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The Forbidden Lake is a lake in Valusia. As the name implies, it was forbidden under penalty of death to enter this lake except for the king.[1]


The Forbidden Lake is located near the Zalgara Mountains, in a great lonely forest left unnamed by Howard. Its waters are blue and placid, with tiny forested islands, while a faint shimmering mist rises from the surface. These islands are said to contain temples or shrines built by a pre-human civilization, now cloaked with the green foliage and used by the Lake Men in performing strange rituals on certain nights of the year.[1]

Flora and Fauna[]

The bottom of this lake is covered in a solid bed of harmless bioluminescent moss. This "firemoss" gives off a white glow, like a carpet of fireflies. The moss bed is littered with the bones and skulls of those who entered the lake, and were killed by the more monstrous inhabitants. The waters themselves teem with strange but equally harmless creatures, which may or may not have been a species of fish. They are described in vague terms, having shadowy forms of multicolored light that were difficult to make out, as they swam and darted about. The effect of this natural ecology gives the impression of a magical underwater faery realm.[1]

There are also several types of dangerous monsters, which serve the Lake Men as guardians against human interlopers. These include an octopus/human hybrid that attacked with its tentacles, giant water spiders, a shark-like humanoid with four arms and an impaling horn on its snout, and a giant serpent with green and gold scales.[1]

Lake Men[]

The Lake Men (or Lake Beings) are the rulers of the Forbidden Lake, and their population numbers in the thousands. They're powerful wizards and inhabit a city of black stone, inside a great cavern beneath the lake. This cavern realm is known as the Enchanted Land and illuminated by a black light, which radiates from the city itself. Another eldritch feature of the Enchanted Land is how time passed more slowly there. An hour spent in this realm is equal to several hours or a day on the surface world.[1]

The Lake Men appear much like humans, except their forms glimmer with light and shadow, while their eyes are strange and luminous. They're ruled by an unnamed king, who has a noble, bearded face and a majestic bearing. They possess a extremely long lifespans, having ruled the lake since before the dawn of humanity and throughout the reign of Kull. Nonetheless, they could be slain by conventional means including mortal weapons. Some of their characteristics are similar to those of the Elder Race, but whether or not they belonged to such a people isn't confirmed in the original stories. It is worth noting, however, that Saremes, a cat of the Elder Race, once visited the courts of the Lake Men and stayed with them as a guest for a number of centuries.[1]

Thousands of years before the time of Kull, some humans tried to invade the Enchanted Land, so the Lake Men retaliated and waged war against them with powerful magic until the invaders begged for peace. The Lake Men granted this, and the invaders imposed a strict "tambu" (taboo) over the Forbidden Lake, which made it against Valusian law for anyone, except for the king, to enter those waters. The Lake Men are not evil by nature, but they never forgot the violence done against them and don't tolerate the existence of humans in their realm.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Robert E. Howard, Kull - Exile of Atlantis ("The Cat and the Skull", previously published as "Delcardes' Cat"), Del Rey Books (2006).