History[edit | edit source]
The Cimmerians of the Hyborian Age are the descendents of Atlantean colonists of the Thurian Age. Living on the main Thurian continent, the colonists survived the great Cataclysm that submerged Atlantis and destroyed most of the Thurian civilizations. The survivors, at this point reduced to a stone age level of sophistication, eventually found themselves locked in multigenerational warfare with survivors of a Pictish colony. This prolonged conflict caused the Atlanteans to further devolve into little more than ape-men. With no memory of their history or even of language and civilization itself, these beings eventually redeveloped into a people known as Cimmerians.
Cimmerians were surrounded by hostile peoples, from their ancient enemies, the Picts, the hostile Nordics to the north. They also fought against the Bossonian Marches and even fought their way to Aquilonia for plundering raids.
When the glacier age came, the Cimmerians fled before the Nordic onrush. No army or city stood before them, while hordes of Nordics swarmed behind them. Moving southwards, they almost destroyed Gunderland and fought their way into Aquilonia against the Picts. They defeated the Nordic-Nemedians in Nemedia and sacked some cities and moved eastwards, defeating a Hyrkanian army on the borders of Brythunia.
The Cimmerians wandered southeastward, destroyed Turan, and settled on the southwestern shores of Vilayet, which slowly dried and became the Caspian. They were joined by pastoral Nordic tribes fleeing the next cataclysm eastwards and gradually mixed with them, forming the Aryan people. Their growing population forced many of them to migrate southward, northward and westward.
Population and culture[edit | edit source]
Cimmerians were tall and powerfully built ferocious savages and barbarians, with black hair and blue or grey eyes. Although the Hyborian invasion did not touch them, they seem to have benefitted by contact with the invaders, and advanced rapidly in culture, more than their old rivals, the Picts.
They appear to be partly or completely tribal hunter-woodland gatherers, with no central government and exist in tribes. They know of the craft of iron-working (Conan's father was a blacksmith), but they dress in skins and pelts, and do their own weaving in a rough, practical style. Cimmerians have little use for philosophy, science, or art, but seem to value entertainment, especially in the form of storytelling. Conan himself remarks: "I saw myself in a pantherskin loin-clout, throwing my spear at the mountain beasts."
The Cimmerians are a people forged by the very harsh conditions of their land. The Cimmerians are notable among other civilizations as being an incredibly somber people. Howard often makes reference to the Cimmerian people's hardiness and martial prowess, as well as to their many other impressive skills. They can climb seemingly unscalable cliffs, track humans and animals with ease, and stalk their prey without making a sound. The apparent primitiveness of the Cimmerians and their sense of justice is often juxtaposed with the corruption of the "civilized" races in Hyboria.
Cimmerian culture does not value materialism for avarice's sake. Although warriors such as Conan are encouraged to gather wealth and glory to themselves, Cimmerians value courage, honor, respect, and pride more than treasure. It is said that none starve in Cimmeria unless all starve, for any family would care for any who need it.
The Cimmerians appear to have been based on the Celts, specifically the Dark Age Gaels who are the ancestors of the modern Irish and Scots. Howard states in The Hyborian Age that "the Gaels, ancestors of the Irish and Highland Scots, descended from pure-blooded Cimmerian clans."
Religion[edit | edit source]
The Cimmerians' chief deity was Crom, a vengeful god who took little interest in mortal matters. He and his dark brood are said to never answer prayers, for this as seen as weak pleading and Crom would rather such supplicants die honourably. Cimmerians themselves believe there is little to hope for in life or the hereafter and that the gods desire no worship, but are best left to their own indifference towards mortals. However, the Cimmerians credit their strength of arm and spirit to Crom, who allegedly grants strength and courage at birth in order to face their enemies in life. After death, Cimmerians believe after death the soul wanders around Crom's Mountain- a cheerless realm of gray clouds, cold mists, and moaning winds- for all eternity.
Other gods include:
Characters[edit | edit source]
- Red Nails
- Hour of the Dragon
- Handbook of the Conan Universe