemalso worshiped a plethora of divine beings,most of them fertility gods and goddessesas befitting an agricultural people. Eachcity-state owned its own patron deity suchas Bel, noted earlier, and Pteor, the malesky-god, mate to the Earth-Mother: the lat-ter appeared in several guises as Ashtoreth,Derketo, and Ishtar. Ishtar, in particular, wasworshiped in rich temples and at lavishshrines with rituals of blood sacrifice and

orgiastic frenzy performed before sensu-ously carved idols of ivory. To the Zuagirtribesmen of the Eastern Desert, Yog, theancient Demon Lord of the Empty Abodes,was considered most sacred. South ofShem, in Stygia, Set the Old Serpentreigned paramount, a reminder of the ElderGods worshiped everywhere in the pre-human period of history and later feared inthe Hyborian kingdoms as the most abhor-rent and foul of demons. Indeed, the grue-some rituals of Set worship, carried out intemple, tomb, and pyramid, and includinglive human sacrifice and sorcerous obscen-ities, only underscored the reason why Set’svery name evoked disgust and terroramong civilized and barbarian peoplesalike.

Among the Black Kingdoms Set heldsome sway, but native gods such as Jullah,Jhil, and Gwahlur had large followings oftheir own, as did countless local demonsand spirits. Turan in the East held Erlik andthe Living Tarim as holiest of gods, whileZamboula bowed to Hanuman the horribleman-ape-god. Farther east in Kosala, thecult of Yajur offered their bloodthirsty godstrangled humans, while in Khitai Yunseems to have been worshiped less violent-ly with incense and prayer.

The Hyborian world knew as many cultsand religions as it knew tribesfolk and peo-ples, and religious practices and beliefswere as often the result of superstitiousdread and sorcerous practices as of exaltedspiritual yearnings and theological under-standing. In any case, the age bred fewatheists, and even the most cynical ofphilosophers accepted the existence ofgreater beings, both good and evil, as a fun-damental tenet of reality. Though the vari-ous individual gods were often worshipedwithin strict geographical boundaries, theage was thoroughly polytheistic, and it wasa matter of course for nations to acknowl-edge the existence of rival deities to theirown. The major exception to this rule was tobe found among certain priests and adher-ents of the god Mitra who declared theirdeity to be the one true god, deserving ofunwavering, monotheistic devotion.

Among the barbarian Aesir and Vanir ofNordheim, Ymir the Frost Giant, lord ofstorm and war, was chief of all gods, whileindividual tribes might have their own localdeities as well. Ymir’s domain was Valhalla,a snowy, shadowy place that was home towarriors fallen in battle; Ymir’s daughter,Atali was said to have appeared to dyingwarriors as harbinger of their journey to herfather’s realm. The Cimmerians worshiped agrim savage god, Crom, Lord of the Great

GODSANDWORSHIP“He who denies the gods is as blind as he who trusts them too deeply”

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The first of the aboriginal Hyborian tribesto discover the use of stone in building, theHyperboreans abandoned a primitive,nomadic way of life to settle in huge walleddwellings of stone, consequently foundingthe very first, but most isolated, of theHyborian kingdoms, north of Brythunia andeast of Aesgaard. The land of Hyperborea iswild and mountainous, gloomy and damp,its main pass ominously named Skull Gate.Gray wolves, cave bears, reindeer, musk-

oxen, and mammoths roam the bleak plainsand desolate hills. The common folk arelean and gaunt and of unnatural height —many as tall as seven feet — with pale skincolorless hair, but eyes that sparkle cat-green. They are a superstitious lot who liveas serfs in huts and hovels beyond thestone walls where they eke out meager liv-ings from gardening the stubborn soil andherding small numbers of shaggy cattle andsome reindeer. The ancient high-toweredstone keeps themselves, such as Sigtonaand Pohiola, are now occupied by Baronsand wizards, the latter the true politicalforce in the country, terrorizing a fearfulpopulace by means of black arts, assassi-nation cults, and human sacrifice. The Wiz-ards’ Guild called the White Hand or Witch-men of Hyperborea, fanatically worships anold witch woman as priestess-queen andincarnation of the Goddess of Death. In hername, black-clad assassins, considered thedeadliest fighters in the world, stalk the landlike shadows, killing with sorcerous rods ofwood and platinum that leave no mark uponthe flesh. In addition to the wizards’ clique ,Hyperborea hosts several bands of hardyslave raiders who make repeated foraysinto Cimmeria to fill their slave-pens withbarbarian muscle, whence the blood-hatredof Cimmeria for Hyperborea from timeimmemorial.

HYPERBOREA‘‘The Gate of Hyperborea is the Gate of Death”

A vast land of prairies, forest, and tundraeast of the Vilayet Sea, Hyrkania is bestknown for its broad, barren steppes wherehorse-warriors, masters of the powerfuldouble-curved bow, gallop the great tree-less tracts of land. Living in tribal clans andled by khans, these warriors often ride theirsturdy steppe ponies on raids of plunder,and one eyewitness account describes thechilling sight of these “lean horsemen insheepskins and high fur caps lashing theirhorses and loosing their barbed arrows.”One of the largest tribes of the steppes isthat of the Kuagir Nomads. Balkhara is asteppe city most famous for its breeding ofrugged horses. Beyond the steppes, thescattered city-states of Hyrkania, such asMakkalet and Pah-Dishah, are oases of civ-ilization, policed by soldiers in plum helmetsand gilded corselets brandishing gold-chased scimitars. These city-states areautonomously ruled by kings, though manyare under control of the Thuranian Empireand others ever-threatened with such vas-salage. Khorusun is a principal port on theVilayet Sea renowned for goldsmiths, whileBakharua is a caravan route town thatboasts, “the best-made belts to bind eventhe broadest bellies.” Erlik, the Yellow Godof Death, and Tarim were attended byshaven-headed priests and worshiped byboth tribesmen and city dwellers through-out Hyrkania.

HYRKANIA

“The Riders of the Steppes wear steeland silk and gold”

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An eastern nation south of the VilayetSea, Iranistan is one of Turan’s strongestrivals, grown rich on trade with Vendhyaand the Black Kingdoms. Its glittering capi-tal, Anshan, presided over by a king, is far-famed for its cultivated court, its splendidwoven carpets, and such exotic delicaciesas the salted roe of sturgeon and the sweetpistache nut. The central deserts ofIranistan are the site of natural petroleum oilpools. The Ilbars Mountains extend intoIranistan, and the Ilberai hillmen who inhab-it the towns in these mountains are nomi-nally subject to the Iranistani government,though they are openly rebellious, owingallegiance to their own personal chiefs andoverlords. Drujistan, the “land of demons,”is a wild and barren region of black rock inthe southern Ilbars where a ghoul king oncebuilt Yanaidar, a haunted city. South ofIranistan in the Vendhyan Sea lie the Islandsof Pearl inhabited by the Gwardiri, a tribe offishermen and mariners.

A far eastern land whose people, tradi-tions, and civilization stretch back to Pre-Cataclysmic times, the kingdom of Khitaihas become synonymous with ancientknowledge and antique lore, esoteric sor-cery and exquisite artisanship. The saffron-skinned, slit-eyed Khitans boast of their cul-tural isolation from the chang-li, the white-skinned foreigners of the western world,and they point with pride at the Great Wallbuilt by their ancestors to shield their coun-ty from the outsiders who might survive acrossing of the Wuhuan Desert, an aridregion unpeopled save for bands ofnomads. Aside from desert, only the minorwestern Khitan kingdom of Kusan lies out-side the Great Wall. Within the bordersdefended by the Wall, however, lie taigaforests and bamboo jungles, rolling plainsand bamboo huts and pagodas. Waterfowland buffalo, leopards and tigers share theland with farmers and herdsmen whosemain staple is rice and whose simple pleas-ures include telling folktales and smokinglotus-scented water-pipes. Great city-states are to be found in the north, thewealthiest and most important of these Khi-tai’s capital, “purple-towered Paikang,fairest city of the east.” situated at the farend of the Great Caravan Route and a cen-ter of commerce where silks, drugs andspices are manufactured along with gold,silver, jade and jeweled objects of art, aswell as magicians’ amulets and apparatus.A famed Dragon Gate, symbol of good luck,guards Paikang. Shu-chen to the north andRuo-gen to the south are her military andeconomic rivals, but neither of these city-states presents serious competition to theglittering capital. Khitai’s soldiery, noted forits laminated armor, lacquered scabbards,and flaring helmets, includes the famedgiant sabermen, the most skilled in the east,and the Khitai archers, masters of the dou-ble-curved bow. South of Paikang lies Khi-tai’s Lost Jungle where rare, poisonousblossoms of Black Lotus grow and grayapes dwell. Here the Priests of Vun onceworshiped Yag-Kosha, a compassionateextra-terrestrial elephant being. Elsewherein Khitai, there is no state religion; gods anddemons are many, and rituals of humansacrifice are not uncommon.

