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The Elder Race is a race of beings representing a divergent or primeval branch of humanity. They are similar in many ways to human beings, although with certain differences. They can live for hundreds of years, or even a thousand and more in some cases. They have exotic features that mark them out, particularly in the eyes. Their eyes may be narrow or strangely slanted, with unique colors such as violet, or have a luminous quality like sparks of sword steel. They may have other eldritch qualities, which convey a sense of otherness, such as great physical size (Karon) or a talent for magic (Tuzun Thune). Despite their long lifespans, all members of the Elder Race are mortal and may be killed by conventional means.[1][2]

The Elder Race once ruled the world until their nations were conquered by the early Thurians, who migrated from the east and established the kingdoms of Valusia and the other Seven Empires. The Elder Nations themselves were founded when the Elder Tribes rode out of the wasteland regions and conquered the peoples or tribes they encountered. None of these Elder Nations are named in the Kull stories. The few scattered survivors among the Elder Race that existed during the time of Kull included the Valusian wizard Tuzun Thune and Karon, a ferryman of the River Stagus on the eastern border of Grondar.[1][2]

Although Thulsa Doom is often regarded as being a member of the Elder Race (mostly in comic books), this is not confirmed in the original Kull stories. Not just people, but certain animals also belonged to the Elder Race, including Saremes the cat. This was confirmed by Ka-nu and the Lake Men of the Forbidden Lake. The Lake Men revealed to Kull that Saremes had once visited them and was a guest in their courts for a number of centuries.[3]

They are also referred to as the Old Race.[3]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Robert E. Howard, Kull - Exile of Atlantis ("The Mirrors of Tuzun Thune"), Del Rey (2006).
  2. 2.0 2.1 Robert E. Howard, Kull - Exile of Atlantis ("Untitled Draft", previously published as "Riders Beyond the Sunrise"), Del Rey (2006).
  3. 3.0 3.1 Robert E. Howard, Kull - Exile of Atlantis ("The Cat and the Skull", previously published as "Delcardes' Cat"), Del Rey (2006).