IRANISTAN“Kings in gaudy silks and spired helmets”

“Splendid, wise and civilized beforethe West

was in its dawn” KHITAI

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A ruffian horde of wild outlaws whodwelt on the Turanian Steppes west of theVilayet Sea, the Kozaki call themselves theFree People, though they acknowledgewith grim humor the Hyrkanian-languageepithet, “kozak,” meaning rogue or wastrel,hurled at them by the folk of Turan whoseborder outposts, coasts, and caravans areceaseless targets of daring Kozaki raids ofplunder. These raids are hit and run, as theKozaki strike swiftly on horseback withsword and torch then retreat to the wilder-ness before their startled victims can retal-iate. A fierce, proud people, the Kozaki aresons and grandsons of fugitive criminals,escaped slaves, deserting soldiers, andsimilar outcasts who fled to the Steppessome fifty years before Conan’s time andsettled among the aboriginal pastoral

natives there. Today they are divided intoseveral bands, each serving its own leader,or hetman, a position won by strength ofsword-arm, not inheritance. The Kozakienjoy a diet of wild vegetables, horse meat,and fermented mares milk. Their native garbincludes colorful head-scarfs, silken shirtsand wide breeches, broad sashes, scimitarsgirdled to the hip, and gilt-worked leatherboots. They are outstanding horsemen andcan live in the saddle for long periods oftime, snatching an occasional nap onhorseback or munching on raw meat, keptwarm beneath the saddle, while still gallop-ing apace. On occasion the Kozaki willpresent a double threat to Turan by joiningforces with the pirates of the Vilayet Sea inorder to harry the ports of the coast andbeard the lion of Turan in its own den.

Despite its landlocked status — sur-rounded by Argos, Ophir Cimmeria, andShem — Koth is among the greatest com-mercial nations of the age, dominatingmuch of the overland trade route traffic, inparticular the camel trains traveling throughShem northeastwards to the Hyborian king-doms. Khauran and Khoraja, small inde-pendent principalities along Koth’s east andsoutheast borders, control many relatedpaths of trade and are hence of great impor-tance to the Kothic Empire. Because of thenature of the trade routes, Koth recognizes,as well, an economic interdependence withShem. The land of Koth includes meadowsin the west and farms to the east, and at

least one thousand miles of hills separatingthe Kothian Uplands from the pastoral landsof Shem. The Flaming Mountains, animpenetrable volcanic range, lie in thesehills. Shamla Pass to the east is the mostimportant break in the extensive KothianHills and Escarpment, though a secondpass is thought to exist near Eruk in Shem.Capital of Koth is Khorshemish, “Queen ofthe South,” a walled city of spires, minaret-ed mosques, markets and broad whitestreets. Here, between endless civil warsagainst rebel princes, the king retreats to hispalaces, behind high walls amidst lush gar-dens, artificial streams, and flowing foun-tains. Here, too, is centered Koth’s chief

pride, her far-famed armor industry. Kothand her satellites are unique among theHyborian kingdoms in having abandonedthe worship of Mitra and embraced chieflythe Shemitish cult of the goddess Ishtar.Indeed, Kothic culture has been in manyways influenced by the more exotic anddespotic traditions of Shem and Stygia aswell and in fact the armies of Koth includemany a strong contingent of Shemite bow-men and troops. The Gazali of southernKoth were long ago driven from their home-land to the Southern Desert of Stygia forrefusing to renounce their staunch belief inMitra.

“A helmet of Koth and a hauberk of Koth,aye, the gods themselves might envy”KOTH

“Wolves of the Steppes owning no law but their own”

KOZAKI

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Mightiest monarch of the pre-Cata-clysmic Age, majestic in body and mind,thought and deed, Kull the Conquerorcarved for himself a legendary kingship inancient Valusia some 8,000 years beforeConan the Cimmerian similarly strodestage center of the Hyborian world. A bar-barian of pagan Atlantis by birth, orphanedin infancy, the child Kull roamed thewoods, a hairless ape, with his adoptivefamily, the great striped cats of Tiger Val-ley, until one day tribesmen of the Sea-Mountain folk found him and took him intotheir clan. Soon the boy outstripped allothers in the spear-throw and in wrestling,but, more significantly, his restless mindand visionary bent marked him as singu-larly different from the rest — irreverent attimes, a questioner, a seeker, all perhapsthe result of a sense of mystery thrustupon him by his early orphaning and thetotal ignorance of his own origin. Fromearly childhood on a blood-lusting andfearsome fighter, instilled with the spirit ofa tiger totem, Kull, too, was a dreamerhaunted by the lure of civilization, whoenvisioned golden crowns and a gloriouskingdom under his own sway. Thus fierce-ly independent and self-willed, Kull wassooner or later bound to come into conflictwith the narrow-mindedness and age-worn traditions of his clansmen. Indeed,one day when Kull, unable to free a girlabout to be tortured for loving an outsiderto the tribe, offered her instead a quick andmerciful death by dagger, he was forced toflee his angered clansmen for havingdeprived them of their cruel sport. Perhapsit was to atone for this necessary yetpainful deed that Kull in later life treatedwomen with a chivalry and compassionbeyond all reason while ever shying awayfrom the role of lover himself. On his flightfrom Atlantis by sea, Kull was captured byLemurian pirates who chained him to theoar as a galley slave. Two galling yearslater he overcame a pair of drunkenguardsmen and escaped, diving over-board and swimming to the shore of Valu-sia where he soon joined a band of out-laws in the hill country until he was caught

and confined to the dungeons in the capi-tal City of Wonders. Recognizing Kull asthe magnificent physical specimen hewas, the authorities sentenced him to KingBorna’s gladiatorial arenas where hebecame an overnight sensation and dar-ling of the crowds. A Valusian nobleman,Count Murom bora Ballin, recognized theyoung man’s nobility of spirit and boughthim his freedom and an eventual commis-sion in the army. It was not long beforeKull’s natural leadership asserted itself,and he rose swiftly to the rank of com-mander of the king’s personal regiment,the Black Legion. It was than that Kullbecame unintentionally embroiled in a plotto assassinate the despot King Borna, aplot that led to Kull’s seizing the TopazThrone for himself, as he had everdreamed, rather than awarding it to theavaricious claimant, the unctuous Kaanu-ub, Baron of Blaal. In his death-duel withBorna, Kull received a scar on his rightcheek, a symbol of the violence by whichhe wrested the crown and by which hewould ever have to hold onto it. Indeed,hard upon his first triumphal public pro-cession, Kull, with the aid of Brule theSpear-slayer, Pictish ambassador to thecourt, uncovered the foul menace of theElder Race of Serpent-Men and deliveredthem the first of many defeats. Thoughdethroned for a period by the wizardry ofthe evil Thulsa Doom, during which timeKull wandered and experienced severalsupernatural adventures, the Atlanteaneventually returned to the City of Wondersand took back the throne. Here he ruledwith the elderly Councilor Tu, Brule theSpear-slayer, and the minstrel Ridondo,who had once opposed him, at his righthand. Count Murom bora Ballin, Kutholosthe philosopher-slave, and Ka-nu the Pic-tish ancient, were also permanent fixturesof the king’s court. Kull’s later reign was agolden age sparked by the glorious kingwho divided his time between the expan-sion and defense of Valusia and the relent-less pursuit of knowledge in a quest for theultimate answers to the riddles of reality.

“Longing stirred in him and strange,luminous dreams roamed his soul” KULL

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Northern most and best known of theBlack Kingdoms that lie below Stygia, thesemi-civilized nation of Kush has given itsname to the entire southern portion of theworld-continent, most likely because theKushite proper were the first black menwith whom the Hyborians made contactwhen Barachan pirates began to raid andtrade along the Black Coast in the WesternOcean. Incidentally, this trade soon grewinto a major source of materials for theKushites who eagerly exchanged gold, sil-ver, ivory, dried coconut, pearls and slavesfor the beads, silks, sugar and brass-hiltedswords offered by merchants of Argos andZingara. A vast, flat grasslands stretchesacross Kush to the east, hosting grazingherds of zebra, antelope, buffalo, andfierce prides of lions. An occasional dwarftree rises above the plain where nomadichunters and tribes of herders drift throughthe thin grass of the savanna. To the west,along the ocean shore, dwell several slavertribes that raid inland and sell their native

captives to off shore merchant ships ofArgos, Zingara, and Shem. Kush is ruledby a narrow-featured, dusky-skinned, aris-tocratic caste, descendants of Stygianadventurers who once pushed southwardto establish a city on a grassy plain atMeroê, now the capital of the kingdom.These nobles live behind thick walls in theInner City of Meroê, where they dwell inlavish palaces of teakwood andmahogany, and worship Set, the serpentgod of Stygia. Beyond these walls lies theOuter City, inhabited by the black-skinnednative castes, despised and subjugated bythe aristocracy. The brawny men and stat-uesque women of Kush live in thatchedmud huts, and their marketplace economyconsists of trade in pottery and hammeredbrass, iron spearheads, plantains, andbanana beer. Tribute is exacted from themby the Black Spearmen, backbone of theruling caste’s army. The lower castesswear by the snaky locks of Derketa,Queen of the Dead, and they worship atthe temple of Jullah, contemptuouslytermed “the devil-devil house” by therulers in Meroê. Of late the native popula-tion is growing ever more restless with theyoke of servitude, and the threat of a majoruprising may yet soon spell doom for theruling caste.

“The hot sun blazing down on ebonygiants” KUSH

NEMEDIA“Aye, great as Aquilonia … but ne’er so glorious”

Among the Hyborian kingdoms, Neme-dia is second only to Aquilonia which lies toher east beyond a high range of mountains.Nemedia chafes to be ever in the shadow ofrival Aquilonia but despite ancient enmityand sporadic wars the two nations remainlocked in an inconclusive military and diplo-matic stalemate. Still, Nemedian civilizationis of great antiquity and sophistication, herterritory is secure, and she is well-situatedgeographically to fend off Invasion. Indeed,her fame is deserved and true. Originally aportion of the ancient nation of Acheron, awizard-run theocracy destroyed by invad-ing Hybori tribes three thousand yearsbefore the time of Conan. Nemedia mayvery well be the first of the Hyborian king-doms to have come into being, thoughsome scholars attribute this distinction toKoth. From her Acheronian ancestry Neme-dia has received and nurtured a tradition ofintellectual inquisitiveness and scholarship.The greatest historians and philosophers ofthe west hail from this realm, and theirmasterpiece of historiography, THE NEME-DIAN CHRONICLES, offers the most validand valuable material for an understandingof the Hyborian world and is the primarysource for the original Saga of Conan, com-piled during and immediately after his reignas King of Aquilonia. The liberal atmosphereengendered by academic inquiry alsoaccounts for Nemedia’s tolerance of abroad range of religious sects outside thestate-endorsed worship of Mitra. Amongthese are the cult of Ibis, the philosophicalSkeptics, a following of Ishtar, and evendevotees of Set, the serpent god of Stygia.Even so, all citizens must pledge allegianceto the king and are subject equally to thecountry’s code of laws administrated byInquisitorial Councils and Courts of Justice

which, to their credit, exonerate the inno-cent as often as they convict the guilty.Debtors are dealt with harshly, branded onthe shoulder and sold as slaves, but slavesthemselves are well protected by law. It isnoteworthy that slavery is, in particular,more a civilized than barbarian practice ofthe age. Proud mounted knights sheathedin ring mail patrol the baronies and cities ofthe realm, offering protection to noble, free-man, and lowly serf alike. Capital of Neme-dia is Belverus, a handsome city surround-ed by rich croplands and orchards.Numalia, at the junction of the Road ofKings and the southern caravan route, isher second-greatest city, boasting thefamous museum and antique house knownas Kallian Publico’s Temple. To the north-west lies a magic-haunted pine forest, theDarkwood.

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Populated by the descendants of main-land Picts who survived the destruction ofthe Pictish Isles during the Great Cataclysmof antiquity, Pictland, or the Pictish wilder-ness, is the westernmost region of the world-continent, bordered by the ocean to thewest, Aquilonia to the east, Zingara to thesouth, and Vanaheim to the north. The terrainof Pictland includes coastal beaches, forests,and howling wilderness. Each area of thecountry is inhabited by individual tribes orclans who name themselves after animaltotems such as the Wildcat or Wolf, Hawk orRaven. There is little unity among the clans,and intertribal warfare is common. The Sea-Land Picts are the most primitive, living in vil-lages along the coast, scavenging thebeaches for carcass of walrus and whale,fishing the coastal waters but never venturingforth as seafarers. In fact, there are no portsto be found along the entire thirteen hundredmile coastline. Interior tribesmen, who live inhuts of mud and wattle share the forests withsabertooths, panthers, wolves, elk, andbears. They are fearless hunters, and only thevenomous python and stegosaur dragon areknown to give them hesitation. Those tribesclosest civilization practice occasional tradewith Aquilonian outposts or Zingaran ships,bartering antelope hides and walrus tusk forweapons and wine. Tribesmen are short anddark, broad-shouldered, deep-chested, withblack eyes and hair. Among all the clanswomen are relegated to drudge work whilethe men hunt, fish, and forage, their chiefweapons the bow and arrow, knife, and

hatchet. They are fierce fighters and head-hunters who hold blood-feuds and nevertake live captives except to torture them todeath or offer them up as living sacrifice totheir ancient gods, which include JhebbalSag, “whom once all living things wor-shiped,” Gullah the gorilla god, the Childrenof Jhil, and a host of swamp demons andPre-Cataclysmic spirits of the heathen forestand oozing mudpit. The shamans who act aspriests to invoke these hoary beings and whopractice powerful magic are often the truerulers of the tribe despite elected chieftains.The Westermarck, a western frontier ofAquilonia and source of much-needed farm-land, lies between the Black and ThunderRivers adjacent to the Pictish lands. ThePicts hotly contest Aquilonian encroachmentupon the area, and the frontier is site ofincessant brutal warfare between nativePicts and Aquilonian pioneers.

“Mines of diamond andmountains of gold”

OPHIRA fabulously prosperous Hyborian King-

dom, Ophir lies south of the greater politicalpowers Aquilonia and Nemedia, separatedfrom the former by grassy meadowlandsspreading to the Tybor River and from the lat-ter by a frontier range of mountains that runsoutheastwards as well, down the border ofCorinthia. Amidst these mountains are foundthe treasure mines of gold and gemstonesthat have made Ophir legendary for itswealth. Few spectacles are as extravagantlyostentatious as a parade of Ophirean knightsbedecked in gleaming armor all of burnishedgold, trailing gorgeous homespun scarletcloaks behind them. There are several city-states such as Pergona and Carnolla scat-tered about the land, but the seat of state isKhorala where the King of Ophir presides.The county is well-suited to protect its envi-able riches, easily defensible on all frontssave along portions of the Kothian border,but here soldiers guard the passes in strongkeeps. All citizens of the land reap the bene-fits of an overfull treasury and are known fortheir geniality and generosity, as a well-wornHyborian proverb suggests, “Make yourcompanion a fellow of Ophir!”

“FerociousSea-Landtribes and Forest-Dwelling brothers”

PICTLAND

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A flame-haired hellcat who won herselfthe epithet “she-devil with a sword,” Sonjawas one of three children born in Hyrkaniato a hardworking mother and a retired sol-dier father, Ivor, who earned his later livingas a farmer and trapper. Envious of thetraining given her two brothers in the use ofarms, Sonja would steal out at night topractice the sword on her own, though suchskills were considered unnecessary, evenunseemly, for a girl. Nonetheless, Sonja didnot shirk her more maidenly duties aboutthe home, and she might, indeed, havegone on to wed responsibly and raise afamily of her own, as most Hyrkanian coun-try girls did, if not for a tragedy and traumathat befell her some time before her eigh-teenth year when a group of wanderingmercenaries killed her parents and brothersfor sport, before ravaging Sonja herself andleaving her to die in her homestead, whichthey set to the torch. Sonja escaped the fire,however, and fled the house, collapsingexhausted in the woods. Soon she awoketo a vision — out of a blue light a humanshape appeared, embodying strength andbeauty but neither male nor female. Thisandrogynous being bore a sword andpromised Sonja a warrior’s strength toavenge the wrong done her and to makethe world her own on condition that shevow never to love a man unless he first besther in fair combat. Sonja passionately con-sented, and the vision touched her with itssword and vanished.

From that day forward, Sonja became awanderer and sell-sword of matchlessprowess, encountering adventure and sor-cery at every bend of the road, until herfame as the “she-devil of the HyrkanianSteppes” reached the ears of King Ghannifof the Hyrkanian city-state of Pah-Dishah,who employed Sonja to steal for him amagical serpent-tiara from another city-state, Makkalet. In Makkalet she met Conanof Cimmeria for the first time and duped himinto lending his brawn to her mission, afterwhich she eluded Conan and his amorousdesigns, and returned to Pah-Dishah withthe prize tiara. But King Ghannif haddesigns of his own on the crimson-tressedbeauty and enslaved her in his harem, to hisultimate regret, for it was not long after thatSonja slew the king at his dalliance and fledPah-Dishah with a regicide’s price on herhead. She traveled westward to Zamora’sCity of Thieves and an unexpected reunionwith Conan. Together the two fought anundead wizard, then a gang of bountyhunters, and finally a pair of vampires. Butsoon Sonja again gave Conan the slip, valu-ing her independence above any develop-ing relationship. From here Sonja’s lifebecame a series of wanderings — from thehaunted Nemedian forest, Darkwood, toCorinthia and Argos. During her days in thelatter maritime nation, Sonja encounteredConan once more, this time with his thenparamour, Bêlit. Later she was tempted byher own growing love for Suumaro, theexiled prince of the Argossean city, Skra-

nos; yet she remained steadfast to her vowand never took him as a true lover, but lefthim with great sadness after having helpedhim regain his throne. Now she journeyed toAquilonia, and later shared yet another sor-cerous adventure with Conan in Shem, afterwhich she returned alone to Hyrkania andpaid a somber visit to the ruins of her par-ents’ home. From there she wandered to

the Vilayet Sea, thence to Nemedia whereshe allied herself with Galon and Achmal,an adventurer and a wizard, and continuedon the road. In her later years she soughtout Conan, then king of Aquilonia, andduped him into her service yet again beforeeluding him once more to wander forth intoeternal legendry.

RED SONJA“All men’s delight — and no man’s love”

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A southern kingdom and one of the greatcommercial nations of the age, Shem is aland of contrasts — broad, fertile meadow-lands to the west where the ocean laps theshores and despotic kings rule stately city-states in luxurious, sensual splendor withinwalled palaces; arid desert sands to theeast, inhabited by lean nomads in camel’shair tents. The coastline has few harbors orport cities, symbolic of the fact that over-land trade is the true lifeblood of the nation.Crisscrossing the land in all directions arethe famed caravan routes, ever-traveled bycamel trains and site of many bustling cen-ters of trade such as the cities of Eruk andNippr. The people of Shem are generally ofmedium height, broad shouldered andsolid, with hooked noses, dark eyes, andblue-black hair. The men sport thick curledbeards and are famed as archers, sellingtheir skill at bow to many a Hyborian army.Primarily, however, these folk are herdsmenand farmers — raising cattle in the lushmeadows, sheep in the upland Libnun Hills,and harvesting grapes, pomegranates,dates, figs, almonds, and cereal grains in

many regions of the country. Reserves ofgold and copper are an economic boon,traded by the Shemites for mirrors, silkcloaks, shields, helmets, and swordsbrought by Argossean merchants. Anindustrious, clever people, they manufac-ture textiles and pottery in addition to prac-ticing agriculture and herding Kyros andGhaza are areas famous for the quality oftheir wines, while Akbitana is a desert cityknown for steel-making. Asgalun is themost important coastal city and capital ofthe region of Pelishtia, a once splendidmetropolis now fallen to decadence.Ancient Shushan, far to the east, is Pelish-tia’s counterpart in bygone glories. Eachcity-state administers its own brand of laws,and there is incessant warfare between the

dwellers of the cities and the tribes of thedesert. The Zuagir nomads of the EasternDesert, in particular — among them theDuali, Kharoya, and Qirlata tribes — areaggressive raiders whose desert-bred hors-es are the finest in the world. These Zuagirs— dubbed “desert hawks” by themselves,“desert rats” by their foes — live in mobiletent camps, their men wearing the tradition-al white khalat and bearded kaffia, thewomen veiled. Individual tribes will oftenunite under one war chief. Tribesmen attackwith curved knives, bows and arrows, andthe caravans moving southwards and east-ward from foreign lands are their favoritetargets shemites west and east worship theEarth-Mother goddesses whom they deemresponsible for the fertility of their land,herds, and families. Chief of these are Ash-toreth, Derketo — or Derketa — and Ishtar.Pteor, Adonis, and Bel of Shumir are popu-lar male gods. Pteor and Adonis sky-godswho are believed to mate with the Earth-Mother, Bel the patron of liars and thieves.Though the rival city-states are polytheistic,each has its own patron deity.

“Pastoral green plains and zikkurats gleaming white in the sun”

SHEM

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SORCERYAND

DEMONCRAFT“One who commands the spirits

commands the Earth”

From a scientific point of view, the Hybo-rian Age was an era of relative darkness, inplaces somewhat technically advanced but,overall, ignorant of the fundamentals ofmodern scientific thought and inquiry. Magic— both black and white — was the majorforce of the day, and power belonged to themage or sorcerer whose command of magi-cal knowledge and possession of charms,potions, gems, talismans, and tomesexceeded that of his or her rivals. Of course,gaining control of rare and much covetedsorcerous artifacts often required greatwealth and strength of arms as well as cun-ning, hence the frequent alliance of wizardswith rulers and potentates who, in exchangefor a wizard’s pledge of service, could fur-nish the arms and wherewithal to defeatenemy necromancers and to appropriatenecessary occult paraphernalia.

One such rare treasure, sought by sorcer-ers throughout the world, was the iron-bound Book of Skelos, a master compendi-um of occult and arcane knowledge purport-edly compiled by Vathelos the Blind. Withinthe pages of this forbidding and forbiddenbook lay spells and formulae to bring thedead to life, to control the elements, to sum-mon extra-terrestrial demons from the OuterDarkness, the Gulfs of Space, and the Pits ofHell; in short, to wreak havoc on Earth. Theultimate goal of all black Magic was omnipo-tence and immortality — to become like thegods and wield power, to be master ofmankind and emperor of all the world’s rich-es. White magic, in the hands of the saintlyfew who could perform it, became basicallya counter-force against dark sorcery intend-ed to keep the world in harmony with theheavens.

Often in an attempt to increase the quali-ty and quantity of evil magical energy, magi-cians would band together in unholy broth-erhood, though each individual mageundoubtedly nurtured the selfish dream oneday to displace and rule over the less-deserving brethren. The White Hand of theNorth and Scarlet Circle of the Far East wereexamples of such wizards’ guilds, but themost powerful and most unrelentingly evil ofall was the Black Ring, whose ancient ritualsof unspeakable obscenity were performedworldwide though based in Stygia. Relyingupon the principle that “blood aids great sor-cery” the Sorcerers of the Ring preachedand practiced human sacrifice as a means ofsummoning and controlling demons and thepowers of darkness.

Among the most notorious wizards of theAge of Conan were Thoth-Amon, Prince ofthe Black Ring; Natohk the Veiled One; theMaster of Yimsha and the Four Seers of theBlack Circle; Xaltotun of ancient Acheron;Tsotha-lanti, the vulture of Koth; Yah Chlengof Khitai; and Pra-Eun of Kambuja. The veryutterance of their names was believed to calldown an evil eye upon the speaker, and talesof their shadowy deeds done in darknessbrought a chill to ‘the heart of the bravestsoul.

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A southern kingdom alternately knownas “the dark or accursed land,” Stygia, situ-ated below Shem, is a decadent theocracy,xenophobic, inscrutable, and obsessedwith the subjects of death and immortality.To the Hyborian races. Stygia represents asinister, sorcerous menace, a black land ofnameless horror whose cult of the fangedserpent-god, Set, the sanctioned state reli-gion, is looked upon with cold dread. Ironi-cally, Stygian serpent worship derives froma tradition of veneration for the same evilsnake-folk which ancestors of the present-day Stygians destroyed when they firstdrove westward and conquered the landfrom that aboriginal pre-human race,builders of the black pyramids and thehaunted tombs beneath. ContemporaryStygians are themselves a mysterious peo-ple whose society is strictly organized in aclass system dependent, by and large,upon physical types. At the top of the socialladder are royalty and the most ancientnobles, relatively tall people with black hairand fair skin. Below these come the core ofthe population, a ruling elite of aristocratsand a powerful middle class, dusky-skinned, hawk-faced, and haughty of mien.The lowest classes consist of peasants,proletariat, and slaves of hybrid stock, amixture of Kushite, Shemite, Hyborian, andStygian ancestry. The overall population isnotably small, for despite its size the coun-ty possesses little arable land and thatmostly along the banks of the River Styx,also called Nilus, the greatest river of the

Hyborian world continent, which coursesthe breadth at Stygia and is home to theriver horse, or hippopotamus, and the croc-odile. Many believe that in olden days theland was blighted with stretches of infertilesoil and desert as the result of an ancientcurse brought down upon it by uncontrolledmagic.

The Stygians have developed an econo-my based on nomadic herding, fishing, andharvesting the date-producing palm; majorindustries include the production of sorcer-ous charms and amulets, as well as drugsand pharmaceuticals for both medicinaland magical use. Silk and steel-arms arealso manufactured here and are muchsought after for trade by the merchants whotravel the numerous caravan routes acrossthe nation. Because of these extensiveroutes, Stygia also profits as middleman forivory, pearls, slaves, and skins from theBlack Kingdoms, as well as jade, wovencarpets, and objects d’art from the orientalnations. The most important city and great-est port of the land is Kheml on the WesternOcean, commanding sea-borne commerceand famed for its black walls and sinistercitadels. Kheml, too, is the religious capital,located near the major pyramids and cryp-tic, subterranean temples whence the awfulPriests of Set, sole masters of the hiero-glyphic script, control the destiny of thenation to suit their personal ambitions.Kheml is by no means a cosmopolitan city.It is inhospitable to outlanders — other thanthe black and Shemite slaves of the Sty-

gians, no foreigners are permitted withinKheml’s walls except ambassadors orlicensed traders, and the latter are notallowed to remain ashore past sunset. Else-where in the country, though tourism is dis-couraged, scholars and sorcerers are greet-ed with something akin to tolerance. Whilethe Setite priesthood represents the truepower in Stygia, a figurehead king still sitson an ivory throne in Luxur, the royal capitaland principal commercial center that iswell-situated to administrate much of thecountry’s river and overland trade.Sukhmet, a border garrison, and Kheshatta,the City of Magicians, are caravan townsservicing traders from the Black Nations.Nebthu, on the bank of the Bakhr River, asmall, muddy tributary of the Styx, is thesite of ancient haunted ruins and an enor-mous sculptured hyena-sphinx, while theoasis of Khajar, far to the west of Nebthu,was once home to the infamous Stygianwizard of wizards, Thoth-Amon. In thesouth central grass lands are the Swampsof the Purple Lotus, avoided for the ghoststhat haunt them. Stygia maintains a modestfleet and a large standing army famed for itsruthless but stubbornly disciplined soldiery.Nonetheless, the tall and muscular warriorcastes are disadvantaged by the govern-ment’s adherence to obsolete armor andweaponry, and to this day they do battlefrom antique war-chariots. Still, guarded bynatural desert and steppes on one side andthe sea on the other, buffered by the semi-civilized Black Kingdoms to the south, Sty-gia exists within some of the more secureborders of the world-continent. It is ironic,then, that the nation has become a hive ofinsecurity and merciless paranoia, a landmuch detesting and much detested.

STYGIA“That ancient and evil kingdom, Serpent of the South”

TLAZITLANS“The people of the feud”

Originally inhabitants of the Lake Zuadregion of northern Kush near the border atStygia, the Tlazitlans rebelled against theirStygian overlords but were defeated. Theysubsequently fled southwards to the conti-nental interior where they came upon anancient city, Xuchotl, on a plain south of thejungles of Darfar. Seeking refuge in the cityfrom the terrible stegosaur dragons thatroamed outside its walls, the Tlazitlans weremet with barred gates and a shower ofarrows, until a slave of Xuchotl namedTolkemec crept out secretly and offered toopen the gates at dawn if the Tlazitlanawould spare him. Thus, at dawn theyentered and slew the people of Xuchotl andtook the ancient city for themselves. Twobrothers, Tecuhitli and Xotalanc, shared therule with Tolkemec, but after five years ofpeace a quarrel broke out which soon esca-lated to an open war of three factions.Tecuhitli took the western quarter ofXuchotl, Xotalanc the eastern, and Tolke-mec the southern. The central part of thecity became an uninhabited battle zone.After fifty years of bloodshed, vengeance,

and black magic, the feud ended with thedeath of all the Tlazitlans. Conan the Cim-merian and his one-time paramour, Valeriathe she-pirate were instruments in sealingthe final fate of the Tlazitlans. Xuchoti itselfstill stands, a magnificent ghost city knownas the “City of Green Fire-Stones.” Its originis recorded as follows: those inhabitantsfrom whom the Tlazitlans conquered the citywere indeed the original dwellers ofXuchoti. They themselves had come fromOld Kosala in the east and enslaved blacknatives of the plain whom they then set tobuilding Xuchoti out of jade, marble, lapislazuli, gold, silver, and copper. As can beseen from its remains, the city has nostreets, no squares, nor open courts, but isbuilt like one giant oval palace under onegreat roof. Giant gates of bronze mark theouter entrances. The city has a vaulted ceil-ing of lapis lazuli inset with skylights oftranslucent crystal and a floor of smolderingred stone cut in square tiles. The walls are allof brilliant green jade. A Great Hall traversesthe city from the north gate to the south, andhaunted catacombs run its length below.

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Founded by Hyrkanian adventurers whomigrated around the southern end of theVilayet Sea to its western shores, andintensely proud of this Hyrkanian heritage,Turan is perhaps the greatest empire ever torise in the ancient world of Hyboria, stretch-ing westward over steppe and desert as faras Zamora. Empire building is an activeproject of many a restless Turanian king:conquest and expansion are pursued with azealot’s fervor, and Turanian royalty havecome to be known as “the mightiest mon-archs in the world.” Koth, Shem, Brythunia,and Zamora all pay tribute to the Empire ofTuran, which has usurped many of theimportant caravan cities and routes of theday, while her numerous ports along thewestern shore of the Vilayet confirm Turan’sepithet as “mistress of the inland sea.”Ophir, Corinthia, Stygia, Hyperborea, andeven mighty Nemedia at one time or anoth-er have suffered imperialistic attacks fromthe east. Despite its own unparalleledwealth, greedy Turan has even attempted anunsuccessful invasion of Vendhya, lustfuland jealous of that kingdom’s treasures.

The Vilayet Sea, two thousand miles inlength and some three hundred miles wide,is indeed, as the Turanians are fond of say-ing, “an Hyrkanian lake,” dominated by thewar galleys of Turan’s navy which, underexcuse of “infringement upon the interestsof the land of the Turanian Empire,” canplunder any foreign vessel that sails herwaters. Numerous islands dot the sea,mostly uninhabited, such as the Isle of Iron

Statues; Xapur — home of the ancient andextinct Dagonians; and the Zhurazi Archi-pelago, haunted by demons and lizard-gods. Along the western shore are locatedthe major Turanian ports of Shahpur, May-pur, Sultanapur, Khawarizm, and, mostimportant, Aghrapur. This latter, capital ofthe Empire, is probably the most gloriousand teaming city of the Age of Conan,extending from the sea to far inland. Here,on a crag overlooking the water, stands ahuge and magnificent palace of endlessrooms and perfumed gardens under thebanner of the golden griffin. The vast throneroom of Aghrapur is legendary — gold-worked entrance portals fifty feet in height,giant pillars of marble stretching beyondeyesight, lamps and candelabra enough torival the sun in shining splendor. The Imper-ial Guards are a sight to behold in their scar-let mantles and white turbans sporting pea-cock feathers. Soldiers in the less elite corpsdress in gold-spired helmets, white silkshirts, baggy trousers, and sleeveless silvermail, and they carry curved scimitars, ten-foot lances, and double-curved bows astheir weapons.

On the eastern shores of the Vilayet arethe ports of Khorusun, renowned for itsgoldsmiths, and Rhamdan, both of whichservice the caravan routes to the east. Alsoon the eastern shore lies Onagrul, a piratestronghold. Along with the Kozak hordes,these pirates represent the major thorn inthe Empire’s side, and much time and effortare expended in attempts to suppress these

bandits and pillagers. The southern coast ofthe sea is inhabited by a non-Turanian peo-ple, the Yuetshi, a pastoral farming and fish-ing folk who dwell in the Akrim Valley. Zam-boula, a major trading post city in the Khara-mun Desert, was conquered by Turan fromStygian invaders, and is now the western-most outpost of the Empire. Here live amixed stock of Stygians and Shemitesunder the rule of a satrap of Turan andserved by black cannibal slaves from Darfar.Turan’s marketplaces are always filled with“human trade goods,” and here one maypurchase slaves from Brythunia, Zamora,Ophir, Kush, Shem, and Stygia. The Turan-ian people are a self-assured lot, proud oftheir splendid nation, and supportive of theirgovernment’s policies of imperialism. Otherthan Zamboula, where the lower classesbow to Hanuman, the obscene ape-god,the Living Tarim and Erlik are the chief godsworshiped throughout the land.

Bloody Tranicos was the greatest of theBarachan pirates who roamed the seas of theHyborian world. At the height of his career ofpillaging, he stormed the island castle of anexiled Stygian prince, Tothmekri, slaughteredall the inhabitants, and made off with a fabu-lous treasure which Tothmekri had broughtinto exile from his native city, Khemi. The taleof Tranicos’ newly acquired booty spread farand wide, and soon every pirate, buccaneer,and corsair of the day dreamed of relievingthe Barachan of his fortune. Fearing betrayalby his very own fleet. Tranicos fled northwardwith only one ship and anchored in a bay ofPictland whence he went ashore with elevenmen and fell cruelly upon a Pictish village withbloody swords. He then chose a nearby caveand hid his treasure therein — the plunder ofKhemi, the jewels of Tothmekri, golden coinsand priceless gems, as well as his own iron-bound sea-chests of silks and laces, gar-ments, weapons, and ornaments. But a sur-viving Pictish shaman who had the generalslaughter invoked a sorcerous demon out ofhell which strangled Tranicos and his men asthey sat roistering in the cavern. To this daythat demon guards the haunted Cave of Tran-icos where, amidst a smoky haze and glim-mering blue mist, the giant pirate and hiseleven captains sit about an ebony table star-ing at their hoard, dead but not rotted, theirjeweled wine goblets yet held in their grips.The chroniclers record that even Conan ofCimmeria failed to defeat the demon of Tran-icos Cave.

TRANICOS “Death guards old Tranicos’s treasure”

TURAN “Splendor of the East andMistress of the Vilayet”

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VALERIA“Why won’t men

let me live a man’s life?”

A tall, lithe, golden-haired spitfire, Valerialeft her home and peasant family in Aquiloniato seek fortune on the waves. She smuggledaboard a ship of Barachan pirates who hadcome to fence booty in the ports of Argos.When later discovered out at sea, the stow-away quickly proved herself superior inswordplay to all the men aboard — not onecould disarm her. The pirates wisely wel-comed the fiery-eyed young beauty amongthem, and through cunning use of her wits,leadership, and stunning good looks shesoon commanded ships and men of herown.

Not long after, seafarers across the West-ern Ocean were celebrating the deeds ofValeria of the Red Brotherhood in song andballad. When Conan sailed as a freebooteramong the Barachans, he had occasion tomeet the renowned piratess and was smittenwith her. She, however, numbered him butone of a long list of unwanted suitors at thetime, and he pressed no suit. Another pirate,Red Ortho, did press to make Valeria his mis-tress later on. Torn, perhaps for the first time,between her fierce desire for independenceand her growing attraction to Ortho, a hand-some swashbuckler, Valeria jumped ship onenight off the Kushite coast. She trekkedsouth through Stygia to the Darfar borderwhere she found work as a soldier amongthe Free Companions of Captain Zarallo, oneof many mercenary Free Companies of theHyborian Age which fought for gold. Bysheer coincidence, here in Sukhmet she metConan again who had joined Zarallo’s com-pany some time before. Plagued by theadvances of a lustful Stygian officer in herwar camp, Valeria finally killed the man andfled, an outlaw, south into the land of theblacks. Conan, prompted by admiration andan instinct for her safety, followed and caughtup to Valeria lost in the jungle. She greetedhim with a mixture of self-assured disdainand grudging respect. The two soon foundthemselves fighting a huge dragon togetherand afterwards shared a hair-raising adven-ture in the haunted city of Xuchotl, occupiedby feuding clans, a crawling monster, and avampire princess.

After fleeing Xuchotl Valeria was at lastwon over by Conan and they had a briefamour. But the clash of like temperments andindependent spirits soon proved to be trying.Parting on good terms, Valeria left Conanbehind in the Black Kingdoms and herselfreturned to the sea where she again took upher pirate’s cutlass and added yet greaterglory to her legend.

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A frontier settlement of Aquilonia, now inruins, Venarium was a fort-town originally builtby Gundermen encroaching upon the south-ern part of Cimmeria in an attempt to push theAquilonian horde northward and colonize themarches. In doing so, the Gundermendestroyed several Cimmerian tribes, whichhad the unexpected result of uniting someforty other of the usually unruly and dividedclans against the outlanders. In a rareinstance of historical even-handedness, thesubsequent Battle of Venarium is recorded inthe Nemedian Chronicles from the perspec-tives of BOTH sides, the civilized Aquiloniansand the barbarous tribesmen. This is due tothe ironic fact that the adolescent Conan, wholater became king of Aquilonia, was foremostof the native Cimmerians who stormed theAquilonian fort. Below are excerpts from thechronicler’s entries for the Battle of Venarium,the first from an eyewitness account of theGundermen, the second from the “Song ofTolek of Cimmeria,” an elder of Conan’s clan:

“The barbarians swept out of the hills in aravening horde, without warning, andstormed Venarium, screeching blood-maddevils that swarmed over the walls with suchfury none could stand before them. Men,women, and children were butchered. Venari-um was reduced to a mass of charred ruins,as it is to this day. The Aquilonians were driv-en back across the marches and have neversince tried to colonize the Cimmerian coun-try.”

Aye, there was a battle!Howling and hacking!An ocean of blood — Venarium!And even then, the first to vault those stock-ade walls Was Conan.He entered the fray an untried soldier —Mighty of thew like his blacksmith father—Still, a lad of just fifteen snows on his first jour-ney south.But he marched that day from VenariumA man among men…

VANAHEIM “The wind whispering acrossthe everlasting snows”

A far-northern nation, comprising the west-ern portion of Nordheim, Vanaheim is home ofthe red-haired, blue-eyed Vanir, or Vanr, a war-rior race for whom battle is a religious dutywaged in the name of their god, the Frost Giant,Ymir. Ymir is said to live in the mountains ofnorthern Vanaheim. Vanir aggression is mostevident in the continued state of war that existson the borders it shares with Aesgaard to theeast and Cimmeria to the south. Cimmeria inparticular endures endless raids from the preda-tory, fiery redbeards. When not fighting underthe leadership of their king, Vanir tribesmen huntand forage, comb their coastal beaches and fishout on the Western Ocean. They do not, howev-er, venture far from home and are by no meansa sea-faring people. Away from the moderatewestern coast, which is the most hospitableportion of the land, Vanaheim is a somber hos-tile country of tundra, glacier and icy mountains,in the words of its poets, “a place bleak, palesun and snow-covered plains.”

VENARIUM “Aye, THERE was a battle…

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A tropical country far to the east on theSouthern Ocean, Vendhya is an ancient andwealthy kingdom fabled for the treasures ofits royalty, for the rare and magnificentVendhyan tiger, and for the richness of itsland which yields exotic fruits and flowersand an abundance of gold and preciousgemstones. Vendhyan industry also pro-duces textiles, especially silk, rare spices,drugs, perfumes, and cosmetics. Indeed,the nation prides itself on its self-sufficiency.The brown-skinned Vendhyans, whosenative dress is turban and gauzy robe, areruled by a Devi, or queen, who lives in theroyal capital, Ayodhya, within a walledpalace of lofty towers and scented gardens.Her throne room is resplendent with silkenhangings, rich embroideries, golden orna-ments, and precious stones, and her guardswear polished helmets, curved swords, andgold chased corselets. A noble caste ofwarriors, the Kshatriya, are the Devi’s link to

the common people and her true base ofpower. The Priests of Asura, the populardeity, are servants of the throne. The MistyIsles are a group of islands that belong toVendhya where secret herbs are grown.Shirakma is a noted winemaking region,and Gurashah is one of many Vendhyancities ruled by a governor in the Devi’sname. Gurashah is a valley in the northernfoothills of the Himelian Mountains throughwhich the main route from Vendhya toHyrkania passes. East of Vendhya lies Kam-buja, a kingdom ruled by a god-king whosecapital is jungle-girdled Angkhor, home ofthe sacred elephant. Between Vendhya andKambuja is mysterious Uttara Kuru, eyedwith envy by many a Devi but not yet incor-porated into the Vendhyan empire. West ofVendhya is Kosala, a dark land where theYajur is worshiped by ritual stranglings inthe city of Yotapong.

VENDHYA“Echoes of temple gongs in the hot, caressing night”

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“Proud Zingara, land of chivalry” ZINGARAA nation northeast of Argos on the

Western Ocean, Zingara possesses amajor shipping industry but has neverovertaken the predominance of its south-ern neighbor as a commercial power onthe seas. At one point, the country enlistedpatriotic privateers, the Zingaran Free-booters, in an attempt to neutralize themerchant fleet of Argos, but the Freeboot-ers soon turned renegade, and patriotismyielded to self-profit. Thus, faced withArgossean supremacy and additionalcompetition from Stygia, the Zingaran folkhave of necessity developed agriculturaland pastoral trades in addition to seafar-ing. Sugar plantations in the south, wineand leather manufacture, and a tin industryare important staples of the economy.Despite nominal allegiance to their king,who presides in the capital city of Kordavathe elegant princelings, bejeweledgrandees, and silken-hosed dukes of Zin-gara frequently engage in petty rivalriesresulting in endless civil wars. It is ironicthat the renowned art of Zingaran swords-manship is thus turned so often against itsown people.

ZAMORAA strange and fabulous kingdom, Zamorawas founded by the Zhemri, an ancient hybridrace, and the dark-skinned, dark-eyed Zamo-rians of the Hyborian Age are consequently ofdifferent blood from the western races of Bry-thunia, Nemedia, Aquilonia, and Koth. Per-haps it is for this blood-difference that theZamorian folk are reputed to be peculiar andevil from birth, or perhaps it is because of theweird and immoral gods the people worshipor the tolerance given vice to flourish through-out the realm. The two known deities of theZamorians are the Spider-God worshiped atthe stone idol in the city of Yezud, and Bel, theShemitish god of thieves, patron of Arenjun.The ritual of the Spider-God seems to havederived from a natural abomination, a horriblespecies of giant black spiders native andunique to Zamora. Its worship includeshuman sacrifice and orgiastic rites, and Yezudis known as the City of the Spider-God. Aren-jun, too, is named for its god and is called theCity of Thieves. True to its epithet, the city canboast more cut-throats and cutpurses thanany similar den in the world. The Maul is themost lawless quarter of all Arenjun, and itscrooked, shadowy alleys ring day and nightwith a carnival of murderers, thieves, bravos,and bawds. Arenjun’s Temple District housesshrines to myriad dark gods, and even thecriminals of the Maul give these unholy quar-ters wide berth. The Tower of the Elephantwas located here once. The capital of Zamo-ra, however is most notorious of all —Shadizar the City of Wickedness, known forthe costliness, quantity, and variety of itsvices. Within its walls rules the king, anabsolute despot in the clutches of sorcerouspriests. The soldiers of Zamora wear plainsteel caps and leather jerkins studded withbronze buttons, and carry bows, pikes, andshortswords. Larsha the Accursed is a ruinedcity east of Shadizar reputed to contain atreasure trove from Cataclysmic times. It isguarded by mummified giants, warriors of apast age.

“Dark-haired women and towers ofspider-haunted mystery”

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Abombi . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11Acheron . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23Aesgaard . . . . . . . . . . . . 2, 11, 13, 19, 31Aesir . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2, 14, 15Afghuli. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2Afghulistan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2, 14Aghrapur. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29Valley. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29Alcemides. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3Amazon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11Amilius . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3Amra . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14Angkhor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32Anshan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20Antillia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8Anu . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16Aquilonia. . . . . . . . . . 3, 4, 12, 16, 23, 24, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24, 25, 30, 31, 33Arenjun . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14, 33Argos . . . . . . . . . . . . 4, 9, 14, 16, 21, 23, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25, 30, 33Arms and armor. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5, 6, 7Asgalun. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10Asura . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16, 32Atali. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15Atlaia. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11Atlantia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1, 8, 11, 13Atrahasis. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10Attalus. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3Ayodhya . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32Bakalah . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9, 11Bahkarus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19Bakhr River. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28Balkhara . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19Bamula . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9, 11Barachan Isles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9Barachan Pirates. . . . . . 4, 14, 23, 29, 30Beach at Edge of World . . . . . . . . . . . 11Beast Men . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11Bel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16, 26, 33Bêlit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10, 14, 25Belverus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23Bigharma . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11Black Circle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27Black Coast . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11, 14, 23Black Corsairs . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10, 11, 14Black Dragons . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3Black Kingdoms . . . . . 4, 7, 9, 11, 16, 20. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23, 28, 30 Black Legions. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3Black Ring . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27Black River . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24Black Spearmen. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23Book of Skelos. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27Bora Ballin . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22Border Kingdom. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11Bori . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3, 16Borna . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22Bossonia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3, 4, 12Bossonian Marches. . . . . . . . . . . 3, 4, 12Brule . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22Brutheim. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14Brythunia . . . . . . . . . . . 11, 12, 19, 29, 33Carnoonian Desert. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8Carnolla . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24Charnina . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12Cimmeria. . . . . . . . 2, 3, 8, 11, 12, 13, 14. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15, 16, 19, 21, 31City of Wonders . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8, 22Commoria. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8Conan. . . . . . . . . 3, 4, 10, 13, 14, 22, 23, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25, 28, 29, 30Conawaga . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3Conn. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3, 14Corinthia . . . . . . . . . . . 13, 16, 24, 25, 29Couthen . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3Crimson Company. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14Crom . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13, 15, 16Dagonians . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29Darfar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11, 28, 30Darkwood. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23, 25Derketa . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10, 16, 23, 26Dexitheus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3

Dragon Gate. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20Drujistan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20Duali . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26Eastern Desert . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16, 26Eiglophian Mountains . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13Elder Race . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8, 11, 22Erlik. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16, 19, 29Eruk . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21, 26Farsun. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8Flaming Mountains . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21Freebooters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33Free Companions . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14, 30Free People . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21Galzai . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2Gazali . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21Ghannif . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25Ghulistan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2Graaskal Mountains. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12Great Caravan Route. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20Great Cataclysm . . . . . . . . . . . . 8, 13, 24Great Salt Marsh . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11Great Wall. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20Grondar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8Gullah . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15, 24Gunderland . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3, 31Gurashah . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32Gwadiri . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20Gwahlur . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16Hanuman . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16, 29Himelian Mountains. . . . . . . . . . 2, 14, 32Howard, Robert E. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1Hybori . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23Hyborian Age. . . . . . . 1, 8, 17-18, 23, 27Hyperborea . . . . . . . . . . 2, 14, 16, 19, 29Hyrkania. . . . . . . . . . . . 14, 19, 25, 29, 32Ibis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16, 23Ilbars Mountains. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20Imirus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3Iranistan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14, 20Iron Tower. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3, 14Ishtar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16, 23, 26Islands of Pearl . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20Isle of Iron Statues . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29Isles of Sunset . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8Jenna . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14Jhebbal Sag. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16, 24Jhil . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16, 24Jihiji. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9, 11Jullah . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16, 23Kaanuub . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22Kambuja . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32Karnelia. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8Ka-nu . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 Karaban . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3Kelbaza. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12Keshan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11, 14Keshia. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11Kharamun Desert . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29Kharoya . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26Khauran . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14, 16, 21Khawarizm . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29Khemi . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28, 29Kheshatta . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28Khitai . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7, 14, 16, 20Khoraja . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16, 21Khorala . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24Khorotas River . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3Khorshemish . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21Khorusun . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19, 29Khurakzai . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2Kordafa. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11Kordava . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33Kosaia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16, 28, 32Koth . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14, 21, 23, 29, 33Kozaki . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14, 21, 29Kuagir . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19Kulalo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11KuIl . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22Kusan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20Kush . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4, 9, 11, 14, 23, 30Lake Zuad . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28Lemuria. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8Lesser Cataclysm . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8

Libnun Hills. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26Lir . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16Lor. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3Lost Jungle. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20Luxur. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28Makkalet. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19, 25Manara . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3Mannanan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16Master of Yimsha. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27Matamba . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11Mayapan. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14Maypur . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29Maze. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13Meroe . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23Messanita . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4Mindanga . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11Misty Isles. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32Mitra. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3, 4, 16, 21, 23Morrigan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16Murilo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14Natohk . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27Nebthu . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28Nemedia. . . . . . . 3, 4, 11, 16, 23, 24, 25, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29, 33

Nilus River . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28Nim-Karrak . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10Nippr. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26Nordheim. . . . . . . . . . . . 2, 13, 15, 16, 31Numalia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23Numedides. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14N’Yaga . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10Oasis of Khajar. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28Onagrul. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29Ophir . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4, 16, 21, 24, 29Oriskonie . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3Pah-Dishah . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19, 25Paikang. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20Pallantides . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3Pelishtia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26Pergona . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24Peshkhauri . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32Pictish Islands . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8, 24Pictland . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3, 14, 16, 24, 29Pirate Isles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9Pirogia. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12Pohioloa . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19Poitain. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3Potrebia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12Pra-Eun. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27Pre-Cataclysmic Age . . . . . 8, 11, 20, 22, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24

Prospero. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3, 14Pteor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16Publius . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3, 14Punt . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11, 14Qirlata . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26Radegund. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3, 14Raman . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3Red Brotherhood. . . . . . . . . . . . 9, 14, 30Red Ortho. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30Red Sonja . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14, 25Rhamdan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29Ridondo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22Road of Kings . . . . . . . . . . . . 3, 4, 13, 23Ruo-Gen. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20Scarlet Circle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27Schohira . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3Sea-Mountain Folk. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22Set . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16, 23, 28Seven Empires . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8Shadizar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14, 33Shahpur . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29Shamla Pass . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21Shem . . . . . . . . 3, 10, 16, 21, 23, 25, 26, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28, 29

Shirakma . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32Shu-Chen . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20Shumir . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16Shushan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26Sigtona . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19Silver Isles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10, 11Skeptics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23Skranos . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25

Skull Gate. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19Southern Desert. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21Southern Isles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10, 11Stygia . . . . . . 4, 7, 11, 14, 16, 21, 23, 27, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28, 29, 30, 33Suba . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11Sukhmet. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28, 30Sultanapur . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29Suumaro. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25Tarantia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3Tarim. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16, 19, 29Tauran. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3Taurus. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3, 14Thandara . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3Thoth-Amon. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14, 27, 26Thule . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8Thulsa Doom . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22Thunder River. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24Thurania . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8Thure. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3Thuria . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8Tiger Valley . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22Tigress . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10Tiazitlans. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28Tombalku . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14Torh. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3Tortage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9Tower of the Elephant . . . . . . . . . . 14, 33Tranicos . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14, 29Triple Federation. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8Trocero . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3, 14Tsotha-Lanti . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27Tu . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22Turan . . . . . . . . . 4, 14, 16, 19, 20, 21, 29Turanian Steppes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21Tybor River . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24Ursia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14Uttara Kuru. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32Uzumi . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10Valeria. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14, 28, 30Valusia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8, 22Vanaheim , . . . . . . . . . . 2, 13, 14, 24, 31Vanr . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14, 15, 31Vathelos . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27Velitrium . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14Venarium . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14, 31Vendhya . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20, 29, 32Vendhyan Sea . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20Verulia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8Vilayet Sea. . . . . . . 14, 19, 20, 21, 25, 29Wazuli . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2Westermarck . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3, 24Western Ocean. . . . . . . . 4, 8, 14, 28, 30, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31, 33

White Hand . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19, 27Witchman . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19Wizards’ Guild . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19, 27Wuhuan Desert . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20Xaltotun . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27Xuchotl . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14, 28, 30Yag-Kosha . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20Yah Chieng. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27Yajur . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16, 32Yanaidar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20Yanoga . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11Yezud . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16, 33Ymir . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2, 15, 31Yog . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16Yotapong . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32Yuetshi . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29Yun . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16, 20Zaigaran Hills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8Zamboula. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14, 16, 29Zamora . . . . . . . . . . 3, 14, 15, 25, 29, 33Zarallo. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30Zarghaana . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8Zarkheba . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10Zembabwei . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11Zenobia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . …3, 14Zhaibari. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2Zhurazi Archipelago . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29Zingara . . . . . 4, 9, 12, 14, 16, 23, 24, 33Zuagir . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14, 16, 26

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF — JIM SHOOTEREDITOR — LARRY HAMARESEARCHED AND WRITTEN BY ALAN ZELENETZCOVER BY MIKE KALUTAILLUSTRATED BY JOHN BUSCEMA, BOB CAMP ERNIE CHAN, VINCE COLLETTA, MIKE DOCHERTY, ARMANDO GIL, GEOF ISHERWOOD, ANDY KUBERT, GARY KWAPISZ, DAVE SIMONS, VINCENT WALLER, AND MARY WILSHIRECOLORED BY STEVE MELLOR

INDEX